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WednesdayMarch 13, 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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Former Brazilian President Lula Begins Africa Tour

Former Brazilian President Lula Begins Africa Tour

Photo: Luiz Inacio Lula

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Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is beginning a tour of Africa on Wednesday, the Lula Institute said in a statement.

The erstwhile head of state will visit Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria and will meet with political leaders, businessmen and representatives from civil society.

During his March 15-16 stay in Ghana, Lula will “participate in a discussion about social programs at the headquarters” of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the institute said.

He will also meet with the country’s former president, John Kufuor, “who shared the 2011 World Food Prize with Lula, for his work in combating hunger.”

On the last day of the trip, Lula will meet with Nigerian businessmen, as well as with authors from the African country and with the coach of Nigeria’s national soccer team, the current African champions who are slated to participate this year in the Confederations Cup tourney in Brazil.

In addition, the former Brazilian leader will participate in the Nigeria Summit 2013, an event organized by The Economist magazine.

In November, Lula visited South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia, while the Lula Institute said that later this year he will visit countries in East Africa, although it did not specify which ones or on which dates.

Last month, incumbent Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff traveled to Nigeria to participate in the 3rd Africa-South America Summit.

In recent years, Brazil has notably intensified its trade and political relations with African nations and both Rousseff and Lula have visited the continent on several occasions.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Man Sues Staffing Agency After Penis Cut Off at Temp Job

Puerto Rican Man Sues Staffing Agency After Penis Cut Off at Temp Job

Photo: Puerto Rican Man Sues Staffing Agency After Penis Cut Off at Temp Job

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A Puerto Rican man who was working in Florida is suing the temp agency that hired him claiming they were aware of a number of safety issues before sending him to a work for the Florida company.

In January 2010, Edgardo Toucet was sent by Spartan Staffing to work for Future Foam Carpet Cushion Company. According to the lawsuit, while operating a foam-cutting machine known as a peeling, Toucet’s penis and testicles were cut off by the machine’s spinning blade.

The safety shield on the machine was reportedly removed before Toucet arrived and the emergency off-switch was known to not always work.

Toucet, who was not fluent in English was given instructions on the machine in broken English and with hand signals.

The suit also states Spartan was aware of others workers who had been injured at Future Foam, but did not warn him or tell him about the others previously injured.

According to Courthouse News Service:

Spartan Staffing employee Barbara Pridgen was responsible for ensuring compliance with safety training for Spartan’s leased employees, including onsite inspections of the client company’s job sites, Toucet says in the complaint.

But Toucet claims he “received no orientation or other formalized instruction or training in preparation for his temporary work assignment as a peeler machine helper.”

Not only did the machine slice off his genitals, it nearly cut his entire body in half.

Toucet is suing for negligence, and while he’s seeking damages of $15,000, he is also asking for a more significant amount overall.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Costa Rican Zoo Welcomes First King Vulture Born in Captivity

Costa Rican Zoo Welcomes First King Vulture Born in Captivity

Photo: King vulture

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Costa Rica’s Zoo Ave has managed the first birth in captivity in Latin America of a king vulture, the zoological park said Wednesday.

Zoo Ave, a respected animal rescue center, operates a zoological park located about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

The king vulture chick emerged from its egg on Tuesday at the zoo, which had been trying to hatch one of the birds in captivity for 20 years.

This is one of the few successful hatchings of king vultures in captivity in the world, Zoo Ave scientists said.

“The animal was incubated by both parents. A day before it was born, it was taken to the incubator. There it received an adequate temperature that allowed the chick to break through the egg,” Zoo Ave spokesman Ronald Sibaja said.

The chick will remain with its parents at the wildlife rescue center for now.

King vulture reproduction is complicated because the species, which is threatened with extinction, lays only one egg a year during the dry season.

The king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) is found from Mexico to Brazil.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Inditex Opened 121 Stores in China in Fiscal 2012

Spain’s Inditex Opened 121 Stores in China in Fiscal 2012

Photo: Spain's Inditex Opened 121 Stores in China in Fiscal 2012

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Inditex, owner of the Zara retail chain, said in a filing Wednesday with securities regulators that it opened 121 stores in China last year, making the Asian country its No. 2 market, trailing only Spain.

Inditex had 396 stores in China at the end of its 2012 fiscal year on Jan. 31.

The retailer, which was founded by billionaire Amancio Ortega, had 6,009 stores in 86 countries at the end of the fiscal year after registering 482 net openings.

The company closed two stores in Spain and eight in Greece, where it ended the fiscal year with 154 shops, down from 162 in FY 2011.

The company expanded its stores in Russia from 256 to 331, while it added one store in the United States and now has 47 in that country.

Inditex added 17 stores in Mexico, reaching 246 in that country, and has 259 stores in France, up by 14.

The retailer also expanded its presence on the Internet with the launch of the Zara online store in China.

Inditex currently operates online stores in 23 countries, including the United States and Canada, and it plans to open a Zara online store in Russia during the next fall-winter season.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Environmental Experts Warn Mexico of Increased Sea Turtle Mortality Rates

Environmental Experts Warn Mexico of Increased Sea Turtle Mortality Rates

Photo: Mexican sea turtles (http://ecowatch.org)

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International experts have warned President Enrique Peña Nieto that Mexico is experiencing high mortality rates among sea turtles off the coast of the northwestern state of Baja California Sur, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law, or CEMDA, said.

The Marine Turtle Specialist Group, or MTSG, sent a letter to Peña Nieto advising him that Baja California Sur has some of the highest sea turtle death rates in the world, CEMDA said in a statement.

The high mortality rates have been confirmed by both scientists and Mexican government agencies, CEMDA said.

More than 2,000 sea turtles died in 2012, an increase of 600 percent from the already high levels registered in the area over the past few years, CEMDA said.

MTSG experts conducted a study in 2011 to try to determine the state of sea turtles around the world and identified North Pacific turtles as among the most threatened.

The situation has worsened due to high accidental kills associated with small-scale fishing in the Gulf of Ulloa, CEMDA said.

The MTSG belongs to the survival commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, which was formed by more than 7,500 scientists from around the world and seeks to protect current global biodiversity levels.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pique Shares Personal Family Photo with Twitter

Pique Shares Personal Family Photo with Twitter

Photo: Shakira, Gerard Pique and baby Milan

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The first “family photo” of music icon Shakira and Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique with their new baby appeared on Twitter.

“After the game, with Camp Nou already empty, enjoying the qualification with my family,” Pique wrote as a caption to the image posted Tuesday night on his Twitter account.

Pique’s FC Barcelona squad thumped AC Milan 4-0 Tuesday night to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals.

Milan Pique Mebarack appears to be sleeping in the photo in the arms of the Colombian singer and is wearing a miniature Barca jersey, shorts and red socks, while his father is embracing Shakira around the waist and shielding his son with his other hand.

The boy was born Jan. 22 in Barcelona’s Teknon hospital after a scheduled Caesarean.

Pique posted on Twitter a photo of the baby’s legs wearing little sports shoes a few days after his birth and another, a few days later, in which he appears holding Milan in his arms.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cato Report Finds Poor Immigrants Use Fewer Public Benefits than Natives

Cato Report Finds Poor Immigrants Use Fewer Public Benefits than Natives

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Among the most contentious debates surrounding national immigration reform concerns immigrant use of welfare programs. Opponents of immigration routinely assert low-skilled immigrants consume more public resources than natives, thereby imposing an unfair fiscal burden on U.S. taxpayers.

Such claims, however, have little basis in fact. A new report from the Cato Institute shows that, in reality, non-citizens use public welfare programs at a lower rate than similar low-income native-born citizens.  When immigrant children and adults do receive assistance, moreover, the average benefits value per recipient is almost always lower than for natives.

In reality, non-citizens use public welfare programs at a lower rate than similar low-income native-born citizens.

This lower benefits utilization by low-income non-citizens is true for a number of public programs that were examined—namely, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), cash assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and similar programs), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Compared to natives, the cost of participating in these benefits is also significantly lower for non-citizens. For Medicaid, for example, the benefits cost of non-citizens is 42 percent lower than that of natives.

These findings are partly attributable to immigrant-related eligibility restrictions for public assistance benefits. In particular, undocumented immigrants and temporary/provisional immigrants (including the beneficiaries of “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”) are generally ineligible for public assistance; and lawful permanent residents must wait at least five years before they become eligible.

Critics of immigration, however, often rely on methodologically flawed studies, including one by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), to support the misconception that immigrants use more government assistance than natives. Departing from the CIS, the study by the Cato Institute adjusts for income to ensure that appropriate comparisons are made, does not mistakenly count naturalized citizens as immigrants, and focuses on individuals’ immigration status rather than classifying households by the immigration status of the head – which avoids erroneously counting some U.S. citizen children as immigrants.  Together, these correctives provide a clearer and more accurate picture of welfare receipt, effectively dispelling exaggerated reports that inflate the degree of immigrant use of public benefits.

The results of the study by the Cato Institute are actually consistent with the vast majority of evidence which, according to sociologists Bean, Stevens, and Van Hook, “provides little indication of welfare abuse or dependency among new immigrants.” If we also add the significant economic gains that result from immigration to the equation—including both increases in gross domestic product and tax revenue—we find that the net economic gains from immigration are indeed positive.

Unfortunately, there continues to be a great deal of misinformation about immigrant welfare receipt. According to a recent survey released by the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation, “four in ten Americans wrongly believe that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers benefits to undocumented immigrants, and another quarter are not sure how undocumented immigrants are treated under the law.” In spite of the stereotypes reinforced by some anti-immigrant groups, however, the Kaiser study also showed that 63% of Americans believe that if lawmakers pass a new law that allows undocumented immigrants to earn legal status, those who gain legal status should have full access to the health coverage options offered by ACA. Given the small but promising sign that the majority of Americans supports health coverage to legalized immigrants, perhaps more accurate perceptions and openness about immigrant use of public assistance will also follow.

 

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Oh No! ‘Chelsea Lately’ Sidekick Chuy Bravo Breaks Foot on Diving Show

Oh No! ‘Chelsea Lately’ Sidekick Chuy Bravo Breaks Foot on Diving Show

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During the very first taping of ABC’s Splash Chelsea Handler’s sidekick, Chuy Bravo, injured himself and was taken out of the diving competition show.

ABC has stated that during the taping, Chuy jumped up on a table in the lounge near the pool. When the table broke, Chuy fell and hurt his foot.

After being treated and taken in for X-rays it was revealed the pint size charmer had fractured his heel bone. He has reportedly been advised to not put any weight on the foot and has already been replaced on the show.

Splash is a reality show competition in which 10 celebrities will train and compete in regulation platform and springboard diving in front of a poolside audience.

The world came to know Chuy Bravo as Chelsea Handler’s sidekick on E!‘s Chelsea Lately.

Chuy was replaced by Brandi Chastain, the soccer star known as the player who ripped off her jersey when the U.S. women’s soccer team won the 1999 World Cup.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LISTEN to Selena Gomez’s New Single “Rule the World”

LISTEN to Selena Gomez’s New Single “Rule the World”

Photo: LISTEN to Selena Gomez's New Single "Rule the World"

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Forget forever/Forget you ever knew my name.

Selena Gomez’s new single “Rule the World” was released (or leaked) Wednesday and it sounds like ladies have their new breakup anthem.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico to Launch “National Crusade Against Hunger”

Mexico to Launch “National Crusade Against Hunger”

Photo: National Crusade against Hunger

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The federal government plans to launch a new program to fight hunger next month, with the initial focus on 400 cities, Mexican Social Development Secretary Rosario Robles said.

“This is a titanic task ... an enormous challenge,” Robles told reporters at the unveiling of the National Crusade against Hunger.

The program is one of the most ambitious launched by President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office on Dec. 1 and has made fighting hunger and social inequality a priority.

Mexico, a country of 112 million people, registered 11,000 deaths from malnutrition in 2011, government figures show.

A total of 8,000 of these deaths were caused by lack of access to basic foods and the rest to other hunger-related problems.

Officials have identified 400 cities, or 16 percent of the municipalities in the country, for the launch of the program.

All of the cities selected for the program have high levels of hunger and extreme poverty, Robles said.

The National Crusade against Hunger will target 7.4 million people in these cities in the first phase, Robles said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  First Pope from Latin America – Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio now Pope Francisco

JUST IN:  First Pope from Latin America – Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio now Pope Francisco

Photo: New Pope Francis - Cardinal Bergoglio

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The Papal conclave has chosen the new Pope to lead the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and he hails from Latin America.  This is the first pope outside of Europe and the first from Latin America.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina will now be known as Pope Francis I (Papa Francisco Primero) appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basicilia after the pronouncement ‘Habemus Papum’ – “We have a pope.”  He spoke in Latin, Italian and in Spanish. 

This pope is the 266th successor Pope to the Catholic churches original apostle St. Peter.  White smoke appeared at 7.:05 p.m. local Vatican time indicating 115 cardinals had been made after five rounds of cloistered voting.

The papal conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI, due to his health and age, resigned last month becoming Pope Emeritus.
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Argentine Town Riots After Teen Dies After Being Shot (VIDEO)

Argentine Town Riots After Teen Dies After Being Shot (VIDEO)

Photo: Argentine Town Riots After Teen Dies After Being Shot

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Following the death of 17-year-old Karen Daiana Campos in Argentina over the weekend, the community was outraged after learning it took authorities 15 minutes to arrive at the scene though they were just down the street.

On March 9, Campos was working at a kiosk in Junin, which is in Argentina’s Buenos Aires Province, named Carlitos. At around 10 p.m. a man approached the small shop and demanded money. Though Campos reportedly did not resist, the man shot her in the chest and rode off on a motorcycle.

Witnesses say it took police 15 minutes to arrive at the kiosk which was only half a block away. The bullet fired at Campos missed her heart and witnesses say she was on the floor bleeding when police arrived, and had to wait another 20 minutes for an ambulance.

Outraged, community members gathered at the police station to protest. Protestors called on the government to make the streets safer and to demand justice for the teen.

The peaceful protest turned violent however, and a bank, official building, and the local court were set on fire by protestors throwing Molotiv cocktails at the buildings.

One witness said at least three police cars were set on fire as well.

Below is a video of the riot following the teen’s murder.  http://www.prochan.com/view?p=56a_1362932805


After restoring some order, officials offered a reward to anyone with information on the shooter.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Demi Lovato Debuts New Hair

Demi Lovato Debuts New Hair

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“Heart Attack” singer Demi Lovato has sported many different hairstyles and colors. Rocking long hair, short hair, bangs, and hair colors ranging from black to red to blonde and back to brown again. The 20-year-old is always changing up her look.

On Tuesday, Lovato debuted yet another new hairstyle. She shared on Twitter, “New hair!!!!”

In the photo, Demi, who is wearing little makeup, shows off her new shoulder-length, chocolate brown hair.

Lovato not only has an ever-changing hairstyle, her style in general is always changing. She recently sat down with VEVO Stylized and explained that she switches up her look to express herself.

“[Fashion] is an awesome way to express yourself. I feel like the way you express yourself on the outside has a lot to do with the way you are on the inside,” she said. Explaining her style these days she said, “I like to spice it up a little bit with some colors because I just am more bubbly these days.”

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Lady Gaga Uses Gold Wheelchair Post Hip Surgery

Lady Gaga Uses Gold Wheelchair Post Hip Surgery

Photo: Lady Gaga and the gold wheelchair (Terry Richardson)

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Lady Gaga commissioned a prominent New York jeweler to build a gold-plated wheelchair so she could get around after a Feb. 20 operation to repair an injured hip.

Ken Borochov, a designer with the firm Mordekai, equipped the 24-karat chair with a leather seat and removable leather canopy.

The seat can also recline 180 degrees.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting that phone call and have never done a wheelchair but am always up for a challenge and was thrilled to create what I affectionately dubbed the Chariot, a chair fit only for a queen,” Borochov told the New York Post.

The stylist, whose client list includes Kanye West, Cher Lloyd and Nicki Minaj, said he had only a week to complete the project.

A severe joint inflammation called synovitis forced Lady Gaga to cancel the remaining concerts of “The Born This Way Ball” world tour, which began almost a year ago in South Korea and included more than 100 performances.

Read more by HS News Staff →

National Museum of Mexican Art Honors Susan Crown for Outstanding Public Service

National Museum of Mexican Art Honors Susan Crown for Outstanding Public Service

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Distinguished Philanthropist to be honored with Arthur R. Velasquez Public Service Award at the Museum’s Gala de Arte on May 3, 2013

Philanthropist and businesswoman Susan Crown will be honored by the National Museum of Mexican Art on May 3, 2013, with the Arthur R. Velasquez Public Service Award in recognition of her tireless commitment to community work and civic leadership.

Created in recognition of the founder of Azteca Foods Inc., the Arthur R. Velasquez Award is presented each year by the Museum to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and whose generosity inspires others to take philanthropic leadership roles on a local, national or international level.  Previous Arthur R. Velasquez Award winners include Alejandro Silva (Evans Foods), Terry Mazany (Chicago Community Trust), Richard M. Daley (Mayor of Chicago, 1989 – 2011), Frank Clark (ComEd) and Norm Bobbins (The PrivateBank).

Crown will accept the award at the Museum’s Gala de Arte, an annual fundraising event that raises more than $500,000 in support of the Museum’s programs, exhibitions, and private collection. Jose Luis Prado , President of Quaker Foods North America, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, and Gala de Arte Chair, will present Crown with her award.

“It is my privilege to chair the event where Susan Crown will be recognized for her extraordinary business and civic contributions to the city of Chicago. She is a most worthy recipient and now she will join the ranks of an esteemed group of past winners,” said Prado. “It is truly exciting to recognize Susan during the 11th annual Gala de Arte of the finest Mexican Museum in the country.”

Gala de Arte includes festive music, a sit-down dinner, and dancing along with a silent and live auction of Mexican folk art and other treasures donated by Museum trustees and the Museum’s gallery-like gift shop, Tienda Tzintzuntzan. More than 600 guests are expected to attend the event at the Swissotel Chicago.

“The Museum is a cultural and community jewel and a valuable Chicago asset.  We are elated to present Susan Crown , one of Chicago’s finest, with an award named after an inspiring philanthropist and humanitarian, Art Velasquez ,” said Museum President & CEO Carlos Tortolero . 

Chicagoan Rita Knox, a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees and an art enthusiast who also serves as a board trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, will be recognized at the Gala de Arte with the Sor Juana Woman of Achievement Award.

To buy tickets, call 312-433-3944 or e-mail Erika@nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: Villagers Hold 40 Soldiers in Michoacán Calling for the Release of 17 Men (VIDEO)

Blog del Narco: Villagers Hold 40 Soldiers in Michoacán Calling for the Release of 17 Men (VIDEO)

Photo: Villagers Hold Police

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Michoacán media has disclosed that inhabitants of Felipe Carrillo Puerto ‘The Shawl’, in the municipality of Buenavista Tomatlan, have detained a group of 40 soldiers as a means of pressure to demand the release of 17 members of the ‘community watch’ of the town.
It was reported that about 200 people blocked the way to the vehicle transporting the military and blamed the members of the Ministry of National Defense (Department of Defense)  and accused them of ties to organized crime.

Witnesses said the soldiers were taken to a gas station at the entrance to ‘The Shawl’, while vehicles block the other accesses to the community of Buenavista.

The Governor, Jesus Reyna Garcia said Tuesday morning that the population was “calm” and he guaranteed that the state government authorities would address the problem.
The munícipe said “since last Monday, the military and Federal Police (PF) are in dialogue with the residents of ‘The Shawl’ to free the soldiers.”
the town.

It was reported that about 200 people blocked the way to the vehicle transporting the military and blamed the members of the Ministry of National Defense (Department of Defense)  and accused them of ties to organized crime.

Witnesses said the soldiers were taken to a gas station at the entrance to ‘The Shawl’, while vehicles block the other accesses to the community of Buenavista.

The Governor, Jesus Reyna Garcia said Tuesday morning that the population was “calm” and he guaranteed that the state government authorities would address the problem.

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Three Votes Down, Still No New Pope

Three Votes Down, Still No New Pope

Photo: The Vatican

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The Roman Catholic Church’s 115 cardinal electors sent a fume of black smoke into the skies over Vatican City on Wednesday, telling the world that they had not yet been able to select a new pope after three votes.

The cardinals held two votes on Wednesday morning and are expected to vote two more times later in the day.

The successor to Benedict XVI, who stepped down on Feb. 28, must get a two-thirds majority of the ballots cast by the 115 electors, or 77 votes.

The cardinals locked themselves in the Sistine Chapel at 9:30 a.m. to resume voting.

Two votes were held before noon as stipulated in the Universi Dominici Gregis Apostolic Constitution.

Both votes were followed by emissions of black smoke from a chimney atop the Sistine Chapel.

Black smoke came out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney Tuesday evening, indicating that the first ballot of the 115 cardinals charged with choosing a new pope did not produce a result.

The “fumata” billowed forth at 7:42 p.m., just over two hours after the cardinal electors enclosed themselves to designate the successor to Benedict XVI.

The dense black smoke wafted up for a long enough time to leave no doubt of its color.

A white “fumata” is the signal that a new pope has been chosen.

If a pope is not chosen in the two votes on Wednesday afternoon, the cardinals will again hold four ballots on Thursday.

If no one has received 77 votes after three days, a day of reflection and prayer will be held before resuming the balloting.

Benedict XVI was elected March 19, 2005, on the fourth vote, while John Paul II emerged as pontiff on Oct. 16, 1978, on the eighth vote.

The present conclave is being guided by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re because the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and the vice dean, Roger Etchegaray, cannot be in the Sistine Chapel because they are both octogenarians.

The leading candidates to become the next pope, according to observers, are Italian Angelo Scola, the 71-year-old archbishop of Milan; Brazilian Pedro Odilo Scherer, the 63-year-old archbishop of Sao Paulo; Canadian Marc Ouellet, the 69-year-old president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America; and Archbishop of Boston Sean O’Malley, a 68-year-old Capuchin.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Madrid Olympic Organizing Committee has “Blockbuster Project” in Store

Madrid Olympic Organizing Committee has “Blockbuster Project” in Store

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The Madrid 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee has “a blockbuster project” for the Games that would leave “the best legacy for the city, the country and the Olympic movement,” the body’s chief, Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco, told Efe.

The organizing committee cannot wait to make its presentation to the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, evaluation team because it feels “like a student who is well prepared” for a test, Blanco said during a visit to Agencia EFE’s headquarters.

The Madrid 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee will welcome the IOC to the Spanish capital next week.

The Olympic organizing effort in Madrid has received strong and broad support from residents, the government and the Crown, Blanco said.

“Both at the sports and organizational levels, we have gone all out for the Games. We believe in the Olympic Games, we need them and I believe that the best legacy will be in Madrid, not just for the city and for the country, but also for the Olympic Movement, and we have truly impactful levels of popular support, with 84 percent in Madrid and 77 percent outside Madrid,” Blanco said.

Madrid is competing with Tokyo and Istanbul for the honor of hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games.

The evaluation committee is scheduled to visit Madrid March 18-21 and Istanbul March 24-27.

The host city for the 2020 Summer Games will be announced in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Study Finds Facebook ‘Likes’ Reveal More Than Just Your Favorite Movies, Music

Study Finds Facebook ‘Likes’ Reveal More Than Just Your Favorite Movies, Music

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A new study has found that Facebook ‘likes’ tell a lot more about our personalities than any of us previously thought. It reveals much more than just our favorite music, movies or food.

According to The BBC, a Cambridge University study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal looked at the likes of 58,000 Americans who volunteered. That information was then plugged into an algorithm that mostly predicted the correct attributes for each one.

The algorithm of likes correctly predicted the political affiliation of 85 percent of the volunteers and was 88 percent correct about male sexuality. It also correctly predicted whether or not 95 percent were African American or Caucasian.

The Los Angeles Times notes that there were some traits that the algorithm could predict, such as if your parents split before you turned 21 or drug use.

One of the more bizarre notes the researchers found was that higher I.Q.s could be predicted if you like curly fries on Facebook. They had no idea why, but it has helped Curly Fries go viral.

The researchers did say that the public availability of all this information can threaten our online privacy. They stressed that any user who doesn’t want the world to know what they ‘like’ to use Facebook’s privacy settings.

“I appreciate automated book recommendations, or Facebook selecting the most relevant stories for my newsfeed,” lead researcher Michael Kosinski commented. “However, I can imagine situations in which the same data and technology is used to predict political views or sexual orientation, posing threats to freedom or even life.”

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Specialists Who Care for Embalmed Lenin to Help with Chavez Embalming

Specialists Who Care for Embalmed Lenin to Help with Chavez Embalming

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The Russian specialists who care for the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin are ready to help in the process of embalming the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

“The institute’s experts have the necessary knowledge, technology and experience to perform such procedures,” a member of the Lenin’s Tomb team told the Interfax news agency.

“As soon as they make the relevant decisions on the interstate level and all the reports are received, the specialists will be ready to travel to the site and offer their Venezuelan colleagues all the necessary help,” the source added.

Venezuela’s acting president, Nicolas Maduro, announced last Thursday that the body of Chavez would rest in a glass coffin where he will remain “eternally” embalmed to be exhibited to the public.

Chavez, 58, died last Tuesday of a heart attack after battling cancer for 21 months.

For about two months every year, Lenin’s remains are subjected to a series of chemical and biological procedures to guarantee that they remain incorruptible.

The mausoleum where Lenin is interred has been a pilgrimage site since his death, a tradition that had been maintained despite the fall of the Soviet Union, although every year the number of visits declines and more Russians raise their voices calling for an end to this “anachronistic cult.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Lenin’s remains will rest in the mausoleum on Moscow’s Red Square until a clear majority of Russians publicly express their desire for that situation to be discontinued.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Sings “Baby One More Time” at SXSW, Britney Digs It (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez Sings “Baby One More Time” at SXSW, Britney Digs It (VIDEO)

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In Spring Breakers, Selena Gomez and her co-stars have a scene in which they sing Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time.”

During a panel at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Gomez, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine addressed the rumor that they lip-synced the scene in Spring Breakers by singing the song on stage.

Watch the awkward moment below.


In response to the song, Spears tweeted:

Read more by HS News Staff →

NASA Rover Discovers Conditions Suitable for Life on Mars

NASA Rover Discovers Conditions Suitable for Life on Mars

Photo: Conditions on Mars (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/MSSS)

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Mars could have harbored life, according to the analysis of a rock sample collected by the robot probe Curiosity, NASA reported Tuesday.

Scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon in the sample, all of which are essential chemical ingredients for life as we know it.

“A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment,” Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, said.

“From what we know now, the answer is yes,” he said.

The key information for postulating this habitable environment comes from data revealed by the analysis of soil and rock samples using the Chemistry and Mineralogy and Sample Analysis at Mars instruments.

The data indicate that in the area where Curiosity has been exploring there was an ancient river or small lake that could have contained the chemical components necessary to create favorable conditions for supporting microbes.

The drilling site where the probe obtained the sample was located near where Curiosity found the bed of an ancient watercourse last year.

Curiosity, which landed on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, is carrying out a two-year exploration mission on the surface of the Red Planet. E

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Cardinals’ First Vote for New Pope is Inconclusive

Cardinals’ First Vote for New Pope is Inconclusive

Photo: The first "fumata nera"

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Black smoke came out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney Tuesday evening, indicating that the first ballot of the 115 cardinals charged with choosing a new pope did not produce a result.

The “fumata” billowed forth at 7:42 p.m., just over two hours after the cardinal electors enclosed themselves to designate the successor to Benedict XVI.

The dense black smoke wafted up for a long enough time to leave no doubt of its color.

A white “fumata”  is the signal that a new pope has been chosen.

Thousands of people congregated in St. Peter’s Square to follow the event closely, defying Rome’s rain and cold.

It requires a two-thirds majority, in this case, 77 votes, to elect a new pontiff.

Four ballots are expected on Wednesday, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, and on the following day.

If after three days, no one has won 77 votes, a day of reflexion and prayer will be held before resuming the balloting.

Benedict XVI was elected March 19, 2005 on the fourth vote, while John Paul II emerged as pontiff on Oct. 16, 1978 on the eighth vote.

The present conclave is being guided by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re because the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and the vice dean, Roger Etchegaray, cannot be in the Sistine Chapel because they are both octogenarians.

The College of Cardinals, called the “most exclusive club in the world,” is composed of 207 cardinals from 66 countries, 51 of which have cardinal electors.

Of these cardinals, two were appointed by Paul VI, 117 by John Paul II, and 90 by Benedict XVI, who stepped down on Feb. 28.

The leading candidates to become the next pope, according to observers, are Italian Angelo Scola, the 71-year-old archbishop of Milan; Brazilian Pedro Odilo Scherer, the 63-year-old archbishop of Sao Paulo; Canadian Marc Ouellet, the 69-year-old president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America; and Archbishop of Boston Sean O’Malley, a 68-year-old Capuchin.

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WednesdayMarch 13, 2013