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ThursdayMay 2, 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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UCLA Establishes Center to Study Health, Poverty in Latin America

UCLA’s Blum Center is a research institute that seeks to contribute to improving the health of communities with few economic resources in Latin America.

“The Blum Center (aims to have) UCLA professors and students collaborate with their professional colleagues in Latin American to share knowledge to promote health in Latin American countries,” Michael Rodriguez, a professor of family medicine and the director of the center, told Efe.

The center was founded with a donation of $1 million by Richard Blum, a wealthy businessman and member of the board of regents for the University of California system.

“The Blum Center arose from an idea of Richard Blum, who in chats with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block told him that he wanted to contribute to eradicating poverty in the world,” Rodriguez said.

Block placed at the regent’s disposal the support of UCLA professors and students and proposed to Blum that he begin working in Latin America.

“To study poverty we’re creating a one-year course in which students from all disciplines can sign up in their first year of study, and we were surprised that 70 students signed up,” Rodriguez said.

“At the end of the course, (the participants) told me: ‘the class is nice, but we think that this class should work with a research center to go to the communities, because we want to learn more,’” he emphasized.

The professor said that Blum’s vision along with the poverty studies students’ desire to learn more were the two elements that Block joined together and thus the research center was born.

Read more by HS News Staff →

How New Immigration Bill Could Have Caught Two Suspects Arrested In Connection With Boston Bombing

How New Immigration Bill Could Have Caught Two Suspects Arrested In Connection With Boston Bombing

Photo: Boston Bombing

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Federal authorities on Wednesday announced they had arrested three suspects for allegedly helping the Boston Marathon bombers in the aftermath of the attacks. Two of the suspects are Kazakh nationals Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, who had already been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the days following the bombing for overstaying their student visas.

Though some Republicans have called for halting immigration reform in light of the bombing, the case of these two Kazakh students demonstrates how immigration reform is needed. The Senate’s proposed immigration overhaul would have made it much less likely that Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov would have slipped off federal authorities’ radar, since it creates a tracking system for those who have overstayed their visas.

As Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pointed out a few weeks ago on CNN’s State Of The Union, this will make it easier to catch those who might have dangerous intentions:

GRAHAM: I think now is the time to bring all the 11 million out of the shadows and find out who they are. Most of them are here to work, but we may find some terrorists in our midst who have been hiding in the shadows. When it comes to the entry/exit visa system, the 19 hijackers, all students, overstayed their visas and the system didn’t capture that. We’re going to fix that. In our bill, when you come into the country, it goes into the system. And when your time to leave the country expires and you haven’t left, law enforcement is notified. So we are addressing a broken immigration system.

It’s likely that, no matter the facts of the bill, the news that anyone related to the bombing had overstayed a student visa will cause a dust-up in Congress’s ongoing conversation over comprehensive immigration reform. When Rep. Steve King (R-IA), for example, discovered that bombers themselves were immigrants — older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a permanent resident, while younger brother Dzhokhar was a naturalized citizen — he called for the process to be put on pause.

According to Mother Jones, “Federal authorities allege that these two friends of Tsarnaev’s removed evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth after the April 15 bombing.” Fox News adds, “Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov are suspected of taking computers and other equipment from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s apartment and trying to dispose of it after the bombings.” The boys’ lawyer maintains that they are innocent.
UPDATE
A federal official told the AP on Wednesday afternoon that Tazhayakov was permitted to return to the United States on January 20, despite having his visa revoked for academic dismissal from his university.

Read more at Think Progress →

Star Trek: Into Darkness - Can Zoe Saldana’s Uhura be Trusted?

Star Trek: Into Darkness - Can Zoe Saldana’s Uhura be Trusted?

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The latest trailer for the upcoming Star Trek sequel calls into question the loyalty of Lieutenant Uhura, played by Zoe Saldana.

She may be a part of the Enterprise crew, but Uhura’s heart rests with Spock (Zachary Quinto).

Super-villain John Harrison (played by Benedict Cumberbatch):

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Lieutenant Uhura — the soul of the Enterprise — a master of communication with the frequencies of the entire universe at her fingertips. She is the force of compassion in holding the entire crew together. But look deeper and you will see a woman who’s love makes her a liability.
How could she watch someone put their life on the line when her heart needs him to be safe?
None of you are safe.

Check out the trailer below and be sure to catch Star Trek Into Darkness when is opens in theaters May 17.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chilean Cult Leader Who Had Baby Sacrificed, Found Hanged in Peru

Chilean Cult Leader Who Had Baby Sacrificed, Found Hanged in Peru

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Police in Colliguay, Chile were shocked to learn a three-day-old baby girl had been sacrificed by a cult, with approval from the mother, in a ritual this past November.

According to reports, the child, naked and with tape over her mouth, was placed on a board while the group called on spirits. She was then tossed into the bonfire alive, unable to scream because of the tape.

The 12-member sect, which included the child’s 25-year-old mother Natalia Guerra, was formed in 2005 by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, now 36.

After police learned of the gruesome murder Castillo Gaete went into hiding.

On Wednesday, however, the search for Castillo Gaete came to an end when his body was found hanging in Peru in the Andean city of Cusco.

Using fingerprints went from Interpol, Chilean authorities were able to confirm the man who had been hanged was indeed Castillo Gaete.

Last month, four cult members involved in the 3-day-old child’s death were arrested.

Castillo Gaete was also believed to be the father of the baby girl. The mother was among those arrested last month.

Every member of Castillo Gaete’s sect were educated professionals, each with a college degree. He had convinced them all the child was the antichrist and needed to be sacrificed or they would all die on December 21st.

Read more by HS News Staff →

People en Español’s Five Most Beautiful Latinos

People en Español’s Five Most Beautiful Latinos

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People en Español’s 50 most beautiful list has been revealed any many predictable celebrities have been named but some lesser known stars were added to the list.

Ranging from Demi Lovato to Maripily Rivera, the list spans many different superstars from athletes to actresses.

We have chosen our top 5 from People en Español’s list.

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Lucero
Known as the soap opera queen, Lucero is this year’s cover girl along with David Zepeda and Sebastian Rulli.  The actress’s talents are not limited to the screen, she has sold over 27 million albums and has won multiple gold and platinum records.

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Sebastian Rulli
The Argentine-Mexican actor known for his role in the telenovela “Amores verdaderos”, says he is “very lucky” to be in a relationship with Aracely Arambula.

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Jennifer Lopez
Named for the eight time on the list, J.Lo credits her good looks to “I have never drank [alcohol] or smoked and that has actually worked because my skin only needs moisturizer and good sleep.”

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Rafael Amaya
The Mexican star of the new telenovela series El Señor de los Cielos, compares his position on the cover with Lucero to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

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Sofia Vergara
Named for the eight time on the list, the Modern Family star is proof that beauty is not limited to “young” Hollywood.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Interview:  Talking with the Very Busy Lou Diamond Phillips

Interview:  Talking with the Very Busy Lou Diamond Phillips

Photo: Lou Diamond Phillips

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HSN had a chance to catch up with the very busy Lou Diamond Phillips as he revels in the strong box office performance this past weekend of his latest film ‘Filly Brown’. 

We caught up with the 51-year-old actor in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he is filming the second season of the very popular contemporary western series “Longmire”. 

Calling ‘Filly Brown’ the “little movie that could”, he couldn’t be prouder of the movie that fought its way into theaters as a limited release, independent production.  The movie stars his pal from ‘Stand and Deliver’ Eddie James Olmos, the later Jenni Rivera and Gina Rodriguez. 

Thanks to a strong opening with $1.3 million in box office receipts the movie according to Diamond Phillips will now be coming to 40-50 additional movie screens in 10 new markets.  Diamond Phillips not only views this film as a personal success but a big statement to Hollywood that the Latino community is a commercially viable market – “give them something they want and they will come see it,” he said.

The veteran actor, with a career that spans nearly 30 years, is also enjoying success on cable television on the #1 cable show on Sunday night’s “Longmire”.  He plays Henry Standing Bear a character Diamond Phillips describes as a “breath of fresh air” who happens to be the proprietor of the Red Pony Café.  Diamond Phillips told us to check out his Latino touch this season as he introduces the mojito at his establishment.

HSN wanted to know what this very busy actor does on his off time and whether he had any downtime. 

What we can best determine is that Diamond Phillips doesn’t do anything half-hearted.  He is a celebrity chef, award-winning poker player and keeps in touch with his love of music by starring in music videos.  Diamond Phillips takes it down a notch when he cooks 3-4 times a week and when he spends time with his children.

Check out this prolific actor on May 27th when Longmire premieres on A&E or at your local theater to enjoy ‘Filly Brown’. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hallucinating Hiker Rescued in California Had Meth in Car

Hallucinating Hiker Rescued in California Had Meth in Car

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Last month, the story of two missing hikers found after four days made headlines, and the story of them hallucinating in the California forest made the ordeal that much more compelling.

Though Nicolas Cendoya, 19, and his friend Kyndall Jack were rescued, some are questioning who should pay for said rescue after 497 grams of methamphetamine was found in Cendoya’s car.

The rescue cost about $160,000 in taxpayer money and left one person seriously injured.

After the rescue, Cendoya credited God for saving him and told reporters about the “lucid dreams, lucid hallucinations” he experienced while lost in a Southern California national park.

The teens have allegedly admitted to taking what they thought was cocaine, and an Orange County Supervisor questions why taxpayers should have to pay for these teens acting a “reckless way.”

Another official, however, says high or not, people still need to be rescued.

“What’s going to be next?” he said to the Orange County Register. “Lifeguards don’t save people if they have been out drinking?”

The meth in Cendoya’s car was discovered when police found the vehicle at the start of the trail the teens had gone down. He was arrested earlier this week. If he is convicted, Cendoya could face up to three years in prison.

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Obama’s Trip to Mexico and Costa Rica (VIDEO)

President Obama’s Trip to Mexico and Costa Rica (VIDEO)

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Today, President Obama leaves on a three day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, where he will meet with key leaders to discuss a range of issues.

We asked Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, to preview the upcoming trip and some of the issues the President would be discussing in his meetings.

Trip Schedule


THURSDAY
On Thursday morning, President Obama will depart Washington, DC for Mexico City, Mexico.
In the afternoon, President Obama will participate in a bilateral meeting with Mexican President Peña Nieto at Palacio Nacional in Mexico City.
President Obama will hold a press conference at Palacio National in Mexico City.
WATCH LIVE AT 5:15PM E.T.

FRIDAY
President Obama will deliver a speech at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, Mexico.
WATCH LIVE AT 10:30AM E.T.
In the afternoon, President Obama will travel to San Jose, Costa Rica.
President Obama will participate in a bilateral meeting with Costa Rican President Laura Chincilla at Casa Amarilla.
In the evening, President Obama will hold a press a conference in San Jose, Costa Rica.
WATCH LIVE AT 6:30PM E.T.
President Obama will participate in a working dinner.

SATURDAY
On Saturday, President Obama will attend the Central America Forum on Sustainable Economic Development, where he will deliver remarks and take questions from the press.
In the evening, President Obama will return to Washington, DC.

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: Who Are the H-1B’s?

INFOGRAPHIC: Who Are the H-1B’s?

Photo: Visual.ly

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The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant temporary visa program offered to high-skilled immigrants looking to work in the United States. 

Some view this program as negatively impacting the American work force while others argue that America is facing a shortage of skilled laborers.

Visual.ly looks at the average age, education, and wage of high-skilled immigrants coming to the U.S. 

The infographic also debunks a few myths like “a H-1B workers are lower skilled than U.S.-born workers” or “even skilled immigrants have a net negative effect on job creation and economic growth.”

Check out this Visual.ly infographic below.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Ann Coulter Says No Immigrants Should Receive Gov’t Assistance (VIDEO)

Ann Coulter Says No Immigrants Should Receive Gov’t Assistance (VIDEO)

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Already know for making comments that make even fellow Republicans cringe, Ann Coulter did it again when she appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on Tuesday.

This time acid-tongued Coulter discussed the Boston bombing suspects and the fact that the eldest of the ‪Tsarnaev‬ brothers, Tamerlan, had received welfare benefits until 2012.

Tamerlan was killed in a shoot out with police after the bombs he and his brother placed alongside the Boston Marathon killed three and injured dozens.

Since learning the identities of the suspects and their immigration status, Coulter has used the bombing to discuss immigration reform.

Tuesday, she told Hannity, “My point is: zero immigrants should be collecting government assistance. If you are collecting government assistance, it seems to me, can’t we all agree that you are not the kind of immigration we need in America here”“

She went on to say the current immigration system is allowing the U.S. to import more “losers, murderers [and] welfare recipients” when “we have our own native-born losers…”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Artist Brings Love to New York Exhibit

Cuban Artist Brings Love to New York Exhibit

Photo: (Nadia Witte for Times Square Arts)

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New York City’s Times Square has welcomed Cuban artist Esterio Segura’s installation “Adiós mi amor” (Goodbye My Love) since March as part of an arts’ initiative to introduce the multitude of New York City’s tourists and residents to contemporary art.

The installation consists of 12 planes made of heart-shaped bodies, possibly Segura’s nod to long distance relationships.

“Adiós mi amor” can be found in Anita’s Way, the pedestrian passageway connecting West 42nd Street with West 43rd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway.

Be sure to see the exhibition by May 13, 2013.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out Documentary Photographer Sebastiao Salgado’s TED Talk (VIDEO)

Check Out Documentary Photographer Sebastiao Salgado’s TED Talk (VIDEO)

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Economics PhD Sebastião Salgado only took up photography in his 30s, but the discipline became an obsession. His years-long projects beautifully capture the human side of a global story that all too often involves death, destruction or decay. In the video below, he tells a deeply personal story of the craft that nearly killed him, and shows breathtaking images from his latest work, Genesis, which documents the world’s forgotten people and places.

Sebastiao Salgado captures the dignity of the dispossessed through large-scale, long-term projects.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuba to Allow “Dozens” of Dissidents to Leave

Cuba to Allow “Dozens” of Dissidents to Leave

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The Cuban government is preparing to authorize “dozens” of political opponents to leave the country in the coming weeks, the chairman of the dissident Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation said here Wednesday.

Elizardo Sanchez is in Geneva while the U.N. Human Rights Council is evaluating the situation of basic liberties in Cuba.

Sanchez is the 19th dissident Cuban authorities have permitted to leave the country since January and he is visiting several countries to provide his testimony on the internal situation on the Communist-ruled island.

Regarding the decision by the government of Raul Castro to allow the trips, Sanchez said that it must not be interpreted as a sign of political opening, but rather as the result of a careful “cost-benefit calculation.”

“They know what we (opposition figures) are going to say, but everything will remain abroad, nobody’s going to learn about it in Cuba because the government is the owner of the communications media, the people have no access to the Internet or to international television,” he said.

“The regime has opened the cage and we doves have flow away, but I think that we’re all going to return to the cage,” Sanchez told a press conference.

The rights activist spent a total of 8 1/2 years in prison during the 1980s and had not been authorized to leave the island for more than a decade.

In its presentation Wednesday to the U.N. council, the Cuban government said it will accept the visit of independent human rights experts, provided those missions are impartial.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez made that offer at the conclusion of the session known as the Universal Periodic Exam, in which all the U.N. member-states subject to the evaluation of their peers their advances and ongoing activities in the area of human rights.

During the initial presentation, the minister discussed Cuba’s advances in health, education and nutrition.

In addition, he denounced the 50-year-old U.S. economic embargo against Cuba as a “massive, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights” and emphasized that although the Cuban system must not be considered “a model for anyone,” there also does not exist a universal model of democracy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chipotle to Support Educators with “Teacher Appreciation Day” on May 7

Chipotle to Support Educators with “Teacher Appreciation Day” on May 7

Photo: Chipotle to Support Educators with "Teacher Appreciation Day" on May 7

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Teachers Receive a Buy-One, Get-One-Free Menu Item Tuesday, May 7

Chipotle is putting teachers at the head of the class this Teacher Appreciation Day with a special “buy-one-get-one-free” promotion. On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, teachers and educators who show a valid school ID identifying them as staff will receive a free burrito, salad, burrito bowl or order of tacos when they purchase another menu item at Chipotle Mexican Grill. This promotion is available from 4:00 p.m. to close in all U.S. Chipotle restaurants.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle. “This means going beyond our commitment to better food from more sustainable ingredients and working hard to engrain our restaurants in the communities that they serve. Connecting with educators and other key community groups is part of who we are, and we’re always happy when our work makes an impact upon the communities where we operate.”

Chipotle is celebrating teachers and educators and the work they do as part of the National Education Association’s Teacher Appreciation Day. This promotion is only open to teachers and educators who show a valid school ID identifying them as staff. This deal will only be honored for dine in or take out and excludes online orders, fax orders, mobile orders, “Burritos by the Box” and catering.


For more information visit Chipotle.com.

Read more by HS News Staff →

PEW Report: 33.7 Million Mexican-Origin People Living in U.S.

PEW Report: 33.7 Million Mexican-Origin People Living in U.S.

Photo: Mexican-origin population in the U.S. (Pew Hispanic Center)

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Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, who comprise about 64 percent of the Hispanic population in the United States, reached a record 33.7 million in this country in 2012, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The study, based on U.S. Census data, said that the 33.7 million figure includes 11.4 million Mexicans who have emigrated from Mexico and 22.3 million people of Mexican origin who were born in the United States.

People of Mexican origin comprise 11 percent of the U.S. population.

The report said that the number of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the country has increased drastically over the past four decades, a population flow that has amounted to one of the most massive migrations in modern history.

By way of comparison, although in 1970 less than 1 million Mexicans were living in the United States, by 2007 that figure had reached its high point of 12.5 million.

Since 2007, however, the number of Mexicans here has declined because immigration from Mexico has slowed “significantly,” the center said.

Currently, 35 percent of Hispanics of Mexican origin in the United States were born in Mexico but the remainder were born in this country, and of those, 52 percent have at least one immigrant parent.

Prior to the 1980s, the growth in the Mexican-origin population in the United States came mainly from Mexicans who were born in this country, but between 1980 and 2000, that growth came mainly from immigration from Mexico.

The trend, in any case, reversed again between 2000 and 2010, a period during which the number of Mexican-origin births in the United States exceeded immigration as the main contribution to the group’s population growth, the study said.

The report added that the 11.4 million Mexicans living in the United States comprise the largest group of first-generation immigrants in this nation, which has a total of 40 million people who were born abroad.

After Mexicans, the Chinese make up the next-largest group of foreigners, with a total of 2 million people, the study said.

Mexican immigrants, in addition, make up more than 55 percent of the undocumented population in the country, which is calculated to be about 11 million people.

The report was released as the U.S. Congress is studying a comprehensive immigration reform package that would open a route to legalization and potential citizenship for undocumented foreigners living here.

Immigration reform is of great interest to the countries of Latin America and is certain to be one of the issues President Barack Obama will discuss on his upcoming visit to Mexico and Costa Rica.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Train in Chile Derailed, Engineers Shot

Train in Chile Derailed, Engineers Shot

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Unknown persons on Tuesday derailed a freight train in the southern Chilean region of La Araucania, in the so-called Mapuche conflict zone, and then fired on the engineers and tried to burn the cargo and the railcars.

According to the police report made available to reporters, the incident occurred about 5:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) between the cities of Temuco and Concepcion after a group of unknown persons removed the bolts holding the rails to the ties causing 45 railcars on the train to run off the tracks, damaging 11 of them.

After the accident, the two engineers got off the train to examine the damage but unknown gunmen then began firing at them, so they returned to the train and took refuge in the engine.

Police determined that the attackers doused the cars that went off the track with fuel but they were unable to set them on fire.

The top municipal official in the southern town of Malleco, Erich Baumann, called the derailment “a very serious attack” and said that the government is studying whether to apply the Antiterrorist Law against those responsible for it.

The prosecutor in charge of the case, Ricardo Traite, said that this was an act of violence “without precedent in the area” and confirmed that among those suspected of carrying out the deed are Mapuche Indian groups because of the slogans the engineers heard being shouted and from evidence the attackers left on the scene.

The Mapuches, who number 600,000 in a country of 16.6 million, are Chile’s main Indian tribe.

The basis of the conflict between some Mapuche communities and the Chilean state is the Indians’ claim on ancestral lands.

In La Araucania, Chile’s poorest region, the Indians occupy about 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres), just 5 percent of the lands they inherited from their forebears and one-sixth of the territory owned by forestry firms, which have suffered several attacks of various sorts in recent years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Violence Mars May Day March in Chile Protesting Labor Regulations

Violence Mars May Day March in Chile Protesting Labor Regulations

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Tens of thousands of Chileans took to the streets of the capital Wednesday in a violence-marred rally to commemorate International Workers Day and press demands for tax reform, a new pensions system and an overhaul of labor regulations.

Organized by the CUT labor federation and backed by grassroots and student groups, the demonstration drew 100,000 people, according to organizers, while police put the number at 25,000.

Almost from the outset, hundreds of youths sought to create disturbances and became involved in clashes with police that resulted in at least 60 arrests and 19 officers injured.

“We’re ready to have an impact on the national stage, taking up these three great banners: an ambitious tax reform, a new pensions system and a new labor institutionality,” CUT President Barbara Figueroa said in a speech at the end of the march.

The tax overhaul must be aimed at reducing high levels of inequality in Chile and raising funds the government can use to finance education and health improvements, she said.

Chile’s current pension system, a legacy of the 1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship, is managed by private funds that are seen by many Chileans as providing insufficient retirement income to workers while raking in huge profits.

Figueroa, 33, who in September became the first woman to lead the CUT, also called for new regulations that provide workers with a decent wage and job security.

She again demanded a minimum salary of 250,000 pesos ($530) a month, compared with a government proposal to raise the monthly minimum from the current $408 to $434.

“That’s the big story being played out in our nation: that despite having work, we remain poor,” Figueroa said.

While she was speaking, some groups of young people were destroying public property on Santiago’s La Alameda thoroughfare, throwing rocks and sticks at police, setting fire to barricades and trying to loot stores.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Oil Giant Petrobras Sells Stake in Gulf of Mexico Exploratory Blocks

Brazilian Oil Giant Petrobras Sells Stake in Gulf of Mexico Exploratory Blocks

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Brazilian state-controlled oil giant Petrobras said it has sold its 20 percent stake in six exploratory blocks in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

In a regulatory filing, Petrobras said it signed a sale and purchase agreement for the divestment of its stake in the KC 49, 50, 92, 93, 94 and 138 blocks that make up the Gila asset, in which BP Plc is the operator.

Petrobras will receive $110 million in the transaction and additional equity in an exploratory block adjacent to the Tiber field, where the Brazilian company is already present and has discovered reserves.

“This transaction is part of Petrobras’ divestment program, outlined in the 2013-2017 Business & Management Plan, and is subject to third party preferential rights and approval by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,” Tuesday’s filing said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

North Carolina to Deport Community Activist After Traffic Violation

North Carolina to Deport Community Activist After Traffic Violation

Photo: Fabiana Palomo Muñiz

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has decided to deport a community activist and coordinator of a Catholic youth group in North Carolina after her arrest on a minor traffic violation.

ICE spokesman Vincent Picard confirmed on Wednesday to Efe that Mexican Fabiana Palomo Muñiz “does not quality for procedural discretion due to a previous deportation in 2003 and (her) illegal reentry into the country, which constitutes a federal crime.”

On April 9, Palomo Muñiz, who has lived in the city of Durham for eight years, was arrested in Wake County after she left the scene of a minor traffic accident in which she had been involved.

Palomo Muñiz, the coordinator of the Hispanic Youth Ministry at the Immaculate Conception Church, was driving that day to a parish event.

According to what Gustavo Peña, the immigrant’s husband, told the media, she did not understand the instructions given her by police because she does not speak English and she was fined and arrested for not having a driver’s license and for resisting arrest.

After the incident, she was transferred to the county jail, where she was identified as undocumented under the 287(g) program and placed in the deportation category.

Although the state’s charges were thrown out last week, ICE said that soon it will transfer the woman to an immigration detention center in preparation for her later deportation.

On Monday, a vigil in support of Palomo Muñiz was held at the Immaculate Conception Church, where dozens of friends and acquaintances called for her release.

Viridiana Martinez, the founder of NC Dream Team, which organized a campaign to place telephone calls to the ICE offices and to the Wake County jail to prevent the deportation, explained Wednesday to Efe that they are not “giving up.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bolivian President Evo Morales Expels USAID

Bolivian President Evo Morales Expels USAID

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President Evo Morales on Wednesday expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development from Bolivia, accusing USAID of meddling in politics.

He announced the decision at a May Day rally in La Paz’s Murillo Square.

Since taking office in 2006, Morales has traditionally chosen International Workers Day to announce the nationalization of a firm or the assertion of public control over infrastructure or natural resources.

“Our minister of the presidency said to me yesterday that journalists and firms were running around the palace asking what we’re going to nationalize today. Today we will only nationalize ... the dignity of the Bolivian people,” the leftist president said.

“There is no lack of U.S. Embassy institutions to continue conspiring against this process, the people and especially the national government, and that’s why ... I want to inform you that we have decided to expel USAID from Bolivia,” he told supporters.

Morales, the first indigenous head of state of this Indian-majority country, ordered the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration out of Bolivia in 2008, the same year he booted Washington’s envoy to the Andean nation, Philip Goldberg.

The president cited the ambassador’s meetings with secession-minded provincial governors and the use of a DEA aircraft to transport opposition leaders.

Denying any wrongdoing by its officials, the United States likewise expelled the Bolivian ambassador and relations have remained at the level of charge d’affaires since then.

USAID is an “instrument that still has a mentality of domination,” Morales said Wednesday, insisting that the agency’s programs in Bolivia have had a political agenda.

The president also repeated his denunciation of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remark to a congressional committee that “the Western Hemisphere is our backyard.”

The United States regrets La Paz’s decision to expel USAID and rejects the accusation of political interference as “baseless and unfounded,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.

“This harms the Bolivian people. We think the (USAID) programs have been positive for the Bolivian people and fully co-ordinated with the Bolivian government and appropriate agencies under their own national development plan,” Ventrell said.

Declassified documents obtained under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act show USAID has invested more than $97 million in “decentralization” and “regional autonomy” projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002.

USAID’s Political Party Reform Project was designed to “serve as a counterweight to (Morales’) radical MAS (party) or its successors,” one of those documents said.

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ThursdayMay 2, 2013