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WORD ON THE STREET

Employment for Hispanic youth improves! The unemployment rate for Hispanic youths (age 16 to 19) dropped dramatically in February to 14.0 percent from 19.1 percent in January. This resulted from two effects: a gain of 24,000 jobs and the departure from the labor force of 33,000 youths.  For more info, visit: www.hispanicbusiness.com

Popular telenovela “La Madrastra” comes out on DVD March 21st courtesy of Xenon Pictures, Inc. and Televisa Home Entertainment. The box-set includes 11 hours of content, English subtitles and bonus features.

Bachelet Becomes Chile’s First Female President!  A physician who survived torture and exile as a young woman became Chile’s first female president Saturday, adding to a wave of women politicians gaining powerful positions in Latin America. Having won a January run-off election with 53.5 percent of the vote, Michelle Bachelet wasted no time building on her historic election Saturday. Soon after accepting her country’s presidential sash, she named a cabinet comprising equal numbers of men and women, a first in Chilean history.

Ricardo Arjona received the ASCAP Latin Heritage Award last week at the performing rights organization’s annual El Premio ASCAP awards for the most played Latin songs of the year. Daddy Yankee was recognized as Songwriter of the Year, his song “Lo Que Pasó, Pasó” was Song of the Year, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing walked away with Publisher of the Year.

Stop sexual harrasment! The Mexican government tackles the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace with a new media campaign, launched last week on International Women’s Day, featuring inflatable sex dolls dressed in office attire and shown in office settings. The dolls are meant to emphasize that women are not lifeless sex objects and should not be treated as such. The ads also remind the public that sexual harassment is a crime.

Buena Vista International Television Latin America announced plans to re-create Desperate Housewives for audiences in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. Each version of the show will feature a unique cast and cultural references for its particular market. Production of the Argentine version begins in April in Buenos Aires and is scheduled to air as early as this summer.

Regional Mexican star Lupillo Rivera and TV personality Candela Ferro will host this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards which will be broadcast on Telemundo live from Miami on April 27th.
Penelope Cruz will star in Pedro Almodovar’s latest film “Volver” as she returns to Spanish Cinema after working on several Hollywood productions in recent years. The actress sparked some criticism after commenting that European roles require a certain depth that she has yet to find in American movie roles.

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