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WednesdayApril 17, 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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DREAMers Release Statement on Immigration Bill

DREAMers Release Statement on Immigration Bill

Photo: Immigration reform

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The Dream Action Coalition commends the progress of the “Gang of 8” and will launch a grassroots and online effort to take on Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) so they don’t stand in the way of debate.

While we commend the progress, Dream Action Coalition is also ensure to improve vital provisions:

    1) DREAMers should have immediate path to Legal Permanent status then three years for citizenship rather than provisional status for five years
    2) those previously deported should have a guaranteed and quick process to apply for return and reunify with their families in the U.S.
    3) legislation should provide practical waivers for those who have not committed violent or aggravated felonies
    4) family unity should continue to be an integral component under the new immigration system

The Senate is making headway with key provisions, however, we will continue to press to ensure that the legislation is fair, practical, and serves our communities and economy without having to wait for border security to be defined and implemented.

Careful evaluation is critical, but there is an urgency: Americans are expecting Congress to reform our system, which everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees is “broken.”  Senator Sessions, immigration’s staunchest opponent, should not stand in the way of modernizing our system, and Senator Cornyn should not followed his lead.

The Dream Action Coalition will work to ensure the American people are not fooled by Sen. Session’s disguised effort to delay and ultimately kill immigration reform.

Lines are currently being drawn within the Republican Party on immigration between those who would reform the GOP’s image with Latinos and those who would stay the “self-deportation” course.

We hope that more reasonable voices and Senator Cornyn follow their Latino constituencies, and ignore the extreme positions of their other, less in touch colleagues. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Massive Explosion Near Waco, Texas Multiple Injuries Reported

JUST IN:   Massive Explosion Near Waco, Texas Multiple Injuries Reported

Photo: West, Texas - Inquisitr

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Texas authorities are reporting a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant 19 miles north of Waco, Texas with multiple injuries.  Initial reports indicate that people might be trapped in a nearby nursing home and residential apartment building.

The Waco Tribune is reporting that several buildings including a nearby school caught fire.  While a dispatcher for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Dani Moore, stated she did not know exactly how many people were injured and the extent of their injuries.

The explosion is thought to have occurred shortly before 8p.m. local time at the West Fertilizer Co. on Jerry Mashek Drive.  Numerous emergency vehicles including police, sheriff and ambulances are being reported at the site. 

West, Texas is in McLennan County, Texas with a reported population of 2,674 people. This Friday, April 19th will be the 20th anniversary of the Waco Massacre with the Branch Davidians.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Bullfighter Francisco Rivera Ordoñez Plans to Wed Again

Spanish Bullfighter Francisco Rivera Ordoñez Plans to Wed Again

Photo: Spanish Bullfighter Francisco Rivera Ordoñez Plans to Wed Again

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Spanish bullfighter Francisco Rivera Ordoñez plans to wed a young attorney, Lourdes Montes, at a Sept. 14 ceremony where the matador’s daughter by his first marriage will act as matron of honor.

According to what was confirmed exclusively to the magazine Hola!, the couple will wed in a civil ceremony because Rivera has not obtained a church nullification of his first marriage to Eugenia Martinez de Irujo, mother of 13-year-old Cayetana.

Rivera and Montes will be married in an intimate ceremony in the southern town of Ronda, on the central square of which the ashes of the bullfighter’s grandfather, Antonio Ordoñez, were scattered.

The matador said that he is “crazy in love with Lourdes” and that he loves her “way of being” and the relationship she has established with Cayetana.

Montes, 29, said that she would have liked to have a church wedding, but she added that “the really important thing is who you’re marrying and the hope with which you take that step.”

The matador said goodbye to the bullring in October 2012, and over Christmas - when asked if he was planning to get married again soon - he said it was possible that he might do so this year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: At Least 8 Bodies Found Buried in Juarez, Nuevo Leon

Blog del Narco: At Least 8 Bodies Found Buried in Juarez, Nuevo Leon

Photo: Blog del narco- grave found with 8 bodies

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At least eight bodies have been found in clandestine graves in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, where two drug cartels have been fighting a turf war for more than three years, authorities said Tuesday.

An official with Nuevo Leon state police investigators said a passer-by reported two bodies dumped along a riverbank in the town of Juarez, which is a suburb of Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city.

Police arrived at the scene late Monday and discovered several clandestine graves in the area containing at least five other bodies and several body parts, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

The causes of death have not been determined, he said.

Read more at Blog del Narco in Spanish

Read more Narco News here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Defense Rests in Jodi Arias Murder Trial

Defense Rests in Jodi Arias Murder Trial

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After nearly three months of testimony, the defense rested in the murder trial of Jodi Arias, the woman accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend in 2008.

Arias, 32, has admitted to killing Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008, but claims she did so in self-defense and had pled not guilty to murder.

The defense’s strategy has been to paint Arias as a battered woman and Alexander as a secretly violent and manipulative man.

The prosecution however believes Arias is in fact the manipulator and was possessive and refused to allow Alexander to be with anyone but her

According to friends and family of Alexander, he had told them he had broken up with Arias, but admitted he had not ended their sexual relationship. In the months leading up to his death, Alexander had told friends Arias was stalking him, had hacked into his Facebook account, and slashed his tires.

In 2008, after having not heard from Alexander for days, friends went to his Mesa, Arizona home to check on him. His body was found in his blood-spattered bathroom. He had been stabbed 27 times, with his throat slit from ear to ear. He had also been shot once in the face. Alexander’s digital camera was found in his washing machine. Although images had been deleted, Mesa Police were able to recover the images. The recovered images included Arias and Alexander, both in sexually suggestive poses. The last photo of Alexander alive, and in the shower, was taken at 5:29:20 p.m. on June 4, 2008. The next photos were of an individual, believed to be Alexander, “profusely bleeding” on the floor.

When questioned by police, Arias lied multiple times, first claiming she was never in the home, then claiming two people had come into the home and killed Alexander. When she finally admitted to the killing Arias and her attorneys began building a defense around her claims of abuse by Alexander.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Janeen DeMarte testified for the defense that Arias has borderline personality disorder and said she found no evidence to believe Arias’ claims of memory problems or domestic violence. Dr. DeMarte added that she did not believe she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as the defense claimed.

Dr. DeMarte stated that if Arias was in a ‘fight-or-flight’ situation, things she did after killing Alexander—deleting the photos on the camera and attempting to clean up the crime scene—would not have been possible and are indications of “organization and planning.”

The trial began on January 2, 2013 in Arizona’s Maricopa County. This month, one juror was removed and another was excused for health reasons.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Real Madrid Named Most Valuable Soccer Club, Manchester United Falls to No. 2

Real Madrid Named Most Valuable Soccer Club, Manchester United Falls to No. 2

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Real Madrid has wrested the title of world’s most valuable soccer club away from Manchester United, while FC Barcelona took third place on Forbes magazine’s list, published Wednesday.

Los Blancos, whose current value rose 76 percent from last year to an estimated $3.3 billion, displaced United from the perch it had held since Forbes began publishing the list nine years ago.

The team values, according to Forbes, are “enterprise values (equity plus debt) based on multiples of revenue that teams get from television, premium seating, media, licensing, merchandise and concessions.”

Real Madrid also took over the title as world’s most valuable sports team after posting revenue of $650 million and operating income of $170 million in 2011-2012, according to Forbes, which praised the leadership of club president Florentino Perez.

The Glazer family-owned Manchester United, whose shares began to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange last July, was second on the list of 20 clubs with a current value of $3.16 billion and 2011-2012 revenue of $502 million.

Another Spanish club, Barcelona, whose value shot up by 99 percent over the past year to $2.6 billion, was No. 3 on the list, followed by Arsenal, Bayern Munich, AC Milan (owned by Silvio Berlusconi), Chelsea, Juventus, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rafael Nadal Easily Wins First Match at Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal Easily Wins First Match at Monte Carlo Masters

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal cruised to an easy 6-1, 6-2 victory Wednesday over Marinko Matosevic in his first match at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The eight-time defending champion raced through the first set and overcame a hiccup at the start of the second to win his 43rd straight match at this venue and 267th victory overall on clay.

His Australian opponent seemed overwhelmed and put up little resistance in the early going, but he had a break point to go up 3-0 in the second set before Nadal righted the ship and reeled off the final six games of the contest.

“You always have these nerves in the first (match) and the fact I took a break this month was apparent,” Nadal told Teledeporte, referring to his decision to pull out of the Miami Masters event to avoid overstraining a bulky knee.

“I was comfortable at first, playing solid, feeling the ball. At the start of second set, he played better and had a chance but luckily he didn’t convert it.”

Nadal missed last year’s London Olympics and U.S. Open due to the knee injury and also dropped out of this year’s Australian Open after coming down with an illness, but he returned to the ATP Tour in February and has already won three titles, including last month’s Indian Wells event.

“It’s like starting again when you play one month and you stop. You have to get the intensity back again, which is the toughest thing. I know that to have a chance in the later rounds I have to play better,” the third seed said.

In other results Wednesday, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia edged Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 and fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych defeated Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5, 6-4.

The Monte Carlo Masters is one of the biggest clay-court events on the ATP calendar and a key tune-up for the French Open, which gets underway next month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gulf Cartel Member Linked to 11 Deaths Arrested in Mexico

Gulf Cartel Member Linked to 11 Deaths Arrested in Mexico

Photo: Victor Raul Torres Ojeda (PuroNarco.com)

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A man suspected of being in charge of the Gulf drug cartel’s gunmen in the Mexican Caribbean resort city of Cancun has been arrested in connection with the murders of 11 people last week, Quintana Roo state Attorney General Gaspar Armando Garcia Torres said.

Victor Raul Torres Ojeda was arrested in a movie theater at the Plazas Outlet shopping center along with his bodyguard, Garcia Torres said.

Federal Attorney General’s Office personnel and army troops provided support for state law enforcement agents during the operation to arrest Torres Ojeda, the AG said.

Torres Ojeda’s bodyguard, identified as Luis Armando Valerio, tried to escape but was captured in the vicinity of the shopping center, the AG said.

Torres Ojeda, who is from Cancun, allegedly ordered and helped carry out the killings of at least 11 people in the past few days, the Quintana Roo attorney general said.

Police found the bodies of seven of his victims - five men and two women - bound and blindfolded at a house in Cancun on Sunday.

The bodies were found by officers responding to a tip from an anonymous caller, Cancun police chief Arturo Olivarez Mendiola said.

The Gulf cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest drug trafficking organizations, was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s.

The Gulf cartel is no longer as powerful as it once was, partly because of its break with Los Zetas, the criminal organization’s former armed wing, which severed ties with the cartel in 2010 and now runs its own narcotics trafficking business.

The Gulf organization, which mainly deals in cocaine, synthetic drugs and marijuana, mostly operates in northern Mexico and the country’s eastern coastal areas.

The cartel, like other Mexican criminal organizations, has expanded into kidnappings and extortion rackets, targeting businesses.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jennifer Lopez Named 3rd Most Hated Celeb

Jennifer Lopez Named 3rd Most Hated Celeb

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Star magazine has released the top 20 most hated celebrities after calculating the results of their poll.

Jennifer Lopez came in at number 3, behind only Gwyneth Paltrow (1) and Kristen Stewart (2).

See the full list below:

1. Gwyneth Paltrow
2. Kristen Stewart
3. Jennifer Lopez
4. John Mayer
5. Katherine Heigl
6. Matt Lauer
7. Madonna
8. Justin Bieber
9. Anne Hathaway
10. Kris Jenner
11. Kim Kardashian
12. LeAnn Rimes
13. Ashton Kutcher
14. Jay Leno
15. Angelina Jolie
16. Lindsay Lohan
17. Shia LaBeouf
18. Taylor Swift
19. Jesse James
20. Chris Brown

Perhaps the most upsetting thing about this list is the fact that Chris Brown isn’t higher on the list, sitting at 20. Really, poll-takers? You hate the Kardashians and JLo more than a guy who beat his girlfriend, fought with an alleged romantic rival (Drake), and threw a temper-tantrum after an interview and ripped off his shirt?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Says She Only Hired Antonio de la Rua Because he Was Unemployed

Shakira Says She Only Hired Antonio de la Rua Because he Was Unemployed

Photo: Shakira and Antonio de la Rua

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Shakira asked that the lawsuit filed by her former boyfriend, Antonio de la Rua, be thrown out of court claiming that the Argentine did not help her launch her career and that she hired him only because he was unemployed, local media reported on Wednesday.

In documents presented to the Manhattan Supreme Court judge hearing the case, the Colombian singer says that when she met De la Rua in 2000 she “was already a well-known and recognized artist, and (her) international career was established and solid,” the New York Daily News reported.

Shakira added that she hired De la Rua as an advisor in 2005 “at his request,” even though “he lacked experience or knowledge of the music industry.”

According to the document, the singer agreed to her boyfriend’s request that she hire him because “he was unemployed” after the December 2001 resignation of his father Fernando as president of Argentina.

Antonio De la Rua was “one of my numerous advisors,” the singer added, noting that she hired him after they had been dating for a year.

The couple broke up in 2010, and last November the Argentine filed a lawsuit in which he claimed that Shakira broke the verbal agreement they had whereby De la Rua was to receive a portion of the singer’s earnings in exchange for his efforts on her behalf in marketing and other business matters.

The Argentine is asking for $100 million and says that after the singer named him as her new representative, the “Shakira brand” reached new highs and she secured multimillion dollar contracts, and he further claims that it was he who persuaded her to record her big hit “Hips Don’t Lie.”

Shakira and her current boyfriend, Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique, are the parents of a son, Milan, born Jan. 22 in Barcelona.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Returns Stolen 16th Century Spanish Tapestry 34 Years After Theft

The U.S. government has just returned a rare 16th century Spanish tapestry some 34 years after it was stolen from the Aragon, Spain national cathedral.

The 4 foot by 8 foot tapestry was created around the 1500’s and used as an altar piece at the Roda de Isabena cathedral in Aragon, Spain.  The tapestry is considered the ‘cultural property’ of Spain and was deemed a national treasure by royal decree in 1924.

The tapestry depicts Virgin Mary with baby Jesus watched over by Spanish saints – St. Raymond,  St. Vincent of Saragossa and St. Valerius.  The art piece was stolen in 1979 allegedly by international art thief Rene Alphonse Van den Berghe (aka Erik the Belgian).

Apparently the tapestry traveled from Spain to Milan then resurfaced for sale in Belgium in 2010.  At the Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts Fair the tapestry sold to a Houston entity for $369,000.  When the historic piece of art arrived in the U.S. Spanish authorities urged the U.S. government to seize the tapestry, which they did.

Today in a ceremony at the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Washington D.C. the tapestry was returned to Spain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Environmental Group Calls for Nicaragua to Ban Shark Fishing

Environmental Group Calls for Nicaragua to Ban Shark Fishing

Photo: Shark killing in Nicaragua (La Prensa/ Fabio Buitrago)

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An environmental group is calling for a greater government presence in Nicaragua’s Caribbean waters following the discovery of a boat with dozens of dead sharks aboard in Little Corn Island.

Complaints have been filed with the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry, or Marena, and the Nicaraguan Aquaculture and Fishing Institute about the shark slaughter, the Nicaraguan Foundation for Sustainable Development, or Fundenic-SOS, said.

“We need a greater presence of the authorities in the area because this is what we managed to find. We do not know what is happening in the rest of the Caribbean,” Fundenic-SOS biologist Fabio Buitrago told Efe.

“Up to now, we have only gotten a response from the Marena, which asked us to provide information about the boat and its captain,” Buitrago said.

Shark fishing is not illegal in Nicaragua, but fishermen violate the law when they practice non-selective fishing by cutting the fins off sharks and tossing them back into the water alive.

“Shark finning,” the controversial practice of slicing off a hooked shark’s fins and then dumping the dead or injured animal into the water to save space, is banned in many countries.

The illegal trade in shark fins, which are considered a delicacy in Asia, is threatening some species with extinction.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Is Mattel’s New ‘Mexico Barbie’ Offensive?

Is Mattel’s New ‘Mexico Barbie’ Offensive?

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Mattel recently released their new “Dolls of the World” collection and it seems the Mexico Barbie has offended some.

Mexico Barbie has waist length, wavy black hair and is dressed in a bright pink dress with lace and ruffles. She comes with a pet Chihuahua and a passport with stickers to indicate where she has traveled.

Since the release, Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz about the doll with some calling it offensively “stereotypical” with the dress and carrying a Chihuahua.

With the criticism flooding in, Mattel released the following statement:

The Barbie Collector Dolls of the World line was launched in 1980 and is the largest and longest-running series in the history of the Barbie brand. Each doll wears an ensemble inspired by the traditional costume and fashion of the country. In 2012, the Barbie Collector Dolls of the World line launched dolls from Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Holland India, Ireland and Mexico. Every doll in the current line includes a ‘passport’ and stamps as well as an animal friend providing additional play value.

We consulted with the Mexican Embassy on the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, especially with respect to the selection of the Chihuahua. Our goal with the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, as well as the entire Dolls of the World Collection, is to celebrate cultural differences and tradition, introducing girls to the world through play.

One has to wonder though, if Mexico Barbie is offensive, what about China Barbie? She’s wearing a red silk dress and comes with a panda. Spain Barbie wears a flamenco dancer’s dress and peineta comb in her hair.

So what do you think? Is Mexico Barbie offensive or simply representative of the culture?

Read more by HS News Staff →

260-Pound Teen’s Appearance on Rachael Ray Show Leads to Lawsuit

260-Pound Teen’s Appearance on Rachael Ray Show Leads to Lawsuit

Photo: Rachael Ray Show: Christina Pagliarolo

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Clearly teen Christina Pagliarolo did not think Rachel Ray was as much sunshine and honey as many of her fans do.  The reportedly 260-pound teen was a guest on the “Rachael Ray Show” during a segment on obese teens in 2011.

As a result of Pagliarolo’s stint on the show she has sued the show and CBS for “negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress,” according to TMZ.  Apparently the teen was made to exercise in an aggressive manner whereby she was verbally assaulted by the trainer and fell off a StairMaster resulting in physical injury.

The then 18-year-old wanted to lose 70-pounds for her high school prom with progress of her weight loss tracked for a follow-up segment on the show.  Eric Viskovica, the trainer hired by the “Rachael Ray Show”,  is alleged to have screamed at Pagliarolo, made the teen hike in mountains, and “cranking up the speed” of a StairMaster resulting in her injuries when she toppled off.

The teen was apparently happy in the follow-up segment and with the complimentary makeover and limo – what happened two-years later to prompt the lawsuit is unknown. 

Ray has not commented on the lawsuit and executives from her show say they have not seen the lawsuit. 

Click here to read the entire lawsuit

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Performs on ‘DWTS’, Faces Criticism for Movie Awards Garb (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez Performs on ‘DWTS’, Faces Criticism for Movie Awards Garb (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gomez Performs on 'DWTS', Faces Criticism for Movie Awards Garb

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Selena Gomez had the network television debut of her new single “Come & Get It” off her upcoming album on Tuesday.

Gomez performed the new song on Dancing with the Stars season 16’s latest results show.

The former disney star has had a busy week, but it hasn’t been without controversy.

On Sunday, Gomez performed “Come & Get It” on the MTV Movie Awards wearing a red bindi on her forehead. Hindu leaders are now calling for her to apologize for being culturally insensitive.

After her performance at the awards, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed told WENN, “The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance. It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory aiming at mercantile greed. Selena should apologize and then she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions.”

It should be noted that Gomez’s wardrobe on Tuesday’s DWTS was similar to what she wore on Sunday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: “Bully Bandit” Robs 11th Chicago Area Bank

LATINO BLOTTER: “Bully Bandit” Robs 11th Chicago Area Bank

Photo: FBI: Chicago's Bully Bandit

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Help us help Chicago authorities apprehend the prolific bank robber dubbed “Bully Bandit”, described as a Hispanic man 20-to-30-years old with black hair, brown eyes, 5’ 8” with medium build that has a mustache.

The “Bully Bandit” started his crime spree back in November of 2012 at a West Town neighborhood, Community Bank branch.  Since then 10 other bank robberies are being attributed to him including his most recent robbery of $2,000 from a Chase Bank this past Saturday in the Logan Square neighborhood. 

The majority of the “Bully Bandits” bank targets have been Chase Bank branches. Although he has not displayed a weapon during any of his heists, according to the FBI, witnesses have reported that he keeps one hand in a clothing pocket, implying that he has a concealed weapon.

The robber was dubbed “Bully” because of his aggressive and pushy demeanor at times yelling at tellers and pushing customers out of the way, according to authorities. 

The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for any information, you can contact them at (312) 421-6700 if you have any information.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Agreement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit on Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers

The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have agreed to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the denial of work authorization to asylum seekers who have been waiting six months or more for a decision on their asylum applications.

If approved by a federal judge, this agreement will help ensure that asylum seekers, who have fled persecution in their home countries, are not unlawfully prevented from working and supporting their families while the government adjudicates their cases. 

The settlement agreement represents the culmination of years of advocacy by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) and other groups on behalf of deserving asylum seekers.

The agreement stems from a case filed in December 2011 by the LAC and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), with co-counsel from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the Seattle law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw. 

The complaint challenged widespread problems with the “asylum clock”—the system government agencies use to determine when immigrants who have applied for asylum may obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States.

The case, filed on behalf of asylum-seekers around the country, alleged that the current system unlawfully denies asylum applicants the opportunity to obtain employment authorization if their asylum application has been pending for six months or more.

Some end up waiting several months or years for the government to make a decision on their asylum application.  Indeed, one plaintiff from China has been waiting nearly 10 years for his case to be resolved.

Employment authorization is critical given that most applicants have fled their home countries without any resources, and thus have no means to support themselves.

Because the suit involves a class action, the settlement agreement, filed April 12, 2013 in a federal district court in Washington State, will have to be approved by Judge Richard Jones, the judge overseeing the case. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

2 Page Summary of 844 page Bill from Sen. Rubio Office - Immigraiton Reform Bill Summary

2 Page Summary of 844 page Bill from Sen. Rubio Office - Immigraiton Reform Bill Summary

Photo: Rubio Immigration Bill

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MYTH: “180 days after Obama signs bill, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano submits two border security plans to Congress. No further action is required.” (Conn Carroll, “The Gang of Ocho’s Path to Citizenship in 7 Easy Steps,” Washington Examiner, 4/16/13)

FACT: Not only is a plan submitted, the plan has to be funded by Congress and implementation of the plan has to begin.

MYTH: “Prove they have been in the U.S. since December 2011.” (Conn Carroll, “The Gang of Ocho’s Path to Citizenship in 7 Easy Steps,” Washington Examiner, 4/16/13)

FACT: Prove you have been in the U.S. since before December 2011.

MYTH: “Ten years after obtaining RPI status, immigrants may apply for ‘Lawful Permanent Resident’ status.” (Conn Carroll, “The Gang of Ocho’s Path to Citizenship in 7 Easy Steps,” Washington Examiner, 4/16/13)

FACT: Ten years after obtaining RPI status, immigrants may apply for ‘Lawful Permanent Resident’ status provided the security triggers have been met.”

  Immigration reform bill summary by Brett LoGiurato

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lionel Messi Sends Signed Jersey to Pope Francis

Lionel Messi Sends Signed Jersey to Pope Francis

Photo: Pope Francis and Lionel Messi

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Pope Francis was presented with a jersey signed by Argentine soccer star Leo Messi by a group of priests during Wednesday’s public audience.

Messi’s FC Barcelona jersey will join the Spanish national team jersey given to the pontiff on Monday by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during an audience at the Vatican.

The 76-year-old Argentine-born pope, a big soccer fan, has been building up quite a collection of jerseys.

His favorite team, Atletico San Lorenzo, recently presented the pope, a season ticket holder, with a jersey.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Government: Reform Will Not be Easy

Cuban Government: Reform Will Not be Easy

Photo: Cuban Government: Reform Will Not be Easy

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The most complex and important parts of the reform plan launched in Cuba to update its socialist economic model are yet to come, Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday.

“Despite the results, we’re not satisfied. The tasks that remain ahead of us will be the most complex, the ones with the most importance and impact,” Granma emphasized in an editorial.

The official daily devoted a whole page to an analysis of the agreements reached at the 6th Communist Party Congress of April 2011, where the economic plan undertaken by President Raul Castro as an instrument for “updating” Cuban socialism was ratified.

The package includes expanding the scope for self-employment and small businesses, among other measures.

The updating of the model also includes slashing public payrolls, more autonomy for the management of state-run companies and the elimination of “unnecessary” social subsidies.

“The country has moved in these 24 months to the rhythm of the demands coming from those accords,” Granma wrote.

The daily emphasized that what was agreed to has not become a “dead letter” and mentioned advances in the revising and modifying of several laws, restructuring state ministries and administrative entities and changes in banking policy.

Other measures have been connected with tax and immigration reform and the authorization of private buying and selling of automobiles and homes.

The paper mentioned that all the adjustments have taken place amid an international economic and financial crisis and while the economic embargo implemented by the United States against the island in 1962 remains in force.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Samsung Galaxy S4 Has ‘Stop a Mexican’ Ringtone – Is that Really Necessary?

New Samsung Galaxy S4 Has ‘Stop a Mexican’ Ringtone – Is that Really Necessary?

Photo: South Park Studios

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UPDATE:  Samsung has provided a response to the “Scanning for Mexican” rington via Latino Rebels:  “Samsung is not offering any such ringtones on our mobile devices.”


ORIGINAL:  The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone apparently has something for everyone including a ringtone offering celebrating ‘stopping Mexicans’ before they enter the country illegally.

Thanks to our friends over at Latino Rebels, that do a great job spotting injustices and bias practices, the ‘Scanning for Mexicans’ ringtone was brought to our attention.  This ringtone doesn’t have a place in the world of commerce or as an offering by third-developers to Samsung.

The ringtone comes from a South Park episode where Eric Cartman, a central fictional character, participates in a child’s game of Texans vs. Meheecans where the goal is to stop those “God Damn, jobless no good…..” .  Keep in mind the episode also mentions f**ken Jews,  Texan fat asses and MexiJew – so no one is spared here.  Great material for South Park but not necessarily for a ringtone, you think?

Apparently the ringtone will be amongst numerous ringtone offerings on the new Galaxy S4 offered by third parties starting at .99 cents.  According to Latino Rebels this particular ringtone is available at other sites and has been downloaded some 198,300 times.

The Galaxy S4 will arrive on the market on April 24 for $150 at T-Mobile, on April 27 for $250 at Sprint and at month-end at AT&T retailers for $200. 

This launch is crucial for Samsung as it tries to take market share from Apple’s iPhone and in a product that Latinos overindex on maybe it would be a good idea to get rid of this ringtone offering??

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Brazilian Ministers Advocate Decriminalization of Drugs

Brazilian Ministers Advocate Decriminalization of Drugs

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Seven of Brazil’s former justice ministers on Tuesday released a letter advocating the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use.

The signers are the justice ministers who served during the 1995-2003 government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and the 2003-2011 administration of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and they delivered the letter personally on Tuesday to Federal Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes.

“Each citizen has the freedom to build his own mode of life provided that he respects the space of others,” the erstwhile officials say.

They point out that the policies to fight drugs based on penalizing consumers have failed.

“Treating the consumer as a citizen and offering him treatment structure by means of a policy of damage reduction is more appropriate than stigmatizing him as a criminal,” they say.

The signers cite successful experiences in countries such as Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Italy and Portugal, which adopted decriminalization of drug possession for one’s own personal use as an “effective way” of fighting drug trafficking.

The position of the ex-ministers was made known at a time when the lower house of Congress is preparing to vote on a reform to the Drug Law that includes the possible involuntary hospitalization of consumers of illicit drugs and increasing the mandatory minimum sentence for drug-related offenses from five years to eight.

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Iconic Mexican Architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez Dies at 94

Iconic Mexican Architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez Dies at 94

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One of the true greats in Mexican architecture has died at the age of 94 in Mexico City.  Vazquez designed some of Mexico’s most iconic structures that includes the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Complejo Cultural Puebla Siglo XXI, and the Azteca Stadium.  One of his most unique structures was built outside of Mexico City in Piedras Negras Coahuila – El Teatro de la Ciudad.

During his 60-year career, Vazquez is credited with bringing the cultural image of Mexico to the world with his designs many located in Mexico City.  Design experts noted Vazquez sought “to display the culture of Mexico, to bring its presence to the world with great dignity, and a contemporary language.” 

From 1958 to 1964 he lead Mexico’s massive school construction initiative.  He developed the concept of prefabricated structures for Mexico incorporating the variety of climates and natural resources in the country.  He along with then President Lopez Mateos are credited with constructing 30,000 rural classrooms in three years. 

Vazquez was also known as a great advocate for public architecture creating the Society of Friends of the Museum of Anthropology and heading several world expositions designing the Mexican Pavillions at the World Expo in 1958, 1962, 1969 and 2007 at the Expo Sevilla.  In addition he taught for 15 years at the National School of Architecture at UNAM.  Stateside Vazquez designed the Benito Juarez High School in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. 

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Judge in Mexico Says Alleged Drug Czar Has No Cartel Ties

Judge in Mexico Says Alleged Drug Czar Has No Cartel Ties

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A judge has thrown out the charges against Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who was accused of being on the payroll of a cartel while serving as Mexico’s drug czar in the Calderon administration, judicial officials said.

Federal Judge Mauricio Fernandez de la Mora, who is based in the western state of Nayarit, dropped the organized crime charges against the former prosecutor.

“In the ruling, the statements of cooperating witnesses on which the prosecution based its allegations were analyzed,” the Federal Judicial Council said in a statement.

“With regard to the principal cooperating witness by the code name of ‘Jennifer,’ it was found that she acted with lack of probity since she admitted that she lied in giving her statements,” the council said.

“Other cooperating witnesses did not directly make allegations against the accused, and other statements from witnesses were obtained in an illegal manner,” the council, which is in charge of the administration of justice for the judicial branch, said.

Ramirez Mandujano, who served as drug czar from December 2006 to July 2008, was arrested in November 2008 during “Operation Clean-Up,” an initiative to root out corruption in the upper reaches of the Federal Police and Attorney General’s Office.

The former drug czar received $450,000 a month from the Sinaloa drug cartel, prosecutors alleged.

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Obama Calls on Senate to Approve Immigration Bill Quickly

Obama Calls on Senate to Approve Immigration Bill Quickly

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President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to quickly approve a comprehensive immigration reform package that would allow the legalization of undocumented immigrants.

Obama met behind closed doors with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), with whom he reviewed the contents of the reform plan prepared by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” starting in January.

“I urge the Senate to quickly move this bill forward and, as I told Senators Schumer and McCain, I stand willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible,” said the president in a statement released by the White House.

The bill, Obama said, “is clearly a compromise, and no one will get everything they wanted, including me. But it is largely consistent with the principles that I have repeatedly laid out for comprehensive reform.”

The bill will continue to strengthen security along the southern border and will punish companies that knowingly hire undocumented workers, but it will also open a path to “earned citizenship” for the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in this country, the president said.

The Gang of Eight is scheduled to formally present the bill on Tuesday, although Senate sources told Efe that their staffs and advisors still “are finalizing the technical language” of the plan.

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Spain’s Cervantes Institute to Establish Observatory at Havard

Spain’s Cervantes Institute to Establish Observatory at Havard

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Spain’s Cervantes Institute announced Tuesday that it will establish an observatory for the study of Spanish in the United States at Harvard University, which will help consolidate the expansion of the language in a country with close to 50 million inhabitants who speak Spanish.

The project is sponsored by Emilio Botin and the Grupo Santander, which will contribute 1 million euros ($1.3 million) to it over the next four years.

Insitute head Victor Garcia de la Concha said these are crucial years for the consolidation of Spanish as the second language for international communication, which means that even greater efforts must be made.

Garcia de la Concha and Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, are scheduled to sign the accord on Friday.

The executive director of the Cervantes Institute at Harvard will be Francisco Moreno, professor at the University of Alcala and ex-director of the Cervantes Institute in Sao Paulo and Chicago.

The new Cervantes will be located in the heart of Harvard at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The goal of the observatory is to become the international point of reference for analyzing the progress of the Spanish language in the United States.

The center will also carry out cultural initiatives, conferences and lectures as well as having the participation of Cervantes Prize winners and Latino writers living in the United States.

By 2050 the United States is predicted to be the leading Spanish-speaking country in the world, ahead of Mexico, with more than 132 million Hispanics, or 30 percent of the population.

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Former Venezuelan Presidential Candidate Calls Off March

Former Venezuelan Presidential Candidate Calls Off March

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Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said Tuesday that he is ready for dialogue with President-elect Nicolas Maduro and he asked his supporters to abandon plans for a march in this capital to demand a recount of every ballot cast in last weekend’s election.

“I want to say to Venezuelans and to the government, all of us here are disposed to open a dialogue so this crisis can be resolved in the coming hours,” Capriles told a press conference after seven people died in post-election violence.

Voters in the oil-rich Andean nation went to the polls Sunday to choose a successor to left-leaning nationalist President Hugo Chavez, who died last month after nearly 14 years in office.

Maduro, who became acting president when Chavez died, defeated Capriles by 50.78 percent to 48.95 percent amid turnout of 79 percent, according to the CNE electoral authority, which Tuesday proclaimed Maduro as president-elect.

Capriles, citing the narrow margin of victory, demands a full recount.

The Venezuelan electoral system relies on electronic voting backed up by paper ballots.

The CNE, which automatically reviews a random sample of 54 percent of the votes to detect discrepancies between the electronic tabulation and the paper records, rejected Capriles’ demand for a 100-percent recount.

Capriles, 40, emphasized Tuesday that he will conduct the struggle for a recount in a manner consistent with Venezuela’s laws and constitution.

Maduro had earlier blamed Capriles partisans for shootings and arson attacks on offices of the ruling party and said he would block the opposition march planned for Wednesday.

“I have made the decision: we will not mobilize tomorrow, and I ask all my supporters to accept that,” Capriles said Tuesday. “He who goes out (on the streets) is on the side of violence, is playing the government’s game.”

“Thus, as you (the government) ask that we make a call for no violence, I demand that you also cease the persecution of people who are exercising their right to ask for an audit and a vote-by-vote count,” the opposition candidate said.

The 50-year-old Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, garnered only 265,000 more votes than Capriles on Sunday.

Chavez, who died March 5 after a long battle with cancer, defeated Capriles 55.5 percent to 44.39 percent in the Oct. 7 presidential election, a difference of 1.6 million votes.

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Princess Elena of Spain Attends Children’s Center Opening in Panama

Princess Elena of Spain Attends Children’s Center Opening in Panama

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Spain’s Princess Elena on Tuesday attended the opening of a center for at-risk children in this capital, a project supported by the Mapfre Foundation and the office of Panamanian first lady Marta Linares.

The princess was present in her capacity as director for social and cultural projects for the Mapfre Foundation.

The center is being promoted by the Movimiento Nueva Generacion organization and starting on Tuesday will attend to 300 children ages 3-17 from El Chorrillo, considered to be one of Panama City’s most dangerous slums.

“We’re going to be attending to children from the schools in the area that have certain academic weaknesses to be able to get them up to speed and raise their grades and ensure that (they remain) in the school system, preventing (them from) dropping out,” Estela Villarreal of Movimiento Nueva Generacion told Efe.

The center “has a children’s dining room, a program of dance activities, sports activities, and what we’re looking to do is to guarantee the continuity of one or several of those programs with our funding, based on the potential budget, in the coming years,” the general director of the Mapfre Foundation’s Social Action Institute, Fernando Garrido, told Efe.

Also on Tuesday, Princess Elena visited the Ciudad del Niño, another program for at-risk kids funded by the Mapfre Foundation.

Garrido said that this year the Mapfre Foundation will disburse some $500,000 in programs in Panama linked with the 5th centennial of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean by Spanish explorer Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.

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WednesdayApril 17, 2013