jueves, 10 de julio de 2008

Ann Curry sat down with former hostage Ingrid Betancourt in France in her first U.S. TV interview since her rescue

Portions of the Interview Aired Tonight, July 9, on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" and More of the Interview Will Air Tomorrow, July 10, on "Today" Transcript Below

NEW YORK – July 9, 2008 - - NBC News' Ann Curry sat down with former hostage Ingrid Betancourt in France in her first television interview since her rescue from captivity last week. Betancourt, the Colombian-French politician who was running for president when she was captured in 2002, was held hostage for six years in the Colombian jungle.

Portions of the interview aired tonight, July 9, on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" and more of the interview will air tomorrow, July 10, on "Today."

Below are portions of the transcript of the interview. If used, please credit NBC News' Ann Curry with note of "Today" airdate (Thursday, June 10).

Jim Bell is the executive producer of "Today" (Mon. – Fri, 7-11 a.m.), and Alex Wallace is the executive producer of "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" (Mon. – Fri., 6:30 p.m.).

ANN CURRY: What did they do to you? The truth. Were you tortured?

INGRID BETANCOURT: I think I need time. I'm not ready to talk about that. I'm sorry.

ANN CURRY: You don't have to apologize.

INGRID BETANCOURT: When you talk about, when you feel that it's worse than leaving, I mean, it's like-- it's like-- you need to clean yourself. You have to clean yourself from things that you should talk about, from the thing that-- the-- the-- it will-- I don't feel comfortable about--

ANN CURRY: You said already, these people were very cruel and humiliated you. Why not vengeance?

INGRID BETANCOURT: Because vengeance is a chain. I don't want to be chained to that jungle.

ANN CURRY: When you see the video, when you watch yourself in those moments, realizing you're free.

INGRID BETANCOURT: It was incredible. I-- I-- I remember I had just scream, and-- and the sound of my voice. It went from my-- my stomach. It was like an-- an explosion. And then we-- we hugged, and we kissed. All we had wanted and dreamed (snaps fingers) and it was like -- we were free.


INGRID BETANCOURT: Everything that has happened is like a dream. There's no room for-- for-- for hate or for revenge.

ANN CURRY: Even against the people who treated you poorly.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Especially for the people that treated me poorly. Because I think that-- that I had a better-- fate than they have. At the end, I constructed myself, and I'm stronger. I think that they have a lot to go through, still, because-- when you-- when you do what they did-- I don't think you can feel like-- I mean, I-- I don't think you can feel good about yourself.

ANN CURRY: You have compassion?


ANN CURRY: For the people, the rebels who treated you so poorly?


ANN CURRY: Who made you suffer.


ANN CURRY: For six years. Who did unspeakable things to you. Can't even speak about them. INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes.

ANN CURRY: Do you feel compassion towards them?

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Yes. Because I think there are-- well, because I-- I feel that I have my life back. And that they-- that they were, I mean, they were wrong. And-- what they did is perhaps, what they did for me was worse because what they-- what it implies for them.

ANN CURRY: It sounds like you're saying they have to deal with the guilt of what they did. INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes.

ANN CURRY: And their suffering--


ANN CURRY: And-- your compassionate, really, with their suffering.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Yes. I don't want-- I-- I hope that they will find a way to-- to change whatever has to be changed. And to just-- understand what happened in all those years. And I hope that they will find peace. I found peace. I'm in-- I'm in peace. I don't think they have been able to find peace. So, anyway, I-- I-- for me, it's thankful and to forgive. I think it's something that makes you more human. Makes you better person.

ANN CURRY: And, after years of being treated, as you say, like an animal, you want to be-- INGRID BETANCOURT: I don't want to be like them. I don't want to be like them. I-- I-- I want to be a better person, so it's just the opposite of what they are.

ANN CURRY: You want them tried. Prosecuted.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Probably. I-- I don't know, I mean, it's not something that's important for me, anymore. What is important for me, the only thing important for me, right now, is to-- to help those who are suffering in the jungle. That's the only thing that really matters.

ANN CURRY: Are you afraid to go back to Colombia?

INGRID BETANCOURT: I think I have to be prudent.

ANN CURRY: Which means? Not now? Not ever? Is it possible you will never go back to Colombia?

INGRID BETANCOURT: Oh no. I love my country. I am Colombian from the bottom of my heart. And I adore my country. And I-- I want to serve my country.


ANN CURRY: You are feeling for those who remain.


ANN CURRY: People you knew, who you were hostage alongside.


ANN CURRY: And you're afraid for them because of your release, along with your fellow hostages. So you are feeling survivor's guilt. A feeling of worry-ness.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Deeply. Deeply. A thing of-- that we have to find a way to-- to bring them to-- to-- to freedom. I think that something that-- when-- when I left-- Colombia, I had the-- opportunity of hiding their families. They were so distressed. They said that perhaps because we were freed, it-- I think they had the impression that the light was off for them.

ANN CURRY: You're afraid, they're afraid, they will be forgotten. Because you were the number one--


ANN CURRY: --the biggest name, the one who brought attention to the issue… So what are you going to do about that? Because you seem to be talking about doing things.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Well, I'll do everything I can, because I am with them every minute, day and night, with them.

ANN CURRY: You're saying you're thinking of them day and night.


ANN CURRY: You've said that you're going to not cut your hair until the very last one is released.


ANN CURRY: You're going to let it grow.


INGRID BETANCOURT: Well, that's just-- a detail. I mean, it's just like-- I-- I just want to-- tell them that my time is their time. And that the same way I didn't cut my hair for all these years of suffering-- well, the suffering continues for them. So my hair will be growing until they-- they stop suffering. But that's just something like-- it's like-- how do you say this?

ANN CURRY: It's a symbol.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes, it's a symbol. It's a biological clock too.

jueves, 3 de julio de 2008

La Oreja de Van Gogh and Amaia Montero are preparing their respective new albums

Spanish band La Oreja de Van Gogh is currently preparing their new album, to be released early September 2008. At the same time, it is still unknown who will be the new main vocalist of this band from San Sebastian. The secret will be unveiled on July 15th during a press conference whose location will be announced soon. At the same time, Amaia Montero, the band's former leading singer, is also working on the recording of her first solo album, to be released on November 2008. For this album, she's working with some of the best international producers.

While La Oreja de Van Gogh, with their new vocalist, and Amaia Montero are preparing their respective new albums, this week has seen the release of the album La Oreja de Van Gogh, Grandes éxitos, which includes the best songs in the career of the Spanish band. All the songs have been specially remastered for this project. These great songs close a 10-year period in the history of this band from San Sebastian; a decade during which they clearly became the absolute leaders of Spanish pop music, with 5 albums released which surpassed 6 million records sold worldwide.

Amaia Montero (vocals), Pablo Benegas (guitar), Xabi San Martín (keyboards), Álvaro Fuentes (bass) and Haritz Garde (drums) released their debut album (Dile al sol) in 1998, and that release became their first number one hit. Ten years later, Amaia and la Oreja de Van Gogh have decided to follow different paths, leaving their records also at number one with their album “Guapa”, the best selling album in 2006, which obtained 11 platinum and 3 gold records worldwide. In this decade, the band released 65 songs that are already part of the history of Spanish music.

As journalist Diego A. Manrique wrote in 2003, “If anyone takes the time to analyze the structure in the songs of this band, he will soon discover that these songs were not designed just following the rules. They offer a lot of human emotions and even some experimentation in their structure, both in the lyrics and also in the instrumental treatment of these songs”.

16 of these songs have been compiled now, after being remastered, in the album La Oreja de Van Gogh. Grandes éxitos, which has been released in two different formats: CD and CD+DVD (the latter one includes the videos of all the songs on the album). The songs featured in this release are already part of our recent memory, and were all composed throughout their musical career, supported by a unique, personal, one-of-a-time style. The hits included on the album are “Cuídate”, “20 de enero”, “El 28”, “París”, “La playa”, “Muñeca de trapo”, “Puedes contar conmigo”, “Rosas”, “Dulce locura”, “Cuéntame al oído”, “Vestido azul”, “Pop”, “Geografía”, “Mariposa”, “En mi lado del sofá” and “Soledad” as a bonus track.

The album La Oreja de Van Gogh Grandes éxitos is a very special journey through a musical career filled with number one hits, which obtained the most prestigious awards (Latin Grammy, Premios de la Música, Amigo Awards, Ondas, MTV and Viña del Mar Music Festival awards, among so many others). The band traveled around the world immersed in long, extensive concert tours in Spain, United States, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and France, among many other countries.

If a specific album could represent a fundamental part of the last ten years in the history of the most international Spanish music, that would be the case for this greatest hits album, featuring 16 songs that became worldwide hits and which now return to be part of the not-to be-missed albums collection. This is the perfect portrait of La Oreja de Van Gogh's story, which is now available to close one of the golden decades of Spanish pop.

Watch here their videos on the official youtube channel.

Source: F & F Media Corp. / Adolfo Fernández

miércoles, 14 de mayo de 2008

Mayor Bloomberg and Latin Media and Entertainment Commission Announce New Efforts to Position New York as the Center for Latin Media and Entertainment

PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE.- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday at the annual "Made in NY" Awards reception held at Gracie Mansion new efforts of the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission (LMEC) to position New York as the center for Latin media and entertainment. The announcements included the City's first ever Latin Media Guide of events taking place throughout the city, the appointment of eight new commission members, the formation of a working group with educational institutions and industry leaders, and a newly re-launched website on www.nyc.gov .

"The Latin Media and Entertainment Commission was established to showcase our city's Latino arts and entertainment community and create new opportunities and jobs in these fields," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Commission has brought together executives from Latin media and business organizations, and over the past four years these leaders have put their talents to work on the city's behalf. By welcoming eight new members and launching a new website and Latin media guide, the Commission is strengthening the art, music, and entertainment industries that make New York City the Latin Media and Entertainment Capital of the World."

As part of the Commission's efforts to create and support events that provide the most enriching Latin cultural experiences, the LMEC has partnered with the bilingual Latino website NYRemezcla to create the first-ever Latin Media Guide. The 2008 edition of the guide includes 14 events supported by LMEC. These events range from Latin film screenings to outdoor Latin music concerts and combined are expected to have an estimated economic impact on the city of over $60 million.

"We continue to work closely with the Mayor to identify, build, and tout top destinations in New York City featuring Latin advertising, new media, films, music, dining, art galleries, and more," said LMEC Chair Mario L. Baeza, Chairman and CEO of the Baeza Group, and Founder and Executive Chairman V-Me Media, Inc. "We are committed to fostering the growth of Latin organizations in New York in order to continue growing and enriching the cultural fabric of our great City."

This year, LMEC's goal to promote economic development for Hispanic advertising and media companies will be re-enforced by the addition of eight new board members: Patrick Dolan, Senior Vice President, Interactive Advertising Bureau; Robert Federico, Executive Director, Repertorio Español; Angela M. Freyre, Senior Vice President, Nielsen Media; Jacqueline Hernández, COO, Telemundo; Jorge Reynardus, President/Partner, Reynardus & Moya; Jeffrey Thompson, Vice President Global Diversity, Disney; Joe Uva, CEO, Univision; Carlos Sanchez, President & General Manager of Telemundo 47.

The event listings in the Latin Media Guide are also part of a comprehensive calendar featured on the LMEC's newly redesigned website that can be found on www.nyc.gov . Some of the up-coming LMEC-endorsed events appearing in the new Latin Media Guide include TeatroStageFest being held June 2-15, the Latin Alternative Music Conference being held July 8-12, the New York International Latino Film Festival taking place July 22-27, the Latino Cultural Festival at the Queens Theater July 23-August 3 and the New York Salsa Congress August 27-31.

The new LMEC website will also include a summary of New York business incentives, an Online Business Survey, a directory of industry and Latino cultural institutions and subscription to a newsletter that will keep the public updated and informed about the LMEC's work and upcoming Latin events. The website will also highlight the LMEC's joint effort with many of the City's top colleges and universities and executives in the "new media" and Hispanic advertising fields to develop and strengthen New York City's growing Latin media and entertainment workforce. The partnership seeks to bridge the gap between educational institutions and the changing demands of the industry to provide opportunities to students.

jueves, 17 de abril de 2008

Terra Networks Partners with Warner Music to Present the DVD Release of Arde el Cielo con Maná

PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE.- Terra Networks and Warner Music announced today a partnership to present the DVD release of "Arde el Cielo con Maná". The exclusive bilingual online programming will provide consumers a unique and unprecedented in-depth artist experience at Terra.com, including contests, photo galleries, community pages, blogs, webisodes of exclusive interviews and much more.

"We are proud to partner with Warner Music in order to offer Maná fans and the online community in general groundbreaking online coverage of one of the best rock bands in the world, Maná and the release of their DVD 'Arde el Cielo con Maná'," said Angel Sepúlveda, Executive Director of Programming of Terra Networks USA.

"In this new digital world we need to cater to a consumer that is eager for new content and open to new ways to relate to their favorite bands. I can't think of a better way to start off this relationship with Terra than with a band like Maná," said Gabriela Martínez, Vice President of Marketing for Warner Music Latin America.

The initial phase includes the re-launch of the Maná artist page with new videos, photo galleries, bios, trivia and exclusive sneak peaks of the DVD as well as a contest where fans will compete to become the ultimate Maná fan. Terra users will vote to select the top five finalists and the band will select the winner, who will attend the release party and be the "Official Maná Blogger" on the web.

The second phase will include an autographed Gibson guitar giveaway and a behind the scenes with Terra TV Host Luisa Fernanda as Maná, Terra and Warner Music get ready to take-over. Terra and Terra TV editorial teams will provide live minute-by-minute coverage available at http://www.terra.com/musica/artistas/m/mana

sábado, 22 de marzo de 2008

The Recording Academy and The Latin Recording Academy Joint Statement Regarding Israel "Cachao" López

March 22, 2008

"Cuban American bassist and composer Israel "Cachao" López was one of the most important figures in Latin music. A GRAMMY® winner and two-time Latin GRAMMY® winner, he is credited with creating mambo music and bringing it to popularity.

His larger-than-life spirit revealed itself every time he performed and his unadulterated love and passion for music was evident as he remained active until very recently. The music industry has lost a true pioneer, but his contributions to Latin music are everlasting.

His sense of humor and beatific smile will be sorely missed, and our deepest sympathies go out to all who knew and loved him and his music."

Neil Portnow Gabriel Abaroa President/CEO President
The Recording Academy® The Latin Recording Academy®

Suorce: The Recording Academy

martes, 18 de marzo de 2008

Univision Special 'TV Digital: ¿Cuánto Sabes?' to Inform Viewers about Upcoming Switch to Digital Television

The Univision Television Network announced its second digital television special, "TV Digital: ¿Cuánto Sabes?" (Digital TV: How Much Do You Know?), informing viewers of the various aspects of the transition to digital television in 2009 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The half-hour special will air on Saturday, March 22, at 4:30 pm ET/PT (3:30 pm Central).

Hosted by network personalities Fernando Arau, host of Univision's number one morning talk, news and entertainment program and Carmen Dominicci, award-winning reporter of the network's weekly primetime magazine show "Aquí y Ahora", the special will review in simple and easy to understand terminology the difference between the current analog and upcoming digital systems.

The show will also feature Univision personalities including Carlos Calderon, host of Galavisión Television Network's hit interactive-music show "Acceso Máximo" (All Access), Tony Dandrades, entertainment reporter for Univision's top-rated news magazine "Primer Impacto (First Impact) and Marta "Martica" Rodriguez, popular personality on Univision's entertainment news and gossip fest "El Gordo y La Flaca" (The Scoop and The Skinny), who will explain the benefits of digital broadcasting, the importance of applying for a digital-to-analog converter box coupon and demonstrate, step-by-step, how to properly install a converter box.

Also appearing in the special are Spanish-language television icon and host of Univision's hit talk show "Cristina", Cristina Saralegui, who will be interviewing Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; their discussion will focus on the importance of the digital conversion and who will be affected by this change.

In October 2007 Univision launched a massive multi-platform campaign to educate the country's Hispanic population on the upcoming congressionally mandated transition from analog to digital television broadcasting (DTV). According to a study released by Nielsen in February, nearly 17 percent of Hispanic households could be left without full power television service if the transition happened today.

"Univision, as the first broadcaster to implement a comprehensive, multi-platform DTV education campaign, has taken a leadership role in the DTV education efforts to ensure that all Hispanics in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are appropriately informed about this complex and important issue," said Cesar Conde, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Univision Communications Inc. "These efforts are part of our ongoing commitment to inform and empower the Hispanic community."


Microsoft Responds to Rise in Hispanic Small-Business Ownership

REDMOND, Wash., March 18 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Meeting the needs of a diverse marketplace, Microsoft Corp. has launched a bilingual Spanish-English version of Office Accounting Express 2008 and Office Accounting Professional 2008 in the United States, providing bilingual functionality for the growing Hispanic small-business community. Over the next 10 years, Hispanic-owned businesses will be the fastest-growing component of the business end-user market in the United States, and their rate of growth is projected to be almost three times that of overall U.S. firms.(1)

"Small businesses recognize that managing their finances is a vital task that can be overwhelming," said Jose Pinero, director of Diversity and Multicultural Marketing for Microsoft. "Products such as Office Accounting 2008 help small businesses by offering easy, affordable and comprehensive solutions to effectively perform everyday financial tasks in both Spanish and English."

Office Accounting Express 2008 in Spanish is completely free and is designed to help sole proprietors, startups and home-based businesses manage everyday financial tasks such as tracking income and expenses, sending quotes and invoices, and running reports. The software integrates with additional third-party services, which will enable businesses to harness the power of the Internet to sell products online on eBay, send invoices and receive payments electronically, process payroll, run credit reports, work with their accountant, and more -- all from within their accounting application.

"We operate everything with Office Accounting Express," said Arturo Vela, owner of Visible Salon, a company dedicated to the sales and marketing of beauty products. "We make payments to salons and invoice the distributor in New York; we control our warehouse inventory and manage our balance sheet. It's impressive that Microsoft offers this software for no cost at all."

Office Accounting Professional is an even more robust solution for more established businesses and is available for an estimated retail price of $199.95 (U.S.).(2) Both editions are available for download in English (http://www.ideawins.com) and Spanish (http://www.ideawins.com/espanol) in the United States.

According to recent studies, by 2010, there are expected to be 3.2 million Hispanic firms generating $465 billion in revenues.(3) Hispanic-owned firms are continuing to grow at higher rates than the average U.S. firms, and they are expecting higher growth in revenue and labor force than non-Hispanic firms.(4) Demographic trends point to an even greater Hispanic business presence in the future.

"We know that the U.S. small-business market is very diverse, and we want to make sure that Office Accounting 2008 meets the needs of all small businesses in the U.S. That is why we now offer the product in Spanish to help the over 2 million Hispanic small businesses based in the U.S.,"(5) Pinero said.

More than 2 million people downloaded Office Accounting 2007 last year, and the feedback provided by these customers helped influence the 2008 version. Office Accounting 2008 offers many innovative features to help manage a small business:

-- Easy to learn and use
-- Works just like Word, Excel and Outlook
-- Get started in minutes with wizards that import data
-- Sell on eBay in minutes directly from Office Accounting

-- Save time managing everyday tasks
-- Share and reuse data across Word, Excel and Outlook
-- Manage customers and vendors, employees and inventory
-- Pay bills, track expenses, send invoices and bank online

-- Get a complete view of the business
-- Run customizable reports to keep track of business development
-- See all important data in one glance with the Digital Dashboard
-- Get reminders of important deadlines, pending bills and overdue invoices

(1) Latino-Business Barometer United States, 2005, RDA Global
(2) Estimated retail price. Prices vary by reseller.
(3) Small Business Administration, HispanTelligence, 2004
(4) Latino-Business Barometer United States, 2005, RDA Global
(5) U.S. Census Bureau, 2005


viernes, 29 de febrero de 2008

ABSOLUT sees 20/20 in 2008

ABSOLUT(R) VODKA, the world’s most iconic spirits brand, launches ABSOLUT Visionaries, an initiative that engages consumers and some of the world’s leading creative luminaries within the media, arts and entertainment fields to express their clever and daring ideals for life In An ABSOLUT World.

As part of its overall ‘In An ABSOLUT World’ advertising campaign, ABSOLUT will showcase the bold and optimistic projects from style-makers such as Kanye West, Eddie Izzard, Perez Hilton, Pablo Francisco, Jim Denevan, various Live Earth Filmmakers, The Sartorialist and editors from Thrillist.com, Flavorpill.com and Treehugger.com at http://www.absolut.com. ABSOLUT is also encouraging consumers to submit their visions and participate in the dialogue within the interactive online Visionaries community.

“When we created the ‘In An ABSOLUT World’ campaign, we asked ourselves ‘What if everything in the world was approached with the same ideal as we approach ABSOLUT vodka?’ With the Visionaries program, we are opening that question to the rest of the world to spark conversations and challenge the status quo,” said Ian Crystal, Brand Director, ABSOLUT Vodka. “ABSOLUT has a history of collaborating with the artistic community, and we will continue in that tradition, while also inspiring consumers to engage with us and each other.”

Two of the first ABSOLUT Visions will be available to consumers in real time, as well as online. As official sponsor of the Live Earth Film Series, ABSOLUT will be touring the film series, a collection of humorous, pithy and serious dialogues about the effects of global warming, to more than 70 film festivals around the country this year. As well, The ABSOLUT Machines, designed by Dan Paluska and Jeff Lieberman, both with a background from M.I.T., have created the “ABSOLUT Quartet,” an automated multi-instrumental orchestral machine. ‘In An ABSOLUT World Would Machines Be Creative?’ is the question that inspired The ABSOLUT Quartet, which consists of three instruments and thousands of parts working together to create one piece of music, inspired by inputs from online users around the globe. The ABSOLUT Quartet will be available for viewing from February thru April at 186 Orchard Street in New York City.

Below is a list of some of the ABSOLUT Visionaries and their visions:
-- Absolut Machines – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Would Machines Be Creative?’ (http://www.absolutmachines.com)
-- Owen Benjamin – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Everything Would Be ABSOLUT’
-- Andre Des Rochers – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Lonely Loves Lonely’
-- Flavorpill – Flavorpill will be producing a series of 100 visions over the course of the year tied to their mission of covering cutting-edge art, music, fashion and cultural events
-- Zach Galifianakis + Tim & Eric– ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Friends Would Get Together More Often’
-- Lauren Gropper – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Buildings Would Produce Energy Instead of Consuming It’
-- Perez Hilton – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Perez Hilton Is Dead;’ ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Perez Hilton Is A God’
-- Live Earth Filmmakers – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD None Of These Films Would Be Necessary’ (http://www.liveearth.org/films.php)
-- The Sartorialist – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD The Street Is The Runway’
-- Team Facelift – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Everyone Is Too Busy Dancing’
-- Thrillist - ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD All Your Spam Would Be True’
-- TreeHugger – ‘IN AN ABSOLUT WORLD Everything Would Be Downloadable’

Through the ABSOLUT Visionaries program, ABSOLUT aims to create the world's biggest community of visionaries - a dynamic place where everyone, notables and consumers alike, has the chance to rate, comment on, even interact with and improve the visions of everyone else. Once a consumer submits their vision, the vision will be open for viewing and voting. If a vision acquires enough points and is rated among the most interesting, witty, provocative and inspiring, ABSOLUT will then bring that vision to life. Realized Visions will also be posted on http://www.absolut.com.

miércoles, 20 de febrero de 2008

Willey Warns Dems as Clinton Sharpens Attacks on Obama

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After losing a string of ten primaries and caucuses to Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton is looking to regain her footing by competing hard. The NY Times reported today that Senator Clinton did not waste time in signaling that she would now take a tougher line against Senator Obama.

Former White House aide and Democratic fundraiser, Kathleen Willey is concerned not only for Senator Obama, but also for the Democratic Party for which she worked so hard in the past.

"As the Democratic race continues and Hillary seeks to break Obama's momentum," Willey says, "I believe we are going to see a lot more of the same Clinton tactics that I and a number of insiders have experienced."

Indeed, the Clinton camp may have hatched a new strategy. Roger Simon of Politico.com reported that a high-ranking Clinton official said the campaign intends to go after Obama's delegates if they are needed to win the nomination. Simon reported that the Clinton camp sought to get pledged delegates -- not the contested "superdelegates" -- to switch sides, regardless of the states' caucus results.

"Just when the Dems are supposed to be pulling together, the Clintons are doing whatever it takes to get to the top," says Willey. "In their desperation, they are creating another scenario for war within the Democratic party."

In another divisive move, according to the Associated Press, Hillary's advisor Harold Ickes is now contradicting his stance as a member of the Democratic National Committee. In that capacity, Ickes voted to impose sanctions stripping Michigan and Florida of their 313 delegates because they scheduled early primaries without DNC permission. The only candidate to campaign in those states, Hillary won the contests and now needs the delegates so, in a complete about-face, Ickes, a top advisor to Clinton, is now arguing to undo the penalty and allow the delegates to count for,Hillary. According to AP, Ickes' contradictory positions on whether to count the delegates for Hillary "illustrate some of the internal division within the party as Clinton and Obama run neck-in-neck in the Democratic presidential race."

Willey says that when she first started working at the White House as a loyal Democrat, she had the naive belief that the Clintons genuinely cared about the Party above themselves. But, Willey says, it didn't take her long to be disabused of that notion. "When push comes to shove, the Clinton's don't care about the Democratic Party," she adds. "They only care about the Clinton party!"

Willey came to prominence in 1997 after being subpoenaed to testify in the Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton. She is the author of "Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton," by WND Books .

SOURCE Kathleen Willey

New Immigration Web Site Promises Independent Advice for Investors Seeking a Green Card

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Today marks the official launch of (http://www.EveryVisa.com) a web site aimed at the growing need for information on an obscure US visa category called the EB-5 Investor visa.

While the numbers of applicants for this type of entry into the USA are below the current USCIS quota of 3,000, the amount invested in the USA through the EB-5 visa program should reach $1 billion in 2008. With the continued weakness in the dollar, it warrants that foreigners investigate this program as an optimal way to become permanent legal residents while others are simply asking, "What is the EB-5 investor pilot program?"

The visa requires an investment of at least $500,000 into one of 16 or more Regional Centers around the country approved by the USCIS and designed to stimulate a particular local economy. Previously, the problem has been that the regional centers have different advantages and disadvantages that have been difficult to properly identify.

"The original idea behind this new service came from the fact that so many of our E2 visa clients were looking for a more permanent way of living in the United States. The problems they were having included separating the obvious enthusiasm each EB-5 regional center has for their own product from the actual advantages and disadvantages of one center versus another. What we have done with the launch of the EveryVisa web site is create a unique platform where one can examine the differences between the offers without biased views," Said Stephen Parnell, Managing member of Ireeco LLC, owners of the EveryVisa web site.

About EveryVisa.com

Developed by Andrew Bartlett and Stephen Parnell, EveryVisa.com is the only specialist EB-5 visa consultancy combining legal, financial and consumer expertise for emigrants considering investment in the USA as a route to permanent residency or retirement. At a time when the US economy seeks to attract foreign investment, and to focus on legal emigration, the managing members expertise in advising overseas investors in the USA is well recognised. Their worldwide briefings and seminars on the implications of relocating to the USA have highlighted many potentially fraudulent and/or costly mistakes.

SOURCE EveryVisa.com

Majority of Children Live With Two Biological Parents

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 45 million (61 percent) of the nation's 73 million children younger than 18 lived with their biological mother and father in 2004 regardless of the parents' marital status, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.

Of these children, 42.7 million lived with both parents who were married to each other. Another 4.1 million lived with a biological mother and stepfather, according to Living Arrangements of Children: 2004 (http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p70-114.pdf). An additional 19.3 million children lived with one parent, with the majority of those (88 percent) residing with their mother.

There were 12.2 million children (representing 17 percent of all children) who lived with a stepparent, stepsibling and/or half sibling.

Among children in these "blended" families, 71 percent lived with at least a half sibling, 46 percent with a stepparent and 10 percent with a stepsibling.

Other highlights:

Overall, 94 percent of children lived with at least one biological
parent, while 8 percent lived with at least one stepparent and 2 percent lived with
at least one adoptive parent.

As for parents, 30.2 million men lived with at least one of their children younger than 18, compared with 37.8 million women. A higher percentage of the mothers (94 percent) lived with their biological children than the fathers (85 percent).

Most children lived with at least one sibling (79 percent). The majority (64 percent) lived with one or two siblings, while 5 percent lived with four or more siblings. Twelve percent of children younger than 18 lived with a half sibling.

Overall, 13.4 million children lived in extended families containing someone other than their parent or sibling. Of these, about 6.5 million lived with at least one grandparent, with 1.6 million of these children having no parent present.

Approximately 2.2 million children were living with a mother who married, divorced or was widowed in the year prior to the survey date.

Of the 18.7 million children living with their unmarried biological mothers, 18 percent had mothers who were living with unmarried partners. In comparison, of the 4.2 million children living with their unmarried biological fathers, 53 percent were living with fathers who were living with an unmarried partner. Overall, 5 percent of children younger than 18 lived with a cohabiting parent.

These data were collected from June 2004 through September 2004 in the Survey of Income and Program Participation. As in all surveys, these data are subject to sampling and nonsampling error.

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

Leader of Gay Civil Rights Organization to Visit San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The February 21st reception at San Antonio's Church Bistro and Theatre is the first in a series of national forums educating Americans on political efforts to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. military.

The event which will feature Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," will be an opportunity for San Antonio residents to learn about legislative efforts to repeal the law, including the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, the Congressional bill to repeal the law.

"Americans across the country, and right here in San Antonio, are demanding that Congress place military readiness ahead of discrimination," said Sarvis. "This reception represents an opportunity to build grassroots support and engage opinion makers in Central Texas on the efforts of SLDN to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. military."

The Congressional bill, which would repeal the law mandating that the U.S. military fire lesbian and gay employees, currently has the support of 141 Members of Congress, including area Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-25th). Texas is home to more than 66,000 lesbian and gay military veterans. Another 65,000 lesbian and gay service members are estimated to be on active duty and in the reserves of the United States armed forces. Since 1993, more than 12,000 men and women have been dismissed under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an unreasonable and unnecessary law that compromises our national security interests," said Paul Boskind, Ph.D., the events host and SLDN board member. "This reception is the first in a series of similar forums, around the country, which will educate Americans on Congressional efforts to lift the ban."

The reception will be held at the Church Bistro and Theatre at 1150 S. Alamo in San Antonio. Doors open at 6pm.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and related forms of intolerance. For more information, visit http://www.sldn.org.

SOURCE Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Democratic National Committee: McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and Fear Tactics

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain Is Not Going to Use the Same Kind of Divisive Rhetoric and Fear Tactics Bush Republicans Have Used in the Past.

On the campaign trail, John McCain tries to bolster his "maverick" image and brand himself as a "different" kind of Republican by claiming to be above the fear and smear tactics that Bush Republicans have used for the past seven years. In reality, McCain has consistently used exactly the same kind of tactics to try to bring down his opponents and scare the American people when it suits his political needs.

McCain has used this type of divisive rhetoric on Republicans and Democrats alike. Even as McCain is campaigning tonight for a Republican candidate who set a ten-year timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, when it suits his purposes McCain has challenged the motives of critics. McCain said anyone who talks about how long we'll stay in Iraq "does not understand the military," said Romney should "apologize" to our troops in Iraq for comments he made on war strategy, smeared Democrats for their "lack of patriotism" on Iraq, and said they were raising the "white flag" of "surrender." [Foxnews.com, 2/11/08; The New Yorker, 2/25/08; Wall Street Journal, 12/15/08; Chicago Tribune, The Swamp Blog, 1/24/08]

The fact is, John McCain will say anything to try to bring down his opponents -- not the kind of president Americans are looking for.

Myth: John McCain's Track Record and Fear and Smear

In 2004, McCain Called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Claims "Dishonest and Dishonorable." McCain's response to claims made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was to charge that they were "dishonest and dishonorable." [Baltimore Sun, 8/8/2004]

McCain Claims Anyone Talking About How Long Our Troops Will Be in Iraq "Does Not Understand the Military." Campaigning in February, McCain said "Anyone who worries about how long we're in Iraq does not understand the military and does not understand war" and that "the argument is really almost insulting to one's intelligence to say how long we're in Iraq." [Foxnews.com, 2/11/08]

McCain Said Romney Should "Apologize" to Troops in Iraq. After Mitt Romney said President Bush should discuss a timetable for withdrawal privately with the Iraqis, McCain told reporters "He ought to apologize to the men and women who are serving, because they deserve steady and steadfast leadership, particularly when times are tough. And his statement obviously was looking for the blinking exit sign." [The New Yorker, 2/25/08]

McCain Smears Democrats for Their "Lack of Patriotism" on Iraq. When asked at a Wall Street Journal editorial board meeting "what surprised him the most about the behavior of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with regard to Iraq" McCain replied "their lack of patriotism." [Wall Street Journal, 12/15/08]

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org.

This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's

SOURCE Democratic National Committee

McCain Promises Three Times to Veto Any Tax Increase

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - For at least the third time in the last two weeks, Sen. John McCain pledged to veto any tax increase if elected President.

1) On Sunday, Feb. 17, appearing on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," McCain made an unequivocal promise to oppose any tax increase if elected President:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "So on taxes, are you a 'read my lips' candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?"

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: "No new taxes, I do not -- in fact, I could see an argument if our economy continues to deteriorate for lower interest rates, lower tax rates and certainly decreasing corporate tax rates, which are the second-highest in the world, giving people the ability to write off depreciation in a year, elimination of the AMT. There's a lot of things that I would think we should do to relieve that burden, including, obviously, as we all know, simplification of the tax code."

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "But under no circumstances would you increase taxes?"


The video clip of this exchange may be viewed at


2) On Sunday, Feb. 3, during an appearance on Fox News Channel's "Fox
News Sunday," host Chris Wallace had the following exchange with Sen.

CHRIS WALLACE: "As president, will you veto any tax increase passed by
a Democratic Congress?"


The video clip of this exchange may be viewed at

3) Also on Feb. 3, McCain was a guest on CBS's "Face the Nation,"
hosted by Bob Schieffer. Again, he was asked to commit to veto a tax

BOB SCHIEFFER: "Let's just say that you do become president and a Democratic congress raises taxes. What would you do? Would you veto it?"

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: "Sure. Sure I'd veto it. I think if we're gonna be in
some shaky times, and by the way I believe the fundamentals of America's
economy are still strong, then the worst thing you can do is increase taxes
at that time."

The video clip of this exchange may be viewed at


For two decades, ATR has asked all presidential and federal candidates to commit to their constituents, in writing, to oppose any and all efforts
to raise income taxes. Every Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan has made this commitment, as well as over 90 percent of incumbent GOP House and Senate members.

Meanwhile, neither of the two remaining Democrat candidates -- Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- has made any form of commitment, written or otherwise, to veto tax increases.

Americans for Tax Reform is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.

SOURCE Americans for Tax Reform

martes, 5 de febrero de 2008

Mike Huckabee Wins First Super Tuesday Contest

Little Rock, AR – Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee decisively won the first victory of Super Tuesday 2008 by winning West Virginia’s 18 at-large delegates this afternoon.

Earlier today, Huckabee spoke at the West Virginia Republican Convention, emphasizing his positive message of family, life, and freedom which he said “triumphed in the Mountaineer State” and will continue to resonate in numerous Super Tuesday states, from Alabama to Alaska.

“Two days ago, the New York Giants pulled off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history. Today, as pundits write my political obituary, we won a key Super Tuesday victory. Time and time again, my campaign has defied conventional wisdom. We did so in Iowa, after being outspent 20:1, and we did so today by winning what I hope will be the first of many Super Tuesday victories.”

“Our campaign is testament that the American dream is alive and well,” said Huckabee. “Running for President isn’t about who spends the most money or who has the most support on Wall Street or on K Street. If that was the case, the nomination picture would look vastly different.

”This victory was a triumph of Main Street, sending a message that becoming President of the Unites States is about message not money, principles not politics, and courage not convenience. Luckily for America, in places like Iowa and West Virginia, voters lead example and do the right thing regardless of what the pundits might say,” said Huckabee.

Source: www.mikehuckabee.com

Hillary Clinton Encourages Americans to Report Voting Problems on Campaign Website

Hillary Clinton today encouraged voters to visit her campaign website to report any and all voting irregularities. Voters can report problems at www.hillaryclinton.com/pollingproblems.

"I ask all Americans to contact my campaign if they have trouble voting," said Clinton. "My volunteers and staff will make a best effort to respond and contact election authorities when appropriate. Americans should not be denied the opportunity to vote because of election problems or irregularities. All Americans deserve to have their voices heard."

Source: www.hillaryclinton.com

viernes, 1 de febrero de 2008

Hillary Clinton Statement on January Employment Report

Today's report that our economy actually lost jobs in January confirms my view that we are sliding into a second Bush recession. During the same month that President Bush declared that the state of our union was strong, the economy lost 17,000 jobs, the worst jobs performance in four and a half years.

This data shows what so many of the families I meet every day already know: this economy is failing middle class families. Washington must act immediately and aggressively to head off our growing economic crisis.

This report underscores why it is absolutely critical that we include in any stimulus package extended unemployment insurance for those who are losing their jobs and looking work in our ailing economy. And while I am heartened to see that the House moved quickly to pass a stimulus package, we need more than tax rebates and business incentives to fix our ailing economy. That is why I have called for expanding heating assistance for those facing skyrocketing heating cost, and enacting a comprehensive solution to the housing crisis, including a 90-day foreclosure moratorium and a 5-year interest rate freeze on subprime mortgages.

Source: www.hillaryclinton.com

Obama Statement On New Jobs Report

Chicago, IL - Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement on this morning's jobs report.

"This morning's jobs report brings very troubling news for the economy and for working families who are struggling under the last seven years of George Bush's failed economic policies, as we lost 17,000 jobs and saw negative job growth for the first time in since August of 2003. This news comes after a day where we learned that we had the slowest economic growth since 2002. It underscores the urgent need for Congress to extend unemployment benefits for more time and to more people as part of any economic stimulus package, something I called for in my own plan three weeks ago. It is time to provide immediate relief to families who are struggling in this economy, and it's time to turn the page on the failed Bush policies of tax breaks for those who didn't need them and didn't ask for them so we can put America back on the path to prosperity and opportunity."

Source: www.barackobama.com