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SundayFebruary 24, 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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Colombia Arrests Italian Suspected of Working as Drug Go-between

Colombia Arrests Italian Suspected of Working as Drug Go-between

Photo: Iacocomino Tomasso

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An Italian man suspected of being a go-between for the Sicilian mafia with Colombian drug gangs was arrested in Bogota, the National Police said.

Iacocomino Tomasso, who went by the alias Salvatore Cafareillo, had previously been arrested in 2006 in Colombia and extradited to Italy, National Police director Gen. Jose Leon Riaño said.

Tomasso served time in Italy on a drug conviction and then returned to the South American country, the National Police chief said.

“He sent cocaine from Colombia to Italy hidden in fruit shipments, and it was later distributed in Europe,” the police chief said.

Tomasso entered the mafia in the 1970s, becoming a member of the Eucarianos gang, the National Police said.

The suspect has been a person of interest to Italian police since 1964 and drug enforcement agencies around the world have investigated him as an important player in the illegal drug trade, Leon Riaño said.

Tomasso used front companies to smuggle drugs into Italian ports, “where they were distributed by other members of the criminal organization,” the police chief said.

The suspect will be extradited once again to Italy, where he is wanted on drug charges.

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Spain’s Wine Books Win 4 Gourmand Awards in Paris

Spain’s Wine Books Win 4 Gourmand Awards in Paris

Photo: "Txakoli de Bizkaia. El viaje"

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Spain garnered four Gourmand awards - considered some of the most prestigious in the sector - for the year’s best books about wines and beverages.

The awards ceremony for the 18th edition of the competition took place Saturday in the Carrousel at the Louvre in Paris, and the Spanish delegation cheered and displayed flags and fans with the national flag on it every time it was presented with one of the prizes.

“Txakoli de Bizkaia. El viaje,” by Mikel Garaizabal, won in the best European wine book category, while “Cuatro siglos de Pazo Baion,” by the Cooperativa Condes de Albarei, was selected as the best work for professionals.

“La ginebra en la gastronomia del siglo XXI,” by Spaniards Rafael Anson, Isabel Mijares and Carmen Garcia was selected by the judging panel as the best work concerning cocktails for 2012, and “Como quiero que me sirvan en vino,” by Arturo Pardos, was chosen as the best educational work.

The best book on wines for 2012, however, went to Belgium’s “Le Domaine de la Romanee Conti,” and that country also won the award for the best book about coffee, “Latte Art.”

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REPORT: Poverty Rates Lower Amongst Hispanics Than Blacks

REPORT: Poverty Rates Lower Amongst Hispanics Than Blacks

Photo: Poverty in the U.S.

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Poverty rates are important indicators of community well-being and are used by government agencies and organizations to allocate need-based resources. The American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data allow for the analysis of poverty rates by race and Hispanic origin for many levels of geography.

In this report, poverty rates are summarized by race and Hispanic origin for the United States, each state, and the District of Columbia.

Poverty rates are also presented for selected detailed race and origin groups in the cities and towns with the largest populations of these groups.

For the nation and selected places, poverty rates are summarized for detailed Asian groups with popula- tions of 750,000 or more, detailed Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander groups with populations of 25,000 or more, and detailed Hispanic groups with populations of 1 million or more.

Read the entire report here.


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Violence in Acapulco Continues as Belgian Tourist is Gunned Down

Violence in Acapulco Continues as Belgian Tourist is Gunned Down

Photo: Scene of the accident

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A Belgian tourist was gunned down by several men who attempted to steal his luxury car in the Mexican Pacific resort city of Acapulco, prosecutors said.

Jan K.M. Sarens was killed by a gunshot “in the left side of the chest” in Diamante, one of the most upscale sections of the resort city, the Guerrero state Attorney General’s Office said.

The 59-year-old tourist was murdered around 4:43 p.m. on Saturday, the AG’s office said.

The Belgian tourist was murdered nearly three weeks after six Spanish tourists were raped in Acapulco’s Punta Diamante section.

Several suspects have been arrested in connection with the rapes.

Sarens was shot at point-blank range when he resisted an attempt by several individuals to steal his Mercedes-Benz, which had Federal District tags, eyewitnesses told Efe.

The victim resisted the robbery attempt, shifting into reverse and hitting a planter, which punctured one of the rear tires, the eyewitnesses said.

Sarens’s body was found by police next to the luxury car.

Paramedics were unable to save Sarens, the AG’s office said.

“He worked in Mexico City at the SRNS Latinoamerica SA de CV company and was a temporary resident,” the Guerrero AG’s office said.

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Pope Benedict XVI Presides Over Last Sunday Blessing in the Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI Presides Over Last Sunday Blessing in the Vatican

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI

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Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday took part in his last Angelus prayer, telling the approximately 200,000 of the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square that he planned to focus even more on prayer and meditation after stepping down as leader of the Roman Catholic Church later this week.

“The Lord has called me to ‘scale the mountain,’ to dedicate myself still more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church. If God asks me this it is precisely so that I might continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to give up to now, but in a way more suitable to my age and my strength,” the pope said.

The huge throng of the faithful, pilgrims and tourists filled St. Peter’s Square and spilled into nearby streets.

The crowd interrupted the pontiff several times with applause.

“Let us call upon the intercession of the Virgin Mary: May she help all of us to always follow the Lord Jesus, in prayer and in works of charity,” Benedict XVI said.

The pope, who turns 86 in two months, announced on Feb. 11 that he planned to step down from the papacy on the last day of this month, becoming the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years.

The papal conclave to elect the successor to Pope Benedict XVI is expected to start in the next few weeks.

Under the Holy See’s constitution, the conclave should begin between 15 and 20 days after the papacy becomes vacant to give time for all of the cardinals to arrive in Rome.

The pope will travel on Thursday to the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Rome, and will stay there until restoration work has been completed on a monastery within the Vatican that will serve as his retirement home, the Vatican Press Office said earlier this month.

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Marc Anthony’s Maestro Cares Receives $150K Donation from Goya Foods

Marc Anthony’s Maestro Cares Receives $150K Donation from Goya Foods

Photo: Maestro Cares Foundation receiving donation

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Goya Foods will donate $150,000 to the Maestro Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Marc Anthony and Henry Cardenas to support the housing and educational needs of orphaned and underprivileged children in developing Latin American countries.

The donation will go towards the development and construction of a new orphanage for over 200 children at the Orfanato Niños de Cristo in La Romana, Dominican Republic. 

“Goya has always believed in lending a hand when it is needed most, whether it is here in the United States or abroad,” says Bob Unanue, President of Goya Foods.  “We wanted to contribute to Maestro Cares and this new project in the Dominican Republic because of our close relationship with the people and children of the country that transcends to the Dominican communities here in New York and the rest of the United States.”

The new complex, which measures 30,000 square feet, will feature state-of-the-art designs and include a kitchen, laundry room, cafeteria, library, chapel, classrooms, dorm rooms, a teacher’s lounge, workshop area, business center, and a baseball field.  “We’re grateful for this wonderful donation from Goya Foods and are pleased with the impact that Maestro Cares has made,” says Marc Anthony.  “The contributions that donors like Goya are providing today, will help us change and improve the lives of our children.”

The donation will help to provide housing, clothing, food and staff while assisting in the academic, social and recreational development of the children through various programs. 

“We are thankful for this generous donation from Goya. Their gift will help feed, clothe and educate children who desperately need it,” says Henry Cardenas.  “As we work to end homelessness, hunger, and violence for our children in Latin America, it is important for us to know that we have supporters such as Goya, who believe in our mission to build better futures for these children.”

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Spanish Woman Accused of Murdering Husband to Appear in Pennsylvania Court

Spanish Woman Accused of Murdering Husband to Appear in Pennsylvania Court

Photo: Maria Reyes Garcia-Pellon

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Spanish citizen Maria Reyes Garcia-Pellon, who allegedly murdered her husband - former pro basketball player Matthew White - two weeks ago, is to appear at a preliminary court hearing in the city of Media, Pennsylvania, where a judge will determine if judicial proceedings should commence.

She is “so far separated from reality right now,” defense attorney Kathryn Labrum said several days ago referring to her client’s mental state, and the preliminary hearing has been scheduled to determine if Garcia-Pellon is - or is not - psychologically prepared to go to trial.

Garcia-Pellon stabbed her husband to death in bed while he was sleeping early in the morning after having surprised him viewing pornography, police said.

The crime was committed in the couple’s home in Nether Providence, a town in Pennsylvania’s Delaware County.

The 52-year-old Garcia-Pellon waited until the 55-year-old White fell asleep and then stabbed him fatally in the neck with a kitchen knife.

A few hours later, the woman went to the home of some friends and told them what had happened.

“I caught him looking at pornography, young girls. I love kids. I had to do it,” Garcia-Pellon told police.

The woman worked as a support teacher in an elementary school in Nether Providence, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

White played for the University of Pennsylvania between 1976 and 1979, but he pursued his 12-year professional career in Spain.

He played for several Spanish teams, including Valladolid Miñon/Grupo Libro Valladolid, RC Nautico Tenerife, Cacaolat Granollers, Puleva Baloncesto Granada and Valvi Girona.

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Hollywood Prepares for Oscar Night

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will hold its 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, handing out the prestigious Oscars to the film industry’s best.

The awards ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and will be hosted by comedian Seth MacFarlane.

MacFarlane, known for his outrageous humor, is the creator of the animated sitcom “Family Guy” and the director-screenwriter of the movie “Ted.”

The comedian is expected to bring a more daring style to the normally staid awards ceremony, which is expected to last about three hours.

Oscars will be awarded in 24 categories.

“Argo,” with seven nominations, is the favorite to win the Oscar for Best Picture, the biggest prize, but it will have competition from “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi,” which received 12 and 11 nominations, respectively.

Chile’s “No” is vying for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Chilean Claudio Miranda could win the cinematography award for “Life of Pi.”

Mexico’s Jose Antonio Garcia is competing in the sound category for “Argo,” while Spain’s Paco Delgado is in the mix for the wardrobe prize for “Les Miserables.”

The Academy Awards ceremony will be televised live in more than 225 countries.

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Mexicans Are Largest Group Eligible for Citizenship

Mexicans Are Largest Group Eligible for Citizenship

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

Here’s something to put into your bag of facts as we move into a full throttle debate on immigration reform.  According to a study compiled by The Wilson Center Mexico Institute, Mexicans are “by far the largest national-origin group eligible to become U.S. citizens.”Image

I know, it’s obvious and it’s great that someone has quantified it in a serious study. But if your mind is rattling with implications you’ll understand why this study is important – these numbers can and should be used to put together serious policy initiatives; to go from quantifying to codifying.

Here’s what the Wilson Center suggests:

These findings argue for the need to fashion policy and citizenship promotion efforts specifically addressed to unnaturalized immigrants in at least three distinguishable situations: the long-term eligible who may qualify to become citizens under an eased set of testing requirements; Mexican immigrants who have settled in non-traditional and rural areas of the country, at some distance from more established co-ethnic communities; and those immigrants who become newly eligible to apply for citizenship every year, but who may not be fully aware of their eligibility.

This is all new and unpublished data that looks a “legal” immigration from Mexico. And it’s important because it helps frame the immigration issue in a way that had, until now, been ignored.

The study is important as well in light of the fact that Mexican immigrants become citizens at lower rates than other immigrants. The relationship between the numbers is obvious, so we won’t go into it.

ImageThere’s a lot to digest here, so I’ll leave you the link to the study. And like I said, pack some of the data away for use in the ongoing immigration debate.

Read the full study HERE.

This article was first published in NewsTaco.

NewsTaco provides you with innovative and insightful news, critique, analysis and opinion from a Latino perspective in a 24-hour world.

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Obama Administration Looks to Make Law Banning Gay Marriage Unconstitutional

Obama Administration Looks to Make Law Banning Gay Marriage Unconstitutional

Photo: Same-sex marriage (Bruno Domingos)

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The government of President Barack Obama asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to find unconstitutional the federal law that defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” when it rules on the issue next June.

The Justice Department gave the Supreme Court the first of a series of legal opinions on gay marriage, which the high court must consider now that it has agreed to hear two cases on the subject.

One of the cases questions the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman,” and which Obama has publicly opposed on numerous occasions.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli objects in his brief that the law denies same-sex couples a series of federal benefits available to opposite-sex marriages.

The Obama government also considers intervening in the second gay marriage case to be heard by the Supreme Court with regard to California’s Proposition 8, which declares gay marriages illegal in that state and was passed by referendum in 2008, soon after the state legalized those unions.

The ban was declared unconstitutional by a court of appeals in 2010, but has now been taken to the Supreme Court its defenders.

Gay marriage is legal in nine states of the union - Maryland, Washington, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont - and in the District of Columbia.

Another five states allow civil unions, but that is not a right recognized by the federal government.

Last May Barack Obama becames the first U.S. president to publicly support gay marriage.

According to a December survey by USA Today and Gallup, 53 percent of Americans believe that same-sex couples should be able to marry, almost double the percentage supporting gay marriage in 1996.

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Colombian President Will Abandon Peace Talks with Rebels if They Do Not Progress

Colombian President Will Abandon Peace Talks with Rebels if They Do Not Progress

Photo: Juan Manuel Santos

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday that if peace talks with the FARC make no progress, “we’re getting up from the negotiating table,” adding that the guerrillas will not get the truce they are asking for.

“In the measure that we make progress, we’ll be satisfied. If we don’t make progress, we’re getting up from the negotiating table. I hope we keep going forward but meanwhile the rules of the game are very clear. There’s not going to be a truce here of any kind,” Santos told reporters after a meeting with leaders and inhabitants of Santa Barbara municipality in Antioquia province.

On Friday the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, through its maximum leader “Timochenko” or “Timoleon Jimenez,” criticized the Colombian government for giving land to peasants that had supposedly been taken over by rebels, which, he said, made it look very doubtful that Santos is genuinely seeking peace.

In the presentation of land to the peasants last Wednesday in Caqueta province, Santos said that “11 years later, instead of being robbed by the FARC, we are taking back from the FARC their ill-gotten lands and we’re giving farmer workers the land they should have and that belongs to them,” Santos said.

Meanwhile he identified Victor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias “Mono Jojoy,” as “one of the great landowners” of Colombia who made his fortune at the expense of the country.

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Son-in-Law says Spanish Royals, Wife not Involved in his Business

Son-in-Law says Spanish Royals, Wife not Involved in his Business

Photo: Iñaki Urdangarin

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The son-in-law of Spanish King Juan Carlos, Iñaki Urdangarin, testified Saturday that the royal household never authorized or endorsed the business operations of his non-profit Noos Institute, adding that his wife, the Infanta Cristina, took no part in the activities of the foundation which presumably embezzled millions of euros in public funds.

The ex-Olympic handball player, married to the youngest daughter of the monarch since 1997, added that, to the contrary, the royal household recommended that he put a halt to his activities at Noos - referring to allegations he embezzled millions of euros after using his connections to obtain lucrative, no-bid public contracts for the foundation - because it considered them beneath his institutional status.

The husband of the Infanta Cristina, the king’s youngest daughter, said he heeded that advice.

In his statement Saturday, Undangarin also denied that a meeting ever took place at the Zarzuela Palace, the residence of the royal family, to prepare the Valencia Summit, one of the events organized by Noos and from which the foundation allegedly extracted millions of euros in public funds.

The son-in-law of King Juan Carlos also denied having Swiss bank accounts under false names.

Urdangarin referred to e-mails delivered recently to Judge Castro by his ex-business partner at Noos, Diego Torres - also implicated in the corruption case - in which he tried to link the royal family to the scandal.

“In that regard, I declare that the royal household did not offer opinions, advise, authorize or endorse the activities that I carried out at the Noos Foundation,” Urdangarin said.

The investigating magistrate is probing the alleged diversion of public funds from the regional governments of the Balearic Islands and Valencia to the non-profit sports foundation headed by Urdangarin and Torres.

Of all the members on the Noos board of directors, the Infanta Cristina is the only one not facing charges in this case.

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Spanish Singer Miguel Bose Performs for 11,000 in Quito

Spanish Singer Miguel Bose Performs for 11,000 in Quito

Photo: Miguel Bose

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Spanish singer-songwriter Miguel Bose promoted peace and solidarity at a concert in the Ecuadorian capital, during which he treated the crowd of 11,000 to a broad sampling of his musical output.

Percussion, keyboard, guitars and chorus - eight band members in all - backed Bose at his concert in Quito, one of the stops on his “Papitwo” tour, named after his latest album.

With a production that left no room for improvisation, Bose performed close to 30 songs to excite and awaken love, passion and conscience.

Turned into a song, the letter that a 17-year-old soldier wrote to his parents before leaving the trenches made his point that war is “the worst toy ever invented by man,” and in rejecting violence he said “I’m a man of peace and I say ‘To hell with war,’” Bose said.

In “Papitwo,” a show with perfectly coordinated lights, sound and set design, Bose strolled the stage with sensual movements, theatrical stops but less dancing than in concerts of other years, which did not, however, hold back the waves of sighs from his fans, who never stopped singing along at the top of their lungs.

“Sevilla” was the number that sweetly broke through the seriousness which at a certain moment began to prevail, and with “Bambu” thousands got up to dance in the arena the holds an audience of 14,000, including the backstage part that is not used in concerts.

From Ecuador the tour continues on to Chile, Mexico and Spain.

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Oscar Nominated Film Sweeps French Awards

The film “Amour” by the Austrian Michael Haneke was the big winner at the French Academy of Film Arts and Science’s 38th Cesar Awards, taking home the prizes for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and Best Actor (Jean-Louis Trintignant).

The film, honored with the Palme d’Or at the last Cannes Film Festival, will compete Sunday in the Hollywood Oscars in five categories with an uncontrived story about sickness, aging and decline in the life of an elderly couple.

Haneke’s film - shot entirely in France - will attempt to equal the success of the silent film “The Artist” by Michel Hazanavicius, which last year made history by taking five Oscars including the prize for Best Picture, a category never before won by a movie not filmed in English.

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Hugo Chavez Met with Government for Over 5 Hours

Hugo Chavez Met with Government for Over 5 Hours

Photo: Hugo Chavez

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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Saturday that President Hugo Chavez met with members of his government team for 5 1/2 hours to discuss various topics, about which he expressed his views in writing and seemed “very energetic.”

“We had these three working sessions which together took around 5 1/2 hours. He was very energetic with a lot of spirit, a lot of strength and vitality, and that makes us all very happy,” Maduro said in a statement broadcast on state television.

The vice president said the president expressed “his immense happiness to be in his beloved Caracas.”

He said that in the meeting, which began at 5:45 p.m. Friday and lasted until just before 11:30 p.m., they made notes, exchanged ideas, and at one moment the president “spent time with his daughters” and one of his grandchildren.

Maduro’s statement comes after the government said Thursday that Chavez’s respiratory insufficiency, which began after his last operation, persists and its outlook “has not been favorable,” though his treatment for cancer continues without “significantly adverse” effects.

Chavez returned to Venezuela on Monday after spending more than two months in Cuba, where on Dec. 11 he underwent his fourth operation in 18 months for a cancer that is known to be in the pelvic region though its exact nature has never been revealed.

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SundayFebruary 24, 2013