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Since the Obama administration’s release of their goals to increase college graduation rates by the end of the decade, the nations attention has turned to the over 50 million Hispanics in the U.S.
As the largest minority population in the country, Latino college graduation rates will need to play a key role in the nation’s quest to become the world leader in college completion by 2020.
Hispanic students will need to earn 5.5 million college degrees over the next several years for the U.S. to meet Obama’s goal, according to Excelencia in Education’s initiative “Ensuring America’s Future by increasing Latino College Completion”.
However, many socio-economic factors conflict and limit Latino access to college and ultimately, graduation.
“Over 40 percent of Latinos who are enrolled in college are the first in their family to go to college. And so you already have issues not just of enrollment but persistence to completion that require academic support,” Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education’s co-founder and vice president for policy and research.
However, it’s not all bad news.
Earlier this month the Pew Hispanic Center reported that Hispanic students became the largest minority group on college campuses across the country. Over 2 million Latino students enrolled in two-year and four-year college institutions in 2011.
But despite this increase, Latino high school and college graduation rates continue to fall behind those of other groups.
The majority of Latinos who earn degrees do not leave campus with degrees in fields that have strong hiring prospects or high-earning potential.
With many economists predicting that the nation’s labor market will remain uncertain for some time, the drive to expand the Hispanic college completion rate could benefit from aligning what more students study to workforce needs.
However, related states of Latino education and employment are improving; but at slow rate.
Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia have been charged with the murder of a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect their anarchist militia group.
The group called itself F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready. Authorities are unsure as to how many members it had.
Prosecutors said the militia group of active and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components.
They concluded that the group was serious enough to kill two people – former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York – by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep its plans secret.
“This domestic terrorist organization did not simply plan and talk,” prosecutor Isabel Pauley told a Superior Court judge. “Prior to the murders in this case, the group took action. Evidence shows the group possessed the knowledge, means and motive to carry out their plans.”
All four members are being charged by state authorities with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing a felony. A hearing for the three soldiers was scheduled last Thursday.
Prosecutors say Roark, 19, served with the four defendants in the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and became involved with the militia. The group believed it had been betrayed by Roark, who left the Army two days before he was killed.
The group shortly decided the ex-soldier and his girlfriend needed to be silenced, Pauley said.
Pvt. Isaac Aguigui was identified by prosecutors as the militia’s founder and leader.
According to Pauley, Aguigui funded the militia using $500,000 in insurance and benefit payments from the death of his pregnant wife a year ago. Although Aguigui was not charged in his wife’s death, Pauley told the judge her death was “highly suspicious.”
Aguigui then used the insurance payment money to buy $87,000 worth of semiautomatic assault rifles, guns, and bomb components that were recovered from the accused soldiers’ homes and from a storage locker.
The money was also used to buy land for his militia group in Washington state, Pauley said.
Besides being involved in a double homicide, the group’s members had big plans, stated a police prosecutor.
It plotted to take over Fort Stewart by seizing its ammunition control point and talked of bombing the Forsyth Park fountain in nearby Savannah.
In Washington state, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state’s apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia’s goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president.
Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said the Army has dropped its charges against the four for the slayings of Roark and York. The Military authorities filed their charges in March but never acted on them.
“Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield does not have a gang or militia problem,” Larson said in a prepared statement, though he said Army investigators still have an open investigation in the case.
“However, we don’t believe there are any unknown subjects,” he said.
Former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison has announced she’s pregnant.
The former Girls Next Door star is expecting a baby in March, with boyfriend Pasquale Rotella.
“Holly and I are so excited to announce that we are going to be parents. We’re in love and counting down the days until we meet our beautiful baby. I can hardly believe how lucky I am,” Rotella told PEOPLE.
Madison, 32, had previously noted how much she had wanted kids.
“I’ve wanted kids and that’s something I’m definitely doing as soon as possible,” she had told PEOPLE in June.
A man, dressed as Bigfoot, was struck and killed by two cars on a Montana highway.
Randy Lee Tenley, 44, of Kalispell, Mont., was pronounced dead at the scene in northwestern Montana on Aug. 26.
Tenley had been attempting to stage a Bigfoot sighting by dressing in furry Ghillie camouflage. The suit he was wearing was covered in thick foliage-like material that is often used by hunters.
As Tenley crossed onto the two-lane road around 10:30 p.m., two cars, both driven by teenage females, hit him.
Zach Wahls, who defended same-sex marriage in front of the Iowa State Congress a few years ago, is now releasing a memoir about his childhood.
Wahls, who is now 21-years-old, is the son of two lesbians. He’s written a book about his parents’ relationship and his childhood growing up with lesbians parents.
The environmental engineering student from Iowa City, Iowa, had been conceived using IVP and donor sperm in 1991. A younger sister was born later, and they were raised by their two moms, biological mother Terry Wahls, who they call ‘tall mom,’ and non-biological mom Jackie Reger, aka ‘short mom.’
At age 19, Wahls spoke in front of the Iowa House of Representatives to deliver a defense of same-sex marriage. His parents were legally wed in 2009, but in 2011 state lawmakers had decided to make a constitutional amendment that would repeal gay marriages in Iowa.
The speech became an internet phenomenom, earning more than 18 million hits on Youtube and appearing on TV shows across the country.
Wahls memoir, “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family,” is now available for purchase.
According to insiders, the famous pop star Rihanna has been sending Robert Pattinson sexy and funny texts. Although she and Chris Brown are back as friends, and Kristen Stewart cheated on Rob, the “Twilight” saga star is on the market and is still a good catch.
Monday, the Huffington Post reported on the gossip that has many wondering if Rihanna is dating Pattinson.
“They’ve met several times at award bashes over the years,” according one of Rob’s close friends. “RiRi thinks he’s very cute, but nothing ever came of it because he was attached to Kristen — and it’s not her style to steal someone else’s man,” they added.
Rihanna allegedly talked a mutual friend into giving her Rob’s number. Reportedly, When she learned the star had been betrayed by Kristen Stewart, she began sending sexy and funny text messages to RPatz to “cheer him up”.
While strange things always happen in Hollywood, it is not likely that the couple is dating.
However, RiRi is always rumored to be sexting or dating some Hollywood star. If Rihanna sent Robert Pattinson sexy, funny texts, it is likely because they were friends when Rob and Kristen Stewart were still dating. According to most, it’s not like she came out of the woodwork to claim a piece of Pattinson’s broken heart.
So it seems these text mean little, and Rihanna/Pattinson’s romantic relationship is likely more of a rumor that has little chance of coming to fruition.
Rihanna and Frank Ocean will be joining next week’s 2012 MTV Video Music Award lineup, along side an already star-studded lineup of comedians, actors, and musicians.
Joining a performer line-up that already includes the VMA debut of One Direction, Taylor Swift, Green Day, and Pink, five-time VMA nominee Rihanna will bring out the talent. She is currently tied with Drake for the night’s most nominations, including two bids for Video of the Year.
Among the new presenters also confirmed for the show are the Wanted, Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones, 2 Chainz and Ke$ha.
Rihanna and Ocean will join a previously announced list that includes Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and the “Fierce Five,” the U.S. Women’s Olympics Gymnastics Team that won the team gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.
The show will be aired live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles September 6 and hosted by comedian Kevin Hart.
Many a scandal has followed the English Prince Harry, who’s status as third in line to the English throne seems to the least notable aspect of Harry’s multiple scandals. Now, the prince is suspected of having a Facebook account under the pseudonym “Spike Wells”, who’s account was opened four years ago.
The page was deleted this past weekend, suspiciously coinciding with the scandalous release of the prince’s naked photos in Las Vegas.
Yet despite public suspicions, the prince and his spokesman have yet to actually deny the account. A spokesperson for the prince told E! News that reports of his suspected once-active, now-frozen social media page aren’t something they would comment on “given the private nature of the topic.”
Prior to this weekend, Wells’ account was active and boasted more than 400 friends.
While Wells used extremely high-privacy settings on his account, some aspects of his page were still visible to the public at large and the page has long been under suspicion by royal-watchers in Britain.
Coupled with the timing of the page’s deletion, hints seem to suggest a link exists.
Prior to the page’s deletion, “Spike”—incidentally, an oft-cited nickname of Harry’s—was quite the world traveler, posting photos of his travels and parties both in England and beyond.
A series of profile pictures also seems to suggest that “Spike” might be Harry. Incidentally, none of the profile or public photos posted by the user ever showing Spike’s face, although his build was strikingly similar to the prince.
A photo of a redheaded child was also posted to the profile with the comment, “Oh my God, I’m ginger”.
Yet another photo showed a group of people wearing Angry Birds hats, in which Harry himself was famously photographed wearing over the summer.
On yet another photo, though the faces were obscured, two people looking eerily like Harry and Chelsea were shown together.
However the most obvious tipoff showed a faceless man in arctic conditions holding up a Union Jack flag that bore the logo of Walking With the Wounded. This photo may tie back to last spring, when Harry infamously joined the charity trek and even made international headlines when he was temporarily stranded with the North Pole-bound trekkers.
So are Harry and Spike Wells the same man? While this connection has yet to be permanently set straight, the serious of obvious tip-offs seems to be having most british royal-watchers convinced.