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FridayMay 3, 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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Blog del Narco: Journalist Escapes Unharmed After Execution Attempt in Colombia

Blog del Narco: Journalist Escapes Unharmed After Execution Attempt in Colombia

Photo: Protect Journalist Campaign

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A prominent Colombian investigative journalist emerged unhurt after two gunmen fired shots at his car, the editor of newsweekly Semana said Thursday.

Ricardo Calderon “emerged completely unhurt, thanks to the fact that he managed to throw himself, in the middle of the night, to the side of the highway, while these assassins fired at the vehicle and left five bullet holes,” Alejandro Santos said.

The attack was staged on Wednesday night when Calderon stopped at a highway toll gate, some 64 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital, after having spoken with sources as part of an investigation into alleged irregularities in the management of a military fort.

Before the attack, Calderon noticed that he was clearly “being followed,” Santos told Blu Radio.

When he stopped at the toll gate a gray vehicle with tinted windows blocked his way, according to what Calderon told the authorities.

“Two individuals got out, they called him by his name and just after he answered they began firing,” Santos added.

“It’s an issue that not only affects Ricardo, whom we defend and support, as a person, it’s an attack on freedom of the press and the critical spirit of investigation,” Santos said.

The editor’s uncle, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, commented on the attack via Twitter, saying: “I asked the Director of Police (Jose Roberto Leon Riaño) to personally take charge of the investigation to find those responsible for the offensive deed.”

Calderon uncovered illegal government surveillance and wiretapping of journalists, judges and opposition politicians during the 2002-2010 administration of President Alvaro Uribe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Police Discover 34 Tons of Hashish on Melon Truck

Spanish Police Discover 34 Tons of Hashish on Melon Truck

Photo: Confiscated hashish in Spain

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Spain’s Civil Guard intercepted a record 35.6 tons of hashish in this southern port city, authorities said Friday.

The seizure took place last Saturday, Civil Guard commanders and a central government representative said during a press conference in Algeciras.

They estimated the street value of the consignment at 50 million euros ($65.5 million).

Officers discovered the 32,376 kilos (71,312 pounds) of hashish resin hidden on a truck carrying melons from Morocco to the southern French city of Perpignan.

The driver of the truck was taken into custody.

The latest confiscation brings to 40,000 kilos the amount of hashish intercepted in Algeciras so far this year. Authorities here have seized an average of 60,000 kilos per year of the drug over the last decade.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Terrified Nativists Unleash Everything They’ve Got Against Senate Immigration Bill

Terrified Nativists Unleash Everything They’ve Got Against Senate Immigration Bill

Photo: Nativists are Terrified

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Nativists are terrified by the Senate immigration bill. Legal status for most unauthorized immigrants; a pathway to citizenship for those who are legalized; more flexible limits on future immigration—all of these are anathema to the nativist vision of what the United States should become. So it’s not surprising that the nativists are letting loose with every empirically unsupported argument and scrap of misinformation in their intellectual arsenal. In particular, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has been relentless in its attacks against the Senate bill: S.744, “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” Just in the month of April, for instance, CIS has made the following, sometimes outlandish claims:

We must “secure the border” before we can even discuss “amnesty”: The billions we have already spent on border security, the hundreds of miles of fencing, the thousands of new Border Patrol agents, the surveillance drones—none of it is enough. We’ve been pouring greater and greater amounts of money and manpower into border security for two decades, but if we just keep going…How far must we go? Perhaps until the border is impermeable, which is an impossibility. Regardless, the CIS perspective ignores the fact that channeling unauthorized immigrants and future immigrants into legal pathways, where they are subject to background checks, does more to improve the nation’s security than border fencing.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Drives Truck Through Airport Sercurity Gate, Did He Yell Jesus or Jihad?

LATINO BLOTTER: Drives Truck Through Airport Sercurity Gate, Did He Yell Jesus or Jihad?

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Drives Truck Through Airport Sercurity Gate, Did He Yell Jesus or Jihad?

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Though authorities are all in agreement that Ruben Jimenez Martinez drove his SUV through a security gate a Dallas airport, the FBI and police question what he yelled as he did it.

Was it Jihad or Jesus?

On Sunday, a disturbed Jimenez Martinez drove his 2007 Chevy Tahoe through a security gate at Dallas Love Field airport. When authorities attempted to take him into custody he was yelling something, but Dallas police and the FBI heard two different things.

The Dallas cops heard, “Jihad! Jihad!” repeated over and over again, while FBI agents believe they heard him yelling, “Jesus! Jesus!”

Martinez was arrested for illegally entering a “critical infrastructure facility,” one which was “readily accessible to planes and fuel.”

Though the Dallas police report mentions Jimenez Martinez shouted about Jihad, a separate case was filed by the FBI in which Agent Rodney Sanchez made no mention of such an outburst, but instead said he heard him yell, “In the name of Jesus” a number of times.

Jimenez Martinez appeared before a judge on Friday. He claims God spoke to him in a vision and the airport was where God instructed him to go.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Utah Soccer Referee in Coma After Beating from Player

Utah Soccer Referee in Coma After Beating from Player

Photo: Ref in Coma After Beating from Player -- Daughter: "We Hope for a Miracle"

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“We hope for a miracle.” - Daughter of Ricardo Portillo, Utah soccer ref who was atttacked by a player and remains in a coma

A soccer referee’s family says they are praying for his recovery after he was attacked by a 17-year-old player angry over a call against him.

On Saturday, Ricardo Portillo, 46, was refereeing a match in Taylorsville, a Salt Lake City suburb, when he issued a young player a yellow card after a foul. As he wrote down notes after the call, witnesses say Portillo was punched in the head by the angry player.

Though he appeared to be okay at first, Portillo told those around him he felt dizzy and needed help balancing. His friends say he sat down and began vomiting up blood.

Portillo was rushed to the hospital and has been in a coma since Saturday. His doctor at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City said Portillo remains in critical condition, and says the swelling in his brain makes his recovery uncertain.

Saturday’s incident was not the first, said his 26-year-old daughter Johana Portillo, who said her father had suffered broken ribs and a broken leg because of a violent players.

‘People don’t know it’s a game,’ she told AP. ‘We’re all there to have fun, not to go and kill each other.’

Ricardo Portillo’s family says he loves soccer and had been a referee for the recreational soccer league for eight years.

Friday is the 16th birthday of Portillo’s youngest daughter and the family was to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico on Thursday to celebrate with family. Portillo has lived in Utah for 16 years and had not seen his sisters in Mexico since moving. His family is now trying to bring them to Utah to see him.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Activist Sound Alarm as Two Undocumented Guatemalan Immigrants Die in Custody

Activist Sound Alarm as Two Undocumented Guatemalan Immigrants Die in Custody

Photo: US Detention Facility

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Activists described as alarming Friday the fact that two Guatemalan immigrants died in less than a week at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Arizona.

“I’m concerned that there is no way for independent groups to verify what is happening inside these detention centers. It’s terrifying there were two Guatemalan suicides in such a short time and in the same detention center,” Sebastian Quinac, representative of the Guatemalan Ixim Ulew Committee in southern Arizona, told Efe.

We have to know whether people guarding the detainees are paying them enough attention and supervision, or if they’re putting the detainees under some kind of pressure,” the activist said.

ICE reported Thursday the apparent suicide of Jorge Garcia Mejia, 40, who was found unconscious in his cell at the Eloy Detention Center.

Elsa Guadalupe Gonzalez, 24, was also found unconscious in her cell last Sunday by other Eloy inmates.

Both had been in ICE custody since late March.

ICE said it would investigate whether suicide-prevention measures are in effect at Eloy.

The executive director of the ACLU in Arizona, Alessandra Soler, said the main problem is the “punitive” conditions in which the undocumented live in detention centers.

“Immigrants must not be treated like criminals. They are detained for administrative violations of migration, but the policy is to jail them in subhuman conditions where they are treated like prisoners, and the practice of locking them up in isolation is common,” she said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NFL’s Mark Sanchez’s Top 5 Hairstyles

NFL’s Mark Sanchez’s Top 5 Hairstyles

Photo: Mark Sanchez

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Mark Sanchez, the New York Jets Quarterback, has been recognized for not just his athletic accomplishments but also his good looks and his recent high profile relationships with Hollywood actresses and models.

Sanchez’s style has varied over the years, check out our top picks below.

 

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This photo was taken during Sanchez’s relationship with Eva Longoria.

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This scruffier looking photo of Sanchez was taken during Jets season.

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A clean shaven Sanchez appears to have let his hair grow and his natural curls are coming out.

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Recently Sanchez sported this headband and longer hair while speaking with the press.  The sports’ headband even sparked a Twitter debate.

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And one last one, because regardless of hair length or style Mark Sanchez always looks good.

Have a great weekend!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gordon Tech College Prep Gets Ready to Celebrate Its Many Academic Successes

Gordon Tech College Prep Gets Ready to Celebrate Its Many Academic Successes

Photo: Gordon Tech College Prep

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Chicago’s Gordon Tech College Prep is getting ready to celebrate its unique approach to getting Latino students into traditional four-year colleges.

In 2012 DePaul University partnered with the high school to provide one of the city’s fastest growing high schools with strategic planning around curriculum, technology and college counseling to meet the needs of kids seeking higher education.  DePaul University headquartered in Chicago is the largest Catholic university in the U.S. and brought to the table decades of thought-leadership on engaging kids around higher-ed and what it takes to be a success in college.

The number of Hispanics obtaining college degrees lags that of other demographic groups, and Latino’s share of college graduates remains below that of all college student enrollments.

Latinos are the largest demographic in the school representing nearly 40 percent of the student population.  The high school has been providing high quality, faith based education for almost 60 years.  In this unique collaboration the school and its students have received nearly $1 million in staff support, curriculum review and mentorship. 

This Monday, Gordon Tech through a fundraising gala will be honoring people that are instrumental to the success of the collaboration.  Included in the honoree list is Monsignor Velo, co-chairman of the Big Shoulders Fund in Chicago, whose many contributions to Catholic education will be feted. 

The night of celebration on May 6th will include performances by Ritmo Español a musical group that highlights traditional dance and costumes of Latin America.  Click here for more information on the event.

Congratulations to all the honorees and Gordon Tech College Prep for their commitment to Latino higher education attainment.

Read more by HS News Staff →

May 3: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

May 3: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

Photo: In theaters today: Iron Man 3, Greetings from Tim Buckley, Kiss of the Damned -- Coming soon: Star Trek Into Darkness

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

 

 

 


Iron Man 3
Image-Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley
-Rating: PG-13
-Genre: Action, Adventure
-The gist: 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?

 


Dead Man’s Burden
Image-Stars: Barlow Jacobs, Clare Bowen, David Call, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Richard Riehle
-Rating: (Not Rated)
-Genre: Western
-The gist: The year is 1870, and a fragmented America still strains to pick up the pieces from a savage Civil War. Martha (newcomer Clare Bowen) and her husband Heck (David Call) are living on a homestead that Martha’s father purchased on the rural New Mexico frontier, and struggle to make ends meet. When a mining company expresses interest in buying their land, Martha and Heck see their ticket to a better life.

 

 

 


Greetings from Tim Buckley
Image-Stars: Penn Badgley, Imogen Poots, Norbert Leo Butz, Ben Rosenfield, William Sadler
-Rating: (Not Rated)
-Genre: Drama
-The gist: In 1991, a young musician named Jeff Buckley (Penn Badgley, “Gossip Girl,” Margin Call) rehearses for his public singing debut at a Brooklyn tribute concert for his father, the late folk singer Tim Buckley. Struggling with the legacy of a man he barely knew, Jeff finds solace in a relationship with an enigmatic young woman (Imogen Poots, 28 Weeks Later) working at the show. As they explore New York City, their adventures recall glimpses of Tim’s (Ben Rosenfield) own 60s heyday, as he drives cross-country with a girlfriend and finds himself on the verge of stardom. Leading up to the now-legendary show that launched Jeff’s own brilliant career, Greetings from Tim Buckley is a poignant mirror portrait of father and son, two of the most beloved singer-songwriters of their generations.

 

Kiss of the Damned
Image-Stars: Milo Ventimiglia, Josephine de la Baume, Roxane Mesquida, Michael Rapaport
-Rating: R
-Genre: Drama, Thriller, Horror
-The gist: Beautiful vampire Djuna (Josephine de La Baume) tries to resist the advances of the handsome, human screenwriter Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia), but eventually gives in to their passion. When her troublemaker sister Mimi (Roxane Mesquida) unexpectedly comes to visit, Djuna’s love story is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming soon…

On May 17, the sequel to J.J. Abram’s 2009 Star Trek will hit theaters.

Star Trek Into Darkness stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin.

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Read more by HS News Staff →

600 Pounds of Pot Found in Buddha, St. Jude and Other Religious Statutes

600 Pounds of Pot Found in Buddha, St. Jude and Other Religious Statutes

Photo: Pot Figurines

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Border Protection agents confiscated nearly 600 pounds of pot inside a shipment of religious figures at the El Paso border checkpoint.

The illegal narco shipment who found on Wednesday and is estimated to have a value of $473,000 according to U.S. Custom agents.  The religious figurines, that include statutes of Buddha, angels and St. Jude, were coming from Mexico on a tractor-trailer.

A drug-sniffing dog reacted to the plaster figurines when the trailer was being inspected.  Further investigation of the shipment through X-ray scanner revealed the marijuana. 

No arrests were made according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Capriles Continues to Fight for New Election in Venezuela

Capriles Continues to Fight for New Election in Venezuela

Photo: Henrique Capriles

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The campaign of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles on Thursday asked Venezuela’s Supreme Court to overturn the April 14 vote that resulted in a narrow victory for ruling-party standard-bearer Nicolas Maduro.

The motion applies to the entire process surrounding the special election called after the March 5 death of President Hugo Chavez after a long battle with cancer, attorney Gerardo Fernandez told reporters.

“The goal of this appeal is ... that the elections be repeated,” he said.

Capriles is also asking that two senior judges of the Supreme Court’s electoral chamber be excluded from hearing the appeal because of their ties to the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the lawyer for the campaign said.

Maduro defeated Capriles by a margin of 272,000 votes, or 1.8 percent of the total, according to official results from the CNE electoral council.

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

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.

Four days after the voting, the CNE agreed to review the remaining 46 percent, but, after initially welcoming the plan, Capriles and his team pronounced it unsatisfactory and moved ahead with the effort to overturn the election.

Maduro was inaugurated April 19, with the majority of Latin American heads of state and government in attendance.

Chavez defeated Capriles by 55.5 percent to 44.39 percent in the Oct. 7, 2012, presidential election, a difference of 1.6 million votes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

First Woman Added to FBI Most Wanted List has Been Living in Cuba

First Woman Added to FBI Most Wanted List has Been Living in Cuba

Photo: First Woman Added to FBI Most Wanted List has Been Living in Cuba

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The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information directly leading to the arrest of a Most Wanted Terrorist, and for the first time, a woman has been added to that list.

Believed to have been living in Cuba for about three decades, Joanne Deborah Chesimard aka Assata Shakur, 65, is the latest addition to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.

One of Chesimard’s victims, a New Jersey State Police trooper, Werner Foerster, was killed after he and his partner pulled over Chesimard and her two accomplices for a motor vehicle violation on May 2, 1973. Foerster was executed, killed by his own duty weapon, which had been ripped for his holster.

“This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago,” said Mike Rinaldi, a lieutenant in the New Jersey State Police and member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Newark. “Bringing Joanne Chesimard back here to face justice is still a top priority,” he said.

Chesimard was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party and later the Black Liberation Army. BLA was responsible for the killing and wounding of more than a dozen law enforcement officers, and is known as “one of the most violent militant organizations of the 1970s.”

The FBI says Chesimard has been living in Cuba since 1984 under political asylum after escaping from prison in 1979 and is said to have have a “standard of living…higher than most Cubans.”

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the apprehension of Chesimard, and the state of New Jersey is offering an independent reward of up to $1 million, bringing the total maximum reward to $2 million.

In addition to being the first woman named as a Most Wanted Terrorist, Chesimard is only the second domestic terrorist to be added to the list.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Israel to Strengthen Relationship with U.S. Latino Community

Israel to Strengthen Relationship with U.S. Latino Community

Photo: Israeli Flag

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The country of Israel is planning on strengthening its ties to the U.S. Latino community as part of its strategic initiative with the U.S.

Israel has identified this demographic as key to maintaining strong ties to the U.S.  In addition, two of the country’s consulates are in cities, Los Angeles and Miami, with large Latino populations.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, himself has instructed the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make a “more concerted effort” to target Hispanics.

Thus far the initiative has resulted in Israeli officials meeting with leaders in the U.S. Hispanic community.  In addition more Spanish-speaking employees have been hired at Israeli consulates. 

Some U.S. Hispanics are B’nai Anusim, Jews that were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition.  There is also a segment of the Latino population that are evangelicals who believe they are of Jewish descendant. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Top 5 iPanema Flip Flops

Brazil’s iPanema flip flops have been a favorite of celebrities and fashionistas alike. 

Having been worn by Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen these fashionable and affordable sandals are the perfect summer accessory. 

We at Hispanically Speaking News have chosen the top 5 styles that would complement any summer outfit.

 

 

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Sunset
A part of the Gisele Bundchen collection at iPanema, this sandal is available in five different colors and is adorned with a butterfly.

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Lolita
This glittery flip flop is available in four colors and offers a fun update to the standard footwear.

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Pharaoh
Offered in 6 colors, this sandal successfully marries the gladiator sandal and the flip flop.  The straps can also be removed.

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Locket
This playful flip flop is available in 4 colors and offers a hint of romance.

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Maya
Its name comes from the designs nod to the Mayan pyramids and is available in 6 colors.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NFL Players Helping Reduce Traffic Fatalities in Latin America

NFL Players Helping Reduce Traffic Fatalities in Latin America

Photo: NFL Logo

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NFL players are participating in an international program to help reduce traffic deaths amongst young people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) developed a road safety program in 2010 that raises awareness of local traffic laws and encourages road safety. 

IADB is reacting to the fact that road accidents are the leading cause of death in Latin America and the Caribbean for people 15-to-19 years old and the second cause of death for youngsters ages 5-to-14.  Annually 1.24 million people die from traffic accidents.

NFL players like Akin Ayodele, Corey Chavous, Ronnie Cameron, Drayton Florence Jr. amongst others will participate in a soccer match in Haiti celebrating children that have completed the IDB road safety program.  IDB programs works alongside a UN program that aims to save five million lives on the road by 2020.

Read more by HS News Staff →

1st Week of ‘The Voice’ Knock-Out Rounds Leaves Just Two Latinas

1st Week of ‘The Voice’ Knock-Out Rounds Leaves Just Two Latinas

Photo: 1st Week of 'The Voice' Knock-Out Rounds Leaves Just Two Latinas

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At the end of week one of the knock-out rounds on The Voice, the teams are follows:

Team Usher:
- Cathia
- Josiah Hawley
- Michelle Chamuel
- Vedo

Team Shakira:
- Garrett Gardner
- Karina Iglesias
- Kris Thomas
- Sasha Allen

Team Blake:
- Danielle Bradbery
- Holly Tucker
- Justin Rivers
- The Swon Brothers

Team Adam:
- Amber Carrington
- Carolina Glaser
- Judith Hill
- Sarah Simmons


Bronx native Cathia and Florida music teacher Karina Iglesias remain the final Latinas left in the competition.

Monique Abbadie, Mary Miranda, and Agina Alvarez have been eliminated since the 48 were chosen from the blind auditions.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama, Peña Nieto Reaffirm Cooperation in Reducing Violence in Mexico

Obama, Peña Nieto Reaffirm Cooperation in Reducing Violence in Mexico

Photo: Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto

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U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that he supports the Mexican government’s efforts to reduce violence in this country and emphasized that the bilateral relationship is “dynamic.”

Obama said at a joint press conference after his meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that the two leaders agreed to continue the countries’ tight security coordination.

He also promised “strong cooperation” from the U.S. as Mexico moves to reduce internal violence, particularly as it relates to organized crime, adding that Washington will work to “meet our responsibilities to reduce the demand for illegal drugs and reduce the southbound flow of guns and cash.”

For his part, Peña Nieto said that “the new strategy in the area of security in our country has a clear intent: fighting organized crime of whatever kind,” whether it be drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion or anything else.

He also said that he had agreed with Obama to take joint measures to create a “more secure border,” albeit one that facilitates the passage of persons and goods.

Obama thanked Peña Nieto and the Mexican people in Spanish for their hospitality and he went on to express his support for the reforms undertaken by the Mexican leader’s government.

“What I have been impressed with is the president’s boldness in his reform agenda,” Obama said. “He’s tackling big issues, and that’s what the times demand. We live in a world that’s changing rapidly. ... We can’t be flat-footed as the world advances.”

If Mexico is successful in that effort, that will be good for the United States, the U.S. leader emphasized.

Obama and Peña Nieto, in a joint statement issued after their meeting, announced the creation of a high-level economic dialogue - the first meeting of which will take place this year - to promote competitiveness, productivity and connectivity, along with fostering economic growth and innovation.

“As Mexico works to become more competitive, you’ve got a strong partner in the United States because our success is shared,” Obama said, noting that annual bilateral trade now exceeds $500 billion.

The United States is Mexico’s largest customer and Mexico is the second-largest market for U.S. exports.

The two presidents also reconfirmed their commitment to concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

With regard to immigration reform, Obama said that he is “optimistic” that the U.S. Congress will pass a comprehensive reform package. “If we’re going to get that done, now is the time to do it,” he said.

The majority of foreign-born immigrants in the United States are Mexicans, and many of them are undocumented.

The two leaders also spoke about the importance of working together with Canada with an eye toward making North America the world’s most dynamic and competitive region.

Obama and Peña Nieto also concluded agreements in the educational area and reaffirmed their commitment to act as jointly responsible partners in the area of public safety.

Obama arrived in Mexico on Thursday on an official visit that will focus on economic issues.

After his meeting with Peña Nieto, he returned to a hotel in the exclusive Polanco neighborhood, where he is scheduled to meet with local U.S. Embassy personnel and on Thursday evening Obama will attend a dinner in his honor hosted by the Mexican president.

Read more by HS News Staff →

April Unemployment Falls to 7.5%, Hispanic Unemployment Also Moves Downward to 9%

The April jobless rate according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics fell to 7.5 percent as the economy added 165,000 jobs.  The 7.5 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in five years. 

The April jobs number exceeded analysts expectations of 148,000 while the last two months job creation numbers were revised upward.  More than 800,000 private sector jobs have been added to the economy over the last four months.

At the beginning of the year the unemployment rate started at 7.9 percent and drifted downward to 7.6 percent in March.  Another positive economic indicator is the number of long-term unemployed workers decreased by 258,000 to 4.4 million people. 

The highest unemployment rate amongst minorities for April is African-Americans at 13.2 percent, followed by 9 percent for Latinos, with the lowest unemployment rate amongst minorities for Asians, that stands at 5.1 percent. 

Latinos unemployment rates started at 9.7 percent in the beginning of the year and tumbled down to 9.2 percent in March.

The stock market positively reacted to the news, with the Dow Jones lifting for the first time over the 15,000 mark. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Man Has to be Rescued After Getting Stuck on Border Fence Razor Wire

Man Has to be Rescued After Getting Stuck on Border Fence Razor Wire

Photo: Man Has to be Rescued After Getting Stuck on Border Fence Razor Wire

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A man believed to be an undocumented immigrant had to be rescued after he attempted to climb over a border fence and became stuck in the razor wire along the California-Mexico border.

Border Patrol officers spotted the man stuck about 20 feet in the air at around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday and called the San Diego Fire Dept. to get him down.

Using a large ladder, it took the fire department about an hour to free the man, who was looked over by emergency responders before being taken into custody.

KSWB FOX 5 was on the scene.

Read more by HS News Staff →

State of Siege Imposed on Eastern Guatemala

State of Siege Imposed on Eastern Guatemala

Photo: Guatemala

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President Otto Perez Molina imposed a state of siege on four municipalities in the eastern part of the country following the abduction of 23 police officers and the killing of another cop, the Guatemalan government said Thursday.

The measure allows authorities to restrict mobility and public gatherings for the next 30 days in San Rafael Las Flores and Castillas, Santa Rosa province; and Xelajpan and Maraquescuintla, Jalapa.

The government decided to act after a police officer was killed on a mission to rescue 23 of his comrades taken hostage Monday by residents in San Rafael Las Flores during a protest over their town’s being denied part of the expected economic bounty from the San Rafael silver mine, presidential spokesman Francisco Cuevas told Efe.

Eight other cops were wounded in the rescue operation.

The president appeared before reporters later Thursday to announce that 10 of the 18 people sought in connection with the violence had already been apprehended.

“We cannot permit criminal acts that lead to anarchy and to the violation of the human rights of the majority of the citizens of that region,” Perez Molina said.

Residents of Santa Maria Xalapan, a village in the San Rafael municipality, oppose the government’s decision to authorize the San Rafael mining project, which is operated by Canada-based Tahoe Resources.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CHILE: Initial Tests Confirms Laureate Pablo Neruda Died from Cancer

CHILE: Initial Tests Confirms Laureate Pablo Neruda Died from Cancer

Photo: CHILE: Initial Tests Confirms Laureate Pablo Neruda Died from Cancer

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The initial tests performed on the exhumed remains of Nobel literature laureate Pablo Neruda show that the Chilean poet was suffering from advanced prostate cancer, officials associated with the process confirmed to Efe.

The report from the medical examiner’s office was delivered today to Judge Mario Carroza, who is presiding over the effort to determine what killed Neruda, who died on Sept. 23, 1973, 12 days after Gen. Augusto Pinochet toppled Chile’s Socialist government in a bloody coup.

His death was officially blamed on cancer, but an investigation was opened in mid-2011 after a complaint was filed by Neruda’s Communist Party colleagues based on charges by former chauffeur Manuel Araya that Neruda was murdered on Pinochet’s orders.

“Beyond the fact that it was established that Neruda had prostate cancer, here the central point is to determine if he really was murdered by means of a lethal injection while he was a patient at the Santa Maria Clinic,” plaintiff’s attorney Eduardo Contreras told Efe.

“In this sense, the important things are the bone samples that will be sent to the United States” for analysis, he added.

Neruda passed away in the same Santiago clinic where former President Eduardo Frei Montalva died in 1982. The erstwhile head of state’s death was also attributed to natural causes, but a 2009 probe determined that he was poisoned.

The poet’s medical records have disappeared.

Carroza must now rule on the Neruda plaintiffs’ request to question several doctors who are on trial for the death of former President Frei Montalva.

Some of those doctors worked at the hospital when Neruda was a patient there and also were members of Pinochet’s DINA secret police.

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March Sees 15% Drop in Remittances to Mexico

March Sees 15% Drop in Remittances to Mexico

Photo: March Sees 15% Drop in Remittances to Mexico

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Remittances sent by Mexicans living abroad fell 14.7 percent to $1.78 billion in March, compared to the same month in 2012, the Bank of Mexico said Thursday.

March marked the 9th consecutive month that remittances have fallen, the central bank said.

The average remittance totaled $301.27 in March, down from the $335.64 registered in March 2012, the central bank said in its monthly report.

A total of 5.9 million transactions, the majority of them electronic funds transfers, were registered last month, the Bank of Mexico said.

Remittances totaled $22.44 billion in 2012, down 1.57 percent from 2011.

Remittances sent by Mexicans living abroad are the country’s second-largest source of foreign exchange and help cover the living expenses of millions of people.

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Radio, Television Announcer Missing in Northern Mexico

Radio, Television Announcer Missing in Northern Mexico

Photo: Jose Gerardo Padilla Blanquet

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A radio and television announcer in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila is missing, state officials said.

Jose Gerardo Padilla Blanquet disappeared Tuesday in Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, state security spokesman Jesus Carranza told Efe.

Padilla Blanquet’s friends and co-workers reported on social-networking sites that he was missing, Carranza said.

The journalist’s family filed a missing persons report on Wednesday, Carranza said.

Padilla Blanquet works for Radio Grande de Coahuila, whose director has received threats on numerous occasions and was beaten a few months ago.

State prosecutors are investigating Padilla Blanquet’s disappearance, Coahuila Public Safety Secretary Jose Gerardo Villarreal told the press.

“The deputy prosecutor’s office for investigating and finding missing persons immediately established a search protocol to try to locate him and we are fully supporting them in everything needed,” Villarreal said.

The mutilated body of Daniel Alejandro Martinez, a photographer for Mexico’s La Vanguardia newspaper, was found last week along with that of another young man in Saltillo.

The dismembered bodies of the 22-year-old Martinez and 23-year-old Julian Alejandro Zamora Gracia were found on April 24 in Los Arcos, a neighborhood in the southern section of Saltillo, the Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office said.

Media and press rights groups staged a protest Sunday in Mexico City and several other cities to call for an end to attacks on journalists and pressure officials to clear up crimes against members of the media.

An International Press Institute, or IPI, and World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA, delegation visited Mexico in February and called for more protection for journalists.

Both the IPI and Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, ranked Mexico as the fourth most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2012, trailing only Syria, Somalia and Pakistan.

More than 80 journalists have been murdered and 18 others have been reported missing since 2005 in Mexico, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, said in a report released in December.

Some 658 complaints were received from members of the news media from Jan. 1, 2005, to Nov. 30, 2012, the rights body said.

The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead, or an average of 32 per day, in Mexico, officials say.

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433,000 Visitors Headed to Bogota International Book Fair

433,000 Visitors Headed to Bogota International Book Fair

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The Bogota International Book Fair, whose guest of honor was Portugal this year, drew 18,000 more visitors than the 2012 edition, with total visitors hitting 433,000, organizers said.

The 14-day fair, which closed its doors on Wednesday, saw attendance rise 4.3 percent from the 415,000 visitors registered last year.

Figures are not yet available on deal volume at the fair, but it is estimated that transactions exceeded the $20.4 million in business done last year.

Peru will be the guest of honor at the 2014 Bogota International Book Fair and is expected to bring a large delegation to Colombia led by 2010 Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

Vargas Llosa has confirmed that he will attend next year’s edition of the Bogota International Book Fair, the third-largest book fair in Latin America, Peruvian Embassy spokesmen told Efe.

Peru was the guest of honor at the fair in 2003.

The 2013 Bogota International Book Fair featured 23 Portuguese writers and French Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Gustav Le Clezio.

Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale; Dutch novelist Cees Nooteboom, a Nobel candidate on several occasions; Spanish writers Fernando Savater, Juan Jose Millas and J.J. Benitez; German writer and journalist Gunter Wallraff; and American writer John Katzenbach were among the writers who attended the fair.

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FridayMay 3, 2013