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ThursdayMarch 21, 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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ConnectEDU to Build Online Community for Hiring Our Heroes

ConnectEDU to Build Online Community for Hiring Our Heroes

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ConnectEDU, a worldwide leader in developing innovative, human capital development solutions, was selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to build the online Hiring Our Heroes Talent Community.

The talent community provides a single online destination for military candidates to find jobs in high-demand employment regions and industries across the country, connect directly with employers, complete self assessments and identify critical career paths to designated occupations.

As part of the Hiring Our Heroes Fast Track program, the talent community provides tools for veterans and transitioning servicemembers to leverage the GI Bill to earn specific qualifications and credentials that map to meaningful career opportunities.

By providing clear career pathways, veterans will be able to make informed decisions about education and employment opportunities.

ConnectEDU has also built and supported talent communities for regional chambers of commerce and Fortune 500 companies. Go to ConnectEDU to learn more.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Liverpool Says Not Interested in Selling Suarez

Liverpool Says Not Interested in Selling Suarez

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Liverpool has no interest in selling Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, the Premier League club’s managing director said Thursday.

“Last summer he signed a new four-year contract and we have no desire to sell Luis. He is a fantastic player and a great contributor to our team,” Ian Ayre said, reacting to media reports that the 26-year-old forward might be available.

Suarez, who leads the Premier League in scoring with 22 goals, told an interviewer in Uruguay that while he is happy playing for the Reds, an approach from a club “with more prospects of competing in international club competition games” would be “very welcome.”

The striker is in Uruguay preparing for his national team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“We are very pleased to have Luis and long may that continue,” Ayre said, noting that Suarez “says in the same interview that he feels he is in an elite team at Liverpool.”

The Reds are currently in seventh place in the Premier League, three away from the top four finish that would ensure the club a spot in the Champions League.

Liverpool last played in the Champions League in 2009-2010.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Kills GF’s Son, 4, For Spilling Beer

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Kills GF’s Son, 4, For Spilling Beer

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A distraught mother recently shared her harsh, but well deserved words for her ex-boyfriend, the man who killed her young son.

Earlier this week, 24-year-old Erika Iturbe Colin told her now ex-boyfriend, Gerardo Chavarria PInzon, 24, “I can’t say I forgive you because I don’t. I hate you with all my heart.”

On November 5, 2011, Chavarria became angry with 4-year-old Sebastian when the child knocked over a bottle of beer. He then slammed the child’s head against the floor. Chavarria then put the child to bed. He grew nervous, however, and took the boy to Salem Hospital two or three hours later.

Sebastian died the next day after being transferred to Oregon Health and Science University. Doctors said he died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Chavarria had originally lied to police and hospital staff about what happened, at first claiming the boy had fallen down the stairs to the basement. When doctors said his injures did not match the story, Chavarria lied again, saying he pushed the boy in a plastic stroller which accidentally sent him down about 17 stairs. He finally on Tuesday after entered a guilty plea.

Iturbe Colin and others in the courtroom were shocked when Chavarria told them what happened.

Chavarria pled guilty to manslaughter and two counts of criminal mistreatment. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison after waiving his right to a trial. Upon his release, he will be deported, as he was in the country illegally.

Sebastian’s death was not with a small bit of happiness, as his family donated him organs, and he was able to save three lives. Still, his mother is heartbroken, saying, “I will never get to hear him say ‘I love you, Mommy.’”

Read more by HS News Staff →

NASA Partners With Mexican Space Agency to Promote Science in Mexico

NASA Partners With Mexican Space Agency to Promote Science in Mexico

Photo: NASA and AEM Directors signing the agreement (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

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NASA will train Mexican university students in space-related fields, giving science and technology a boost in Mexico, the Mexican Space Agency, or AEM, said.

The AEM and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, signed a cooperation agreement “to promote the development of science, technology and competitiveness in the sector,” the agency said.

The agreement was signed by AEM director Francisco Javier Mendieta, NASA associate administrator for education Leland Melvin and NASA chief Charles Bolden.

The agreement will help promote one of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s priorities, which “include putting Mexico in the society of knowledge, with the goal of advancing economic development and, with it, the well-being of the people,” Mendieta said.

“The winning Mexicans will conduct theoretical and laboratory research at NASA during three periods of the year (spring, summer and fall), along with a broad and diverse group of students from around the world,” the AEM said in a statement.

The AEM, created on July 31, 2010, is the public agency in charge of coordinating Mexico’s space policy, training specialists and developing the technology and infrastructure needed to expand the industry.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Grupo BBVA to Invest $3.5 Billion in Mexico

Spain’s Grupo BBVA to Invest $3.5 Billion in Mexico

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Grupo BBVA on Thursday unveiled a four-year, $3.5 billion investment plan for its Mexican unit, saying the funds would be used to modernize more than 1,700 bank branches nationwide and meet other objectives.

“This is an unprecedented investment (program) ... the largest investment in the history of BBVA Bancomer and one of the largest made by a private company in Mexico in such a short space of time,” the executive chairman of the Bilbao, Spain-based banking group, Francisco Gonzalez, said.

He announced the 2013-2016 plan in a ceremony at the presidential palace with head of state Enrique Peña Nieto.

The investment outlay will “benefit millions of Mexicans (who are) customers and users of BBVA Bancomer,” the Latin American country’s largest financial institution.

“With nearly 21 million customers, BBVA Bancomer leads practically all market segments with (market) shares in loans of between 20 percent and 30 percent,” he added.

The chairman said BBVA Bancomer is both Mexico’s leading bank and the one most committed to the country, adding that the institution has shown that dedication “through its actions.”

Finally, Gonzalez praised the Mexican economy and the “great resiliency and strength” it has shown in the recent years of crisis, predicting that the country will consolidate itself as “one of the world’s leading and most dynamic economies.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Coast Guard, CBP Apprehend 11 Undocumented Migrants Near Puerto Rico

Coast Guard, CBP Apprehend 11 Undocumented Migrants Near Puerto Rico

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) apprehended 11 undocumented migrants Friday afternoon, after a partially submerged vessel was found approximately 200 yards off the coast of Mona Island.

The group turned themselves in to park rangers of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources stationed in Mona. The USCG Cutter Key Largo transported the migrants to the port of Mayaguez where U.S. Border Patrol agents assumed custody and transported to the U.S. Border Patrol Ramey station for processing under U.S. immigration law.

Frank Kelly Guerrero-Diaz, 26, and Alexander Torres-Reyes, 29, both citizens of the Dominican Republic, will make an initial appearance before a U.S. District Court magistrate judge for charges of re-entering the United States after a previous deportation. U.S. Border Patrol presented the complaint against the defendants before Assistant U.S. Attorney Evelyn Canals, who accepted the case for prosecution.

Since Feb. 16, law enforcement authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) have apprehended 187 undocumented migrants from Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Read more by HS News Staff →

PETA Rescues Chicken on Behalf of Ricky Martin

PETA Rescues Chicken on Behalf of Ricky Martin

Photo: Ricky Martin's Chicken from PETA (PETA)

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The Latino arm of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it is sponsoring a rescued chicken in honor of superstar Ricky Martin’s recent embrace of vegetarianism.

The “Chicky for Ricky” is a bird named Olivia that is being cared for at Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Florida, PETA Latino said.

Ricky Martin has begun to live the vegetarian life and PETA Latino couldn’t be prouder. Just in time for The Great American Meatout,” the group said.

The Puerto Rican singer and actor signaled his conversion to vegetarianism in a Feb. 26 tweet: “7 weeks on a vegetarian diet! I feel amazing!”

Martin “is not alone: people who become vegetarian increase their energy and diminish their risk of cardiac illness, cancer and obesity, an important concern for Latinos,” PETA’s Renee Saldaña said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Michael Jordan’s Cuban Fiancée Reportedly Signs Prenup

Michael Jordan’s Cuban Fiancée Reportedly Signs Prenup

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Former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan is worth more than half a billion dollars and he is not looking to lose another large chunk of that in another divorce.

Jordan, 50, is set to marry Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto in April, but in the event the marriage does not last, he has reportedly asked Prieto to sign a prenuptial agreement.

Though Prieto says she did not mind the prenup, she does not think it will ever have to be followed, as she believes the confessed cheater has “sown his wild oats and only has eyes for her.”

Jordan did not have a prenup when he and first wife Juanita Vanoy divorced in 2006. In the end, Vanoy walked away with custody of their three children, their Chicago mansion, and $168 million.

Should Jordan and Prieto divorce, 34, (35 on March 26), would get $1 million for every year they are married. Should they divorce after 10 years, she would reportedly get $5 million for every year they were together. They each would keep any assets

The couple applied for a marriage license at Florida’s main Palm Beach County courthouse on March 7. The two are expected to wed on April 27.

Read more by HS News Staff →

AMERICAN IDOL: Contestants Cover the Beatles, Devin Velez Impresses (VIDEO)

AMERICAN IDOL: Contestants Cover the Beatles, Devin Velez Impresses (VIDEO)

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On Wednesday night’s American Idol the singers took on songs from The Beatles.

Chicago’s Devin Velez, 18, sang “The Long and Winding Road” and left judge Mariah Carey grasping for words.

“Wow,” she said. “Devin, you really never cease to amaze me. Oh. That was… I-I-I…I don’t have words for this.”

She was finally able to get out that she loves how he sings in both English and Spanish, adding, “You’ve sung so many different types of music for us here, in the auditions and onstage; you have done almost every genre there is to do, and I don’t feel like you’ve disappointed us ever … I feel like it would be a travesty if you did not go through.”

The other judges mostly agreed, with Keith asking for a heart-to-heart connection with every song and Randy only critiquing Velez’s use of runs. Though delivered well, Randy cautioned he not use too many in one performance.


Devin Velez - Long & Winding Road - American… by IdolxMuzic

Lazaro Arbos, the lovable Cuban-born Floridian with the stutter, did not have as good a night as Velez and many are speculating he will be the one sent home in Thursday’s elimination.

Arbos’ rendition of “In My Life” was fraught with pitch and tempo issues and the judges did not fail to notice. The last minute song change likely made him a bit unsure on stage, and judge Nicki Minaj expressed her annoyance with Arbos’ mentor, producer Jimmy Iovine, saying, “I need them to stop putting you in the room with Jimmy, I can’t take it any more. Your confidence is different now. You used to come on the stage and were owning it honey child, and working it, but now I don’t know.

“You know what you do, don’t let anyone else tell you what to do. Where is your mind? Something is bothering you and I need you back.”
In this competition there are rarely second chances.

One of the rare second chances however, went to last season’s Jessica Sanchez, who did not receive enough votes, but was saved by the judges . On Thursday, she will return to the American Idol stage to perform.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Mariachi Band Director Charged with Having Sex with 16-Yr Old Student

Texas Mariachi Band Director Charged with Having Sex with 16-Yr Old Student

Photo: Mariachi Director Homero Gutierrez Arrested

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A 35-year-old former mariachi band director at a local Texas school has been charged with having sex with one of his 16-year-old students.

Homero Gutierrez worked as a mariachi director and teachers aid, at Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District.  He was charged this morning with one count of inappropriate relationship between educator and student.

As mariachi band director Gutierrez helped create an award-winning ensemble.  In 2009 the 8th grade mariachi band was recognized as the best in the nation.

The inappropriate relationship came to the schools attention earlier this month by the minor’s parents.  Gutierrez resigned after the allegations surfaced and today he sits in the Hidalgo jail.

The girl’s mother told authorities that her daughter and Gutierrez were having sex in the music room and believed the relationship started two years ago.

The school district has been in the news before for another sex scandal.  In May, 2012 former baseball coach Sergio Rubio was forced to quit when videos of students having sex to and from games on the school bus surfaced. 

In February, 2013 the school superintendent was put on leave for unknown reasons thought to be legal and financial in nature.

Edcouch-Elsa ISD is a predominantly Hispanic suburban district in Edcouch with 5,400 students. Many students are economically disadvantaged. Students perform well below the state average in passing TAKS scores. Fewer than half of students are prepared for college in both English Language Arts and Math.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out the Trailer for “Despicable Me 2” - Out This July (VIDEO)

Check Out the Trailer for “Despicable Me 2” - Out This July (VIDEO)

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The trailer for the sequel to the hilarious animated feature Despicable Me has now been released.

Among the actors lending their voices to the characters of Despicable Me 2 are: Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand, and young actor Moises Arias.

Though you may not know him by name, if you have younger children, you’ve probably seen Arias is something.

At just 18 years old who was born in New York to Colombian-born parents, Arias has a number of credits to his name, including a regular role on Disney’s “Hannah Montana”, “Wizards of Waverly Place”, and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”. He’s also appeared in two of Jaden Smith’s music videos (“Gonzoes” and “The Coolest”). Arias has done quite a bit of voice-over work for animated films and series.

His latest work however, was for Despicable Me 2 in which he played Antonio.

Despicable Me 2 is scheduled for release on July 3 and rumor has it there is a prequel in the works, with a possible 2014 release date.

Watch the trailer for Despicable Me 2.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Customs and Border Patrol Agents Seize $90 Million in Cocaine in the Pacific

Customs and Border Patrol Agents Seize $90 Million in Cocaine in the Pacific

Photo: Customs and Border Protection (Steven Green)

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) and its interagency partners disrupted two separate maritime smuggling attempts, March 8 and March 9, resulting in the interdiction of more than 1,300 pounds of cocaine with a street value of more than $90 million.

“This latest disruption highlights the importance of cooperation with our international partners and demonstrates the capabilities of the CBP P-3 aircraft and crews which continue to disrupt the smuggling activities of Transnational Criminal Organizations,” said Tom Salter, director National Air Security Operations Center, at Corpus Christi.

On March 8, an OAM crew aboard a P-3 was on patrol in the Eastern Pacific as a part of a Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) mission when they detected a go-fast vessel 120 miles off the coast of Guatemala. The 30-foot twin-engine vessel was spotted speeding north and appeared to be loaded with numerous packages.

The CBP crew vectored in a U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft to pursue the speedboat which attempted to evade authorities. Guatemalan law enforcement was able to intercept the vessel and tow it back for further inspection. The CBP crew was credited with the disruption of more than 650 pounds of cocaine.

The following day, March 9, an OAM P-3 crew detected a suspicious boat near Guatemala and provided its location to JIATF-S participants. These interagency partners, using the information provided by the OAM crew, found and intercepted the boat which was carrying 661 pounds of cocaine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Striking Culinary Workers Shut Down the Las Vegas Strip

Striking Culinary Workers Shut Down the Las Vegas Strip

Photo: Kitchen Workers - Workers Local 226- Shut Down Strip

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Striking members of Las Vegas’ Culinary Workers Local 226 shut down the Las Vegas strip by blocking strip traffic, resulting in 98 arrests. 

The union is one of Las Vegas’ most powerful with 54,000 members that is protesting against the Cosmopolitan Casino. Contract negotiations have been underway for the last 18 months with no resolution.  Picketing began on March 1, 2013 but today was the first time the group utilized civil disobedience to get their point across.

The striking workers are negotiating a new work contract but have not been able to find a resolution with Cosmopolitan owners’ Deutsche Bank.  Both sides are at odds over benefits, health care coverage and guaranteed work hours.

Many of the protesters were other Las Vegas casino employees coming out in solidarity for Cosmopolitan’s kitchen workers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Granting Legal Status to Undocumented Immigrants Benefits the U.S. Economy

Granting Legal Status to Undocumented Immigrants Benefits the U.S. Economy

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By Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford, Center for American Progress

The movement toward comprehensive immigration reform has accelerated significantly in recent months. Legal status and a road map to citizenship for the unauthorized will bring about significant economic gains in terms of growth, earnings, tax revenues, and jobs—all of which will not occur in the absence of immigration reform or with reform that creates a permanent sub-citizen class of residents.

This paper analyzes the 10-year economic impact of immigration reform under three scenarios.

Under one of them—in which undocumented immigrants are granted legal status in 2013 and citizenship five years thereafter—the 10-year cumulative increase in U.S. GDP would be $1.1 trillion, and the annual increases in the incomes of Americans would sum to $603 billion.

The sooner we provide legal status and citizenship, the greater the economic benefits are for the nation.

Read more at Center for American Progress →

El Salvadorans Want Assassinated Archbishop Romero Honored with Beatification

El Salvadorans Want Assassinated Archbishop Romero Honored with Beatification

Photo: Honoring Slain Archbishop Romero, El Salvador

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This week El Salvador is remembering and honoring Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero who was assassinated while celebrating Mass, 33 years ago this year.

Prior to his death on March 24, 1980 Archbishop Romero fought against El Salvador’s 12-year civil war (1980-1992) and for the rights of the poor in the country. He was killed by a member of El Salvador’s paramilitary death squads in the hospital chapel of the Divina Providencia.

The anniversary of his death this year will fall on Palm Sunday, and supporters of Romero hope this will lend urgency to the beatification, a process that started in 1996.  Salvadoran Catholics are also hoping the new pope, Francis I, that hails from Latin America will expedite the process needed to become a saint of the church.

Pope Emeritus Benedict made mention of Romero when he visited in 2012, as a “person worthy of beatification.”  Now the faithful in Latin America and especially those from El Salvador are hoping to hear Archbishop Romero’s name mentioned by Pope Francis this Palm Sunday. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Univision Wins Friday Ratings War Thanks to “Amor Bravio”

Univision Wins Friday Ratings War Thanks to “Amor Bravio”

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Spanish-language Univision led all other U.S. television networks in adult viewership Friday night thanks to the telenovela “Amor Bravio,” according to the latest data from Nielsen.

Four million people tuned in for “Amor Bravo,” which airs at 10:00 EDT and features Silvia Navarro and Cristian de la Fuente in the lead roles.

The network’s new nightly telenovela, “Porque el amor manda,” attracted an average of 3.4 million viewers in its first week on the air, allowing Univision to finish ahead of CBS on Monday and to surpass both ABC and NBC on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 8:00 p.m. EDT show stars Fernando Colunga and Blanca Soto.

Another Univision soap, “Amores Verdaderos,” featuring Sebastian Rulli and Erika Buenfil, draws an average of 4.2 million viewers in the 9:00 p.m. EDT time slot.

Read more by HS News Staff →

College Senior Plunges to His Death in Cabo San Lucas during Springbreak

College Senior Plunges to His Death in Cabo San Lucas during Springbreak

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Local California and Mexican media are reporting the death of college senior, Samuel Levine, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico during spring break.

The college senior, 22, and former high school basketball star, reportedly plunged to his death from his sixth-floor hotel room balcony on Tuesday. 

Levine was a senior at University of Southern California studying psychology.

Local media in Mexico are reporting Levine was staying at Pueblo Bonita in ‘la zona Medano’ and are labeling his death as “an accident” with death caused by severe head trauma. 

Prior to his death Levine apparently stayed behind in the hotel room claiming to be tired while his friends went out.  Upon return some of his traveling companions found him on the ground floor of the resort.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Many Latino Fashion Designers Present at Miami Fashion Week

Many Latino Fashion Designers Present at Miami Fashion Week

Photo: Carlos Miele (@JessOlivaP)

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The 15th Miami Fashion Week is underway, showcasing the work of more than 60 designers and with Spanish actress Ana Obregon as its official face.

Colombia’s Fabrizio de Castro, who is presenting a colorful swimwear collection inspired by the mythical lost island of Atlantis, is among the designers featured at the fashion event.

“This is the only city in the United States where there is such great diversity and you breathe fashion,” De Castro told Efe.

Carlos Miele, Julian Chang, Nicolas Felizol and Rosa Clara are among the other designers bringing their work to South Florida this week.

Obregon, an actress, celebrity and socialite, has taken this edition of Miami Fashion Week under her wing.

“I have not stopped working since I got here,” Obregon told Efe just before Wednesday’s opening ceremony.

“I’m going to be here interviewing everyone, we are rebroadcasting. I am really happy that they picked me to be the image of Miami Fashion Week,” the actress said.

Singer Luis Fonsi, who took part in the opening ceremony, actor Danilo Laurea, actor Gabriel Valenzuela and television personalities Pamela Silva-Conde and Mercedes Soler were among the celebrities making an appearance at Miami Fashion Week.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Bolivia and Venezuela Rank as ‘Unfriendliest’ Countries for Tourists

STUDY:  Bolivia and Venezuela Rank as ‘Unfriendliest’ Countries for Tourists

Photo: Bolivia Unfriendliest Nation to Visit

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A new report on travel and tourism by the World Economic Forum looked at 140 countries trying to find the most hospitable and welcoming to foreign tourists.  Unfortunately for Bolivia and Venezuela, according to the “Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013” they ranked as the world’s least friendly destinations.  Bolivia garnered a meager 4.1 out of 10 points to be dead last preceded by Venezuela with 7 out of 10 points then by the Russian Federation.

The report looked at numerous factors including a country’s tourism sector, investment in tourism, tourist facilities and cultural resources available for tourists. Once again the European continent garnered most of the top spots.  Switerzland, Germany and Austria scored within the top 10 while Iceland was ranked the world’s friendliest destination for tourists.

Amongst Latin American countries, Brazil garnered the top spot in great part due to its preparations for the 2016 Olympics and World Cup.  Chile, Uruguay and Argentina followed Brazil in ranking.  Mexico’s ranking remained stable this year at the 44th position (and 5th in the region). Mexico receives impressive marks for its natural resources (ranked 8th), an area that shows an improvement since the last assessment, with many World Heritage natural sites and rich fauna. The country’s cultural resources are also among the best in the world (21st), with 34 World Heritage cultural designations.

There were no Latin American countries that were listed in the top 10 friendliest countries.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rio Continues to Progress Towards Becoming Tech Hub of Latin America

Rio Continues to Progress Towards Becoming Tech Hub of Latin America

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The impending arrival of multinationals Siemens and Halliburton marks the emergence of Latin America’s largest technological hub here in Brazil’s second city, the head of the ambitious project said.

“Five of the 13 major companies that secured spaces in the park are already operating and Halliburton and Siemens will inaugurate their technological centers in the coming days,” Mauricio Guedes, director of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s Technological Park, told Efe.

After an investment of 1 billion reais ($500 million), the park is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of 2014 with a workforce of roughly 2,500 people, 80 percent of them engaged in research and development, he said.

The park was founded in 2003 to stimulate interaction between the university’s students and cutting-edge firms and the proximity of state oil giant Petrobras’ R&D center has made the park a magnet for companies in the energy sector.

“The park was conceived for various activities, but the focus is oil,” Guedes said.

Among the firms already operating in the park are two powerhouses of the global oil-services industry: Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, while the park is also home to General Electric’s first R&D center in Latin America.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lionel Messi Gets Tattoo of Son’s Hands, Name

Lionel Messi Gets Tattoo of Son’s Hands, Name

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Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi this week in the elimination match between Argentina and Venezuela for the 2014 World Cup will debut a tattoo on his left leg with the name and the hands of his son Thiago.

Messi already has a tattoo of his mother’s face on his left shoulder blade.Image

Sources close to the Argentine team said that Messi had the new tattoo, which will be visible if he does not pull up his uniform socks to just below his knees, inked on Tuesday during some free time granted to the team by coach Alejandro Sabella.

The photos of the tattooing session have been posted on Messi’s Twitter account @LeoMessifanclub.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Annually 250,000 Guns are Smuggled into Mexico from U.S.

STUDY:  Annually 250,000 Guns are Smuggled into Mexico from U.S.

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It is no surprise that the majority of guns that are in Mexico and associated with the narco wars came from the U.S., especially in light of the fact that Mexico only has one gun store.

A study by University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute and the Igarape Institute from Brazil are reporting that an average of 253,000 guns are purchased annually n the U.S. with the sole purpose of being transported to Mexico.  Approximately 2.2 percent of gun sales in this country are made by illegal gun smugglers that make the sale and do the transporting.

The study: “The Way of the Gun: Estimating Firearms Traffic Across the U.S.-Mexico Border” notes that many U.S. gun dealers would go out of business without the illegal gun smuggling rings that bring in approximately $127.2 Milllion in business.

While gun store owners maybe pleased with this robust business, Mexico is not.  The country, since 2006, has seized some 140,000 weapons and has as many as 120,000 victims killed by guns.  Legal gun ownership in Mexico is very restricted with only 2.5 million registered gun owners.

The study author’s suggest changes in gun laws where no cash would be allowed for purchases and more extensive background checks that would screen out the gun runners.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The Sooner Immigrants Become Citizens, the Better it is for the Economy

The Sooner Immigrants Become Citizens, the Better it is for the Economy

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As lawmakers negotiate the contours of an immigration reform bill, they should keep in mind that the granting of legal status to undocumented immigrants would be a boon for the U.S. economy—and allowing undocumented immigrants to eventually become U.S. citizens would be an even bigger boon. Such is the finding of a report from the Center for American Progress (CAP), entitled The Economic Effects of Granting Legal Status and Citizenship to Undocumented Immigrants. The report was authored by Robert Lynch, a Visiting Senior Fellow at CAP and the Everett E. Nuttle professor and chair of the Department of Economics at Washington College, and Patrick Oakford, a Research Assistant at CAP. The authors explain succinctly why legalized immigrants and newly minted U.S. citizens are so economically valuable:

“…legal status and citizenship enable undocumented immigrants to produce and earn significantly more than they do when they are on the economic sidelines. The resulting productivity and wage gains ripple through the economy because immigrants are not just workers—they are also consumers and taxpayers. They will spend their increased earnings on the purchase of food, clothing, housing, cars, and computers. That spending, in turn, will stimulate demand in the economy for more products and services, which creates jobs and expands the economy.”

The report runs the numbers on these economic benefits under three different scenarios.

The first, admittedly unrealistic scenario supposes that undocumented immigrants are granted legal status and citizenship in 2013. In this scenario, U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, “would grow by an additional $1.4 trillion cumulatively over the 10 years between 2013 and 2022. What’s more, Americans would earn an additional $791 billion in personal income over the same time period—and the economy would create, on average, an additional 203,000 jobs per year.” In addition, “over 10 years, that additional tax revenue would sum to $184 billion—$116 billion to the federal government and $68 billion to state and local governments.”

The second scenario presumes that “undocumented immigrants are granted legal status in 2013 and citizenship five years thereafter.” Under this scenario, “the 10-year cumulative increase in U.S. GDP would be $1.1 trillion, and the annual increases in the incomes of Americans would sum to $603 billion.” This “would create 159,000 jobs per year,” and the additional tax revenue generated over the 10-year period would amount to $144 billion—$91 billion in federal taxes and $53 billion in state and local taxes.

The third scenario is premised on undocumented immigrants being granted legal status starting in 2013, but receiving no eligibility for U.S. citizenship. In this scenario, “the cumulative gain in U.S. GDP between 2013 and 2022 would still be a significant—but comparatively more modest—$832 billion.” In addition, the “annual increases in the incomes of Americans would sum to $470 billion over the 10-year period, and the economy would add an average of 121,000 more jobs per year.” Formerly “undocumented immigrants would pay an additional $109 billion in taxes over the 10-year period—$69 billion to the federal government and $40 billion to state and local governments.”

In short, “the sooner that legal status and citizenship are granted to the unauthorized, the greater the gains will be for the U.S. economy.” Ironically, lawmakers who want undocumented immigrants to receive a legal status in which there is no possibility of citizenship are shortchanging the U.S. economy given that U.S. citizens are able to make the greatest economic contributions. This is because U.S. citizens have the best job opportunities and the highest labor-market returns on their job skills. As a result:

“…legal status and a road map to citizenship for the unauthorized will bring about significant economic gains in terms of growth, earnings, tax revenues, and jobs—all of which will not occur in the absence of immigration reform or with reform that creates a permanent sub-citizen class of residents.”

The CAP report is the latest in a growing collection of studies which demonstrate the economic gains to be had from legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the United States—and from the creation of a pathway to U.S. citizenship for them. Conversely, allowing the status quo to persist, or fancifully attempting to rid the country of all undocumented immigrants, is an economic dead-end.

Read more at Immigration impact →

Brazil’s Booming Art Scene

Brazil’s Booming Art Scene

Photo: Art Installation - Tofer Chin - Sao Paulo

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The annual TEFAF (European Fine Art Foundation) report which gauges the art world has just come out and Brazil’s booming art scene garnered a lot of attention.

Author Dr. Clare McAndrew points to where the $56 billion art market is shrinking and where it is growing and that is Brazil.  This key report provides the first indepth analysis of the Brazilian art market which currently accounts for 1 percent of sales in the global art market.

McAndrew credits the growing number of Brazilian billionaires as the driving force behind substantial art purchases for their respective collections.  The $500 million art market in the country is made up more of local sales than substantial international art deals, for now.  It is the country’s wealthy that are doing more and more of the buying outside the country and contributing to the global art market. 

The amount of art sales through traders and auction houses increased by 10 percent in 2012 in Brazil.

The study also points out that a majority of art galleries in Brazil are owned by women located mainly in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

The global art market remains dominated by the U.S. and China.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Dissident Blogger Yoani Sanchez Visits White House

Cuban Dissident Blogger Yoani Sanchez Visits White House

Photo: Yoani Sanchez at White House

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Cuban independent journalist and blogger Yoani Sanchez visited the White House on Wednesday and met with President Barack Obama’s advisor on Latin America.

Sanchez, who is in Washington as one stop on her tour through a number of countries, spoke with Ricardo Zuñiga about her struggle to promote “increased respect” for the freedom of expression in Cuba, according to a communique released by White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.

Hayden emphasized that Sanchez was prohibited from leaving Cuba for years and that the blogger is a “respected advocate for the freedom of information.”

“The United States looks forward to the day when all Cubans will have the opportunity to express themselves in public without fear and we will continue to support policies that encourage the free flow of information to, from, and within Cuba,” the NSC spokeswoman said.

Sanchez, 37, met on Tuesday in Washington with several Democratic and Republican senators and congressmen and gave a speech at the Cato Institute in which she said that technology is not enough to change Cuba, but it will help in the process of achieving a “free society.”

After five years of negative responses from the Cuban government to her repeated requests to travel abroad, the author of the well-known Generacion Y blog finally received permission to leave the island last month thanks to a reform in Havana’s immigration policy and on her world tour so far she has visited Brazil, the Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Prince Felipe Affirms Country’s Commitment to Olympic Principles

Spanish Prince Felipe Affirms Country’s Commitment to Olympic Principles

Photo: Madrid 2020

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Spain is firmly committed to the principles of the Olympic movement, Crown Prince Felipe said Wednesday during a dinner at the royal palace for International Olympic Committee representatives who are here to evaluate Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Games.

The honorary president of the Madrid 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee also stressed how Spain has “improved still more its candidacy” to host the games after losing out to London in the contest for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“A demonstration, in short, of our sporting and Olympic spirit, that we do not surrender and that we have the highest esteem for the movement and philosophy that are the foundation of the games,” the prince told the IOC officials and around 100 invited guests.

Also present for the event were Queen Sofia; Felipe’s wife, Princess Letizia; his sister, Princess Elena; aunt, Princess Pilar; and four Cabinet ministers.

King Juan Carlos is convalescing from back surgery.

Since the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, the crown prince said, Spain “has affirmed ... in an active, real and verifiable manner, its firm commitment to the goals and principles of the Olympic movement ... promoting the best practices and openly fighting against the most reprehensible, such as doping.”

Madrid, he told the 17 IOC evaluators, “is not only a European city, but also an unquestionable exponent of the broad and booming Hispanic and Ibero-American world.”

“We want to write another brilliant page in Olympic history, enriching its legacy - for Madrid, for Spain and for all humanity,” Crown Prince Felipe said.

The IOC Evaluation Committee has spent the past three days viewing Madrid’s sporting venues and infrastructure and receiving assurances that Spain and its capital have the necessary resources to host the 2020 Games.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Christina Tells Blake, Adam to Treat Shakira Like a Lady on ‘The Voice’

Christina Tells Blake, Adam to Treat Shakira Like a Lady on ‘The Voice’

Photo: Christina Tells Blake, Adam to Treat Shakira Like a Lady on 'The Voice'

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Next week will welcome back NBC’s The Voice, and newcomers Usher and Shakira will try their hand at judging and mentoring a new batch of singers, as they take over for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo, who are both out promoting their new music.

Though she is not on the program this year, Christina is still ripping on Blake and Adam, telling them to treat Shakira “like the lady that she is.”

Earlier this week, Christina tweeted:

It seems Shakira is no pushover however, and a teaser for the new season shows he turning on the charm and joking with the guys.

Christina’s new album Lotus features the single “Just a Fool” which she sang with fellow judge, country crooner Blake Shelton.

After telling the guys to be good to Shakira, Christina, 32, also ribbed Adam Levine, who just turned 34, about getting older, saying, “I know you’ll be whipping out the tequila shots tonight. You turn 40, right? Hehe. You know I’ll always bust your balls.”


The judges, old and new, will launch the new season on Monday, March 25th at 8 p.m. EST.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Deported Migrants Seek Refuge in Underground Dwellings in Tijuana

Deported Migrants Seek Refuge in Underground Dwellings in Tijuana

Photo: Pocitos in Tijuana

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Hundreds of deported migrants, fearing detection and harassment by police and drug smugglers and unable to return to their homes, have sought refuge in below-ground makeshift dwellings in the Mexican border city Tijuana.

Around 200 migrants are living in about 30 “pocitos,” tunnels up to 15 meters (50 feet) long and a meter deep that have been dug into the rain-softened earth along a section of the Tijuana River near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Some 100,000 people are sent back to Tijuana every year from the United States, making that area of Mexico the recipient of the largest number of deportees.

In that metropolis, a half-mile stretch of the intermittent river known as “El Bordo” - notable for raised concrete embankments, or levees, on either side of a foul-smelling wastewater conduit - is a gathering point for some 3,000 Mexican and Central American migrants who became stranded there after being deported from the United States.

Until recently, hundreds of fragile homes erected on the banks of the narrow river were visible at El Bordo, located just west of the busy San Ysidro Port of Entry and adjoining the San Ysidro district of south San Diego.

But police operations to remove the migrants, commonly by setting fire to their dwellings built out of garbage, plastic and cardboard, began just over a year ago.

Delfino Lopez, a Mexican migrant who looks older than his 33 years, told Efe how one of these operations unfolded: “They told us. The party’s over. Now you’re going to pay the price.’ And we did ... They burned our things. They took everything.”

“They tried to burn them alive. They doused (the dwellings) with gasoline and set them on fire. Some suffered burns,” Micaela Saucedo, an activist and director of a migrant shelter, said.

Ismael Martinez, a native of Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s most impoverished states, lived for nearly two decades in California. Since being deported, he has not been able to gather enough money to return to his homeland, more than 1,500 miles away.

When the police raids began in El Bordo, it occurred to him that he could dig into the dry river bed and hide away “like a mole” to protect himself from being burned or arrested.

To secure the tunnel and reduce the risk of it collapsing, he began coating the inside of the structure with pieces of wood swept along by the waterway.

But those makeshift reinforcements do not ensure the safety of those living there. On the contrary, deported migrants live in fear of being buried alive by a municipal government excavating machine.

Saucedo recalled that while city authorities were doing clean-up work in the area in late 2012 a digger lifted out the body of a migrant who had been sleeping in one of the pocitos.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayMarch 21, 2013