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SaturdayJune 1, 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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Mexico, Germany Consider Creating Strategic Projects Fund

Mexico, Germany Consider Creating Strategic Projects Fund

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The governments of Germany and Mexico are studying the creation of a “joint fund” for developing “strategic projects” together, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Juan Antonio Meade said Saturday.

“We’re reviewing together with the German government and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (Amecid) the creation of a joint fund…for the development of strategic projects,” Meade said.

At a press conference together with his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, the Mexican Cabinet secretary said that in recent years the process of bilateral cooperation “has been intense and fruitful” but he believes there are many more possibilities for expanding it.

He mentioned an upcoming project with Germany “to promote collaboration in the educational and cultural spheres; in particular, to continue working to know and apply in Mexico their successful dual education program that links high school education with industry.”

Meade also noted that Germany “is Mexico’s leading trade partner in Europe” and the fifth worldwide, with a total trade volume of more than $18 billion in 2012.

He also spoke of German investments in this country, which are principally channeled through some 1,500 German companies operating in Mexico.

For his part, the German foreign minister said on his third visit to Mexico that his nation wanted to “deepen even more” cooperation and relations with this country.

Westerwelle said that Meade brought him up to date on how the structural reforms are going that are being promoted by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who this Saturday has been six months in power.

The German minister also expressed interest in Mexico’s plans for an energy sector overhaul, one of the crucial steps for strengthening the nation’s economic development by creating new opportunities for foreign investors to participate in Mexico’s oil industry, and which will be debated in the second half of 2013.

State-owned energy company Petroleos Mexicanos currently has a monopoly on oil exploration, production and refining in Mexico.

As a closing remark, Westerwelle hailed the excellent relations between the two countries and said that Mexico “has become an indispensable partner” for his country, not just in bilateral matters but also in multilateral forums on subjects like climate change and combating arms trafficking.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Aeromexico Makes Last Minute Proposal to Avoid Strike

Aeromexico Makes Last Minute Proposal to Avoid Strike

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Aeromexico, Mexico’s flagship airline, made a last-minute proposal aimed at avoiding a strike by flight attendants, who agreed to consider the offer.

Minutes before a midnight Friday deadline for a deal to be struck, Aeromexico CEO Andres Conesa gave a press conference in which he presented a “comprehensive package” to the ASSA flight attendants’ union.

The airline offered to raise the flight attendants’ salaries by 4.7 percent, increase benefits by 1.5 percent and set up a commission to prepare a new contract for future hires.

The ASSA, which represents 1,380 workers, is demanding a 5 percent salary hike and a 3 percent increase in benefits.

On Friday, Conesa told reporters that a strike would cost Aeromexico 150 million pesos ($11.7 million) per day. According to the airline’s estimates, a work stoppage would cause 300 flights per day to be grounded and affect some 25,000 passengers daily.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Oklahoma Hit by Another Major Tornado, Missouri Declares State of Emergency

Oklahoma Hit by Another Major Tornado, Missouri Declares State of Emergency

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Flooding was complicating relief efforts Saturday in the wake of tornadoes that killed at least seven adults and two children in Oklahoma, while Missouri declared a state of emergency due to the twisters.

The spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, Lt. Jay Barnett, told reporters that flooding was the biggest problem in the metropolitan area.

“Areas of the city that don’t normally flood - we’re seeing flooding,” he said.

The Oklahoma City medical examiner’s office confirmed Saturday morning that there were at least nine fatalities, mostly people who were inside their vehicles when the tornadoes struck Friday afternoon.

Police and Red Cross personnel were scouring the area affected by the twisters, which caused traffic chaos on a highway that connects the suburbs of eastern and western Oklahoma City.

In some areas, floodwaters rose to as high as 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).

On Friday night, as the storms moved to the northeast, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

The St. Louis metropolitan area was hardest hit by the storms, and on Saturday there were 89,000 households without electricity. In Oklahoma, meanwhile, more than 85,000 customers were affected by power outages Saturday morning.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2 Honduran Migrants Murdered on Mexican Train

2 Honduran Migrants Murdered on Mexican Train

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Two Honduran women traveling with other migrants on a train in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas have been killed, state prosecutors said.

The Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating the double homicide, said witnesses told police that the two victims had been “traveling with a group of migrants in one of the train cars” and that later “they heard guns being shot and then found the lifeless bodies of the two women.”

The incident occurred Thursday afternoon on the railroad between Playas de Catazaja and Crucero Shupa in Palenque municipality.

The young women, identified as Iris Suleida Raudales Flores, 24, and Cynthia Carolina Cruz Bonilla, 19, both from Honduras, had suffered gunshot and knife wounds, the AG’s office said in a statement.

Personnel from the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes Against Immigrants in Chiapas arrived at the scene to begin investigations.

Authorities said that police and Mexican army troops were carrying out inspection and surveillance patrols throughout the area in an attempt to nab the killers.

Official figures show that every year some 300,000 undocumented migrants, mostly Central Americans, cross the more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of border that Mexico shares with Guatemala and Belize to try and reach the United States.

In recent years, the risk migrants run has increased considerably due to the growing presence of organized crime along their route.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sec. of State Kerry to Participate at OAS General Assembly in Guatemala

Sec. of State Kerry to Participate at OAS General Assembly in Guatemala

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Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Guatemala June 4-5 to participate in the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Western Hemisphere’s premier multilateral organization.

The Secretary will meet with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and will engage in bilateral discussions and consultations with regional counterparts on issues of shared interest.

The U.S. delegation will include R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Roberta S. Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Amb. William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, U.S. Permanent Representative to the OAS.

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Guatemala, Mexico Partner to Combat Poverty Along Border

Guatemala, Mexico Partner to Combat Poverty Along Border

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Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto said they would launch joint actions “in the short term” to combat hunger in the border region and spur development for its more than five million inhabitants.

During a working meeting at a Guatemala City hotel, the presidents and their top aides hammered out a long list of actions “aimed at expanding relations” between the two countries.

Peña Nieto visited Guatemala for four hours Friday to meet with Perez Molina and give a speech at the Guatemala Investment Summit 2013, an ambitious initiative aimed at attracting foreign investment to the Central American nation.

Among the actions announced, a bi-national working group will be tasked with locating the border areas with the highest rates of poverty and underdevelopment and spearheading joint actions to improve people’s quality of life.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Honduras’s Extremely Impoverished to Benefit from $100 Million Loan

Honduras’s Extremely Impoverished to Benefit from $100 Million Loan

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Honduras will improve its efficiency and coverage of the program to support the social safety net known as the Bono 10,000, with a $100 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The Bono 10,000 Program, established in 2010, has benefited more than 350,000 poor households. Improving the program’s efficiency and targeting should enable it to reach 50 percent of the country’s poorest rural families.

The project aims to increase the use of services in education, health and nutrition of pregnant women and children under 18 years of age through targeted conditional cash transfers.

Also the program is expected to increase the supply of the third cycle of basic education (7th to 9th grade) in selected rural areas and improve the efficiency of program management.

The project seeks comprehensive and sustained interventions that consider gender and cultural factors that constitute barriers to access opportunities and resources in order to help break the cycle of poverty.

According to the Household Survey Multipurpose (MPHS) May 2012, two out of three households live in poverty and nearly half in extreme poverty.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gastronomy Festival Gets Underway in Central Mexico

Gastronomy Festival Gets Underway in Central Mexico

Photo: Guanajuato Si Sabe festival

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A gastronomy festival got underway Saturday in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, where thousands of people will enjoy the different events featuring leading local and international chefs.

The state’s Tourism Secretary Fernando Olivera told Efe that the event seeks to establish gastronomy as one of the most inviting tourist attractions in Guanajuato, considered one of the nation’s cultural destinations.

“Since gastronomy is also culture, we have the responsibility and the strategy to make it one of the key activities in our touristic positioning,” he said.

Specifically, between June 1-9 no less than 17 events will be held simultaneously in cities from San Miguel de Allende and Celaya to the capital Guanajuato, ranging from expos of hotel and restaurant equipment to gastronomic congresses, conferences and festivals.

Among other tasty offerings, special tribute will be paid to lamb and mescal liquor, as well as to traditional desserts and organic food.

There will also be lunches and dinners presided over and prepared by great Mexican and international chefs, as well as a cocktail party in an oddly original location, one of the subterranean streets of the state capital.

Among the Mexican chefs who will be on hand are Enrique Olvera, Ramon Muñoz Zurita and Patricia Quintana, while the internationals will include, for example, the man considered the best cocktail maker in the world, Junior Merino, “the Liquid Chef.”

The secretary also noted that the seven Spanish chefs taking part have nine Michelin stars among them, including Roncero, Diego Guerrero and Marcos Moran.

There will also be space for traditional Mexican cuisine, thanks to a meeting of chefs who will share their recipes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nadal Advances to 4th Round of French Open

Nadal Advances to 4th Round of French Open

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal nearly lost another set in the first week of this year’s French Open, but he managed to come through Saturday with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Fabio Fognini in third-round action.

Despite the straight-set win, the No. 3 seed struggled to impose his game on his Italian rival and failed to erase the doubts swirling around his game at the season’s second Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal came into the event after making a near-perfect return to tennis following a seven-month absence from the ATP Tour due to a knee injury and illness.

He leads the men’s circuit with six titles in 2013, five of them on clay, and has made the final of all eight tournaments he has played since starting his comeback in February.

But his game at the French Open - where has won a record seven titles - has been relatively pedestrian through three rounds, though he may have lacked freshness on Saturday because rain on Thursday meant he had to play his second- and third-round matches on consecutive days.

Fognini came out swinging for the lines early on, a risky yet effective strategy that earned him the chance to serve out the first set at 6-5.

He squandered that chance with unforced errors, however, and ended up losing the set in a close tiebreaker.

It was the first time this tournament that Nadal won the first set, after losing the opening set in his first-round win over Germany’s Daniel Brands and second-round victory over Slovakia’s Martin Klizan.

The second set against Fognini was also tightly contested, although Nadal managed to secure a service break in the fifth game and ride that advantage to a two-set lead.

The Italian then was bothered by blisters and lost his concentration and composure early the third set, and a late rally proved too little too late.

Nadal was full of compliments for his opponent after the match.

“Fognini is a fantastic player. He hits very big and he’s really fast. It’s tough to beat him. He’s getting better all the time,” the 11-time Grand Slam champion said.

Next up for the Spaniard in Monday’s fourth round will be Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who defeated France’s Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday to become the first player from his country to reach the French Open round of 16 since 1938.

In women’s third-round play on Saturday, Russia’s Maria Sharapova, the No. 2 seed, struggled in the second set but held on to defeat China’s Jie Zheng 6-1, 7-5, while third-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus rallied to top France’s Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Radamel Falcao Signs 5 Year Deal with Monaco

Radamel Falcao Signs 5 Year Deal with Monaco

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French club AS Monaco FC has officially confirmed the signing of a five-year deal with Colombian star striker Radamel Falcao, saying Friday that an agreement was struck with the player and Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

Falcao becomes the latest player to be wooed by the club headed by Chairman Dmitry Rybolovlev, who already landed Colombian James Rodriguez and Portugal’s Joao Moutinho from F.C. Porto for a combined 70 million euros and also signed center back Ricardo Carvalho from Real Madrid

The 27-year-old forward’s signing by Monaco - for an undisclosed fee - brings an end to his two-year tenure with Atletico, where he scored 70 goals in 91 matches.

In the 2011-2012 season, he notched 36 goals in official competition: 24 in Spanish-league play and 12 in Europa League action, including two tallies in Atletico’s 3-0 triumph over Athletic Bilbao in the final.

Falcao’s hat trick powered Atletico’s 4-1 rout of Chelsea in the August 2012 UEFA Super Cup and he went on to score a total of 34 goals in all competitions over the course of the 2012-2013 season, which saw his club qualify for the 2013-2014 Champions League and win Spain’s Copa del Rey with a 2-1 win over wealthy crosstown rival Real Madrid.

The Colombian star played earlier in his career for Porto, scoring 67 goals and winning several titles, and for River Plate, where he was a key member of a team that won an Argentine league crown.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine, Cuban Scientists Develop 1st Therapeutic Vaccine for Lung Cancer

A team of Argentine and Cuban scientists has developed the first therapeutic vaccine for treating lung cancer.

The vaccine does not prevent the tumor, but promotes its destruction by activating the body’s immune system, the Insud Group said Friday.

Named Racotumomab, the vaccine was tested in controlled clinical trials and tripled the percentage of lung cancer patients still alive two years after its application.

The vaccine is the result of work by experts at Cuba’s Molecular Immunology Institute and of scientists at prestigious Argentine institutions.

More than 90 specialists worked on identifying an antigen and on developing a monoclonal antibody that “by inducing the body to react against this antigen, attacks the tumor and its metastasis, but not the healthy tissue,” the Insud Group said in a communique.

The vaccine is indicated in cases of cancer at an advanced stage or with metastasis, in patients who have received chemotherapy and radiation and are in stable condition.

The purpose of such therapy is “to change the paradigm of cancer treatment” to improve patients’ quality of life, Hugo Sigman of the Insud Group and founder of the consortium that developed the medication, said.

Lung cancer, considered one of the most deadly forms of the disease, causes close to 1.4 million deaths per year, according to a World Health Organization estimate.

Argentina is the first country in the world where the vaccine will be available starting in July, though it has also been approved in Cuba and is licensed to 25 countries of the Americas and Asia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Biden Says Brazil Exemplifies That Democracy Leads to Development

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said here Friday that the social changes that have taken place in Brazil, the world’s seventh-largest economy, in recent years are proof that democracy is the surest, quickest path to development.

“Brazil is no longer an emerging country. Brazil has emerged and it demonstrated that you don’t have to choose between democracy and development,” he said at a joint press conference with Brazilian counterpart Michel Temer.

“Brazil now has very close relations with its South American neighbors, but that hasn’t kept us from maintaining very special relations with the United States,” Temer said.

On the subject of bilateral trade, Temer agreed with Biden that “it can be and should be even greater” given the size of the respective economies.

Biden met earlier Friday with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who is due to visit the United States in October.

He said his meeting with Rousseff was very fruitful and allowed for a “wide-ranging discussion” on many matters that will serve to prepare an extensive work agenda between the two countries.

“We’re ready for a deeper, broader relationship across the board on everything from the military to education, trade and investment,” the U.S. vice president said.

His stopover in Brasilia was the last on a tour that Biden undertook this week and included visits to Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago as part of a U.S. effort to strengthen ties with Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Spain Halts Town’s Plan to Grow Pot to Pay Off Debt

Spain Halts Town’s Plan to Grow Pot to Pay Off Debt

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This small farming community in northeastern Spain cannot create a cannabis plantation to help pay off its 1.3 million euro ($1.7 million) municipal debt, a judge ruled Friday.

Spain permits private consumption and cultivation of marijuana, which is used for medicinal purposes by some who suffer from chronic pain.

Officials in Rasquera, a town of fewer than 1,000 people, adopted the cannabis-growing plan in February 2012.

The initiative called for creating a municipal enterprise to forge a partnership with the Barcelona Association for Personal Consumption of Cannabis to grow pot, a project Rasquera’s administration expected to create 40 jobs and generate 1.33 million euros ($1.78 million) over two years.

Government attorneys subsequently filed a court challenge to the plan, leading to the decision announced Friday.

“The economic interest and the grave economic situation of a municipal administration cannot be included in the concept of public interest,” Judge Rosa Maria Muñoz Rodon said in quashing the initiative.

“We had the hope that after so much time awaiting the verdict, the arguments expressed would have more quality,” Rasquera Mayor Bernat Pellisa said, announcing plans to appeal the ruling.

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SPAIN: Nearly 4 Tons of Cocaine Seized at Sea

SPAIN: Nearly 4 Tons of Cocaine Seized at Sea

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Spanish police seized 3,400 kilos (7,488 pounds) of cocaine from a fishing boat on the high seas and arrested a total of 21 people, authorities said Friday.

Taken into custody were the boat’s skipper and four-man crew as well as 16 people onshore at various locations in the northwestern region of Galicia, police said.

The Senegalese-flagged fishing boat Riptide was intercepted and boarded in the Atlantic between the Azores and South America before dawn on May 29, and is expected to arrive at a Spanish port within the next 10 days.

The operation continued on land Thursday due to the urgent need to arrest one of the kingpins of the organization, the drug network’s connection in Spain who had a flight booked to Caracas.

Among the 21 taken into custody was the representative of the Venezuelan organization in Spain and the group in charge of coordinating the delivery of the drug.

Taking part in the operation were more than 100 agents, and in the 10 searches carried out they seized guns, computers, mobile phones, notes related to vessels, some 5,000 euros in cash (the equivalent of $6,484), and several vehicles.

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Authorities Detain 43 Migrants in Mexico

Mexican police detained 43 undocumented migrants and six people who were holding them at a home in the city of Ecatepec, the Mexico state Attorney General’s Office said Friday.

Police discovered “30 men from India, two Salvadoran men and 11 people from Honduras, including five women,” the state AG’s office said in a statement.

The six Mexican nationals who appeared to be guarding the migrants were handed over to prosecutors on suspicion of human trafficking.

The migrants underwent medical checks and are likely to be repatriated to their respective homelands, the state AG’s office said.

Every year, tens of thousands of Central Americans undertake the journey across Mexico to reach the United States. The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.

Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, officials say.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayJune 1, 2013