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FridayMarch 22, 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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North Carolina Abandons Plans to Give Undocumented Pink-striped Licenses

North Carolina Abandons Plans to Give Undocumented Pink-striped Licenses

Photo: North Carolina

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North Carolina’s state transportation department said that driver’s licenses issued to young undocumented immigrants will not bear a distinctive pink stripe as originally proposed.

Instead, Deferred Action beneficiaries will receive licenses of the usual blue color and the horizontal design that characterizes state licenses for drivers over 21, and with the vertical format for those under 21.

However, the documents will bear the phrases “Limited Term” and “Legal Presence/No Lawful Status” in red.

Jess George, executive director of the Latin American Coalition of Charlotte, an organization that rejected the design of the pink-striped licenses, said “this is a victory for the people of the whole state who protested against licenses designed to discriminate against their bearers.”

Driver’s licenses for immigrants accepted into the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will be issued starting March 25.

After Aug. 15, 2012, when the federal government announced the DACA program, spokespersons for the North Carolina DMV announced that licenses would be issued to young immigrants known as “dreamers” because they are the intended beneficiaries of the long-stalled DREAM Act.

However, in September the DMV said it would consult with state Attorney General Roy Cooper on whether the issuing of such documents was valid.

In January, when new Republican Gov. Pat McCrory took office, spokespersons for the state transportation department said it would not provide the permits for DACA recipients.

Protests by “dreamers” broke out in a number of cities demanding that the state restore the right to drive legally, at the same time the ACLU rolled out a national campaign to pressure the McCrory administration into issuing the licenses.

Then at the end of February the DMV said it would issue the licenses but with the pink-striped design, which sparked general rejection on the part of immigrant activists.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jennifer Lopez Hints at Duet with Chris Brown on Twitter

Jennifer Lopez Hints at Duet with Chris Brown on Twitter

Photo: Jennifer Lopez Hints at Duet with Chris Brown on Twitter

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It may not be the best career movie, but Jennifer Lopez has hinted she is currently working Chris Brown.

On Thursday, Lopez, 43, posted a photo on Twitter of her and Brown, 23, in a recording studio. Also in the photo is music producer Cory Rooney, who has worked with Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child, and Marc Anthony.

ImageAlong with the photo, Lopez posted:

@chrisbrown @CORYROONEY @BEAUcasperSMART @missgillygrace #studiolife #makinghistory #Album10 #SAMEGIRL

Lopez is currently working on her 10th album.

Brown rose to fame with songs like “Run It” and Kiss Kiss”, but just as it seemed his career was only on its way up, Brown was charged with felony assault for beating his girlfriend, singer Rihanna. The gruesome photos of Rihanna’s battered face outraged many, and left Brown has since claimed it’s all in the past and should be forgiven. in 2009, he pled guilty and was sentenced to five years probation and six months of community service. Since the attack, Brown and Rihanna have faced near constant media scrutiny, especially after it became clear the two had reunited.

So what do you think? Is it a good career move for JLo to team up with such a controversial performer?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Australian Police Dismantle Drug Ring with Spanish Ties

Australian Police Dismantle Drug Ring with Spanish Ties

Photo: Australian Police Dismantle Drug Ring with Spanish Ties

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Australian police dismantled a drug trafficking ring with ties to Spain and other European countries, while seizing 117 kilos (258 pounds) of MDMA, which is used to make ecstasy, authorities said Friday.

The confiscated drug could have produced up to 1.37 ecstasy pills with a street value of $54 million (42 million euros), according to a communique from the Australian Federal Police.

The investigation, which began 18 months ago, led to the arrest Thursday of three people in Australia and the issuing of arrest warrants in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the seizure of thousands of dollars in cash.

Another suspect was detained in Britain, though when that occurred was not specified, and up to now no Spaniards have been arrested in the operation, Australian police officials told Efe.

Cops detained a 32-year-old woman in Melbourne and a man, 38, in Sydney, both accused of importing part of the MDMA camouflaged in bottles of olive oil from Spain.

If found guilty, they could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Australian security forces thanked their British, Belgian, Dutch and Spanish counterparts for their cooperation.

The operation demonstrated that police continue to disrupt “sophisticated criminal enterprises involved in the importation of illicit drugs,” AFP Brisbane office manager Mark Walters said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Peru Calls on Sotheby’s to Halt Auction of Pre-Columbian Artifacts

Peru Calls on Sotheby’s to Halt Auction of Pre-Columbian Artifacts

Photo: Barbier-Mueller collection

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The Peruvian government has taken another step to block the auction of a pre-Columbian art collection with a request to Sotheby’s that it suspend the sale scheduled to begin Friday in Paris.

The Peruvian embassy said Friday that the request was sent both to the appropriate French authorities and to Sotheby’s, which was also asked to repatriate the pieces.

The Barbier-Mueller collection, one of the most important of this kind of art in the world, could take in as much as 15 million euros ($19.4 million).

Made up of 313 lots, the collection contains 69 items from Peru, whose Culture Ministry said early this month that it would file a complaint against Sotheby’s.

The collection was started in 1920 by Josef Mueller and was continued by his son-in-law Jean-Paul Barbier-Mueller. Peruvian authorities consider it very probable that the works were smuggled out of the country.

In a statement sent Friday to Efe, Sotheby’s let it be known that over the past few months it has researched the provenance of the pieces and is confident they can be put up for sale.

Read more by HS News Staff →

PERU: Brazilian-Spanish Consortium to Build Hydroelectric Power Plant

PERU: Brazilian-Spanish Consortium to Build Hydroelectric Power Plant

Photo: PERU: Brazilian-Spanish Consortium to Build Hydroelectric Power Plant

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A consortium made up of Spain’s Corsan Corviam and Brazil’s Engevix and Enex has been chosen to build a hydroelectric power station in southern Peru, officials said.

The Andean nation’s Private Investment Promotion Agency, or Proinversion, said Thursday in a statement that the dam to be built by the CEE consortium will require an investment outlay of roughly $600 million.

The Molloco project, commissioned by the Energy and Mines Ministry, is located in the southern region of Arequipa.

Proinversion said the hydroelectric project in the Molloco River basin and also affecting a portion of the Palca River will consist of an initial 24-month stage to conduct final studies followed by a 60-month construction stage.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Scientific Community Awaits Mexico’s Large Millimeter Telescope to Begin Operation

Scientific Community Awaits Mexico’s Large Millimeter Telescope to Begin Operation

Photo: Large Millimeter Telescope

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Perched on the summit of a dormant volcano in central Mexico, the Large Millimeter Telescope will soon begin scanning the heavens with unprecedented precision.

Work on the LTM began in 1997 and the telescope is set to become operational May 1.

Mexico’s National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics, or INAOE, and the University of Massachusetts have invested $128 million in building the installation atop Volcan de Sierra Negra, 4,600 meters (15,000 ft) above sea level.

“Sierra Negra is important for its altitude, because at the summit of such a large volcano very little water exists in the atmosphere, so there is a greater sensitivity in comparison with other telescopes in lower locations,” LTM director David Hughes said.

The telescope stands 55 meters (180 ft) tall and weighs 2,600 tons.

“It’s an instrument of very high precision with a wavelength of 0.8 millimeters, so it is capable of capturing cosmic dust,” INAOE chief Alberto Carramiñana told Efe. “With this we seek to do science of international relevance, to observe phenomena that have not been observed previously.”

The project gives Mexico “an instrument that allow it to carry out pioneering scientific research,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Police Evict Indigenous Squatters Living in Former Museum

Brazil Police Evict Indigenous Squatters Living in Former Museum

Photo: Protests outside of museum

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Brazilian cops took by force Friday a building that was once an Indian Museum and had been occupied since 2006 by indigenous people who promised to resist a court-ordered eviction.

Agents who cordoned off the premises before dawn stormed the building in the early afternoon after negotiations failed to get the Indians to leave peacefully.

The building, located next to Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium, will be made into a sports museum as part of the preparatory works for the 2014 soccer World Cup in Brazil.

Though police rapidly controlled the approximately 40 Indians dug into the old museum, there were struggles outside with the dozens of protesters supporting the occupiers. Agents resorted to tear gas to restore order.

Police received the command to occupy the one-time museum after the Rio de Janeiro state government failed in its attempt to convince all the occupiers to leave the building.

“We were able to get most of the elderly and children and many adults to leave the building peacefully,” state ombud Daniel Macedo, one of the intermediaries in the negotiations, said.

The Indians who agreed to leave the premises were temporarily put up in a hotel.

The state government plans to build a cultural center for indigenous peoples at another location, but the occupiers rejected the proposed sites as too remote from the city center.

The 163-year-old building housed the Indian Museum between 1910 and 1978, and sat empty until the indigenous activists took possession in 2006.

Read more by HS News Staff →

March 22: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

March 22: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

Photo: In theaters today: Olympus Has Fallen, Admission -- Coming soon: Trance

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Now that the weekend is finally upon us, let’s take a look at the what’s opening in theaters today.

Olympus Has Fallen
-Stars: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart
-Rating: R
-Genre: Action, Thriller
Image-The gist: When the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President (Aaron Eckhart) is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning’s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger disaster.

The Croods
-Stars: (Voices) Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman
-Rating: PG
-Genre: Animation, Comedy (Family)
Image-The gist: The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world’s first family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures—and their outlook is changed forever.

 

Admission
-Stars: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen
-Rating: PG-13
-Genre: Comedy
Image-The gist: Straight-laced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the free-wheeling John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted—but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.

 

Come Out and Play
-Stars: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Vinessa Shaw
-Rating:
-Genre: Horror
Image-The gist: Based on a novel by Juan Jose Plans, Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a young married couple, are on holiday together when they venture to a beautiful, but highly remote, island. Beth is pregnant and the two are hoping to enjoy their last vacation before their baby is born. When they arrive, they notice that while there are plenty of children present, the adults all seem to be missing. Initially attributing this to the after effects of a recent festival, they quickly realize something far more sinister is afoot. The two will face terror and unsettling difficult decisions in their quest to make it off the island alive.

 

Coming soon…


On April 5, director Danny Boyle’s Trance hits theaters and stars James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel.

A fine art auctioneer (McAvoy) mixed up with a gang joins forces with a hypnotherapist to recover a lost Goya painting. As boundaries between desire, reality and hypnotic suggestion begin to blur the stakes rise faster than anyone could have anticipated.

The film is rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images, and language.

Read more by HS News Staff →

AMERICAN IDOL: Devin Velez Lands in Bottom 3, Jessica Sanchez Performs (VIDEO)

AMERICAN IDOL: Devin Velez Lands in Bottom 3, Jessica Sanchez Performs (VIDEO)

Photo: Jessica Sanchez performs with Ne-Yo

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Thursday’s elimination on American Idol surprised many, as the singer expected to be sent home was not even in the bottom three.

On Wednesday, contestants took on The Beatles, each singing a song by the iconic group. Lazaro Arbos sang “In My Life” but failed to impress the judges. Devin Velez, however, received praise from the panel of judges and it appeared he was far more safe from elimination than Arbos.

The next night’s show would prove that assumption incorrect, as Arbos’ massive fan base saved him, and Velez didn’t have the votes and joined Amber Holcomb and Paul Jolley in the bottom three.

In the end, Velez made it to the top 8, as Paul Jolley was sent home after the judges could not reach a unanimous decision, therefore did not use their one save of the season.

One who knows all about the importance of the save is last season’s Jessica Sanchez. Though she did not win her season, Sanchez is doing well. On Thursday, she and Ne-Yo took the stage to perform their single “Tonight” which got everyone dancing and received a standing ovation from the judges.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alexandre Herchcovitch Shows Edgier Spring Collection at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Alexandre Herchcovitch Shows Edgier Spring Collection at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Photo: Alexandre Herchcovitch

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Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch showcased a summer collection notable for its femininity and distinct winter feel on the fourth day of Sao Paulo Fashion Week.

Black, white, cream and gray were the predominant colors of his sober yet ultra-feminine creations, which included dresses, tops, skirts and see-through blouses for the Summer 2013-14 season.

High-heeled models wearing the Sao Paulo born Herchcovitch’s silk, elastic cotton and lace fabrics strutted down the zigzag-shaped runway on Thursday.

Vitorino Campos kicked off the penultimate session of SPFW’s Summer 2013-14 show, when models showing off the latest creations of Amapo, Juliana Jabour, Osklen, Samuel Cirnansck and Colcci also took to the catwalk.

The SPFW began on Monday at the Bienal building at the heart of Ibirapuera park and will conclude on Friday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Eva Longoria Joins Howard G. Buffett in Guatemala

Eva Longoria Joins Howard G. Buffett in Guatemala

Photo: Eva Longoria Joins Howard G. Buffett in Guatemala

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Eva Longoria and Howard G. Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett, are currently in Latin America on a charity mission.

In 2008, the World Food Programme, with help from Howard’s foundation, began assisting farmers in a number of Latin America countries with growing and developing their farming businesses.

This week, Longoria joined Buffett in Guatemala to witness and discuss agriculture with local farmers.

After arriving, Longoria took to Twitter and WhoSay to share photos from the trip.

 

Howard G. Buffett, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, farms 400 acres in the state. He currently resides in Decatur, Illinois and operates a 1,240-acre family family in Pana as well, and is an advocate of no-till conservation agriculture. No-till is an agricultural technique which increases the amount of water and organic matter (nutrients) in the soil and decreases erosion.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Telescope Captures Residual Glow of Big Bang

Telescope Captures Residual Glow of Big Bang

Photo: Residual glow from the Big Bang (Planck/ESA)

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The Planck space telescope has captured an image of the residual glow from the Big Bang, the European Space Agency reported Thursday.

This is an image with more detail than has ever been captured before of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which originated about 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the explosion amid which the universe began 13.8 billion years ago.

“For cosmologists, this map is a goldmine of information,” George Efstathiou, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge and one of Planck’s lead researchers, said of the data.

This first light, which has been traveling through space for some 13.4 billion years and cooling the entire time, now has a temperature of just 2.7 degrees Kelvin (minus 273 C or minus 454 F).

Nevertheless, the light shows very tiny fluctuations in its density corresponding to the “seeds” from which stars and galaxies later formed.

The unique photograph was obtained after processing data obtained over the past 2 1/2 years by the Planck telescope launched in May 2009 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana to map the cosmos and analyze its origins.

The telescope is positioned at a location in space known as the Earth/Sun L2 Lagrange point some 1.5 million kilometers (93 million miles) from Earth.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Convicted Felon, Repeat Border Violator Facing 20 Years in Prison

Convicted Felon, Repeat Border Violator Facing 20 Years in Prison

Photo: Convicted Felon, Repeat Border Violator Facing 20 Years in Prison

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A Mexican criminal alien with a prior felony conviction for evading police with a motor vehicle pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of illegally re-entering the United States following a prior removal. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested the man Dec. 18, 2012, in Jefferson Parish.

“This case is a prime example of ICE enhancing public safety by identifying and detaining a violent felon who has repeatedly violated federal immigration law,” said Scott L. Sutterfield, acting field office director of ERO New Orleans. Sutterfield oversees ERO activities in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

According to court documents, Luis Baena-Olivares, 52, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Baena-Olivares is scheduled to be sentenced June 18 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. ERO New Orleans was assisted in its investigation by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department.

Baena-Olivares was previously removed from the U.S. to Mexico by ICE in May 2004. That removal followed his release from prison in Texas after being sentenced to a year in jail on a felony evading police charge.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Kia Motors Looking to Break Into Hispanic Market

Kia Motors Looking to Break Into Hispanic Market

Photo: Kia Motors

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South Korean automaker Kia, which has experienced spectacular growth in the United States during recent years, wants to become the preferred brand among North American Hispanics, the company executive told Efe.

To achieve that goal, the firm is increasing its presence in Latino media, Kia’s U.S. marketing director, Tim Chaney, said in an interview with Efe.

One sign of this is the recent agreement with Univision to sponsor the beauty competition program “Nuestra belleza latina,” one of the most successful reality shows on Hispanic television in the United States.

The accord, announced on March 11, will include the sponsoring of races that the program participants will compete in during the season using Kia vehicles.

Chaney told Efe that the South Korean manufacturer is fully immersed in the process of revamping its multicultural communications strategy and emphasized the importance Kia places on the Hispanic community in North America.

“The agreement is part of the plan to invest much more money and effort in Hispanic media,” Chaney said.

“There’s a great growth opportunity. You can’t be part of the current predominant cultural trend if you don’t invest in the Hispanic market,” he added.

Kia is in the midst of an aggressive growth plan in North America.

Last year, for the first time, sales of Kia automobiles in the United States exceeded 500,000 units. Chaney emphasized that the company’s share of the U.S. market has grown “for 18 consecutive years.”

Part of that success is due to the market acceptance of its U.S.-made Optima model.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More than a Majority of Americans Support Earned Path to Citizenship for Undocumented

More than a Majority of Americans Support Earned Path to Citizenship for Undocumented

Photo: American Support Citizenship for Undocumented

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A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute indicates that a clear majority of Americans (63%) support an earned “path to citizenship” for the undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

The survey showed that regardless of party affiliation Americans want the undocumented to earn citizenship under certain conditions.  71 percent of Democrats favored a path to citizenship while 53 percent of Republicans favored it.  A key base within the Republican Party, white evangelical Protestants also support the undocumented becoming citizens at 56 percent.

The number of Americans supporting a path to citizenship increased from 63 percent to 68 percent when asked to choose between securing borders while offering earned citizenship.

In spite of overwhelming support for citizenship only 24 percent of Americans say that reforming immigration should be the government’s highest priority, ranking immigration reform sixth out of seven issues.

Click here to read the entire report. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sony Open: Spain’s Silvia Soler Espinosa Moves On to 2nd Round

Sony Open: Spain’s Silvia Soler Espinosa Moves On to 2nd Round

Photo: Sony Open: Spain's Silvia Soler Espinosa Moves On to 2nd Round

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Spain’s Silvia Soler Espinosa defeated France’s Pauline Parmentier 6-0, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2 in the first round at the Sony Open in Miami.

Soler Espinosa needed two hours and three minutes to win the match, which was interrupted by rain Wednesday night at Key Biscayne’s Crandon Park tennis center.

The Spanish qualifier rolled over Parmentier in the first set and was up 4-3 when severe thunderstorms rolled over the tennis center.

The rain delay appeared to cause Soler Espinosa to lose her focus and she dropped the second set in a tiebreaker after play resumed.

Soler Espinosa regained her form from earlier in the match and took the third set 6-2.

In other action at the Sony Open on Wednesday, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza defeated the Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, while Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez 6-3, 6-3 and Britain’s Laura Robson beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

On the men’s side, Spain’s Albert Ramos beat Czech Jan Hajek 6-3, 6-1, Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt defeated Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1, 7-6 and Slovakia’s Grega Zemlja beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista 6-3, retired.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Navy Ship to Make 7 Month Voyage to 14 Countries

Mexican Navy Ship to Make 7 Month Voyage to 14 Countries

Photo: Cuauhtemoc

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The Mexican navy’s training ship, Cuauhtemoc, has received authorization from the Senate to sail on a seven-month training cruise that will take it to 14 countries in the Americas and Europe, officials said.

The “Europa 2013” mission is designed to deliver a message of peace and goodwill from Mexico, as well as to promote some of the country’s states as cultural and tourism destinations, the Senate said in a statement.

Under Mexican law, only the Senate can approve the deployment of armed forces members outside the country’s borders.

The training cruise will start on April 12 and end on Nov. 15.

The Cuauhtemoc will sail from the Pacific resort city of Acapulco to the Gulf port of Veracruz, where the international leg of the journey will start.

The vessel will visit Balboa, Panama; Havana, Cuba; Norfolk, Virginia; Bordeaux, France; Rouen, France; Den Helder, Netherlands; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain; and Cartagena, Colombia, among other ports.

The Cuauhtemoc will carry a crew of 204, including officers, non-commissioned officers and sailors, along with 74 cadets.

The ship was constructed by Spain’s Astilleros de Celaya S.A. shipyard in the early 1980s.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Author Benjamin Sáenz First Latino to Win Prestigious Pen/Faulkner Award

Author Benjamin Sáenz First Latino to Win Prestigious Pen/Faulkner Award

Photo: Benjamin Alire Sáenz -PEN/Faulkner Winner

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Mexican-American author and former priest Benjamin Alire Sáenz is the first Latino to win the prestigious PEN/Faulkner literary award.

Sáenz’ collection of stories beat out over 350 literary submissions to win the $15,000 prize.  The PEN/Faulkner was given to the 58-year-old author for his collection of seven stories in “Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club,” published by El Paso-based independent book publisher Cinco Puntos Press.

The collection of stories center around life near the U.S.-Mexico border at a popular bar in Juarez. Border life is something Sáenz is very familiar with having grown up in New Mexico. His first published work “Calendar of Dust” a book of poems won an American Book Award in 1992.

The author will receive the PEN/Faulkner on May 4, 2013 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.  The award was created in 1981 and is considered the largest peer juried prize for writing.

Sáenz currently is the Chair of the University of Texas at El Paso’s Creative Writing Department.

Read more by HS News Staff →

North Carolina Drops Plan to Mark Drivers Licenses for Undocumented with ‘Scarlet Letter’

North Carolina Drops Plan to Mark Drivers Licenses for Undocumented with ‘Scarlet Letter’

Photo: North Carolina Licenses: Undocumented Youth

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North Carolina driver licenses for undocumented immigrants accepted into the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program will no longer have the special destination of a pink stripe.  The idea of the “scarlet letter” met with much resistance by immigrant advocates feeling it would invite discrimination.

Immigrants accepted into the deferred deportation program were granted driving privileges in February after the state did a reversal on its original position not granting licenses for undocumented youth.  The licenses will become available next week.

When the state announced it would demark the licenses with a pink stripe many immigrant advocates cried foul.  Now the new design will be very similar in color and layout to the drivers licenses issued to all other drivers in North Carolina.  The licenses for the undocumented will however have special language in red lettering that reads: “Legal Presence/No Lawful Status”. 

About 40 states and the District of Columbia have said they are granting drivers licenses to the undocumented youth that qualify for deferred action.  North Carolina was one of the first states to initially say no to the licenses.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Gov’t Protests Antiquities Auction in France

Mexican Gov’t Protests Antiquities Auction in France

Photo: Mexican Gov't Protests Antiquities Auction in France

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The Mexican government has lodged a protest with French authorities over the planned auction later this week of antiquities at the Paris branch of Sotheby’s, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

Sotheby’s plans to put the archaeological pieces, which “are the property of the nation,” on the auction block on Friday and Saturday, the INAH said in a statement.

“The government of Mexico has consistently officially expressed its disagreement with the international sale of protected cultural items, particularly archaeological items,” the INAH said.

“This practice removes these unique and valuable goods from their cultural, historical and symbolic essence, turning them into merchandise or mere curiosities,” the Mexican government agency said.

The Sotheby’s auction catalog was examined by INAH experts, who concluded that “there exists a basis to contend that of the 130 items identified as coming from Mexican territory, 51 are archaeological items that are the property of the nation, and the rest are craft pieces of recent manufacture,” the INAH said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chicago Plays Host to Largest Mass School Closings

Chicago Plays Host to Largest Mass School Closings

Photo: CPS Massive School Closings

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Chicago will play host to the largest mass closing of public schools in the nation announcing that 54 schools will shutter resulting in 61 school facilities closing. The school closings represent 13 percent of all Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the largest closing of its kind in the city’s history. 

The closing affects some 30,000 students mostly in elementary and middle schools.  52 elementary schools will close this year while 11 will see consolidations. The remainder of the schools will close within the next two years.

The closings, mostly in minority communities, appear to be a result of budget shortfalls and declining enrollment.  CPS officials face a $1 billion budget shortfall this September.  According to the Chicago Tribune the closing will produce $560 million in savings for CPS over the next ten years.

Some Chicago education leaders and elected officials suggest the closing unfairly target Latino and African-American neighborhoods.  Many parents fear their relocated children will have to travel longer distances through dangerous neighborhoods and face overcrowding situations.

Eight aldermen working as the City Council’s Progressive Reform Coalition want an immediate stop to the schools closing plan that needs final approval by the Board of Education.

CPS Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett faced the wrath of many alone when making the announcement since Mayor Rahm Emanuel is traveling with his family for Spring Break to Utah.

Click here to see the list of all schools closing and where students will be relocated.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera to Join New Soap Opera

Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera to Join New Soap Opera

Photo: Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera to Join New Soap Opera

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Miss Universe 2006, Puerto Rico’s Zuleyka Rivera, announced Thursday that she will participate in the new soap opera “Cosita linda,” which will begin filming in May in Miami for Univision and Venevision.

“I’m very happy to have signed the contract. My participation will be an antagonistic role,” Rivera told reporters after being presented as the new spokesperson for Le’dermis beauty products.

Rivera, 25, has already been playing the role of “Sandra Diaz” in the soap opera “Rosario,” the last episode of which will be taped on Friday.

She resumed her career as an actress after having a child, Sebastian Jose, with JJ Barea of the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves.

The baby was born Feb. 17, 2012, which is also Michael Jordan’s birthday.

While she was filming “Rosario,” Rivera participated as an extra in the Hollywood film “Runner, Runner,” starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck and which was filmed in Puerto Rico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Government Vows to Reduce Violence in Federal Operations

The Mexican government is doing everything possible to reduce the level of violence in operations involving federal security forces, which will remain deployed across the country as long as necessary, federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.

“The work done by the government has been to reduce significantly and to the extent possible the violent or the legitimate use of violence by the state,” Sanchez said.

Law enforcement officials are using intelligence to “allow arrests to be made with the least violence possible (and) in ways that do not harm citizens,” the federal security spokesman said.

Federal security forces remain in states whose governors requested them and “will continue having this presence until results are obtained,” Sanchez said.

The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, officials say.

Calderon deployed thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to fight drug cartels, which infiltrated many state and municipal police departments.

Mexican press tallies estimated that about 12,000 people died in violent incidents linked to organized crime groups in 2012.

A total of 1,104 people died in violent incidents in Mexico in January, the government said.

Some 914 drug-related murders occurred in Mexico in February, the government said in a recent report.

More than 3,100 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office on Dec. 1.

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Crime Journalist Gunned Down in Guatemala

Crime Journalist Gunned Down in Guatemala

Photo: Violence in Guatemala

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A journalist with Nuestro Diario newspaper was fatally shot in the eastern Guatemalan province of Jutiapa, the publication said Thursday.

Jaime Napoleon Jarquin Duarte, 63, was a former schoolteacher who joined the paper three years ago, Nuestro Diario said.

Three friends who happened to be with the reporter at the time of the assault were wounded.

The incident took place Wednesday night in Ciudad Pedro de Alvarado, a town on the border with El Salvador.

Nuestro Diario is known for its intensive coverage of crime and violence in Guatemala, a nation of some 14 million people that experiences an average of 16 homicides a day.

Police said they had no leads on who shot Jarquin and no information on a motive for the killing. Neither authorities nor Nuestro Diario were aware of any threats against the reporter.

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FridayMarch 22, 2013