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SaturdayMarch 16, 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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EU Approves $13 Billion Bailout for Cyprus

Eurozone economy and finance ministers on Saturday hammered out a bailout deal of up to 10 billion euros ($13 billion) for Cyprus, the region’s smallest economy.

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in a press conference after the meeting that the rescue package for Cypriot banks - battered by their heavy exposure to Greek government debt - includes “ambitious measures” in the area of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and privatizations, as well as “decisive actions” to safeguard financial stability.

The Eurogroup scaled the bailout package down from an amount initially calculated at 17.5 billion euros, he said.

The European ministers required that part of the multi-billion-euro package be paid for with an extraordinary 9.9 percent tax on Cypriot bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros and 6.7 percent on deposits under than amount.

The requirement angered people on the Mediterranean island, who rushed Saturday to withdraw cash from their accounts.

Given the size of Cyprus’ banking sector relative to the country’s gross domestic product, there will be an “appropriate reduction” of its size to bring it in line with the average for the European Union by 2018, Dijsselbloem said.

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Former Chilean President to Be Nominated for April 13 Presidential Primaries

Former Chilean President to Be Nominated for April 13 Presidential Primaries

Photo: Michelle Bachelet

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Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who has announced she is stepping down as head of the U.N. women’s agency and will return to her homeland, will be named a candidate in the opposition coalition’s presidential primary scheduled for April 13.

The announcement was made Saturday by Osvaldo Andrade, chairman of the main opposition Socialist Party, who also confirmed that the ex-president, the early favorite in the November presidential election, will arrive in Chile “before March 31.”

“Once in Chile, Michelle Bachelet will make a statement about her availability to be a presidential candidate,” he said on Channel 24 Horas.

The nomination for the primaries, Andrade said, will be made jointly by the Socialist Party and the Party for Democracy, or PPD, members of the center-left Concertacion coalition.

In a later statement on Radio Cooperativa, Andrade said that Bachelet “is the hope of many people in this country,” adding that the ex-president will take on “all the debates necessary,” and that the governing conservative National Renewal Party “is frightened” by her popular following.

“They’re frightened, the right is terrified by Bachelet’s return, because they know, understand and have seen, as has everybody else in this country, that she enjoys a prestige, a following of citizens and a significance to society that is immense,” he said.

“Bachelet has become an international personality and that makes Chileans proud,” he said.

In the opposition primaries on June 30, Bachelet will face Christian Democrat Claudio Orrego, the independent former finance minister Andres Velasco, and Sen. Jose Antonio Gomez of the Social Democratic Radical Party.

On the same day, the right will hold its primaries, pitting Laurence Golborne, ex-public works minister for President Sebastian Piñera, supported by the Independent Democratic Union, or UDI, against Andres Allamand, ex-defense minister and standard-bearer of the National Renewal party.

Piñera joined in the attacks on Bachelet when he told a press conference Saturday that when the ex-president comes back, she will find “a better country than she left.”

During the Piñera administration, “economic growth and entrepreneurship have improved and unemployment has declined,” he said, adding that the Concertacion coalition backing Bachelet “only sticks together out of a craving for power.”

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Former Economy Minister of Argentine Dictatorship Dies, Age 87

Former Economy Minister of Argentine Dictatorship Dies, Age 87

Photo: Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz

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The first economy minister of the last Argentine dictatorship, Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, died Saturday in Buenos Aires, official sources said. He was 87.

Martinez de Hoz was tried for the kidnapping and extortion of textile manufacturers Federico and Miguel Gutheim and was under house arrest since 2010, the official news agency Telam said.

The one-time minister of the dictatorship lived in a downtown luxury residence in the Argentine capital and will be buried at Memorial Cemetery, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Buenos Aires.

Born to an important family of landowners, Martinez de Hoz held his first public office as economy minister of the northern province of Salta in the late 1950s, and after the coup d’etat in 1962 was made agriculture and livestock minister by President Jose Maria Guido.

While in office as economy minister during the last military dictatorship (1976-1981), he promoted free-market, deregulatory policies that quadrupled Argentina’s foreign debt and significantly harmed domestic industry.

The economic program promoted by Martinez de Hoz also spurred large transfers of capital abroad and the loss of purchasing power by Argentina’s middle and lower classes.

After the nation’s return to democracy in 1983, Martinez de Hoz was jailed for collaborating with the dictatorship, but then-President Carlos Menem pardoned him in 1990.

An Argentine court overturned the pardon in 2006 and reopened the case against him for the kidnapping of Federico Gutheim and his son Miguel.

Martinez de Hoz was placed under house arrest in 2010, and unsuccessfully tried several times to have the sentence revoked “for health reasons.”

His last appeal was rejected this past December.

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Slim May Fall to Number 2 on Forbes’ List of Billionaires

Slim May Fall to Number 2 on Forbes’ List of Billionaires

Photo: Carlos Slim

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Mexican magnate Carlos Slim could lose his position as the world’s wealthiest individual after proposed telecommunications legislation sent the share price of his America Movil phone company sharply lower, Forbes magazine reported.

Slim has topped that publication’s global list of billionaires - the latest of which was released on March 4 and put the Mexican tycoon’s net worth at $73 billion - for four years running.

But proposed legislation presented this week and backed by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and all three of the country’s main political parties could force Mexico’s dominant telecommunications and broadcast TV companies - America Movil and Televisa, respectively - to sell off some of their assets.

If approved, the bill might also open the door to increased foreign investment in those sectors.

America Movil units Telcel and Telmex control 70 percent and 84 percent, respectively, of Mexico’s mobile and fixed-line markets.

The unveiling of the bill affected America Movil’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange, which fell nearly 13 percent this week.

The lower price means that Slim’s holdings in the company are now worth $31 billion, compared with $36 billion when Forbes compiled its billionaires list at the start of March, the magazine said.

Slim’s net worth has fallen to roughly $67.5 billion, just slightly higher than that of the second-wealthiest person, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Forbes said. E

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Yoani Sanchez Reveals Fears of Returning to Cuba

Yoani Sanchez Reveals Fears of Returning to Cuba

Photo: Yoani Sanchez

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Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez said in New York that she’s afraid of the reprisals in store for her when she returns to Cuba from an international tour she began last month after five years without being allowed to leave the island.

“Afraid of going back? Yes, I’m very afraid of what will happen when I go back,” the blogger told a press conference at New York University, her second appearance in the United States after attending a symposium on Thursday at Columbia University.

The famous writer of the “Generacion Y” blog said the Cuban government behaves toward citizens like a “despotic father” and treats them “like children, so that when they leave home and do something naughty outside, they get punished.”

“What will be the punishment for this restless girl called Yoani Sanchez? Maybe they’ll never let me leave again, perhaps they’ll beef up the firing squad in the national media and the defamation campaign against me,” said the dissident, who on Feb. 18 set out on an 80-day international tour.

After getting about 20 refusals from the Cuban government for her applications to travel abroad, the philologist finally managed to leave thanks to an immigration overhaul approved in January.

On her tour she has visited Brazil, the Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico.

Asked whether she had thought any more about going into exile from Cuba, Sanchez replied with a categorical “no.”

“I’ve had the emigration experience. I lived for two years in Switzerland between 2002 and 2004, and it was an important experience in my life but I don’t think of repeating it,” Sanchez said, adding that, unlike the novel by Czech author Milan Kundera, “Life is Elsewhere,” for her “life is in another Cuba.”

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Venezuela Unable to Proceed with Embalming Hugo Chavez

Venezuela Unable to Proceed with Embalming Hugo Chavez

Photo: Hugo Chavez

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The Venezuelan government announced that it has now ruled out embalming the body of Hugo Chavez after receiving a report from a Russian medical commission, which said that carrying out the procedure would mean removing the late leader’s remains to Russia for at least seven months.

“The possibility of embalming the body of Comandante Chavez has been ruled out as a result of the Russian medical commission’s report,” Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas wrote Friday on Twitter.

The minister also said that a “Russian medical commission determined that to carry out the procedure, the body would have to be removed to Russia for a period of between seven and eight months.”

He wound up the announcement by repeating that “following this report, we have ruled out the embalming, which was the heartfelt wish of many of our compatriots.”

The body of the late president was taken Friday to the site of a planned Museum of the Bolivarian Revolution, to be built at the barracks then-Lt. Col. Chavez used as a command post during his failed coup in 1992, and will remain there until the site of his final resting place is decided.

The body had lain in state for over a week at the Military Academy where thousands of people came to file past it and pay their last respects to the socialist leader.

On March 7, the Venezuelan government said the body of late President Hugo Chavez, who had died two days earlier of a heart attack after battling cancer for 21 months, would be preserved and kept on display in a glass tomb in the manner of Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin.

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Pope Francis Explains Choosing Name, Hopes Church Will Focus on Helping the Poor

Pope Francis Explains Choosing Name, Hopes Church Will Focus on Helping the Poor

Photo: Pope Francis I

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Pope Francis told reporters here Saturday why he chose to name himself after St. Francis of Assisi, explaining that he wants a church focused on the poor.

“How I’d like a church that is poor and for the poor,” the pontiff said, prompting applause from those gathered at his first audience in the Vatican.

He said that upon his election to the papacy this week a close Brazilian friend and colleague - Cardinal Claudio Hummes, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo - embraced him and whispered “don’t forget the poor.”

The 76-year-old Argentine said the word “poor” immediately brought to mind Francis of Assisi, the Italian founder of the Franciscan Order who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries, as well as the scourge of war, and that he knew then that he would name himself after that saint of poverty, peace and defense of creation.

Pope Francis - the first Jesuit and the first Latin American to reach the papacy - then gave his blessing to those present.

“Many of you don’t belong to the Catholic Church and others aren’t believers but, respecting the conscience of each one of you, I give you my blessing knowing that each of you is a child of God,” he said.

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Thalia Hopes Her Children Aspire to be Biologists, Psychologists or Astronauts

Fame has its price and Thalia knows it well, after an artistic career of more than 30 years that started when she was a little girl.

So now that she’s a mom, the Mexican singer and actress is very careful about wanting such a future for her own two children.

“I hope my kids become biologists, psychologists or astronauts…” she sighed while expressing what she wished for her tots during an interview with Efe in Madrid.

Her latest album, “Habitame Siempre” (Live In Me Always), is now being released in Spain and is a “more intense” kind of disc that combines her feelings at the loss of her mother in 2011 and the births of her children Sabrina Sakaë and Matthew Alejandro.

“When I became a mother, everything changed,” the Mexican artist said.

She said that if they decide to follow in her footsteps at such an early age as she did with the Mexican group Timbiriche, she would support them, but said she would rather they just enjoyed their childhood.

“Not that I lost a big piece of mine, because for me it was a game, my mother and I were inseparable the whole time, but because I know what comes with that career and it isn’t easy,” she said.

The price one pays, she said, “are sleepless nights, not eating, not seeing your family…yes, you travel a lot and meet a lot of people, but when you’re back in your hotel room, you have no one, no applause, no people around, not a single ‘I love you,’ nothing,” she said.

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Puerto Rico Heads to First World Baseball Classic Semifinals

Puerto Rico Heads to First World Baseball Classic Semifinals

Photo: Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico has reached the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic for the first time after scoring a 4-3 victory over the United States, who were eliminated from this international competition.

Starting pitcher Nelson Figueroa was the star on Friday at Marlins Park in Miami as the Puerto Ricans avenged a 7-1 loss Tuesday to the Americans in their first game of the double-elimination second round.

The 38-year-old Figueroa, who pitches for the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks, was credited with the win after giving up just two hits and one walk over six innings.

After Figueroa exited the game, the United States came alive to score three runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Giancarlo Stanton drove in Joe Mauer in the seventh and an inning later Ryan Braun doubled in Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Phillips.

But southpaw closer J.C. Romero came in to rescue Puerto Rico from a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and then retire the side in order in the ninth to secure the historic victory for the Caribbean island.

Mike Aviles drove in Angel Pagan with a two-out single to give the U.S. commonwealth a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

That score held until the top of the sixth, when U.S. reliever Vinnie Pestano walked Carlos Rivera with the bases loaded to allow Carlos Beltran to cross home plate with Puerto Rico’s second run.

Andy Gonzalez then smacked a double to drive in Aviles and Alex Rios to give his squad two more insurance runs, all of which would be needed.

Ryan Vogelsong took the loss for the United States.

The Puerto Ricans will next take on the Dominican Republic on Saturday to determine seedings for the semifinals.

The winner of that game will finish first in the second round’s Pool 2 and take on Pool 1 runner-up Netherlands in one semifinal on Monday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The loser will square off on Sunday in San Francisco against Pool 1 winner Japan, champion of the previous two World Baseball Classic events in 2006 and 2009.

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Fireworks Accident Kills 9 in Mexico

Fireworks Accident Kills 9 in Mexico

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Nine people were killed Friday when a vehicle carrying fireworks exploded during a religious festival in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala, authorities said.

An undetermined number of people injured in the blast were taken to hospitals in Tlaxcala and the neighboring state of Puebla.

“Unfortunately, we have nine deaths. We don’t have the number of injured. They were all moving in a procession and someone launched fireworks and one of them fell where the (other fireworks) material was stored,” Tlaxcala emergency services chief Jose Mateos Morales told reporters.

The explosion occurred as scores of people were walking through the streets of Jesus Tepactepec, carrying religious icons and performing ritual dances in connection with the feast of a local patron saint.

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Pablo Escobar Film to be Shot in Panama, Benicio del Toro is Drug Lord

Pablo Escobar Film to be Shot in Panama, Benicio del Toro is Drug Lord

Photo: Pablo Escobar Film to be Shot in Panama, Benicio del Toro is Drug Lord

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“Paradise Lost,” a romance-thriller involving the niece of late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, to be played by Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro, will be shot in Panama, an official source told Efe Friday.

The source refused to give details about when the shooting would begin or at what precise locations, saying the production company has asked for “maximum discretion.”

But media outlets said some technical staff had begun arriving in Panama, while Del Toro, 46, will be in the Central American country next week when filming starts in the western province of Chiriqui, which borders Costa Rica, and Cerro Azul, a mountainous area outside Panama City.

The film will be the directorial debut of Italy’s Andrea Di Stefano, who also wrote the screenplay. As an actor, Di Stefano has appeared in more than a score of TV productions and movies, including Taiwanese-American filmmaker Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi.”

“Paradise Lost” tells of the romance that develops between Pablo Escobar’s niece, Mary, and a surfer named Nick (Josh Hutcherson), who falls in love with the young woman during a trip to Colombia.

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Brazilian States Call New Royalties Law Unconstitutional

Brazilian States Call New Royalties Law Unconstitutional

Photo: Oil drilling in Brazil

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The oil-producing states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo on Friday filed a Supreme Court challenge against a new law that distributes royalties from crude and natural gas production more evenly among Brazil’s 27 states.

The suit, filed by Rio state Gov. Sergio Cabral and Espirito Santo’s Renato Casagrande and made public by the high court, argues that the law is unconstitutional and threatens the economies of their respective states.

Earlier this week, Congress overturned President Dilma Rousseff’s partial veto of the controversial legislation.

Last November, Rousseff left intact the bill’s proposal for a new royalty regime for future energy contracts but balked at slashing the revenue received from existing agreements by states and cities that border offshore oil and natural fields.

After the president signed the bill into law on Thursday, Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo opted to challenge it before the Supreme Court.

Deepwater fields off the coasts of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo hold some 80 percent of Brazil’s proven reserves.

Meanwhile, the so-called “pre-salt” frontier, a series of ultra-deep oil fields that were discovered in recent years and stretch for some 800 kilometers (500 miles) off the coasts of the southeastern states of Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina, could dramatically increase the proven-reserve tally and transform the country into a major crude exporter.

Rio de Janeiro officials say the new law will cost the state 3.4 billion reais ($1.6 billion) in revenue annually starting this year and hinder its preparations for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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Crown Prince Meets with NATO Official in Madrid

Crown Prince Meets with NATO Official in Madrid

Photo: Crown Prince Felipe

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Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe held talks in Madrid Friday with the chairman of the NATO Military Committee about Madrid’s contribution to the missions of the Atlantic Alliance and the organization’s main international projects and challenges.

During his first official visit to Spain, Danish Gen. Knud Bartels also had a working meeting with the head of the Spanish Defense General Staff, Adm. Fernando Garcia Sanchez.

Bartels is in Madrid to discuss the contribution of the Spanish armed forces to the NATO Response Force and the concept of Smart Defense, which encourages allied cooperation in the development, acquisition and maintenance of military capabilities in order to effectively deal with security problems.

Denmark’s top military officer became chairman of the NATO Military Committee in January 2012, succeeding Canada’s Gen. Raymond Renault, after being elected for a three-year term by the respective military chiefs at a September 2011 meeting in Seville, Spain.

The Military Committee is NATO’S highest ranking military authority and its president is the chief military adviser to the secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance.

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Cuba Overhauls Communications, IT Sectors

Cuba Overhauls Communications, IT Sectors

Photo: Telecommunications

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The government has launched an overhaul of Cuba’s communications and information technology sectors, the Communist Party daily Granma said Friday.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Communications becomes the Ministry of Communications and is responsible for regulatory and institutional matters, according to a decree cited by the newspaper.

To take over the operational and business aspects, the government has created the Postal Enterprise Group and the Information Technology and Communications Group, two management bodies that will be assisted by the ministry.

These groups cover all postal, radiocommunications and IT companies including insurance and services for the two sectors, which are both under state control.

The decision is part of the “process of perfecting the central administration of the state and providing a governmental structure adjusted to the current circumstances the country is going through,” Granma said.

In recent years, the government of President Raul Castro has undertaken a series of changes in the structure of its ministries and institutions, including the abolition of the Sugar Ministry in favor of a new state enterprise, AZCUBA.

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Father Accidentally Shoots 10-Month-Old Baby in Tennessee

Father Accidentally Shoots 10-Month-Old Baby in Tennessee

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A 10-month-old baby was fatally shot by his father inside a hotel room in Nashville, Tennessee, police said Friday.

The baby, Adam Bass, was shot in the chest and died immediately, even though police arrived just minutes after receiving a report about the sound of a gun going off, NBC reported.

Larry Bass, 30, was holding his semi-automatic pistol when the gun accidentally discharged.

His wife, 28-year-old Jacqueline Bass, and the couple’s other two children were also in the room. None of them were hurt but they all witnessed the fatal accident.

The Tennessean newspaper said the family, which had come from Texas, checked into the motel near Nashville International Airport in late January.

Larry Bass was in Nashville working on the construction of an auditorium for the city.

“The parents are very, very distraught over what’s happened, and the police department does not believe this was an intentional act,” Nashville Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said.

Adam Bass would have had his first birthday on May 1.

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53 Lawyers Murdered in Honduras Over 2-Year Period

53 Lawyers Murdered in Honduras Over 2-Year Period

Photo: Ramon Custodio

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Fifty-three attorneys were murdered in Honduras during the period 2010-2012 and more than 95 of the crimes remain unsolved, the Central American nation’s human rights commissioner said Friday.

All but 8 percent of the killings were carried out with firearms, Ramon Custodio said in a report.

Ten of the victims were women.

Most of the targeted lawyers were assaulted while driving, “in some cases accompanied by their children, spouse, employees, friends and even clients,” Custodio said.

Because attorneys perform “a special essential function in the defense of human rights and of the rule of law,” the Honduran state must “guarantee that legal professionals conduct their work without any kind of intimidation,” the commissioner said.

Among the 53 lawyers killed were criminal defense specialists, public prosecutors, juvenile-court magistrates and attorneys representing peasant and grassroots organizations, according to the report.

Honduras suffered 85.5 homicides for every 100,000 residents in 2012, compared with a global median rate of 8.8 murders per 100,000, the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University said in a study released last month.

The number of homicides in Honduras has grown by nearly 233 percent over the past nine years.

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SaturdayMarch 16, 2013