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FridayMay 17, 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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Isbel Allende’s “Una Venganza” Turned into Opera by Tenor Placido Domingo

Isbel Allende’s “Una Venganza” Turned into Opera by Tenor Placido Domingo

Photo: Placido Domingo and Isabel Allende

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Under the baton of Placido Domingo, acclaimed Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s short story “Una Venganza” (“An Act of Vengeance”) emerges from the printed page as the opera “Dulce Rosa,” a production with a Latin heart and Greek tragedy in its soul that premieres Friday in Los Angeles.

“Dulce Rosa” is a further effort by the L.A. Opera, directed by Domingo, to bring lyric opera to a wider audience.

“We’re always looking to create new works,” the Spanish tenor told Efe.

Domingo got behind the adaptation of “Una Venganza” when the idea was proposed to him by composer Lee Holdridge and librettist Richard Sparks, to whom Allende gave the go-ahead years ago without really expecting anything to come of it, she told Efe.

“It finally emerged, to my surprise,” the author of “The House of the Spirits” said, adding that she often receives requests from artists to stage her stories but “only about 10 percent are used as proposed, the rest get lost somewhere along the way.”

Allende, who will attend Friday’s premiere, chose to remain on the sidelines of the project and leave the work “to people who know the field.”

“Dulce Rosa” relates the traumatic experience of young Rosa Orellano, played by Uruguayan soprano Maria Antunez, who, after a political uprising takes the life of her father, a powerful senator of a Latin American country, is raped by a guerrilla with whom she will later attempt to settle scores.

The opera is in English, though Domingo said he plans its translation into the language of Cervantes in order to export the production to Spanish-speaking countries.

“There are some contacts with the Miami Opera, and I believe with the Santiago Opera in Chile. I also want it to be a work that can be produced with young singers. I would love to take it to Valencia (Spain) and it will almost certainly go to Washington,” the tenor said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Juan Manuel Santos Looking At Re-Election in 2014

Juan Manuel Santos Looking At Re-Election in 2014

Photo: Juan Manuel Santos

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos gave advance notice Friday that he will seek a second term in the 2014 elections, though he added that, in compliance with the law, he will not make the formal announcement until six months prior to the vote.

“I wish to tell all of you that, yes, I clearly want the policies we have been promoting to continue beyond Aug. 7, 2014,” Santos said, referring to the final day of his current four-year term.

In the same speech, the president also announced the reactivation of the Good Government Fund, dormant since he became president, and the forming of its new board of directors, to be presided over by Housing Minister German Vargas Lleras.

Other members of the new board of directors include presidential chief of staff Juan Mesa, former National Police director Oscar Naranjo and former Foreign Minister Maria Emma Mejia.

Vargas Lleras and Mesa will have to leave the administration in order to “assume responsibilities in defense of the work of a government in which they believe and for which they have worked with great dedication,” Santos said.

“I don’t want the positive and profound changes that we are making left stranded halfway to completion, or, even worse, that we go back to where we were before,” the president said.

The next presidential election will be held on May 25, 2014, but the law does not permit the candidacy for reelection to be announced until six months before.

Santos’s presidency has been noteworthy for the peace process that began in November 2012 in Havana with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for the purpose of ending the armed conflict that has wounded the Andean nation for more than half a century.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Atletico Madrid Wins 10th Copa del Rey Champsionship

Atletico Madrid Wins 10th Copa del Rey Champsionship

Photo: Atletic Madrid Wins Copa del Rey

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Atletico Madrid won its 10th Copa del Rey championship here Friday with a 2-1 upset victory in extra time over Real Madrid.

Atletico’s first triumph since 1999 over their wealthy, title-laden crosstown rivals came before a crowd of 85,000 at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

The Blancos took a 1-0 lead with Cristiano Ronaldo’s header off a corner kick in the 14th minute, but Atletico pulled even 21 minutes later thanks to a goal by Diego Costa.

While they dominated play in the second half, Real Madrid was unable to convert its advantage into goals. Part of the failure could be put down to bad luck, as three of the Blancos’ shots hit the post.

The contest grew increasingly chippy and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was ejected in the 76th minute for arguing with the referee.

The score remained knotted at the end of regulation.

It didn’t take long to break the deadlock, however, as Atletico’s Joao Miranda headed in Jorge Resurreccion’s cross to put the underdogs ahead in the 98th minute.

Having gotten away with a few fouls in the second half, Ronaldo was booted on a straight red card in the 114th minute for quarreling with the officials.

Real Madrid had a pair of excellent chances to send the match into penalty kicks, but Atletico goalkeeper Courtois came up big on both occasions.

King Juan Carlos, accompanied by Queen Sofia, was on hand to present the Copa del Rey trophy to Atletico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Yahoo de Mexico’s $2.3 Billion Fine Reduced to $172,500

Yahoo de Mexico’s $2.3 Billion Fine Reduced to $172,500

Photo: Yahoo en Mexico

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Yahoo and its Mexican affiliate Yahoo de Mexico are breathing a sigh a relief after a Mexican Appellate court reduced a breach of contract fine from $2.5 billion to an ‘economical’ $172,500.

The massive fine was issued against Yahoo and its Mexican operations when it was sued for breach of contract as a result of its business dealings with Worldwide Directories and Ideas Interactivas.  Yahoo was sued after it terminated a joint venture with Worldwide and Interactivas.

The Mexican joint venture was created to produce online and print yellow pages throughout Mexico and eventually in Central America and then globally.  The joint venture was launched in 2002 and terminated in 2005 even though it was to contractually end in 2009.

Yahoo de Mexico filed an appeal after a lower court judge ruled against
Yahoo and issued the $2.75 billion judgment.  At the time the fine represented all of Yahoo de Mexico’s operating cash.

Yahoo en Mexico is not in the clear yet, Worldwide and Interactivas can appeal the lower judgement amount. 

Stay tuned. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

From Gangster’s Daughter to Teacher: Watch Pearl Arredondo’s Inspiring TED Talk

From Gangster’s Daughter to Teacher: Watch Pearl Arredondo’s Inspiring TED Talk

Photo: From Gangster's Daughter to Teacher: Watch Pearl Arredondo's Inspiring TED Talk

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Pearl Arredondo grew up in East Los Angeles, the daughter of a high-ranking gang member who was in and out of jail. Many teachers wrote her off as having a problem with authority. Now a teacher herself, she’s creating a different kind of school and telling students her story so that they know it’s okay if sometimes homework isn’t the first thing on their minds.

Pearl Arredondo helped establish a pilot middle school that teaches students to be good communicators in the 21st century.

She is also featured in the short documentary film TEACHED Vol.1: “The Blame Game,” and is a role model for young Latinas seeking to make a difference in their communities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The Many Jobs of Jennifer Lopez

The Many Jobs of Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lynn Lopez, also known as J.Lo and Jenny from the Block, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe and 2 Grammys has earned $52 Million.

Beginning her career in 1986, Lopez became a household name in the nineties and is known as the most powerful entertainer on the planet.

With her various talents, J.Lo has many different jobs.  Below you can see all many hats she wears.

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1. Singer
Lopez released her first album in 1999, “On The 6.”  The album went Platinum within weeks, she has sold nearly 75 million records since then.

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2. Actress
Her first feature film was “My Little Girl” (1986) but got her first starring role in “Selena” (1997).  She found her niche in romantic comedies, such as “Maid in Manhattan.”

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3. Dancer
Jennifer appeared as a “Fly Girl” on the show “In Living Color.”

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4. Perfume Maker
Lopez launched her first fragrance, Glow, in 2002.  Today she has designed 20 different perfumes.

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5. Designer
Jenny from the Block has a lifestyle collection sold exclusively at Kohl’s including clothing, accessories, and home goods.

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6. Spokesperson
Jen has been the spokeswoman for many well-known brands, including Fiat, L’Oreal Paris, and Gucci.

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7. Mom
J.Lo has twins with ex-husband Marc Anthony, Emme Maribel Muniz and Maximilian “Max” David Muniz were born on February 22, 2008.

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8. Lover
Jennifer’s love life has been front page news ever since her relationship with Sean Combs Ben Affleck, aka “Bennifer.”  Since separating from Marc Anthony, she has been dating dancer Casper Smart who is 18 years her junior.

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9. Businesswoman
Jennifer Lopez works with the American cable television network NuvoTV in a creative capacity as well as marketing and program production.  Recently, she was named the chief creative officer of the network.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Prisoner Suing Taco Bell for Stealing Doritos Locos Tacos Idea

Prisoner Suing Taco Bell for Stealing Doritos Locos Tacos Idea

Photo: Man in Prison Suing Taco Bell for Stealing Doritos Locos Tacos Idea

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While the idea of something like Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos probably never crossed the minds of most of us, that is not the case for one man currently in federal prison.

Gary Cole is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for “delaying interstate commerce, conspiring to do so, and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence,” so he’s had quite a bit of time on his hands.

Cole claims that in 2006, he sent a list of ideas to his lawyer, one of them being a “Tacos (sic) shells of all flavors (made of Doritos.)

So in 2012, Cole was shocked to read articles in USA Today and Time magazine about Taco Bell’s new Doritos Locos Tacos. Believing his udder had been stolen through the mail, Cole said he wrote to the FBI and demanded an investigation. He also wrote to the IRS, stating, “A check was made out to a person for a large amount by Taco Bell, Frito Lay, and Pepsi Co. Inc. for an idea or invention that was submitted to them by theft and fraud.” Cole says he did not receive a response from either.

Cole is now going after Taco Bell’s parent company Yum Brands as well as Pepsi and Frito-Lay, having filed a federal lawsuit against them in Dallas on Wednesday.

Cole will be representing himself in the case, but has reportedly enlisted the help of a Denver law firm.

The Dallas Observer obtained a both entertaining and disturbing letter the law firm sent to Cole in response to one he had sent them.

Read the letter here.

What remains to be known is whether Cole’s notarized document mailed to his attorney in 2006 is enough evidence to prove he was ripped off and deserving a major check or if the people at Taco bell just coincidentally had the same idea.

Read more by HS News Staff →

May 17: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

May 17: It’s Friday! Let’s Head to the Movies

Photo: In theaters today: Star Trek Into Darkness, The English Teacher -- Coming soon: Fast & Furious 6

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

 

 

 


ImageStar Trek Into Darkness
-Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict CumberbatchKarl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg
-Rating: PG-13
-Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
-The gist: 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 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

 


ImageAugustine
-Stars:  Vincent Lindon, Soko, Chiara Mastroianni, Stéphan Wojtowicz
-Rating: Not Rated
-Genre: Drama, French
-The gist: A look at the relationship between pioneering 19th century French neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot and his star teenage patient, a kitchen maid who is left partially paralyzed after a seizure.

 

 

 

 


ImageThe English Teacher
-Stars:  Lily Collins, Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano, Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane
-Rating: R
-Genre: Drama, Comedy
-The gist: This uplifting comedy tells the story of Linda Sinclair-a forty-year-old unmarried English teacher whose greatest relationships are with her favorite authors and stories. When a disheartened former student moves back into town after failing to make it as a playwright in New York, Linda decides to step out of her comfort zone and mount his play with the help of the high school drama teacher.

 

 

 


ImageStories We Tell
-Stars: John Buchan, Joanna Polley, Mark Polley, Michael Polley
-Rating: PG-13
-Genre: Documentary
-The gist: A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica Makes “Gangnam Style” Video to Combat Visa Scams

U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica Makes “Gangnam Style” Video to Combat Visa Scams

Photo: U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica Makes "Gangnam Style" Video to Combat Visa Scams

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica released their version of South Korean Psy’s “Gangname Style,” but the video isn’t just about fun.

The Embassy says it created the video as a fun way to inform would-be victims about visa scams.

“USA Visa Style” aims to ensure that “no Costa Rican fall into the traps of scammers who promise to ‘help’ illegally obtaining a visa, a job or residence in the United States.”

“They try to deceive people to take their money,” the video description reads.

Costa Rican singer Daniel Castillo helped with the video and if you look carefully, even Ambassador Anne Slaughter Andrew can be seen dancing for the cause.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JLo Performed, but Who Won ‘American Idol’ 2013? (VIDEOS)

JLo Performed, but Who Won ‘American Idol’ 2013? (VIDEOS)

Photo: JLo Performed, but Who Won 'American Idol' 2013? (

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On Thursday night’s finale of the 12th season of Fox’s American Idol, former judge Jennifer Lopez took the stage to perform her new single “Live It Up” with rapper Pitbull.

Lopez was among a number of celebrity performers, including a few former Idol contestants to appear on the show. Jennifer Hudson, Aretha Franklin, Travis Barker (Blink-182), Emeli Sande, Adam Lambert, Jessie J, Psy, Frankie Valli, and The Band Perry performed. Judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban even performed - Jackson playing bass guitar.

Heading in to the two-hour finale were Candice Glover and Kree Harrison, meaning that no matter the winner, American Idol would have its first female winner in six seasons. Fairly early on the competition the ladies made it pretty clear that this year’s winner would be a woman.

Before the winner was announced, a video tribute to Randy Jackson, the only original judge still with the show, was played. Jackson recently announced this season would be his last with Idol.

When the moment everyone had waited for arrived, 23-year-old South Carolina native, Candice Glover was announced the winner, beating Texas’ Kree Harrison, 22, for the title.

This was Glover’s third time in the singing competition, having auditioned for the 9th and 11th seasons. Backstage, after her coronation, Glover said, “I always knew for some reason that it would happen if I kept going.”

Looks like she was right, and for her first song as the winner of American Idol, Glover sang through joyous tears “I Am Beautiful.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

American Philanthropists Donate 37,000 Acres to Argentine National Park

American Philanthropists Donate 37,000 Acres to Argentine National Park

Photo: Douglas and Kris Tompkins

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The Conservation Land Trust, a project of U.S. philanthropists and environmental activists Douglas and Kris Tompkins, donated 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) for the expansion of Perito Moreno National Park in southern Argentina.

The donation was formalized at a ceremony presided over by Argentine Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer, who described the CLT’s action as “moving.”

Nine years ago, the CLT provided 60,000 hectares of land to create Monte Leon National Park, also in Argentina’s far south.

The latest parcel is part of the lands of the Tompkins’ El Rincon estate, located opposite the south face of Mount San Lorenzo in Santa Cruz province.

“As a conservation agent, I want to highlight this initiative, which makes it clear that conservation has no borders,” the president of Argentina’s National Parks Administration, Carlos Corvalan, said at the ceremony.

“The sensation of being part of the process of creating a protected area is incomparable,” Douglas Tompkins said, urging others in the private sector to follow his example.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Top Latin American World Heritage Sites in Danger

Top Latin American World Heritage Sites in Danger

Photo: World Heritage sites in danger (UNESCO)

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Every year the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) evaluates its World Heritage sites in order to preserve their historical integrity as well as recognize if any historical landmarks are in danger.

Currently there are 38 international properties threatened by various human and natural causes, 7 of which are located in Latin America.

Check out the most threatened locations in Central and Latin America below:

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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Threats posed by invasive species, unbridled tourism and overfishing have landed the Galapagos on the danger list.

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Machu Picchu, Peru
Impact of tourism, erosion, and uncontrolled development have forced the 500 year-old Machu Picchu into the danger category.

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Portobelo-San Lorenzo, Panama
Founded in 1597 by Spanish explorer Francisco Velarde y Mercado, the forts are in a poor state of preservation due to lack of maintenance and uncontrollable urban developments.

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Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras
The reserve home to a number of endangered species is currently threatened by illegal logging, poaching, and uncontrolled commercial hunting of wild animals.

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Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Chile
The two former saltpeter refineries located in northern Chile are particularly vulnerable after a recent earthquake, the site was also placed on the list to help mobilize resources for its conservation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Imprisoned Argentine Dictator Gen. Rafael Videla Dies Behind Bars

Imprisoned Argentine Dictator Gen. Rafael Videla Dies Behind Bars

Photo: Gen. Rafael Videla

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Gen. Rafael Videla, the emblematic figure of the military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976-1983, died Friday inside the jail where he was serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity, prison officials confirmed. He was 87.

The news of the former strongman’s death was first disclosed by Cecilia Pando, a military spouse known for defending the actions of the junta.

“I learned from the wife of a detainee who was in the prison with Videla,” Pando told Cadena 3 radio. “He didn’t feel well last night. They took him to the hospital inside the prison, but he didn’t have anything and they returned him to his cell. This morning they did the roll call, he wasn’t there and when they went to his cell they found him dead.”

The erstwhile dictator was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 after a conviction for the summary executions of some 30 political prisoners in 1976.

Last year, a court imposed a 50-year sentence on Videla for his part in a systematic plan to steal children from political detainees.

The scheme, which often involved holding pregnant women until they gave birth and then executing them, was part of a “general plan of annihilation” targeting a segment of society seen by the military as subversive, the court found.

Human rights organizations have established the true identities of 105 people who were taken from their jailed parents and given in adoption to military families or others close to the dictatorship.

The Argentine military regime killed as many as 30,000 people and brutalized thousands more.

Thanks to amnesty laws passed in the 1980s, the junta’s crimes went unpunished for decades, but Argentina’s Congress voted in 2003 to overturn the amnesties, which paved the way for a raft of prosecutions.

The first trial of Videla and his junta colleagues was in 1985, when they were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, only to be pardoned in 1990 by then-President Carlos Menem.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Where is Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson – Florida Police Want to Know

Where is Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson – Florida Police Want to Know

Photo: Evelyn Lozada & Chad Ochocinco Johnson

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Former Miami Dolphin wide receiver and former husband of Evelyn Lozada,  Chad ‘Ochocingo’ Johnson is missing and Florida’s Broward Sheriff’s want to know his whereabouts.

Johnson had been on probation since August of 2012 as a result of domestic abuse charges leveled by Lozada – his wife of one month at the time.

The six-time Pro Bowl and football standout pleaded no-contest and agreed to probation starting in September of 2012.  After Johnson failed to show up with his probation officer for two visits this year a bench warrant was issued on May 7, 2013.  Still no Ochocinco.  In addition Johnson is alleged to not have finished his required classes in “Batters Intervention Program.” 

Lozada, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is a reality-TV star on ‘Basketball Wives’ and fitness columnist for Latina Magazine.  She was previously engaged to pro-basketballer Antoine Walker.  Shortly after Johnson’s arrest the Miami Dolphin’s dropped him and he has not played professional football since.

Read more by HS News Staff →

French Daily: PSG to Offer Real Madrid $129M for Cristiano Ronaldo

French Daily: PSG to Offer Real Madrid $129M for Cristiano Ronaldo

Photo: French Daily: PSG to Offer Real Madrid $129M for Cristiano Ronaldo

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Paris Saint-Germain is ready to offer Real Madrid 100 million euros ($129 million) for striker Cristiano Ronaldo, French sports daily L’Equipe said Thursday.

The club would pay the Portuguese forward 18 million euros a year, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.

Within the context of a deal for Ronaldo, PSG is also open to the idea of releasing manager Carlo Ancelotti to join Real Madrid, according to L’Equipe.

Ancelotti and PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaïfi are supposed to meet on Friday to review the current season, which ends next weekend, and talk about the manager’s future.

Al-Khelaïfi revealed that he rebuffed a recent request from Real Madrid to make an approach to Ancelotti, who still has a year left on his contract with the French club,

The PSG chairman said he told Real Madrid that he wants to hang on to Ancelotti, who this year has led the team to its first championship in almost 20 years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

At California Detention Center, Immigrants Must Pay $20 For A Five-Minute Phone Call

At California Detention Center, Immigrants Must Pay $20 For A Five-Minute Phone Call

Photo: Phones in detention centers

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Long known for exploiting inmate needs, immigration detention centers that generally contract out services like their phone systems, are generously paid by the federal government to hold ICE detainees. A group of 40 activists gathered outside the West County Detention Facility (WCDF) in Richmond, CA last Friday to protest the exorbitant phone rates that immigrant detainees have to pay in order to contact loved ones and lawyers.
Whereas state and federal penitentiaries must contract with the lowest bidder, county immigration detention centers like WCDF in Richmond, CA, can choose to go with a contractor that nets them the most kickbacks. In this case, WCDF went with Global Tel* Link which paid $75,000 for the contract and also forced families of detainees to buy credit before they can find out how much the phone calls cost.

Immigrant detainees at WCDF pay upwards of $20 to place a five-minute phone call. A connection fee of $3.25 is charged for all phone calls within the state with “per-minute rates running as high as 25 cents for interstate calls and an additional 30 cents when phoning out-of-state.” Calls are often dropped, but detainees must pay the connection fee regardless. A 20-minute phone call costs $14, which means that WCDF receives a 57 percent commission, or $7.98.

Reverend Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights said in an interview, “Families are being overcharged for the most basic things,” she said, “like telling relatives you love them, or speaking with their attorneys about their cases.” Inmates’ relatives often pay anywhere from $25-$50 for two or three brief calls. “It’s cruel and inhuman,” said Lee, “the stories we hear are heartbreaking.”

Without the financial wherewithal to contact lawyers, immigrant detainees could be detained longer than they otherwise would. Because prison systems do not consider contracts based on immigrant needs, like lower phone rates, they instead will continue contracts with phone systems that help them stay profitable.

Read more at Think Progress →

Custom and Border Protection Seizes $2 Million Worth of Narcotics on Hidalgo International Bridge

Custom and Border Protection Seizes $2 Million Worth of Narcotics on Hidalgo International Bridge

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge seized over $2,000,000 worth of alleged cocaine, heroin and arrested a woman from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico in connection with the incident.

On Tuesday morning, May 14, CBP officers working at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge came in contact with a 19-year-old female Mexican citizen driving a gray 2001 Mazda Tribute. The female who arrived from Reynosa presented her Mexican passport with U.S. visa to a CBP officer and was then referred to secondary for further screening.

During the process of the secondary inspection and after utilizing a non-intrusive imaging system, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics, which were concealed within the vehicle’s roof.

CBP officers recovered and seized 20 packages of alleged cocaine which weighed approximately 23.16 kilograms (51.06 pounds) and one package of alleged heroin which weighed approximately 1.80 kilograms (3.97 pounds).

CBP seized the narcotics, which have an estimated street value of $1,634,000 for the cocaine, $397,000 for the heroin, and seized the vehicle as well.

CBP arrested the adult female and subsequently released her to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents for further investigation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Demi Lovato Reveals New Tattoo

Demi Lovato Reveals New Tattoo

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On Wednesday, Demi Lovato revealed a tattoo she had done to coincide with the launch of her new album, Demi.

Lovato’s new ink reads: now I’m a warrior.

The warrior line is from one of her album’s songs appropriately titled “Warrior.”

The former teen queen tweeted:

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigrants Dying on Arizona Border Down 36 Percent Says Border Patrol

Immigrants Dying on Arizona Border Down 36 Percent Says Border Patrol

Photo: Arizona-Mexico border

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Deaths of undocumented immigrants in the Arizona desert are down 36 percent in the 2013 fiscal year, the U.S. Border Patrol said.

From Oct. 1 through May 1, 64 migrants died while trying to sneak across the border into the United States, down from 101 during the same period of fiscal 2012, according to official figures.

“The deaths have gone down, but as temperatures begin to rise in the desert, the dangers increase,” Andres Adame, spokesman for the Border Patrol Tucson Sector, told Efe.

The most recent fatality was last Saturday.

Border Patrol agents responded to a call about someone’s being lost in the desert near the village of Tres Puntos. When they reached the scene, they found one migrant alive and another, dead.

The survivor told the agents that the other man had fallen ill and been abandoned by the “coyote” they paid to guide them across the desert.

Agents in the Tucson Sector, which includes 90 percent of the Arizona-Mexico border, have carried out 203 successful rescues in the desert so far in fiscal 2013, 27 more than at the same point in fiscal 2012, when the number of rescues reached a record 634.

“That tells us this summer could be terrible for the migrants,” Adame said.

Daytime temperatures in the Arizona desert are already hovering around 100 F.

Heat, however, is not the only danger.

“We have seen an increase in the number of cases of robbery, of women raped,” Adame said, attributing the phenomenon to a takeover of migrant smuggling by organized crime.

Formerly, he said, most “coyotes” were men and women who lived in the border region.

“The dad, the mom and the kids dedicated themselves to the business of bringing immigrants across. Everybody was involved, it was a family business. But later we see a change when the drug cartels got involved,” Adame said.

For the cartels, migrants are merchandise, not human beings, he said.

Instead of men “making a little money for their families,” the coyotes are now “criminals who make a lot of money,” Adame said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Gov. Mansion, La Fortaleza, Has $30,000 Water Bill

Puerto Rican Gov. Mansion, La Fortaleza, Has $30,000 Water Bill

Photo: Puerto Rican Gov. Mansion, La Fortaleza, Has $30,000 Water Bill

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The $265 million Puerto Rico’s heavily indebted state-owned water and sewer authority is trying to collect from customers includes $30,000 due from La Fortaleza, the official residence of the island’s governor.

La Fortaleza ran up an unpaid bill of $60,000, but the figure was cut in half as part of a broader collection plan initiated in January, AAA chief executive Alberto Lazaro told WKAQ radio Thursday.

AAA expects the governor’s mansion to settle the bill in July, he said.

Last Friday, the AAA terminated water service to the city hall in Arecibo after the municipal government rejected a plan to pay off its $1.5 million debt to the water authority.

Arecibo and the AAA later came to an agreement and the service was restored.

Starting in August, the AAA will cut off non-paying residential customers in Puerto Rico’s public housing complexes, Lazaro said last week.

Residents of public housing currently pay a fixed monthly rate of $19.76, regardless of how much water they use.

The AAA plans to boost water rates by an average of $20 a month.

Several scheduled rate hikes were postponed during the 2009-2013 administration of Gov. Luis Fortuño and the state Development Bank assumed part of the AAA’s $340 million debt, effectively postponing the crisis.

Besides its high indebtedness, the AAA is plagued by extensive loss of water due to deficiencies in the system.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Oil, Natural Gas Auction Bids Exceed Expectations

Brazil Oil, Natural Gas Auction Bids Exceed Expectations

Photo: Brazil Oil, Natural Gas Auction Bids Exceed Expectations

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A two-day Brazilian oil and natural gas auction has received strong demand from companies based in Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, France, Britain and other countries, with bid prices far exceeding the regulator’s expectations.

The winning companies on Tuesday secured blocks with bids up to 800 percent higher than the minimum prices demanded by the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP.

“The initial results surpassed expectations, even in deep-water blocks near the mouth of the Amazon River,” Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said, referring to demand for areas that were not expected to generate much interest.

Among the companies awarded concessions on the first day of the two-day 11th Licensing Round, Brazil’s first in five years, were Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras, Portugal’s Galp and Petrogal, Colombia’s Ecopetrol, France’s Total, Britain’s BP, Norway’s Statoil and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton.

The 289 blocks on offer through Wednesday (123 of them onshore and 166 offshore) are located in 11 sedimentary basins nationwide and cover a combined area of 155,800 sq. kilometers (60,150 sq. miles).

According to a partial tally by the ANP, bids totaling 2.7 billion reais ($1.35 billion) were accepted for the first 85 concessions awarded on Tuesday, exceeding the goal of 2 billion reais (roughly $1 billion) set by agency director Magda Chambriard.

The value of the bids accepted thus far has already surpassed the previous record of 2.1 billion reais from a 2007 auction.

The ANP director said the results show oil companies remain interested in investing in Brazil after a five-year auction drought and despite recent state intervention in the oil sector.

The ANP had not held an auction of oil and natural gas blocks since a 2009 regulatory overhaul to guarantee the government a larger share in the profits from the pre-salt region, a recently discovered, ultra-deep offshore region that could transform Brazil into a major oil exporter.

No blocks in the pre-salt - nor other areas of the Campos, Santos and Espirito Santo offshore basins, where 90 percent of Brazil’s oil is produced - were on offer in this licensing round, raising doubts about how successful it would be.

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Bill Clinton Meets With Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian President

Bill Clinton Meets With Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian President

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Visiting U.S. former President Bill Clinton met in Cartagena with Colombian head of state Juan Manuel Santos and literary icon Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and on Thursday joined Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro for a ride around that Caribbean city in an electric taxi.

Petro uploaded a photo to his Twitter account Thursday that shows him driving one of the vehicles of their entourage and Clinton next to him in the passenger seat.

The Clinton Foundation promotes environmentally sustainable policies and has supported the Bogota mayor’s office in its efforts to build up a fleet of electric public transport vehicles and create a large cities’ fund to finance climate change adaptation efforts.

On Tuesday night, at the beginning of his stay in Cartagena, Clinton attended a dinner hosted by Santos.

According to the daily El Tiempo, Santos and Clinton spoke during the meal about the Colombian government’s ongoing peace talks in Cuba with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the Andean nation’s largest guerrilla insurgency.

Clinton congratulated Santos on that initiative.

On Wednesday, Clinton walked around Cartagena’s historic downtown and visited 86-year-old Garcia Marquez, recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in literature, and his wife, Mercedes Barcha, at their home.

Clinton said afterward that the conversation centered on family and that Garcia Marquez recalled that he had met the former president’s daughter, Chelsea, 20 years ago and the two had had a long chat about his books.

The ex-head of state said the Colombian author was surprised then that a person so young (Chelsea was a teenager at the time) had read so much and was familiar with his work.

Clinton recalled that, a month after their literary discussion, Garcia Marquez sent his daughter all of his works that had been translated into English.

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Blog del Narco: General in Mexican Army takes Over Public Safety in Michoacan

Blog del Narco: General in Mexican Army takes Over  Public Safety in Michoacan

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A general in the Mexican army was sworn-in Thursday as public safety secretary in the western state of Michoacan, which is home to several powerful criminal organizations and a growing vigilante movement.

Maj. Gen. Alberto Reyes Vaca will have command of the state police and of federal security forces stationed in Michoacan.

The state’s new public safety chief vowed to confront the challenges facing Michoacan and to ensure that the forces under his direction act within the law.

He called on citizens to develop a culture of reporting crimes, insisting that the best mechanism “to inhibit crime is social rejection of illegality.”

Besides better police, “security requires better parents, responsible teachers and honest citizens who put their trust in social co-responsibility,” Reyes Vaca said.

Michoacan is wracked by clashes among criminal organizations and between the gangsters and armed self-defense groups.

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Greenpeace Protests Genetically Modified Corn in Mexico City

Greenpeace Protests Genetically Modified Corn in Mexico City

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Four Greenpeace activists scaled a monument in this capital on Thursday to unfurl a banner denouncing the use of genetically modified organisms in the cultivation of maize, Mexico’s emblematic staple.

The foursome climbed halfway up the Stela of Light, which stands 104 meters (341 feet) tall, hung the banner with the slogan NO OGM and remained for several hours before descending and driving away in a pickup truck.

OGM are the initials of the Spanish translation of genetically modified organisms.

Municipal police erected barriers around the monument after the protest began, but made no effort to stop the activists from hanging the banner or from leaving the scene.

Greenpeace and other Mexican organizations say they fear the possible effects of GMO maize on human health and the environment.

Located in the heart of Mexico City, the Stela of Light was built to commemorate the bicentennial of Mexican independence and the 100th anniversary of the country’s 1910 revolution.

The project ultimately cost more than 1 billion pesos ($78 million) - five times the original estimate - and the monument has become a popular spot for demonstrations.

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FridayMay 17, 2013