John Rodriguez

Latino Population Rising in the South

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America is becoming more Latino these days, but no area is getting more of the Latino settlers than the good ole South.

 

According to data released last week by the Pew Hispanic Trends Project, Alabama was at the very top of the list out of a listing of 10 States with the fastest growing Hispanic Populations from 2000 to 2011.

 

Also, the gathered data showed that not one state amongst the list or research showed a significant decline of their Latino population. However, the data is not up-to-date regarding the time in-between 2011 and to the present.

 

While Alabama may be at the top having the most Latinos living in the state, the state just passed one of its strictest laws some are calling Draconian (Harsh). Aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration, the law follows in the footsteps of Arizona’s SB 1070 bill which permitted law enforcement to “question” any “suspected” illegal citizens.

 

According to the New York Times, the introduction of the law caused an exodus of Latinos residing in the state which may require a re-research on the findings.

 

Despite the immigration laws being passed that is upsetting the livelihood of Latinos, there is a booming growth in the south. The U.S. southwest remains the leading region of Latinos residing with states like New Mexico holding the highest population of 46.7% Latinos. Following after New Mexico is Texas, California, and Arizona.

 

While the data may not include 2012 and 2013, the surveys regarding the Latino population rising in the country since the result of the 2012 election showed Latinos being the powerhouse for votes is steadily coming true.

 

Kim Kardashian look-alike leads a cartel killing squad

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When you look at Claudia Ochoa Felix you may think ‘wow, she kinda looks like the Latina version of Kim Kardashian’ and you wouldn’t be alone in that thought. However, when you look at Ochoa Fox would you ever think that she could be the leader of an elite murdering squad used regularly by a Mexican drug cartel?

If you said no, well you’re not alone in that thought either.

With long sleek brown hair, intense eyes, and a curvy body, Ochoa Fox has become somewhat of a media sensation. Apart from being described as the doppelganger of Kim Kardashian, Ochoa Fox recent popularity stems from allegations that she is the new ruler of a known Mexican killing squad known as, Los Ántrax .

Reports have been circulating that Ochoa Fox, aged 27 and mother of three, is now the leader of Los Ántrax which has been reported as being under the employ of the Sinaloa Cartel, a coldblooded drug cartel, in Mexico to do their murderous bidding.

Listed as one of Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking organizations in the world, by the U.S. authorities, The Sinaloa Cartel has protected and have hired members of the killer squad Los Ántrax to carry out their assignments and to ensure their reign remains.

Allegedly, Ochoa Fox—also known as La Emperatriz—acquired the leadership of Los Ántrax after her well-known hit-man boyfriend, Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa was arrested and taken to prison. After Gamboa’s arrest, Ochoa Fox is said to have taken over Los Ántrax despite the Latina vehement denial that she has any affiliation to the cartel.

Photo of Claudia Ochoa Felix, or La Emperatriz, the alleged new leader of Los Ántrax surrounded by armed men.

Photo of Claudia Ochoa Felix, or La Emperatriz, the alleged new leader of Los Ántrax surrounded by armed men.

Despite making claims that she and Gamboa are nothing more than friends, Ochoa Fox’s word has been questioned due to an incident and photos of the Latina.

On her social media accounts, particularly Instagram, Ochoa Fox there are photos of Ochoa Fox posed in ways similar to Kardashian while wielding AKA-47 that has been personalized colored pink. Also, on such sites Ochoa Fox has posted updates discussing her luxurious yet reportedly dangerous lifestyle.

But sites like Facebook and apps like Instagram aren’t the only things linking Ochoa Fox to being the new leader of Los Ántrax. Another reason as to why Ochoa Fox may be connected to Los Ántrax is due to a murder-gone-wrong incident.

Recently, there was an alleged hit made on Ochoa Fox’s life when gunmen grabbed a young woman who looked similar to Ochoa Fox. The young woman hooded gunmen snatched was named, Yuriana Castillo.The woman’s body was later found behind a school body; she had been tortured before her death.

But for Ochoa Fox the claims regarding her link to Gamboa and reports that she is the new leader of Los Ántrax is simply false.

According to Ríodoce, a Mexican newspaper that focuses on the Drug War in Sinaloa, Mexico and based in Sinola’s city of Culiacán, a press conference was held by Ochoa Fox and her attorney in response to the recent attention she has received in the media.

During the press conference, Ochoa Fox and her lawyer stated that Ochoa Fox’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts had been cloned and were being used to defame her.

According to Ochoa Fox, the photos in questions are a discredit to her life since she does not live a life of luxury and does not have armed men surrounding her; the latter statement refers to a photo of Ochoa Fox posed in a chair surrounded by hooded men wearing bulletproof vests. Also, Ochoa Fox has stated that many photos on the cloned accounts are not photos of hers at all.

Since the released statement at the press conference the social media accounts where these photos were once posted have been deleted. Ochoa Fox’s lawyer has also stated in the press conference that Ochoa Fox will be working with Mexican authorities to uncover the true culprit who created the accounts and published the false photos.

Now, in the matter of Yuriana Castillo there are reports that Castillo, much like Ochoa Fox, was a close associate of Gamboa. But the true nature of their relationship is yet unknown.

Whether Ochoa Fox is the new leader of Los Ántrax or merely an innocent Instagram users who likes talking selfies with guns, time will tell since it seems like Ochoa Fox will not be going anywhere any time soon much like her overnight sensation counterpart Kim Kardashian.

New York’s Mom & Pop Businesses are Being Replaced by BIG Corporations

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Hey! Want to grab a bite to eat at the original 2nd Avenue Deli in the East Village?

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How about we grab some lunch at Manatus restaurant on Bleecker Street?

Then maybe grab something from Ralph’s Discount City up in TriBeca?

And why not stop by the great home of punk rock CBGB in the East Village, yeah?

Well, you kind of can’t anymore since these notable New York City landmarks are no longer around.

Considered local fixtures in the neighborhoods, familiar and popular mom-and-pop stores, diners, restaurants, and shops are slowly becoming extinct in the evolving city due to staggering rent hikes and a lackluster economy. Unable to withstand the hardship, many of these familiar shops are being replaced by big name corporations like Subway or Dunkin Donunts or banks like Chase and Capital One.

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In their photo book Store Front – The Disappearing Face of New York, photographers James T. and Karla L. Murray take readers on a visual tour of some of the familiar and irreplaceable store fronts that line street after street of New York City.

Choosing places that “look like they’ve been around forever” the duo has in a way allowed such locales to exist forever in photographic form. Organized by borough and then subdivided into neighborhoods, the photographic book poses as an encyclopedia of sorts that manages to preserves the now extinct shops that have become replaced by commercial businesses.

“The purpose of the photos in the before and after project is to clearly spell out and provide documentation of not only what storefronts have been lost but also what is often lacking in what replaces them,” said the photographers.

The book depicts the dramatic alteration in the appearance of many familiar local spots in New York City. From 2001 to 2007, the book contains a good decade of how scathing rental prices are forcing out mom-and-pop shops which are being replaced with chain stores belonging to commercial businesses.

The shop-owners frequently acknowledged that they were at the mercy of their landlords and the ever-increasing rents they charged,” and if the shop-owners could not meet the increasing rent, “big rent hikes meant that many small businesses closed to be replaced by chain stores or banks, which could afford the higher rent.

According to the book, Max Fish, a bar located on the Lower East Side is an example of being a victim to rising rent costs. The bar opened in 1989 and its rent was a mere $2,000 a month, however after a series of rent increases and being opened for a good 24 years the bar closed with a reported $16,000 rent cost. The rent was due to increase again if the bar remained opened.

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Until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss,” explained the Murrays, discussing how powerful the images taken are when you show what was beside the what is.

The two also add, “the trend we noticed very early on while photographing the original stores was that if the shop-owner did not own the entire building, their business was already in jeopardy.

Mom-and-pop shops are not the only familiar local spots being replaced by commercial businesses. Late last year, 5 Pointz–5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ or the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center–was an outdoor graffiti haven considered an art cultural center to many was white-washed—the numerous art pieces that were spray-painted on its wall was marked out with white paint—by the builders owners.

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The white-washing came after 5 Pointz owner and supporters lost am ongoing battle to remaining standing. The building is scheduled to be torn down and make way for new condos and business shops in its place.

While the book can be a bit grim showcasing the demise of familiar shops, shops that are either replaced by corporations or gutted to the group, the book also contains some hope.

Among some of the photos taken, the Murrays have included side-by-side photos of old shops being replaced not by large corporations but fellow and new mom-and-pop shops. These images show some hope that not all is being taken over by large commercial businesses but there are still regular folk with businesses of their own trying to make it in this ever changing world.

The Day After New York Primary: Clinton & Trump Victorious!

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So it looks like New York has a lot of faith in both Senator Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump who were victorious in the New York Primary.

After yesterday’s primary, exit polls are showing that both Clinton & Trump have attained a significant push forward in obtaining their party’s nomination to duke it out come Fall 2016 to become our 45th President of The United States.

However, there’s still time for some major upsets. But until then, let’s take a look at some significant points to appear from yesterday’s voting in New York.

After his, truly sad, win Trump declared at his victory speech that his big win in New York is an indicator that if he is denied the Republican nomination the entire election process is rigged.

We don’t have much of a race anymore, based on what I’m seeing on television,” said Trump, “Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.

And while insane and utterly tragic it is, Trump does have a point considering he is the leading front-runner against Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kaisch who haven’t gained much ground against the billionaire who’s riding a winning streak based on platform of racism, bigotry, and ignorance.

Despite my opinion on his platform, the New York exit polls gives an insight into what some Republican voters may be thinking when voting for him: he is best chance the party has to beat Clinton in the fall.

And with the second Super Tuesday approaching—April 26th—Trump is expected to snag even more wins and a further lead from voters located throughout the northeastern states like Maryland & Pennsylvania.

As for Clinton, her victory in New York broke Senator Bernie Sanders’ string of wins along the West and Midwest states as she unsurprisingly snagged New York.

This one is personal, ” said Clinton, addressing her supporters.

According to exit polls, Clinton was shown to perform better than Sanders among voters aged 30-49 while Sanders once again triumphed among voters aged 18-29. However, it is believed that Clinton’s pull among minorities and women is what earned Clinton her overall win.

However, what is surprising about Clinton’s win is the possibility there was some foul play involved when it came to voters showing up at voting poll stations and finding the simply process to be quite problematic.

In Brooklyn, for example, there was an estimated 126,000 voters who were dropped from the registration list since last fall. Meanwhile, in Queens a voter reported a broken machine and staff at the poll station allegedly instructed the voter to place their ballots into a “slot” for processing at a later time.

In addition, the above incidents, there were reports of people being misdirected to the wrong voting poll stations, reports of broken machines, as well as mislabeled directions on how to vote within several of the stations.

The list of accusations has prompted a New York City to file an audit of the city’s election authorities due to the excessive voting site problems and irregularities.

There is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote, yet election after election, reports come in of people who were inexplicably purged from the polls, told to vote at the wrong location or unable to get into their polling site,” said city Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has written to the Board of Elections in-regards to the above matter.

Well, as the primary comes and goes from New York the election is sure to be interesting as Clinton and Sanders continue to battle it out (despite what some news media refer to as pointless in-regards to Sanders remaining in the race) to obtain their party’s Democratic nomination in facing off against Trump who probably has his speech prepped as he snags the Republican nomination.

Voto Latino launches voter app directed at Latinos

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In an effort to prevent a bigot from obtaining this country’s 45th presidency, a Latino organization devoted to educating and encouraging Latinos to become agents of change in the country have created an innovated app to hopefully aid in that endeavor.

Recently, at SXSW a Latino organization announced an innovative way of mobilizing millennial Latino voters to participate in the currently election season.

An annual event during mid-March and held in Austin, Texas, South by Southwest—also known as SXSW—is a gathering of like-minded individuals who are changing the scope of film, interactive media, and music that’s all tech-oriented. The conference, of sorts, is a place for young and influential leaders who can shape the future to present their innovative ideas.

So, it makes perfect sense for Voto Latino/strong> to present its downloadable app VotoPal which will be an innovative way for young Latino Americans to vote.

Once downloaded onto your phone, VoterPal will allow users to scan their ID and register to vote. With the online fields automatically populated and a confirmation email sent within a matter of seconds, Non-registered voters will become instantly registered cutting down the time of the usual paper registration process.

So when we’re trying to figure on how to franchise the next group of Americans, we have to figure out where they are, how they talk, and more importantly, we have to use the technology that they crave,” said Maria Teresa Kumar, CEO & President of Voto Latino at the opening of the launch panel of the app.

According to Kumar, the purpose of developing VoterPal was a means to mobilize voter turnout at the upcoming election by ensuring more Latinos become aware of how they can voice themselves within the political world through voting; especially since the current political climate has become quite hostile in-regards to Latinos and immigrant living within the country.

Another purpose for the app’s creation is due to the recent changes to the Voting Rights Act made by the Supreme Court which greatly affected states like Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas which happens to be the five states that have the lowest Latino population.

As we see these sweeping demographic changes, what we find in the Latino community, is that they often don’t know how to navigate the political process. We have to figure out how to modernize our election systems,” said Kumar.

During the panel, Kumar was joined onstage by actress America Ferrera, who happens to be the Chair for Voto Latino’s Artist Coalition. Ferrerra came onto the panel as a source of someone who understands the mind of young Latino voters.

And which is not surprising for Ferrerra, the former Ugly Betty star knew exactly what she was talking about.

Upon entering the panel’s discussion, Ferrerra pointed out the lack of audience members participating in the panel which she noted as being the “the elephant in the room.”

That’s why I feel this work is so empowering to me. There is an answer. We just need to resource and give people the proper tools and educate them, and ask them to be a part of the conversation,” said Ferrera, describing the importance of involving more American Latinos in the voting process by providing a better outreach to the community.

As a way of providing voter outreach, Voto Latino will continue to pursue their effort in getting more Latinos registered to vote by promoting the VoterPal app throughout the election season by present at conferences and college campuses across important electoral states like Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and California, with plans to expand to New Mexico and Florida.

Jessica Alba joins cast of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice!

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Jessica Alba has just been revealed to be a part of the upcoming season of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice as a boardroom adviser.

No longer being manned by Donald Trump—after he was fired (all pun intended) last year after his comments regarding Mexican immigrants living in the country forced NBC to make the decision to nix the billionaire—the new Celebrity Apprentice will be hosted by none other than the terminator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger .

Alba who is a burgeoning tycoon herself thanks to her Honest Company—which is one of the leading lines of eco-friendly products—will be advising a series of celebrities as they compete for the $250,000 check that will go to the winner’s charity of choice.

Entering the boardroom to face Schwarzenegger & Alba will be former Jersey Shore reality star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, retired four-time boxing world champion Laila Ali, Boy George, Porsha Williams, as well as many more.

So excited to be apart of this show! Thank you to everyone involved and having me apart of this crazy journey!” Snooki wrote in an Instagram post after the announcement.

For the new season of Celebrity Apprentice, the show moves from New York City to Los Angeles where the celebrity apprentices will compete in numerous business-type challenges in Silicon beach.

Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez unable to let go of being Miss Universe

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Miss Columbia Ariadna Gutierrez is not letting go of her brief moment as crowned winner of Miss Universe 2015.

Just days after host Steve Harvey wrongly announced Miss Columbia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner of Miss Universe 2015—who had the privilege of the title for two whole minutes.

Taking to her Instagram, the 21-year-old runner-up, posted a picture of her wearing the crown and the Miss Universe sash. Along with the post she wrote, “POR SIEMPRE TU MISS UNIVERSO!! COLOMBIA!!!!!!!” which translates to: “Forever your Miss Universe! Colombia!

In response to the snafu, Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines makes a heartfelt plead to the Latino community after Sunday’s crowning mishap.

I hope that I did not upset anybody like the Latino community, especially the fans of Miss Colombia,” said Alonzo Wurtzbach, “I’m the voice of Miss Universe now, so I would like to send my apologies for any confusion that happened, and I hope this doesn’t affect your relationship with Miss Universe and, of course, your relationship with the Filipino community as well.”

According to various reports, after Miss Colombia Gutierrez was removed of the crown she was consoled by fellow Latina beauty queens: Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Costa Rica, and Miss Mexico. Insiders behind the scene claim that the Latina queens allegedly blamed Alonzo Wurtzbach for the error that Harvey made thus prompting her on-stage and worldwide embarrassment.

While it is merely gossip that the Latina queens blamed Miss Philippines for the crowning mishap, Miss Germany Sarah-Lorraine Riek on the other hand has stated publically that Alonzo Wurtzbach’s is questionable it is hard to believe she earned the votes from the other Queens to win.

According to Riek on her Facebook page, “None of us voted for Philippines. I’m so sorry to say it. I wish her the best of luck with her year, but I’m really not happy with the results.”

Riek wasn’t a fan of Miss Colombia, but believed Miss France should have won it. Since making the comments, Riek has retracted her statement.

While there isn’t a Miss Universe 2015 from Colombia , we still have Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega who hails from Colombia. Hopefully, this is the end of the crowning controversy.

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Eva Longoria to produce a new political drama series based on Latino Politicians!

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Eva Longoria’s list as both a Producer and a Political Enthusiast is continuing to grow as the Latina star will soon be producing a political drama based on the lives of well-known Latino politicians.

Produced through her UnbeliEVAble Entertainment production company, along with Conde Nast Entertainment, Longoria will be producing an untitled political drama loosely based on the lives of Democratic twin politicians former-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who is now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and United States Congressman Joaquin Castro which will soon air on ABC network.

According to sources, the show was inspired by a 2013 Vogue article entitled Pair of Aces which was a profile piece on the Castro twins rise in the political world. The show is being described as to centering around a political family who find themselves taking up different political agendas.

Working along with Revenge Producer Nikki Toscano, the show will be a reunion for Longoria and Toscano since the pair last worked together on the hit ABC series Desperate Housewives which launched Longoria’s career.

There are no details when the show will go into production, but the development has been ongoing since last year when Longoria tried to pitch the show to another network, with a different writer, that went nowhere.

The untitled drama will join Devious Maids as the second show produced by Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment company.

However, until this political drama comes out you can catch Longoria on the NBC comedy Telenovela, which is also produced by her company, that’s scheduled to air on December 7.

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Romeo Santos, Jennifer Lopez & more Latinos star in HBO’s “The Latin Explosion: A New America!”

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Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Ricky Martin, Sofia Vergara, George Lopez are just a few of the Latino superstars who will appear in a new HBO documentary aimed specifically at spotlighting just how Latinos impact the United States of America.

In a recently released trailer, “The Latin Explosion: A New America,” is a documentary that brings together some of the hottest and well-known Latino celebrities in music, television, and film within the country and asks them: what it means to be a Latino in the U.S.? And the obstacles they have had to overcome.

Within the trailer, singer Gloria Estefan describes how at the start of her career she was advised that she should change her name because it would be too complicated to pronounce.

In candid interviews, stars like Cheech Marin, Rita Moreno, Shakira, Romeo Santos, and many more with the stars above take part in this project and also share or discuss their own personal experience within the entertainment industry in the U.S.

The documentary also will depict major historical events within the industry that had a large effect on impacting the Latino community today.

The U.S. is the 2nd largest Spanish-speaking country in the world,” said Ricky Martin, in the trailer for the movie, before adding, “Boom!” to demonstrate how impressive that idea is considering that there are numerous other Spanish-speaking countries in this world.

Tommy Mottola, a well-known Music Producer who has a hand in launching some of the music industry’s most popular stars like Marc Anthony, Mariah Carey, as well as Lopez, Martin, and Shakira served as the documentary’s producer.

In an interview about the documentary, Mottola said that a documentary has “assembled the largest array of Latino superstars ever in a film telling a powerful story of their history and immigration, politics, and rise from a small minority population to the most critical demographic in the United States.”

The documentary couldn’t be coming out at a more important time. With certain political candidates shining a negative light on the Latino community, the film can be a powerful tool in showing other groups outside of Latinos just how important and impactful the community is.

Latinos spend $1.3 trillion a year, making them one of the most powerful groups of consumers today,” Mottola added, noting that Latinos are known as one of the biggest consumer demographics within the United States.

In the trailer it is noted within a caption that “In 1950 1 in 50 Americans were Latino,” but “By 2050, it will be 1in 3,” which is a statistical prediction that has yet to be discredited, but continues to gain backing.

And being a community believed to growing, it is quite possible when Mottola explained that Latinos will also have a huge impact on the upcoming 2016 presidential election once again. Latinos presented a strong presence in the 2012 election, and not every Latino voted then.

Latinos may not just only impact the 2016 elections, but could be more of a presence down the road in politics.

There is no doubt in my mind that by 2025 we will have a Latino president,” Mottola said, and he may just be right.

The Latin Explosion: A New America, narrated by John Leguizamo will air Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Latino.

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Selena Gomez Diagnosed with Lupus

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Selena Gomez recently revealed in an interview that she was diagnosed with Lupus and therefore explains her sudden disappearance for part of 2013 & 2014 from the public eye.

Back in 2013, Gomez, 23, suddenly halted her world tour and never publically gave an explanation why she was doing so. Rumors soon surfaced that Gomez decided to put her tour on pause due to health reasons.

According to some sources, the singer had been diagnosed with Lupus, which is an auto-immune disease, and was suffering from multiple flares of facial swelling, headaches, joint pain, as well as extreme fatigue which is typically associated with the illness.

In 2014, Gomez’s grandparents appeared to confirm this rumor stating the singer was “in treatment” for the disease in an apparent interview with RadarOnline. Despite her family implying she was treating some disease, the Gomez opted to remain silent.

Until now.

In an recent interview with Billboard, Gomez candidly talked about her diagnosis for the first time and expressed her reaction to malicious rumors that arose from her sabbatical from the spotlight.

I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about,” Gomez said, addressing her 2013/2014 break and added that if she didn’t take a break when she could have suffered for it. “I could’ve had a stroke.

While Gomez went for treatment, certain media outlets began to circulate that Gomez’s health concerns were merely an excuse for substance abuse.

These rumors gained some traction when it was leaked that Gomez had been to The Meadows recovery center in Arizona for two weeks back in 2014. Gomez’s rep didn’t give any specific reason why Gomez was at the center, but merely addressed it had nothing to do with substance abuse in a statement made in-regards to this leak and gossip sites stating otherwise.

I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re a**holes,’” said Gomez, “I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.

However, Gomez didn’t lock herself away for too long. Instead, she used the negative attention she received and channeled it into working on her new album Revival.

I’m so f***ing nice to everybody, and everyone is so vile to me. I’ve been working since I was 7. I’ve been a UNICEF ambassador since I was 17. It’s so disappointing that I’ve become a tabloid story. The hate motivated me.”

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Christina Aguilera travels to her Father’s native country Ecuador for the first time

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Christina Aguilera has mentioned in past interviews that she has no real relationship with her father, but that hasn’t deterred the Beautiful and Dirty singer from embracing and her acknowledging her Latino heritage.

Last week, the four-time Grammy singer ventured to Ecuador—her father’s native country—to take part in relief effort trips.

It felt much better to me that I was in a place that I felt so connected to and was able to give back to,” said Aguilera, 34, who acts as a global spokesperson for Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief and has visited other countries like Haiti and Guatemala to provide aide.

Traveling to Quito, Aguilera then traveled by car into the nearby countryside and farmland visiting some of the country’s impoverished areas.

This was a really interesting and raw way to go about it. It wasn’t like I vacationed there in one of the more beautiful spots such as Galapagos Islands or things like that. I went into the fields and got to meet the women and children there who are really trying to survive,” the singer describes, talking about immersion into the livelihood of the Ecuadorian people she was able to visit.

According to a volunteer spokesperson for the Yum! Brands’ effort, prior to the trip Aguilera was presented with a list of places in-which she could choose from. Upon that list was Ecuador. The selection of the country isn’t all too shocking, but is quite interesting since Aguilera did select a place closely associated to her father in-which she is estranged from.

I definitely had always wanted to go visit where my dad comes from, the culture, you know, not having sort of a consistent relationship at all in my life with him and not really knowing him as I’ve gotten older through the years as well. You know, there’s a history there. But, you know, it is a part of my blood and a part of my heritage and a part of my people,” she explains, wanting a deeper connection to her fellow Ecuadorans.

During the recent trip, Aguilera also visited schools and served lunch to children who endured a long journey in order to obtain an education.

It takes these kids 45 minutes walking by themselves, alone, up a hill,” she said, “It’s really hard for these kids and I couldn’t wait to come back and tell my own kids these stories to … better appreciate what they have,” the mother of two said. “These kids, they just were the most well-mannered, sweet-natured, little kids.”

As a spokeswoman, Aguilera has also filmed a public service announcement that will be released next month hoping to raise hunger awareness. So far, Yum! Brands Inc., the parent company of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, in its eights as a World Hunger Relief initiative has raised an estimated $600 million in cash and food for the United Nations’ World Food Programme and other organizations.

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William Levy joins cast of ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’

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William Levy, the October 2014 cover of LatinTRENDS, joins the cast of the final film installment of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

Joining Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, and Iain Glen, the Cuban-American actor made the announcement regarding his latest role via his Instagram by posting an image created by his fans.

Along with his Instagram post, the actor who has been referred to as the “Latino Brad Pitt” thanked both his enduring fans as well as the Latino community for being huge supporters of his.

I chose this photo that was done by one of you guys with the purpose of showing you guys how thankful I am for every single one of you. The name that you see on that picture became known not just because of my efforts and dedication,” said the actor in his post, referring to his fans being as being huge pillars for his success.

The above photo is of Levy dressed as his character “Christian” for the next and final installment of ‘Resident Evil: the Final Chapter’ which his posted to his Instagram account: @willevy

Within the post he dedicated to his fans, Levy described how his past projects in such films like The Single Moms Club & Addicted; to telenovelas like Cuidado con el ángel and La Tempestad; as well as his stint on Dancing with the Stars would not have happened for him had it not been to the strong support of his fans and members of the Latino community.

I feel really lucky to receive love from not only the Latinos but from so many of you from around the world that take the time to write me a message, the actor wrote.

Levy also expressed his appreciation for how during a time where Latinos remained supportive of each other and show a sense of unity since the community currently faces harsh criticism in the United States thanks to the likes of Donald Trump and those who do not express the same sentiment regarding Latinos.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is still currently filming in South Africa and is expected to be released in theaters early 2017, and will be directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.

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