Jean-Marie Le Guen meets President Medina
Curacao mission visits to learn Dominican experiences
Transport overhaul bill passes in Senate
Senate passes Paris Agreement on Climate Change
Wages Committee to meet 15 February 2017
Santiago Mayor Abel Martínez denounces illegal immigration
New civic movement against impunity called for 22 February 2017
Attorney General to Brazil for Odebrecht investigation
Costambar business protest privatizing of parking
Claro says it will invest US$650 million by 2020
Snowstorms cause dozens of flight cancellations
Víctor Estrella wins first game in Ecuador Open
The Great Gatsby at the National Theater
Carnival in La Vega
Tony Dize St. Valentine’s Day concert
Michel Camilo comes to play jazz
Corruption and impunity in Iberoamerica
Victor Victor and Rafael Solano at Lucia 203



Jean-Marie Le Guen meets President Medina
The French Minister of State for Development and Francophonie Jean-Marie Le Guen made a courtesy visit to President Danilo Medina at the Presidential Palace on Thursday, 9 February 2017.  The Presidency reported the visit was to stress the strong relations between both countries. Cooperation, investment, education and environmental issues on the bilateral agenda were discussed.  France has been an active partner in the development of technology in the Dominican Republic and is the government’s main supplier for the construction of the Santo Domingo Metro and Skytrain (Metrocable) across the Ozama River. 

Le Guen was accompanied by French Ambassador in the Dominican Republic, José Gómez and Thierry Moulins, French Embassy counsellor. Also Le Guen’s counselors Anne Claire Hoyaux and Alex Vieux were in attendance.

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/the...rie-le-guen/ 


Curacao mission visits to learn Dominican experiences
Enrique A. Ramírez Paniagua, director of the Customs Agency (DGA), met with the Economic Development Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath of Curacao to look into ways both countries can increase trade. Rhuggenaath was accompanied by public and private sector representatives from Curacao.  

Ramírez outlined DGA’s vision and recent actions taken to modernize the customs agency and summarized current strategies that will continue to make the country attractive for foreign investment. Ramírez proposed the signing of a cooperation agreement for exchange of information and security to strengthen commercial ties between the two island nations.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/02/0...mision-curazao


Transport overhaul bill passes in Senate
The Senate approved the 96-page and 360-articles Mobility, Ground Transport, Transit and Road Safety Bill of the Dominican Republic and Ground Transit Institute (Intrant) sponsored by deputy Tobías Crespo. The bill was passed in a second reading that lasted from 4 to 9pm on Wednesday, 8 February 2017. 

The measures included in the extensive bill are intended to drastically change ground passenger and cargo transport and will impact businesses located on streets, parking, and the condition of vehicles allowed to transit. 

Given that the Senate introduced changes to the bill that had been approved by the Chamber of Deputies in 2015, it will return to that legislative house for the approval of the amendments. The Chamber of Deputies is on vacation until it reopens on 27 February 2017. 

The bill will replace Transport Law 241 that dates back to 1967. 

http://hoy.com.do/senado-aprueba-pro...eguridad-vial/
http://www.camaradediputados.gov.do/...C4D/BF5E.pdf 
http://elnuevodiario.com.do/mobile-i...aspx?id=505395


Senate passes Paris Agreement on Climate Change
The Senate approved on Wednesday, 8 February 2017 the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement is in effect since 4 November 2016, after it was ratified by more than 100 of the 195 countries that participated in the December 2015 discussions for the global pact during the Twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Paris Agreement builds upon the Convention and – for the first time – brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so. As such, it charts a new course in the global climate effort.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework will be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. The Agreement also provides for enhanced transparency of action and support through a more robust transparency framework. 

Read more on the Paris Agreement at:
http://bigpicture.unfccc.int/#conten...paris-agreemen
http://www.7dias.com.do/economia/201...io-minimo.html


Wages Committee to meet 15 February 2017
Public and private representatives members of the National Committee on Wages (CNS) agreed to meet on Wednesday, 15 February 2017. During the meeting Resolution Num. 01/2015, related to the Non-Sectorized National Minimum Wage, will be discussed. 

The chairman of the National Committee on Wages, Felix Hidalgo said that everything is ready to restart the meeting that was begun in November 2016. The central objective of the meeting is the review of the national salary for non-government employees. 

He said that “the parties have already been sworn in and the CNS began its session with a working agenda that was read and approved in the first meeting. We expect to continue with the harmony that has characterized our latest meetings.” 

Workers and management participate in the meetings, with the governmental Ministry of Labor acting as arbiter. 


Santiago Mayor Abel Martínez denounces illegal immigration
Former president of the Chamber of Deputies, now Santiago Mayor Abel Martínez, has gone public to denounce that large numbers of undocumented persons continue to irregularly enter the country and are affecting the urban development in cities. He said the situation is serious in Santiago and showed the press dozens of forged Dominican IDs. He says many Haitians have secured the forged documents to pose as Haitians that had legally recently acquired Dominican nationality. He says the dozens for forgeries were detected when they applied for sales space in the new flea market area opened in Santiago. 

Martínez says that forgers duplicate Dominican IDs and sell them to Haitians, simply replacing the names on the ID cards. He said new technology in place at the city government has made it possible to verify the forgeries. 

He appealed to the civil registry authorities at the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Migration Agency, the Ministry of Interior and Police and security bodies of the government to investigate and follow up on these forgeries that he says affect the credibility of the civil registry bodies and the civil registry controls. 

“We call to the authorities of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), the Migration Agency (DGA) and the Ministry of Interior and Police to carry out their roles given this mass forgery of public documents that places the Dominican state in a state of judicial irregularity,” he said. 

Last week, Martínez had also complained of a large presence of illegal Haitians that he said were invading Santiago. 

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/02/0...avor-haitianos


New civic movement against impunity called for 22 February 2017
The organizers of the 22 January 2017 March Against Impunity are again revving the population to forcefully overcome its traditional tolerance to corruption impunity and participate in the Journey for National Mobilization for the End of Impunity. The group demands that Dominican government officials who accepted bribes from Odebrecht be penalized as well as the return of the money stolen from the Dominican people due to the payment of bribes and deliberately inflating the cost of public works projects. The next activity for peaceful protests is called simultaneously in the 32 provinces of the country for this coming, Wednesday, 22 February 2017. 

“Let us deck in green all the streets of our country, with each of us wearing green on that day or displaying green flags on our cars, homes, businesses and every way possible to show our collective indignation,” says the group in a press release. 

On Sunday, 12 February 2017, the movement organizers will announce how many citizens have already signed the Green Book Against Impunity (Libro Verde). There are some 150 Puntos Verdes, or green spots nationwide, where the citizens can sign their name to the petition that calls for an end to impunity. 

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/02/0...-fin-impunidad
http://hoy.com.do/organizadores-marc...fin-impunidad/
http://hoy.com.do/organizadores-marc...fin-impunidad/


Attorney General to Brazil for Odebrecht investigation
Attorney General Jean-Alain Rodríguez will travel to Brazil to meet with the Brazilian authorities that have investigated the so called “Lava Jato” (“Operation Car Wash”) corruption case involving Odebrecht, the leading construction company in Latin America. Other prosecutors in the Americas where the company has declared paying bribes to get contracts have also been invited to the meeting. All of the region’s nations involved in the scandal (including the Dominican Republic) have requested cooperation from the Brazilian Federal Public Ministry.  As reported in El Nacional, Rodríguez also requested a meeting with his colleague Rodrigo Janot Monteiro of the Brazilian Federal Public Ministry to focus on strictly Dominican case details. The meeting is coordinated by the Secretary General of the Iberoamerican Association of Public Ministries. 

http://elnacional.com.do/procurador-...aso-odebrecht/
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opi...0209-0025.html


Costambar business protest privatizing of parking
Claiming that the new RD$100 charge to have access to the beaches in Costambar will deter patrons and reduce the attractiveness of this area to domestic and foreign tourists, the community of Puerto Plata has begun a protest of the recent city government announcement of the privatizing of the beach area. 

The decision of the council of the Puerto Plata city government was unexpected by the Association of Owners of Condominiums of the Costambar residential and commercial area (APC) and the associations of vendors, and neighborhood boards. These groups said the move by the municipality is illegal because the area is private, not public land. 

The president of the council for the city government said that Sajona Soluciones y Servicios was chosen to be in charge of parking in the area and was approved that it would charge RD$100 to every vehicle entering the tourism project over the next 10 years.

Luis Brugal, representative of the Association of Condominium Proprietors (APC) said that the city government did not consult the affected sectors that at present have the control of the complex. He said charging for parking on Costambar Beach will affect the owners of property in the area and the businesses that locate there because thousands of visitors will no longer come. The president of the association of vendors, Domingo Silverio Rodriguez, lamented the decision that brings in a company that is not an owner of property in the complex to manage and charge for parking. 

Mauro Gally, an Italian who has been operating a restaurant in the area for the past 30 years and is a resident in Costambar expressed concern, fearing that his business could go bankrupt due to the council’s policy. 

http://www.7dias.com.do/el-pais/2017...rto-plata.html


Claro says it will invest US$650 million by 2020
Claro (America Movil) says it will invest over US$650 million in the Dominican Republic over the next three years. The telecom president in the Dominican Republic, Oscar Peña said the funds will be allotted to infrastructure expansion and modernization, replacing cell sites and extending fiber optic coverage beyond the current footprint of 20 cities in 26 provinces. Claro is the market leader with around 53% of the country's mobile lines, 71% of its fixed lines and 50% of pay-TV subscriptions.


Snowstorms cause dozens of flight cancellations
Winter storm stretching from Maine southward through the rest New England, including eastern New York and into northern/eastern New Jersey, as well as Hartford, Connecticut, Albany, New York, and New York City have caused hundreds of flight cancellations.

As of Thursday, 9 February 2017, 18 flights from the area to Las Americas International in Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata International airports have been cancelled. Airport management is recommending travelers to double check to see if their flights are cancelled or delayed prior to leaving for the airport. Airlines affected by cancellations included JetBlue, United Airlines, Delta flights in Santo Domingo; and JetBlue, and United airlines to Puerto Plata. 

The bad weather also has affected flights to the Punta Cana International (PUJ), Santiago Cibao International (STI) from the northeastern of the United States. 

http://aerodom.com/app/do/aerodom_pr...mo.aspx?id=415
http://aerodom.com/app/do/aeropuertos.aspx
http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...menta-de-nieve
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...l#.WJzhjSMrIuw


Víctor Estrella wins first game in Ecuador Open
After a slow start, top ATP-ranked Dominican tennis player Víctor Estrella (ranked 156th) defeated Andrej Martin of Slovak Republic (ranked 145th) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in the Ecuador Open.  Estrella is a two-time winner of the ATP 250 Ecuador Open. He will now go against Ivo Karlovic (ranked 18th) of Croatia in the second round. 

http://www.eurosport.co.uk/tennis/at...188/live.shtml
http://www.tennis.com/rankings/ATP/


The Great Gatsby at the National Theater
Dominican actor Carlos de la Mota stars in The Great Gatsby, a production by Luis Marcel Ricart. The play, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, will be staged at the main hall of the National Theater on the nights of 10, 11 and 12 February 2017. Other actors appearing in the play are Zeny Leyva, Karoline Becker, Roger Manzano, Mario Arturo Hernández, Francesca Yarull and Eduardo Villanueva. Tickets range from RD$2,000 to RD$1,000 are for sale at Uepa Tickets and the National Theater box office. 


Carnival in La Vega
La Vega, one-hour drive from Santo Domingo and one-hour and a half from Puerto Plata, invites to its annual carnival parades. The main parade of the colorful carnival characters is on Sunday afternoons in February, after which there is live music with Omega, Don Miguelo, El Poeta Callejero, Jovanny Polanco, Los Kukitos, Kinito Mendez this Sunday, 12 February 2017. 


Tony Dize St. Valentine’s Day concert
On Tuesday, 14 February, on occasion of St. Valentine’s Day, Puerto Rican singer Tony Dize performs at Hard Rock Café Live. He is best known for his bachata, merengue, salsa and reggaeton. He will be accompanied in the show by Cuban saxophonist Humberto Casanova and Colombian guitarist Simón Restrepo, among others. Tickets are for sale at Hard Rock Live at Blue Mall, Uepa Tickets, CCN Jumbo and Supermercados Nacional. 

Listen to his music at: 
http://tonydize.net/


Michel Camilo comes to play jazz
Michel Camilo is booked for the concert “Piano Solo” (Only Piano) in Santiago and Santo Domingo. In Santiago he will play on Monday, 13 February 2017 at the Gran Teatro Cibao. On Tuesday, 14 February, he will play at the National Theater in Santo Domingo. Tickets are RD$3,000, RD$2,000, RD$1,500 and RD$1,000. Tickets are for sale at the theaters or at Uepa Tickets, CCN Jumbo and Supermercados Nacional.

The concerts are a benefit for the Dominican Rehab Association (ADR). 


Corruption and impunity in Iberoamerica
Lawyer Francisco Alvarez and Le Monde correspondent Jean-Michel Caroit will be talking about corruption in Latin America on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 7:30pm at the Quinta Dominica. Quinta Dominica is located on Calle Padre Billini 202, Colonial City. 


Victor Victor and Rafael Solano at Lucia 203
On Saturday, 18 February 2017, bachata and bolero maestro, Victor Victor and Rafael Solano (Por Amor) will perform together at Lucia 203. The St. Valentine’s Day concert starts at 9pm at the Colonial City night spot that serves delicious Dominican food from sister restaurant Meson de Bari. 

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


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