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MondayMarch 11, 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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Bolivian President to UN: Global Anti-drug Strategy a Failure

Bolivian President to UN: Global Anti-drug Strategy a Failure

Photo: Bolivian President to UN: Global Anti-drug Strategy a Failure

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Current international policy against drugs has failed, creating more violence and operating as an “instrument of geopolitical domination,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said here Monday before the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

“Every day there are more drugs on the markets, every day there are more weapons spurring social violence, every day more money from crime is covered up by banking secrecy,” he said during the commission’s annual meeting in Vienna.

“Illegal drugs consititute the third most profitable industry in the world after food and oil, according to a United Nations report, with an annual estimated value of $450 billion completely under the control of criminals,” the Bolivian leader said.

At the same time, he denounced the “political use” of the war on drugs by “certain powers.”

Morales said that, without the help of the United States, Bolivia has reduced the expanse of fields dedicated to the illegal growing of coca leaf - the raw material of cocaine - and urged other countries to assert national control over anti-drug efforts inside their borders.

With 27,200 hectares (67,000 acres) planted, Bolivia is the third-largest producer of coca leaf after Colombia and Peru.

A little less than half of Bolivia’s coca is grown legally for use in teas, folk remedies and Andean religious rites. Coca leaf, in its unadulterated form, is a mild stimulant similar to caffeine.

Since taking office in 2006, Morales, an Aymara Indian who came to prominence as the leader of coca growers in the Chapare region, has largely moved away from the forced eradication of coca while stepping up efforts against drug traffickers, with record seizures of cocaine.

He has also sought to promote additional legal applications for coca in products including fertilizer and soft drinks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ Makes $150.4 Million Worldwide in Opening Weekend

‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ Makes $150.4 Million Worldwide in Opening Weekend

Photo: 'Oz The Great and Powerful' Makes $150.4 Million Worldwide in Opening Weekend

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Nearly 75 years after Judy Garland first clicked those ruby red slippers, the prequel (sort of) to The Wizard of Oz, Oz the Great and Powerful, was a massive hit in its opening weekend.

Worldwide, Oz made an impressive $150.2 million, bringing in $80.3 million in the U.S. alone.

Starring James Franco as “the wizard”, the film chronicles the journey of how the small-time magician arrives in an enchanted land and is forced to decide if he will be a good man or a great one.

The film also stars Mila Kunis, Michelle Wiliiams, Rachel Weisz and Zach Braff. It was directed by Sam Raimi, the man behind the Spiderman trilogy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chicago Immigrant Advocate Rev. Jose Landaverde May be Jailed, Calls Sec. Napolitano “Devil”

Chicago Immigrant Advocate Rev. Jose Landaverde May be Jailed, Calls Sec. Napolitano “Devil”

Photo: Chicago, Pilsen - Rev. Jose Landaverde

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Pro-immigrant groups are mobilizing to defend the Rev. Jose Landaverde, one of the most visible faces in the struggle to support undocumented immigrants in Chicago, given that he could be jailed for having interrupted a congressional hearing in Washington.

“The only thing that the father has done is to lobby for all of us, to save my husband from deportation,” said immigrant Alejandra Enriquez.

Eloisa Chavez said that Landaverde’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission in Chicago’s mainly Mexican Little Village neighborhood is the place that undocumented immigrants go to seek help.

Landaverde on Feb. 11 entered a congressional hearing in immigration and shouted “devil” at Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has presided over a record number of deportations.

“Just as I had her in front of me, I got mad and shouted that she was the devil,” Landaverde, one of 12 activists who took part in the protest, told Efe on Monday.

The other members of the group were removed from the room “and when I looked around me I saw I was alone and surrounded by 14 police officers who arrested me,” he said.

He and the other protesters were accused of interrupting a session of Congress and must appear next week before a federal court in the District of Columbia.

Landaverde said he didn’t have any money to pay for a lawyer and asked for a public defender to fight a federal charge that could mean up to six months in prison for him if convicted.

“I’m a little nervous because I don’t know what could happen, but I’m convinced that I did the right thing to put the problem of deportations and the need for an immediate moratorium in the forefront while the reform is being negotiated in Congress,” he said.

Landaverde, who has had several confrontations with the police and immigration agents during acts of civil disobedience in Chicago, said he was aware that his activism “can have consequences,” including jail.

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Dissident Group ‘Ladies in White’ Say Cuban Regime Getting More Repressive

Dissident Group ‘Ladies in White’ Say Cuban Regime Getting More Repressive

Photo: Ladies in White Dissidents Cuba

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“Repression has worsened” in Cuba and the regime is acting “with impunity in the streets, is beating us, is dragging us away, is taking us to jail,” said the spokeswoman for the Cuban dissident group Ladies in White in Madrid on Monday.

In an interview with Efe, Berta Soler said that she supports the maintenance of the U.S. embargo on Cuba and is even asking that greater international pressure be brought to bear on the Communist regime.

She attributes to international “pressure” the fact that the government of Raul Castro decided to grant passports to Cubans and allow them to leave the country, including herself and opposition blogger Yoani Sanchez.

The Ladies in White was formed after the imprisonment of 75 dissidents in 2003 during the so-called “Black Spring” crackdown to call for their release.

All of those dissidents have been released from prison and many went into exile in Spain. Three of those who remain on the island, including Soler’s husband, have now been denied passports.

The dissident said that “there is no immigration change or immigration reform. ... While it’s partially politicized, the government will have its filter to decide who’s going to have a passport.”

She also said that “the Cuban government - Raul Castro, Fidel Castro - is holding onto power and won’t let it go. They are gaining time with little immigration and economic reforms that are not going to solve the problem of the Cuban people.”

The Ladies in White are continuing their Sunday marches and have not stopped attracting new members. Now, they have delegations across Cuba, Soler said.

She said that on many Sundays “paramilitary mobs” are brought to Havana in buses to provoke the Ladies in White and the mob members even beat the group’s members.

Soler is in Madrid as the invited guest of the Association of Ladies in White in Europe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Oil Company Steps Up Legal Action to Defend Interests in YPF

Spanish Oil Company Steps Up Legal Action to Defend Interests in YPF

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The legal battle launched by Spanish oil company Repsol to defend its interests in YPF, which was nationalized by the Argentine government in 2012, has intensified with the filing of a lawsuit against Argentine petroleum firm Bridas.

Executives of the Spanish oil company, however, insist that they are open to negotiating “fair compensation” outside the courtroom.

Repsol’s deputy general secretary for coordination of its YPF activities, Miguel Klingenberg, said last week that at this time the judicial avenue is the only “alternative” open to the oil firm to defend its shareholders, given the lack of dialogue with Argentina.

The latest episode in the conflict was the admission several days ago in a Madrid court of a lawsuit against Bridas for unfair competition.

The suit is based on the negotiations that Bridas began with YPF to exploit the Vaca Muerta hydrocarbons deposit discovered before the nationalization, which would imply the acquisition of an unwarranted competitive advantage as a result of the expropriation, according to Repsol.

The lawsuit is similar to that launched by the Spanish group against the U.S. oil major Chevron, which also opened negotiations with YPF to exploit Vaca Muerta.

These are just two of the nine judicial proceedings launched by Repsol after in April 2012 the Argentine government nationalized 51 percent of the YPF shares to acquire a majority stake, all of those nationalized shares being held by the Spanish firm.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bronx Mugger Steals iPhone, Doesn’t Realize he Posted His Photo to Victim’s Facebook

Bronx Mugger Steals iPhone, Doesn’t Realize he Posted His Photo to Victim’s Facebook

Photo: Bronx Mugger Steals iPhone, Doesn't Realize he Posted His Photo to Victim's Facebook

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Earlier this month a New York woman and her uncle were walking home from a nightclub when her iPhone was stolen.

On March 2, as Viviana Estrada and her uncle were walking home at about 3 a.m., they were approached by two men who asked for a dollar. When she told them she had no money one of them reached into her pocket and stole her iPhone 4S.

Estrada reported the incident to police but did not believe much would come of it. However, a short time later Estrada found something surprising on her Facebook page—photos of her mugger allegedly smoking marijuana.

It appears the brilliant thief did not realize the phone was still linked to Estrada’s social media page and began uploading photos.

The photos were turned over to the NYPD who have since released the photos. They are now asking that anyone with information call he NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s Zocalo Newspapers to Stop Reporting Crime News in Order to Assure Safety of Journalists

Mexico’s Zocalo Newspapers to Stop Reporting Crime News in Order to Assure Safety of Journalists

Photo: El Zocalo Newspapers, Mexico

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The Zocalo newspaper group, which publishes dailies in northern Mexico, said that commencing Monday it would stop reporting on organized crime because “there are no guarantees or security for the full exercise of journalism.”

The decision was made by the editorial council at Zocalo, which owns newspapers in the cities of Saltillo, Monclova, Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña, all located in the northern state of Coahuila.

The end of crime coverage is aimed at ensuring the safety of reporters, the media company said.

Coverage of drug cartels and other organized crime groups is ending because the company has a responsibility to “watch out for the well-being and safety of more then 1,000 employees” and their families, Zocalo said in an editorial.

A criminal organization put up posters around the state last week threatening Zocalo chief Francisco Juaristi.

Zocalo is not the first Mexican media company to cease covering the war on drugs.

In July 2012, El Mañana de Nuevo Laredo, a newspaper in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, announced it would no longer “report on violent incidents that are the product of the war between rival criminal groups.”

El Mañana’s offices were the target of grenade attacks twice last year.

Several media outlets in northern Mexico have been attacked in the past few weeks and two people, including journalist Jaime Guadalupe Gonzalez, have been killed.

Gonzalez, editor of an online news site, was killed by gunmen in Ojinaga, a border city in the northern state of Chihuahua, on March 3.

Gonzalez was the first journalist murdered since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office on Dec. 1.

Gunmen opened fire on two media outlets in Ciudad Juarez, another border city in Chihuahua, on March 6, but no one was injured.

The gunmen targeted the offices of Diario de Ciudad Juarez, the border city’s largest newspaper, and the Channel 44 television station.

Unidentified individuals attacked the offices of the El Siglo newspaper in Torreon, a city in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, earlier this month, killing one person and wounding two others.

Amnesty International called on the Mexican government last week to do more to protect journalists in the wake of Gonzalez’s murder.

“The repeated killing of journalists in recent years, which can only have been encouraged by the prevailing impunity for such crimes, has had a direct impact on reporting in Mexico,” the human rights group said.

Fourteen 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.

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.

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: The Conclave and Latin America’s Role in the Catholic Church

INFOGRAPHIC: The Conclave and Latin America’s Role in the Catholic Church

Photo: Hispanically Speaking News

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With the Conclave beginning tomorrow, March 12, Hispanically Speaking News has explored Latin America’s role in the Catholic church given its growing Catholic population.

According to a recent PEW study, 60% of American Catholics believe that the next Pope should come from Latin America, Asia, or Africa.

Check out Hispanically Speaking News’ infographic covering Latin America and the Catholic Church.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

9 Dead, 11 Injured in Brazil Prison Riot

9 Dead, 11 Injured in Brazil Prison Riot

Photo: Fortaleza, Ceara - Brazil

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At least nine prisoners died and another 11 were injured in a brawl among inmates at a prison in the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceara, authorities said Monday.

The riot apparently arose when several inmates got into arguments Sunday afternoon while their families were visiting, Maj. Marcelo Praciano, commander of the state prison guard corps, told the media.

In the midst of the fighting, inmates set fire to a number of mattresses, Praciano said during a briefing to reporters at the prison in the suburbs of Fortaleza, capital of Ceara.

Some of the injured, who have been taken to a hospital near the penitentiary, suffered several degrees of burns from the blazing mattresses and other objects set on fire by the prisoners, the major said.

Riots and brawls in Brazilian jails are common, and authorities admit that among the factors causing them is the extreme overcrowding.

Brazilian prisons currently house some 514,000 people, almost 20 percent more than their capacity, according to reports by human rights organizations.

Various Brazilian authorities, including Supreme Court Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa, have admitted that the penitentiary system does not provide “decent conditions” for inmates.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. May Increase Number of Visas Allowing Cubans to Visit Here

U.S. May Increase Number of Visas Allowing Cubans to Visit Here

Photo: Cuban Exit Visa

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The United States views “positively” the immigration reform policy that has prevailed in Cuba since January and is not ruling out increasing the number of visas authorized for Cubans in the face of a potential increase in requests, Washington’s top consular official in Havana said.

Communist Party daily Granma on Monday published an unusual interview with the consul general at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Timothy Roche, in which he mentions that the office granted about 10,000 temporary visas to Cubans between October 2011 and September 2012.

Roche did not rule out an increase in the number of visas awarded during the next fiscal year as a result of the increase in requests for them within the new context created by Havana’s new immigration policy loosening restrictions on Cubans’ travel abroad.

The reform allows Cubans to travel abroad without receiving an exit permit or complying with other procedures that had restricted such trips for decades.

In addition, it increased from 11 to 24 months the time that a Cuban may remain abroad and facilitates the temporary entry into Cuba of expatriates, including people who “illegally” left the island.

Roche explained that to travel to the United States it is still necessary to request official permission from his government.

He said that strict compliance with all the steps established to obtain a visa is still “essential.”

Roche insisted, Granma reported, that the aim of the United States is to “promote legal visits and legal, ordered and safe immigration.”

The United States and Cuba broke diplomatic relations in 1961, but in 1977 they opened offices in each other’s capital under the auspices of the Swiss embassies there.

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Latin America News: Interim Venezuela President Maduro to Run for President

Latin America News: Interim Venezuela President Maduro to Run for President

Photo: Acting VZ President Nicolas Maduro

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Acting President Nicolas Maduro presented Monday to Venezuela’s CNE electoral council his candidacy for the April 14 election to choose a successor to Hugo Chavez, who died last week after a nearly two-year battle against cancer.

“I come here to obey his order with that great love he cultivated in our hearts. I’m not Chavez, but I am his son,” Maduro told the electoral authorities, before whom he presented the same program that the late head of state did nine months before when he entered the running for the Oct. 7 election.

Maduro recalled that on Dec. 8, two days before Chavez flew to Cuba for a fourth round of cancer surgery, the president said that if anything happened to him, his leftist party should take up his flag, his program, his cause and continue “the victorious battle for the consolidation of the homeland.”

“Exactly nine months after our comandante presented this program for the nation, (CNE) President Tibisay Lucena, I take it in my hands and deliver it with love, with tears, with sorrow, but also with the greatest hope for a people that has awakened and will never be caught sleeping or be dominated again,” Maduro said.

The erstwhile vice president presented “in the name of Comandante Hugo Chavez” and of the people, the “program of the nation,” and promised to put it into practice for the balance of the 2013-2019 term.

Wearing a jacket with the red, blue and yellow of the Venezuelan flag, Maduro arrived at the office of the CNE on a bus.

Outside the CNE, thousands of ruling-party followers gathered to show their support for Maduro, designated by Chavez to be his successor.

Maduro’s opponent will be Miranda state Gov. Henrique Capriles, who on Sunday formally accepted the nomination of a broad opposition alliance.

“I’m going to fight alongside you, alongside all of you,” Capriles said in his acceptance speech.

Chavez defeated Capriles by 55 percent to 44 percent in last October’s presidential ballot.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Santa Fe Drunk Driver Sues Drinking Buddy, Restaurants for Serving Him

Santa Fe Drunk Driver Sues Drinking Buddy, Restaurants for Serving Him

Photo: Santa Fe Drunk Driver Sues Drinking Buddy, Restaurants for Serving Him

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A New Mexico man is suing both his drinking buddy at two restaurants after he killed two people while driving drunk.

On Wednesday, James Ruiz, 37, filed a lawsuit in New Mexico District Court claiming his friend and two Santa Fe restaurants caused him emotional distress due to the “loss of liberty and enjoyment of life” after he was served too many alcoholic beverages.

In 2010, after drinking heavily at his friend, Gilbert Mendoza’s house, the two men went with Mendoza’s girlfriend to an Applebee’s in Santa Fe where they drank more. In his lawsuit, Ruiz claims he was over served at Applebee’s and also alleges an employee knew of his history.

At the time of the incident, Ruiz was out on bail for his 5th DWI arrest, something he claims the employee knew.

After drinking at that restaurant, the group headed to Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery where they continued to drink. When they left that venue, Ruiz claims Mendoza, knowing Ruiz was not in the “right state of mind” to drive, gave him the keys to the truck.

As Ruiz drove Mendoza’s truck at a high rate of speed, he slammed into the vehicle carrying 19-year-old Del Lynn Peshlakai, her sister, 17-year-old Deshauna and their parents. The girls died and the parents were injured. After the wreck, Ruiz was found to have had a blood-alcohol level of .22, almost three times the legal limit to drive.

In 2011, Ruiz entered a guilty plea, and was given a 40-year sentence. He has since asked for a new trial or reconsideration of his sentence, as he claims his lawyer told him he would only serve half that and did not provide him with effective representation.

Just one day after the three-year anniversary of the wreck that killed the Peshlakai sisters, Ruiz filed his lawsuit claiming Mendoza gave Ruiz him the keys to the truck knowing he we was drunk. He is also suing Applebee’s and Blue Corn for continuing to serve him even though he was visibly drunk.

According to ABQ Journal:

Ruiz says that as a result of “causing and perceiving the motor vehicle crash and its effects upon everybody envolved (sic), the Plaintiff (Ruiz) suffered and continue (sic) to suffer emotional distress.”
...
He maintains in his suit that he was “convicted and incarcerated due to the chain of events that the defendants” – the restaurants and Mendoza – “set in motion.” Ruiz says he “suffered and will continue to suffer from the emotional distress due to the loss of liberty and enjoyment of life.”

According to the Associated Press, the Peshlakai family has filed a wrongful death suit against Ruiz, the restaurants and others.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Marines Rescue 104 Central American Kidnapped Migrants

Mexican Marines Rescue 104 Central American Kidnapped Migrants

Photo: Central American migrants rescued

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Marines found 104 Honduran and Salvadoran migrants in Nuevo Laredo, a border city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, the Navy Secretariat said.

The 102 Hondurans and two Salvadorans are presumed to have been “deprived of their freedom,” the secretariat said.

Marines launched an operation to find the migrants last Thursday after receiving a tip from a citizen, who said “armed people” arrived at a house and “violently removed people of both sexes,” the secretariat said.

Marines went to the house in the 150 Aniversario district of Nuevo Laredo, a city of some 400,000 located across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, and found “a total of 104 people (91 men and 13 women) who said they were of foreign nationality,” the secretariat said.

The migrants tol marines they “had been presumably held against their will for four days,” the secretariat said.

The Central Americans were handed over to immigration officials and will likely be deported, the secretariat said.

An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.

The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.

Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Banorte Buys Spain’s Bancomer Retirement Business for $1.7 Billion

Banorte Buys Spain’s Bancomer Retirement Business for $1.7 Billion

Photo: Banorte Buys from Spain Bancomer

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Mexico’s Grupo Financiero Banorte said it completed its $1.7 billion acquisition of the retirement management business of Bancomer, which is controlled by Spanish banking giant BBVA.

The combined business, known as Afore XXI Banorte, “is the largest retirement management company” in Mexico, overseeing 11.7 million accounts worth 522 billion pesos ($40.78 billion), Banorte said in a statement.

Customers will be charged an annual management fee of 1.1 percent of assets starting Monday, “the lowest of all the private retirement management companies” in Mexico, Banorte said.

Afore XXI Banorte will have 99 offices across Mexico and 11 Special Retirement Fund Management Companies that will focus on individual retirement savings accounts and private pension funds, the financial institution said.

The retirement funds manage 5.6 million accounts worth 25.48 billion pesos ($1.99 billion).

BBVA Bancomer, the Mexican unit of BBVA, announced the deal in late November and federal regulators approved the sale on Dec. 18.

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White House Director of Hispanic Media, Luis Miranda, Stepping Down

White House Director of Hispanic Media, Luis Miranda, Stepping Down

Photo: Luis MIranda, White House Director Hispanic Media

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President Barack Obama has lost an influential Hispanic voice in his administration with the resignation of Luis Miranda, White House director of Hispanic media, who is returning to the private sector.

The 36-year-old Miranda was selected by Obama for the post in February 2009 after being one of the most visible faces in the Democratic National Committee during the 2008 election cycle.

Miranda officially left his position last Friday at a time when the White House is sharpening its strategy to get Congress to approve comprehensive immigration reform this year.

Obama promised that reform during the 2008 election campaign and Miranda to date has been the main contact person for immigration matters.

The White House still has not named a replacement.

From his post in the White House, Miranda continued the work of moving Obama closer to Latinos who, more than 54 million strong, are the largest and fastest-growing minority in the United States.

Before his job with the DNC, Miranda worked on the John Kerry and Al Gore presidential campaigns and with the Service Employees International Union’s Florida State Council.

The Colombian-born Miranda confirmed that he had decided to return to the private sector as a consultant on communications matters in Washington, although he offered no further details.

Among Miranda’s achievements are the first bilingual press conference at the White House and increasing contacts between top-level officials in the Obama administration and the main Spanish-language media outlets.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News: U.S. Expels Venezuelan Diplomats in Retaliation for Americans Ousted of VZ

Latin America News: U.S. Expels Venezuelan Diplomats in Retaliation for Americans Ousted of VZ

Photo: U.S. Venezuelan Relations

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The United States government ordered the expulsion of two Venezuelan diplomats in retaliation for Venezuela’s decision to expel the American air attache in Caracas and his assistant, sources as the U.S. State Department told Efe on Monday.

The United States notified Venezuela on Saturday about the expulsion of Second Secretary Orlando Montañez Olivaras and consular official Victor Camacaro Mata.

“We have received word from the Venezuelan Embassy that they have already left the country,” the official said, who ask for anonymity since he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Venezuela’s leftist government announced last Tuesday that U.S. Air Force Col. David Del Monaco and his aide had been ordered to leave the country after they were detected trying to recruit Venezuelan military personnel for “destabilizing projects.”

The State Department and the Pentagon denied the allegations.

The expulsion comes soon after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez after a nearly two-year battle with cancer.

President Barack Obama expressed his support for the Venezuelan people after the Venezuelan leader’s death, and said he hoped for an improvement in bilateral relations, plagued by altercations since Chavez took office in 1999.

Before announcing the Venezuelan president’s death, then-Vice President Nicolas Maduro made a veiled accusation that the United States was involved in Chavez’s illness, something that Washington slammed as “absurd.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

A Bieber Burn? Selena Gomez Films Dance to “Everybody Knows (D**chebag)

A Bieber Burn? Selena Gomez Films Dance to “Everybody Knows (D**chebag)

Photo: A Bieber Burn? Selena Gomez Films Dance to "Everybody Knows (D**chebag)

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Selena Gomez and her friends have once against filmed themselves dancing, this time to Dustin Tavella’s “Everybody Knows (D**chebag)”.

On Saturday, Gomez posted the video and has everyone wondering: is this a jab at ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber? She also appears to make a reference to his alleged pot-smoking.

The singer-actress was with the Canadian performer for over a year before breaking up (then getting back together, then breaking up, then—oh who knows).

In recent months, Bieber has been spotted losing it in front paparazzi, passing out on stage, vomiting on stage, allegedly smoking weed, and even being picked up by a security guard in a way what makes him look like a child being put in a car seat (the photo is now a meme).

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So what are you trying to tell us, Selena?

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Mexican Concert Flutist Horacio Franco Performing in Beijing

Mexican Concert Flutist Horacio Franco Performing in Beijing

Photo: Horacio Franco Touring Beijing

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Flutist Horacio Franco, who describes himself as both a Mexican and a “citizen of the world,” promoted his idea of timeless music without borders at a performance in Beijing that combined the classic works of Vivaldi and Bach with the pop tunes of the Beatles.

“You do not have to understand music. Either you feel it or you don’t,” Franco told Efe.

Music is a “universal language, we have it from the time we are in the womb,” the musician said.

Franco cited the Beijing Opera, which he has watched perform in Mexico, as an example.

“I think they sing very artificially at times and I do not understand a word of what they are saying, but I really like the way they express their feelings, which are the same ones you and I have - love, hate, anger, spite, religious thoughts, lust ... But they express it in a different way,” Franco said.

The Mexican musician, who began playing the flute in high school, trained at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

Franco is extremely active on the concert circuit, performing about 150 recitals annually and teaching classes around the world.

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Hugo Chavez the Best Friend Cuba Ever Had Says Fidel Castro

Hugo Chavez the Best Friend Cuba Ever Had Says Fidel Castro

Photo: Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro

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Fidel Castro said Monday that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was “the best friend” the Cuban people have ever had.

“On March 5, in the afternoon hours, the best friend the Cuban people have had in their history died,” the 86-year-old former head of state said in his first public reaction after Chavez’s death.

“Not even he himself suspected how great he was,” said Castro of the man who was Cuba’s main ally so far in the 21st century.

In a column entitled “We are losing our best friend” that appeared in Gramna, the Communist Party newspaper, the leader of the Cuban Revolution wrote that the “bitter” news of Chavez’s death was a heavy blow despite the fact that he knew the critical state of his health.

“I recalled the times he joked with me saying that when we had both finished our revolutionary work, he would invite me to spend some time along the Arauca River in Venezuelan territory, which reminded him of the rest he never had,” Castro said.

He also emphasized that he had the “honor of having shared with the Bolivarian leader the same ideals of social justice and support for the exploited.”

Chavez, 58, died of a massive heart attack after battling cancer for 21 months. He underwent four operations in Cuba, as well as courses of chemotherapy and radiation.

Besides being the main economic partner for the island over the past decade, Chavez maintained a close and very friendly relationship with Fidel Castro, whom he always considered to be his political mentor.

Castro has been retired since July 2006, when a serious illness forced him to delegate power to younger brother Raul, who assumed the presidency outright in February 2008.

Read more by HS News Staff →

5 Prisoners Arrive in Mexican Jail, 24-Hrs Later All Dead from Violence and Suicide

5 Prisoners Arrive in Mexican Jail, 24-Hrs Later All Dead from Violence and Suicide

Photo: Nuevo Laredo Prison Violence, Mexico

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Four inmates died in a fight and a woman committed suicide at a prison in Nuevo Laredo, a border city in northeastern Mexico, the Tamaulipas state Public Safety Secretariat said.

The victims, who ranged in age from 23 to 29, died on Sunday, a day after being arrested on murder and criminal conspiracy charges, the secretariat said.

The four male inmates died early Sunday at the prison in Nuevo Laredo, where “they lost their lives as a result of a fight between prisoners in which sharp weapons were used,” the secretariat said.

Alejandro Flores Charles, Jose Torres Garcia, Gerardo Javier Colunga Padron and Jose Juan Antonio Carvajal were spending their first night at the prison following their arrests on Saturday, the secretariat said.

Three inmates, ranging in age from 23 to 38, “accepted responsibility for the incident,” the secretariat said.

The inmates told investigators they killed the four men over “personal problems with one of the deceased,” the secretariat said.

The fifth victim, identified as 23-year-old Adriana Yacare, was also booked on murder and criminal conspiracy charges on Saturday and processed at the prison.

“Her lifeless body was found hanging from an iron bar with a bedsheet tied around her neck. A letter explaining the reasons for her suicide was found in the cell,” the Tamaulipas state Public Safety Secretariat said.

Officials, however, did not say whether the woman was linked to the four men killed in the prison fight.

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Nine Years Later: Spain Remembers Terrorist Attacks

Nine Years Later: Spain Remembers Terrorist Attacks

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday marked the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,500 others and vowed to “eradicate terrorism.”

“Nine years ago, Spain suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history on a day like this,” Rajoy said.

Freedom, democracy and life itself “have ferocious enemies, but they will never be able to defeat us,” the prime minister said.

Madrid regional government chief Ignacio Gonzalez and Madrid Mayor Ana Botella, meanwhile, placed a wreath at the Puerta del Sol, where a plaque honors the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Four Madrid commuter trains were torn apart on March 11, 2004, during the morning rush hour when backpack bombs placed aboard the trains were detonated by remote control by Islamic terrorists.

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In A Matter Of Minutes, Jeb Bush Flip-Flops On Immigration Reform

In A Matter Of Minutes, Jeb Bush Flip-Flops On Immigration Reform

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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush went on a Sunday talk show offensive this week to try to clarify his position on immigration reform, but he only managed to create more confusion.
Bush last week drew the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike when a leaked copy of his new book revealed that he considered it “absolutely vital” to deny citizenship to undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. The outrage prompted him to contradict himself and say that he is, in fact, for a pathway to citizenship.

But on Sunday, Bush — who, it is widely expected, will throw his hat in the race for the 2016 presidential election — tried to have it both ways, saying that he is both for and against a path for the undocumented to become citizens. On Fox News Sunday, Bush told host Chris Wallace that he supports a type of second-class citizenship for unauthorized people currently in the country:

BUSH: People can stay here. Sixty of the people that were granted a process of legalization and citizenship in 1987 did not apply for citizenship. They stayed, as legal residents of the country. And so it is much different than to say, you know, you have the ability to be able to have a chance to come out from the shadows.

Just minutes later, Bush again reversed his position, saying that he backs the efforts of a bipartisan group of senators who are pushing a path to citizenship:

BUSH: Now, I also think a path to citizenship, so long as the ability of someone to come legally, is easier, and less costly than coming illegally, that the path to citizenship is appropriate and I applaud the work of the senators and others in the congress, that are working to try to craft a consensus and a compromise on the issue.

Bush has attempted to defend the contradictions between his book and his speech by point out that it was “written last year in a certain environment. The goal was to persuade people against immigration reform to be for it.” But with a possible presidential bid up his sleeve, it’s likely that he is trying to strike the balance between appealing to Latino voters — a constituency his party has outwardly claimed it is trying to court — and keeping with the anti-immigration reform Republican base.

Read more at Think Progress →

El Paso’s Raymond Telles Dies - 1st Big-City Latino Mayor and U.S. Ambassador

El Paso’s Raymond Telles Dies - 1st Big-City Latino Mayor and U.S. Ambassador

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The first Latino to be elected mayor of a major U.S. city, El Paso’s Raymond L. Telles, died at the California home of one of his children. He was 97.

Telles, born on Sept. 5, 1915 in the Texas border city, was of Mexican descent and for 68 years was married to Delfina Navarro.

After studying at Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso, Telles immediately began his career in the public sector with a position in the federal Justice Department.

He served in the Army and Air Force, rising to the rank of colonel.

Telles returned to El Paso, where he launched his political career in 1948 after being elected county clerk.

Later he was called up to serve in the Korean War, for which he received the Bronze Star, granted to those distinguished by their acts of heroism, acts of merit, or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone

On Nov. 3, 1957, he was elected mayor of El Paso, a position he held for four years until 1961, when he was named by President John F. Kennedy as the first U.S. ambassador of Hispanic descent, a post he held in Costa Rica.

Telles is survived by his two daughters and several grandchildren.

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Wilberto Cosme Wins It for Queretaro in Clausura 2013

Wilberto Cosme Wins It for Queretaro in Clausura 2013

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Colombia’s Wilberto Cosme scored the lone goal in Queretaro’s away match against Tijuana in the 10th week of Mexican soccer’s Clausura 2013 tourney.

Queretaro, who were forced to step up to avoid the threat of being relegated to second division, managed to notch the very important win on one of the league’s most difficult pitches.

Cosme scored against the home team - who at times looked somewhat unfocused - in the 34th minute after receiving a pass, moving into the area and knocking the ball into the net over the goalie.

Queretaro - now with three wins, five draws, two defeats and 14 points - is in eighth place in the standings

In other matches, Jesus Zavala scored twice, leading Monterrey to a 2-1 win over Leon and climbing to 10th place with 13 points. Zavala’s first goal came in minute 21 after a defensive mistake, but the road team tied it up 14 minutes later on a shot by Uruguay’s Matias Brito and things remained there until the 80th minute, when Chilean Humberto Suazo passed to Zavala, who found the twine with a a header.

Meanwhile, Santos Laguna beat Atlante 2-1 on a goal by American Herculez Gomez in the 43rd minute and one by Oribe Peralta in the 58th minute, while Chiapas tied 1-1 with Cruz Azul.

And Ecuadorian Christian Benitez became the tourney’s second-best scorer by knocking in his seventh goal in America’s 1-1 tie with Morelia.

Meanwhile, league leader Tigres beat basement-dweller San Luis 2-1 on goals by Lucas Lobos and Luis Garcia.

On Sunday, No. 2-ranked Atlas beat Toluca 1-0 on a goal by Rodrigo Millar in the 81st minute. And Puebla faces off against Pumas UNAM and Guadalajara goes up against Pachuca on Sunday evening.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Signs Up to Help Preserve Mangrove Forests

Cristiano Ronaldo Signs Up to Help Preserve Mangrove Forests

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Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo will serve as ambassador for Indonesia’s Mangrove Care Forum, the Bali-based organization said Monday.

The forum’s mission is raising public awareness about the importance of preserving mangrove forests.

“I am privileged to be able to play a role in conserving mangroves in Indonesia,” the Real Madrid forward said in a statement released by the forum.

“I was in Aceh after the 2004 tsunami and the devastation I saw left a deep impression. I understand that in places where there were mangroves to provide the ecosystem buffer against high waves, more lives were saved and less damage sustained,” Ronaldo said.

Destruction of mangroves is a global problem, the forum said, describing the situation in Indonesia as “particularly dire,” with the loss of 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) of mangroves.

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After 100 Days in Office Peña Nieto Vows to Change Mexico

After 100 Days in Office Peña Nieto Vows to Change Mexico

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President Enrique Peña Nieto marked his first 100 days in office by vowing to bring wide-ranging reform and structural changes to Mexico.

“Each decision made, each action taken is in response to the great goal we set on the first day - to transform Mexico,” Peña Nieto told a gathering of business and political leaders at the National Palace in Mexico City.

Education reform, one of the administration’s top goals, has already been implemented, the president said during Sunday’s 100-day ceremony.

“We did not just come to govern but to really transform” Mexico, Peña Nieto said, adding that he was committed to “leading a democratic presidency” that reaches “agreements and consensus” with the country’s other political parties.

Peña Nieto’s five goals are to bring peace, inclusiveness, quality education, prosperity and a bigger role in the world to Mexico.

The president said in his address that he had implemented a new security and justice policy.

The National Program for the Prevention of Violence and Crime seeks to “reduce” the risk factors that lead to crime, Peña Nieto said.

The 46-year-old Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, took office on Dec. 1.

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Recognizing Immigrant Women’s Needs in Immigration Reform

Recognizing Immigrant Women’s Needs in Immigration Reform

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While the recent debate over reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act may have reminded the nation that there are “women’s issues” in immigration law, it doesn’t necessarily follow that most people regard immigration reform as a woman’s issue. Despite the fact that immigrant women make up a growing share of workers, entrepreneurs, single heads of households, and new voters—while remaining primary caregivers in families—the laws we craft to reform our broken immigration system have often been insensitive to the obstacles and challenges immigrant women face in applying for immigration status.

As Kavitha Sreeharsha identified in a 2010 paper for the Immigration Policy Center, there are pitfalls we face in crafting inclusive immigration laws:

“…a CIR package must include a path to legalization that values the contributions of immigrant women as part‐time and informal workers. It must recognize that women need independent opportunities to apply for legalization (as opposed to merely deriving it from a spouse or father). It must account for the fact that many immigrant women—who make significant contributions to the workforce—nonetheless have had less formal access to educational and employment opportunities. CIR must also consider the role that women play in immigrant families and as the predominant beneficiaries in the family immigration system.”

In other words, laws that appear neutral on their face might, in fact, make it more difficult for undocumented women to access a legalization program or for women hoping to immigrate to the U.S. to obtain a visa. And in the meantime, in the absence of such reforms, the existing deportation and removal laws and policies often weigh most heavily on women, who are either left to try to keep their families together while their husbands or partners face deportation charges, or find themselves caught up in the net of Secure Communities and other enforcement activities that most often pull otherwise law-abiding immigrants into removal proceedings through traffic stops and other low-level encounters with police.

Two examples from the current debate help to illustrate how the legal requirements that appear neutral may make it more difficult for women to access the immigration system. The legalization proposals in 2006 and 2007 included full-time employment requirements as a condition of either registering for legalization, maintaining that status, or transitioning to lawful permanent resident status. It was often assumed that women and children would apply for “derivative” status—that is they would ride along on the principal (husband’s) application. While many people challenge the employment provision in general, one of the most significant criticisms against it has been that women who are full-time caregivers or who are only employed part-time would have no independent means to apply for legalization. The assumption that family members can or should ride along on an application isn’t a problem in itself—it is often more efficient and less expensive to process a whole family at once—but it does assume a family dynamic that isn’t always in place.

Similarly, the 2007 CIR bill would have drastically cut family-based immigration in favor of a points system that would privilege applicants with higher education and skills. In all likelihood, such a proposal could have hurt the chances of immigrant women to enter the U.S., as many currently enter under the family category—and may come from countries where their access to education or other opportunities is limited precisely because they are women. Thus, an immigration system based solely on credentials at the time of entry would miss out on the rich contributions of many immigrant women who realize their true potential when they move to the United States.

Fortunately, the concerns from past debates are being raised today thanks to a growing network of immigrant women’s groups, immigration groups, and the broader women’s movement. They are using the month of March to focus on lobbying Congress, marching on Washington, and pressing for a different kind of immigration debate. This is yet more evidence that the significance of the 2013 immigration reform efforts are no longer just about immigration.  As diverse communities come together in support of immigration reform, they send a loud and clear message to Congress: fixing the broken immigration system isn’t just about changing laws, but is instead about how America values its people—women and men alike.

 

Read more at Immigration impact →

Maria Sharapova Beats Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro at Indian Wells

Maria Sharapova Beats Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro at Indian Wells

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Russia’s Maria Sharapova beat Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

The 25-year-old Sharapova, the No. 2 seed, had a fight on her hands in the first set with Suarez, who used a strong return game and solid one-handed backhand to stay in the match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Sunday.

Sharapova came out charging in the second set and overpowered the 24-year-old Suarez.

The Russian star will play Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino in the Round of 16.

Arruabarrena-Vecino upset Italy’s Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a marathon match that went two hours and 44 minutes.

In other action on the women’s side at Indian Wells, Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic upended Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-4, 7-5.

On the men’s side, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-0, 5-7, 6-2, while France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat American veteran James Blake 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.

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“Making the Road to Citizenship” Caravan to End in Miami’s Calle 8 Festival

“Making the Road to Citizenship” Caravan to End in Miami’s Calle 8 Festival

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The caravan that for the past 10 days has traveled around Florida calling for the approval of immigration reform arrives on Sunday in Miami, where its participants will join in celebrating the traditional Calle 8 Festival in Little Havana.

“Nothing can be more powerful than to join our voices for immigration reform at a festival that celebrates our culture and immigrant pride,” Florida Immigrant Coalition executive director Maria Rodriguez said.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition is one of the organizations participating in the so-called “Making the Road to Citizenship” caravan.

The caravan, which started on March 1 in the cities of Orlando and Haines City, Florida, made its second-to-last stop on Saturday when members marched from Florida City to Homestead.

Just like in other cities in the state, activists and immigrant families called on the federal government to stop deportations and approve immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for all immigrants.

The Florida caravan is part of the national “Families United Now” tour, which is taking place in 19 states and more than 90 cities around the country.

The Calle 8 Festival - where Elvis Crespo, Angel y Khriz and El Cata are performing - will attract more than 500,000 people this year, organizers say. It has been held since 1978 and is a celebration where all communities of immigrants who have made Miami their home can come out and enjoy themselves at a big street party along SW 8th St.

Organizers this year are intending to mix up a huge batch of sangria to try and set a new world record. Their idea is to distribute among the public 500 liters (132 gallons) of the typically Spanish beverage to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Florida’s discovery by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513.

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MondayMarch 11, 2013