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ThursdayMarch 14, 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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GiveForward to Latinos in Need

GiveForward to Latinos in Need

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Every day someone somewhere is struggling in ways many of us can not image and never wish to experience. As we count our blessings, let us also remember those less fortunate. Let us GiveForward to these Latinos in need.

- Bella Rodriguez-Torres
From her GiveForward profile:

Please help us fund Bella’s experimental treatments and medical expenses, so she may be CURED once and for all.

ImageAs you know, our 10 year old daughter Bella is fighting cancer again for the 5th time. We are desperate for a cure so that she may be healed from this horrible disease once and for all and live a long and healthy life. No donation is too small and will go directly towards her medical and travel expenses. We appreciate your support, love and prayers. Please help us reach our goal to help pay for her experimental treatments and medical expenses. This is our chance to finally find the treatment that will CURE her from her cancer (Rhabdomyosarcoma) forever! Thank you and God bless you, The Rodriguez-Torres Family

To learn more about Bella please visit www.PrayforBella.com



- Carlos Perdomo
Form his GiveForward profile:

The wife & friends of Carlos Perdomo are uniting to raise money to help with medical & other costs for a massive stroke. Please support him!
ImageOur only source of income is our business and we , like so many Americans, do not have any health insurance. The business is run by the two of us, we don’t have anyone to help with management, and I have been at his side since the moment they brought him in,so there is nothing coming in in the way of funds and there won’t be for as long as he needs me there ,which right now is looking to be at least an additional 4-6 weeks per the Doctors estimations. Expenses will be very high, they are already at $50,000 for hospital bills alone and that is not counting on the ambulance, physical therapy or other care he will need to receive when he eventually leaves the hospital.So far he has been in the hospital for only 8 days and the bill is mounting at a rate of approximately $1,000/hour.

Any help you can provide with donations of any size,big or small, will be greatly appreciated . Every aspect of this debilitating illness is costly. Not only financially; but mentally and emotionally. I do my best to help Carlos in his daily fight to live but need financial help. Any additional funds after reaching our goal of $80,000 will be applied to travel expenses and follow up treatments.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you,

Tamara Oyarzabal, Carlos’ wife.



- Aaron Ramirez (Beneficiary is his pregnant fiancé)
From their GiveForward profile, which was set up by his employer, Wood Group Field Services:

All contributions will go to help with funeral and medical/living expenses as Aaron’s fiancé is due to deliver their 1st child in March.

ImageOn January 19th 2013, Aaron Ramirez, just 22-years old, lost his life in a fatal motorcycle accident.
As the sole provider for his growing family (Aaron’s fiancé is due to give birth to their 1st child in March), Aaron joined the Millwright Union and began his apprenticeship with Wood Group Field Services. Hardworking, dedicated & driven, he quickly worked his way through the internship portion of Wood Group’s apprentice program and had recently been assigned to field work. According to his supervisors and fellow millwirghts, personally Aaron was “that guy you could always count on”, willing to give his last $5 if a friend needed it and respectable enough to never tell anyone. His passing is truly a tragedy as he was just beginning a new chapter in his young life, becoming a father, husband & provider for his young family.

Aaron was part of our family here at WGFS and we are all deeply saddened by his loss. In his memory, we have set up this fund to help his family pay the overwhelming funeral expenses and help his fiancé, Jeana, with her medical/living expenses as she welcomes their baby in March without Aaron. All money raised will go directly to the family. Please open your heart and give anything you can.

In addition to this donation fund, Aaron & Jeana have a baby registry at Babies R Us.
Jeana Ross and Aaron Ramirez’s Baby Registry
Registry # 49242425


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NHU Partners With StraighterLine to Expand Access to Higher Education

NHU Partners With StraighterLine to Expand Access to Higher Education

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The National Hispanic University (NHU) and StraighterLine announced today an articulation agreement that will enable students to transfer StraighterLine’s American Council on Education (ACE)–recommended courses for credit at NHU.

The agreement will increase access to quality higher education for students who are looking to successfully complete their degree program in a multicultural learning environment.

Students taking undergraduate courses through StraighterLine will have access to the advantages of an NHU education including online and campus-based degree programs in a variety of disciplines such as business, child development, and mathematics and science.

Students will also benefit from a highly engaged and dedicated faculty as well as a personalized and supportive educational experience that fosters respect for diversity and inclusion.

In addition to its articulation agreement with StraighterLine, NHU has transfer agreements and credit opportunities with other universities, community colleges and organizations to support its mission of greater access to higher education and ensuring academic success. Transfer of credit varies by degree program.

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Pope Francis Holds First Mass in Sistine Chapel

Pope Francis Holds First Mass in Sistine Chapel

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Pope Francis on Thursday celebrated the first Mass of his papacy in the Sistine Chapel in the presence of the 114 cardinals who elected him the 266th successor of St. Peter.

If the Catholic Church does not preach the Word of Jesus, “we will become a pious NGO, but not the wife of the Lord,” the pope said in his homily.

The pontiff said, moreover, that the faithful must walk the way of the cross.

“We can walk all we want, we can build many things, but if we do not proclaim Jesus Christ, the thing is not going to work,” Pope Francis said, speaking without a prepared text.

Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on Wednesday and chose to take the name Francis as the 266th pontiff and the first from Latin America.

The former archbishop of Buenos Aires - who was born in that city to Italian immigrants - came in second in the voting at the 2005 conclave that chose then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to succeed John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict XVI resigned last month, citing age and declining health.

The Vatican confirmed Thursday that part of one of Pope Francis’s lungs was removed when he was young.

“I can confirm that when Pope Francis was in his youth, he was operated on and they removed part of a lung, but those who have known him for the past 30 or 40 years know that he has always enjoyed good health,” Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters.

The operation took place shortly after Pope Francis was ordained on Dec. 13, 1969, and he has had no problems, but he must be careful with infections, the Vatican spokesman said.

On Thursday morning, Pope Francis ventured out of the Vatican for the first time as pontiff, visiting Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray privately.

The 76-year-old pope went to the Basilica of the Diocese of Rome, of which he is the bishop, to pray before the Virgin, Italian media reported.

The pontiff arrived in a regular Vatican car and went into the church through a side entrance.

The solemn Mass to mark the beginning of the new pontificate will take place on March 19.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out Salma Hayek at the Photo Shot for the New ‘got milk?’ Ad (VIDEO)

Check Out Salma Hayek at the Photo Shot for the New ‘got milk?’ Ad (VIDEO)

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“Protein Makes Perfect’, that’s the message in Salma Hayek’s latest got milk? campaign ad.

See what happened with Salma on the set of her latest ad and learn why her family starts every day with milk’s powerful protein.

ImageWatch the behind-the-scenes footage here, and hear Hayek talk about the importance of milk in her and her daughter’s morning routine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jose Cuervo to Switch U.S. Distributor in July

Jose Cuervo to Switch U.S. Distributor in July

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U.S. firm Proximo Spirits will begin distributing Jose Cuervo brand tequilas in the United States, replacing Britain’s Diageo, Mexico’s Casa Cuervo S.A. said in a statement.

“Casa Cuervo, the world’s largest tequila producer and marketer, confirms that the firm Proximo Spirits will take over the U.S. distribution of its products starting on July 1 of this year,” the statement said.

Casa Cuervo CEO Juan Domingo Beckmann said Diageo has been a strategic partner for many years but that a new stage in the Mexican company’s international expansion has begun with its agreement with Proximo.

“With ten generations of tequila-making in the family, Casa Cuervo is excited to embark on this next chapter in the strategic expansion of its world-renowned tequilas,” he said.

Proximo Spirits President and CEO Mark Teasdale said, for his part, that “Jose Cuervo is the world’s biggest tequila brand, and we are excited to take over its sales, marketing and distribution for the USA and Canada.”

“We plan to make considerable investments in brand building and innovation for the Jose Cuervo portfolio to accelerate its growth,” Teasdale added.

Founded in 1795, Casa Cuervo has a portfolio of tequilas that includes Jose Cuervo Especial Gold, the world’s top-selling tequila; Jose Cuervo Tradicional; Jose Cuervo Platino; and Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia, among others.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LatPro Job Fair for Bilingual Job Seekers Comes to NYC

LatPro Job Fair for Bilingual Job Seekers Comes to NYC

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The 2013 National Diversity Job Fair Series, sponsored by LatPro and the National Society for Hispanic Professionals, will visit the Metropolitan Pavilion on April 10 as the third stop on the nationwide career fair tour.

Diversity job board LatPro (http://www.LatPro.com), in partnership with the National Society for Hispanic Professionals (http://www.NSHP.org), will be in New York City with their seventh annual bilingual professional job fair on April 10. The job fair will take place at the Metropolitan Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The job fair provides a unique opportunity for employers seeking to meet professional candidates with bilingual and multicultural skills. The New York show is the third stop on the 2013 calendar being held across the United States for Hispanic and bilingual professionals throughout the year.

“New York City is always one of our favorite cities,” said NSHP event manager, Ricardo Villalba. “NYC has an unmatched balance of talented bilingual candidates and companies looking to hire diversity. This will be our seventh consecutive year in New York, and we’re excited to see what 2013 has in store for us.”

Job seekers attending the job fair will have the opportunity to network with fellow Hispanic professionals and local chapters of Latino organizations, in addition to meeting representatives from employers such as BP, New York Life Insurance, Healthfirst, EMC, and many more.

2013 LatPro Career Fair Schedule

Chicago     - Navy Pier, March 14
New York     - Metropolitan Pavilion, April 10
Washington DC   - Trinity College, May 16
Atlanta       - Courtyard Marriott Decatur, August 22
Denver       - Denver Marriott Tech Center, September 5
Dallas     - Crown Plaza Hotel Dallas Market Center, October 24

Admission is free for all job seekers. Professional dress required.

Jobseekers can pre-register at: http://network.nshp.org/events/new-york-job-fair-5

For more details, exhibitor and sponsorship information, contact:


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Sister of Pope Francis Asks World to Pray for Him As He Adjusts to New Job

Sister of Pope Francis Asks World to Pray for Him As He Adjusts to New Job

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Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, never wanted to be pontiff but will have to deal with the tough job he has been handed, his sister, Maria Elena Bergoglio, told Argentina’s C5N cable news channel on Thursday.

“We must pray for him alot,” Maria Elena said, adding that she still cannot believe her brother was elected Bishop of Rome.

“It’s been a really big shock, I am still living it, I was not expecting him to be elected pope. Poor man, the emotions he must have felt hearing the people shout ‘Long live the pope!’” Maria Elena told C5N from her house in Ituzaingo, a city in Buenos Aires province.

The 76-year-old former archbishop of Buenos Aires “did not want to be pope” when he finished second in the election to succeed John Paul II in 2005 and “I prayed for him not to be,” Maria Elena said.

“By the grace of God I was able to travel and meet John Paul II, when the new cardinals presented their families to the pope. When he touched me as I knelt and kissed the papal ring, I raised my eyes and have never seen such a look of love and loneliness, the two things together,” Maria Elena said.

“This is a historic event, he is the first non-European pope, Latin American, Argentine, and he got it, him, my brother,” Maria Elena Bergoglio said.

“I feel we have to pray a lot for him because we are living in a very troubled world at a difficult time for the church, we need God permanently,” Maria Elena said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

AMERICAN IDOL 2013: Lazaro Sings “Breakaway”, Devin Sings “Temporary Home” (VIDEOS)

AMERICAN IDOL 2013: Lazaro Sings “Breakaway”, Devin Sings “Temporary Home” (VIDEOS)

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On Wednesday night, the top 10 singers on American Idol performed on season 12’s first live show.

The singers were told to pick a song by any previous American Idol winner (including any song previous winners sang while on the show).

Devin Velez sang Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home.” Watch it below.

Later, Lazaro Arbos sang “Breakaway” by AI‘s very first winner, Kelly Clarkson.

Thursday, the top 10 will be become the top 9. Who do you think should go home and who do you think will go home?

Read more by HS News Staff →

6 Steps for Meeting Mr. or Ms. Right and Finding Lasting Love

6 Steps for Meeting Mr. or Ms. Right  and Finding Lasting Love

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Fear, stubbornness, ignorance, procrastination, resignation – for singles or couples longing for love, these are among the deadly sins, according to relationship expert Ernest Quansah.

“These are the psychological traits which singles and many couples use as excuses,” says Quansah, author of Do’s and Don’ts of Relationships: Nine Steps to a Deeper, Richer Love Relationship, 2nd edition (www.relationshipadviceforsuccess.com).

“I hear it all the time; singles or married couples say they’re not rich enough, or they need to lose weight, or they just don’t think they’ll find what they want. But I say nothing is perfect, and if you think that you’ll only be good enough when you’ve lost five pounds, or have a nice car or a bigger house, then you will never be ‘good enough.’”

After completing a survey at Relationship Advice for Success, Quansah found that all respondents reported that they still believe in lasting love, and if there was a way to learn to find true love, they would try it. Singles are looking for relationship success as much as committed or married couples, he says.

While self-improvement is important, singles and couples should not use excuses to put off what could be a meaningful, lasting relationship says Quansah, who takes a holistic approach to relationships.

Just as people need a plan in order to give themselves a chance with other New Year’s resolutions, such as weight loss or a career move, so too is the case with finding permanent love. Quansah says singles and couples need to answer six questions while pursuing love and true happiness:

• What is my goal? For each question, jot down what you are really looking for. Are you looking for a lifelong partner, just a date on Valentine’s Day, or for your marriage to work? Many “serial daters” and “twice married men and women” claim they want the real thing; however, often their behavior indicates the opposite. Singles and couples must be honest with what is in their hearts, Quansah declares.

• What am I doing to achieve my goal? Striking a balance is important. Doing too much, like spending a lot of money on a new look or being too negative, can be relationship killers because they are not permanent solutions and this makes achieving your goal difficult. If you’re act like yourself, you’ll be more comfortable and self-confident – and those are attractive qualities! Remember who you are and what you love, but don’t be inflexible; love and relationship success are often about compromise. Taking note of what you have and haven’t done, and evaluating the effectiveness of those strategies, are the key to dating, relationship, and marriage success.

What might prevent me from achieving my goal? Fault finding in potential love interest or in a marriage, for example, can hinder the flow of success. Another obstacle may be placing artificial contingencies on your love connection, like comparing yourself to others, or unintentionally putting too much strain on your marriage. An objective, calm, and rational approach can help you map a course for meeting the man or woman of your dreams and achieving love relationship success.

• What methods have not worked for me? Mistakes are to be expected – nobody’s perfect. But they should only be acceptable as long as you’ve learned something from them. Look back and do a review. If you have approached dating or relationship success in ways that keep failing, it is time to change!

• What methods have worked for me? Everybody has qualities that make them good at some things and not so great in other areas. Focus on your strengths; if you have used methods that brought you success in dating or in your marriage, you should use those methods because they will yield result. But do not be afraid to test the waters with new ideas.

• What will it feel like when I succeed? If you cannot envision the taste of success, you may be less motivated to go the extra mile for true love. Think about how nice it would feel to have meaningful companionship, bring someone home to meet the family, and maybe even start a family of your own.


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Monarch Butterflies Occupying 59 Percent Less Area in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies Occupying 59 Percent Less Area in Mexico

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The areas occupied by monarch butterflies during the 2012-2013 season at the reserve in the western Mexican state of Michoacan have been reduced by 59 percent, the National Protected Natural Areas Commission, or Conanp, said.

An inspection by Conanp officials and representatives of the WWF-Telcel alliance “found that the forest surface occupied by the butterfly colonies in December 2012 was the lowest in two decades,” the environmental agency said.

Nine hibernating colonies were found in the second half of December, covering 1.19 hectares (2.9 acres), the agency said in a report.

“This figure represents a decrease of 59 percent with respect to the 2.89 (hectares) occupied in December 2011,” the environmental agency said.

“Extreme climate fluctuations in the spring and summer in the United States and Canada affect the survival and reproductive ability of the adults,” WWF Mexico director Omar Vidal said.

The World Wildlife Fund and Telcel, the Mexican unit of wireless giant America Movil, teamed up in 2003 to promote the protection of Mexico’s wilderness areas and protect 17 species, including the Monarch butterfly, jaguar, whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Billionaire George Soros Fighting Back in Court Against Brazilian Ex-Girlfriend

Billionaire George Soros Fighting Back in Court Against Brazilian Ex-Girlfriend

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Billionaire George Soros is suing his former mistress, Brazilian Adriana Ferreyr, for defamation and assault, claiming that during their relationship Ferreyr threw a lamp at him.

The claims against Ferreyr, 29, come after she filed a $50 million lawsuit against Soros, 82, in 2011, claiming he made multiple million dollar promises to her he did not keep.

In her lawsuit, Ferreyr says she was promised a $2 million apartment which he instead gave to his now fiancé Tamiko Bolton, 40.

Soros says that while they were engaged in a physically intimate relationship for several years, they had an open relationship and were able to date other people.

In 2010, when she was 27, Ferreyr said she was dumped by Soros after five years together.

She claims that during a romantic encounter in bed Soros informed her that he had given the promised apartment to Bolton who was already happily living there. Her lawsuit goes on to say that during the their argument about the apartment Soros slapped her across the face and tried to choke her. She also says Soros threw a glass lamp at her, cutting her foot.

This week Soros fought back, however, and says it was Ferreyr who threw the lamp at him and struck his forearm. He claims the cut on her foot was a result of her stepping on the pieces of the broken lamp she had thrown at him.

Ferreyr filled her $50 million lawsuit against Soros in 2011.

In the fall of 2012, Soros announced he was engaged to Bolton.

Ferreyr was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and it best known for her role on the Brazilian soap opera Marisol, in which she played the adopted daughter of Marisol, Vanessa Lima do Vale.

Soros is a Hungarian-American born Schwartz György in Budapest. He is credited with helping Hungary transition from communism to capitalism between 1984 and 1989. The business magnate is the chairman of Soros Fund Mangement and has an estimated worth of $19.2 billion and is currently No. 30 of Forbes’ Billionaires list.

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World’s Largest Radio Telescope Array Now Operational in Chile’s Andes Mountains

World’s Largest Radio Telescope Array Now Operational in Chile’s Andes Mountains

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The most ambitious (and expensive) ground-based telescope in operation was launched in Chile this week and scientists hope to use it to explore “the darkest corners of the universe—the parts where light does not reach.”

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is a set of radio telescopes built in the Atacama desert of northern Chile and costs roughly $1.4 billion. Located 16,400 feet above sea level, ALMA is the largest radio telescope on Earth and is said to be more powerful than all of the other radio telescopes in the world combined.

The array, which sits in the Andes Mountains, is made up of 66 radio dishes, each between 23 and 39 feet in diameter.

Dutch astronomy and professor of astrophysics, Ewine van Dischoek told the Miami Herald, ‘What we’re starting to do with ALMA is to identify those parts of the universe that contain the ingredients for life.

What ALMA can do is zoom into those areas where planets are being formed and see if those ingredients are present.’

ALMA was inaugurated on Wednesday though the last 12 dishes will not be ready until October.

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Italian Firm, Venezuela’s PDVSA To Begin Production at Orinoco Field

Italian Firm, Venezuela’s PDVSA To Begin Production at Orinoco Field

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State-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, and Italy’s Eni have commenced production ahead of schedule at their joint venture in the Orinoco Belt, while other projects with China’s CNPC and U.S. supermajor Chevron Corp. should start producing crude soon, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said.

“Our Petrojunin joint venture, as we announced in December, with the Eni corporation” started production on Wednesday, Ramirez, who also serves as PDVSA’s CEO, said.

A “symbolic” 700 barrels of petroleum were produced, but production is expected to hit 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of this year and 75,000 bpd in 2015, the oil minister said.

The Orinoco Belt, located in southeastern Venezuela, holds some of the largest proven petroleum reserves in the world.

PDVSA has made higher production in the Orinoco Belt a goal.

The state-owned oil giant is counting on the joint ventures with foreign energy companies to achieve its production targets.

PDVSA holds 60 percent stakes in the joint ventures with foreign oil companies.

Venezuela produces about 3 million bpd, exporting about 1.5 million bpd to the United States and 640,000 bpd to China.

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Michelle Obama Makes Second Appearance on Vogue’s Cover

Michelle Obama Makes Second Appearance on Vogue’s Cover

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First lady Michelle Obama will appear on the cover of Vogue’s April edition, marking the second time she has graced the cover of the fashion magazine, media reports said.

The 49-year-old Obama appeared on the cover of Vogue’s March 2009 issue.

The issue featuring Obama, who will sport an outfit by Reed Krafoff on the cover, hits newsstands next week.

The photograph of the first lady was taken by Annie Leibovitz, but it is not known if Obama wears her own outfits or ones provided for the shoot in the photo spread.

The first wife of a president profiled in the pages of Vogue was Lou Hoover, the wife of President Herbert Hoover, who was in office from 1929 to 1933.

Hillary Clinton, however, was the first wife of a president featured on the fashion magazine’s cover.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was a big donor to the Obama re-election campaign.

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Chile Inaugurates World’s Most Powerful Space Telescope

Chile Inaugurates World’s Most Powerful Space Telescope

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After two decades of construction, the world’s largest and most powerful radio telescope has begun operating in the Chilean desert, giving astronomers a greater ability to peer even farther into the depths of the universe. 

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera inaugurated the $1.3 billion ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) complex Wednesday in an area located about 5,000 meters above sea level - an altitude where there is little humidity or cloud cover.

“This is a great privilege for Chile,” he said. “Thanks to the contributions that you [scientists] have made, Chile has today practically been transformed into the world’s astronomy capital.”

Mr. Pinera then gave the word for astronomers to begin pointing the array’s antennas toward the interior of the universe to begin searching for clues about the origins of the universe, from the coldest gases and dust where stars, planets and galaxies are formed, to the energy produced by the Big Bang. 

When construction is fully complete by late 2013, the ALMA will be comprised of 66 dish antennas designed to capture wavelengths of light longer than anything visible to the human eye. 

The telescope is an international project funded and operated by a consortium of nations in North America, Europe and East Asia.

Read more at Voice of America →

BRAZIL: Thousands of Dead Fish Wash Up on Lagoon Shore

BRAZIL: Thousands of Dead Fish Wash Up on Lagoon Shore

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Thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, a Rio de Janeiro tourist attraction, Brazilian authorities said Wednesday.

A large amount of organic matter that entered the lagoon as a result of two recent large storms consumed oxygen and brought it down to critically low levels, Carlos Alberto Muniz, the municipal environment secretary, told Efe.

This situation caused a massive die-off of shad, whose number had risen since mid-February after the fish had entered the lagoon to spawn, Muniz said.

The city government now is working to remove the rotting fish and the strong odor associated with them and had collected 12 tons of dead shad as of Wednesday, the official said.

The lagoon is connected to the Atlantic Ocean via a canal that splits the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, and that feeding-in of seawater on Wednesday helped improve oxygen levels, Muniz said.

A 65-year-old fisherman named Walter told Efe on the shores of Rodrigo de Freitas, which is to be cleaned up and used for aquatic events such as rowing in the 2016 Olympics, that he believes the large fish die-off occurred because the water in the lagoon is not renewed.

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Plans to Embalm Hugo Chavez May Have Failed

Plans to Embalm Hugo Chavez May Have Failed

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Acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that it would be “rather difficult” to embalm the body of Hugo Chavez because the decision to do so was made too late and the procedure was not started in time.

Maduro said that Russian and German experts arrived in Venezuela to help with the embalming process but that “the scientific news and the opinions” among the group were that “it’s going to be rather difficult for it to be that way, because the preparations needed to be started and the decision (to do so) should have been made much sooner.”

He said that the decision or “proposal” to embalm Chavez was made “as a product of love” and arose in conversations with some of the heads of state who attended the former president’s funeral service last Friday, as well as by members of Venezuela’s political-military leadership.

“We want to tell our people in a responsible way, so that we know that suddenly it cannot be done,” Maduro added.

He said that the embalming process had been started and the foreign scientists came to Caracas to help out with it but that he has “the maximum responsibility to report about these steps.”

“So that everyone knows that there are difficulties and those difficulties could prevent doing what was done with Lenin, Ho Chi Minh or Mao Zedong,” he added.

He invited the public to keep the “comandante in eternal remembrance,” adding that “we must keep his image alive, his voice, his thoughts, we must have him alive.”

On March 7, two days after Chavez died after a 21-month battle with cancer, Maduro announced that the former president’s body would be “eternally” embalmed and put on public display in a glass coffin at a special mausoleum.

However, the body has lain in state for a week now at the Military Academy where thousands of people have come to file past it and pay their last respects to the socialist leader.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Plane Crash Kills 10 in Brazilian Amazon

Plane Crash Kills 10 in Brazilian Amazon

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The 10 occupants of an airplane flying between the Brazilian cities of Belem and Monte Dourado died when the aircraft crashed in the Amazon region for as yet unknown reasons, authorities said Wednesday.

The twin-engine Embraer 821 Caraja, owned by the Fretax air taxi company, had taken off from Belem, the capital of Para state, about 7:17 p.m. Tuesday and crashed about an hour later as it was approaching the Monte Dourado airport, according to state-owned airport administrator Infraero.

None of the 10 people on board, including the pilot, survived the crash, according to the Brazilian air force, which launched an investigation.

The pilot had advised the control tower that he was preparing to land but he did not make contact again and did not appear within view of the air traffic controllers, whereupon the search was immediately ordered.

The remains of the plane were found on Wednesday morning scattered in a forest of eucalyptus trees about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Monte Dourado runway.

The plane was carrying employees of a hydroelectric plant being built in the neighboring state of Amapa which had hired the aircraft.

Fretax said in a communique that the plane was “fully authorized to fly and with all its inspections up to date,” adding that the pilot was properly authorized to fly and had had a “valid ... medical exam.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine President Congratulates Francis I on Papal Election

Argentine President Congratulates Francis I on Papal Election

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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Wednesday congratulated countryman Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the new Pope Francis I, on his election as Catholic pontiff, saying she wished him success in his pastoral duties.

“In my name, in (the name) of the Argentine government and on behalf of the people of our country, I want to greet you and express my congratulations,” Fernandez said in a letter.

“It is our wish that upon assuming leadership of the church your pastoral work is fruitful, undertaking such great responsibilities in pursuit of justice, equality, fraternity and peace for humanity,” it added.

“I express to your Holiness my consideration and respect,” Fernandez concluded.

Cardinal Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, on Wednesday became the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church and the successor to now-Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who stepped down on Feb. 28.

The 76-year-old Bergoglio, who is both the first Jesuit and the first Latin American to reach the papacy, has often been at odds with Fernandez and her late predecessor - and husband - Nestor Kirchner.

Bergoglio clashed with the government over Fernandez’s bid to impose a windfall-profits levy on farm exports, the approval of a law authorizing same-sex marriage and the battle over abortion rights.

In 2010, the Argentine Catholic Church hierarchy launched a crusade against the same-sex marriage bill and slammed the government for supporting the legislation.

Bergoglio headed demonstrations, mobilized priests in defense of family values and organized vigils outside Congress in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to stop the measure.

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Gray Whales Find Mexico Coast is Safe Place to Breed

Gray Whales Find Mexico Coast is Safe Place to Breed

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Gray whales have found a safe place to breed on Mexico’s coast, where programs have been implemented to try to bring the marine mammals back from the brink of extinction.

The programs have led to annual increases in gray whale numbers on the coast of Baja California Sur state, where the marine mammals enter warm shallow waters at this time of year to mate and give birth to calves.

Researchers counted 1,321 gray whales - 729 adults and 592 calves - in the lagoons of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, the protected area’s director, Irma Gonzalez, told Efe.

The reserve is managed by the National Protected Natural Areas Commission, or Conanp.

In 2009, there were only 62 whales in the area and only 20 were counted a year later, Gonzalez said.

“The whales that mate here arrive after a year to have their calves. They stay three months, all winter, and teach the calves to survive for the journey that awaits them to the Bering Sea,” Gonzalez said.

The whales swim south to the Baja California Peninsula and take shelter in the area’s temperate waters.

The El Vizcaino Whale Sanctuary and its two lagoons - Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio - were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The whales travel more than 10,000 kilometers (6,213 miles) at a rate of 145 kilometers (90 miles) per day, undertaking the longest migratory journey of any mammal.

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Amnesty International: Mexican Gov’t Not Doing Enough to Protect Migrants’ Rights

Amnesty International: Mexican Gov’t Not Doing Enough to Protect Migrants’ Rights

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President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration is not doing enough to address abuses of the rights of migrants, Amnesty International’s Mexico chapter said.

“The number of irregular migrants passing through Mexico increased during 2012 and routine kidnappings, sexual violence, forced recruitment by organized crime, people trafficking and murders of migrants continue out of control,” AI Mexico representative Daniel Zapico said in a press conference at Mexico City’s Museum of Memory and Tolerance.

The human rights group did not present figures to support its allegations, but AI said it gathered evidence from workers at migrants’ shelters across Mexico.

Amnesty International called on the Mexican government to show a greater commitment to protecting migrants’ rights.

“Enrique Peña Nieto has not taken any measures up to now to correct the resounding failure of the previous administration to deal with this humanitarian crisis,” Zapico said.

The AI representative also said human rights activists continued to be the targets of threats.

“The investigations of those behind” the threats “never” make progress, Zapico 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.

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Malaga Advances to Champions League Quarterfinals

Malaga will be playing in its first Champions League quarterfinals after a 2-0 win Wednesday over Porto in the second leg of their elimination contest.

The Spanish club had to overcome a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Portugal.

Porto dominated in the early going on Wednesday and Malaga’s first scoring chance came only after 35 minutes.

The home crowd erupted a few minutes later when Javier Saviola put the ball in the Porto net, but their joy turned to anger when the referee disallowed the goal, citing a foul against one of the visiting players.

Undaunted, Malaga’s Isco scored in the 43rd minute to bring the sides level on aggregate.

The outlook for the Spanish side grew even brighter just four minutes into the second half, when Porto’s Steven Defour was ejected for a second yellow card.

Roque Santa Cruz, who entered the game in the 73rd minute, made it 2-0 for Malaga when he scored off a corner kick at the 77-minute mark.

In Wednesday’s other action, Bayern Munich was shut out 2-0 at home by Arsenal after beating the Gunners 3-1 in London in the first leg.

The squads tied 3-3 on aggregate, but the German club advanced by virtue of its extra away goal.

Olivier Giroud’s tally in the 3rd minute gave the Gunners hope, but Bayern tightened up on defense after that.

The home team cranked up its offense in the second half and mounted several serious threats on the Arsenal goal, forcing the visitors to concentrate on defending.

With 20 minutes left, the Gunners returned to the attack and Koscielny notched Arsenal’s second goal with a header in the 86th minute, setting up an unexpectedly dramatic finish.

FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Galatasaray are the other clubs who advanced to the Champions League quarters.

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Pope Francis I Addresses Rome For First Time as Pope

Pope Francis I Addresses Rome For First Time as Pope

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Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio addressed tens of thousands of the faithful in St. Peter’s Square late Wednesday after being chosen as the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church

Taking the name Francis I, the 76-year-old Jesuit becomes the 266th pontiff and the first from Latin America.

“Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know that the duty of a conclave is to provide Rome with a bishop and it seems that my brother cardinals went to the ends of the earth to find him, but here we are,” were the first words the new pontiff spoke amid applause from a crowd that Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno estimated at no fewer than 100,000 people.

“Let us begin this journey of the Church of Rome, bishop and people, together, in brotherhood, love and mutual trust. Let us pray for each other, for the whole world, such that there may be one great brotherhood. This journey must bear fruit in the new spreading of the Gospel,” the new pope said.

The archbishop of Buenos Aires - who was born in that city to Italian immigrants - came in second in the voting at the 2005 conclave that chose then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to succeed John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last month, citing age and declining health.

Bergoglio became pontiff on Wednesday after garnering at least 77 votes in the conclave’s fifth ballot.

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

The solemn Mass to mark the beginning of the new pontificate will take place March 19, according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, who said Francis I telephoned Benedict XVI, who is at the papal summer retreat outside Rome, shortly after he became pope.

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ThursdayMarch 14, 2013