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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 8 June 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 8 June 2017

    Dominguez Brito lobbies for Haiti in United Nations
    AMET will not bother with tinted windows
    Transportation unions want a delay on new traffic law
    New Cabarete building said to violate zoning laws
    Odebrecht judge sends Angel Rondón to La Victoria jail
    The question of parliamentary immunity still pending for three
    El Nuevo Herald: Punta Catalina welders billed RD$660,535 a month
    Conep gets new executive vice president
    Dominican women in NYC head the list of live births
    Kelly Genao arrested for trafficking in little girls
    Luguelin Santos gets his university degree
    Panamerican Weight Lifting Championship in Santo Domingo
    FIBA chooses DR to host Americas qualifier in 2019
    Puerto Plata DR Open in Puerto Plata

    Domínquez Brito lobbies for Haiti in United Nations
    Minister of Environment Francisco Domínguez Brito spoke at the United Nations Oceans Conference, calling for greater support for Haiti to improve its natural resources. He explained to the assembly that the Republic of Haiti barely has 2% forest cover and not only has the surface been affected, but that the coral reefs have been devastated. 

    Domínguez told the United Nations members that “it is essential to help Haiti, we are just one island and to help Haiti in terms of the environment is to also help the Dominican Republic.” 

    Domínguez Brito said that as an island the Dominican Republic and Haiti have common challenges and threats that come from the negative effects of climate change and the excessive contamination of the world’s oceans. He said: “Our country occupies the eighth place with regards to vulnerability and risk in the face of these threats. The irresponsible dumping of plastic residue and illegal and uncontrolled fishing forces us to take on commitments seeking to preserve the oceans as well as the human goals of food sources and sustainable social development.” 

    Domínguez Brito called for greater and more effective financing of scientific research that can identify biodegradable alternatives to the use of plastic materials.

    AMET will not bother with tinted windows
    Members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AMET) will not be issuing traffic tickets to those drivers whose windows are tinted, because Article 193 of the newly enacted Law 63-17 does not contain any sanctions for tinted windows. This was communicated to the agents by the commanding general of the AMET, Frener Bello Arias. 

    The AMET director told his service men and women “we have seen and heard through the media that some AMET agents are carrying out operations that fine drivers of vehicles that have tinted windows, so we therefore call on each and every one of our officers to note this practice must be discontinued because article 193 of Laws 63-17 on Movement, Ground Transportation, Traffic And Highway Safety does not contemplate the application of any infractions for tinted windows.” 

    The traffic tickets previously issued by AMET agents were sanctioned by Resolution 1123-2014 by the Directorate General of Transportation on 11 October 2014 that allowed drivers to darken side and rear windows. Article 193 of the new traffic law refers to obstruction of the drivers vision and says: “Drivers who drive a motor vehicle and have objects that block visibility, such as signs, stickers and other such objects on their front windshield will be subject to a fine equal to one minimum wage as paid in the public sector in addition to the points on the license as determined by the regulations. Neither should packages or objects that block visibility be carried. Nonetheless there will be no punishment when these are placed within a square no greater than 15 cm x 15 cm (6” x 6”) or on the side windows in back of the driver.”

    Transportation unions want a delay on new traffic law
    The Medina administration is working on enacting Law 63-17 that includes new traffic laws and regulations.  Law 63-17 replaces Law 241 dating back to 1967. Meanwhile, in Santiago, Gervasio de la Rosa, the regional leader of the National Transportation Federation (Fenatrado), called on the government to apply the new laws gradually, by regions or provinces. 

    De la Rosa told reporters from the Diario Libre that his section of the drivers union is “prepared to defend the rights of thousands of drivers who have been working diligently for 30 or 40 years.” The union leader, who spoke on channel Super TV 55, claimed the government has not taken into account the needs or perspectives of different drivers unions in the articles of Law 63-17. 

    De la Rosa said that while they welcome updating and modernization of the new law, he did not want to see the best interests of the drivers reduced in any way. However, de la Rosa did not elaborate on just what the possible erosion of these ‘best interests’ might be. There are literally dozens of these so-called unions that operate passenger routes in Santiago and that employ thousands of drivers. 

    Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo announced the government will first enact of Law 63-17 in the National District.

    New Cabarete building said to violate zoning laws
    Several news reports from Cabarete focused on the construction of a five-story building in the center of Cabarete that apparently is being built without securing the proper permits.  As reported, the construction of the building, owned by Lifestyle, was authorized by the provincial director for the Ministry of Tourism in Puerto Plata, Lorenzo Sancassani. 

    Cabarete Noticias online portal says the property violates the land use plan for the area. As reported, the building is only 15 meters back from the Atlantic Ocean, which is in violation of the zoning laws that ban any construction 60 meters from the shore. Reportedly, the builders secured a presidential decree authorizing the construction and did not go through the usual procedures for construction in the area. 

    Cabarete Noticias observes that the building is at risk from suffering flooding and collapse.

    Odebrecht judge sends Angel Rondón to La Victoria jail
    On Wednesday, 7 June 2017 in the afternoon, Judge Francisco Ortega Polanco announced his decision regarding for 13 of the 14 men accused of receiving bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in exchange for contract work in the Dominican Republic. 

    The orders were: 
    Former Minister of Public Works Victor Díaz Rua and his legal advisor Conrado Pittaluga: nine months in Jajayo jail. 

    Former deputy Ruddy González, former president of the Senate and president of the PRM opposition party Andrés Bautista and Minister of Industry and Commerce Temístocles Montás, six months in Najayo Jail.

    Former administrator of the CDE César Sánchez and former manager of EgeHID Máximo de Oleo, three months in Najayo Jail.

    Commercial representative of Odebrecht, Angel Rondón, one year in La Victoria Jail.

    Former executive vice president of the CDEEE, Radhamés Segura and former director of INAPA, Roberto Rodríguez Hernández, nine months house arrest. 

    Senators Julio César Valentín (Santiago) and Tommy Galán (San Cristóbal), and deputy Alfredo Pacheco (National District), bail of RD$5 million, and a ban on these leaving the country. 

    The judge also declared the case complex, giving prosecutors more time to prepare. The judge gave the public prosecutors eight months to present the accusations for the bribes. 

    The case against former technical director of EgeHID Benardo Castellanos was separated from the others and will be heard when he is captured. An Interpol arrest order has been issued. He is known to be in Panama. 

    All those accused in the case have defended their innocence.

    The question of parliamentary immunity still pending for three
    Of the Senate and justice committee and the disciplinary committee of the Chamber of Deputies continue to study the request to strip parliamentary immunity from the PLD Senators Julio Cesar Valentin (Santiago) and Tommy Galán (San Cristóbal) as well as the PRM deputy Alfredo Pacheco (National District) who are under indictment on bribery charges involved in the Odebrecht scandal of some US $92 million. 

    Since last Wednesday, the justice commission of the Senate which is chaired by Aristides Victoria Yeb was given the request by the magistrate.  However, as of Wednesday, 7 June 2017 no deliberations or actions on the magistrate’s request have occurred.  

    Citing Resolution 0031, the judge of Special Instruction (somewhat similar to a Special Prosecutor), Francisco Ortega, requested the removal of immunity that covers the legislators in order to move forward with his investigation regarding the accusations against the legislators that are being prepared. 

    On Monday, Senator Valentín revealed that he had sent a letter to the Senate president, Reinaldo Pared Pérez, where he requests the removal of his parliamentary immunity in order to face the accusations against him. Senator Galán presented a similar attitude towards his immunity. 

    In the meantime the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Lucia Medina Sanchez sent the judge’s request to the Disciplinary Committee. 

    Alfredo Pacheco is the spokesman for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) and also appears in the files covering the Odebrecht case. According to article 87 of the Constitution of the Republic, Congress has two months to decide whether or not to remove this immunity from these legislators.

    El Nuevo Herald: Punta Catalina welders billed RD$660,535 a month
    A feature in El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish edition by the publishers of The Miami Herald, looks into what it calls corruption and favoritism in the construction of the Punta Catalina thermoelectric central. The power plant is under construction by a consortium head by the Brazilian company Odebrecht. It again brings to light accusations that the project was plagued by overpricing and irregularities in the tender procedures. 

    The feature highlights the Dominican government supplied privileged information to Odebrecht to assist it in winning the tender.  Furthermore, the Brazilian company subsequently billed exorbitant wages for project workers. The scheme meant that a welder was making more than the President of the Republic. At the rate of RD$41.3 to the dollar in 2013, when the contract was signed, a welder was billing RD$660,535.68 a month, more than the RD$450,000 salary of President Danilo Medina. 

    The tender was granted to Norberto Odebretch-Tecnimont for US$2.04 billion. The runner up company IMPE SRL, associated to Gezhouba Group Company LTD, of China had offered to do the work for US$900 million. Another contender Sepco III bid US$1.15 billion and Posco US$1.2 billion.  The evaluating committee said that Odebrecht bid scored 48.95 points compared to 35.70 of Posco, 34.85 of Gezhouba and 29.95 of Sepco III.

    The contract approval was fast-tracked by the Dominican Congress.

    Conep gets new executive vice president
    The National Business Council (Conep) has appointed Cesar Dargam as the new executive vice president. At the time of the appointment, Dargam was a deputy minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Dargam will now be charged with coordinating the technical and operational aspects of the institution and providing for continuity to the plans that the Conep has developed for this year. Pedro Brache, the Conep president, said that the institution has continued to develop its activities and that by integrating Dargam they will continue to advance on issues that have been laid out by the Board of Directors for the second half of 2017. 

    After a long selection process, the Conep chose the Dargram, who is a graduate from the PUC MM law school and holds a master’s degree from the Sorbonne university in Paris, France.  

    Dargam was the executive secretary of the National Commission on Commercial Negotiations until 2011, when he was named deputy minister of Foreign Relations for Economic Affairs and Commercial Negotiations. In 2016 he was once again appointed the director general of Foreign Trade for the Dominican Republic at the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

    Dominican women in NYC head the list of live births
    Dominican women living in New York City gave birth to 8,039 babies in 2015, according to a study revealed earlier this week by the NYC Health Department. The number of births by Dominican women is followed by the Chinese women who gave 7911 births.  Statistics of the number of births from other immigrants in the US are: Mexicans at 2725, Ecuadorians at 2646 and Bangladesh at 2646. 

    At the same time, the report confirms that life expectancy has increased by nine years over the past 25 years for New York City residents. The report says that city residents now have a life expectancy of 81.2 years. In 1990 this number was 72.4 years. 

    As usual, women are expected to live five years more than men, 83.5 years for women and 78.6 years for men. 

    In an interesting note also to be found in the Diario Libre article, Hispanic people have a probability of living a year more than Americans (either white at 81.3 years or black at 77.3 years) at 82.4 years. 

    The report goes on to say that the mortality rate in New York City decreased by 16% between 2006 and 2015, and it fell by 19% for those less than 65 years old. 

    Birthrates among adolescents also felt by 47% since 2006 and infant mortality was lowered by 27% over the same period.

    Kelly Genao arrested for trafficking in little girls
    Police in Puerto Plata announced the arrest Kelly Genao, a woman resident in San Marcos in Puerto Plata, who allegedly sexually exploited five girls, obliging them to have sex with Dominican and foreign men for money. 

    She was arrested by agents of the Migratory Control and People Trafficking and Smuggling Department of the Police. At the place of her arrest, the authorities rescued five girls of different ages. She was arrested by the Police following leads of an international non-governmental organization.

    Luguelin Santos gets his university degree
    The Dominican Republic London Olympic’s 400m dash silver medallist, 23-year old Luguelin Santos, has graduated in Sports Technology from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto de San Germán in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He trained and studied there for the past four years. 

    “Four years go flying by, thanks to God and all the people who have helped make this possible…  my family, friends, classmates…” he wrote in social media.

    Panamerican Weight Lifting Championship in Santo Domingo
    Many of the best weight lifters of all times in the Americas will be in Santo Domingo for the celebration from 9-11 June 2017 of the Panamerican Master Championship at the Weight Lifting Pavilion Dr. José Joaquín Puello in the Parque del Este. 

    Around 125 competitors have registered from 14 countries. The competitors are men 35 to 80 years old and women 35 to 65 years old. Competitors are coming from Aruba, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Curacao, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, the United States and Venezuela. 

    The event is organized by the Masters Confederation of Weight Lifting. 

    FIBA chooses DR to host Americas qualifier in 2019
    The Dominican Republic will host the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifier. The president of the Dominican Basketball Federation (Fedombal), Rafael Uribe, made the announcement on 7 June 2017 after taking part in FIBA's Mid-Term Congress in Hong Kong, and attending the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers Draw in Guangzhou, China.  

    "You know that our country's national team has not hosted a game in seven years, since 2010," Uribe said.

    The tournament is scheduled to take place 27 November 2017 in Santiago. The Dominican team, which is coached by Melvyn Lopez, is in Group D, along with the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Canada. 

    The team needs a top-three finish to get them into the Second Round and play six more games against the top three sides from Group B, which consists of Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and a team still to be announced.

    Uribe would like to see the country's most famous players, Karl Anthony Towns of Minnesota and Al Horford of Boston, don the national team uniform and play for the team in the third and/or fourth windows.

    "That's what we all would like to see," he said. "Back in August, we had a nice conversation with Karl and Al. We spoke about the competition.

    Both Horford and Towns have played for the Dominican Republic before. "Of course there are going to be windows where they cannot play because NBA players will have obligations in November and February but if they are not in the Finals in June/July and in September, they can play.

    Before the start of the World Cup Americas Qualifiers in November, the Dominican Republic will compete in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 (25 August to 3 September). The team will play in Group C against the United States, Panama and Uruguay in Montevideo.

    [/B]Puerto Plata DR Open in Puerto Plata[B]
    The Puerto Plata DR Open is taking place in Puerto Plata this weekend, making Puerto Plata the capital of Latin American golf. The event is played at the Playa Dorada Golf Course. 

    Some 144 players from 20 countries are competing for US$175,000 in prize money. The winner gets US$31,500. 

    The event is organized by the Dominican Golf Federation, Playa Dorada Golf Course and the PGA Tour Latin America. 

    As part of the tournament celebrations, legendary Peter Cetera will delight all participants with a concert on Saturday, 10 June 2017 at the Puerto Plata amphitheater. 
    Last edited by Dolores; 06-11-2017 at 12:07 PM.


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