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SaturdayMarch 2, 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 Lifts Ban on Drummond Coal Shipments

Colombia Lifts Ban on Drummond Coal Shipments

Photo: Drummond Co

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Colombian environmental authorities have lifted a ban on coal exports by U.S.-based Drummond Co. while also authorizing a train to resume nighttime shipments of the fossil fuel.

The National Authority of Environmental Licenses, or ANLA, announced the two decisions in a statement on Friday.

It said it “technically analyzed and approved” a contingency plan presented by Drummond after it dumped hundreds of tons of coal into the Caribbean Sea on Feb. 12.

Drummond said the incident was an “industrial accident” and that it had “no intention of causing environmental damage.”

ANLA said it will closely monitor the company’s compliance with the plan and its operations, adding that no “sanction will be determined until the investigation is completed.”

Drummond typically exports 70,000 tons of coal per day from Colombia.

Separately, the statement said environmental authorities in the northern province of Cesar lifted a ban on the nighttime operation of a train that ships coal from mines in Colombia’s interior to the ports of Cienaga and Santa Marta.

The company Ferrocarriles del Norte del Colombia, which holds the concession for the rail line, said it has taken “adequate steps” to “mitigate the impact of the noise generated by the operation.”

Colombia’s coal industry also has been hit by a strike at the El Cerrejon mine, which is located in the northern province of La Guajira and is the largest open-pit coal mine in the Americas.

The work stoppage began in early February.

The unions and the Cerrejon Coal company, a joint venture owned in equal parts by subsidiaries of Britain’s Anglo American, Australia’s BHP Billiton and Switzerland’s Xstrata, resumed talks this week on salaries and working conditions.

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Petrobras Reveals 28-Gallon Oil Leak Off Brazil’s coast

Petrobras Reveals 28-Gallon Oil Leak Off Brazil’s coast

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Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras said it discovered a 108-liter (28-gallon) oil leak off the coast of the southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro.

In a statement Friday, Petrobras said it had identified the “crude slick, the first signs of which were spotted (Thursday).”

The spill occurred at the Marlim field in the northeastern portion of the Campos Basin, 172 kilometers (105 miles) off the coast of the city of Macae.

The company estimated that 108 liters of oil leaked into the ocean between Thursday and Friday and attributed the spill to a problem at a well that was not in operation.

According to Petrobras, five oil-spill containment ships, three vessels equipped to conduct submarine inspections and an aircraft have been dispatched to the site.

Petrobras said it has been keeping the ANP oil regulator, the Ibama environmental protection agency and the Brazilian navy abreast of the incident.

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Real Madrid Takes Down Barcelona Twice in One Week

Real Madrid Takes Down Barcelona Twice in One Week

Photo: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona (Real Madrid)

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Real Madrid scored its second victory in a week over arch-rival FC Barcelona, snagging a 2-1 win here Saturday in the Spanish league “clasico” thanks to a late header by Sergio Ramos.

Four days after a 3-1 home loss to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinals, Barça seemed early on to be playing in slow motion and snared in the defensive web spun by Jose Mourinho’s squad, which started the game without star striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Karim Benzema received a pass from Alvaro Morata and found the back of the net from 10 feet away.

Barcelona, however, didn’t take long to get the equalizer.

Dani Alves located superstar Lionel Messi, who broke free from defender Sergio Ramos and then fired a shot past goalkeeper Diego Lopez in the 18th minute.

Fourteen minutes later, Messi had a chance after a failed attempt by Madrid to clear the ball from its area, but he fired the shot directly at Lopez.

After that missed opportunity, the apparently fatigued Argentine was a relative non-factor the rest of the contest.

In the second half, Ronaldo came on 12 minutes in as a substitute and made his presence felt soon afterward, firing a swerving free kick at the 64-minute mark that was corralled by Victor Valdes.

Madrid then started controlling possession against the Catalans and it paid off in the 81st minute when a corner kick from Luka Modric found Ramos, who headed a shot past Valdes into the right corner of the goal.

The waning seconds of the game featured a controversial non-call, when Ramos appeared to foul Barça midfielder Adriano in the 90th minute as he was preparing to shoot but no whistle was blown.

Despite the loss, Barcelona still holds a 12-point advantage over second-place Atletico Madrid and leads Real Madrid by 13 points in the Spanish league.

On Tuesday, Real Madrid advanced to the Copa del Rey final by defeating Barcelona 4-2 on aggregate, and will play Atletico Madrid in the final.

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Former Police Chief Convicted of Drug Traffic Conspiracy in Mexico

Former Police Chief Convicted of Drug Traffic Conspiracy in Mexico

Photo: Gilberto Lerma Plata

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Gilberto Lerma Plata, a former police commander of Tamaulipas state and a member of the Gulf cartel, was found guilty of conspiring to import several tons of marijuana and cocaine to the United States, the Justice Department said.

Lerma Plata, 50, was ruled guilty of the charges filed against him in July 2011 at a federal court hearing Friday before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

On July 29, 2011, Lerma Plata was accused of conspiring to manufacture and distribute at least 5 kilos (11 pounds) of cocaine and 1,000 kilos (1 1/5 tons) of marijuana, for their subsequent importation to the United States, the Justice Department said in a communique.

Lerma Plata was arrested in McAllen, Texas, on May 9, 2012, and according to Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, instead of working to protect citizens from harm, this man “abused his power to further the notorious Gulf cartel’s violent narcotics trafficking operations.”

For her part, Administrator Michele M. Leonhart of the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, said that by using “operatives” like Lerma Plata, “the Gulf cartel has smuggled huge amounts of dangerous drugs into the United States for far too long, while using violence, intimidation and public corruption to strengthen their ability to traffic drugs.”

According to documents presented before the court, Lerma Plata was on the payroll of the Gulf cartel while working for the Tamaulipas state police and “abused his power to further the notorious Gulf cartel’s violent narcotics trafficking operations,” Raman said.

The authorities discovered, by means of intercepted phone calls, that Lerma Plata and high-ranking members of the Gulf cartel discussed the shipment of large quantities of marijuana for distribution in the United States, “as well as the transportation from the United States of proceeds from the sales of the drugs and firearms.”

The communique did not specify when the sentence will be handed down in the case.

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Elton John, Miguel Bose Rock Chilean Music festival

Elton John, Miguel Bose Rock Chilean Music festival

Photo: Elton John in Chile (Ernst Vikne)

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The skill and elegance of acclaimed artists like Elton John and Miguel Bose put the seal of distinction on the 54th Viña del Mar International Song Festival.

The Argentine band Los Autenticos Decadentes rang down the curtain Friday in a partying mood on the evening before the wrap of the five-day event, which also featured Mexico’s Gloria Trevi and Spain’s Pablo Alboran.

But the first to take the stage Friday were Wisin & Yandel, whose reggaeton and sensuality heated up the scene at the Quinta Vergara Amphitheater.

After their last performance here in 2008, the Puerto Rican duo returned to a festival that in recent years has established reggaeton as one of the entrees on its menu, and which this year was represented by Daddy Yankee.

Spain’s Miguel Bose also made a big impression in his ninth appearance at the festival with his duets with Pablo Alboran and with the Chilean Francisca Valenzuela.

But without a doubt, and in this all the experts agree, if this year’s festival is remembered for anything it will be for the fleeting appearance of British pop star Elton John, already rated as one of the best concerts in the history of the festival.

John, who on Thursday was scarcely nine hours in the country, ran through a crowd-enthralling sample of his best classics concentrated into just 80 minutes, and showed why he is already a legend.

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King Juan Carlos’s Back Surgery Scheduled for Sunday

King Juan Carlos’s Back Surgery Scheduled for Sunday

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King Juan Carlos will be operated this Sunday at a Madrid hospital for a herniated disc, yet another surgery following the hip operation he underwent last Nov. 23.

Spanish neurosurgeon Manuel de la Torre Gutierrez will perform the operation at La Milagrosa Clinic with a high-precision device of latest-generation technology known as the “neuronavigator.”

So that the operation cause “the least bother possible” for the usual functioning of the clinic and its surroundings, the royal household chose to have the operation on Sunday, when there are no doctor’s visits.

The neurosurgeon, who has worked several years providing medical services for the Zarzuela Palace, residence of the Spanish royal family, will perform the surgery in the only operating room in Spain equipped with an O-Arm neuronavigator, which is only available at a half-dozen hospitals in the world.

This will be the 11th surgery for the king since the 1980s. Over the past three years, Juan Carlos has had both hips replaced along with his right knee, a torn Achilles tendon repaired and a benign tumor removed from his lung.

This week the king, 75, had to visit another medical center in Madrid for a slight dislocation of the left hip, the result of a loosening of the prosthesis implanted last Nov. 23 due to the degenerative osteoarthritis that caused him sharp pains and mobility problems.

Villamor had implanted another prosthesis on April 14 after the monarch fractured his right hip, also suffering from osteoarthritis, as a result of a fall during a private trip to Botswana.

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Obama Reluctantly Orders $85 bn in Budget Cuts

Obama Reluctantly Orders $85 bn in Budget Cuts

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U.S. President Barack Obama reluctantly ordered the launch of $85 billion in budget cuts over the remainder of fiscal year 2013 after efforts by the White House and Congress to avert them failed.

Late Friday, Obama formally authorized the massive spending reductions that are known as the “sequester” and which stemmed from the Budget Control Act of 2011.

That federal statute raised the U.S. debt ceiling but required $1.2 trillion in automatic, across-the-board cuts over the next decade if a “supercommittee” failed to reach agreement on an additional $1.2-1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.

Sequestration had been scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 2, 2013, but it was delayed for two months by a New Year’s Eve deal that, among other things, raised tax rates on incomes of up to $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.

Under the sequester, Pentagon and non-defense spending are to be slashed by 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

After a closed-door meeting at the White House with congressional leaders, Obama blamed Republicans for the “dumb, arbitrary cuts.”

“Not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain though will be real. Beginning this week, many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways,” Obama told reporters Friday.

According to the president, the $85 billion in budget cuts will take effect gradually through the end of September and will result in the loss of 750,000 jobs and shave roughly a half percentage point off GDP growth.

Nevertheless, he stressed that the United States will move forward and that the sequester “is not going to be an apocalypse.”

Republican leaders, meanwhile, fired back by saying that the president got the tax increases he wanted two months ago and that they would not budge further in that regard.

“Let’s make it clear that the president got his tax hikes on Jan. 1,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Friday. “This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. It’s about taking on the spending problem here in Washington.”

In the last-ditch negotiations, Obama touted what he called a balanced approach that would have included the closure of tax loopholes for the wealthy.

Earlier this week, administration officials warned that the sequester cuts would lead to air-traffic-control disruptions and furloughs of federal employees and have an adverse impact on education and national defense.

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Academy Award Winning Director Says He Prefers to Make Period Pieces

Academy Award Winning Director Says He Prefers to Make Period Pieces

Photo: Fernando Trueba

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Contemporary life is too “boring” to make movies about, Spanish director Fernando Trueba, who much prefers period pieces, said.

“It makes me feel a lot freer, because when you do a story that occurred in the past, you can fantasize and concentrate on talking about things that are really important,” the 58-year-old director said the day before the inauguration of the Guadalajara International Film Festival.

The Spaniard, who gave on Friday a masterly lecture to cinema students, is screening in this western Mexican city his 2012 film “El Artista y la Modelo” (Artist and Model), which he wrote and directed.

Set in 1943 France during the German occupation, the film tells the story of a famous old sculptor who meets a young Spanish girl who escaped from a refugee camp and who revives his enthusiasm for creating his final work.

Trueba confessed that he enjoys setting his films in times gone by, since “it’s like taking a leap into another world” that is more exciting than life today, which is all about technology, computers and cell phones.

The director who won an Oscar in 1994 said the film is strongly influenced by his long-time admiration for Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, above all in the later stages of his life.

He said the first work of contemporary art that he saw when he was 13 years old was Picasso’s “Painter and Model,” which impressed him so much that he believes it laid the groundwork for his latest film.

For a week, the 28th Guadalajara International Film Festival will screen close to 250 films from 42 countries, and will have Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland as its guest-of-honor countries.

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Remittances to Mexico Dropped in January

Remittances to Mexico Dropped in January

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Mexico received $1.47 billion in remittances in January, down 2.3 percent from the same month in 2012, the country’s central bank said Friday.

The median amount per remittance in the first month of 2013 was $287.69, compared with $295.01 in January 2012, the Banco de Mexico said in its monthly report.

Most of January’s 5.1 million transactions took the form of wire transfers.

Remittances to Mexico totaled $22.45 billion last year, a decline of 1.57 percent from 2011.

Remittances from expatriates are Mexico’s second-largest source of foreign exchange after oil exports and help cover living expenses for millions of households.

Most of the money is sent from the United States, where an estimated 12 million Mexicans live, about half of them undocumented migrants.

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A Deep Dive: Losing the Latino Vote

A Deep Dive: Losing the Latino Vote

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

This isn’t being talked about very loudly in Latino political circles, in fact, it hasn’t been talked about loudly for a long time. But it has been acknowledged and mulled over by many people for many years. Image

Why isn’t Latino political power bubbling up into elected positions in the same rate that it’s being accumulated and reported on the ground. In other words, why aren’t Latinos electing more Latinos?

The truth is that we all have our own versions of the reason and we defend them vehemently, because they’re ours. But nothing beats simple data and a cold look at the numbers. Which is exactly what Chuck Todd did one morning along with Nathan Gonzales, the Deputy Editor of the Rothenberg Political Report and founder of Politics in Stereo.

You can watch the segment below, it’s worth a listen, if nothing else as fodder for future discussion.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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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Micahel Steger Needs New Role, ‘90210’ Ending in May

Micahel Steger Needs New Role, ‘90210’ Ending in May

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It looks like actor Michael Steger and his cast mates on 90210 are about to be without jobs, as the CW recently announced the current season would be the last.

On Thursday, CW Entertainment President, Mark Pedowitz announced that after five seasons, the 90210 reboot will come to an end on May 13.

Steger, who is of Ecuadorian, Austrian and Norwegian decent, has played Navid Shirazi on 90210 since 200, when it was first brought back.

Though members of the original 90s cast were part of the new series at the beginning, the show eventually went on to focus on the new cast.

The first time around, 90210 aired from 1990 to 2000.

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LATINO BLOTTER: After Biting Off Person’s Finger, Man is Hit by Car

LATINO BLOTTER: After Biting Off Person’s Finger, Man is Hit by Car

Photo: After Biting Off Person's Finger, Man is Hit by Car (victim not pictured)

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A New Mexico man was arrested this week after he bit off part of another man’s pinky and was hit by a car.

When 23-year-old Leandro Sage hit his girlfriend, her brother, 25-year-old Robert Martinez stepped in to defend her.

At some point during the fight, which occurred at an Albuquerque apartment, Sage was able to bite off the end of Martinez’s left pinkie finger.

Sage then ran from the apartment, but was chased by both his girlfriend and her brother. While running, Sage was hit by a car.

He was taken to the hospital, treated, and upon release, was arrested. It is unclear what charges Sage is facing.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Hispanics and a Night at the Movies

INFOGRAPHIC: Hispanics and a Night at the Movies

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Hispanics represent a large percentage of moviegoers and their movie tastes and trends vary slightly from general audience members.  From horror films to comedies, Hispanics are proving to be extreme movie buffs.

Check out Hispanically Speaking News’ infographic representing this information.

Image

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Ahead of Marriage to Cuban Fiancé, Michael Jordan Being Sued Over Paternity of Teen

Ahead of Marriage to Cuban Fiancé, Michael Jordan Being Sued Over Paternity of Teen

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Earlier this month, basketball icon Michael Jordon learned a woman in Georgia is suing, saying he is the father of her son.

According to the lawsuit, Jordon is the father of Pamela Smith’s 16-year-old son, Grant Pierce Jay Jordan Reynolds. If you do the math, Smith is claiming her and Jordan had a sexual relationship in 1995 while he was still married to Juanita Vanoy.

Smith says she welcomes a paternity test and is asking Jordan for child support and money for Grant’s medical expenses. She also wants a judge to make Jordan the teen’s legal last name.

This lawsuit comes as the former Chicago Bull prepares to marry Latin beauty Yvette Prieto this April. It’s an interesting coincidence that Smith filed the lawsuit in Fulton County, Georgia the very same day Jordan and his Cuban fiancé announced they would wed April 27th.

Jordan was married to Vanoy from 1989 to 2006, and the pair had three children – Jeffery Michael, Marcus James, and Jasmine.

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Problem Hinders Dragon Capsule Arrival at International Space Station

Problem Hinders Dragon Capsule Arrival at International Space Station

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The Dragon space capsule, which on Friday departed from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a cargo run to the International Space Station, will have its arrival there delayed due to a problem with its thruster system.

In a press conference after the malfunction, NASA International Space Station Program Manager Mike Suffredini said the capsule would not arrive at the station before Sunday, a day later than originally scheduled.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the problem occurred after the capsule separated from the Falcon launch vehicle and affected the thrusters that allow the unmanned spacecraft to be maneuvered once in orbit.

Engineers with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the private company that carried out the launch, have reportedly brought the thrusters back into operation and it remains highly probable the Dragon will be able to complete its mission.

The mission will be the capsule’s third visit to the ISS after a demonstration flight in May 2012 and an earlier commercial cargo run in October of last year.

Dragon is carrying 550 kilograms (1,210 pounds) of supplies for the ISS’s crew and their experiments on board the orbiting laboratory, a $100 billion project involving the participation of 15 countries.

The ISS is orbiting at an altitude of roughly 385 kilometers (240 miles) above the Earth’s surface and at a speed of about 27,000 kilometers (16,800 miles) per hour.

The Dragon capsule is scheduled to return to Earth on March 25.

Six astronauts are currently on board the ISS: Russians Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko, Americans Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn and Canadian Chris Hadfield.

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Spain, France Arrest 3 Terror Suspects

Three suspected Chechen terrorists were caught in a Spanish-French operation that followed up on the dismantling of a terrorist cell last August in Spain.

The detentions were made Tuesday in Paris, where Elsy Issakov and Mourad Idrissov were nabbed, and in Noyon, 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the capital, where Ali Dokaev was arrested, Spanish police said.

The arrests were carried out by French counter-terrorism agents operating as part of a joint Spanish-French investigation team.

The detentions came as a result of those made by Spanish police on Aug. 2, 2012 during Operation Plomo, which successfully dismantled a terrorist cell suspected of planning assassinations in Spain and other European countries.

On that occasion, after discovering a cache in a town near the southern city of Cadiz, where, according to the remains found, those in custody could have stored explosives, investigators deduced that they were dealing with an international terrorist network with cells in France and elsewhere in Europe.

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Dilma Rousseff Launches Nuclear Sub Program in Brazil

Dilma Rousseff Launches Nuclear Sub Program in Brazil

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday inaugurated a naval installation that will make parts for conventional submarines - and eventually a nuclear-powered sub - under cooperation agreements signed with France in 2009.

The launch of the facility marks the first concrete step toward construction of what will be Latin America’s first submarine powered by a nuclear reactor.

“With this initiative, we join a select group of countries with access to a nuclear submarine,” Rousseff said.

She stressed that the nuclear-powered watercraft that Brazil plans to bring into operation in 2023 will not be an instrument of war, but rather will aid in conflict prevention and defense.

“The defense industry is a peace industry, but above all a knowledge (industry),” Rousseff said, adding that the facility inaugurated Friday also will be a center for “technology production and diffusion.”

The agreements with France cover the joint production of five submarines, one of them nuclear-propelled; 50 helicopters; a military shipyard; and a naval base, all with French technology.

The plant inaugurated Friday, the shipyard and the military base will require investment of 7.8 billion reais ($3.9 billion) through 2017 and create 9,000 direct jobs and 32,000 indirect jobs, the Defense Ministry said Friday.

The head of that portfolio, Celso Amorim, Brazil’s foreign minister at the time the agreements with France were signed, said at the inauguration ceremony that Brazil “understood that it can’t delegate its security and must assume (responsibility for) it with the best equipment.”

“A country that is forever dependent on what others provide it can’t be autonomous, nor defend its resources, its population or its position in the world,” he said.

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3 Gunned Down in Drive-by Shooting in Puerto Rico

3 Gunned Down in Drive-by Shooting in Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rican police were investigating Friday the second triple killing in less than two weeks after three young men were slain in a drive-by shooting in the eastern town of Juncos.

Authorities identified the victims as Cristopher Velazquez Delgado, 25, Joshua Garcia Rivera, 18, and Louis Garcia Rivera, 23.

The Homicide Division of Caguas, a city neighboring San Juan, is investigating the incident.

The first triple murder of 2013 in Puerto Rico occurred on Feb. 21 in Canovanas, a district on the eastern end of the Caribbean island.

After a group of people got into a fight in the La Central neighborhood of Canovanas, several individuals returned with guns and started shooting, authorities said.

Killed on the spot were Juan A. Cristobal Navarro, 29, Angel Jorge Rojas Machuca, 24, and Jean Carlos Matos Navarro, 16.

Two other people were wounded.

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Cardinals to Meet on March 4 Before Official Conclave

Cardinals to Meet on March 4 Before Official Conclave

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Cardinals will begin holding formal meetings starting March 4 as part of their preparations for a conclave to elect the new pope, the Vatican said Friday.

The first meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Synod of Bishops hall in the Paul VI Audience Hall, used by the pope for general audiences during winter and on rainy days.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano made the date and time official on Friday, just hours after Benedict XVI stepped down and the church entered into a period known as the Sede Vacante, or Vacant See, the transition between the end of one papacy and the start of another.

Some 144 cardinals have already gathered in Rome, but Vatican rules state that they must be formally instructed to make preparations for the conclave.

Participants at Monday’s meeting will discuss when to hold the conclave, as well as debate different problems facing the church and possible solutions.

Benedict XVI, the 265th successor to St. Peter at the helm of the Catholic Church, left the papacy on Thursday to become a simple “pilgrim who is starting the last phase of his pilgrimage on this earth.”

The German pontiff, who turns 86 in six weeks, began his last day as the leader of the world’s more than 1 billion Catholics by bidding farewell to the College of Cardinals and vowing “unconditional obedience to the new pope.”

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.

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SaturdayMarch 2, 2013