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Entries by Roque Planas

Benicio Del Toro's Weird Accent In ‘The Usual Suspects' Should Have Won The Oscar For Best Foreign Film

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 1:57 PM

The Oscars are only a few weeks away, which means you probably can’t stop thinking about Benicio del Toro.

While del Toro may have won an Academy Award for “Traffic,” his performance as Fred Fenster in the 1995 film "The Usual Suspects" is arguably his masterpiece. In...

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Arizona Tried To Keep KRS-One Out Of Classrooms, So He Went There Himself

(15) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 5:56 PM

Arizona education officials may say it’s illegal to teach his writing, but KRS-One isn’t backing away.

The hip host artist offered a three-hour lecture to students at Tucson’s Cholla Magnet High School Wednesday where he discussed the origins of the music genre and addressed the district’s controversy...

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Advocates Rally Around Transgender Migrant Woman Detained In All-Male Facility

(93) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 10:46 AM

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has refused to release a transgender migrant woman from detention in an all-male facility, even though advocates say she has a credible asylum claim and has faced abuse from guards and fellow detainees.

The case of Nicoll Hernández-Polanco, an asylum seeker detained in Florence, Arizona,...

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Scholars To Fox News: Writing About White People Doesn't Make You Racist

(226) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 6:03 PM

A Fox News host raised alarm bells Friday over a university course that studies whiteness, saying that the titles of the books used in the class make it clear that the syllabus aims to stoke anti-white resentment among students.

But the authors of two of those books, one...

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Fox News Raises Alarm Over College Course About Race

(561) Comments | Posted January 24, 2015 | 6:28 PM

Fox News is raising alarm bells over an Arizona college course that studies whiteness.

The network’s “Fox and Friends” show ran a segment Friday titled “Trouble with Schools,” criticizing an Arizona State University course called “U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness,” portraying it as an...

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The U.S. Should Give Guantánamo Back to Cuba, Its Rightful Owner

(40) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 4:52 PM

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama once again called for the U.S. to shut down the military prison at Guantánamo, Cuba. Most human rights advocates would agree that jailing people indefinitely without trial, at times in solitary confinement or other

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'Jane The Virgin' Pauses Mid-Episode To Drive Home The Need For Immigration Reform

(9) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 2:11 PM

Much like its Golden Globe-winning star, “Jane The Virgin” isn't afraid to speak out on controversial issues.

The CW dramedy returned from its midseason break this week. In Monday's episode, the show took a stand on a hot-button topic: immigration reform.

...
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The Ridiculous SOTU Spanish Subtitles Made Us Laugh And Cry At The Same Time

(15) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 12:14 AM

The White House YouTube account offered a version of Tuesday's state of the union speech with Spanish subtitles.

But as the bloggers at Latino Rebels immediately noticed, the closed-captioning was atrocious.

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House Republicans Backtrack About Spanish-Language Rebuttal To State Of The Union

(35) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 7:09 PM

Republicans' Spanish-language rebuttal to this year's State of the Union address will come largely from a politician who wants to make English the official language of the United States and sued to keep her state from printing voting materials in other languages.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa),...

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Pope Francis: Crossing Into U.S. From Mexico Would Be A ‘Beautiful Gesture'

(22) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 12:50 PM

Pope Francis told a group of reporters Monday that he doesn’t plan to travel to Mexico this year.

But next time he does visit, the pope raised the possibility of walking across the U.S.-Mexico border to show support for immigrants, according to a report from Spanish newswire...

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Migration From Cuba Surges Amid Rumors Of End To ‘Wet Foot, Dry Foot' Policy

(68) Comments | Posted January 18, 2015 | 5:53 PM

The number of Cubans attempting to cross the 90-mile stretch of water separating the island from the United States has risen sharply following the two governments' agreement to resume normal diplomatic relations, according to figures reported by the U.S. Coast Guard.

U.S. officials attribute the rise to rumors that...

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Here's How To Travel To Cuba Without Getting Fined

(34) Comments | Posted January 17, 2015 | 11:47 AM

Under new rules adopted by the Obama administration Friday, most Americans who want to go to Cuba can find a way to do so -- even though a series of laws restricting travel technically remain in effect.

Travel to Cuba for years has been restricted by laws preventing Americans...

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California Bill Would Require High Schools To Offer Ethnic Studies

(36) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 4:49 PM

Conservatives hoping to shut down Mexican-American studies in Arizona are inadvertently helping spread ethnic studies curricula across the country.

California Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D) proposed a law last week that would require public schools in the state to offer elective courses in ethnic studies for students in grades seven...

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Family Detention Center In Texas Is 'Utterly Unnecessary,' Says Immigration Attorney

(6) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 6:12 PM

With a planned capacity of 2,400 beds to hold mothers and children, the immigrant detention center that recently opened in Dilley, Texas, is the largest in the country.

But immigrant rights groups say the facility is largely unnecessary.

A large number of the undocumented children and...

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Arizona Education Officials Say It's Illegal To Recite This Poem In School

(383) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 2:06 PM

The outgoing head of Arizona’s education department caught national attention earlier this month when, on his last day in office, he issued a letter saying that Tucson’s public schools are illegally promoting ethnic solidarity and the overthrow of the U.S. government by teaching Mexican history and hip hop....

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Arizona's Mexican-American Studies Ban Questioned By Appeals Judges

(36) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 10:16 PM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dozens of ethnic studies supporters on Monday packed a courtroom at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel’s questions suggested skepticism of Arizona's claim that a state law banning a Mexican-American curriculum wasn't intended to discriminate.

Erwin Chemerinsky, the attorney for students who...

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Teachers Of Banned Mexican-American Classes Push To Expand Ethnic Studies

(41) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 6:38 PM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Teachers of a controversial Mexican-American studies program outlawed by the Arizona legislature are pressing to spread similar programs across the country.

As the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers a challenge to Arizona's ethnic studies law, about 150 teachers, students and activists gathered Saturday at...

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Arizona's Former Education Chief Explains Why He Called For The End Of Spanish

(544) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 7:31 AM

Last week, the outgoing head of Arizona's Department of Education issued a letter saying some Tucson public schools were illegally promoting ethnic solidarity and the overthrow of the U.S. government by teaching Mexican history, rock lyrics and a rapper's essay.

For John Huppenthal, it was the final official...

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Why It Doesn't Really Matter If Republicans Defund A U.S. Embassy In Cuba

(9) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 4:40 PM

Some Republicans hope to use the power of the purse to thwart President Barack Obama’s opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba. But experts say they'll have a tough time doing it.

Prominent Republicans in the U.S. Senate, including Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and...

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Obama Should Condemn Enrique Peña Nieto's Human Rights Record, Advocates Say

(34) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 7:29 PM

A year and a half ago, Nansi Cisneros moved to Mexico to look for her brother. She was 32, and she’d lived in Los Angeles almost her entire life. Her brother Javier, however, had been deported to Mexico about seven years earlier. He'd made a new life there as a...

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