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MondayMarch 18, 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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LATINO BLOTTER:  Mexican Mafia Gang Member Sentenced for Meth Trafficking in San Diego

LATINO BLOTTER:  Mexican Mafia Gang Member Sentenced for Meth Trafficking in San Diego

Photo: Mexican Mafia Prison Gang

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Silvano Hernandez, Jr., a Mexican Mafia gang member from San Diego, was sentenced today to serve 210 months (17.5 years) after Hernandez plead guilty to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering operation.

Hernandez was one of 36 individuals arrested last year as part of Operation Carnalismo, an investigation that targeted the Mexican Mafia’s criminal activity.

The Mexican Mafia is described as a notorious, violent prison gang that controls and benefits from a large portion of the criminal activity committed by Southern California Hispanic street-gang members.  The largest source of revenue for the Mexican Mafia is from drug trafficking, however, in order to maintain their territory gang members have committed murders, kidnappings, and extortion.

At his hearing Hernandez admitted to distributing on average 30-40 pounds of meth per month in San Diego.  At the time of his arrest $150,000 in cash was found in his home.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lionel Messi No Longer Highest Earning Soccer Player, David Beckham Is

Lionel Messi No Longer Highest Earning Soccer Player, David Beckham Is

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Thanks to money from endorsements, England’s David Beckham pulled ahead of Argentine phenom Lionel Messi to become the world’s highest-earning soccer player in 2012, according to the annual list compiled by France Football magazine.

The 38-year-old Beckham, who recently signed with Paris Saint-Germain, has topped the list on four other occasions.

Long a brand in his own right, the former Manchester United star and English international earned 36 million euros ($46.6 million) last year, compared with 35 million euros for FC Barcelona’s Messi and 30 million for Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Real Madrid.

Messi had held the No. 1 spot on the list since 2010.

The record 36 million euros Beckham brought in last year was more than twice the 15-million-euro income that gave him the top berth on the France Football list for the first time in 2003.

Beckham’s salary with the MLS L.A. Galaxy accounted for only 9 percent of his total income in 2012.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lifetime to Make Movie Based on Trial of Accused Murderer Jodi Arias

Lifetime to Make Movie Based on Trial of Accused Murderer Jodi Arias

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Currently on trial for killing her ex-boyfriend in 2008, Jodi Arias’ trial has made national headlines much like Casey Anthony.

Also like Anthony, Arias’ story is being made into a Lifetime movie.

Arias is being tried for first degree murder after admitting to killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008. Prior to admitting to the killing and claiming self-defense, Arias lied to police numerous times about what happened. She first claimed she was not at his Mesa, Arizona home when he was killed. She then changed her story to say intruders killed before finally admitting to ending Alexander’s life.

The trial has focused mainly Arias’ claims that she killed Alexander in self-defense, though she often claims to have forgotten what happened. On Friday, her defense team presented a psychologist who testified Arias has PTSD and that she really many not remember a lot of what happened on the day of Alexander’s murder.

The Lifetime movie will bring together executive producers Joshua D. Maurer, Alixandre Witlin and Judith Verno; all three have experience taking real-life headline-making stories and turning them into movies. Verno has worked on both Drew Peterson: Untouchable and The Craigslist Killer, while Witlin and Maurer are in preproduction for The Duke Lacrosse Case.

Prosecuting Casey Anthony premiered on Lifetime on January 19 on this year and starred Rob Lowe as the prosecutor, Jeff Ashton. Anthony reportedly made no money from the film, which was based on Ashton’s book “Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony” but it is unclear whether Arias will be paid any money for the film about her.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia’s FARC Claim Responsibility for Killing 16 Soldiers

Colombia’s FARC Claim Responsibility for Killing 16 Soldiers

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Colombia’s FARC rebels claimed responsibility for the deaths of at least 16 members of the security forces in the strife-torn southwestern province of Cauca, but the government said the guerrillas were lying.

In a March 15 communique posted on the Internet late Sunday, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, reported that the soldiers were killed in a minefield.

A source in the community of Buenos Aires consulted by Efe confirmed, in turn, that a group of soldiers were killed in a minefield during various clashes between the FARC and the army in the area.

“On Sunday (March 10), the community of La Esperanza found half the body of a soldier, from the waist up and in a uniform, at the site where (a mine) exploded,” said the source, who requested anonymity.

He also said that around the minefield were other human remains, including “a left foot and other extremities.”

Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon countered this report and said that the supposed deaths of the 16 soldiers “are lies” being told by the FARC and he added that the insurgent group “is inventing these fantastic things so as to give an image of strength that they don’t have.”

Last November in Havana, the FARC and the Colombian government began negotiations to put an end to the armed conflict that has besieged the South American country for some 50 years, while in Colombia itself military bombardments continue, along with guerrilla activity and combat, given that no cease fire will be put in place until a peace agreement is signed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Dissident Blogger Yoani Sanchez:  Raul Castro Successor Could be Reformer

Cuban Dissident Blogger Yoani Sanchez:  Raul Castro Successor Could be Reformer

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Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez said here Monday that while the heir apparent to President Raul Castro appears to be a “continuer,” she wouldn’t dismiss the possibility that once in power he might become a reformer like Mikhail Gorbachev.

The writer of the renowned Generacion Y blog described Miguel Diaz-Canel, 52, who was recently designated as Cuba’s senior vice president, as a “grey man” who will be unable to govern like Fidel or Raul Castro” because he lacks “that historical status.”

“For now (Diaz-Canel) looks like a continuer, but that could easily be the mask of opportunism to reach positions of power, and once on top he could be another Gorbachev,” Sanchez said during a talk at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

Raul Castro, who formally succeeded ailing older brother Fidel in 2008, was re-elected by parliament for another five-year term that he says will be his last.

If Castro said that he will leave power in 2018, it’s because by then “he probably won’t have the physical or mental stamina to control the country,” Sanchez said.

As has occurred on numerous other occasions since she began her international tour last month, the blogger was interrupted by sympathizers of the Cuban regime, this time throwing photocopies of dollar bills with Sanchez’s face printed on them.

“This shows really well how media defamation is done,” Sanchez said.

After five years of refusals by the Cuban government to let her travel abroad, the blogger was able to leave the island last month thanks to migration reform, and on her tour she has visited Brazil, the Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bret Michaels Confuses Kim Kardashian with Eva Longoria

Bret Michaels Confuses Kim Kardashian with Eva Longoria

Photo: Bret Michaels Confuses Kim Kardashian with Eva Longoria

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Singer-reality star Bret Michaels apparently has a little trouble keeping his dark haired beauties straight.

On Friday, the “Rock of Love” star wanted to wish his friend Eva Longoria a happy birthday. However, when he tweeted his well wishes saying, “Wishing a #HappyBirthday to @EvaLongoria. Hope your day rocks!” he included a photo of him and Kim Kardashian.

Before the tweet was taken down, a few followers managed to grab screenshots of the flub.

The photo he posted was taken when Kardashian visited his tour bus in 2011.

Michaels, who turned 50 on Friday, shares a birthday with the “Desperate Housewives” actress, who turned 38.

Way to go, Bret! Yikes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

POLL:  Immigration Reform Now More Important to Latinos than Economy

POLL:  Immigration Reform Now More Important to Latinos than Economy

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Reforming the immigration system has become the most important problem for Hispanic voters in the United States, replacing concerns about the economy, according to poll results released Monday by the firm Latino Decisions.

Ahead of last November’s presidential election, the economic situation and jobs were the main concern for 35 percent of the registered Latino voters in the country, Latino Decisions co-founder Gary Segura said in a conference call with reporters.

Now, 58 percent of the Latinos surveyed said that immigration had become their main concern.

The survey, sponsored by America’s Voice, the National Council of La Raza and the Service Employees International Union, was conducted from Feb. 15-26 via telephone interviews with 800 registered voters in all 50 states.

The survey has an error margin of plus/minus 3.6 percent.

In last November’s elections, 71 percent of the country’s Hispanic voters supported the reelection of President Barack Obama, but this survey showed that 44 percent of those voters would be inclined to back a Republican candidate who supported immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

“This includes the 43 percent of Latinos who voted for Obama in 2012 and the 49 percent of Latinos who identified themselves as independents,” Segura said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Republican National Committee to Spend $10 Million for Outreach to Minorities and Women

Republican National Committee to Spend $10 Million for Outreach to Minorities and Women

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The chair of the Republican National Committee said Monday that speaking Spanish would be a “bonus” for any presidential candidate in 2016, and announced that the GOP will spend $10 million on outreach to women and minorities.

In a lunch at the National Press Club in Washington, Reince Priebus left the door open in the 2016 elections for the “great Hispanic leaders” currently in the Republican Party, like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.

Priebus presented the RNC’s post-mortem on the November elections, which saw President Barack Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney among Latinos by 71 percent to 28 percent.

To have a chance of winning Hispanic votes, the GOP “must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,” the report insists.

Priebus underscored the need to promote minority leaders within the party, and though he said it’s not essential that the Republican candidate in 2016 speak Spanish, it would definitely be a “bonus.”

“It’s a tremendous asset to be able to have, and so I don’t think it’s necessary, but it certainly is a bonus,” the RNC chair said.

“When Republicans lost in November it was a wake-up call. We know that we have problems. We’ve identified them, and we’re implementing the solutions to fix them,” he said.

“The way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough,” Priebus said. “Focus groups described our party as ‘narrow-minded,’ ‘out of touch,’ and ‘stuffy old men.’ The perception that we’re the party of the rich continues to grow.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Madrid 2020 Olympic Organzing Committee Ready to Present to IOC

Madrid 2020 Olympic Organzing Committee Ready to Present to IOC

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The Madrid 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee on Monday began efforts to win over a team of visiting IOC inspectors, getting support in that task from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

After a lengthy morning session filled with presentations on the city’s merits, the International Olympic Committee representatives boarded a bus for their initial tour of the capital’s sporting facilities.

The IOC panel, accompanied by Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco, capital Mayor Ana Botella and other officials, paid visits to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where the soccer final would be held; the Las Ventas bull ring (basketball); the Community of Madrid Sports Center (volleyball); and Buen Retiro park (beach volleyball).

The group was welcomed to the Bernabeu by the president of the Real Madrid soccer club, Florentino Perez, and the team’s veteran goalkeeper, Iker Casillas.

The stalwart shot-stopper for the Spanish national squad that won the 2010 World Cup even took up his accustomed post in front of the Blancos’ net so the visitors could try their luck with penalty kicks.

On the first morning of the IOC team’s four-day visit, Premier Rajoy delivered a strong message of support on behalf of all of Spain for the capital city’s bid.

He pledged Spain would “go all out” to bring the world’s premier international sporting event to Madrid for the first time (the Games were held in Barcelona in 1992), adding that his government fully backs the project.

“We’re prepared and we’re ready to organize an event as important as the Olympic Games,” Rajoy said.

Madrid is competing with Tokyo and Istanbul to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games.

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

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Coalition, Biz2Credit Launch Hispanic Online Platform for Small Business Financing

Latino Coalition, Biz2Credit Launch Hispanic Online Platform for Small Business Financing

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Biz2Credit, the #1 online credit resource for small businesses, and The Latino Coalition (www.thelatinocoalition.com) today announced a partnership in which Biz2Credit will be the go-to financing resource for the Coalition’s small business members. 

During the past decade, Latino-owned businesses have become the fastest growing sectors of the economy.  Meanwhile, in the past few years, it has been particularly difficult for minority-owned businesses to secure capital for startup businesses.

“Latinos are a rising power in the U.S. economy and they are starting businesses in record numbers.  As the Baby Boomers approach retirement, they frequently are selling their companies to minority owners who infuse vibrancy into stagnant businesses,” said Rohit Arora , co-founder and CEO of Biz2Credit.  “There are many loan programs established specifically to help Latino entrepreneurs get up and running.  Biz2Credit can connect Latinos with funding options that they might not know existed.”

Since 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged funding for tens of thousands of small businesses, including hundreds of Latino-owned businesses in New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, and Florida, among other places.  Biz2Credit is rapidly approaching the $1 billion mark in small business financing.

“Through our partnership, small business owners who are part of The Latino Coalition will be able to upload their documents on Biz2Credit’s system, and receive one free month of loan consultation from one of our loan specialists who can help walk them through the process,”  added Arora, one of the country’s leading experts in small business finance.  “Our platform streamlines the credit decision-making process by fully automated its loan application process.  This will save busy entrepreneurs time and frustration that they otherwise would encounter in seeking the money needed to start and grow their businesses.”

“The Latino Coalition partnered with Biz2Credit because we believe that small business owners will benefit from the speed and ease of use of the online platform,” said Hector Barreto , Chairman at The Latino Coalition.  “Biz2Credit removes the intimidation factor and language barriers from the small business loan process by making it simpler and easier through the use of technology.  By partnering with Biz2Credit, we hope to enable more of our members to pursue the American Dream of business ownership.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Homeless Man Arrested as Suspect in Murder of Sarai Sierra in Turkey

Homeless Man Arrested as Suspect in Murder of Sarai Sierra in Turkey

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A homeless man suspected of killing a New York woman on vacation was arrested after reportedly fleeing from Turkey to Syria.

On February 2nd, the body of missing NYC mother Sarai Sierra was found in Istanbul after her family reported her missing when she was not on her return flight.

In a joint operation between Turkish officials and Syrian rebels, a man described by Turkish news reports as a homeless scrap paper collector and only identified as Ziya T., confessed to killing Sierra will she was traveling alone in late January.

The man told police that for nine days after he killed the mother of two he wandered around the area where her undiscovered body laid. In the video confession he states, “On the 10th day, when the police found this dead body, I had to escape into Syria … and now I am captured.”

Ziya T. became a suspect after police received word that a homeless man was often seen wandering around the Old City where Sierra’s body was found. The man’s brother provided DNA that reportedly helped investigators link the man to Sierra’s murder.

Sierra died from a blow to the head.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Sisters Throw Down at Hospital Following “Offensive” Facebook Post

LATINO BLOTTER: Sisters Throw Down at Hospital Following “Offensive” Facebook Post

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A trio of Texas sisters was arrested last week after a Facebook post sparked an argument.

On March 14, Becky Valdez Garcia, 42, Maria Dolores Torres, 50, and Victoria Valdez Flores, 43, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor, after they began fighting at Harlingen Medical Center while visiting their father.

The fight broke out in the hospital lobby at around 4:30 p.m. It is unclear who called the police, but when officers arrived they were told the brawl was “over some offensive Facebook posts made by one of the sisters.”

The sisters met before a municipal court judge on Thursday and were released after each paid a $337 fine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Poll: Latino Voters Personal Connections to Immigration Reform

Poll: Latino Voters Personal Connections to Immigration Reform

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Latino Decisions released new polling data today highlighting why immigration reform has become the number one political issue for Latino voters, and the answer is close personal connections between Latino voters and Latino undocumented immigrants.

The poll finds that 58% of Latino registered voters now cite immigration reform as the top priority for the Congress and President, up from 35% in November 2012.  One reason is that 63% of Latino voters say they personally know someone who is an undocumented immigrant, either a member of their family or a close personal friend.  Further, 39% of Latino voters say they personally know someone, or a family who has faced deportation or detention for immigration reasons, and increase of 14 points over 2011, when 25% of Latino voters said they personally knew someone who had faced deportation or detention.  It is clear that the immigration reform issue is one that Latinos agree with in principle, but that Latino voters are also directly connected to, and intertwined with the undocumented immigrant population in the United States.  Finally, the poll asked Latino voters if they knew any young immigrants who had applied for the 2012 “deferred action” program that would allow DREAM Act-eligible immigrants to live in the U.S. and attend college with temporary visas.  More than one in five Latino voters (22%) knows someone who has already applied for deferred action, with 18% saying they know someone who is eligible, but not yet applied.

According to Gary Segura, co-founder of Latino Decisions, who delivered the webinar briefing today, “There is no segmenting Latinos into those for whom immigration is important and those who have little interest.  Immigration reform is a highly salients issue across all generations, national origin groups and even political parties.  Latino voters are asking for comprehensive immigration reform.  Period.”

Latino voters demonstrated very strong support for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.  When asked to compare two proposals, one that included a clear path to citizenship, and a second which made citizenship contingent on “securing the border” a clear majority of Latinos - 70% - favored a clear path to citizenship. When asked what a fair and reasonable amount of time undocumented immigrants who qualify should have to wait for citizenship, 79% said 5 years or less, while 15% said 5 to 10 years.  Only 4% preferred an option that had 10 years or more waiting period.

Segura added: “If the motive to act on immigration reform is electoral, a path to citizenship without unreasonable waits is key.  While the numbers here suggest that Latino voters understand and accept a process, excessive delay—to say nothing of excluding a path to citizenship altogether—is clearly not acceptable and would not yield the electoral change that is sought.”

Finally, the poll asked Latino voters how they would evaluate the Republican Party vis-a-vis immigration reform.  Respondents were told that Democrats and Republicans were currently working together in a bi-partisan effort, and then asked if the GOP continued to work and deliver enough votes to pass the bill, would they be more or less likely to vote Republican? Overall, 32% of Latino voters would be more likely to vote Republican, including 26% of Latinos who voted for Obama in 2012, if the Republicans work alongside Democrats to ensure a bill is passed. However, when we asked respondents how they would react if the bi-partisan immigration bill is blocked by House Republicans, 39% said they would be less likely to vote for the GOP, including sizable percentages of Latino Republicans who said they would not support their party if the House blocks reform.  These results are consistent with data we released last week which showed not just the Republican Party, but individual Republican candidates have much to gain in supporting a path to citizenship.  When asked if they would be more or less likely to support a GOP candidate who advocated for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, 44% of Latinos voters were more likely, including 43% of Latinos who had voted for Obama.

“No matter how you slice the data, looking at Democrats, independents, and Republicans, it is clear that there is opportunity for Republican candidates to improved their share of Latino votes if they can get out in front on this issue which is SO important to Latino families,” Segura offered in conclusion.

Read more on Poll here

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Tim Lopez, Ernesto Arguello “Ready for Love” on NBC

Tim Lopez, Ernesto Arguello “Ready for Love” on NBC

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Three of America’s “most eligible” men are looking for love and they’ve turned to professional matchmakers—and Eva Longoria.

The former “Desperate Housewives” star is stepping behind the camera as executive producer on NBC’s “Ready for Love” which will chronicle three men’s search for that special someone.

Ben Patton, a financier from Dallas, Texas; Tim Lopez, a musician from Santa Barbara, California and Ernesto Arguello, a philanthropist from Miami, Florida will vie for the chance to find true love. In order to find their ideal partners, Longoria has enlisted the help of the three best matchmakers in the world.

Lopez, 31, is a member of Grammy-nominated band Plain White T’s calls himself a hopeless romantic and says it “drives his creativity and makes him so good at what he does.” Lopez grew up in Santa Barbara. Following the end of an 11-year romance—three of which were spent married, Lopez says he is ready for love again and hopes to start a family.

Arguello, 33, who is of Cuban and Nicaraguan decent, was born in Texas while his family was in the U.S. as his father studied for his PhD. Arguello now lives in Miami where his successful career as a civil and architectural engineer and has parlayed his talents into a philanthropic organization. The family man hopes to develop a relationship similar to his parents’ who have been married for 38 years.

“Ready for Love” will be hosted by Bill and Giuliana Rancic. The three matchmakers for the guys will be Amber Kelleher-Andrews, Matt Hussey, and Tracy McMillan.

The show premieres Tuesday, April 9.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News: Powerful Storms in Brazil Leaves 10 Dead

Latin America News: Powerful Storms in Brazil Leaves 10 Dead

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At least 10 people died in the powerful storm that deluged the hilly portion of the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, authorities said Monday.

Among the victims are two first responders in the city of Petropolis who were buried by a landslide as they were trying to help people affected by the rains.

The other reported victims were in homes that were buried by other landslides in different parts of Petropolis, a municipality about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the city of Rio de Janeiro and one of the region’s main urban centers.

Authorities fear that the death toll could rise because additional landslides have been occurring in Petropolis as well as in nearby cities like Duque de Caxias and Xerem.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro, a low pressure area bringing rain and heavy winds on Sunday night paralyzed the city and left several neighborhoods without electric power.

In addition, at least 12 rivers overflowed in Rio de Janeiro state and the rains caused landslides that covered several regional highways.

More rain fell in Petropolis in a 24-hour period than what had been expected for the entire month of March, the state government said.

Petropolis and nearby Teresopolis and Nova Friburgo were the cities that were most heavily affected by the rains that in early 2011 left about 1,000 people dead in what was considered the worst natural disaster ever to strike Brazil.

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Paulina Rubio to be Voice Coach on Telemundo’s “La Voz Kids”

Paulina Rubio to be Voice Coach on Telemundo’s “La Voz Kids”

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Mexican singer Paulina Rubio will be a coach in the singing contest for children, “La Voz Kids” (Kids Voice), which Telemundo will premiere next spring, the Spanish-language network said Monday.

In the competition, which is part of the successful NBC franchise “The Voice,” children ranging in age from 7 to 14 will try to win the prize for best voice under the direction of three music coaches.

Telemundo said in a communique that Rubio, who has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, is the first artist to join the program’s lineup and that another two celebrities will soon be announced as coaches.

Telemundo’s vice president of development and content, Daniel Cubillo, recalled that Rubio began her artistic career as a little girl with the Timbiriche group, which puts her “in a very special position to share with kids what she experienced on her way to making her dreams come true.”

For her part, the “Golden Girl” who coached “La Voz” in Mexico with the late Jenni Rivera and Spanish singer Miguel Bose, said she is “very excited” about the project that will open the doors to a new generation of artists.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Nominates Thomas Perez for Labor Secretary

Obama Nominates Thomas Perez for Labor Secretary

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President Obama has nominated Thomas Perez, currently at the Department of Justice (DOJ), to be his Labor Secretary.  Perez, 51, requires Senate approval for the cabinet position – should he obtain it, he will be the first Hispanic in Obama’s second-term cabinet.

Perez, who thanked the President in both English and Spanish, is the son of Dominican immigrants.  He has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Currently he heads the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, a role that Obama said highlights his skills as a “consensus builder”.  At the DOJ Perez lead the fight against unfair mortgage lending practices which burdened many minorities.  Perez also made a name for himself fighting against changes to voting laws and police corruption and discrimination – issues the Republican Senators may grill him on.

Prior to heading the civil rights division, a position he has had since 2009, Perez was Maryland’s Secretary of Labor

Perez will be replacing the departing Hilda Solis, the President’s Labor Secretary in the first administation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jon Secada: Interview with 90s Pop Star

Jon Secada: Interview with 90s Pop Star

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Jon Secada was a 90s pop star. His debut self-titled album sold 3 million records and he has had hit songs, such as “Just Another Day,” “Angel,” “I’m Free,” “If You Go,” and “Mental Picture.” He has made music in English and Spanish and he won 2 Grammy’s with his Spanish music. In addition to music, he has starred on Broadway. Currently, he is celebrating 20 years of his first single, “Just Another Day” with his new single, “Never Too Far Away.” TheCelebrityCafe.com talks with Jon about his career.

TheCelebrityCafe.com: What artists influenced you? What do you think of Billy Joel?

Jon Secada: I was influenced by singer-songwriters, such as Billy Joel, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder. Growing up in Miami, I was influenced by pop, R &B, rock, and Latin music.

TCC: During college, at the University of Miami, you were a jazz musician. What instruments did you play?

JS: I got all my degrees in jazz voice and played the piano.

TCC: You were a background singer for Gloria Estefan. How was it working with her?

JS: Gloria was the reason I have a career. I got introduced to Gloria through her husband and was a songwriter for her. I wrote songs for her, toured with her and that allowed me to establish myself as an artist.

TCC: Your first album was very successful. What was your thought process when you were making it? What did it mean to you?

JS: My first album was the beginning of everything that I know. It was a combination of pop, R & B, Latin, and rock. It took 5 years to make the album.

TCC: “I’m Free” is my favorite song of yours. What does this song mean to you?

JS: “I’m Free” means a lot to me, because it is advice I got from my father. I was going through a tough time and he gave me advice based on the lyrics to the song. “I’m free, I’m free and things are only important as I want them to be.”

TCC: I saw you at Bernie William’s concert 4 years ago. How did you meet him?

JS: I met Bernie through an agent. I’m a huge sports fan, so I was thrilled to meet him and worked with him on “Otro Dia Mas Sin Verte,” the Spanish version of “Just Another Day” from Bernie’s “Moving Forward” guitar album.

TCC: You acted on Broadway. Please elaborate on the difference between music and Broadway.

JS: Broadway was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. There is so much you need to entertain at that level.

TCC: Your music was in English and in Spanish. Other Spanish-speaking music artists, such as Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias, have done the same. Please elaborate on the importance of having music in Spanish.

JS: I grew up bilingual, so it was natural. I was lucky to be part of the whole scene.

TCC: What do you think about music artists establishing themselves on reality music shows, like American Idol, X-Factor, and The Voice?

JS: It’s a fantastic vehicle. Record companies don’t develop artists like they used to, because the industry has changed. To make it now, you need social media and internet.

TCC: What is next for you in your career?

JS: I just released the single and video, “Never Too Far Away” and will work on the new album. Then, I will travel to Latin America.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Perpetuating Latino Slurs for Profit: Clear Channel’s KFI AM Clinches Onto the Term “Illegal”

Perpetuating Latino Slurs for Profit: Clear Channel’s KFI AM Clinches Onto the Term “Illegal”

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The nation’s focus on immigration has created a widespread discussion as to whether terms such as “illegal(s),” “illegal immigrants,” “illegal aliens,” etc., should continue to dominate the immigration debate. For progressive leaders and groups, including NHMC, this is a no brainer. Using words such as “illegal” continues to polarize the immigration debate—using charged terminology clouds the issue instead of fostering a substantive discussion.

What’s the big deal? Contrary to general belief, using terms such as “illegal” does in fact create a profound negative effect on listeners. A national poll by NHMC and Latino Decisions found that respondents react more negatively when the term “illegal alien” is used, compared to when the term “undocumented immigrant” is used. More shocking is the fact that over 30 percent of survey respondents believe that a majority of U.S. Latinos are undocumented.

Spokespersons and organizations left and right, have taken a stance against such terms. Even conservative group, Hispanic Leadership Network, has suggested “Dos and Don’ts of Immigration Reform”to GOP members last month.

Why does the media continue to use terms that offends one of the largest subgroups in the United States? It’s no surprise that media personalities such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, etc. use inflammatory language to enrage their listeners and boost up ratings. And without getting into the media consolidation debate, let’s just say that most media decision-makers are not Latinos and/or have a history of alienating Latinos (cough cough, Fox News… cough cough,Clear Channel).

How are these decisions being made? And what is the rationale behind them? Case in point: Clear Channel KFI AM’s Program Director Robin Bertolucci, who in an interview with RBR-TVBR, an online publicly traded news site, personifies the trouble with media decision-makers who misguidedly support using terms such as “illegal.” This program director catches our attention because we are leading a campaign against the station’s talk show host, precisely for using inflammatory language. Last year KFI AM’s shock jocks from “The John and Ken Show,” released the personal mobile number of an immigrant activist, after which the activist received over 400 messages, some of them threatening his life. The campaign has mostly involved informing advertisers about the effects of hate speech in the media. While John and Ken have “toned” down since the start of our campaign, the interview really made us understand that for some people old habits die hard, even when you “look at yourself in the mirror.”

When Bertolucci was asked,

“Do you have to go over what not to say so as not to offend parts of the audience, a la John and Ken Show?”

She responded,

“We’ve really looked at ourselves in the mirror, like one of those magnifying mirrors that shows all of your pores. We’ve seen the areas where we can be better than that, where we can improve. One of the things that we’ve changed a year ago, for example, is we don’t say the word “illegals” when we talk about people that are here in this country illegally. We say “illegal aliens” or “illegal immigrant” but we don’t shorthand, because people aren’t illegal.”

I wonder how long they looked in the mirror. I guess using “illegal aliens” is better than using the term “illegals.” Or is it? If this passes as reflection, at this rate it seems the term “illegal” will be dominating the immigration rhetoric for a while.

Bertolucci misses the point; using the term “illegal” and associating a criminal term to individuals not yet convicted of a crime creates an inherent negative misperception and obscures the real issue, regardless of whether you follow the word with “immigrant” or “alien.”

But not all hope is lost. Some media executives have recognized the effect of this inflammatory language. Fox News’ CEO, Robert Ailes, was quoted in favor of this point:

“I think the word ‘illegal immigration’ is a false name,” [Ailes] continues. “You are talking about two separate issues. One is sovereignty. . . . The media trying to make America feel guilty because we want borders—that, to me, is complete bullshit. Immigration is a separate issue. . . . We should all defend sovereignty, then take a Judeo-Christian approach to immigration. I don’t have any problem with a path to citizenship.” (See the full article, here).

With continued advocacy by leaders such as Antonio Vargas, Drop the I Word campaign, and other coalitions, we hope leaders will drop this divisive term and focus on substantive issues, just like Ailes suggest.

With all this push from different voices we hope KFI AM will truly reflect and change its ways, but we won’t hold our breath though.

Read more at National Hispanic Media Coalition →

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Swears in 3 New Ministers

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Swears in 3 New Ministers

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff swore in Saturday three new ministers in a Cabinet shuffle that strengthens the two important parties allied to the government with a view to the 2014 elections.

Two of the new ministers, Wellington Moreira Franco, head of Civil Aviation, and Antonio Andrade of Agriculture, are known as staunch militants of the centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), while Manoel Dias, secretary general of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT), will head the Labor Ministry.

Rousseff noted the importance of giving representation in the Cabinet to all regions of the country and to the diversity of political forces in order to guarantee governability.

“The possibility of building coalitions is crucial for a country like Brazil, with 27 states and such territorial dimensions,” the head of state said in an address to ministers and politicians at the Planalto presidential palace.

Moreira Franco, one of the PMDB leaders in Rio de Janeiro and up to now minister of Strategic Affairs, takes over Civil Aviation from Wagner Bittencourt, a technical expert without any party affiliation.

The Agriculture Ministry, previously handled by Jorge Mendes Ribeiro of the PMDB, now passes to another member of his party, Antonio Andrade, until now a legislator and key figure of the party in Minas Gerais state.

The Labor Ministry continues to be managed by the PDT, with Manoel Dias, secretary general of the party, succeeding Carlos Brizola, who did not have his party’s entire support.

The new Cabinet appointments were announced Friday night and the ceremony was held Saturday, since Rousseff planned to fly to Rome in the early hours Sunday to attend the enthronement of Pope Francis.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News: Economists Cut Economic Growth Rate for Brazil

Latin America News: Economists Cut Economic Growth Rate for Brazil

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Financial analysts have lowered their 2013 growth forecast for the Brazilian economy from 3.1 percent to 3.03 percent, the central bank said Monday.

The lower figure emerged from the central bank’s weekly survey of private-sector economists.

The experts grew more pessimistic even though the central bank reported last week that Brazil’s gross domestic product grew 1.29 percent in January relative to the previous month.

According to the bank’s Boletin Focus, the economists also revised downward their inflation forecast for 2013 from 5.82 percent to 5.73 percent.

Brazil’s government is trying to cope with a double whammy of higher prices and slow growth after inflation ended 2012 at 5.84 percent despite annual gross domestic product growth of a mere 0.9 percent.

After the consumer price index rose 1.47 percent in the first two months of this year, the central bank warned that higher inflation may not be a “temporary phenomenon” and hinted that it may be necessary to raise its Selic benchmark interest rate in the near future.

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LATINO BLOTTER:  Border Agent Arrested for Laundering Narco Money

LATINO BLOTTER:  Border Agent Arrested for Laundering Narco Money

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Phoenix FBI office announced the arrest of Customs and Border Protection Officer Lauro Tobias, 59, on March 14, 2013 on charges of money laundering.

The federal complaint charges that Tobias on August 31, 2012,  transported a bag containing a large amount of U.S. currency, which is believed to be the proceeds from a narcotics sale, from Las Vegas, Nevada to Phoenix, Arizona.

Other details of the case were not immediately known. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rico Advances to Finals of World Baseball Classic

Puerto Rico Advances to Finals of World Baseball Classic

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Buoyed by strong pitching and a two-run home run off the bat of Alex Rios, Puerto Rico defeated Japan 3-1 here to advance to the final of the World Baseball Classic.

Mario Santiago started Sunday’s game at AT&T Park for the U.S. commonwealth and held the Asian squad scoreless through 4 1/3 innings, giving up just two hits and one walk. He exited with a 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Mike Aviles in the top of the first inning.

Relievers Jose De La Torre and Xavier Cedeño came on in the middle part of the game and were equally stingy, each working an inning and a third to keep Japan scoreless through seven innings.

While Japan’s batters were being stymied, outfielder Alex Rios gave Puerto Rico a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh, driving a pitch from Atsushi Nomi over the left-field fence with Aviles on base.

Designated hitter Hirokazu Ibata finally got Japan on the board in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single, but it was too little too late as J.C. Romero and Fernando Cabrera combined to record the final five outs of the game.

Santiago got the win and Japanese starter Kenta Maeda took the loss.

Next up for the Puerto Ricans in their maiden World Baseball Classic final will be the winner of Monday’s game between the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands, who are both seeking their first-ever berth in the championship game.

The final will be played Tuesday afternoon.

Japan won the 2006 and 2009 editions of this international competition, defeating Cuba and South Korea in those respective finals.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lima, Peru’s First Female Mayor Survives Recall Vote

Lima, Peru’s First Female Mayor Survives Recall Vote

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Capital Mayor Susana Villaran will remain in her position, but some city councilors will be looking for new jobs, according to results released Monday by Peru’s ONPE electoral authority.

In Sunday’s ballot, Lima voters were given the chance to recall the leftist mayor and all 39 members of the city council.

Some 20 councilors will likely have to step down once all the votes are counted, which will mean holding new elections to fill the vacant council seats.

The partial data offered Monday by the ONPE confirm the results of exit polls by the private company Ipsos, which shows that 19 councilors of the leftist coalition Fuerza Social plus one member of the opposition, Luis Castañeda Pardo, son of ex-Mayor Luis Castañeda Lossio, could be forced out of office.

After hearing these preliminary results, Villaran said Monday that she will govern for all capital residents and considered that with her confirmation as mayor, “it is Lima that has won.”

More than 6 million voters turned out for the referendum after an opposition group presented the necessary number of signatures to call for Villaran’s dismissal for alleged “inefficiency.”

Last Friday an audio was broadcast which confirmed that contrary to his repeated denials, Castañeda Lossio, who was Lima mayor from 2003-2010, was behind the campaign to oust Villaran.

The Villaran administration revealed an investigation of Castañeda for alleged corruption.

Villaran, the capital’s first woman mayor, said Monday that she will establish a “broad-based” government to “deepen and accelerate” the reforms she has been promoting, such as that of transportation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Investigating Video of Soliders Kicking Iraqi Prisoner 10 Years Ago

Spain Investigating Video of Soliders Kicking Iraqi Prisoner 10 Years Ago

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The Spanish Defense Ministry will investigate the authenticity of a video apparently showing Spanish soldiers kicking an Iraqi prisoner on the Diwaniya base 10 years ago, an event that - if true - would be the first known case of mistreatment by Spanish troops on an international mission.

Sources at the ministry consulted by Efe said that the first task is to determine if the images published Sunday by the daily El Pais on its Web page “are real” and, if so, “of course the appropriate measures will be taken.”

In the video, five soldiers are shown brutally kicking a prisoner, apparently an Iraqi.

The same ministry sources said that the Spanish military has been greatly “affected” by the events shown in the video because of their nature but also because the military’s overall image is adversely affected by behavior of that kind.

Former Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez, of the Socialist opposition, demanded Sunday that blame be allocated “if possible” in the case in which five Spanish soldiers participate in abusing detainees at Diwaniya, although she said she felt that the incident was an “isolated” case.

She went on to say that the incident was “regrettable” and “very tragic” for the image of the Spanish armed forces, although she added that it directly affects and involves only those soldiers shown in the video.

She also made the point that the video was taken before the Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came to power.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez Has Private Audience with Pope Francis I

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez Has Private Audience with Pope Francis I

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.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) received his countrywoman, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, on Monday for a private audience, the Vatican spokesman said.

The pontiff and his guest had lunch following the 20-minute meeting, Federico Lombardi said.

Cristina Fernandez is the first head of state received by the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio since he became pope last week.

The pontiff intended the meeting as a “gesture of courtesy and affection” toward the president and the Argentine people, Lombardi told Efe.

It was not a formal visit, the spokesman emphasized.

The 76-year-old Francis, 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.

The erstwhile archbishop of Buenos Aires and the Argentine president last met privately in 2010.

Fernandez and her party will be among some 150 national delegations attending Tuesday’s Mass to mark the formal installation of Francis as pope.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chile Revels in Its New Cutting Technology

Chile Revels in Its New Cutting Technology

Photo: ALMA in Atacama Desert, Chile

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The new observatory inaugurated last week here in northern Chile’s Atacama desert is a showcase for cutting-edge technology that is expected to provide startling new insights.

Perched 5,200 meters (17,049) above sea level, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, is the fruit of a decade of work and a $1.4 billion investment by North America, Europe and East Asia in partnership with Chile.

ALMA’s 66 dish antennas work together as a single telescope to detect light that is invisible to the naked eye.

Signals from the individual antennas are merged and process by a custom-made supercomputer known as the ALMA Correlator.

“It’s the most powerful computing machine there is in the world” with a capacity equal to that of 3 million normal computers, the person in charge of the Correlator, Alejandro Saez, said.

The advanced systems were built by companies from the countries participating in the ALMA project, including Spain, one of the 13 nations that form the European Southern Observatory.

“Spain has manufactured essential ingredients of ALMA, some of them of really high technological value,” ESO Council chair Xavier Barcons told Efe.

“That demonstrates that there is a capacity and knowledge in Spain that can be applied to high-tech projects,” the Spanish scientist said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pope Francis Holds 1st Angelus Prayer, Says God “Never Tires” of Forgiving

Pope Francis Holds 1st Angelus Prayer, Says God “Never Tires” of Forgiving

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Pope Francis told the approximately 300,000 people who gathered Sunday in St. Peter’s Square for his first Angelus prayer that God “never tires” of forgiving.

“If God did not forgive us all, the world would not exist,” the pope told the crowd in Italian during the 15-minute prayer.

The pontiff asked the crowd to accompany him and pray for him, repeating the message he delivered on March 13 after being elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Francis reflected on Sunday’s Gospel reading, which was about forgiveness.

“In this fifth Sunday of Lent, the Gospel presents us with the story of the adulterous woman whom Jesus saves from being condemned to death. It captures Jesus’ attitude: we do not hear words of contempt, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, that invite us to conversion,” the pope said.

The pontiff asked the faithful to think about the Gospel story’s meaning.

“Have you thought about God’s patience, the patience that He has with each of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, is always patient with us, understanding us, awaiting us, never tiring of forgiving us if we know how to return to him with a contrite heart,” the 76-year-old Pope Francis said.

The pope expressed his thanks to the huge crowd that turned out for his first Angelus.

“Thank you for your welcome and your prayers. I ask that you pray for me. I renew my embrace to the faithful of Rome and extend it to all of you who have come from various parts of Italy and the world just as to those who are joining in with us by means of the media,” the pope said. “I have chosen the name of the patron saint of Italy, St. Francis of Assisi, and this reinforces my spiritual ties to this land that, as you know, is where my family originated.”

The crowd filled St. Peter’s Square with applause in response to the pope’s words.

“Have a good Sunday and enjoy your lunch!” Pope Francis told the crowd.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Alvaro de Marichalar to Retrace Ponce de Leon Voyage on Jet Ski

Spain’s Alvaro de Marichalar to Retrace Ponce de Leon Voyage on Jet Ski

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Spanish adventurer Alvaro de Marichalar will depart from San Juan for Florida this week on board a jet ski on a journey of 1,624 nautical miles through the Caribbean without any support vessels nearby.

Marichalar told Efe on Monday that the lack of a support ship will not prevent him from heading for St. Augustine, Florida, where he intends to arrive on April 3.

By traversing this specific route, Marichalar is attempting to commemorate the voyage made by Juan Ponce de Leon, the Spanish governor of Puerto Rico, who on April 3, 1513, arrived on the coast of the future United States, which he named “La Florida.”

“In the end, I wasn’t able to get a support ship,” said Marichalar, after noting that although this causes him some logical apprehension it won’t be the first time that he has crossed the ocean alone on his jet ski.

Marichalar has been in San Juan for about two weeks looking fruitlessly for a support vessel and sponsors, but his lack of success on these tasks did not change his mind about undertaking the jet ski voyage since he trusts in his extensive ocean experience to make the trip successfully.

He said that he can’t wait for Wednesday to arrive so that he can begin the trip.

“The lack of a boat will force me to change the route I had initially thought about, since I will have to navigate to the north of Cuba,” the Spanish sportsman said.

The first leg of the journey, between San Juan and the Dominican Republic, will perhaps be the most complicated due to the maritime conditions in the area.

Marichalar, who already has logged 30,000 nautical miles in 38 ocean crossings, said that he is preparing for a new voyage to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean by Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rafa Nadal IS BACK! Wins Indian Wells Title

Rafa Nadal IS BACK! Wins Indian Wells Title

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal rallied from a set and a break down to defeat Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and capture his third Indian Wells title, continuing his highly successful comeback to the ATP Tour.

Nadal got off to a 3-0 lead in the first set of Sunday afternoon’s BNP Paribas Open final and had break points for a 4-0 advantage against a sluggish-looking Del Potro, who had logged many more hours on court this week than the Spaniard.

But the momentum swung swiftly in Del Potro’s favor after he staved off those break points and got on the scoreboard.

He subsequently broke Nadal’s serve twice en route to a 6-4 first-set win and then grabbed another break in the opening game of the second set as the Spaniard struggled with unforced errors and Del Potro’s powerful forehand.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion, however, broke back for 3-3 when Del Potro sent a forehand long and then dominated the remainder of the second set.

Fatigue then was the major factor in the third set, as the Argentine paid the price for his pair of hard-fought, three-set victories on Friday and Saturday over world No. 3 Andy Murray and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, respectively.

Del Potro went down an early break and nearly lost his serve again when serving to stay in the match at 5-3.

He managed to stave off three championship points, but Nadal held serve to claim a record 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title a game later.

Nadal, who was forced to pull out of last year’s London Olympics and U.S. Open due to a knee injury and then withdrew from this year’s Australian Open because of a stomach virus, started his comeback early last month at a small clay-court event in Viña de Mar, Chile, losing in the final there to Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos.

But he hasn’t lost a match since, winning two other Latin American clay-court events in Sao Paulo and Acapulco, Mexico, and making a surprisingly smooth transition to hard courts by capturing the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

That latter tournament is one of nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, which rank just below the four Grand Slams and the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in terms of ranking points and prestige.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Who Will Play Jenni Rivera in Her Life Story Movie?

Who Will Play Jenni Rivera in Her Life Story Movie?

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Angelica Vale, Alicia Machado and the popular Jennifer Lopez are actresses being considered to play the “Diva of the Band,” the late Jenni Rivera, in a projected movie about her life.

Rosie Rivera, sister of the songstress who died in an airplane crash in Mexico last December, told the Univision network that plans to shoot the film about the eldest of the Rivera clan are going forward as part of the family’s wish to make all the artist’s dreams come true.

Even though the family of the singer born in Long Beach, California, has not confirmed who will play the part of Rivera, the press these days has bandied a number of names, including Mexican actress Angelica Vale, known on Hispanic television for her roles in such hit programs as “La Fea Mas Bella” (The Prettiest Ugly Girl).

Also mentioned repeatedly is Venezuelan actress Alicia Machado. Both she and Vale have publicly expressed their admiration for Jenni Rivera, but have also said that neither has been formally offered a role in the film.

Also speculated are the chances that the popular Jennifer Lopez’s company, Nuyorican Productions, will be in charge of making the film, though no news has been forthcoming about whether Marc Anthony’s ex-wife intends to play the “Diva of the Band.”

Lopez previously starred in the 1997 movie about another Latina musical legend, the late songstress Selena Quintanilla, who was murdered by the former president of her fan club.

For his part, film director Francisco Joel Mendoza also told the Hispanic network that he already has the permits to begin production of the movie “La Diva de la Banda” about the life of Jenni Rivera.

The filmmaker said that shooting could begin in April, just as he told the artist before her death.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Fernando Alonso Finishes 2nd to Kimi Raikkonenat Australian Grand Prix

Spain’s Fernando Alonso Finishes 2nd to Kimi Raikkonenat Australian Grand Prix

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Brazil’s Felipe Massa finishes 4th.

Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen - driving for Lotus - has taken the early lead in the 2013 international Formula One championship by winning the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park raceway.

Spain’s Fernando Alonso, driving for Ferrari, came in second.

The Finn drove the 58 laps - each of which was 5,303 meters (3.26 miles) long, a total of 307.5 km (about 191 miles) - and beat Alonso and three-time German champion Sebastian Vettel, in a Red Bull vehicle, who came in third after starting out in the pole position.

It was the 20th Formula One victory for the 33-year-old Raikkonen, the world champion in 2007, and he ran the course in 1:30:03.225, 12.4 seconds faster than Alonso, who is a two-time champion.

Brazil’s Felipe Massa, driving for Ferrari, and Briton Lewis Hamilton, for Mercedes, came in fourth and fifth, ahead of Australia’s Mark Webber, in a Red Bull vehicle, and Germany’s Adrian Sutil, driving for Force India.

Scotsman Paul di Resta, also on the Force India squad, was eighth in the first of 19 races making up the 2013 Formula One circuit, ahead of Britain’s Jenson Button, for McLaren, and Frenchman Romain Grosjean, for Lotus, who finished ninth and tenth.

The season’s second race will be held next Sunday on the Sepang track, which will also host the Malaysia Grand Prix.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sao Paulo Fashion Week Launches with 25 Designers Featured

Sao Paulo Fashion Week Launches with 25 Designers Featured

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U.S. supermodel Karlie Kloss is the big star of the latest edition of Sao Paulo Fashion Week, a showcase for Brazil’s leading designers to display their Spring/Summer 2014 collections.

Kloss, a Victoria’s Secret Angel, is one of the models who will walk the runway for Brazilian fashion brand Animale, which is set to open the country’s biggest fashion show on Monday.

A total of 25 designers will share the catwalk at SPFW through Friday at Ibirapuera Park, regarded as the metropolis’ green lung.

Those natural surroundings inspired the event’s decorators, brothers Humberto and Fernando Campana, who also decided to endow the Bienal building housing the show with elements from nature.

The Campanas decorated the building with cactus in a nod to Brazil’s arid northeast and covered the building’s columns with dry palm fronds, which after the fashion show are to be used for roof coverings or brooms, organizers said.

Besides Animale, well-known Brazilian brands such as Cavalera, Ellus, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Osklen and Colcci will present their new designs at the SPFW.

Other top models that will grace the catwalk include the face of Versace’s Vanitas fragrance, American Lindsey Wixon, who will walk the runway for the Ellus fashion brand on Tuesday, the second day of the event.

This latest edition of the SPFW was moved up by three months from its traditional June slot to give designers more time to get their clothing to stores ahead of the next Southern Hemisphere summer.

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Santiago Seeks $500-$600 Million in Financing to Expand Mass Transit System

Santiago Seeks $500-$600 Million in Financing to Expand Mass Transit System

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The Santiago Metro may sell a global bond to raise between $500-600 million for construction of two additional lines, the president of the state-run company that manages the mass-transit system said.

If that financing option is chosen, it would be the first time the Metro will have sought funding from international debt markets, Metro S.A. CEO Fernando Cañas said in an interview published Sunday by La Tercera daily.

“Never before has the Metro issued an international bond. We’ve always issued local bonds, which have always been very well received in the market,” he said.

Construction of the new lines, which will stretch for 37.3 kilometers (23.1 miles) and include 28 stations, has already begun and will have a total investment cost of nearly $2.8 billion, most of which will be covered by the Chilean government.

The Santiago Metro currently has some 100 kilometers (62 miles) of track and transports roughly 2 million passengers daily.

The company gets roughly 85 percent of its revenue from ticket sales and therefore is looking to increase revenue from other sources - such as the leasing of commercial space - by between 15-20 percent, Cañas said.

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MondayMarch 18, 2013