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FridayMay 10, 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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Rep. Gutierrez Says Only Immigration Reform Can Stop Deportations

Rep. Gutierrez Says Only Immigration Reform Can Stop Deportations

Photo: Rep. Luis Gutierrez

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President Barack Obama will not put a halt to deportations of undocumented immigrants until and unless Congress passes immigration reform, Rep. Luis Gutierrez told Efe.

Obama could not keep his 2008 promise for immigration reform and made it one of the pillars of his second term, but, according to Gutierrez, the immigrant community “is suffering intensely” due to the deportations.

“The president will not stop deporting people, I want to emphasize that. He will deport another 400,000 people (this year). There’s an imbalance here that goes against immigrants…every day between 1,200 and 1,400 people are deported,” Gutierrez said in a telephone interview.

Known as one of the most stalwart defenders of immigrants in Congress, the Illinois Democrat openly complains about the deportation of around 1.6 million people since Obama took office in January 2009.

The president and his Democratic allies wasted the chance to pass immigration reform when their party had control of both houses of Congress in 2009, and now the reform has sworn enemies among the Republicans who control the House, Gutierrez said.

He said the bill that he and another seven House members from both parties are negotiating “will not be as good as it could have been in the first two years” of Obama.

Gutierrez told the press Wednesday that the bipartisan group hopes to resolve some disagreements and present its own version of reform by next month at the latest.

On Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee began debating some 300 amendments to the bipartisan bill negotiated by the “Gang of Eight” senators to legalize the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and plans to put it to a vote before the end of the month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Los Zetas Money Man Apprehended in Northern Mexico

Los Zetas Money Man Apprehended in Northern Mexico

Photo: Alfonso Zamudio Quijada

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Navy personnel arrested a man suspected of managing financial operations for the fearsome Los Zetas drug cartel, the Mexican government said.

Alfonso Zamudio Quijada was nabbed Wednesday as he left a house in Monclova, a city in the northern state of Coahuila, Government Secretariat official Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez said.

Zamudio offered no resistance, Sanchez said, crediting an anonymous tip for the arrest.

The suspect, who carried false identification, was in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition, around $300,000 in cash and 500 plastic bags containing a white, powdery substance resembling cocaine.

Zamudio offered the cash to the navy personnel if they would let him go, Sanchez said.

The detainee was taken to Mexico City and turned over to the federal Attorney General’s Office.

Founded by deserters from an elite Mexican special forces unit, Los Zetas began their criminal career as the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.

The partners had a falling out, however, and the Zetas went into business on their own account, battling the Gulf outfit over drug territories and establishing lucrative sidelines in extortion, kidnapping, migrant-smuggling and auto theft.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Kai, 4, Sing’s Bruno Mars’ If I Was Your Man” to Ellen (VIDEO)

Kai, 4, Sing’s Bruno Mars’ If I Was Your Man” to Ellen (VIDEO)

Photo: Kai, 4, Sing's Bruno Mars' If I Was Your Man" to Ellen

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What’s more adorable than a singing four-year-old? How about a 4-year-old singing Bruno Mars’ “If I Was Your Man” to Ellen DeGeneres?

This week, Ellen welcomed the adorable Kai to her show. The tiny tunesmith first caught the funny lady’s attention when she found a video of him singing Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” on YouTube.

On Wednesday, Kai serenaded Ellen with another Mars song.

Often singing with his eyes closed, the mini-Bruno sang with the anguish of a pro, and even held Ellen’s hand as he sang “If I Was Your Man.”

After the song, Kai was presented with his very own superhero costume, Super Kai, which included a hat with a mask to make him super stealthy so he can sneak up on people for surprise hugs. Excited, Kai gave Ellen a hug, and the talk show host seemed to be a bit teary-eyed has she hugged the pint-sized crooner back.


Watch the adorable performance below.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic, Pop Culture Names Rising on List of America’s Top Baby Names

Hispanic, Pop Culture Names Rising on List of America’s Top Baby Names

Photo: Gael, Liam, Arya - increasingly popular names in America

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Though Jacob and Sophia were the most popular baby names in America in 2012, it is clear the growing Hispanic population is having an impact on the list, as names like Gael and Perla are climbing.

This is the fourteenth year in a row Jacob tops the list for boys and the second year for Sophia. There is a new couple in the top 10 this year—Elizabeth and Liam replace Chloe and Daniel. Elizabeth has been here before, but this is the first time Liam breaks into the top 10. Perhaps Liam’s new found success can be attributed to Liam Neeson’s recent major roles in “Battleship” and the popular “Taken,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and “Clash of the Titans” franchises.

Many pop-culture naming trends appear in a popular feature of Social Security’s baby names website—the “change in popularity” page. This year’s winners for biggest jump in popularity in the Top 500 are Major and Arya.      
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The fastest riser on the girls’ list may have been influenced by the popular cable TV series “Game of Thrones.” Arya is the daughter of a leader of one of the Seven Kingdoms. She also is an expert sword fighter, so doubt her influence on the popular names list at your own risk.

For the boys, parents may associate Major with the military title. Acting Commissioner Colvin added “I have no doubt Major’s rising popularity as a boy’s name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we’ll see more boys named General in the future.” You also might trace Major’s increase in popularity to a cable TV show. “Home by Novogratz” is a popular home design show featuring Major Novogratz, the youngest son of designers Robert and Cortney.

The second fastest riser for boys was Gael, and for girls, Perla.  Both names most likely are on the rise due to the increase in the Spanish-speaking population in the United States.  Perla is the Latinized version of Pearl and is popular among Hispanic-Americans.  Gael’s popularity could be tied to Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal.

Read more by HS News Staff →

REPORT: Number of Undocumented Children Crossing U.S. Border on Rise

REPORT: Number of Undocumented Children Crossing U.S. Border on Rise

Photo: Illegal Border Crossers Children

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Every day, 80 to 120 children cross the Texas border illegally — and alone.

What’s happening in Texas reflects a nationwide trend: Immigration by undocumented children under 18 is on the rise, even as fewer adults come into the country illegally.

The Border Patrol apprehended 24,481 unaccompanied children in 2012, more than three times than in 2008. Of that total, federal authorities referred a record 13,625 children to another part of the federal government, called the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the U.S. Health and Human Services. This agency is responsible for the care and custody of minor children while their immigration status is considered.

These children, most of them teenagers, are temporarily cared for by the federal government in shelters and group homes in more than a dozen states, including Texas, Illinois, Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Virginia. The federal government foots the bill, but states feel the impact. Last year, Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas called the surge of children crossing the border a “humanitarian crisis.”

The remaining 10,000-plus children caught at the border last year were mostly from Mexico, and many were sent home.

Read more at Pamela M. Prah for Pew Stateline →

Hispanic High School Graduates Pass Whites in Rate of College Enrollment

A record seven-in-ten (69%) Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67%) among their white counterparts,1 according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.2

This milestone is the result of a long-term increase in Hispanic college-going that accelerated with the onset of the recession in 2008 (Fry and Lopez, 2012). The rate among white high school graduates, by contrast, has declined slightly since 2008.

The positive trends in Hispanic educational indicators also extend to high school. The most recent available data show that in 2011 only 14% of Hispanic 16- to 24-year-olds were high school dropouts, half the level in 2000 (28%). Starting from a much lower base, the high school dropout rate among whites also declined during that period (from 7% in 2000 to 5% in 2011), but did not fall by as much.


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Mexico Gets Credit Upgrade by Fitch

Mexico Gets Credit Upgrade by Fitch

Photo: Mexican Economy

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This week the credit rating firm, Fitch upgraded Mexico’s credit rating from BBB to BBB+.  The one notch increase in the country’s sovereign credit rating was given in great part for Mexico’s new President Enrqiue Peña Nieto’s bank reform efforts.

The international credit rating agency also cited the country’s strong economic outlook and commitment to transparency in their financial systems.

Peña Nieto recently announced banking reform laws that would increase transparency, increase number of loans made and reduce interest rates for those seeking bank loans.  In addition the peso is at its strongest levels since August 2011, according to Bloomberg.

The BBB rating gets Mexico out of low investment grade level credit allowing it to borrow at more competitive rates.  Mexico has the second largest Latin American economy after Brazil.  This past March S&P also upgraded Mexico’s credit rating from stable to positive at a Baa1.

Both credit rating agency’s now view Mexico economic picture as stable. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

May 10: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

May 10: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

Photo: In theaters today: The Great Gatsby, Aftershock, And Now a Word... -- 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.

 

 

 

 


ImageThe Great Gatsby
-Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton
-Rating: PG-13
-Genre: Drama
-The gist: Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby’s nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.

 

 

 


ImageAftershock
-Stars: Eli Roth, Andrea Osvart, Nicolas Martinez, Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Matias Lopez
-Rating: R
-Genre: Thriller, Action
-The gist: In Chile, a group of travelers who are in an underground nightclub when a massive earthquake hits quickly learn that reaching the surface is just the beginning of their nightmare, and the only thing more terrifying than Mother Nature is human nature.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

When is Dia de Las Madres Celebrated in Latin America?

Many of our readers believe today, May 10th, is the official ‘Dia de Las Madres’ day but that is only if you live in El Salvador, Guatemala or Mexico.  In Mexico the day is such a grand occasion that many government offices are closed. 

Dia de las Madres in these three countries is always on May 10th versus the American’s Mother’s Day that is celebrated on the second Sunday in the month of May.  Much of Latin America started officially celebrating Dia de las Madres in the 1920’s while in the U.S. Mother’s Day was officially proclaimed in 1870.

Spain celebrates their Mother’s Day on the first Sunday of May while Paraguay celebrates on May 15 and Bolivia celebrates on May 27th regardless of what day it falls on.  Dia de la Madras is celebrated toward the end of the May month for Dominican Republic (Last Sunday in May) and Nicaragua (May 30th).

The outlier Latin American countries that celebrate Dia de las Madres outside the month of May are: Costa Rica (August 15th which coincides with Mother Mary’s Assumption Day), Argentina (third Sunday in October) and Panama (December 8 which coincides with Feast of the Immaculate Conception).

The majority of Latin American and European countries celebrate their Mothers on the second Sunday of May which is when the U.S. also celebrates.  This month Mother’s Day falls on May 12, 2013. 

The following Latin America countries will celebrate Dia de las Madres along with the U.S’ Mother’s Day.:

Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Feliz Dia de las Madres and Happy Mother’s Day to all our mamas.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mario Vargas Llosa Gives Unique Spin on Matador Tale

Mario Vargas Llosa Gives Unique Spin on Matador Tale

Photo: Bullfighting

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Writer Mario Vargas Llosa takes on the character of a fighting bull in one of the essays compiled in “Dialogo con Navegante” (Dialogue with Navegante), a book inspired by Spanish matador Jose Tomas.

“Monologo del Toro”  (Monologue of the Bull), the essay by the Peruvian Nobel laureate in Literature, takes some profound conclusions from the speech given last year by Tomas at the Paquiro Award, an event that honors the year’s outstanding bullfighting moment.

On that occasion, Tomas recounted the imaginary and transcendental conversation he had during his convalescence with Navegante, the bull that in April 2010 gored him and left him on the brink of death at the bullring in Aguascalientes, Mexico. That imaginary conversation is also in the book.

Vargas Llosa and other writers analyze the most significant aspects of Tomas’s discourse in a series of essays that study the values and cultural aspects of bullfighting.

Among the contributing authors are Araceli Guillaume-Alonso, history professor at the Sorbonne, anthropologist Natalia Radetich, newspaper editor Agustin Morales, French writer Francois Zumbiehl, Spanish jounalists Vicente Zabala de la Serna and Paco Aguado, and former business executive Luis Abril.

The book was published jointly by Espasa and the Jose Tomas Foundation, whose president, Rogelio Perez, told Efe that the purpose of the work is “to disseminate the profound messages and philosophical concepts that bullfighting inspires.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Biopic on Brazilian Soccer Great Pelé in Preproduction

Biopic on Brazilian Soccer Great Pelé in Preproduction

Photo: Biopic on Brazilian Soccer Great Pelé in Preproduction

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Preproduction for a biopic based on the life of Brazilian soccer icon Pelé, born Edison Arantes do Nascimento, is underway after Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures licensed his life rights.

Filming is set to begin in August, according to Deadline, and the Executive Media will reportedly be selling worldwide rights at the Cannes film market.

Pelé has been listed as an executive producer alongside Paul Kemsley and Guy East.

Consider the best soccer player in the sport’s history, Pelé, now 72, is considered a national hero in his native Brazil.

According to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) he is the most successful league goal scorer in the world, with 541 league goals. In total, Pelé scored 1281 goals in 1363 games. In 1958, at 17, he became the youngest player to ever play in a World Cup final, and led Brazil to their first World Cup title.

News of the Pelé biopic comes on the heels of similar news regarding Lionel Messi.

Earlier this week, it was announced Hollywood was working to make a film about the Argentine soccer phenom. Messi, who places for FC Barcelona in La Liga, is just 25, but is currently considered the best in the world. He has won five consecutive FIFA/Ballon d’Or awards, the first player in history to do so.

This past November, Messi scored his 75th and 76th goals in the 2012-2013 season, surpassing Pelé‘s record of 745 goals in a calendar year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

5 Little Known Hispanic Facts About ‘The Great Gatsby’

5 Little Known Hispanic Facts About ‘The Great Gatsby’

Photo: The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby” is seeing a resurgence with the new Baz Luhrmann film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire.

While the book does not have any Hispanic characters, there are a few latino connections that should not be missed.

Check out the little known Hispanic facts about “The Great Gatsby.”

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1. Francis Coradal-Cougat created the book cover art “Celestial Eyes” for “The Great Gatsby” book. 
Cugat was born in Spain and raised in Cuba. The infamous cover was created before F. Scott Firzgerald finished writing the book.  It is said that he was so enamored by the artwork that he “wrote it into” the novel.  The cover shows disembodied eyes and a mouth over a blue skyline, notable, there are images of naked women reflected in the irises. 

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2. “The Great Gatsby” takes place 1922 when the U.S. was experiencing a great wave of immigration.
Between 1901 and 1920, more than 14 million immigrants entered the United States, largely from Southern and Central Europe.  In 1921 The Immigration Act of 1921 restricted the number of southern & eastern Europeans but did not limit the number of Mexican agricultural workers coming to U.S.

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3. The novel was almost called something else—Fitzgerald had been throwing around the idea of using: “Trimalchio, Among the Ash Heaps and Millionaires” or “Trimalchio in West Egg.”
Trimalchio is a character in ancient Roman fiction.  Trilmachio was also made famous in Octavio Paz’s poem “I Speak of the City.”  Instead of using Trilmacho in the title, Fitzgerald opted to cite him in the book, “It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night - and, as obscurely as it began, his career as Trimalchio was over.”

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4. Ernesto Quiñonez was inspired by “The Great Gatsby”  in his novel “Bodega Dreams.”
Set in Spanish Harlem, Quiñonez develops a character, Chino, who searches for a lost love who he built his success to impress.  Similar to what Gatsby does to catch Daisy’s eye.

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5. The Spanish poet and writer Jose Luis Piquero translated and provided the prologue to the latest Spanish-language version of  “El Gran Gatsby.” 
Piquero’s 2011 version has been very successful in Spain.  The writer is also known for translating other celebrated works ranging from Charles Dickens to Mark Twain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Raquel Pomplun Becomes First Mexican-American Playmate of the Year

Raquel Pomplun Becomes First Mexican-American Playmate of the Year

Photo: MexicanAmerican Raquel Pomplun Playmate of Year

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The recently anointed Playmate of the Year 2013, Raquel Pomplun has made Playboy history by becoming the first Mexican American playmate to be given the honor.

The Tijuana, Mexico native who resides in Chula Vista, California first graced the pages of Playboy in the April, 2012 issue alongside Bruno Mars in the magazine’s Sex and Music issue.

The 25-year-old beauty was thrilled at the honor and issued the following statement: “I can’t begin to describe how excited I am to receive this honor and be given the opportunity to represent Playboy as its first Mexican American Playmate of the Year. Playboy has taught me a side of myself I didn’t know before. It’s been a year of wonderful surprises!”

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner honored Pomplun with a luncheon in her honor today at the Playboy Mansion.  The Playmate of the Year will receive $100,000 in monetary prizes and a one-year use of a 2014 Jaguar F-Type.  Pomplun will be expected to appear at numerous Playboy promotional events and is expected to remain as co-host of Playboy Radio’s “Playmates Present”. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Troubled Grandson of Malcolm X, Malcolm Shabazz Killed in Mexico During Robbery

Troubled Grandson of Malcolm X, Malcolm Shabazz Killed in Mexico During Robbery

Photo: Malcolm Shabazz Facebook

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The family of Malcom X’s 28-year-old grandson, Malcolm Shabazz will be traveling to Mexico City, Mexico to claim his body after he was killed in an apparent robbery in the capital city.

Shabazz was the son of one of Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz six daughters – Qubilah.  Shabazz was also one of the most well-known or better said more infamous members of the controversial civil rights leaders family.

The 28-year-old had numerous run-ins with the law including setting a fire in his grandmother’s home.  The widow of Malcolm X later died from her injuries.  As a then 12-year-old Shabazz served a 18-month prison sentence for intentionally setting the fire.  Since then he has been in prison and in trouble with the law for a myriad of crimes from robbery to vandalism.  His mother Qubilah has also been in trouble with the law and was charged with plotting to kill one of Malcolm X’s rivals Louis Farrakhan back in 1995.

Officially the family is not saying why Shabazz went to Mexico City while others report that he went to meet a Mexican labor activist recently deported from the U.S.  Miguel Suarez is the head of ‘Revolutional United Mexican in Combat” or “RUMEC” and the reason why Shabazz was in the capital city according to TPM. 

Juan Ruiz a leader of the RUMEC organization reports that Shabazz was severely beaten when he “didn’t allow it [the robbery]” and died enroute to the hospital.  That version of events has not been confirmed by Mexican or American authorities.  The U.S. State Department though has confirmed that a U.S. citizen had been murdered in Mexico City but did not identity the victim as Shabazz.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Geologists Find Evidence of a ‘Brazilian Atlantis’

Geologists Find Evidence of a ‘Brazilian Atlantis’

Photo: Granite found in the seabed of Rio coast

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Scientists have dubbed a submerged area of land about 900 off the coast of Rio de Janeiro the “Brazilian Atlantis.”

Believed to have been the land once linking the continents of Africa and South America, “Brazilian Atlantis” is said to have “disappeared into the sea millions of years ago.

According to officials at Brazil’s Geology Service (CPRM), granite found two years ago in an area called the “Rio Grande Elevation” caught the eye of geologists, as granite is not usually found on the seabed, but rather on mainland.

Brazilian geologists have been working with Japanese researchers and have been able to explore the Brazilian Atlantis using Japan’s manned mini-submarine called the Shinkai 6500.

‘This is the region that has been least explored worldwide, ’ Japanese researcher Hiroshi Kitazato told the Telegraph. ‘So, we believe it is very important to research it. Previously, the Shinkai carried out expeditions closer to Japan, the Indian and the Pacific Ocean.’

Though this finding is impressive, researchers want to be clear that the name “Brazilian Atlantis” is more symbolic and should not be confused with the sunken city Plato wrote about nearly 2,600 years ago.

Read more by HS News Staff →

14 Central American Migrants Injured in Major Car Accident in Mexico

14 Central American Migrants Injured in Major Car Accident in Mexico

Photo: Central American migrant accident

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Fourteen undocumented Central American migrants were injured when the vehicle in which they were traveling overturned in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, officials said.

The accident occurred Thursday on the Tapan-Cintlapa highway, when the vehicle in which they were riding went off the road and turned over, the Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office said.

The Chiapas state government said the 19-year-old driver was detained at the scene of the accident as a suspected migrant-trafficker.

The 14 migrants were El Salvador and Guatemala natives between ages 14 and 38. They were taken to hospitals in the region to have their injuries treated, but how badly they were hurt has not been revealed.

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants, mostly Central Americans, cross Mexican territory every year to reach the United States in hopes of finding better employment prospects there.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia to Produce Flight Simulator for Drones Training

Colombia to Produce Flight Simulator for Drones Training

Photo: Colombia

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Colombian authorities presented the country’s first domestically produced flight simulator for training operators of unmanned drones.

The simulator is the debut project to emerge from Colombia’s Corporation for High Technology in Defense and involved collaboration between military and civilian engineers, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said in an event at Apiay airbase in the central province of Meta.

Aspiring drone pilots carry out a simulated mission with a Boeing-made Scan Eagle, tracking moving vehicles or people or locating rebel camps.

Colombia uses “remotely piloted aircraft” to monitor vital infrastructure and to “protect Colombian citizens with some better elements of observation and intelligence,” Pinzon said.

The Scan Eagle can remain in the air for eight hours at a stretch and flies at a maximum altitude of 19,000 feet. In Colombia, however, it is being deployed at 11,000 feet, according to Maj. Diego Hernandez, head of the Corporation’s simulator division.

Colombia has two projects under way to build drones domestically: one led by the military and the other under the auspices of San Buenaventura University in Bogota.

Out of a total 2013 budget of $102.93 billion, Colombia plans to spend more than $14 billion on defense.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Male Escaped Con Gets Implants to Better Hide from Police

LATINO BLOTTER: Male Escaped Con Gets Implants to Better Hide from Police

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Male Escaped Con Gets Implants to Better Hide from Police

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Some criminals will do anything to avoid being caught, but one Colombian convict took it to a whole other level.

Colombian authorities have recaptured a man who escaped from jail last year after being convicted of kidnapping, robbery, and extortion during his involvement with the Los Topos gang.

Giovanni Rebolledo, a Bogota native, was recaptured on Saturday, but something was different about the escaped con, or rather two things were different.

After his escape in 2012, Rebolledo got breast implants in an attempt to disguise himself. He has reportedly been working as a prostitute in Barranquilla’s Viejo Prado district.

Still, his disguise as “Rosalinda” was not enough to fool police, as he was still recognized over the weekend during a routine stop-and-search.

Rebolledo was sentenced to 60 years in jail back in 2012, but will likely


*On a side note, “Rosalinda” is not a bad looking lady, so we tip our hats to the officers who recognized who “she” really was.

Read more by HS News Staff →

MEXICO: 55,000 Chickens Slaughtered Due to Bird Flu

MEXICO: 55,000 Chickens Slaughtered Due to Bird Flu

Photo: MEXICO: 55,000 Chickens Slaughtered Due to Bird Flu

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Authorities slaughtered 55,000 chickens at a farm in the central state of Puebla where avian flu was detected, Mexico’s agriculture department said.

The Senasica food-safety agency ordered the birds sacrificed after laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the H7 virus at the farm in Palmar de Bravo.

Senasica suspects the virus was spread to Puebla by chickens from other Mexican states affected by the avian-flu outbreak that began in 2012, the department said.

Once the 55,000 birds were slaughtered, authorities set about cleaning and disinfecting the farm.

Senasica inspectors found no sign of avian flu at 271 other chicken farms in Puebla, the agriculture department said.

Besides distributing millions of doses of vaccine, authorities have imposed controls on movements of chickens and boosting precautions at commercial farms, the department said.

Nearly 1,000 chickens were slaughtered at the end of last month in Tlaxcala state, bordering Puebla, to contain the bird-flu virus, following the sacrifice in February of 4 million birds in the central state of Guanajuato.

The outbreak was first detected last year in the western state of Jalisco, where more than 22 million chickens were ultimately slaughtered.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chilean Mining Giant Codelco to Invest $27B Over Six Years

Chilean Mining Giant Codelco to Invest $27B Over Six Years

Photo: Chilean Mining Giant Codelco to Invest $27B Over Six Years

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Chilean state-owned mining giant Codelco on Wednesday announced plans to invest nearly $27 billion over the next six years.

CEO Thomas Keller said the investment program, “the largest in (Codelco’s) history,” will enable the company to remain the world’s largest copper producer while implementing new environmental and social policies.

“We have a unique opportunity to incorporate world-class sustainability,” Keller said.

The state-owned company plans to invest more than $2 billion on measures to avoid or mitigate mining’s impact on communities and the environment, he said.

Codelco also plans to allocate an additional $1 billion to upgrade its smelters and ensure they meet stricter greenhouse gas-emission standards.

In the company’s Ministro Hales division, located in the northern region of Antofagasta, an arsenic-removing roasting furnace to be built will ensure that toxic element is eliminated during the initial stage of the metal-extraction process.

Keller also defended a major project to expand Codelco’s Andina division, located near Santiago. Known as Andina 244, the project has come under fire from environmental groups over the impact it would have on 26 glaciers that supply fresh water to the capital region.

The executive said the expansion effort would not affect any “white” glaciers and that all efforts will be made to “minimize” the impact on six rock glaciers.

Codelco posted pre-tax profit of $7.5 billion in 2012, up 6.8 percent from the previous year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigrants Represent Integral Part of Arizona Economy

The state of Arizona would lose $48.8 billion in economic activity and 581,000 jobs if all the undocumented immigrants left the state, according to figures released Thursday.

It is estimated that there are approximately 400,000 undocumented immigrants living in the state, a figure that represents 6 percent of the population, according to a report by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center.

In Arizona, Latinos and Asians together represent 32.8 percent of the total population and one-third of them are naturalized citizens.

Meanwhile, 10 percent of Arizona voters are naturalized citizens and U.S.-born children of immigrants.

The report estimates that the homes of immigrants spend an average of $10.5 billion per year, which helps to generate 66,500 fulltime jobs.

In Arizona, there are 52,667 Latino businesses employing 54,530 people and with annual sales topping $8 billion.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Economy is Dependent on Growing Tourism Sector

Cuban Economy is Dependent on Growing Tourism Sector

Photo: Varadero, Cuba

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Cash-strapped Cuba is looking to further boost its long-vital tourism sector, the crown jewel of which the famed resort town, Varadero, is located 138 kilometers (85 miles) east of Havana.

A billboard along the palm tree-lined road leading to this peninsula of white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, which receives 44 percent of the tourists who travel to the communist-ruled island, expresses its economic importance: “Everything raised here goes to the people.”

Varadero caters to international tourists with its dozens of luxury hotels, which are state-owned but managed in joint-venture partnerships by international groups, most of which are Spanish.

Cuba’s tourism sector welcomed 2.8 million foreign visitors in 2012 - 4.5 percent more than the previous year - and expects that number to increase to 3 million in 2013.

Tourism revenues are crucial for Cuba and strengthening the sector is a priority of the island’s authorities, who have expanded the scope for private initiative and made it easier for visitors to obtain a visa.

Cuba also wants to diversify its tourist offering “in accordance with the times we’re living in,” Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said during this week’s 33rd International Tourism Fair in Varadero.

That effort has included a project to renovate the heart of Havana’s historic downtown.

The memory of Ernest Hemingway lives on in the now-restored Ambos Mundos hotel, where the American author wrote some of his most enduring works in the 1930s. That establishment is also located near the La Bodeguita del Medio and Floridita bars that Hemingway frequented.

Sloppy Joe’s Bar, one of Havana’s most popular drinking spots in the 1920s, also has been restored to its original decor and ambience.

Privately owned restaurants, known locally as paladars, also are in vogue.

Tourists especially flock to the elegant La Guarida, which was a set for the hit 1994 film “Fresa y Chocolate” (Strawberry and Chocolate) and is located in an old, unrestored building that retains the dilapidated look it had at the turn of the 20th century.

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FridayMay 10, 2013