US lifts ban on fruits and vegetables exports to US
Ministry of Energy and Mines readies new framework for the industry
Wedding brings PLD leaders together
Consolidated public debt reaches 54% GDP
UNPHU Small Business Center gets US$52,500 grant from US State Department program
Antonio Taveras Guzman says government violates ProCompetencia and CNC rules
Emergency landing at Punta Cana International Airport
Bulgarian tourists accused of cloning credit cards
394 packages of cocaine seized at Puerto Multimodal Caucedo
1,047 kilos of cocaine seized in Barahona
The birds of Hispaniola
Victor Estrella opens tennis courts at Tanama Lodge
Victor Estrella to play in Claro 2017 Open Tennis Cup
Tight finish for baseball regular season
Jazz for Christmas in Puerto Plata
Ramon Orlando and Henry Garcia at Lucia 203
Christmas story presentation on 25 December 2017



US lifts ban on fruits and vegetables exports to US
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Secretary of Agriculture announced the complete lifting of the Federal Order banning certain fruits and vegetables from the Dominican Republic into the United States. Earlier, the ban had been partially lifted. The full lifting of the ban was announced after no medflies have been trapped in the Dominican Republic since 9 January 2017.

The full lifting of the ban (DA-2017-38) was issued on 12 December 2017, and is signed by Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Department.

The ban had been instated on 18 March 2015 in response to detections of live Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) in the Punta Cana region in order to prevent dissemination of the plant pest in the US.

The ban caused millionaire losses to Dominican farmers. It had affected the export of many fruits and vegetables, including avocado, clementine, grape, grapefruit, lemon, litchi, longan, mamey (sapote), mandarin, mango, orange, papaya, pepper, pummel, tangelo, tangerine, tomato, tuna (cactus fruit).

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_ex...DA-2017-38.pdf
https://www.listindiario.com/economi...as-y-vegetales


Ministry of Energy and Mines readies new framework for the industry
The Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) has sent to the Executive Branch its proposed bill for increased government participation and oversight in mining projects in the Dominican Republic. “This is a historical bet on an unprecedented win-win mining model to exploit the riches of the subsoil,” said Minister Antonio Isa Conde.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines says it has been circulating the bill among stakeholders, mining experts and academics since September. Some 1,150 observations have been received. The intention is to produce legislation to promote sustainable mining in the country.

The bill contemplates the creation of a National System for the Distribution of State Mining Revenues. A portion of the revenues from mining would be allotted to sustainable development projects in the country.

The preliminary draft presents a new institutional mining framework, regulations regarding qualifications, licenses and concessions, invalidity regime, expiration, extinction of rights, the fiscal and economic regime, the protection of the environment, the closure plan and the regime of infractions and sanctions for this industry.

https://www.mem.gob.do/index.php/not...-modelo-minero


Wedding brings PLD leaders together
President Danilo Medina and former President Leonel Fernandez, the two main leaders of the ruling PLD party, embraced during the Saturday, 16 December 2017 wedding of Candy Sibeli Medina at the Santo Domingo Cathedral on Saturday, 16 December 2017.

The photographers were prompt to catch the embrace of the two politicians that have marked differences over who will be the party’s presidential candidate in the 2020 presidential elections. Medina successfully changed the 2010 Constitution so that he could run for re-election in the 2016 general election. There is speculation Medina would back strategies so that he could run again or position a candidate he backs versus Fernandez who is able to run for President in 2020.

Diario Libre news story on 18 December 2017 says the gesture lifts some of the tension between both. The two may meet again for the 44th anniversary of the foundation of the ruling political party. The Monday, 18 December luncheon meeting at the Casa Nacional of the party is open to the 623 members of the Central Committee of the PLD, including the 35 that are members of the Political Committee that is responsible for the most important party decisions.

The daughter of President Medina and First Lady Candida Montilla married Angel Duarte. This is the second daughter of three of the presidential couple to marry while their father is President. His first daughter to marry was Vanessa Daniela Medina Montilla who married Argentinian Martin Gonzalez Garrahan.

Candy Sibelina Medina and her mother wore dresses by Dominican designer Luis Dominguez.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...e-candy-sibeli
https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...l-si-EI8802152


Consolidated public debt reaches 54% GDP
The Regional Center for Economic Sustainable Strategies (CREES) revealed that the Non-Financial Public Sector Debt was US$40,047 million at the close of October, which is 54.3% of the Gross Domestic Product.

CREES based the estimates on data provided by the Ministry of Hacienda that shows an annual average public debt increase of 14.4% from 2000 to 2016. Earlier this year, the Governor of the Central Bank had reported that the total public debt to GDP ratio was 49.6% in July 2017. Of the total, 27.4% is for Central Bank bonds, or US$10,973 million. US$29,074.7 million is in internal and external debt through multilateral organizations, bilateral financial agreements and sovereign bonds.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...-pib-DG8787588


UNPHU Small Business Center gets US$52,500 grant from US State Department program
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Small Business (MICM) announced the Small Business Center of the UNPHU University in Santo Domingo won a grant for US$52,500 from the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) of the United States.

The purpose of the grant is to support and expand the SBNA through projects designed to expand the (SBDC) model, strengthen center to center SBNA partnerships, increase international trade, small business counseling skills and small business opportunities in underserved communities.

The resources will be used to develop programs to support entrepreneurship among young women and youths in general. Ignacio Méndez, deputy minister for small business at the MICM, said the funds would be used for two 10-month long programs that will benefit 75 Dominican youths, 35 from the Ministry of Youth with the pilot program Casa de Pension and 40 women of the Fundacion Prosperanza.

The Casa de Pension is a program that trains youths in entrepreneurship, and backs their participation in sociopolitical, educational, recreational, sports, cultural, scientific and technological activities.

Prosperanza is a social platform that seeks to offer new opportunities to women entrepreneurs through educational initiatives, vocational training and funding for micro business.

The program funds are provided by the US Department of State, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the US Department of State in alliance with the International Business Innovation Association (INBIA), the Regional Center for the Promotion of Small Business in Central America (Cenpromype) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Present for the announcement of the grant to the UNPHU small business program were:
Enrique Rosales, director of the Centro Mipymes UNPHU; Judith Cury, president of Prosperanza; Miguel Fiallo, rector of the UNPHU; Ignacio Méndez, vice minister small business; Elvin Castillo, in charge of the student welfare program at the Ministry of Youth.

The UNPHU Small Business Center was founded in 2015 with the backing of the Ministry of Industry & Commerce.

https://www.mic.gob.do/noticias/cent...euu-de-us52500


Antonio Taveras Guzman says government violates ProCompetencia and CNC rules
The president of the Association of Industries of Herrera and the Province of Santo Domingo (AEIH), Antonio Taveras Guzman, criticized the new appointment of three members of the National Commission for the defense of Competitiveness (ProCompetencia) in violation of transparency and due process. He said that Law 42-08 establishes that the President is required to submit a shortlist of candidates to form the council. He said it is unknown whether the Presidency complied with this legal provision.

He said that the names of Ivan Gaton, Juan Reyes and Victor Mateo Vasquez were approved by the Senate without making public if other candidates were proposed for the positions. He criticized that the three successful candidates are well known political activists of the ruling PLD party.

He remarked that another violation involved omitting representation of small business sector from the National Competitiveness Council (CNC). The CNC membership was recently expanded by the President to include more representatives of big business in the Dominican Republic.


Emergency landing at Punta Cana International Airport
An XL Airways France flight had to return to the Punta Cana International Airport just five minutes after taking off. The pilot notified controllers of difficulties with the main landing gear. That flight had taken off on Friday, 15 December 2017 at 9:46pm en route to Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris.

Onboard were 377 passengers and crew. Apparently the problem was resolved once the airplane returned to land, and the flight took-off after midnight and successfully arrived to its destination.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...unta-cana.html


Bulgarian tourists accused of cloning credit cards
The Police have accused two Bulgarian tourists, identified as Radichev Radich Ivanov and Alexander Sadey of credit card fraud after they were caught reportedly trying to skim money from an Asociación Nacional de Ahorros y Préstamos automated teller machine in Puerto Plata.

The Bulgarians were caught when installing a skimming device at the ATM located at La Sirena on the Malecon of Puerto Plata. The tourists were staying at a hotel in Playa Dorada. The Police had been tipped off and were able to catch the Bulgarians in the act of committing the crime.

http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...s-at-La-Sirena
http://detrasdelrumor.com.do/apresan...-puerto-plata/


394 packages of cocaine seized at Puerto Multimodal Caucedo
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) announced the confiscation of 394 packages of a white powder weighing 408.77 kilos, presumed to be cocaine, on 16 December 2017. The drugs were found inside a freight container at the port and were sent to the National Institute of Forensic Sciences (INACIF) for verification.

In addition to the seized drugs, the authorities seized a truck that is suspected of being contracted to transport the drugs from the Multimodal Port.

http://www.dncd.gob.do/dncd-ocupa-39...modal-caucedo/


1,047 kilos of cocaine seized in Barahona
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) announced that 1,047 kilos of cocaine were seized in Paraiso, Barahona. As reported in the Thursday, 14 December 2017 operation, five persons were arrested and firearms and several vehicles were confiscated during the anti-drug operation in Barahona. Barahona prosecutor Ivan Gomez Rubio says there are businessmen and city officers involved. The DNCD reported the arrest of Venezuelan Jorge San Juan and Dominicans Rosario Samboy, Neyci Suero, Martin Beltre and Bolivar Matos.

http://www.dncd.gob.do/dncd-ocupa-ma...a-en-barahona/


The birds of Hispaniola
Few people know that there is two times the number of endemic birds on the island of Hispaniola as in the entire United States. A book sponsored by Inicia and developed by Mario Davalos and Capital DBG is available online as part of a new effort to draw attention to the wonderful birds of Hispaniola and their importance for the balance of the ecosystems in the Caribbean. Davalos describes the project as the most important document on the birds of the Dominican Republic.

The “Alas y Colores: Aves endemicas de La Española” book has illustrations by US artist Alex Warnick.

See online at:
http://alasycolores.com.do/es/proceso


Victor Estrella opens tennis courts at Tanama Lodge
Tanama Lodge in Punta Cana now has a synthetic grass tennis court. The court is open to the general public.

For the opening, top Dominican tennis player of all times, Victor Estrella played an exhibition game on Sunday, 17 December 2017. Playing with him were fellow members of the Dominican team to the Davis Cup, Jose Olivares and 17-year old Nick Hardt, ranked 25th junior player in the world (January 2018) by the International Tennis Federation. In the first game, Hardt defeated Estrella 6-3. In the second game, Hardt defeated Olivares in tie-breaker 7-6.

Estrella congratulated Javier Bonnet for the court. “I think this is a great idea to have a court for tennis training in the country before the grass season begins,” said Estrella. He said the court would get better as it settles down.

Bonnet explained the owners at Tanama Lodge will have preference at playing at the court, but it will be open for day and night play for the general public.

Tanama Lodge also has futsal court, a beach volleyball area, a one kilometer jogging trail, swimming pool, mini-golf, fitness center, among other attractions.
The project is a real estate development that operates as a condo hotel in Punta Cana.

https://www.metrord.do/do/deportes/2...unta-cana.html


Victor Estrella to play in Claro 2017 Open Tennis Cup
Top-ranked Dominican tennis player Victor Estrella (ranked 83rd by ATP) and fellow Davis Cup team member, Jose (Bebo) Hernandez (ranked 322nd) will be playing at the Claro Open Tennis Cup 2017 at the courts of the Claro Employees Club. The tournament starts Monday, 18 December and will continue through Thursday with cash prizes of RD$200,000.

There will be games start at noon, 2pm, with the inauguration at 3pm and more games to follow at 4pm.

Also playing are Dominican Davis Cup team members: Nick Hardt, Jesus Felix, Pedro Nolasco, William Kirkman, Armando Gandini , Manuel Castellanos, Junior Tavarez, Jose Oscar Diaz, Jasel Beltré, Eric Guzman, Yohandry Perez, Joan Castillo, Gabriel Matos, Omar Ferreiras and Anderson Paulino.

https://elnuevodiario.com.do/inicia-...is-copa-claro/


Tight finish for baseball regular season
Nothing is decided for the starters of the next round of the Dominican Baseball Championship. The first three teams are separated by a half a game – the Gigantes del Cibao, Aguilas Cibaeñas and the Leones del Escogido. After leading the Dominican Winter Professional Baseball League for the first two months of the season, the Estrellas Orientales have slipped to third place, but the Licey Tigers are just a half game away, and just three games from the first position.

This has been the most competitive baseball season in recent memory. There are five teams that have a legitimate chance to qualify for the round-robin postseason tournament. With only a handful of games remaining in the regular season, every team, except the last place Toros, are in the thick of race. For the past several weeks, each and every game has had a play-off like atmosphere – with managers taking bold risks to gain an edge on their opponent. The qualifying round of the tournament ends on 21 December 2017.

Remaining games are:
Monday, 18 December: Estrellas Orientales vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas (Santiago)

Tuesday, 19 December: Tigres del Licey vs. Leones del Escogido (SAnto Domingo)
Aguilas Cibaenas vs. Estrellas Orientales (San Pedro de Macoris)
Toros del ESte vs. Gigantes del Cibao (San Francisco de Macoris)

Wednesday, 20 December:
Estrellas Orientales vs. Leones del Escogido (SAnto Domingo)
Tigres del Licey vs. Toros del Este (La Romana)
Gigantes del Cibao vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas (San Francisco de Macoris)

Thursday, 21 December:
Toros del ESte vs. Tigres Licey (Santo Domingo)
Gigantes del Cibao vs. Estrellas Orientales (San Pedro de Macoris)
Leones del Escogido vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas (Santiago)

http://estadisticas.lidom.com/Estadisticas/Inicio
http://www.lidom.com/home/calendario/
http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...aseball-Season


Jazz for Christmas in Puerto Plata
Saxophone player Sandy Gabriel will be playing at the Blue Jack Tar in Playa Dorada on 22 December 2017. The Christmas concert will also feature top-notch musicians Guy Frometa, Daniel Alvarez, Emil Pimentel and David Almengod. Guest vocals is with Rose Matteo.


Ramon Orlando and Henry Garcia at Lucia 203
Ramon Orlando and Henry Garcia are remembering old times of the Orquesta Internacional as they get together on Saturday 23 December 2017 at Lucia 203 in the Colonial City.


Christmas story presentation on 25 December 2017
Don’t miss the last presentation of the Christmas Story at the parking lot of the Torre Popular on Av. John F. Kennedy. This is a Dominican tradition. Sunday, 25 December at 6:30pm. Free admission.