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SaturdayApril 20, 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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Police Foil Animal Trafficking Scheme in Bolivia, Seize 5,000 Caimans

Police Foil Animal Trafficking Scheme in Bolivia, Seize 5,000 Caimans

Photo: Baby caimans

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Bolivian police seized 5,000 live baby caimans in an operation against animal trafficking in the oriental province of Santa Cruz, which borders on Brazil and Paraguay, the provincial government said Saturday.

Dealers had shipped the baby caimans in trucks to the city of Santa Cruz from the village of San Matias on the Brazilian border, an area rich in wetlands and animal diversity.

Santa Cruz Environment Secretary Manilo Roca said that the baby caimans of the yacare species, a medium to small sized crocodilian, have now been cared for and fed and could be returned to their habitat.

Confiscated from the same trucks were 500 caiman skins of various sizes, with a total value of $18,000.

Roca said that if the owners of the shipment do not have authorization to engage in this kind of commerce, they will be tried for illegal trafficking of a species that can only be sold under a management plan with special permits.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cesc Fabregas Saves FC Barcelona Against Levante

Cesc Fabregas Saves FC Barcelona Against Levante

Photo: FC Barcelona vs Levante (FCB)

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A goal by Cesc Fabregas in minute 84 got Barcelona through a dull game played with little intensity against Levante to win 1-0, a match during which Tito Vilanova’s squad was looking ahead to next Tuesday’s clash with Bayern of Munich in the Champions League semifinals.

The win allows the Barca players to see themselves much closer to the Spanish title. In fact, a mishap by Real Madrid next week combined with a blue-and-red victory in San Mames will give the Catalans their third La Liga title in four years.

With all thoughts on Munich, a lineup missing most of the first-string players, a rival not up to much, Leo Messi not on the field as he gets back into shape, Barcelona let itself get bogged down in the first half, not least by a great performance by Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who blocked a David Villa penalty shot in minute 17.

The Costa Rican goalkeeper was also catlike in deflecting a close-up rebound shot at goal by Cesc Fabregas, and from that moment, Navas was in command.

But Cesc came through in the end and kept Barcelona from stumbling on the road to the La Liga title.

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Gored Spanish Bullfighter Returns to Operating Room

Gored Spanish Bullfighter Returns to Operating Room

Photo: Julian "El Juli" Lopez

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Bullfighter Julian “El Juli” Lopez was back on the operating table Saturday afternoon at the Sagrado Corazon Clinic in Seville after the wound he suffered from a bad goring Friday began getting worse, sources close to the Madrid matador told Efe.

El Juli, who Saturday morning had been moved to a hospital room, began to suffer “strong pains” throughout the afternoon, and the wounded leg “was not looking good and was very inflamed.” Doctors decided they had better bring him back to the operating room, where he began having surgery at 9:00 p.m.

El Juli was injured Friday by the first bull of the afternoon at Seville’s April Fair, which dealt him a 15-centimeter-deep (6-inch-deep) goring in the right thigh, causing severe muscular damage while bursting the saphenous vein.

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JUST IN:  Shots Fired, Reported Injuries at Marijuana Smoke-Out Rally in Denver

JUST IN:  Shots Fired, Reported Injuries at Marijuana Smoke-Out Rally in Denver

Photo: Hip Hop Community

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Denver police are reporting that shots were fired during the Denver rally celebrating the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.  A crowd estimated at 80,000 had gathered to celebrate what is commonly known as 4/20 day – to celebrate Colorado and Washington making pot legal for purposes other than medicinal.

It was during this rally at Civic Center Park when more than three shots were heard injuring two people and causing chaos everywhere.  The event started peacefully enough with music and avid pot smoking throughout the day when the shots were heard.  A man and woman were shot in the legs and are expected to survive according to Denver Police spokesperson, Sonny Jackson.

The shooting occurred a little before 5:00 p.m. local time at this annual pot celebration. The rapper Lil’ Flip was performing when the shots were fired.  There was a large police presence at the rally due to the events in Boston and the potential presence of opposition groups of marijuana legalization.  Police are looking for two suspects, both African American, but do not know what might of motivated the shootings. 

Miguel Lopez, organizer of the rally, closed down the event at 5:20 pm. local time. 

Group smoke-outs to celebrate and promote recreational use of marijuana were planned throughout the U.S. today.

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Police Seize Cocaine Worth $75 Million in Colombia

Police Seize Cocaine Worth $75 Million in Colombia

Photo: Seized cocaine in Colombia

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Colombian police seized three tons of cocaine belonging to a gang of paramilitary drug traffickers known as “Los Urabeños” at a farm in the northern province of Antioquia on the Caribbean coast, authorities said.

The drug was confiscated at the Punta de Piedra Farm in a rural area of Antioquia’s Turbo municipality and very close to the beach, the director of Colombia’s National Police, Gen. Jose Roberto Leon Riaño, said.

The subterranean cache “contained 3,000 packs of the drug, which when weighed added up to 3,000 kilos (3.3 tons) and bore the “Oster” logo, characteristic of the criminal gang “Los Urabeños,” the general said. The drug was worth some $75 million on the black market.

The hideaway “had special air conditioning so the humidity would not damage the cocaine,” Leon Riaño said, adding that this was an important feature since it was located just 150 meters (490 feet) from the sea.

Leon Riaño said the drug was exported by Los Urabeños from the farm on speedboats to Central America, where it was received by Mexican cartels, Los Zetas in particular, who then shipped it to the United States, also by sea.

The farm also served as a collection center to which shipments came from all over the central and northern areas of Colombia, the authorities said.

According to police, the drug shipments were directed by Francisco Jose Morelo Peñate, alias “El Negro Sarley,” the No. 2 ringleader of Los Urabeños, for whom the authorities offer a 1.2 billion peso ($650,000) reward.

El Negro Sarley is the brother-in-law of Dario Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” the kingpin of this paramilitary drug ring.

At the farm police also seized 20 kilos (44 pounds) of marijuana, three assault rifles and ammunition.

According to the authorities, with this operation the cocaine confiscated in Colombia to date in 2013 amounts to 52 tons. In 2012, some 241 tons of cocaine were seized.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Death Toll of Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Stands at 14

Death Toll of Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Stands at 14

Photo: Explosion at fertilizer plant in West, Texas

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After two days of speculation, Texas authorities confirmed that the number of people who died in the explosion of a fertilizer plant in the town of West stands at 14 as the work of searching the ruins comes to an end.

On Friday afternoon, the spokesman of that state’s Department of Public Safety, Sgt. Jason Reyes, gave the official report on the dead whose bodies were taken to Dallas, 120 kilometers (75 miles) to the north, for forensic analyses.

The victims’ identities are gradually being ascertained with the help of friends and relatives. Among them are at least eight firefighters, mostly volunteers like Jerry Chapman who recently celebrated his 26th birthday.

Reyes would only say that the bodies were recovered from around the chemical plant that caught fire and where firefighters were trying to extinguish the flames before it blew up.

Police had said previously that between five and 15 people might have been killed in the explosion, and on Friday Sen. John Cornyn, after a visit to the disaster area, announced that 60 people who were thought to be near the plant when it exploded were “still unaccounted for.”

Some 200 people were injured, while included among the material damage, yet to be calculated, were 50 buildings that were blown to pieces by the powerful West Fertilizer explosion.

The blast at the West Fertilizer Plant in West, located about 20 kilometers (some 12 miles) north of Waco, occurred around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday and was heard up to 70 kilometers (43 miles) away, officials said.

The explosion leveled nearby houses and registered as a magnitude-2.1 seismic event on the U.S. Geological Survey’s seismographs.

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Pemex Brings Cogeneration Power Plant Online in Mexico

Mexican state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos said it has brought a cogeneration power plant online in the southeastern state of Tabasco, a facility it says is the largest of its kind in Latin America.

The 300 MW Nuevo Pemex plant was built at an investment cost of 6.5 billion pesos ($530 million) and has the capacity to produce up to 800 tons per hour of steam.

It will meet the electricity demands of 190 Pemex work centers and save the company $152 million per year.

“In terms of profitability, it represents for Pemex a current net value of $306 million and an internal rate of return of 18 percent,” the company said in a statement.

Pemex said 36.5 percent of the plant’s cost was financed by the consortium made up of Spain’s Abengoa and U.S.-based GE Energy Financial Services that was awarded the construction contract.

The remaining funding came from a syndicated loan granted to the winning consortium and arranged by Mexican state bank Banobras.

Pemex said the plant represents a major step in its plans to achieve self-sufficiency in electricity generation, and improves its electricity- and steam-related operating costs.

The plant will replace less efficient equipment and lower maintenance and rehabilitation costs by some $10 million annually while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 940,000 tons annually.

Cogeneration is a process that simultaneously produces both electricity and heat from one fuel source, such as natural gas, making use of heat that would otherwise be lost.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Willie Nelson Doing Concert to Benefit West, Texas Blast Victims

Willie Nelson Doing Concert to Benefit West, Texas Blast Victims

Photo: Willie Nelson Benefit Concert for West, Texas

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As residents of West, Texas are returning to their homes, many people are coming to their aid including country singer Willie Nelson.

The 79-year-old country crooner has announced an April 28 concert in Austin, Texas to celebrate West, Texas and raise funds for the West Fire Department.  The fire department is an all-volunteer department that lost five members in the explosion.  The concert at the Bee Cave in Austin was originally planned to celebrate the singer’s 80th birthday which is on the 30th, however that plan has changed and the celebration will be all about West, Texas with proceeds going to the West Fire Department.

West, Texas that is 19 miles north of Waco is also close to Nelson’s hometown of Abbott, Texas.  Abbott is some six miles down the road from where the blast occurred. Nelson calls West, Texas the backyard he grew up in. 

Today for the first time, town officials announced some residents could return to their home and see what if anything remained of their home and possessions.  There is no indication when all evacuated residents can return home. 

There have been 14 fatalities , 200 injured with 60 people still missing from the Wednesday night, April 17 blast at the West Fertilizer Co.  You can visit. WillieNelson.com to find out more about the benefit concert and other ways to help the people of West, Texas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nadal Going After 9th Straight Monte Carlo Title Against Djokovic

Nadal Going After 9th Straight Monte Carlo Title Against Djokovic

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal topped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) on Saturday and will attempt to win his ninth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters title when he takes on world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final.

Nadal struggled to close out the match against the Frenchman, but he righted the ship in time to take the semifinal contest in one hour and 37 minutes for his 46th consecutive victory at this clay-court event.

The No. 3 seed led 6-3, 5-1 and then had three match points with Tsonga serving down 2-5, 0-40, but the Frenchman - who had been donating numerous points to the Spaniard with unforced errors - picked up his game to force a tiebreaker.

Nadal, however, stopped the bleeding in time to avoid a third set, clinching the contest on his fourth match point.

Next up in the final will be Djokovic, who appeared to be struggling with an ankle injury earlier in the tournament but comes into the final in blistering form after crushing Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-1 in Saturday afternoon’s second semifinal.

Djokovic is one win away from his first Monte Carlo title, having lost in the final to Nadal in 2009 and 2012.

The Monte Carlo Masters is one of the biggest clay-court tournaments on the men’s tennis calendar and a key tune-up event for the French Open, which gets underway next month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Marc Anthony to Launch 1st Single of New Salsa Record

Marc Anthony to Launch 1st Single of New Salsa Record

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American salsa star Marc Anthony will launch on April 26 “Vivir Mi Vida,” the first promotional cut from his new disc, which goes on sale next July, his publicist said on Saturday.

The day before the single goes on the market, the artist will appear at the Billboard Latin Music Awards gala, where he will perform his new number, an adaptation of the song “C’est La Vie” by Cheb Khaled.

“Vivir Mi Vida” will be available on iTunes immediately after the world debut of the single at the Billboard awards, his publicist Blanca Lasalle said in a communique.

This is the first disc of tropical music that the New Yorker, winner of two Grammys and three Latin Grammys, has made in almost 10 years, since “Valio la Pena” in 2004.

For the project Anthony got back together with music producer Sergio George, who produced many of the hits he has racked up in his career, Lasalle said.

“Vivir Mi Vida” was recorded at the Hit Factory and Top Stop Music studios in Florida “and is a celebration and hymn to life featuring the style and unique voice of Marc Anthony,” the communique said.

In 2010, Anthony launched “Iconos,” an album in which he sang signature songs of Latino stars as a tribute to his idols. It was preceded by “El Cantante” in 2007, which included numbers from the like-named movie that he made together with his wife at the time, Jennifer Lopez, about the life of the late singer Hector Lavoe.

In 2006 he launched “Sigo Siendo Yo,” a collection of his greatest hits.

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After Following Ponce de Leon’s Footsteps, Spaniard Wants to Cross Pacific With Jet Ski

After Following Ponce de Leon’s Footsteps, Spaniard Wants to Cross Pacific With Jet Ski

Photo: Alvaro de Marichalar

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After a solo crossing of 21 days by jet ski, Spanish navigator Alvaro de Marichalar completed the route sailed by explorer and conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon when he discovered Florida 500 years ago, and now plans a four-month crossing of the Pacific Ocean, which will be his longest and perhaps last important feat.

“In June, God willing, I will make the longest expedition of my life. This one will be about another Spaniard and another important historical date - the discovery of the Pacific Ocean on Sept. 26, 1513 by Blasco Nuñez de Balboa,” Marichalar said Friday during an interview with Efe in Havana.

The real estate and telecommunications businessman, who will turn 52 in a few days, reached Cuba Wednesday on the last stretch of his “Florida Discovery Expedition” in honor of the voyage made by Spain’s Ponce de Leon in 1513, when he sailed from Puerto Rico in search of the Fountain of Youth but discovered Florida instead.

Centuries later, Marichalar set out on his own expedition across the open sea riding his precarious craft “to continue an idea, an adventure, a dream.”

The adventurer left Puerto Rico on March 20 and rode his jet ski almost 1,960 nautical miles with stops in the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos islands and the Bahamas, before arriving at St. Augustine, Florida, on April 3, the same date that Ponce de Leon landed there.

Among the most difficult moments of the journey, Marichalar mentioned two storms at night near Nassau in the Bahamas, the high seas in the Florida Straits and a failure of his GPS that left him adrift for five nights.

“You fall in the water sometimes, and the problem then is not only to get back on the jet ski, but just to find it, because it can disappear in the waves,” the Navarra native said.

In 2013 he will spend more time than usual navigating. In June he plans to kick off another solo crossing, riding the same jet ski to conquer the Pacific, from the Philippines to Panama by way of Russia and Alaska.

“For now it’s just an idea, but it will be my last really long trip. After that I’m thinking of doing more crossings but not such tough ones,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigration Bill Compromise Is A Potential Political Sea Change

Immigration Bill Compromise Is A Potential Political Sea Change

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

It’s 844 pages long. It’s been a long time coming. And it’s a compromise.

So it’s a daunting read, a sigh of relief and…better than nothing.

I’m not a big fan of compromises, because both sides lose something in the process. I’m a fan of innovative thinking, where two opposing sides see a common goal and invent a new way to achieve it that wasn’t there before; that honors and understands both sides and helps each side grow.
The immigration bill presented in the U.S. Senate by the fabled “gang of eight” is not that.

Still, it’s the best we could hope for, given the present political circumstances. So in that sense one step, in compromise, is better than no step at all.  But because it’s a compromise there will be folks on both sides who will find things to hate about it. You can take that to the bank.

Make no mistake, this bill is not about immigrants, it’s about politics, and votes – it’s easier to understand what’s written in the 844 pages if we go into it from that point of view. Republicans see the demographic trend and want to soften their image among Latinos, and Democrats see a potential blue wave rising across the country. They both think that immigration reform is the key to their aspiration – straight to the heart of the Latino voter.

And if the issue were that simple congress would vote on it soon and we’d be done with it, and that would be that. If the problem were that easy to resolve, it would have been fixed long ago. It happened today because the political atmosphere was right – that’s just the way Washington politics works.

But this political compromise will have economic and cultural repercussions for generations to come. Latinos have known this all along.

So if the votes are ever cast and counted on this thing, if we’re able to get passed the argument that is sure to erupt in the next days, politics will be changed in a definite way.

In the mean time, we have a bill that’s 844 pages long. You can click HERE to read it. Have at it.Image

This article was first published in NewsTaco.

NewsTaco provides you with innovative and insightful news, critique, analysis and opinion from a Latino perspective in a 24-hour world.

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Brazilian Fines Rita Lee for Insulting Cops at Music Festival

Brazilian Fines Rita Lee for Insulting Cops at Music Festival

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A Brazilian court sentenced Brazilian rocker Rita Lee to pay a fine of 5,000 reais ($2,500) for insulting two police at a concert in 2012.

The singer was arrested for the incident during the Summer Festival in the city of Aracaju, capital of the northeastern state of Sergipe, after the concert.

The prosecutor argued that Lee offended the two police officers in public with foul language and got her fans at the concert to boo the cops until they were forced to leave the premises, according to a communique from the Sergipe Court of Justice.

The fine was for five charges out of a total of 33 brought by the prosecution, so the singer’s penalty could be considerably more by the time she is tried for the rest of the complaints.

Lee, with a career spanning almost 50 years, insulted the cops and challenged them to arrest her, saying that Brazil “isn’t a dictatorship any more,” an allusion to the country’s 1964-1985 military regime.

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Controversial Anti-immigrant Billboard Goes Up in Georgia

Controversial Anti-immigrant Billboard Goes Up in Georgia

Photo: Anti-immigrant billboard (CBS Atlanta)

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A billboard along a highway in north Georgia urging the undocumented to move to South Carolina has sparked resentment among activists who say it is an example of the anti-immigrant atmosphere that exists in this state.

“South Carolina welcomes the undocumented!” the sign says, adding that “Sen. Lindsey Graham says His State has a Labor Shortage and Wants More Immigrants.”

Graham, a Republican, is one of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” who this week introduced an immigration-reform proposal.

A group calling itself the Dustin Inman Society is behind the billboard.

“Though the Dustin Inman Society has the right to publish that message on a billboard, it’s unfortunate that Georgia is falling behind by the rest of the country and is still putting up barricades against possible future citizens who work and live in the state,” Azadeh Shahshahani, attorney for the ACLU of Georgia, told Efe.

The ad also urged area residents to join forces to “stop the RubiObamaAmnesty,” a way of describing the efforts of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl) and President Barack Obama to bring about immigration reform.

The Dustin Inman Society, which defines itself as a coalition of people “who recognize that illegal immigration and homeland security are the most critical issues in America today,” is headed by columnist and anti-immigrant activist D.A. King.

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Russia Sends Mice, Gerbils into Orbit

Russia Sends Mice, Gerbils into Orbit

Photo: Soyuz 2.1 rocket

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A Soyuz 2.1 rocket topped by a capsule carrying mice, gerbils and other small creatures was launched into space Friday from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“The space apparatus has separated from the third stage of the rocket,” the Roscosmos space agency said.

The Bion-M1 contains 45 mice, 15 geckos, 20 snails and eight Mongolian gerbils as well as micro-organisms and plants, accompanied by video cameras and an array of sensors enabling scientists on the ground to monitor their biological responses to spaceflight.

Mission planners expect the data to be useful in evaluating the effects of space travel on humans.

Officials say the creatures will return alive after spending 30 days in orbit at an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometers) above the Earth.

Though under the control of Roscosmos, the Bion-M1 mission is international and includes participation from NASA.

Roscosmos last sent animals into space in 1996.

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SaturdayApril 20, 2013