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MondayMarch 4, 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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Chilean Designer Mixes Heritage, French Inspiration for Showing at Paris Fashion Week

Chilean Designer Mixes Heritage, French Inspiration for Showing at Paris Fashion Week

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Paris Fashion Week rolled out a variety of offerings, ranging from the designs of Chile’s Octavio Pizarro to the work of John Galliano and the Asian adaptations of Kenzo.

Pizarro mixed his Chilean originals with elements of his adopted homeland, France, in his ready-to-wear collection, which hit the runway over the weekend.

The Chilean designer presented his fall-winter ready-to-wear collection at the Designers Apartment.

“There is the philosophy of the Latin American roots, especially in the materials and the textile designs, mixed with everything that has been my work, my way of looking at fashion, modernity and technology, in what is the French part,” Pizarro told Efe.

The designer’s successful venture into accessories prompted him to launch a ready-to-wear collection and this, his third collection, is “the biggest,” incorporating “a mixture of textures, the polar opposites, the colds and the hots, leather with wool, the different blacks,” Pizarro said.

Pizarro was selected by the Prêt-a-Porter Association to be in the Designers Apartment, which showcases new designers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Following Slower Than Expected Growth, Analysts Revise Brazil’s 2013 Forecast

Following Slower Than Expected Growth, Analysts Revise Brazil’s 2013 Forecast

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Financial analysts have revised their 2013 growth forecasts for Brazil downward from 3.1 percent to 3.09 percent, the Brazilian Central Bank said in its Boletin Focus on Monday.

The new forecasts were issued in the wake of the government’s announcement on Friday that the economy grew at an anemic 0.90 percent pace in 2012, the worst performance by the South American country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2009.

Analysts expect inflation to hit 5.7 percent this year, the Boletin Focus, a weekly survey of 100 economic experts, said.

Forecasts call for the Brazilian economy to grow 3.65 percent in 2014, with inflation remaining at 5.7 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: Editor at On-Line News site Killed and Camera Taken as Media Intimidation Continues

Blog del Narco: Editor at On-Line News site Killed and Camera Taken as Media Intimidation Continues

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The editor of an online news site in northern Mexico was murdered over the weekend, the Ojinaga Noticias digital daily reported Monday.

Jaime Guadalupe Gonzalez was killed Sunday afternoon by gunmen in Ojinaga, a border city in the northern state of Chihuahua.

The 38-year-old Gonzalez was hit by “18 gunshots” around 6:30 p.m. Sunday in downtown Ojinaga, the news site said.

“The assailants took the camera being carried by Gonzalez, who was with his wife at the time of the attack, but she was not hurt,” Ojinaga Noticias said.

Ojinaga Noticias said it regretted this “attack on journalism,” adding that the story “may very possibly be the last news reported by this media outlet.”

Gonzalez is the first journalist murdered since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office last December.

A total of 14 journalists were murdered during the 2006-2012 administration of President Felipe Calderon, the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, said.

A total of 82 journalists have been murdered and 18 others have been reported missing since 2005 in Mexico, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, said in a report released in December.

Some 658 complaints were received from members of the news media from Jan. 1, 2005, to Nov. 30, 2012, the rights body said.

An International Press Institute, or IPI, and World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA, delegation visited Mexico last month and called for more protection for journalists.

Journalists in Mexico “feel defenseless in the face of threats from all kinds of actors,” WAN-IFRA representative Rodrigo Bonilla told Efe.

Both the IPI and Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, ranked Mexico as the fourth most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2012, trailing only Syria, Somalia and Pakistan.

Unidentified individuals attacked the offices of the El Siglo newspaper in Torreon, a city in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, three times last week, killing one person and wounding two others.

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco

Read more Narco News here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sotheby’s to Auction Dinner with Spain’s Famed Chef Adria

Sotheby’s to Auction Dinner with Spain’s Famed Chef Adria

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Auction house Sotheby’s will hold an auction on April 3 in Hong Kong and April 26 in New York, offering bidders the opportunity to win a dinner with legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adria and a collection of wines from his groundbreaking El Bulli restaurant, as well as other items from the restaurant.

“The elBulliCellar comprises an exceptional and unique collection of wines, that was created and developed by Juli Soler and the elBulli sommelier team (Agusti Peris, Eloi Sanchez, Isabelle Brunet, Lucas Paya, David Seijas and Ferran Centelles),” Adria said in a statement released by the auction house.

“Due the transformation of elBulli from a restaurant to a foundation, we decided this very special and personal collection should be used to make a founding contribution to help ensure the successful launch of the elBulliFoundation,” Adria said.

Bidding for the dinner with the chef will start at 3,845 euros ($5,000), Sotheby’s said.

“Over the two sales, 8,807 bottles will be offered, with proceeds benefiting the elBulliFoundation, which will focus its activity on ‘Creativity.’ The foundation will study the efficiency of the innovation processes, and how they are recorded and audited, using cooking as a language that interacts with other disciplines,” Sotheby’s said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rafael Nadal Confirms he Will Play at BNP Paribas Open

Rafael Nadal Confirms he Will Play at BNP Paribas Open

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Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal confirmed that he plans to play in the hard-court tournament that begins on Monday in Indian Wells, California.

The Spanish star said the event in the Southern California desert was one of his favorites.

“I love it and I look forward to competing,” Nadal said.

The March 4-17 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is one of the tennis season’s nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, which rank only below the four Grand Slam tournaments and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in terms of ranking points and prestige.

The Spanish star, who won the Mexican Open over the weekend, also confirmed that he planned to play in an exhibition on Monday at New York’s Madison Square Garden along with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.

“The exhibition in New York will help me get on a hard court before the Masters in Indian Wells and I’ll go there after that,” Nadal said.

The 26-year-old Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam champion, is on the comeback trail from a knee injury that sidelined him for seven months.

Nadal began last summer on a high note by capturing a record 7th French Open title with a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final, but he went off the ATP Tour following a shocking second-round loss at Wimbledon.

The Spanish star said in August that he was suffering from a knee ailment known as Hoffa’s syndrome, which is also known as fat pad impingement and involves pain and swelling around the bottom and under the kneecap.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Humidor Auction Brings Big Spenders, Cigar Lovers to Havana

Humidor Auction Brings Big Spenders, Cigar Lovers to Havana

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The 15th Havana Cigar Festival took in more than $1 million at the auction of six lots of luxury humidors packed with cigars, held over the weekend during the exclusive dinner that put the finishing touch to a week dedicated to premium cigars, the stars of the Cuban tobacco industry.

Some 1,500 specialists and lovers of hand-rolled premium cigars, who flew into Cuba from 70 countries around the globe, stayed until dawn at the festival of the aromatic leaf celebrated in the halls of the Pabexpo exhibition site in Havana.

Knocked down in the bidding were chests of the island’s finest woods, each holding between 350 and 550 cigars of the renowned brands H.Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas, Montecristo and Cohiba, as well as a set of porcelain dinnerware by the Sagardelos company.

The cigar auction is the traditional closing event of the Havana Cigar Festival that has been held since 1994 and whose revenues go entirely toward Cuba’s public health system.

The special prize of the event, a silver sculpture by Cuban goldsmith Raul Valladares, went to American actor Danny Glover “for his friendship” for Cuba and “the struggle for peace and justice.”

Among the guests was famed ex-tennis star Boris Becker of Germany, three-time Wimbledon champ, who spoke of starting to love the aroma and smoke of cigars after retiring from the sport, and in particular, of his preference for the Cohiba brand.

“Cohiba is my favorite brand, but I like Partagas, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo. Give me time, I don’t consider myself an expert, I’m just a beginner and I am learning,” Becker said in a press conference Saturday at the festival.

The next Cigar Festival will be held Feb. 24-28, 2014, organizers said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chevron Open to Mediation Over $19 Billion Environmental Damage Fine

Chevron Open to Mediation Over  $19 Billion Environmental Damage Fine

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U.S. supermajor Chevron Corp. is open to having the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, or the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur, mediate with Ecuador, a high-level company executive said.

The oil company has contacted the Ecuadorian government, President Rafael Correa and Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño so executives can “have a direct discussion with Quito,” Chevron Africa and Latin America president Ali Moshiri said in an interview with the Venezuelan daily El Universal.

“We are open to having organizations like ALBA or Unasur play a role,” Moshiri said, adding that Chevron “has a good relationship with every country in Latin America.”

Texaco, which was acquired by Chevron, “was a good partner of Ecuador, following the processes and procedures,” the executive said.

Chevron has been ordered by an Ecuadorian court to pay $19 billion for irreversible environmental damage caused in the Amazon between 1964 and the early 1990s by Texaco.

The case involves some 30,000 Amazon villagers who contend Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001, spoiled their lands and damaged their health by dumping billions of gallons of toxic drilling waste in a 480,000-hectare (1,850-sq.-mile) area of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

They are seeking to enforce a January 2012 appeals court judgment against Chevron in countries such as Argentina, Canada and Brazil because the U.S. company has few assets in Ecuador.

“Unfortunately, the problem with the Amazon and Ecuador is about a group of lawyers in the United States who have no other intention but to extract money from Chevron and are not worried about the people in Ecuador,” Moshiri said.

The pollution case was initially filed in New York in 1993, but Chevron succeeded in having it moved from the United States to Ecuador in 2003, four years before President Rafael Correa came to power amid voter anger at corruption and traditional politicians.

But Chevron now says that the case has become politicized under the leftist Correa and that it cannot receive a fair trial.

Although the oil company maintains that Texaco was cleared of any liability for damages, plaintiffs say that mid-1990s agreement with the government did not release it from third-party claims and that Chevron is reneging on its pledge to abide by whatever decision was handed down by Ecuadorian courts.

Chevron said on its Web site after the initial 2011 verdict by a court in the Ecuadorian Amazon town of Lago Agrio that state oil company Petroecuador should be the target of local communities’ legal action.

It noted then that Texaco ceased operating in Ecuador in 1992 and that Petroecuador has been “the sole and exclusive owner and operator of greatly expanded operations in the area from (that year) to the present.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Than 5 Million Unemployed in Spain, a Record

More Than 5 Million Unemployed in Spain, a Record

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Some 5.04 million people were registered as unemployed in Spain in February, marking the first time joblessness hit this level, the Employment and Social Security Ministry said Monday.

The number of unemployed in Spain rose by 59,444, or 1.19 percent, last month, the ministry said.

The number of jobless people in Spain has increased by 328,124, or 6.96 percent, since February 2012, with all sectors of the economy affected.

The service sector has lost 39,788 jobs, or 1.28 percent, while agriculture has lost 7,987, or 3.93 percent; industry 1,581, or 0.29 percent; and construction 1,377, or 0.28 percent, the ministry said.

Employers hired 949,844 workers last month, down by 40,144, or 4.05 percent, compared to February 2012.

A National Statistics Institute, or INE, report released late last month said Spain’s unemployment rate was at a record 26.02 percent, with 6 million people out of work.

Spain has been mired in a deep recession since 2008 due to the financial crisis caused by the bursting of the real estate bubble

Read more by HS News Staff →

Maria Sharapova Will Play Tennis Exhibition in Bogota This December

Maria Sharapova Will Play Tennis Exhibition in Bogota This December

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World No. 3 Maria Sharapova of Russia will play an exhibition match in Colombia in December, organizers said.

“It is true, Maria Sharapova will play in an exhibition match on Dec. 6 in Colombia, in Bogota. The deal was done in December of last year,” Producciones Grand Slam spokesman Jaime Bernal told Efe.

The Russian star, who apparently turned down offers for different reasons to visit Colombia in past years, “managed this time to arrange her schedule to squeeze out two days during which she will take part in some social activities in Bogota, as well as the exhibition match,” Bernal said.

Sharapova’s rival has not been determined, but Producciones Grand Slam is looking at two former No. 1 players - Serbia’s Anna Ivanovic and Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki.

The venue has not been booked, “but we believe that it will be at Coliseo El Campin,” Bernal said, adding that organizers were also looking at the old Santamaria bull ring.

Sharapova will be the latest tennis star to visit the Colombian capital.

Swiss great Roger Federer, Spanish star Rafael Nadal, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have visited in recent years.

Former ATP Tour stars Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi have also played exhibition matches in Colombia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rep. Gutierrez To Introduce Junk Gun Legislation to Curb Gun Violence

Rep. Gutierrez To Introduce Junk Gun Legislation to Curb Gun Violence

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Gutierrez: “Chicago has been in the center of the debate on gun control.  I have fought since my earliest days in Congress for sensible gun control legislation.  And I am glad that we are finally revisiting this important topic of public safety after horrific mass shootings like Newtown, CT, and Aurora, CO, and Tucson, AZ, and the ‘slow moving massacre’ that continues on the streets of Chicago and around the country each day. Too many of our precious young children are being claimed by gun violence – much of it with handguns.”


When he returns to Washington on Tuesday, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will introduce legislation to curb the sale and trafficking of junk guns, the cheap handguns, sometimes known as “Saturday Night Specials” responsible for a huge percentage of the deaths and injuries in Chicago and around the nation.  Rep. Gutierrez, who sits on the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, made the announcement at a press conference in Chicago on Monday before holding a community meeting with Chicago clergy, community leaders and others to discuss gun-violence prevention strategies.

A one-page fact sheet on the Congressman’s proposed legislation, as well as lists of the guns most often recovered in crimes by the Federal Bureau of ATF and Chicago Police Department were also distributed to reporters at the press conference.

The following are the Congressman’s remarks at the press conference, as prepared for delivery, held at La Capilla Del Barrio/The Neighborhood Chapel in Chicago at 10:00 am CT on Monday.

Good morning.

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet with concerned pastors and community leaders and victims of gun violence to discuss steps that we can take to address the problem of gun violence in our community. As part of the outcome of that dialogue, today I am announcing that I will be reintroducing federal legislation to ban the sale of junk guns.

This is an issue that has been important to me for many years. It was one of the first bills that I introduced in Congress. In 2011, 97 percent of the shootings that occurred in Chicago were done with handguns. Junk guns, are a particularly notorious subset of handguns. They are small and easily concealable and manufactured from cheaper and weaker materials and metals, which makes them prone to misfire and malfunction. In spite of being widely considered unsuitable for self-defense or sporting, they are very popular crime guns.

You can see to the side here the top ten most traced crime guns from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from 2000. Five of the ten guns pictured are junk guns. You can also see here, a list of the most recovered handguns by the Chicago Police Department from 2008-2010. You can see the problem of these notorious and dangerous handguns has persisted – dangerously – through the years. Removing this dangerous subset of handguns from streets of Chicago and communities across the country will save lives.

Now, we have had for many years a set of basic design and safety standards to regulate handguns that are imported to the United States. What has been absent are similar standards for domestically manufactured handguns, essentially allowing an unregulated market to flourish for these weapons. That is why my bill would ban junk guns and require that these handguns manufactured in the U.S. meet the same standards of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as the handguns we import. When we regulate standards for cars and cribs and a whole host of products to ensure they are safe for public consumption – how does it make sense that we do not have basic safety standards for dangerous handguns made right here in America?

Now, Chicago has been in the center of the debate on gun control. I have fought since my earliest days in Congress for sensible gun control legislation. And I am glad that we are finally revisiting this important topic of public safety after horrific mass shootings like Newtown, CT, and Aurora, CO, and Tucson, AZ, and the “slow moving massacre” that continues on the streets of Chicago and around the country each day. Too many of our precious young children are being claimed by gun violence – much of it with handguns.

Over half of the firearms traced by the Chicago Police come from outside the State of Illinois. So while we know that the efforts of the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police are important in addressing crime and preventing gun violence – many of these weapons are brought from neighboring states, and particularly from some of the Southern states like Mississippi. Setting a basic federal standard will help all of our children, whether they live in Illinois or anywhere else.

I think that this legislation is especially timely as the Illinois State Legislature debates state conceal and carry legislation. While state legislators are grappling with sensible safeguards and restrictions for a conceal and carry law, I think we all know that the demand for small and easily concealable handguns in the state is likely to grow.  Now is the time to remove the most unsafe handguns from the market.

I thank the pastors and community leaders who are here today and engaging all elected officials and citizens on the importance of sensible gun control. They have witnessed the heartache and suffering of families who have lost a loved one to handgun violence.  I believe that we have a moral obligation to find solutions to the pervasive problem of gun violence and I look forward to continuing to work with them on additional ways that we can address related issues like unemployment, safe schools that contribute to strengthening our community and preventing violence.

Thank you.

The Congressman will formally introduce his bill on Tuesday when he returns to Washington and is continuing a dialogue he started with concerned clergy and community leaders who have come together to develop strategies to prevent gun violence.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Skilled Immigrants Filling U.S. Health Care Needs

Skilled Immigrants Filling U.S. Health Care Needs

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As the debate around immigration reform continues one of the cornerstones of ongoing discussions is what kinds of skilled immigrants the U.S. needs. There is no doubt that high-skilled immigrants play an important role in America’s innovation economy, and particularly in those industries agglomerated in the Silicon Valleys and Research Triangles of the United States. However, it’s important to remember that high-skilled immigrants play a host of other critical roles in our society, namely in our healthcare industry.  As the country’s population grows—and grows older—there is a large gap that can continue to be filled by immigrant primary-care/family practice physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers.

We know healthcare workers are critically important to communities throughout the country. Some areas, however, experience shortages and are underserved. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that, as of January 2013, there were 5,864 primary-care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) with 57 million people living in them. Recent research finds that the United States is experiencing an expanding shortage of primary-care physicians and this shortage is expected to worsen in the coming decades. Using population and demographic projections, a 2012 study in the Annals of Family Medicine suggests that by 2025 the United States will require nearly 52,000 more primary-care physicians—a demand likely driven by population growth and aging.

Considering the aging baby boom generation as part of the demographic puzzle, a February 2013 Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report states that:

“Baby boomers represent the majority of working nurses in the country. Their retirement, starting now in increasing numbers, is expected to increase employment opportunities for nurses. As baby boomers age, meanwhile, they will drive up demand for health care services. Illnesses associated with aging and high rates of obesity generate multiple chronic conditions that require complex, and sometimes costly, care management. The market for home care and long-term care is likely to grow.”

The MPI report and other research suggest that internationally educated nurses may be attractive to hospitals with particular language, cross-cultural, and population needs.

Therefore, addressing the growing shortage of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers is another thread in the tapestry of immigration reform. Future-flow discussions should consider ways to streamline the movement of immigrant and non-immigrant (temporary) primary-care physicians, for example, to work in underserved and shortage areas within the United States. With immigration reform and future healthcare needs in mind, items to consider include expanding and streamlining the number of pathways for medical professionals from abroad, such as employment-based green cards for permanent residency, H-1B visas, and the Conrad 30 visa-waiver program for J-1 visa-holders. (The Conrad 30 program is designed particularly to route foreign-born medical professionals to designated shortage and underserved areas).

In other words, facilitating the participation of foreign-born medical professionals in the U.S. healthcare system involves not only options for permanent residency, but also efficient legal avenues for those who wish to come to the U.S. temporarily. Considering long-term demographic trends, and the needs of employers and communities, it is clear that medical professionals from abroad will prove integral to addressing our healthcare challenges and must be an important part of immigration reform discussions.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

MEXICO: PRI Approve Pres. Peña Nieto’s Energy and Tax Reforms

MEXICO: PRI Approve Pres. Peña Nieto’s Energy and Tax Reforms

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President Enrique Peña Nieto has won the approval of the assembly of his governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to move forward with energy and tax reforms.

The PRI’s 21st National Assembly voted to remove the so-called “padlocks” that required legislators to reject the opening of state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, to private investment and prevented them from allowing the value-added tax (VAT) to be imposed on food products and medicines.

“This assembly transcends simple statutory formality, representing a frontier between yesterday and what the PRI of today is doing to build a Mexico with a better future,” Peña Nieto told delegates in an address on Sunday.

More than 4,000 delegates participated in the two-day gathering, which ended on Sunday.

Party members had been divided in the past two decades over whether to change the structure of the oil industry to allow Mexico to generate additional tax revenues and modernize Pemex.

Other political sectors, mainly on the left, oppose opening Pemex to private investment, labeling such a move privatization and a handover of state assets to foreign oil concerns.

The Peña Nieto administration has made energy industry reform a priority and called for changes “that will be an engine for investment and development,” helping transform Pemex into a modern corporation with expanded exploration and production capabilities.

The president has denied that he plans to privatize the state-owned oil company.

Pemex, which has a monopoly on crude output and fuel distribution in Mexico, is the world’s No. 5 oil producer.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Retired Mexican Soccer Star, Jared Borgetti, May Compete in Marathon

Retired Mexican Soccer Star, Jared Borgetti, May Compete in Marathon

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Retired striker Jared Borgetti, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer in international soccer, may start competing in marathons.

“It’s tough to run 42 kilometers and 195 meters (26.2 miles), but accessible for a high performance athlete like me. If I decide to do it, I will need good physical preparation and serious mental training,” he told Efe in Torreon, where he served as grand marshal of Sunday’s marathon.

Borgetti, who will soon turn 40, retired from professional soccer in 2010 with a lifetime tally of 258 goals, including 46 with the Mexican national squad.

“I just ran a 12.5 kilometer (7.7 mile) race to accompany my wife and I wanted to throw in the towel after that. I don’t know how these guys endure so much,” he said of the 4,500 runners in the Torreon marathon.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Government to Spend $15 Billion to Expand Access to Water

Brazilian Government to Spend $15 Billion to Expand Access to Water

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The Brazilian government remains committed to the goal of providing universal access to clean water, President Dilma Rousseff said Monday during her weekly radio program.

The administration is on track to spend 30 billion reais ($15 billion) on water projects over the next two years, she said.

Eighty percent of that spending will go toward dams, reservoirs, canals and water-treatment plants and the remaining 20 percent is earmarked for the Water for All program, which since last year has brought clean drinking water to nearly a quarter-million people who previously lacked access.

The bulk of the investment in both categories is being directed toward Brazil’s impoverished Northeast, where chronic droughts batter a population that is largely dependent on agriculture.

Recife, one of the most populous cities in the region, recently had to impose water rationing.

Her government, Rousseff said, “is making every possible effort to confront this very important challenge” of ensuring access to water both for human consumption and agriculture.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Twenty Sub-Saharan Migrants Arrive in Spain Illegally by Boat

Twenty Sub-Saharan Migrants Arrive in Spain Illegally by Boat

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About 20 Sub-Saharan migrants, according to a preliminary count by the Civil Guard, arrived illegally Sunday in a “small boat” on a beach in the Spanish city of Melilla, on the North African coast.

Spanish authorities said that the boat was outfitted with a powerful motor and arrived on the beach after being spotted by Civil Guard border control personnel as it was approaching the Melilla coast.

The Civil Guard estimated that about 20 people could fit on board the boat but so far they have only been able to intercept 11 - six men, two boys under age 15 and three women, one of whom was pregnant.

The 11 migrants who were captured were provided by the Civil Guard with blankets and their health status was determined to be good so none of them had to be taken to a hospital.

Local authorities emphasized the risk to Civil Guard personnel during the rescue operation given the ocean conditions at the time.

The migrants’ boat was also carrying two containers of extra fuel and a very large flotation device, presumably to be used by the passengers in case the boat was swamped by high seas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SpaceX Dragon Space Capsule Arrives at International Space Station

SpaceX Dragon Space Capsule Arrives at International Space Station

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The unmanned Dragon space cargo capsule owned by a private firm docked with the International Space Station on Sunday carrying about 550 kilograms (1,210 pounds) of experiments and supplies for the astronauts there, after overcoming a problem with its thrusters that forced ground controllers to delay its arrival by a day.

NASA said that the capsule, owned by the U.S. firm SpaceX, was captured by the ISS’s robotic arm at 1031 GMT and later docked with the station’s Harmony module at 1356 GMT.

The Dragon capsule is slated to spend 22 days coupled with the ISS on its second supply mission out of 12 scheduled in SpaceX’s contract with NASA.

Dragon lifted off on Friday from Cape Canaveral and was scheduled to get to the ISS on Saturday, but NASA found itself forced to postpone the docking maneuver due to a problem with the capsule’s thrusters, which allow engineers on Earth to guide it once it is in orbit.

Of the capsule’s four thrusters, just one was found to be functioning shortly after liftoff.

However, quite soon thereafter authorities reported that two of the four thrusters were working, raising the possibilities that Dragon could complete its mission, and NASA eventually said on Saturday that the docking maneuver would take place on Sunday.

This is the third Dragon mission after a test flight in May 2012 and the first supply mission to the ISS last October.

The ISS is orbiting some 385 kilometers (240 miles) above the Earth and traveling at some 27,000 kilometers (16,800 miles) per hour. The $100 billion space platform’s operation is being participated in by 15 countries.

The ISS schedule establishes that Dragon will return to Earth on March 25, descending with parachutes after reentry off the coast of Baja California.

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

The development of Dragon is a landmark for the U.S. space industry given that, after the retirement of the NASA space shuttle fleet in 2011 the transport of cargo and crewmen to the ISS had been exclusively performed by Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Club America Beats Cruz Azul in 9th Week of Clausura 2013—Benitez Scores 3

Club America Beats Cruz Azul in 9th Week of Clausura 2013—Benitez Scores 3

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Ecuador’s Christian Benitez scored three goals on the weekend, leading America to a resounding victory over Cruz Azul in the ninth week of Mexico’s Clausura 2013 soccer tournament.

Benitez, who had tallied three goals in the previous eight matches, scored twice on headers and once on a shot from outside the area in the 22nd, 41st and 69th minutes in the match in the capital’s Azteca stadium.

Queretaro notched its second win of the tourney - a 1-0 victory over Monterrey - thanks to the first goal scored in Mexico by Colombia’s Wilberto Cosme Mosquera in the 3rd minute of play in the Corregidora stadium.

Chiapas fell 1-3 to Santos on Friday in the week’s opening match, and Morelia’s substitute striker Carlos Ochoa found the twine in extra time to steal victory from undefeated UANL Tigres and notch the 1-1 tie.

Tigres went ahead before the break on Saturday on a free kick by Lucas Lobos, but Ochoa came in in the closing seconds of the match to secure the tie, thus cutting Tigres’ lead to 1 point at 21 with second-placed Atlas, which has 20. America has 19 points at this juncture after its win.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Atlas downed Tijuana 1-0, Pachuca beat San Luis 2-1 and Puebla won its match against Leon 1-0.

And on Sunday, Pumas UNAM and Guadalajara battled to a 1-1 tie, while Atlante and Toluca face off at 7 p.m. EST.

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Two Mexican Fishermen Killed in Guatemala

Two Mexican Fishermen Killed in Guatemala

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Two Mexican fishermen were murdered and their bodies found by residents on the coast of Retalhuleu, a province on Guatemala’s Pacific coast, prosecutors said Sunday.

The bodies of Maximiliano Vicente Gomez, 18, and Antonio Pesades, 40, were discovered Saturday by residents of the coastal village of Las Cruces.

The men were tortured and shot, prosecutors said, adding that the bodies were in a small fishing boat called the Mexico.

Investigators presume the fishermen were stopped on the high seas, tortured and murdered, Retalhuleu police operations chief Cesar Diaz told reporters.

The killers placed the bodies in the small boat and turned off the engine, but the Pacific Ocean’s strong currents washed the vessel ashore on the coast of Retalhuleu.

The fishermen sailed from Madero, a port in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, last Tuesday.

The two men earned a living off small-scale fishing, Erasmo Gomez, Maximiliano’s uncle, told Guatemala’s Nuestro Diario newspaper.

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Spainish King Juan Carlos Undergoes Herniated Disc Surgery

Spainish King Juan Carlos Undergoes Herniated Disc Surgery

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Spain’s King Juan Carlos underwent surgery for a herniated disc at a Madrid hospital on Sunday, and Royal Household spokesmen said that the operation was successful.

The 75-year-old monarch is now recovering in the La Milagrosa clinic in the capital, where the operation was performed and where he will remain for a week before being released to continue his recovery at Zarzuela Palace.

Juan Carlos was brought out of surgery three hours after entering the operating theater, where he was operated upon by neurosurgeon Manuel de la Torre Gutierrez.

On hand at the hospital awaiting the results of the surgery were Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia and the king’s two daughters: Princess Elena and Princess Cristina.

The queen arrived at the hospital with her two daughters about 90 minutes after her son, Prince Felipe, and his wife.

During the operation, which was performed under general anesthesia, the surgeon used top-of-the-line equipment and high precision instruments to repair the slipped disc and stenosis of the spine in the lumbosacral portion of the king’s back.

The surgeon’s work consisted of “reducing” the herniated portion of the disc that was pressing on the spine, freeing up the nerves that had been compromised by the stenosis and reconstructing the damaged structures.

Dr. De la Torre said that the king was doing “stupendously well” after the operation and that it will take between two and six months for him to make a full recovery.

“Once again, once again ...,” a smiling King Juan Carlos said to the many reporters present upon his arrival at the hospital for his seventh operation - for assorted health problems - in the past three years.

The king was driven to the hospital in a dark-colored SUV sitting in the front passenger seat, from where he waved and smiled at reporters through the open window.

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San Antonio Trying to Attract Spanish Investors

San Antonio Trying to Attract Spanish Investors

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San Antonio, Texas, the seventh-largest city in the United States, wants to attract Spanish investment and the attention of Spain to its historic heritage, especially its Franciscan missions, a religious and cultural phenomenon unique in our time.

San Antonio could quickly come to represent for the large Spanish companies an inviting port of entry into the United States, as Miami has been for many years, Spanish Ambassador to the United States Ramon Gil-Casares told Efe upon his return from an official trip to the south-central Texas city.

One of the main Spanish banks, BBVA, is expanding in San Antonio under the name BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., just like Atento, the firm that manages Telefonica’s customer service line, the San Antonio Express News reported this weekend.

Other Spanish companies, such as Repsol, Iberdrola and Abengoa, have also moved into Texas because of its weight within the U.S. economy and its growing links with Latin America.

The Spanish envoy last Wednesday delivered a speech focusing on economic issues at one of the city’s research centers, the World Affairs Council, and on Thursday he participated in a meeting of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday, Gil-Casares met with Congressman Joaquin Castro, the twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising Hispanic figure within the Democratic Party.

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Mexico’s PRI Making Progress on Tax, Energy Reforms

Mexico’s PRI Making Progress on Tax, Energy Reforms

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The assembly of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is making progress in opening the way for energy and tax reforms, eliminating restrictions on imposing the value-added tax (VAT) on foods and medicines, and clearing the way for more private investment in state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, party officials said.

The so-called “padlocks” in the party’s basic documents, which required legislators to reject the opening of Pemex to private investment and prevented them from allowing the VAT to be imposed on food products and medicines, have been removed.

Delegates to the PRI’s 21st National Assembly removed the restrictions on Saturday, opening the way for members of Congress to vote freely when necessary.

The changes in PRI bylaws will be voted on by the full National Assembly on Sunday.

Delegates also agreed to make a push for energy reforms to support Pemex’s modernization, party leaders said.

“We are proposing energy reforms that take into account an opening in areas in which we do not have the capacity to do it,” Congressman Marco Bernal, chairman of the energy committee of the lower house of Congress, said.

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Mexican Police Find Bengal Tigers, Deer at Jalisco Drug Lab

Mexican Police Find Bengal Tigers, Deer at Jalisco Drug Lab

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Two Bengal tigers and several deer were found at an illegal drug laboratory in the western Mexican state of Jalisco by police officers responding to an anonymous tip, media reports said.

Officers made the discovery Friday at two properties located about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) northwest of the city of Yahualica, Jalisco Public Safety Commissioner Francisco Alejandro Solorio told the El Informador newspaper.

The “exotic fauna” were found in a warehouse on one of the lots by the officers, who detected a strong odor of “chemical precursors” in the area, Solorio said.

The second lot held 15 caldrons and chemicals for manufacturing synthetic drugs, Solorio said.

“The people who were apparently there took off when they spotted the (police) units and left behind the camp, which consisted of tents and huts,” Solorio told El Informador.

The suspects ran into an area full of ravines and officers were unable to arrest them, the commissioner said.

Investigators have not determined which drug cartel operated the clandestine laboratory, Solorio said.

Federal prosecutors were notified of the lab’s discovery and the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat is taking charge of the animals.

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Nadal Beats Ferrer in Mexican Open Final

Nadal Beats Ferrer in Mexican Open Final

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the world No. 5, defeated countryman David Ferrer 6-0, 6-2 in the final of the Mexican Open.

The 26-year-old Nadal, who has now won 52 titles in his career and two titles on the clay in Acapulco, needed just 65 minutes to beat the 30-year-old Ferrer, who is ranked No. 4 in the world.

Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam champion, was competing in his third straight final since starting his comeback from a knee injury at last month’s VTR Open in Viña del Mar, Chile.

The Spaniard lost in the Viña del Mar final to Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos, but bounced back a week later to win another Latin American clay-court event in Sao Paulo.

Recent reports in the Spanish press said the tennis star might skip the season’s first ATP Masters events, but Nadal said after Saturday’s final that he was ready to hit the hard courts.

The Spanish star said the event in Indian Wells, California, was one of his favorites.

“I love it and I look forward to competing, the knee responded well this week and let’s hope that everything continues on the same path on the hard courts. I have to listen to my heart and it’s telling me to keep competing, that I need to go to the next tournament and that’s what I’m going to do, and that’s what I feel,” Nadal said.

The March 4-17 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California, is one of the tennis season’s nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, which rank only below the four Grand Slam tournaments and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in terms of ranking points and prestige.

Italy’s Sara Errani, meanwhile, won the women’s title, defeating Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-4.

The team of Spain’s David Marrero and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot took the men’s doubles title, defeating the Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 7-5, 6-2.

In women’s doubles action, Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Arantxa Parra Santonja won the women’s doubles title over the Colombian duo of Catalina Castaño and Mariana Duque 6-4, 7-6.

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Death Toll From Brazilian Club Fire Climbs to 240

Death Toll From Brazilian Club Fire Climbs to 240

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A 25-year-old man, who suffered burns and poisoning from inhaling gases when a discotheque caught fire in southern Brazil last month, died Saturday morning, bringing the number of fatalities to 240.

The young man, who had been in the intensive care unit of Cristo Redentor Hospital in the city of Porto Alegre, finally died Saturday morning more than a month after the accident, an official at the medical center told Efe.

The fire, the most tragic to occur in Brazil in the last 50 years, broke out last Jan. 27 at the Kiss discotheque in the town of Santa Maria in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

On that same day 235 people lost their lives, most of them students at the Federal University of Santa Maria who were having a disco party, while the other victims died in the following days.

The two owners of the discotheque and two members of the musical group Gurizada Fandangueira, which was playing at the time of the accident, remain in preventive custody.

According to police, fireworks used by the band in the disco set fire to the inflammable soundproofing foam in the ceiling, causing it to emit toxic substances that poisoned most of the victims.

Authorities are also investigating the absence of fire extinguishers and emergency exits as further contributing to the tragedy.

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As in Spain, Austerity Measures Spark Massive Protests in Portugal

As in Spain, Austerity Measures Spark Massive Protests in Portugal

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For Lisbon and more than 30 cities in Portugal, Friday was a day of massive demonstrations expressing citizens’ resentment and discontent after more than two months of austerity measures.

The biggest protest, the one in the Portuguese capital, ended with the hymn to the 1974 revolution sung by hundreds of thousands in the Plaza de Comercio in defiance of the government, whose resignation was repeatedly called for.

Among the more than 500,000 people who, according to the organizers, joined in the protest was Maria Chaves, a cashier who has been unemployed for more than two years.

“We can’t take it anymore. We have to destroy this government before it destroys us completely. It’s burying us,” she told Efe.

Many students also took part in the protest, like 19-year-old Bruno Oliveira, in his first year of college.

“I just realized that these policies affect me as well. We’re not going hungry, but we suffer from these sacrifices and I now see the only solution will be to emigrate,” he said.

Organizers around the country estimate that more than 1 million people took to the streets, while Portuguese television channels consider these to be the most massive demonstrations the country has ever known.

The protests, under the slogan “The people rule,” was called largely over social networks, but also with posters and publicity in the streets of the principal cities of Portugal.

This week Portuguese Prime Minister Passos Coelho repeated his determination to press on with the austerity policies imposed by the “troika” - the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, the lenders behind the nation’s financial bailout.

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Heat Nab 13th Straight With 98-91 Win Over Grizzlies

Heat Nab 13th Straight With 98-91 Win Over Grizzlies

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The Miami Heat overcame an off night by LeBron James to pull out a 98-91 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and stretch their winning streak to 13 games.

Shooting guard Dwyane Wade scored 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting to head a group of five Miami players in double figures. He also dished out eight assists during Friday night’s game at American Airlines Arena.

James, meanwhile, went just 4-of-14 from the field but he connected on a 3-pointer in the final minute that effectively clinched the victory and halted Memphis’s winning streak at eight games.

“I’ve got confidence I’m going to knock it down, just like all the other ones I’ve missed,” James said afterward. “I had confidence in those too, but they just don’t go down. That’s how the ball goes sometimes. But I’m always confident in my next shot.”

Although the star forward struggled most of the night with his shooting, he still nearly recorded a triple-double with 18 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Memphis, meanwhile, got an outstanding game from Spanish center Marc Gasol, who imposed his presence inside to the tune of 24 points and nine rebounds.

Point guard Mike Conley and power forward Zach Randolph added 14 points apiece in a losing effort.

The ability to knock down 3-pointers proved to be a decisive factor in a close game, with the Heat sinking 10 of their 19 attempts from behind the arc and the Grizzlies making just four of their 13 tries from that distance.

With the win, the Heat improved to 42-14, second best in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs, while the Grizzlies fell to 38-19.

In other action on a busy Friday night in the NBA, the New York Knicks defeated the Washington Wizards 96-88, the Indiana Pacers topped the Toronto Raptors 93-81, and the Houston Rockets pulled away in the fourth quarter to outscore the Orlando Magic 118-110.

The Boston Celtics cruised past the Golden State Warriors 94-86, the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-89, the New Orleans Hornets edged the Detroit Pistons 100-95, the Dallas Mavericks got a 98-90 win over the Brooklyn Nets, and the Spurs trounced the Sacramento Kings 130-102.

The Utah Jazz clobbered the Charlotte Bobcats 98-68, the Phoenix Suns pulled out a 92-87 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, and the Denver Nuggets edged the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-103.

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MondayMarch 4, 2013