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FridayApril 19, 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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Where and What is Chechnya?

Where and What is Chechnya?

Photo: Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects

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Chechnya is coming into the limelight after the alleged Boston bombers brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were identified as Chechen.

So where and what is Chechnya?

Chechnya was part of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.  Located on the northern side of some of Russia’s highest mountains, the Caucasus Mountains, it is part of what is commonly referred to as the northern ‘Caucasus’ region.  Chechnya has approximately 1.3 million residents most of which are Muslim living on 6,600 square miles of land.  Three languages dominate the region, Russian, English and the native Nochi Mott language.  Chechnya has never been in favor with the Soviet Union so much so that dictator Joseph Stalin deported the entire population during World War II to Asia – over 100,000 Chechens died during the deportation.

Separatists have been fighting Russia for its independence since the early 1990’s.  It is considered a deeply troubled part of the world, that has seen tens of thousands of killings and as a result many flee Chechnya as refugees.  Chechnya is often listed as one of the most repressive countries along with North Korea and Burma. Image

It is believed many of the members of the Tsarnaev family were granted asylum in the U.S. as a result of the contentious situation in Chechnya.  The country also has a terrible record on human rights. 

The long legacy of violence in the country has created Chechen rebels for hire and ideological warriors.  Many Islamic organizations have recruited Chechens to fight in regional hot zones like Bosnia in the 1990’s and Afghanistan currently.  Chechen rebels have focused their acts of terror against their own people and Russians. 

There are two horrific acts of terror that stand out amongst the countless acts of violence in the region.  In 2004 Chechen rebels took over a school in the nearby town of Beslan for over three-days that resulted in the killing of 300 individuals most of which were children.  In 2010 Chechen rebels claimed to have bombed a Moscow subway killing over 40 people.

Leaders of the movement for Chechen independence have become heroes to many including apparently the Tsarnaev family.  Bombing suspect Dzhokhar shares his name with the first president of independent Chechnya, Dzhokhar Dudayev, a former Soviet military general.

Since 2003 Russia imposed its will on Chechnya by creating the ‘Head of the Chechen Republic’ which serves as the ultimate ruler of the region and is required to be of Russian origins.  Currently pro-Moscow Ramzan Kadyrov holds the office since 2007.  Kadyrov immediately separated Chechnya from the allege bombers, blaming their American upbringing on their crime spree instead of their Chechen roots.  This coming from a man who has a horrific human rights record, allegation of fiscal and sexual improprieties and approves of honor killings of women since they are deemed property of their husband. 

Google+ Author: Estelle Gonzales Walgreen

Read more by HS News Staff →

$341 Million Expansion Planned for Mexico’s Coca-Cola Bottler

$341 Million Expansion Planned for Mexico’s Coca-Cola Bottler

Photo: $341 Million Expansion Planned for Mexico's Coca-Cola Bottler

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Mexico’s Arca Continental, the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America after Coca-Cola Femsa, announced that it plans to invest 4.2 billion pesos ($341 million) to drive the company’s future growth.

Arca Continental said in a statement that its “outstanding results” in 2012 left it in a position to consolidate its businesses in Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and the United States.

“The excellent performance of our operations in 2012 adds to various years of solid results and constant growth, which establish the foundation for new, more significant goals for Arca Continental,” Chairman Manuel Barragan said Thursday after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

He also announced that a dividend of 1.50 pesos per share, totaling 2.4 billion pesos ($195 million), had been declared.

“Our solid financial situation, as well as our talented and committed human capital put us in the ideal position to continue capitalizing on profitable growth opportunities in both beverages and snacks,” Barragan said.

For his part, the company’s CEO, Francisco Garza, said the company posted net sales of 56.3 billion pesos ($4.6 billion) in 2012, a 12.4 percent increase over the previous year.

He added that Arca Continental’s consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, came in at 11.3 billion pesos ($918 million) last year, up 23.6 percent from 2011.

Monterrey, Mexico-based Arca Continental produces, distributes and sells non-alcoholic beverages under The Coca-Cola Company brand and serves more than 53 million consumers in northern and western Mexico, as well as in Ecuador and northern Argentina.

It also produces and sells snacks under the Bokados brand in Mexico, Wise in the United States and Inalecsa in Ecuador, as well as Topo Chico Mineral Water for the Mexican and export markets.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cristiano Ronaldo: New Face of Jeweler Jacob & Co.

Cristiano Ronaldo: New Face of Jeweler Jacob & Co.

Photo: Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Site

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Soccer super star and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the new face of jeweler Jacob & Company.  In a new ad campaign launching in May the always well-dressed and handsome Ronaldo will be donning his favorite ‘Ghost’ watch.

The Portuguese native is a long-time client of the New York based watch and jewelry maker.  Jacob & Co. sells its products through numerous global retail and distribution partners.

“I’ve been a customer and fan of the brand for a long time so it is a natural fit. I always used Jacob watches, even before I knew Jacob,” said Ronaldo.  He was referring to controversial founder Jacob Arabo.  Arabo spent two years in prison from 2009-10 for his entanglement with a U.S. based narco family known as the Black Mafia.

Ronaldo according to W Magazine said “The brand absolutely stands for leadership in creativity. As a collector of the world’s finest watches, it’s obvious [to me] how much passion Jacob & Co. has for quality. On the set, I fell in love with the new Ghost watch. It’s a perfect fit for my lifestyle as I’m constantly traveling internationally.”

The current ad campaign with Ronaldo is part of a long-running endorsement deal the soccer star has with Jacob & Co. that includes making high profile appearances. Ronaldo is also affiliated with Emporio Armani, Nike and Pepe Jeans in endorsement deals.

Cristiano Ronaldo on WhoSay:

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

ARGENTINA: Gov’t Launches Negotiation Process to Protect Mine Workers

ARGENTINA: Gov’t Launches Negotiation Process to Protect Mine Workers

Photo: ARGENTINA: Gov't Launches Negotiation Process to Protect Mine Workers

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Argentina’s government has launched a crisis-negotiation process that temporarily bars Brazilian mining giant Vale from firing workers at its halted potash project.

The Labor Ministry started the process to protect Vale’s employees and contract workers involved in the failed project to develop the Rio Colorado mine, located in the western Argentine province of Mendoza.

The process will last 30 working days and force Vale into talks with its workers. During that time, the company will be barred from carrying out any layoffs or suspensions, while workers may not stage strikes or other job actions.

The ministry said it will call an initial meeting between Vale and its contractors and union representatives and that, if no agreement is reached, an additional negotiating period lasting up to 10 days will follow.

Last month, the ministry ordered a mandatory conciliation process to avoid the dismissal of nearly 3,000 workers involved in the canceled project.

In early March, Vale announced its decision to halt the Rio Colorado megaproject, which President Cristina Fernandez’s government regards as “strategic.”

The decision to cancel the project, in which Vale had already invested $2 billion, affects more than 8,000 workers in Mendoza, Neuquen and Rio Negro provinces.

Vale had initially estimated the total investment cost at $5.9 billion but said cost overruns had driven that price tag up to $10.9 billion.

Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, estimates that Rio Colorado’s potash reserves amount to 430 million tons and its production capacity could total as much as 4.35 million tons annually, which would transform Argentina into the planet’s fifth-largest producer of that crop nutrient.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pope Francis Receives Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa

Pope Francis Receives Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa

Photo: Pope Francis and President Rafael Correa (Vatican Radio)

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Pope Francis received Friday Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa and the two men discussed the situation in Latin America, respect for indigenous populations and the importance of a permanent dialogue between church and state.

The news was reported by the Vatican after a 20-minute private conversation between the pope and Correa and the subsequent meeting of the president with the secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

“During the talks, which were held in an atmosphere of cordiality, the Catholic Church’s significant contribution in the various sectors of the country’s social life and the importance of sincere and permanent dialogue between the church and the state to address fundamental societal challenges were discussed,” Vatican Radio said.

“Finally, issues regarding current events in the region (Latin America), respect for indigenous peoples and their culture, as well as environmental protection were treated,” the Vatican said.

The pope received the Ecuadorian leader next to his private library in the Tronetto chamber, the site of private audiences.

After a strong hug and a show of extreme cordiality, Pope Francis said, “How good to see you again. How is you mother?”

Correa smiled, pleased at the pontiff’s words and the remembrance of his mother. The Ecuadorian president had been in the Vatican previously to attend the High Mass at the beginning of the current papacy and was accompanied on that occasion by his mother, whom Francis kissed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Border Patrol Arrests Prolific Mexican Immigrant Smuggler in San Diego

Border Patrol Arrests Prolific Mexican Immigrant Smuggler in San Diego

Photo: Arrested Martel Valencia-Cortez

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U.S. Border Patrol is announcing the arrest of one of San Diego’s most prolific immigrant smuggler, Martel Valencia-Cortez.  Cortez was captured when several illegal border crossers were arrested in Boulevard, California shortly after entering the country illegally.

The undocumented immigrants from Mexico identified Cortez as their foot guide and claimed Cortez was coming through in a couple hours with more undocumented Mexicans.  Agents prepared to capture Cortez in nearby Campo, California. 

Several hours later Border Patrol encountered 12 Mexicans with Cortez as their guide already having crossed the border illegally.  Cortez attempted to escape by jumping in a nearby lake. 

He was last spotted in San Diego in December, 2012 after a traffic spot in Alpine, California.  He evaded capture even after an intensive manhunt.  He has over 30 prior apprehensions by Border Patrol and an extensive criminal record. 

Valencia-Cortez was arrested on a prior Federal warrant and will be charged with alien smuggling. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alfredo Guevara, Founder of Cuban Film Institute, Dies at 87

Alfredo Guevara, Founder of Cuban Film Institute, Dies at 87

Photo: Alfredo Guevara, Founder of Cuban Film Institute, Dies at 87

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Alfredo Guevara, founder of the Cuban Film Institute and president of the International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema of Havana, died here Friday of a heart attack, state-run media said. He was 87.

Guevara, one of the best-known intellectuals on the island after the victory of the 1959 revolution and a long-time associate of Fidel Castro, had a long career as a promoter of Cuban and Latin American movies and was the author of numerous books and essays.

He began working in movies in the 1950s as a production assistant for such directors as Manuel Barbachano and Luis Buñuel.

He took part in the founding of the Our Times Cultural Society, an institution that brought together the avant-garde of Cuban intelligentsia.

During his 30 years as head of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, he used film to create an environment of great artistic creativity in the realms of music, the plastic arts, literature and dance.

In the 1970s he founded the Cinematheque of Cuba, the most important archive of the Latin American movie industry, and the Cine Cubano magazine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Quick Death for Eva Longoria’s ‘Ready for Love’

Quick Death for Eva Longoria’s ‘Ready for Love’

Photo: Ready for Love Cancelled

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NBC has given Eva Longoria’s latest television project “Ready for Love” a quick death, cancelling the show after just two episodes.  Longoria, 38,  served as the executive producer of the show. 

The dating show, hosted by Bill and Giuliana Rancic, featured Ben Patton, a financier from Dallas, Texas; Tim Lopez, a musician from Santa Barbara, California and Ernesto Arguello, a philanthropist from Miami, Florida all vying for the chance to find true love.

The show never found an audience in spite of having the very popular “Voice” as a lead-in show.  In its first week debut it garnered a weak 1.8 score in the key 18-49 year-old demographic and dropped to 1.3 the following week.  NBC has not announced if it will air the remaining episodes that have already been filmed.

As of April 30 “Ready for Love” will be replaced on Tuesday 9pm CST by “Grimm” which currently airs on Friday nights. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Honduran Prosecutor’s Murder Shakes Country

Honduran Prosecutor’s Murder Shakes Country

Photo: Orlan Chavez

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Even in a country that suffers an average of 20 murders a day, the assassination of a veteran prosecutor has left Honduras stunned.

Orlan Chavez, who worked in the organized-crime unit of the attorney general’s office, was gunned down Thursday night in Tegucigalpa.

The third prosecutor slain in less than two years, Chavez had been a public servant for 30 years and helped draft Honduras’ anti-money-laundering statute.

The victim’s colleagues wept Friday as they lamented the loss of a prosecutor one of them described as “a brilliant man.”

President Porfirio Lobo’s administration condemned “the vile and cowardly murder” and pledged a prompt, thorough investigation.

Chavez “left a legacy of what it means to battle organized crime and drug trafficking,” Lobo’s office said in a statement.

The prosecutor was driving near the National Stadium in Tegucigalpa when two assailants on a motorcycle pulled alongside his vehicle and opened fire.

Chavez did not have an escort, despite the plague of violent crime that has driven the Honduran homicide rate to 85.5 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world.

The prosecutor’s slaying is another sign of the risks run by those who “try to provide the Honduran people with public safety,” Human Rights Commissioner Ramon Custodio told Efe.

At least 30 lawyers were slain in Honduras in 2011-2012, according to figures from Custodio’s office.

Honduras is also a very dangerous country for journalists, with 27 unsolved murders of news professionals since 2010.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Partners With Japan to Map the Genome of Amazonian Manatee

Brazil Partners With Japan to Map the Genome of Amazonian Manatee

Photo: Amazonian Manatee (Arkive.org)

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Brazil’s INPA research institute and Japan’s Kyoto University have reached an agreement to map the genome of the Amazon manatee.

The project, the first with aquatic mammals in Brazil, consists of creating a map of the manatee’s DNA sequence using cutting edge equipment from the Japanese university and allowing researchers to gather information about the species, according to a note from INPA.

One of the project leaders, Vera Silva, said the equipment used is capable of accelerating the research and permitting a complete analysis of the genome.

“After mapping the genome, we will be able to expand even more the level of research and understanding of the animal’s biology and ecology, by, for example, identifying more easily its illnesses, parasites and feeding habits, among others,” she said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Javier Bardem, US Activist Kerry Kennedy Advocating for W. Sahara Human Rights

Javier Bardem, US Activist Kerry Kennedy Advocating for W. Sahara Human Rights

Photo: Javier Bardem, US Activist Kerry Kennedy Advocating for W. Sahara Human Rights

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Spanish actor Javier Bardem and U.S. activist Kerry Kennedy spoke out here Thursday in favor of expanding the scope of the U.N. mission in the Western Sahara to include monitoring the human rights situation in the disputed territory.

Oscar-winner Bardem made a documentary about the situation in Western Sahara, “Sons of The Clouds: The Last Colony,” and Kennedy is president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, founded in honor of her late father.

Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, was annexed by Morocco in 1975, but the Saharawis, led by the Polisario movement, continue to resist Moroccan rule.

The RFK Center took up the issue of Western Sahara six years ago, Kennedy said, recounting that during a family visit to the territory last summer, a Moroccan policeman struck her teenage daughter and took her camera as the girl was filming other cops beating a woman on the street.

“I am here to show respect and gratitude to Kerry for all her work,” Bardem said.

The U.N. mission’s mandate in Western Sahara expires April 30. The United States proposes not only extending the mandate, but giving U.N. personnel the authority to monitor human rights in the territory.

Morocco strongly opposes the U.S. initiative.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Anheuser-Busch Agrees to Divest Its Modelo Beer Business in U.S.

Anheuser-Busch Agrees to Divest Its Modelo Beer Business in U.S.

Photo: Grupo Modelo and ABI

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As part of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, Anheuser Busch (ABI) will divest itself of its Modelo beer business in the U.S.  The U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C. must still approve the settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement was the result of an antitrust lawsuit filed against the proposed $20.1 billion acquisition by ABI of the remaining assets of Mexican beer company Modelo thereby creating one company.  The lawsuit alleged the merger would diminish competition in the beer market in the U.S. and lead to higher beer prices.

The settlement agreement requires that ABI get rid of all of its Modelo beer licenses that include the following brands: Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, Modelo Light, Pacfico and Victoria.  ABI will also have to sell its Piedras Negras, Mexico brewery.  It is expected that competitor Constellation Brands will buy those assets from ABI.

Modelo is the third-largest beer seller in the U.S., with a seven percent nation market share.  Modelo’s Corona Extra is the top-selling beer imported in the U.S. 

ABI had a 35.3 percent stake in Modelo when it proposed buying 100% of the Mexican brewer.  Once the courts approve the settlement agreement ABI can proceed with the all-cash offer for the remaining shares of Modelo. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Than One-Third of Brazilian Indians Live in Cities

More Than One-Third of Brazilian Indians Live in Cities

Photo: Indigenous Brazil (UN Photo/Joseane Daher)

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Just over 36 percent of the 896,917 Brazilians who declared themselves indigenous people in the 2010 Census live in cities, and only 37.4 percent of them speak an Amerindian language, according to a study released Friday by the government.

The “Indigenous Brazil” study, published by the IBGE statistics office to coincide with the National Day of the Indian, shows that native peoples are increasingly moving away from their reservations and forgetting their languages.

A total of 379,534, or 42.3 percent of the people who identify as indigenous, were living away from their native territories. Of that group, 78.7 percent lived in cities.

To the 298,871 Indians living in cities far from their reservations are added 25,963 whose reservations are located in urban areas, which adds up to 324,834 Indians - the 36.2 percent living in cities, the IBGE said.

A high percentage of the Indians living in their native lands are minors, something attributed to high birthrates among women on reservations.

Two years ago Brazil had 305 indigenous ethnicities that spoke 274 languages, the 2010 census found.

The IBGE analysis also showed that many Indians quit speaking their ancestral languages and are literate only in Portuguese.

Of all Indians over 5 years old, only 37.4 percent spoke the language of their ethnicity.

Conversely, 17.5 percent of Brazil’s indigenous people do not speak Portuguese.

While 32.3 percent of Indians over age 15 who live on reservations can read and write, the proportion of literate people among the general population reaches 90.4 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuela Agrees to Election Recount

Venezuela Agrees to Election Recount

Photo: Venezuelan election

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Amid persistent political tension in Venezuela, the CNE election authority accepted opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’s request for a review of 100 percent of the ballots cast in last weekend’s special presidential election.

CNE chair Tibisay Lucena said in a televised statement late Thursday that authorities would proceed to audit the 46 percent of ballot boxes that were not subject to a recount on election day.

The Venezuelan electoral system relies on electronic voting backed up by paper ballots and the CNE automatically reviews a random sample of 54 percent of the votes to detect discrepancies between the electronic tabulation and the paper records.

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.

Nicolas 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, which Tuesday proclaimed Maduro as president-elect.

Capriles, however, said he would not accept the outcome without a full recount.

“Those of us here at the Simon Bolivar command (the moniker adopted by Capriles’s campaign team), accept what the National Electoral Council has announced to the country,” the candidate said in a public statement after Lucena’s appearance.

He also used the opportunity to once again blame Maduro for post-election incidents that left eight people dead, all but one of whom were government supporters.

Maduro has called on Venezuelans to stage a huge popular rally Friday to coincide with his inauguration ceremony, which is to be attended by several foreign delegations and conclude with a military parade.

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.

Read more by HS News Staff →

April 19: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

April 19: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

Photo: Movies out today: Oblivion, Filly Brown, The Lords of Salem

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


Oblivion
-Stars: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
-Rating: PG-13
-Genre: Action, Adventure
Image-The gist: The film stars Tom Cruise as Commander Jack Harper, a veteran and drone repairman. Jack is one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vial resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat know as the Scavs, Jack’s mission is nearly complete. Living and patrolling the breathtaking ski from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.

 


Filly Brown
-Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera, Lou Diamond Phillips, Edward James Almos
-Rating: R
-Genre: Drama
Image-The gist: Maria Jose ‘Majo’ Tonorio (newcomer Gina Rodriguez) is a tough LA street poet who spits from the heart. After meeting a talented DJ she cuts her first demo under the guidance of a small time hustler more interested in promoting Majo’s sexuality than her lyrics. Soon a major label and its strong-arm executive come calling. Convinced that a record deal will deliver much needed money for the family, Majo is suddenly faced with some stark choices. Does she accept the deal and turn her back on the friends who got her to the precipice of success or does she let a golden opportunity slip away. The film also stars the late Jenni Rivera as Maria Tonorio, Lou Diamond Phillips, Edward James Olmos, Emilio Rivera, and Noel Gugliemi.

 

 

Home Run
-Stars: Scott Elrod, Dorian Brown, Drew Waters, Charles Henry Wyson
Image-Rating: PG-13
-Genre: Drama, Sport
-The gist: Forced back to his small home town, an alcoholic baseball hotshot fakes recovery to regain his position on the roster, coaches a little league team to regain his popularity, pursues his old flame to regain a romance, all while finding redemption among a group of addicts.

 

 

 


The Lords of Salem
-Stars: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeffrey Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree
-Rating: R
-Genre: Horror, Thriller
-The gist: Heidi DJs at the local radio station, and together with the two Hermans (Whitey and Munster) forms part of the ‘Big H Radio Team’. A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, “a gift from the Lords”.Image She assumes it’s a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords’ record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords’ record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon Heidi and her cohorts find that the gig is far from the rock spectacle they’re expecting; the original Lords of Salem are returning, and they’re out for blood.

 

 

 

Coming soon…

On May 1, Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark for the third installment of the hit Marvel comic and movie franchise, Iron Man 3.

Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?


Note the trailer shows the UK release date, not the US.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Timberwolves’ JJ Barea Splits from Ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera

Timberwolves’ JJ Barea Splits from Ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera

Photo: Timberwolves' JJ Barea Splits from Ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera

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Pro basketballer J.J. Barea and former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera confirmed Friday their separation after two years together.

The couple are the parents of 1-year-old Sebastian Jose.

Barea, member of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks who now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, said in a press release that he decided to admit the split to stop the rumors that have been doing the rounds over the past few months.

“I understand that my private life should belong to me alone, but seeing the insinuations that have appeared in the media that are not true, I decided to deal with the situation and speak openly about it. Zuleyka and I have not been together for some time,” Barea said.

He added that despite the separation, he and Rivera have maintained “a healthy communication for the good of our beloved son,” and as for his ex-girlfriend, the hoopster said he admires and respects her as a woman and the mother of his son, and that it will always be that way.

“We’re both adult, mature people so I believe our priority will be above all the well-being of our son, and secondly, the success of our careers,” the 28-year-old point guard said.

Rivera, 25, said that despite their breakup, “life goes on and I go forward with my head held high and with the certainty that soon all this will be over.”

The singer and actress also said she will be a full-time mom for her little boy, since he “has been, is and will always be my only priority, the purpose of my life and the reason why I will keep fighting.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tigre Advances in Copa Libertadores After Libertad Defeat

Tigre Advances in Copa Libertadores After Libertad Defeat

Photo: Tigre Advances in Copa Libertadores After Libertad Defeat

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Argentine soccer club Tigre scored a 5-3 road victory here over Paraguay’s Libertad behind two goals each by Matias Perez Garcia and Ruben Botta to advance to the knockout phase of the Copa Libertadores tournament.

Botta found the back of the net in the 10th and 78th minutes, while Perez Garcia scored in the 28th and 54th minutes of Thursday’s game at Dr. Nicolas Leoz Stadium in Asuncion.

Gaston Diaz also added another goal for Tigre off a penalty kick in the 35th minute.

Libertad, meanwhile, got two first half goals: one in the 14th minute from Miguel Samudio and another in the 37th minute from Jose Ariel Nuñez.

Pablo Velazquez then added one more goal late in the second half for the Paraguayan club after the game was already out of reach.

Tigre’s attacking forays down the sidelines and the constant presence of striker Ezequiel Maggiolo and Botta in Libertad’s penalty area gave the Paraguayan club headaches throughout the high-scoring contest.

Libertad was left with just 10 players after defenseman Ismael Benegas picked up a red card in the 32nd minute for a foul on Botta.

Behind on the scoreboard and desperate to achieve at least a draw, Libertad left itself vulnerable to Tigre’s counterattack in the second half.

Libertad would have advanced to the knockout stage of South America’s most prestigious club soccer competition with a draw and finished as the top team in Group 2 of the round-robin phase with a win, but instead was eliminated from the tournament.

Brazil’s Palmeiras claimed the top spot in Group 2 despite losing 1-0 Thursday to Peru’s Sporting Cristal and will square off against Mexican club Tijuana in the round of 16 of the knockout stage.

Tigre will play Paraguay’s Olimpia, which finished as the top team in Group 7.

The knockout stage gets underway on April 24.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chicago Detectives Invited to Join Boston Manhunt for Marathon Bombing Suspect

Chicago Detectives Invited to Join Boston Manhunt for Marathon Bombing Suspect

Photo: Chicago Polce Department

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The Chicago Police Department has just announced they have been invited to join the investigation into the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Chicago Police are sending five detectives and one sergeant to work with Boston Police at the request of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.  The Chicago police delegation will help out in the bombing investigation and investigation into bombing suspects: Chechen brothers, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The two bombing suspects were in a police shoot out this morning in the Boston area with Tamerlan losing his life and Dzhokhar on the loose in Boston. A massive manhunt is underway at this time for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said “What happened in Boston this week has affected all of us and we must stand together in the face of these cowardly acts.” “Chicago stands in solidarity with Boston and we are ready to help in any way we can.”

The Chicago delegation will head to Boston later today. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Nadal Narrowly Defeats Dimitrov, Advances to Monte Carlo Semis

Spain’s Nadal Narrowly Defeats Dimitrov, Advances to Monte Carlo Semis

Photo: Spain's Nadal Narrowly Defeats Dimitrov, Advances to Monte Carlo Semis

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal got all he could handle from Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov Friday afternoon at the Monte Carlo Masters, but he turned the match around in time to score a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory and secure a semifinal berth.

The world No. 5 and third seed steamrolled through the first set of the quarterfinal match as Dimitrov struggled to penetrate Nadal’s defense or get any easy points on his serve.

But the Bulgarian lifted his game in the second set, using a more aggressive serve and forehand to dictate play and also showcasing exceptional defense against the Spaniard, who at times struggled to put the ball away.

Nadal lost his serve to fall behind 4-2 and then once again two games later to cede the second set.

The third set stayed on serve until the ninth game, when the Bulgarian finally showed the effects of numerous physical baseline rallies over the course of the two-hour, eight-minute match.

With his movement restricted by cramping, Dimitrov lost his serve to fall behind 5-4 and Nadal served out the match a game later.

Nadal was well aware of the 21-year-old Bulgarian’s talent coming into the match, having dropped a set to Dimitrov four years ago at an indoor hard-court event in Rotterdam.

Long touted as a potential top-10 player, Dimitrov’s ranking currently stands at 34 but will climb higher after reaching the quarterfinals of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, one of the biggest clay-court events on the tennis calendar.

The victory was the Spaniard’s 45th consecutive win at the Monte Carlo Masters, where he is the eight-time defending champion.

Next up for Nadal will be Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who rallied to defeat Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Friday’s first quarterfinal contest.

After Nadal’s match concluded, Italy’s Fabio Fognini continued his surprising run in Monte Carlo by upsetting French world No. 9 Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-0), 6-2.

Friday’s final match pits Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against surprise quarterfinalist Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.

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Former Guatemalan Dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s Genocide Trial is Suspended

Former Guatemalan Dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s Genocide Trial is Suspended

Photo: Efrain Rios Montt

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A court in the Guatemalan capital decided on Friday to suspend the genocide trial of former strongman Efrain Rios Montt while vowing to fight another court’s “illegal” move to quash the case.

“The tribunal unanimously suspends the session awaiting the Constitutional Court’s decision” on the order to stop the trial, chief judge Jazmin Barrios said.

Late Thursday, magistrate Carol Patricia Flores ordered the proceedings halted, citing a Supreme Court ruling that mandated the correction of ostensible judicial errors at an earlier stage of the process.

Flores overstepped her authority, according to Barrios, who said only the Constitutional Court has the power to stop a trial.

Rios Montt, 86, and his erstwhile intelligence chief, 67-year-old retired Gen. Jose Rodriguez, are accused in the deaths of 1,771 Ixil Indians between March 1982 and August 1983.

The trial, which began March 19, marked the first time any Guatemalan ruler has been called to account for the massacres and atrocities of the country’s 1960-1996 civil war.

Rios Montt presided over the bloodiest phase of a conflict that claimed more than 200,000 lives. Most of the dead were Indian peasants slaughtered by the army and its paramilitary allies.

The court has heard from survivors who saw soldiers carry out horrific atrocities.

“They opened up her chest, they ripped out her heart. I don’t know if it was with a knife or a machete,” Francisco Velasco testified earlier this month about the killing of his 12-year-old daughter.

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Mexican Cabinet Member Accused of Being Corrupt

Mexican Cabinet Member Accused of Being Corrupt

Photo: Mexican Cabinet Member Accused of Being Corrupt

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Mexico’s main opposition PAN on Thursday urged President Enrique Peña Nieto to dismiss a member of his Cabinet for allegedly planning to use public spending to benefit the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in upcoming state elections.

PAN chair Gustavo Madero issued the call a day after releasing audio and video tapes of discussions about manipulating social programs to boost the vote for the PRI in the July 7 gubernatorial election in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Federal Social Development Secretary Rosario Robles, Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte and six other officials should be suspended pending completion of an investigation, the PAN leader said.

Madero filed a formal criminal complaint in the matter on Wednesday.

The conservative PAN says it has more than 12 hours of audio and video documenting conversations among federal and Veracruz officials on how best to channel spending on social programs to benefit the PRI.

“Just as we combat drug trafficking, we must also combat this organized crime that is destroying democracy in this country,” Madero told MVS radio Thursday.

Illicit use of public funds is how the PRI “remains in power for 85 years in these states, such as Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Tamaulipas, Durango, Coahuila,” the PAN chairman said.

The PRI ran Mexico without interruption from 1929 to 2000, when the PAN’s Vicente Fox won the presidency. The conservative party managed to win a second mandate in 2006, but its candidate finished third in last year’s contest, behind Peña Nieto and leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Fourteen of Mexico’s 32 states are holding elections July 7.

Robles denied any wrongdoing and said her department is investigating the PAN allegations.

“I have absolutely nothing to do with” the matters raised by Madero, the secretary told MVS.

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WANTED POSTER:  Be On Lookout for Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev

WANTED POSTER:  Be On Lookout for Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev

Photo: Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects

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Check out the following Wanted Poster provided by the Boston Regional Intelligence Center on Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev from Cambridge, Massachusetts.  A massive show of force is spread throughout Boston looking for the 19-year bombing suspect who earlier today engaged police in a gun battle that took his brothers life.  Please call the FBI if you spot this individual at 1-800-494-TIPS.


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George Lopez to Make Television Return with FX’s ‘Saint George’

George Lopez to Make Television Return with FX’s ‘Saint George’

Photo: George Lopez to Make Television Return with FX's 'Saint George'

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Comedian George Lopez is returning to television with a series on FX called “Saint George,” playing a recently divorced Mexican-American man from a blue collar background who becomes a successful entrepreneur, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Lopez’s character “struggles to balance his demanding ex-wife, his 11-year-old son, his overbearing mother who just moved in, and his uncle, as well as his new role as a philanthropist ‘giving back’ by teaching history once a week at a night school,” according to FX.

FX and Lopez agreed on what is known as a 10/90 arrangement.

The network buys 10 episodes up front and if they meet a specified ratings target, FX automatically agrees to order 90 additional shows.

“In the tradition of George’s frank and fearless standup comedy, Saint George will reflect his no-holds-barred comedic take on the tensions surrounding race, class, sex and family life in Los Angeles through the eyes of a man straddling two separate cultures,” Lionsgate Television Group President Kevin Beggs said.

The comedian and actor starred in the ABC comedy “George Lopez” for six years and later hosted a late-night talk show on TBS.

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What’s Mexico Doing While Chipotle Celebrates Cinco de Mayo with Hand-Made Margaritas?

What’s Mexico Doing While Chipotle Celebrates Cinco de Mayo with Hand-Made Margaritas?

Photo: Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

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Mexican fast food chain Chipotle is adding their own celebratory touch to Cinco de Mayo by offering their customers hand-made margaritas.  Starting on April 29th at some 900 Chipotle’s margaritas mixed with either Patron or Sauza tequila will be sold.

Chipotle is one of many restaurant chains, retailers, mom-and-pop stores and others with special offerings to celebrate a blip in Mexico’s history that is relatively ignored there.  It is rare to find discounted burritos, special tequila drinks or over-sized piñatas in Mexico honoring their moment of glory over French troops 151 years ago.

People need to travel to Puebla, Mexico on May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) to find a large-scale celebration of “La Batalla de Puebla” to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over invading French troops in 1862 under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. 

Mexico’s moment of glory passed quickly and France overtook Mexico and installed a foreigner, Emperor Maximilian I, as ruler of Mexico.  A dark time in Mexico’s history not typically celebrated with Patron Margaritas or .99cent burritos.

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Mexico Celebrates 300th Anniversary of Franciscan Friar

Mexico Celebrates 300th Anniversary of Franciscan Friar

Photo: Fray Junipero Serra

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The Franciscan missions of the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro are preparing to celebrate this year the tricentennial of the birth of their founder, Fray Junipero Serra, who enriched the region with architectural gems fusing Christian and indigenous art.

The friar founded the missions in the central state of Queretaro to catechize and pacify the area. Three hundred years later they survive even in this village of Jalpan de Serra, which bears his name and is catalogued as the “magic village” by the Mexican government.

“This region has everything,” Luis Laorden Jimenez, historian and author of a book about the life and legacy of Fray Junipero Serra in Spain, Mexico and California, told Efe.

“There are some wonderful ruins, some churches that are World Heritage Sites, some beautiful villages and some landscapes that are part of the biosphere reserve,” the academic said of the region.

The five missions in the region are religious edifices founded between 1751-1766 by the Franciscan monk, born in Petra on the Spanish island of Mallorca on Nov. 24, 1713.

“Fray Junipero Serra felt the call to be a missionary and left his native land of Mallorca to come to these territories of America in 1749, and here he remained, never to return to Spain,” Laordent recalled.

The tricentennial of the Franciscan’s birth will be on Nov. 24, and the celebrations are already being prepared to be held through the rest of the year.

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Police Confirm Suspect of Boston Marathon Bombing is Dead, Other at Large

Police Confirm Suspect of Boston Marathon Bombing is Dead, Other at Large

Photo: Boston Marathon bombing suspects (FBI)

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Boston’s police commissioner confirmed early Friday that one of the suspects in this week’s deadly bombing attack at the Boston Marathon is dead, while the second remains at large amid a massive manhunt that has paralyzed this northeastern city.

Ed Davis confirmed reports by the local WCVB television station, saying that the slain individual is a man identified by the FBI as “suspect No. 1” in the marathon bombing and who was seen in a surveillance video on the day of the race wearing a black cap and sunglasses.

In a press conference, police said the second suspect, who in other surveillance footage released Thursday was wearing a white cap, is on the loose and is the subject of a manhunt in Watertown, a west Boston suburb.

Shortly before the hunt began for the suspect, Boston police released a photo of the man, identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old of Chechen origin.

Tsarnaev had lived for at least a year in Cambridge, a Boston suburb that is the home of the world-famous Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dzhokhar’s brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, has been identified as the slain suspect.

The huge police operation in Watertown was launched after an MIT campus security officer was killed Thursday night.

He was reportedly slain by the two suspects after responding to a convenience store robbery near central square in the Boston suburb of Cambridge.

The suspects then fled the scene after hijacking a car and headed from Cambridge to Watertown. While being chased by police, they seriously wounded a transit system police force officer.

The pursuit ended in Watertown, where one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police and his brother fled.

According to CNN, the slain suspect’s body may have been strapped with explosives, which would explain why he arrived at the hospital with detonation wounds.

Police have launched a massive deployment of manpower and armored vehicles in the suburb of Watertown; they were taking great precautions for fear the at-large suspect has planted or is carrying explosives.

A pair of bombs went off near the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon, leaving three dead and more than 140 wounded.

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MEXICO: Judge Orders Retired General Released from Prison

MEXICO: Judge Orders Retired General Released from Prison

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A retired general arrested in May 2012 on drug charges has been ordered released from prison by a Mexican judge, judicial officials said.

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare was given his freedom on Wednesday, hours after federal prosecutors decided to drop the charges against him on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to take the case to trial.

Judge Raul Valerio, who was in charge of the case, ordered the retired general’s “absolute and immediate” release.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam signed a document a few hours earlier dropping the charges against the general.

Angeles Dauahare, who retired on March 1, 2008, was accused by two witnesses, one of them identified by the code name “Jennifer,” of having provided protection to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel.

The winesses alleged that the general worked for cartel boss Edgar Valdez Villarreal, allowing planes carrying cocaine to land in Cancun, Toluca and Cuernavaca.

Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” was arrested by the Federal Police on Aug. 30, 2010.

The case against Angeles Dauahare was opened by prosecutors during the administration of President Felipe Calderon, who governed Mexico from 2006 to 2012.

Earlier this week, a judge threw 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.

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.

“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 Federal Judicial Council said in a statement.

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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Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades to Headline International Salsa Festival

Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades to Headline International Salsa Festival

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American Marc Anthony and Panamanian Ruben Blades will headline a Mexican salsa festival scheduled for May in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, organizers said.

The third edition of the International Salsa Festival is a must for all fans of this genre, Anselmo Estandia - mayor of the city of Boca del Rio, where the event will be held - told Efe.

He added that roughly 150,000 people are expected to turn up for the series of free concerts from May 16-19.

“We’re bringing artists of the highest level, some of whom have already participated in past editions and remain very interested in participating ... due to the large turnout of thousands of people,” Estandia said.

In addition to Anthony and Blades, two of salsa’s biggest icons, Oscar de Leon, Alberto Barros, Tito Nieves, Grupo Niche, Porfi Balboa, N’Klave, Sonora Carruseles, India and Gerry Espinosa are among the artists scheduled to perform during the festival.

According to the mayor, 100,000 people from Mexico, the United States, Canada, Spain and several South American countries attended last year’s edition.

That huge turnout translated into a 600-million-peso ($48.7-million) injection into the local economy.

Although Boca del Rio is “safe,” anti-crime efforts will be bolstered due to the large number of visitors, the mayor said.

Additional state police and Mexican armed forces have been deployed in the Gulf coast state since October 2011 as part of the Safe Veracruz program, with a particular focus on the Veracruz-Boca del Rio metropolitan area.

Federal and state authorities credit that initiative with lowering the level of organized crime-related violence in the region.

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Spain Celebrates Florida’s 500th Anniversary

Spain Celebrates Florida’s 500th Anniversary

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In 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon became the first European to set foot in Florida after making a voyage there for reasons that are still not clear, and Spain is commemorating the 500th anniversary of his landing with a stimulating cultural program that discusses - among other things - the mythical Fountain of Youth he was supposedly seeking, according to some accounts.

It’s a matter of “looking at the past to project yourself into the future,” the foreign minister for North America, Asia and the Pacific, Ernesto de Zulueta, said at an event in Madrid where he was joined by U.S. Ambassador to Spain Alan D. Solomont and Maria Teresa Lizaranzu, the president of Accion Cultural Española.

Also present at a press conference held at the Casa de America was Carmen Bueno, the director of the “Imagining Florida: Juan Ponce de Leon and the search for the Fountain of Youth” exposition.

Via an interactive format, the exhibit recreates how explorations of that sort were organized and carried out, discusses the types of colonization that prevailed in Florida through examining the process of building the historic city of St. Augustine and attempts “in a reflective and enjoyable way” to do away with the myth of the Fountain of Youth that has been attached to the Spanish explorer.

“Ponce de Leon never mentioned that in his writings,” Bueno noted, and it appears that later historians tacked that legend onto him, although the myth continues to be the “most influential and durable” concerning the United States.

The exposition will open its doors on May 30 in Miami’s Freedom Tower and it will travel to various cities around Florida, finally ending its tour in St. Augustine in 2015, coinciding with the anniversary of the founding of that city.

“One of the great discoveries of world history made possible one of the greatest alliances the world has seen,” Solomont said at Thursday’s event.

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FridayApril 19, 2013