SAO PAULO — Some of the biggest demonstrations since the end of Brazil's 1964-85 dictatorship have broken out across this continent-sized country, uniting tens of thousands frustrated by poor transportation, health services, education and security despite a heavy tax burden.
More than 100,000 people were in the streets Monday for largely peaceful protests in at least eight big cities. However, demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte were marred by vandalism and violent clashes with police.
About two dozen people were reported injured.
The wave of protests, which began over a hike in bus prices, was also in large part motivated by widespread images of Sao Paulo police last week beating demonstrators and firing rubber bullets during a march that drew 5,000. In Rio, the violent police crackdown on a small and peaceful crowd Sunday near the Maracana stadium incited many to come out for what local news media described as the city's largest protest in a generation.
Tuesday's newspapers and morning news shows were filled with images of clashes between demonstrators and police in Rio, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte. The vast majority of Rio's protesters were peaceful, but a small group of demonstrators attacked the state legislature building, setting a nearby car and other objects ablaze. The newspaper O Globo cited Rio state security officials as saying at least 20 officers and 10 protesters were injured there.
Monday's protests came during soccer's Confederations Cup and just one month before a papal visit, a year before the World Cup and three years ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The unrest is raising security concerns and renewed questions over Brazil's readiness to host the mega-events.
A cyber-attack knocked the government's official World Cup site offline, and the Twitter feed for Brazil's Anonymous group posted links to a host of other government websites whose content had been replaced by a screen calling on citizens to come out to the streets.
In a brief statement late Monday, President Dilma Rousseff acknowledged the demonstrations, saying: "Peaceful demonstrations are legitimate and part of democracy. It is natural for young people to demonstrate." Rousseff recently saw her popularity rating recently dip for the first time in her presidency, largely over sluggish growth, increasing inflation and security worries. Rousseff faces re-election next year.
Brazilians have long tolerated pervasive corruption, but in about 40 million Brazilians have moved out of poverty and into the middle class over the past decade and they have begun to demand more from government. Many are angry that billions of dollars in public funds are being spent to host the World Cup and Olympics while few improvements are made elsewhere.
In Rio, the confrontation between police and a small group of protesters dragged on late into the night despite sporadic rain. As the group moved on the state legislature building, footage broadcast by the Globo television network showed police firing into the air. At least one demonstrator in Rio was injured after being hit in the leg with a live round allegedly fired by a law enforcement official.
Local news media reported that a high school student in Maceio was shot in the face after a motorist forced his way through the demonstrators' barricade. Protesters were raining fists down on the car when a shot was fired. The extent of the 16-year-old's injuries were not immediately known.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic hub, at least 65,000 protesters gathered Monday at a small, treeless plaza then broke into three directions in a Carnival atmosphere, with drummers beating out samba rhythms as people chanted anti-corruption jingles. They also railed against the action that sparked the first protests last week: a 10-cent hike in bus and subway fares.
Thousands of protesters in the capital, Brasilia, peacefully marched on Congress. Dozens scrambled up a ramp to a low-lying roof, clasping hands and raising their arms, the light from below sending their elongated shadows onto the structure. Some congressional windows were broken, but police did not use force.
"This is a communal cry saying: `We're not satisfied,'" Maria Claudia Cardoso said on a Sao Paulo avenue, taking turns waving a sign reading "(hash)revolution" with her 16-year-old son, Fernando, as protesters streamed by.
"We're massacred by the government's taxes, yet when we leave home in the morning to go to work, we don't know if we'll make it home alive because of the violence," she added. "We don't have good schools for our kids. Our hospitals are in awful shape. Corruption is rife. These protests will make history and wake our politicians up to the fact that we're not taking it anymore!"
Protest leaders repeatedly warned marchers that damaging public or private property would only hurt their cause. Many Brazilians were angry over Sao Paulo's first protests last week after windows were broken and buildings spray-painted.
Police, too, changed tactics. In Sao Paulo, commanders said publicly before the protest they would try to avoid violence, but could resort to force if protesters destroyed property. There was barely any perceptible police presence at the start of Monday's demonstration.
In Belo Horizonte, police estimated about 20,000 people took part in a peaceful protest before a Confederations Cup match between Tahiti and Nigeria. Earlier in the day, demonstrators erected several barricades of burning tires on a nearby highway, disrupting traffic.
Protests also were reported in Curitiba, Vitoria, Fortaleza, Recife, Belem and Salvador.
Associated Press writers Jenny Barchfield in Rio de Janeiro, Marco Sibaja in Brasilia and Jill Langlois in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.
Julieta Venegas is widely recognized by her distinctive Mexican-American sound. She is a multi-instrumentalist focusing mainly on the piano, the guitar and her signature instrument: the accordion. She has made multiple collaborations with Latin artists, composed for theater and created many film soundtracks.
The 42-year-old singer/songwriter’s latest album, “Los Momentos Julieta Venegas” released earlier this year, perhaps best demonstrates she has come full circle as a woman and artist.
“Having a child kind of gives you like a good — ack! It totally shook me up and just took all my fears away creatively. It just made me fearless, somehow,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t know if it has to do with being a mom or it just has to do with growing up…”
Since the beginning of her career, Venegas’ music has been introspective and full of personal messages — qualities which have women identifying with and relating to her music.
“I have a pending date with my solitude to see who I am when nobody is watching,” writes Venegas in her song “A Donde Sea.”
Venegas, born on November 24, 1970 in Long Beach, Calif. to Mexican parents, grew up in Tijuana. At the age of eight, she began playing the piano and studying music theory. She has four more siblings and a twin sister, but none of them chose music as their careers. It was through a friend in high school that Venegas was invited to play with “Chantaje” — the original “Tijuana No” — a band whose musical style was ska and reggae.
But it wasn’t until she moved to Mexico City, where she continues to live, that Venegas was discovered by BMG records in 1996. She began to seriously pursue her own songwriting, which led to her first album, “Aquí,” produced in Los Angeles by Argentine Gustavo Santaolalla. From then on, Venegas helped invent modern Mexican rock music, with all its special charisma and traditional instruments.
Venegas, along with bands like Café Tacuba, created a Mexican alternative rock. Mexican rock had been, until then, an Anglo-American simple copy, with no local flavor. But then came Venegas, introducing a world of sensitivity and traditional instrumental sounds; thus inventing this new Mexican rock.
“Behind her sweet voice she hides lyrics strong enough to make male chauvinists run away in fear,” wrote Ciao.
Her most popular singles are “Eres Para Mi” and “Me Voy,” released by Gold Records in Mexico. She has also won one Grammy and Five Latino Grammys.
Venegas splits her time with various humanitarian organizations like the foundation ALAS and the Red Cross. She was named a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in 2009, and in 2011, the Cabinet of the Women of Central America (COMMCA) named her Goodwill Cultural Ambassador — two titles she holds dearly.
“It’s a big honor to be named as Ambassador by UNICEF and be part of such a valuable work. I believe UNICEF’s achievements are very important and I am thrilled to help to this cause anyway I can do it,” said Venegas when named Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in 2009.
It’s said that Julieta Venegas has musicianship to spare. Her worldwide record sales are estimated to be greater than 10 million. She, however, seems unconcerned with such fuss and chatter as she is simply busy and focused on her new projects that include contributing four or five songs to a Mexican animated children’s film and working on music for another feature film, which she’s not yet at liberty to name, as she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
But after much success and a career that spans about 10 years and eight albums, Venegas finds herself in a legal battle with her ex, Argentine musician Rodrigo Garcia Prieto, who demands the shared custody of Simona, their three-year-old daughter. In addition to custody, Prieto wants the baby to have his last name, since Julieta registered Simona with only the child’s maternal last name.
Venegas has taken Mexican rock to a whole new level, but further than that, she is able to sing from her soul and stroke one’s heart with her lyrics and music.
Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/julieta-venegas-jewel-mexican-rock-music/#ixzz2WZf3za8l
Pundits left and right have embraced the notion that the Republican Party has a strong political interest in passing comprehensive immigration reform. As the argument goes, the GOP lost a good shot at the presidency in 2012 because of a pro-Obama shift among Latino voters, which itself was a reaction to the GOP’s increasingly anti-immigration stance.
There is circumstantial evidence backing that view. According to exit polls, the share of Latino voters supporting the GOP candidate dropped from approximately 40 percent in 2004 to 27 percent in 2012. An election eve phone survey by Latino Decisions in 2012 put Mitt Romney’s share even lower, at 23 percent.
Still, others doubt that a visible repositioning by the GOP would lead to a sizable change in Latino voting patterns. That’s the view of Matt Continetti, who argued in The Weekly Standard that “[i]llegal immigration is not the reason Hispanic voters support the Democratic party. Hispanic voters support the Democratic party because they tend to agree with its domestic policy agenda of redistributing money to the middle class and needy.” The question then becomes, why have exit polls recorded such a shift in Latino support over the past few presidential elections? If the Latino electorate is shifting away from the GOP primarily because of changes in its composition, and not changes in the preferences of individual Latino voters, Continetti could be onto something.
So what does the evidence say about how Latinos have responded to changes in the GOP stance on immigration? Here, I look at two examples, both of which tell a similar story. Latino voters do turn anti-Republican in reaction to Republicans who are perceived to turn anti-immigration.
The first example comes from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2004, the Phoenix-area official was reelected with 57 percent of the vote. Beginning in 2005, he gained national attention for a crackdown on unauthorized immigration that included sweeps of day laborer centers and well-known detention facilities. In 2008, he was reelected with 55 percent of the vote. But what about his Latino constituents?
To get a sense of their voting patterns, I merged precinct-level election returns in those two elections with Census data on local demographics. Taking into account the GOP presidential candidate’s performance in each precinct and other demographic measures, I then estimated the relationship between each precinct’s percent Latino and its support for Sheriff Arpaio.
Even before the crackdown, Joe Arpaio’s support declined as precincts grew more Latino. Moving from a precinct that is 25 percent Latino to one that is 75 percent Latino, we would expect him to lose about 5 percentage points in 2004 once we adjust for presidential partisanship and other demographics. After the crackdown, that same figure grew to 8 percentage points. America’s Toughest Sheriff does seem to have paid a penalty in Latino precincts in 2008, even in a local race that wasn’t very competitive—and even though he had relatively little Latino support to begin with.
Still, there are limitations to precinct-level studies. Chief among them, we don’t know which individuals’ choices are changing, or whether the changes are instead driven by who is turning out to vote. So let’s turn to panel data, data which surveys the same individuals at multiple points in time. In October 2012, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University fielded one wave of an ongoing panel survey that had begun in 2008. Using this Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics data, we can investigate how the same voters’ choices changed from 2008 to 2012.
I focus on respondents who were McCain supporters just prior to the 2008 election, and trace their presidential preferences to October 2012, during the height of the presidential campaign. The figure below shows which demographic attributes predict heightened or diminished support for Governor Romney. Arrows to the right indicate groups of McCain supporters who were more likely to remain in the GOP camp. We see that older McCain voters were especially likely to stick with Romney, and that swing state residents were less likely to do so.
Still, the question at hand is whether the Latino respondents became less likely to support the GOP ticket in 2012, after Arizona’s SB1070 and Romney’s advocacy of “self-deportation.” As it turns out, Latino McCain supporters were more likely to leave the GOP camp than any other demographic group analyzed here. McCain supporters who were not Latino stuck with Romney 84 percent of the time, while the senator’s Latino backers only stayed with Romney 70 percent of the time.
There are caveats to that conclusion. The data include 80 Latinos who backed McCain, and so the estimates carry some uncertainty: the effect of being Latino is actually positive 5 times out of 100. But the estimated effect is sizable. And it suggests that it’s not just that the composition of the Latino electorate has been changing. Individual Latino voters have moved away from the GOP in recent years.
Now, was it the GOP’s stance on immigration that influenced Latino voters? The panel isn’t conclusive on that point. We know only that Latino voters left the GOP, not why. But considered alongside the Arpaio results, the different voting trends among non-Hispanic whites, and polls showing the importance of immigration to Latino voters, it’s certainly a leading explanation. And what the panel does show is that changes in Latino voting are the product of changing minds as well as changing demographics. To some extent, to say that Latinos voters are lost to the GOP is to ignore recent electoral history.
Part 3: How is a Short Sale Seller's Credit Affected?
Whereas a short sale involves offering the home for sale, generally listed through MLS. Potential home buyers will make appointments to view the home, some will make lowball offers, agents might hold open houses and, in general, a seller's life will be disrupted, all in the hopes that a buyer will buy the home.
Basics of a Short Sale
Short sales happen when a lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed against the home because there is not enough equity to sell and pay all costs of sale. Not all lenders will negotiate a short sale, and that is why a real estate agent or a lawyer can be a tremendous help by contacting the lender's loss mitigation department to find out.
You can't just wake up one morning and decide you're going to sell your home at a loss by asking for a short sale. It used to be that lenders wouldn't even consider a short sale if your payments are current, but that has changed. However, realize that lenders will be more agreeable to negotiation if your payments are in arrears. Plus, if you have cash assets, the lender might try to tap those accounts.
How is a Short Sale Seller's Credit Affected?
Fair Isaac released a report that says credit scores are affected about the same, whether a seller does a short sale or foreclosure. Fair Issac says the average points lost on a FICO score are as follows:
30 days late: 40 to 110 points
90 days late: 70 to 135 points
Foreclosure, short sale or deed-in-lieu: 85 to 160
Bankruptcy: 130 to 240
Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Both of these solutions affect credit the same, says David Steep of Vitek Mortgage. Sellers will take a hit of 200 to 300 points, depending on overall condition of credit. This means if a seller's FICO score before foreclosure was 680, it could dip as low as 380.
Steep maintains that the effect of a short sale (providing the sellers are more than 59 days late) on a seller's credit report is identical to that of a foreclosure. The ding on credit will show up as a pre-foreclosure in redemption status, Steep says, which will result in a loss of 200 to 300 points. This means a short sale seller with a previous FICO of 720 could see it fall from 520 to 420.
My personal experience has been somewhat different. I completed a short sale for a Sacramento seller who was 90 days behind on her mortgage. A few months after her short sale closed, she checked her credit report and found her FICO fell by only 100 points to 671. I suspect every seller's situation varies.
Catherine Coy, a mortgage broker in southern California, agrees with Steep. "The effect on a consumer's credit report -- foreclosure vs. short sale -- is the difference between being hit by a train or a bus," says Coy, speaking about borrowers who are a few months in arrears.
Waiting Period Before Buying Another Home
Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Steep says a seller who wants to buy another home after foreclosure will end up waiting about 24 to 72 months before a lender will offer any kind of interest rate that makes sense.
Coy says, "The good news is a short sale will allow the consumer to obtain an institutional loan for a new home within two years".
For more information, see the Fannie Mae Selling Guide online. Click on the PDF link in the yellow box and see page 75.
Some agents say the good news for short sale sellers is the wait is much shorter before buying another home, and Fannie Mae guidelines in 2008 adopted new procedures.
Can a seller buy again in less than two years? Not really, says Coy, "It's an utter myth that a consumer 'can buy again in about 18 months at a good interest rate.' However, Fannie Mae guidelines now require only 24 months' seasoning, and that's good news for agents who specialize in short sales."
FHA adopted guidelines in 2010 that say a seller who is current and does a short sale may qualify to immediately buy another home. Lenders aren't so quick to follow those guidelines. However, Flagstar Bank gave an Elk Grove short sale seller a new loan within 2 months of closing his short sale, and that seller was current at the time.
Note that Fannie Mae guidelines allow a seller to immediately apply for a new loan to buy another home if that seller kept the payments current, had no delinquencies exceeding 30 days and did not agree to repay the debt relief. Moreover, it's the late payments that dramatically affect your credit report, not the short sale.
Foreclosure or Short Sale Decision
If you're a seller trying to decide whether to let a home go through foreclosure versus attempting a short sale, salvaging your credit may not be an advantage to doing a short sale, says Coy. She reports that according to "Score Factor Code #22, there's no credit score advantage for a delinquent borrower on a short sale over a foreclosure."
I have my doubts about that, though. From what I've seen, there is less damage to a credit report after a short sale involving late pays than a foreclosure. Moreover, another advantage for those with delinquencies on their credit is the ability to buy another home within 2 years over the 5- to 7-year period required for foreclosures. And there are other short sale advantages over a foreclosure. But seek legal and tax advice before making that decision.
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The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.
The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona's voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal "Motor Voter" voter registration law.
Federal law "precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself," Justice Antonia Scalia wrote for the court's majority.
The court was considering the legality of Arizona's requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal "motor voter" registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which doesn't require such documentation, trumps Arizona's Proposition 200 passed in 2004.
Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.
The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states - Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee - have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating such legislation.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented from the court's ruling.
The Constitution "authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied," Thomas said in his dissent.
Opponents of Arizona's law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly. They say they've counted more than 31,000 potentially legal voters in Arizona who easily could have registered before Proposition 200 but were blocked initially by the law in the 20 months after it passed in 2004. They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were Latino.
But Arizona officials say they should be able to pass laws to stop illegal immigrants and other noncitizens from getting on their voting rolls. The Arizona voting law was part of a package that also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting.
The federal "motor voter" law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a driver's license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law - the one at issue before the court - requires states to allow would-be voters to fill out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn't require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200, Arizona officials require an Arizona driver's license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will reject the federal registration application form.
Arizona can ask the federal government to include the extra documents as a state-specific requirement, Scalia said, and take any decision made by the government on that request back to court.
The case is 12-71, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
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