DR1 breaks for the New Year holidays
Plaza Lama-Banco Popular robbery
COE final Christmas report
No accidents in Bonao
United States tops foreign investment
22.3% of tax revenue to pay public debt
JF Kennedy avenue collapse leads to diversions
Haitians become Dominican citizens
JCE meets with smaller parties
Happy birthday, Mr. Former President
Rains affected 30% of banana crop
AES president supervises combined cycle plant
Odebrecht bribery investigation opened
Dominican cruise passengers refused permission to disembark
High waves on Atlantic coast keep boats in port
Baseball round robin starts
Gala Navideña 2016 at Plaza España
Villalona and Ventura in Santiago
Electronic music in Santiago
New Year’s Dinner in the Colonial City
Hotel El Embajador presents DJs and Hermanos Rosario
Ultra Super Mega Dance for 31 December




DR1 breaks for the New Year holidays
With a large part of the Dominican population in holiday mode, and priority placed on gatherings with family and friends, the news stream is getting smaller and smaller. Thus, DR1 editors are beginning the New Year’s break earlier, starting on Wednesday, 28 December 2016. Headline news will be gathered over the New Year holidays through Sunday, 1 January 2017 and the compilation will be shared with readers in our Monday, 2 January 2017 issue.

We encourage our readers to check out the DR1 Calendar section for New Year concerts. The DR1 Forums remain open for postings on news and events 24/7 at http://www.dr1.com/

Happy New Year to all!


Plaza Lama-Banco Popular robbery
Using a similar modus operandi to the Bella Vista Mall bank robbery on 15 September 2016, four armed men arrived on motorcycles and robbed the Banco Popular branch on the first floor at Plaza Lama shopping mall on 27 de Febrero with Winston Churchill Avenue in Santo Domingo on Monday evening, 26 December 2016 when values were to be transported. Two security guards from the La Confianza values transport company were injured in the robbery.

Banco Popular spokesman José Marmol confirmed to the press that the thieves had stolen RD$3.7 million and more than US$25,000 in cash in the robbery that occurred from shortly after 7pm to around 8pm as can be seen in a surveillance camera video. Three employees were working in the bank at the time when many customers were in the bank and the mall.

According to media reports, the armed robbers held up La Confianza values transporting company security men as they were taking the moneybags to the securities truck. At the mall, shots were fired into the air and tear gas bombs thrown to disperse the general public until they reached the bank branch and continued shooting in the air as they made their getaway from the mall after the robbery.

The injured guards were identified as 36-year old José de Jesús Reynoso and 28-year old Germán Merán who were taken to the Marcelino Vélez Santana Hospital for emergency treatment. Their wounds were not serious.

Witnesses told the media that the criminals’ spectacular entrance was like something out of a movie.

SWAT teams and National Police Criminal Investigations (Dicrim) officials are investigating the case. All four thieves escaped after the robbery and according to reports, one of the motorcycles used by two of the criminals was left behind at the scene of the crime.

This is the third in a series of similar unresolved crimes this year in which armed robbers arrive on motorcycle to hold up the values transport personnel at leading shopping centers after injuring the security guards. The other robberies this year took place at Bella Vista Mall on 14 September 2016, when at around 6:30pm security transport guards making their way with the cash from a bank branch inside Bella Vista Mall were shot at. One of the security guards, 56-year old Bienvenido García, was killed and another, Yervin Eduardo Cuevas, was seriously injured. The thieves have not been captured. In that unresolved robbery, two men arrived on a motorcycle and intercepted two security guards who were bringing moneybags from a Bella Vista mall bank to the Grupo 4S securities truck for transporting. Former military officer and son of a retired general, John Emilio Percival Matos was named as the lead suspect in the robbery and is a fugitive of justice.

The other incident took place at La Sirena on Av. Charles de Gaulle in Santo Domingo East on 5 August 2016 when armed robbers stole the moneybag with the day’s deposits from La Sirena that was being taken to a BHD-Leon branch by a La Sirena employee. When he noticed he was to be robbed, the employee ran for cover to the Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos bank branch in La Sirena, and was followed by the gunman. Three people were injured in that robbery.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2016/12/2...del-plaza-lama
http://eldia.com.do/delincuentes-com...aza-comercial/
http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...-banco-popular
http://www.elnuevodiario.com.do/app/...aspx?id=513618


COE final Christmas report
The final death toll from Friday, 23 December through Sunday, 25 December 2016 was 46, according to a report in Diario Libre. Of this total, 13 were traffic accidents. Diario Libre points out that most of the violent deaths that occur are not reported by the Police. Diario Libre mentions another list with 33 deaths, including 16 violent deaths. Another 43 people were injured over the holidays.

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) final bulletin from 6am on 24 December to 6am on Sunday, 25 December reports 18 deaths, including six violent deaths in Greater Santo Domingo, and the provinces of Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís), San Juan de la Maguana, Puerto Plata, Montecristi, Santiago, Azua, La Altagracia (Higuey), El Seibo and La Romana.

On Christmas Day (from 6am on Sunday, 25 December to 6am on Monday, 26 December), 15 deaths were reported. This included the murder of a Police second lieutenant who was on his motorcycle with his wife and sister-in-law when two men attacked him to steal his gun.

The COE reported that in addition to the 13 people who died in traffic accidents over the Christmas Eve-Christmas holiday, there were 732 traffic accidents, 535 of which involved motorcyclists. 502 occurred on streets and avenues and 224 on highways. Most occurred in the National District and the provinces of Santo Domingo, La Vega, San Pedro de Macorís and San Juan de la Maguana.

COE director General Juan Manuel Méndez said that there was a 35% decline in the traffic accident fatality rate. He said that in 2015, a total of 20 deaths were reported for the Christmas holiday. Méndez said that 294 people were treated for alcohol poisoning, including 34 minors between the ages of 9 and 17. Another 25 suffered from food poisoning. Méndez said that COE staff had assisted 5,163 people in road and medical emergencies.

Amet spokesman Diego Pesqueira said that the operation aimed at reducing road deaths had been a success and that more than 700 motorcycles had been retained for traffic violations. More than 300 heavy vehicles were stopped for travelling without permits during the Christmas period or for speeding or having bald tires.

In addition, 29 bus drivers were fined for overcrowding on buses and minibuses and 165 other vehicles were confiscated for a range of infractions. Also, 102 drivers were fined for speeding and 60 pickups were confiscated for carrying passengers in the rear of the vehicle. Another 42 drivers were fined for using cell phones, 42 for having bald tires, 55 for faulty lights and 60 for not using seat belts.

Robert Reid Children’s Hospital director José Miguel Ferreras said that they received 190 emergencies this year, a significant decline compared to the same period in 2015 when 300 patients were seen. Most of the patients were treated for respiratory problems, and 42 were hospitalized. Meanwhile, José Aponte Pons, director of the Darío Contreras Trauma Hospital, the largest in the country, said that over the Christmas long weekend period they attended to 682 emergencies. Of these 69 were for vehicle accidents, while 148 involved motorcycles.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2016...ominicana.html
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2016/12/2...por-accidentes
http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...-el-pasado-ano


No accidents in Bonao
The city of Bonao in the central province of Monseñor Nouel proudly announces that tragic accidents were recorded over the Christmas holiday long weekend. Civil Defense director Roberto Ortíz congratulated the population of Bonao for the achievement. He said that more than 200 volunteers worked 24 hours over the Friday, 23 December to Sunday, 25 December 2016 holiday. This is in addition to agents of the Police, Metropolitan Transport Authority, Army, Public Health and other institutions working to prevent accidents.


United States tops foreign investment
According to Central Bank statistics, direct foreign investment in the Dominican Republic reached US$15.66 billion in the from January 2010 to September 2016, mainly in the commerce and industrial sectors.

The largest investment came from the United States, some US$3.75 billion up to June this year. The investment was in commerce, tourism, telecommunications and electricity followed by the financial sector, free zones, mining, real estate and transport.

The mining sector received investment worth around US$2.56 billion over the past six years, followed by tourism US$2.03 million and real estate with US$1.84 billion.

These are followed by electricity with investment of US$1.40 billion, telecoms at US$1.36 billion, free zones with US$1.11 billion, and finance at US$986.8 million.

Apart from the United States as the largest investor, the next is Canada with 20.7% of the investment over the past six years at US$2.99 billion, followed by Spain at 3.8%, Mexico with 3.5%, and Venezuela with 3.2%.

http://www.diariolibre.com/economia/...2016-AL5814561


22.3% of tax revenue to pay public debt
22.3% of tax revenue is now going solely on making interest payments on the public debt. A report from the Regional Center for Sustainable Economic Strategies (CREES) says the Dominican Republic is only behind Brazil in Latin American countries in regards to interest rate payments to tax revenues ratio. Brazil spends 27.3% of its tax revenue to make interest payments on debt.

CREES says that in the 2017 Budget the government has allocated RD$114,865 million toward interest payments on the public debt, up RD$16,972 million compared to last year.

http://acento.com.do/2016/economia/8...eses-la-deuda/


JF Kennedy avenue collapse leads to diversions
The Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) had to reroute traffic on the intersection of John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill avenues in Santo Domingo following the collapse of road and sidewalk paving where the Santo Domingo Corporation of Aqueducts and Sewers *(CAASD) was carrying out work. CAASD said that they would repair the sidewalk on Monday, 26 December 2016 but it would not be completed until Tuesday, 27 December, as the asphalt producers were not delivering until Monday due to the Christmas holidays.

http://eldia.com.do/se-hunde-pavimen...svia-transito/


Haitians become Dominican citizens
At least 27 Haitians with legal residency have become Dominican citizens along with people from countries including the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Cuba, Colombia and Venezuela.

Most of the Haitian citizens who opted for Dominican citizenship did so via the marriage route while only a small number used the ordinary route.

So far this year, citizens from 52 countries have taken Dominican citizenship for a total of 732 people who now can vote and hold public office apart from President and Vice president, an increase compared to last year when the figure stood at 679.

Minister of Interior and Police Carlos Amarante Baret said that 6,576 people have taken Dominican citizenship in the last 11 years.

Talking about the regularization plan he said that most people who took advantage of it were Haitians, representing 89% of the total at 244,313. This was followed by 767 Italians, 405 Venezuelans, 367 Cubans, 354 Spaniards, 328 Colombians, 309 Canadians, 278 from France, 216 from China, 209 from Germany, 148 from Russia, 146 from Mexico, 117 from Argentina, 91 from Ecuador, 71 from the Netherlands, 54 from Belgium, and 28 from the United Kingdom.

http://eldia.com.do/apenas-27-haitia...os-en-el-2016/


JCE meets with smaller parties
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) plenary met with representatives of several parties on Monday, 26 December 2017 to discuss the Electoral and Political Parties bills and the funds that the institutions receive.

JCE president Julio César Castaños Guzmán chaired the meeting, which was attended by Popular Front deputy Fidel Santana, National Progressive Force leader Vinicio Castillo Seman, Independent Revolutionary Party president Trajano Santana, Civic Reformist Party president Jorge Zorrilla Ozuna, and other political leaders.

Federico Antún Battle, who identified himself as the president of the PRSC, which receives majority party funding from the JCE, also attended the meeting. In a recent PRSC assembly, legislator Victor Bisonó was elected temporary president of the party, challenging Antún Batlle’s status as party president.

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...idos-LL5827049


Happy birthday, Mr. Former President
PLD members, academics, relatives, legislators and government employees gathered at the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (Funglode) on Monday, 26 December 2016 to congratulate former President Leonel Fernandez on his 63rd birthday.

Many came bearing gifts and there was a festive atmosphere inside the building with merengue being played. There were long lines as people who waited to be allowed in to congratulate Fernandez.

The former President is a leading contender to be the PLD candidate in the 2020 presidential election given that the 2012 Constitution was changed to only allow the consecutive re-election of President Danilo Medina. Most of the legislators who voted to change the Constitution to allow Medina’s re-election were re-elected in the same general election.

http://eldia.com.do/leonel-recibe-fe...63-cumpleanos/


Rains affected 30% of banana crop
The Dominican Republic lost 30% of its exportable banana crop to the flooding and heavy rains that fell in October and November 2016 in the northern plantain and banana-producing region, according to preliminary reports from exporters.

The executive vice president of the Dominican Association of Banana Producers (Adobanano), Darío Vargas, said that the flooding had devastated banana plantations in the Yaque del Norte River basin, as reported in Acento. The worst affected farms were south of Villa González, with a high concentration in La Colonia, Cerro Gordo and Piloto in Mao, as well as Hatillo Palma in Montecristi and Palo Verde in La Castañuela. These areas are planted with organic bananas, one of the country’s top 10 cash crops. Most are exported to Europe. Losses are estimated at US$1.6 million.

http://acento.com.do/2016/economia/8...no-exportable/


AES president supervises combined cycle plant
AES Corporation president and CEO Andrés Gluski visited the Dominican Republic during the Christmas holiday week to supervise progress in the conversion to combined cycle of the US$260 million Dominican Power Partners (DPP) plant in its final conversion stage. Works had begun in October 2014, according to an AES press release that highlights that AES Dominicana has invested US$41.6 million in energy projects in 2016 that will enter into operation in 2017. AES has an investment of US$1.3 billion in the Dominican Republic energy projects.

The combined cycle project seeks to maximize energy efficiency by capturing the waste heat from gas turbine and steam turbines to move a new turbine to generate extra power. This new turbine will increase the installed power of the Los Mina Power Park by 114 MW to 324 MW.

http://aesdominicana.com.do/app/do_2...e.aspx?id=1680


Odebrecht bribery investigation opened
Attorney General Jean-Alain Rodríguez has opened an investigation into bribes worth US$92 million that according to a US Justice Department investigation were paid to Dominican government officials by Odebrecht, the large Brazilian engineering company. Rodríguez has given all government institutions 48 hours to hand over the contracts issued to Odebrecht since 2001.

Rodríguez said that they have asked Brazil for information via international legal cooperation channels and that meanwhile, they would carry out the investigation here. He said that the investigation covered active government employees, people who held public office and others who were not in government at the time that the transactions were made.

He said that any official who can be proven to have received a bribe or any other benefit whether direct or indirect would be prosecuted, irrespective of their previous or current position.

Commenting on the Odebrecht case, the president of the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (Finjus), Tulio Castaños Guzmán said that a Trump administration in the US could place an even greater spotlight on transparency. He said that the attorney general has to follow up on the evidence of corruption against Odebrecht, as well as in the purchase of the Super Tucano planes from another Brazilian giant, Embraer, independently of political pressures.

A US Justice Department case has revealed that Odebrecht spent US$92 million in bribes in the DR to generate US$163 million in construction projects. In a telephone interview for La Super 7 en la Mañana, Castaños said that trade agreements have their rules and the US was not standing back doing nothing.

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...echt-DL5827423
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2016...esde-2001.html
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2016...odebrecht.html


Dominican cruise passengers refused permission to disembark
A group of Dominicans who arrived in Antigua as tourists on the Zenith cruise ship from Pullmantur on Monday 26 December 2016 were prevented from entering the country, as the island’s Migration authorities said that other Dominicans had stayed there illegally following disembarkation on previous occasions.

Former senator Santiago Batista, who is in Antigua, said that the cruise had stopped at St. Martin, St. Lucia and Barbados but that when they arrived in Antigua, the Dominican passengers were prevented from disembarking.

Batista also called on Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado to go to the assistance of several Dominicans who are stranded in Antigua.

http://elnacional.com.do/grupo-de-do...-isla-antigua/


High waves on Atlantic coast keep boats in port
According to the National Meteorological Office (ONAMET), the strong winds and high waves affecting the Atlantic coast of the country since Sunday, 25 December have led them to issue a recommendation to captains of small and medium-sized boats to stay in port.

Boats going out to sea in Samana Bay and the Caribbean coast are urged to proceed with caution and stay close to shore.

The rains are due to continue in parts especially in the late afternoon and early evening of Tuesday, 27 December 2016 in the north, north east, south west and central mountain area with temperatures remaining cool, especially in the early morning.

http://almomento.net/hay-viento-y-ol...inicana/274505


Baseball round robin starts
The Tigres del Licey, Gigantes del Cibao, Aguilas Cibaeñas and Leones del Escogido have made it to the 18-game round robin of the Dominican Professional Baseball League from which the playoff players will be chosen. La Romana’s Toros del Este and the Estrellas Orientales from San Pedro de Macorís were eliminated. The 50-game regular season now gives way to the semi-finals where the four teams will start from scratch.

The Tigres del Licey, which had qualified first, had first pick and chose closing pitcher Wirfin Obispo and opening pitchers Iván Piñeyro and Evan MacLane and relief pitcher Marlon Arias, all from the Estrellas Orientales. They also chose catcher Austin Wynn, fielder Zach Lutz and pitchers Michael Dimock and Nick Turley.

The Gigantes chose starter Jason Krizan, pitchers Cory Riordan, Matt Zielinski and Colt Hynes, as well as fielder Aneury Tavárez and José Valverde (Estrellas) and Edward Cabrera (Toros).

2015-2016 championship titleholder Leones del Escogido chose José Rafael Díaz and relief pitchers Fabio Castillo and Héctor Neris, as well as Dan Black, fielder Jake Goebbert, pitchers Daniel Stump and Bryan Evans, and Tylor Davis.

The Aguilas picked Héctor Gómez, who plays for the Toros, and pitchers Fernando Abad, Edgar García, Preston Clairborne, Chris O’Grady, Malcolm Culver and Jordan Smith.

The semifinals start on Tuesday, 27 December 2016, with the first game between the Aguilas and Tigres at the Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, and the Leones vs. Gigantes game at the Estadio Julián Javier in San Francisco de Macorís.

Ronny Rodríguez of the Aguilas Cibaeñas won the best batter title of the 2016-2017 regular season with .3062, edging out Ramón Torres of the Gigantes.

He became the Dominican to win the batting title with the lowest batting average. The 2016-2017 championship is known as one where pitching has dominated. The record was previously held by Domingo Michel with .310. Torres was also chosen as the championship’s rookie of the year by the Dominican Association of Sportswriters (ACD).

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2016...liminados.html
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2016...liminados.html
http://elnacional.com.do/licey-aguil...os-eliminados/


Gala Navideña 2016 at Plaza España
The conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, José Antonio Molina presents a Christmas Spectacular at the Plaza España in Santo Domingo’s Colonial City on Thursday, 29 December 2016 starting at 8pm. Conductor José Antonio Molina will be conducting the Filarmónica Molina with guest performances by singers Maridalia Hernández, Frank Ceara, Militza Iankova, Milena, Zycovik and Grupo Vocal Matisses directed by Pura Tyson. Free admission.


Villalona and Ventura in Santiago
Fernando Villalona and Johnny Ventura will be at Las Vegas Discotheque in Santiago on Friday, 30 December 2016 starting at 11pm. DR1 Daily News had mistakenly yesterday listed this event for Thursday, 29 December.

Tickets for sale at the door for RD$1,200. Tel. 809 806-4413


Electronic music in Santiago
DJ Hardwell is in Santiago for a night of electronic music at Parqueo Jardin Plaza, Santiago. Friday, 30 December 2016. Tickets: RD$1,110, RD$1,480 and RD$1,850.


New Year’s Dinner in the Colonial City
City hotels are announcing New Year gala dinners for their guests and those in Santo Domingo for the last day of 2016.

They include Hotel Billini in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, which will be serving dinner in one of the city’s most romantic spots – its rooftop restaurant. The restaurant is advertising its New Year’s Eve dinner (31 December 2016) – with a half bottle of Freixenet cava, taster’s menu (cream of cassava, Christmas salad, salmon and pork belly, finishing with chocolate volcano desert – for US$75 plus taxes.

See http://dr1.com/directories/Billini-Hotel.html for contact details.*


Hotel El Embajador presents DJs and Hermanos Rosario
Hotel El Embajador in Santo Domingo is inviting revelers to its traditional New Year’s party with a mix of urban music and merengue on Saturday, 31 December 2016. The program includes Mark B, Los Hermanos Rosario and El Alfa. Music is set to start at 11:45pm of the 31st and continue until dawn.


Ultra Super Mega Dance for 31 December
The Teatro La Fiesta at the Hotel Renaissance Jaragua in Santo Domingo presents its “Ultra Super Mega Baile del 31” a merengue, bachata and salsa dancing concert with a long list of star performers.

Starting at 10pm on Saturday, 31 December, enjoy the music of Raulín Rodríguez, Fernando Villalona, Los Hermanos Rosario, Rubby Pérez, Toño Rosario, Chiquito Team Band, Steffany Constanza, Kinito Méndez, Alex Matos and El Conjunto Quisqueya.

Tickets are: RD$2,000, RD$3,000, RD$4,000 and RD$5,000. Tickets are for sale at ticketexpress.com.do for online purchases and at the Jaragua Hotel.

For information on upcoming events:
http://www.dr1.com/calendar


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http://dr1.com/forums/forumdisplay.p...-Headline-News

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