Tag: Latin America and Caribbean

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International

25-year-old Venezuelan is new Miss Universe

Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, from the United States, right, places the crown on Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) Venezuela churns out beauty queens amid crisis by Jim Heintz and Jorge RuedaAssociated Press Writers MOSCOW (AP) — A 25-year-old Venezuelan who appears on TV in her country and is an accomplished flamenco dancer is the new Miss Universe. Gabriela Isler was crowned Saturday night in the pageant at a sprawling exhibition hall on Moscow’s outskirts. Born in the city of Valencia, Isler works as an anchor for Venevision, a channel owned by the Cisneros business group that also has the rights to the annual Miss Venezuela pageant, one of the nation’s most-watched televised events. The 5-foot, 10-inch brunette edged out finalists from Spain, Brazil, Ecuador and the Philippines to take the crown in its 61st edition.

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Lifestyle

Cultural pride is a fashionable asset in beauty pageants

Chiniqua Pettaway on her humanitarian mission as Ms. America 2013. (Photo courtesy Studio M Creative Services) Two beauty pageant winners set a tone for social cohesion as they display cultural fashions in the forefront during their humanitarian missions Self pride is beneficial for individual self-esteem. In some cultures, showing pride is almost mandatory to illustrate one’s love and appreciation for community or a cause. In the world of pageantry, contestants are quite selective over the pageant gown that is worn as it is an anticipated segment of the pageant. Judges and audiences typically expect contestants to wear traditional pageant gowns and wardrobe. However we found two accomplished women (Ms. Florida America 2013 – Amanda Wamunyima and Ms. America 2013 – Chiniqua Pettaway) who embrace ethnic fashions and display cultural pride in their community.

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Sports

Mets pitcher helps toss disruptive airline passenger

LATROY HAWKINS by Mike M. Ahlers (CNN) — When flight attendants needed help with a disruptive passenger, Mets pitcher LaTroy Hawkins didn’t balk. The lanky right-hander and fellow passengers pitched in, restraining the passenger while the plane was diverted to a nearby airport.

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International

Artists, educators laud Black heritage in DR

In this Sept. 27, 2013 photo, Dominican actresses Clara Morel, left, and Luz Bautista Matos, of the theater group “Arbol Maravilloso,” or “Wonderful Tree,” pose for a photo after their performance for school children in Moca, Dominican Republic. Their theater group has visited schools across the country to spread the word among Black children that their features and heritage should be a source of pride. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz) by Ezequiel Abiu LopezAssociated Press Writer SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — In a school auditorium filled with laughing students, actresses Luz Bautista Matos and Clara Morel threw themselves into acting out a fairy tale complete with a princess, a hero and acts of derring-do. Morel had wrapped a white plastic sheet around her multi-colored blouse, while Bautista donned a brown paper bag over her blue tights. The two Black actresses wore their hair free and natural, decorated only with single pink flowers. “Yes, you’re a princess,” said Bautista to Morel, who fretted that she didn’t look like a traditional princess with her dark complexion and hair. Bautista then turned to a young girl sitting in the front row, who shared the same African-descended features as both actresses. “And you too,” Morel said as the child smiled back at her. The theater group Wonderful Tree has visited schools all over Santo Domingo and some in the countryside to spread the word among Black children that their features and heritage should be a source of pride. That message, though simple, has been nothing less than startling in this Caribbean country, where 80 percent of people are classified as mulattos, meaning they have mixed Black-White ancestry, but where many still consider being labeled Black an offense.