Closer ties with Denmark discussed
Dollar shortage denied by Central Bank
Minister of Tourism and Asonahores executives meet
Bernardo Vega on Rex Tillerson’s recent remarks on corruption in DR
Improvements to vaccination program
Restoration work to begin at Santa Barbara Church in Colonial City
Poor education leads to exclusion at school
University dropout rates high
Well-educated women victims of domestic violence
Collapse of public health system in Haiti sends droves of patients to DR
Hearing to return musical equipment to Ricardo Arjona delayed
Strike leaves seven injured in Pantoja
Father Rogelio shows his transfer letter
Riu owner charged in Miami
Chilly weather reported for the DR
Juander Santos follows in footsteps of his brother Luguelin Santos



Closer ties with Denmark discussed
Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas received a delegation from the Danish government to discuss strengthening the relations between the two countries. According to a press release, those attending the meeting were the Danish Justice Minister Sorem Pape Poulsen; Migration Minister Inger Stoberg and Welfare Assistance Minister Mai Mercado along with Deputy Sports Minister Frans Hjorth.

During the meeting, Vargas explained that one of the Dominican government’s objectives is to create relationships with other countries and in the case of Denmark, to deepen both diplomatic as well as consular relationships in terms of investment and bilateral cooperation.

http://www.mirex.gob.do/medios/notic...es-bilaterales


Dollar shortage denied by Central Bank
The low availability of US dollars has begun to affect sectors of the economy that need large quantities of that currency to conduct business. In the last few days, according to Diario Libre, there has not been a sufficient amount of dollars circulating in the formal exchange market. According to César de los Santos, president of the National Association of Vehicle Distribution Agencies (Anadive), the banks are limiting transactions to US$10,000 and US$20,000 for companies, whereas normally banks were permitting transactions of US$50,000 or more.

He said he was surprised that the dollar crunch was occurring now in February, instead of the usual dollar shortage problem during the busy Christmas season. De los Santos said it was important for the Central Bank to take the necessary measures and to inject more dollars into the economy.

Meanwhile the governor of the Central Bank, Héctor Valdez Albizu, assured that the Dominican economy did have enough dollars circulating and that more were coming. He denied that there was a shortage of the greenbacks and what was happening was that the banks were giving priority to their largest corporate clients.

He went on to say that if there were to be a problem, the Central Bank would help to resolve it.
He said that his year the Central Bank had US$940 million more than last year with around US$6.8 billion available. In addition, with the bond issue more than US$1.8 billion would be coming into the country.

https://listindiario.com/economia/20...s-y-vienen-mas
http://almomento.net/baja-disponibil...a-economia-rd/


Minister of Tourism and Asonahores executives meet
There is no mention of the conflict generated by the authorization of high rises by the Ministry of Tourism in Cap Cana and Macao in the press release issued by the Ministry of Tourism after a first meeting with executives of the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores). A Fast Company article recently linked the authorization directly to a presidential go ahead to please President Donald Trump.

Asonahores executives had called for the meeting after the 17-22-floor authorizations were made public. The authorization is contrary to a long running strategy of keeping construction below the height of coconut trees.

In the press release, the Ministry of Tourism says the executives of Asonahores and the Ministry met to define plans for the industry and develop the common agenda for 2018 to guarantee that more visitors continue arriving to the Dominican Republic. Visitation is at a high of seven million. Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia met with the president and executive vice president of Asonahores, Joel Santos and Andrés Marranzini for almost two hours.

http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...ebruary%202018


Bernardo Vega on Rex Tillerson’s recent remarks on corruption in DR
Former governor of the Central Bank and Dominican ambassador in Washington, D.C., Bernardo Vega has remarked finding it strange that the generous propaganda machine of the Medina administration has not spread the positive remarks US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made to local efforts to fight administrative corruption. Efforts in the DR were compared to the cases of Guatemala, Peru and Brazil, where concrete actions have been taken to prosecute those participating in Odebrecht corrupt acts.

Vega asks out loud if Tillerson knows something that Dominicans don’t know. In the DR the only development is a non-development in the most pressing corruption scandal, that of Odebrecht. Last week a Dominican court granted the Attorney General Office four more months to present the case against 14 Dominicans accused of participating in the US$92 million Odebrecht bribe scandal. The 14 Dominicans were released from time in jail with privileged pre-trial concessions.

In another recent commentary, Vega recommends the Dominican government desist from its request for a seat on the United Nations Security Council citing the difficult conflicts in the horizon do not bode well for the nation’s own interests.

https://noticiassin.com/2018/02/ahor...s-toman-notas/
http://hoy.com.do/que-es-lo-que-sabe...nto-de-estado/
https://noticiassin.com/seccion/ahor...bernardo-vega/
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politic...to-big/2326662
https://www.fastcompany.com/40526424...local-politics
http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...ebruary%202018


Improvements to vaccination program
The Ministry of Public Health has announced that they will be working on three key elements to make the Expanded Immunizations Program (PAI) more efficient so that it provides the best possible protection to Dominican families with the necessary vaccinations given at the correct time.

In a press release the PAI explained that the first step is to improve the measures of control at airports and ports throughout the country to prevent those with diseases from entering, especially as the country has millions of tourists arriving each year.

PAI director, Zacarías Garib Arbaje held a meeting with those in charge of the vaccination program throughout the country when the performance over the past year was evaluated and he unveiled the strategy to improve the coverage and to monitor and control epidemics.

He said that the PAI will be introducing new vaccines such as the human papillomavirus vaccine, injectable polio, influenza vaccine and others that can be applied at older ages when previously they were just for the infant population.

He said that even though vaccines are available at the more than 1,300 vaccination centers nationwide, the coverage was not total as parents did not remember to get booster shots for their children.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...pais-IN9179093


Restoration work to begin at Santa Barbara Church in Colonial City
The Supervisory Office of Public Works of the Presidency (Oisoe) announced the start of restoration work at the Santa Barbara Church located on the north side of the Colonial City. The church was built in 1560 and was where country founding father, Juan Pablo Duarte, was baptized in 1813. Repairs had already been underway at the church over the past six years.

Oisoe director, Francisco Pagan visited the church on Monday, 12 February 2018, and said President Danilo Medina had authorized additional funds for its restoration. Oisoe has undertaken the restoration of the House of Duarte, also in the Colonial City. Architects Risoris Silvestre and Jose Enrique Del Monte have been entrusted with technical aspects of the restoration.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...bara-YB9175155


Poor education leads to exclusion at school
According to a study by the Ministry of Education and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef), some 60% of Dominicans aged from 18-20 did not finish school because of low competency in reading, writing and mathematics in their first years at school. According to the study, called “Children Outside School in the Dominican Republic,” 18% of 5 year olds are still not going to school, 2% of children of ages 6 to 11 years, and 2.5% of those of ages 12 to 14 years. 9.9% of children from 15-17 years do not attend classes regularly.

The study also revealed that in the first part of primary school (grades 1 to 3) there are 13% of children two years or more over age, due to having to repeat the year or leaving school early. The research revealed that high number of students repeating a grade level at some point during their studies can be traced to a lack of competence in reading, writing and mathematics which leads to an increased probability of the child dropping out of school early.

Rosa Elcarte, representative of Unicef in the DR, nevertheless said there have been advances in public school education. She mentioned the expansion of the all day schools where students remain until 4pm, universal access to elementary education, teacher training programs and creation of anti-violence programs in public schools.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...as-y-escritura
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...e-escuela.html


University dropout rates high
There is a problem with university education in the country with 39.3% of students abandoning their studies. At the state university, UASD, where most students study free, the dropout rate among undergraduates is a staggering 47.6%. Often the reason given for leaving the university is financial need, specifically the cost of books and transportation to and from the university, according to the National Statistics Office (ONE).

Director of Professional Orientation at the UASD, Rosalía Peña, explained that as well as leaving for economic reasons, other students drop out for academic reasons or due to time conflicts with jobs. She says some of these students return to their studies eventually.

According to ONE, the university with the highest dropout rate is the UASD with 47.6%, followed by the Universidad O&M with 44.8% and then the Technological University of Santiago (UTESA) with 43.7%.

Specialists suggest that to reduce the rate, the quality of teaching should improve, and students should be helped to obtain their first jobs.

http://eldia.com.do/desercion-de-uni...cion-superior/


Well-educated women victims of domestic violence
The Board for Help in the Cases of Mistreated Women (Pacam) has revealed that 60% of the women who have been mistreated have higher education including postgraduate studies and masters’ degrees. This finding dismisses the idea that victims of domestic violence are poor and with a low academic level. Zoraya Lara, president of Pacam, shared the results of a study that Pacam had carried out at a round table meeting together with the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (Finjus).

Lara explained that the results were based on 718 cases that were attended to by Pacam from 2009 to the present. The data showed that only 33% of the victims had reported the violence to the police and 12% of the victims had been threatened with death by their partner.

She said that the state needed not only to bolster the criminalization and punishment for domestic violence, but government agencies must also work in prevention and follow up, as the majority of the victims of violence were later killed once they had left their partner.

Servio Tulio Castaños Guzmán, executive vice president of Finjus, said that the problem of femicides was a social condition and that the Penal Code should be revised as well as the process of coercive measures, forensic analysis and investigation in cases of femicides.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...segun-el-pacam


Collapse of public health system in Haiti sends droves of patients to DR
Thousands of Haitian women travel to the Dominican Republic every year to give birth. The free medical care they receive here is a heavy burden on the Dominican public health budget. The birth tourism also negatively affects the maternal mortality rates in the country. Hundreds of the Haitian women who make the difficult trip to a Dominican hospital arrive with pre-existing medical conditions.

A report in Hoy newspaper reveals that in 2017 the care for Haitian births cost the country RD$5 billion. With a population of 10.7 million inhabitants, Haiti has 115 hospitals with 7,375 beds, where 911 physicians are employed. There are 3,018 nurses.

According to the Statistical Report on the Sanitary Situation in Haiti presented by that country’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), 80% of the hospitals and doctors are located in urban areas. 50% of the Haitian population lives in rural areas. The MSPP says that the larger chapters for funds for public health come in the form of international cooperation and that in recent years donations are down.

In the Dominican Republic there are 191 public hospitals with 8,000 beds and another 1,8730 primary care units. There are 15,170 physicians working in the public health sector, and another 1,881 medical interns. There are 3,698 registered nurses and 10,101 nursing assistants.

According to reports from the National Health Service (SNS) at the Maternidad Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia 25% of those attended are undocumented Haitians, at the Hospital Materno Infantil San Lorenzo de Los Mina, 27%; in Santiago 30% to 35% of the births are to undocumented Haitians and at the public hospitals on the border with Haiti 80%.

http://hoy.com.do/deficiente-sistema...ntes-hacia-rd/


Hearing to return musical equipment to Ricardo Arjona delayed
A National District court has postponed until today, Wednesday 14 February 2018, a hearing to lift the confiscation of the music equipment belonging to singer Ricardo Arjona, following a complaint from businessmen Saymon Diaz and Felix Cabrera. Luis Aybar, one of Arjona’s lawyers, filed the request to have the equipment returned to the Guatemalan singer.

Cabrera accuses Arjona of abuse of trust, following an unpaid debt of US$700,000 for two presentations in the country in 2015 that he did not carry out. He claims he was hired by different promoters, not Diaz or Cabrera, to perform in Santo Domingo.

His musical equipment was confiscated last Sunday following a concert at the Quisqueya ball park. He had scheduled to perform in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ados-DY9188050
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...jona-JL9184218


Strike leaves seven injured in Pantoja
Violence in the ongoing strike in Pantoja, in western Santo Domingo, has left seven people injured, including the president of a reported neighborhood group and a police officer. 35 people have been arrested during the disturbances.

Reportedly, the neighborhood group president, Luis Paredes was injured when trying to negotiate the lifting of the strike with other community leaders, but the protesters are saying they will continue to take to the streets until those detained by the police have been released.
The protestors are demanding the road repairs, the construction of an aqueduct and improved garbage collection. According to El Caribe newspaper, 20 minors are among those who have been arrested.

Nevertheless, a resident in Pantoja, suspects the protestors were not people from the community. He said that all hell had broken out in the community, obliging him to take a big detour to get to work. He suspects outsiders were hired to carry out the protests.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...icos-DA9165401


Father Rogelio shows his transfer letter
Father Rogelio Cruz disputed statements by the Congregacion Salesiana and confirmed he had a letter that ordered his indefinite transfer to Colombia. Father Rogelio says the transfer is part of a plan to get him out of circulation. He said powerful people have been pressuring to remove him from the country so he cannot continue his social work.

Father Rogelio suspects mining companies have lobbied for his removal. The priest, a very successful community organizer, has been very outspoken against mining in the Dominican Republic.

Father Rogelio showed the press a letter dated 1 February 2018, signed by Father Francisco Batista and Father Wilson Rosario establishing his transfer to the Centro Pastoral Sacerdotal in Casa El Rodeo de La Ceja in Antioquía, Colombia. The religious community leadership had said that Father Rogelio had been invited to a priest renovation course for three months in Medellín. His brother, Alberto Cruz, who is the president of the Fundación Padre Rogelio, said that the area where Father Rogelio is being sent is where the Pablo Escobar cartel originated. Father Rogelio noted it is a dangerous area. Father Rogelio says he is not leaving.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...-colombia.html


Riu owner charged in Miami
Spanish hotel magnate Luis Riu Guell surrendered to Miami-Dade police in the United States, to face allegations that he gave free and luxury resort stays to Miami Beach's top building official in exchange for help with the company's large-scale renovation of its South Beach hotel. Riu who is chairman of the family-operated Riu Hotels and Resorts chain with operations in Punta Cana, flew into the city from Spain and went to a Miami-Dade courtroom where he was processed. He posted bail and was released.

Riu was charged along with the company's regional vice-president, Alejandro Sanchez del Arco, with unlawful compensation and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation. The arrest warrant claimed that Riu “provided the entire Miami Beach building department with deeply discounted rates for 'team-building' retreats to Mexico and the Dominican Republic. ”

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/loca...199646669.html
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/front...3?profile=1373
https://listindiario.com/las-mundial...pcion-en-miami


Chilly weather reported for the DR
Weather forecaster Jean Suriel reports that temperatures will continue to drop and forecast lows of six below freezing in the Duarte Mountain Peak towards the end of the week. The lows are caused by crossing cold fronts. Suriel said that the cooler weather will move in from Saturday, 17 February to Sunday, 25 February 2018. He forecast lows of -5 ℃ in Pico Duarte; Valle Nuevo, 2℃; Constanza 9℃; San José de Ocoa 11℃, Jarabacoa 13℃. Also San Juan de la Maguana 13℃; San Francisco de Macorís 14℃; Bonao 14℃; Mao 15℃; Monción 16℃; Moca 16℃; La Vega 17℃; Santiago 17℃; Santo Domingo 18℃; San Pedro de Macorís 18℃, and Samaná 19℃.

For Wednesday, 14 February 2018, the National Metereological Office (Onamet) is forecasting rains will continue on and off in the next days. Onamet forecasts a low of 14℃ and high of 29℃ for Constanza, low of 20℃ and high 30℃ for Punta Cana, and low of 19℃ and high of 30℃ for Santiago, and low of 20℃ and 30℃ for Santo Domingo.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/02/1...a-de-5-grados/


Juander Santos follows in footsteps of his brother Luguelin Santos
Juander Santos placed first in the 400 meters run at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational. He clocked in at 46.52 and qualified to participate in the IAAF World Indoor Championships to take place in Birmingham, UK from 1-4 March 2018. He also placed third in the 200 meters run with a personal best of 21.20.

Juander Santos is the younger brother of Luguelin Santos, the Dominican Republic silver medallist in the 400 meters run in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

http://www.wicbirmingham2018.com/
https://www.tfrrs.org/results/53086_3288522.html
http://hoy.com.do/juander-santos-se-...al-bajo-techo/