PDP Downplays Status Issue… PIP Will Try To Improve Performance In ‘08… Program To Snare Tax Evaders Begins… Latin Star's Oz Debut… Orlando To Aguadilia… The World's Happiest… D'Wildcat Speed Coasts… 59 Dominicans Intercepted At Sea… Death Penalty Protesters Hold Candlelight Vigil… Ruiz To Defend Crown… 'American Idol' Latino-Style… Feliz Pascua!

PDP’s Dalmau Downplays Consequences Of Status Issue

March 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Jose Luis Dalmau, spokesman for the Popular Democratic Party in the Senate, said Monday that there will not be serious consequences if the issue of status is not dealt with this quarter.

Dalmau said that if the status discussion continues to stagnate, "we will remain as we are."

"Serious consequences, I don’t see it. The country is going to continue moving and people are going to continue working," he said.

Dalmau also said that "may people don’t care about status," although he said that he and the delegation are very interested in the subject.

He also accused the NPP majority in the Senate of acting "in bad faith" to push forward the bill that does not include the possibility of a Constitutional Assembly on Status to work around the political relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States.

PIP Will Try To Improve Party Performance In Next Election

March 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — With a bulletin distributed to party members and meetings with ‘independentistas’ who promised their vote, the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) in 2008 intends to improve on the 2.7 percent of the vote its candidate won in the most recent gubernatorial election.

PIP Organization Secretary Roberto Ivan Aponte said although they hope to gain back votes lost in the elections, the newsletter ‘Al Frente’ only will be distributed to party members and published on the party web page, due to economic reasons.

"This is mostly addressed to party activists. For the cost, it will be very difficult for us to use it for the rest of the island … due to this, we are going to have the party web page," Aponte said in media reports.

Treasury Dept. Begins Program To Snare Tax Evaders

March 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The Treasury Department next week will begin a Fair Taxation program, intended to identify tax evaders and force them to pay their required taxes.

Designated Treasury Secretary Juan Carlos Mendez said the project, which will cost $4.5 million, will be the first tool able to combine information from entities outside the agency, such as the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the City Tax Collection Center, the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority and financial institutions, among others.

"With the information we get from the other agencies, we have a profile of the taxpayer to compare to information submitted to the Treasury Department. We can compare their economic capabilities with what they report," Mendez said in media reports.

Latin Star's Oz Debut


March 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005News Ltd. All rights reserved. 

Sunday Telegraph

SOUTH American superstar Chayanne, dubbed the new Ricky Martin, has set his sights on introducing latin pop to Australians.

The singer, who has recorded songs with Jennifer Lopez, arrived in Sydney last week to launch his music career down under.

"I've been talking for a long time about releasing music in Australia," he said.

"I've heard a lot about the country -- Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, kangaroos, the Olympics and the great surf. I'm very happy to be here, Sydney is beautiful."

The 36-year-old from Puerto Rico counts singers Shakira, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias as friends. Sony BMG publicists say he is "bigger than Ricky Martin".

Chayanne has recorded music for 15-years and is already well-known in Europe and the United States, selling more than 15 million albums.

He starred in the film Dance With Me alongside Vanessa Williams and had a guest appearance in Ally McBeal with Calista Flockhart.

Chayanne will perform today at an Easter Sunday Latin Festival at Luna Park, starting at 7pm.

Also performing will be R+B singer Christian Alexander and latin hip-hop artist Magic Juan.


March 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. 


Boston-Maine Airways will operate regularly scheduled jet service between Orlando Sanford International Airport and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, beginning May 20.

Passengers will be able to connect with the existing Pan American Airways Clipper Connection service between Aguadilla and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The World's Happiest And Unhappiest Peoples

Study: Puerto Ricans Top Happiness Charts, U.S. 15th

Rich Societies Generally Happiest, But Poorer Latin Ones Are The Exceptions.

March 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ORLANDO SENTINEL. All rights reserved. 

The top 10

1. Puerto Rico4.67

2. Mexico4.32

3. Denmark4.24

4. Ireland4.16

5. Iceland4.15

6. Switzerland4.00

7. Northern Ireland3.97

8. Colombia3.94

9. Netherlands3.86

10. Canada3.76

Other notable countries

15. United States3.47

23. Saudi Arabia3.01

25. Britain2.92

26. West Germany2.67

26. France2.61

28. Argentina2.61

29. Vietnam2.59

31. Philippines2.32

34. Brazil2.23

35. Spain2.13

36. Israel2.08

37. Italy2.06

38. East Germany2.02

41. Portugal1.99

42. Japan1.96

44. South Africa1.86

46. Greece1.45

48. China1.20

50. Iran0.93

51. Poland0.84

51. Turkey0.84

58. Egypt0.52

67. India0.03

The bottom 10

73. Bulgaria-0.87

74. Belarus-0.92

75. Georgia-1.11

76. Romania-1.30

77. Moldova-1.63

78. Russia-1.75

79. Armenia-1.80

80. Ukraine-1.81

81. Zimbabwe-1.88

82. Indonesia-2.40

SOURCE: World Values Survey. Based on responses to questions about happiness and life satisfaction. Possible scale ranges from -9 to 7.5. A negative score means the average respondent was more unhappy than happy. More information is available at www.worldvaluessurvey.org.

D'Wildcat Speed Coasts

By Dave Joseph

March 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005 SO FL SUN-SENTINEL. All rights reserved.

HALLANDALE BEACH · More than a year after arriving at Bill White's barn as Puerto Rico's 2003 Horse of the Year, D'Wildcat Speed finally lived up to expectations Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

The 5-year-old, who won 13 of her first 14 races in Puerto Rico, left Sabin Handicap winner and favored Isola Piu Bella in her wake in the $200,000 Rampart Handicap by six lengths, covering 11/8 miles in 1:48.92.

"She is a quality mare and we always knew she was," said the Calder-based White. "Today she ran at a distance in which she was very successful in Puerto Rico. We haven't had a chance to run her at a distance here before because of soundness issues."

After being sent to White by co-owners Manuel Rexach and Robert Ortiz de Paz last winter because "she'd accomplished everything she could do in Puerto Rico," White said, D'Wildcat Speed finished fifth in the Herecomesthebride and second in the Banshee Breeze at Gulfstream before fracturing a cannon bone.

Since returning in November, the mare won the $40,000 Pocahontas at Calder and came into the Rampart off a second-place finish Feb. 19 here in the Shirley Jones.

Pressed past fractions of 47.24 and 1:10.58 by Sabin runner-up Pampered Princess, D'Wildcat Speed entered the stretch with a three-length lead and opened up effortlessly down the stretch.

Eibar Coa, who rode Isola Piu Bella, said: "Truth is, not much happened out there other than [D'Wildcat Speed] just ran so much better than everybody else. My filly didn't run a bad race. The winner was just so good today."

White said D'Wildcat Speed could do some traveling.

Her first stop could be April 23 at Hawthorne in the Sixty Sails.

Police Intercept 59 Dominican Migrants At Sea

March 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Maritime police officers intercepted 59 Dominican migrants who hurled objects at a police boat to avoid being taken into custody early Saturday, police said.

Police said they intercepted a 35-foot wooden boat carrying 39 men and 20 women about four 4 miles off western Puerto Rico.

"The migrants reacted in a violent manner, hurling all types of objects against the maritime unit vessel," police said.

No one was hurt, and the migrants were handed over to the U.S. Coast Guard for repatriation, police said.

Almost 3000 migrants - mostly Dominicans - have been caught trying to enter Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands since Oct. 1, the start of the 2005 fiscal year.

Last year, authorities detained 8,404 illegal migrants.

Death Penalty Protesters Hold Candlelight Vigil

March 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - About 100 people who oppose the death penalty held a candlelight vigil outside a federal courthouse Friday, more than two weeks before a jury decides the fate of two convicted murderers.

Puerto Rico banned capital punishment 75 years ago, and in 2000 its Supreme Court ruled it violated the island's constitution. But a year later, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston overturned the ruling, saying the territory is subject to federal law and the death penalty can be applied in some cases. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld the decision.

On Tuesday, a federal jury convicted Hernando Medina Villegas, 25, and Lorenzo Catalan Roman, 24, of murdering an armored truck security guard in 2002, opening the way for the death penalty to be applied in a Puerto Rico case for the first time in nearly 80 years.

The sentencing phase begins April 11 and the same jury will decide their fate. Federal prosecutors say they have jurisdiction over the case because it interfered with interstate commerce. They also say the death penalty should apply because the defendants willfully and knowingly caused a man's death while committing an armed robbery.

Puerto Rico's last execution was in 1927, when farmworker Pascual Ramos was hanged for beheading his boss with a machete.

Friday's vigil was organized by the island's chapter of London-based human rights group Amnesty International. Many of the protesters wore black and all kept silent during the vigil outside U.S. District Court in the capital, San Juan.

It came on Good Friday and the vigil's banner read: "No more crucifixions. No to the death penalty."

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter, observed by Christians in commemoration of Jesus' crucifixion.

Ruiz Set To Defend Heavyweight Crown Against Toney

March 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.

WASHINGTON, Mar. 25 (Xinhua) -- World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John Ruiz of Puerto Rico will defend his crown against former cruiserweight world champion James Toney in April, promoter Don King announced on Friday.

Details of the April 30 fight card at New York's Madison Square Garden, will be revealed on Tuesday.

World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko of Ukraine and American former world champion Hasim Rahman were to have used the date before a left thigh injury disrupted the champion's training. A June date is now likely.

Ruiz, 41-5 with one draw and 28 knockouts, will have a veteran foe in Toney, who stands 68-4 with two drawn and 43 knockouts.

Toney moved up from the crusierweight ranks 18 months ago with a victory over Evander Holyfield, who lost his crown to Ruiz. But Toney suffered a torn left Achilles tendon last year, delaying his heavyweight title quest.

'American Idol' Latino-Style


March 25, 2005
Copyright © 2005 NY DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU . All rights reserved.

New York is about to get its own, Latino version of "American Idol," a new bilingual televised musical talent contest, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday.

The Nueva Estrella Awards will require finalists to sing in both English and Spanish.

There will be three winners - best male and female vocalist, and best band - who will get recording contracts with Sony BMG, Bloomberg said.

"Just like 'Star Search' and 'American Idol,' the Nueva Estrella Awards seeks to discover the best young amateur talent and launch them into the big time," Bloomberg told reporters at a City Hall press conference.

"Who knows? The Nueva Estrella Awards might just discover the next Jennifer Lopez, the next Marc Anthony or the next Celia Cruz," he added.

Channel 2 will air the three semifinal competitions in April, May and June, and then broadcast the winners in October.

Anyone, from anywhere, can audition - provided they are between 16 and 29.

Registration for the competition will take place April 3 and April 10, between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the China Club on W. 47th St.

Officials expect about 5,000 people to audition, and hope the contest will become an annual event. The awards show has several sponsors, including the Daily News.

Feliz Pascua!


March 25, 2005
Copyright © 2005 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.

The Plain Dealer

Feliz Pascua!: Easter celebrations begin today, Good Friday, for Christians throughout the region. But few display the faith more fervently than area Latinos.

Continuing a colorful tradition, Latino families will march statues of the crucified Christ and a mourning Virgin Mary through neighborhoods on Cleveland's near West Side.

The Good Friday Procession, modeled after similar processions in Puerto Rico, has attracted more than 600 people in past years. It starts at noon today at La Sagrada Familia Catholic Church, West 77th Street and Detroit Avenue. Marchers will pause at St. Patrick Church on Bridge Avenue before walking to St. Michael Church on Scranton Road for a 3 p.m. service.

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