Medina: online high school, less poverty, advances in farming and justice
Sky-rail, Metro line 2, more bypasses, and bus terminals
Medical insurance for Dominicans abroad
President Danilo Medina announces drones to patrol border
Tests at Punta Catalina power plant to start in May
Centralized database to help fight crime
Political parties bill may make progress?
Will Danilo run again?
Faride Raful: President did not mention corruption
Dominican embassy in London decides to move
Google dedicates a doodle to Dominican independence
Marlin Martinez stays in jail on remand, PRD leaders deny meeting with her
Credit card cloning laboratory dismantled
Helicopter lands on Duarte Highway to buy roast pork
Augusto Sánchez wins the 39th Vuelta Independencia
BRIC in Brooklyn opens Dominican and Haitian art exhibition



Medina: online high school, less poverty, advances in farming and justice
President Danilo Medina in his state of the nation address announced that this year students would be able to graduate from high school by enrolling in online public school system classes. The courses will be offered as part of the República Digital program. He said the system would enable students to study and work at the same time. He said the intention is to reduce high school dropout rates. He highlighted how technology can be used to offer high quality programs with a wide reach.

During his speech, talking about employment and health, President Medina said the country was expanding faster economically than most other countries on the continent. He said that around 1,200,000 Dominicans have been lifted out of poverty and that the number of middleclass families has grown to historic levels. Medina referred to government statistics that indicate poverty was reduced from 39.7% in 2012 to 25.5% in 2017, and the middle class has grown from 22.6% to 30% of the population.

He highlighted the increase in the budget for the justice system and the prevention of crime going from RD$6,150 million in 2012 to RD$14,430 million in 2018 with a 25% increase in salaries, 250 new public prosecutors, 20 more medical examiners, 15 more forensic scientists, and more support team.
The President talked about his surprise visits saying that he had carried out 195 since 2012, with a budget of RD$29.84 billion to help those in rural areas throughout the country.

He confirmed that his administration would continue to work towards the modernization of agriculture throughout the country to spur an increase in exports. Medina noted the Ministry of Agriculture’s use of new technologies to combat pests and diseases. He also said he believed that exports were a major mechanism for growth in the economy and that for the first time in 2017 exports had exceeded US$10 billion.

The President mentioned that direct foreign investment was US$3.57 billion in 2017, and inflation was but 4.2%. “All this shows the positive image the country has abroad for its macroeconomic management and the future perspectives for the national economy,” he stated.

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Sky-rail, Metro line 2, more bypasses, and bus terminals
Speaking about the road network, in his state of the nation address on 27 February 2018, President Danilo Medina said that the government was investing RD$3 billion to improve traffic circulation, including the constructions of the Santo Domingo bypass and the city sky-rail. He talked about more parking in the city, the start of operation of Line 2 of the Metro, and more bus terminals to accommodate bus commuters.

The President mentioned the start in 2018 of the San Francisco de Macorís bypass, the Avenida Ecológica in Santo Domingo, the Baní bypass, the Hato Mayor-El Puerto-Bayaguana road, the traffic solution at Isabel Aguiar and 27 de Febrero in Santo Domingo.

President Medina spoke proudly of the sky-rail over the Ozama River, connecting eastern and western Santo Domingo. The sky-rail will have 200 cable cars moving simultaneously in both directions. It is expected to benefit around 287,000 persons who live in low-income areas on both sides of the river. He announced that Line 2B of the Santo Domingo Metro would start in July and more cars would be available for Line 1. Both lines connect with the sky-rail.

He announced that the Greater Santo Domingo transit plan also call for the establishing of nine bus corridors, starting with 27 de Febrero Avenue, with set stops and their own lanes. “This will mean a radical change for daily circulation and will be accompanied by the replacement of small units by comfortable and more secure buses,” he announced. He said the plan also calls for the construction of six large bus terminals that should be completed by the end of 2018 as part of the new Sistema Integrado de Transporte Publico. He said this will avoid persons coming from the north, south or east having to enter the capital city and thus reducing traffic congestion.

The President also announced a public parking with lots identified for the construction of the parking areas. He said in areas near the metro stops, parking would be habilitated so users can leave their vehicles and continue by metro.

https://presidencia.gob.do/plan-de-g...rma-transporte
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Medical insurance for Dominicans abroad
The SeNaSa governmental health provider will be offering medical insurance coverage to Dominicans living abroad who want to relocate to the Dominican Republic. He said the coverage is also available for Dominican expats who want to visit the country and for those who want to retire here. The coverage includes emergency treatment, hospitalization, diagnostics and maternity services. He said it will start in May 2018 and the affiliation can be made online or at SeNaSa offices. The plan offers a six-month insurance for those wanting to come for extended vacations.

President Danilo Medina announced in his 27 February 2018 state of the nation address that the Ministry of Superior Education (MESCYT) will be offering scholarships for Dominicans expats. Having high grade point average (GPA) and a desire to commit to voluntary work in favor of the Dominican community abroad are the sole requirements.

President Medina also spoke of trust in the efficiency of the Mi Consulado system that is in operation in New York City that facilitates delivery of all services to Dominicans so that citizens do not have to lose a day at work. He announced that soon a list of consular fees would be published for all services at all consulates.

He also announced that the Ministry of Foreign Relations was instituting the Oscar de la Renta Award to honor Dominican expats who have excelled in their profession or service abroad and who represent the best of Dominican society.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...elacionado-con


President Danilo Medina announces drones to patrol border
In his state of the nation speech on 27 February 2018, President Danilo Medina announced that all immigrants that abide with the law are welcome. But at the same time, he stressed the government’s commitment to strengthen the monitoring of the border with Haiti. Medina assured that the rule of law would prevail and that the integrity of Dominican Republic sovereignty and independence will continue to be a focus of his administration.

Medina said the border security for land, sea and air are being reinforced, with a doubling of efforts in 2018. He said these security efforts are being coordinated with the army brigades, the armada, air force, Cesfront (border security force), Migration Agency (DGM), to enforce Dominican law on the border.

He announced 900 additional soldiers would be sent to the border, doubling those who are stationed at the 391 km border. There would be new equipping by May 2018 with 50 ATV vehicles and three helicopters along with a fleet of 30 drones and security cameras to enable constant monitor the border situation. He said the drones have already been carrying out missions to identify the most vulnerable crossing points over the past two months and have shown their effectiveness.

He said a modern video surveillance system is being installed using the same technology as the 911 Emergency System and that this will be under the Ministry of Defense. The President said this would not only help track people crossing the border illegally but also goods and any evidence of corruption.

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Tests at Punta Catalina power plant to start in May
In his state of the address speech on Tuesday, 28 February 2018, President Danilo Medina announced that the first firing tests at unit 1 of the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Power Plant are scheduled for May 2018 with diesel and then in September with coal. “This unit will be tested in December, with the entry of unit 2 as of February 2019,” said the President. The power plant is designed to inject 752 megawatts into the electrical grid, representing about a third of the total electricity demand.

The President was pleased to announce that in 2017 four new power generation power plants entered the system, generating solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass and supplying an additional 125.7 megawatts. He said under construction are nine other projects in the provinces of Puerto Plata, Montecristi, Barahona and Peravia to supply 409 additional megawatts of renewable energy. He proudly mentioned the construction of 33 hydroelectric micro power centrals built in isolated areas of the country, for an additional 1,136 kilowatts and benefiting 3,500 families. To these 33 that entered in 2017, in 2018 another 14 will start operation.

He said the government has reduced transmission line losses from 35.5% in 2012 to 29.9% in 2017. He said in 2017, some 61 new projects were begun to rehabilitate 100 circuits, with an investment of US$370 million.

http://eldia.com.do/danilo-en-mayo-s...e-la-unidad-i/
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Centralized database to help fight crime
President Danilo Medina announced that the security forces have compiled a central database with the records of delinquents and criminals as a way to combat crime. He said the data will be accessible to all security forces to facilitate investigations. He said the system is already in beta phase. “It will be the most advanced, complete and functional we have had,” he said in his 27 February 2018 state of the nation address.

He also said that the 911 Emergency System this 2018 would be extended to San Pedro de Macorís, La Romana, Peravia, Monseñor Nouel, La Altagracia, Monte Plata and Samaná. After its start in Santo Domingo in 2017, the service was extended to urban areas in Santiago, Puerto Plata, La Vega and Espaillat provinces.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...elacionado-con


Political parties bill may make progress?
Senate president, Reinaldo Pared Pérez (PLD-National District) has announced that in the first session of the new legislature he will propose the formation of a special committee of senators to study the Political Parties Bill so that it might be approved as quickly as possible. He spoke when opening the 2018 legislative sessions on 27 February 2018.

He said that the members of the committee would mostly be those who were in the first committee that has studied the law. Bills on the issue have been studied in Congress for around 20 years. He later advanced to journalists his position that it is illegal to impose on the parties the method with which they will choose their candidates for the general elections.

Pared Pérez made the comments at the opening of the National Assembly prior to President Danilo Medina giving his State of the Union speech. Pared Pérez remarked on how the presidency of Medina had been positive for the country and his achievements were being used as an example for other countries in the region.

The legislators were convened to work on Wednesday, 7 March 2018 at 4pm.

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Will Danilo run again?
Members of the Dominican Democratic Party were demonstrating yesterday morning, Tuesday 27 February 2018, in front of the residence of President Danilo Medina, asking him to run for reelection for the presidential term 2020 to 2024.

They were holding placards saying from where in the country they came from and said that he was doing a good job and no one could do it better, highlighting his surprise visits and important changes to education, transport and several other projects which benefitted the poorest members of Dominican society.

The 2015 Constitution that allowed for the re-election of President Danilo Medina in 2016 bans his running in the 2020 general election.

http://hoy.com.do/antes-de-la-rendic...danilo-medina/


Faride Raful: President did not mention corruption
Opposition deputy, Faride Raful, described as “bland” the 27 February 2018 state of the nation address by President Danilo Medina. She criticized that the President did not address concerns that the public debt is at a level of 71% of the GDP nor did he touch corruption, or the Odebrecht case.

While Faride Raful was pleased Medina addressed the needs for increased security at the border, she said this gesture is in contradiction to a recent action taken by his administration in which he appointed as Dominican consul in Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti Andres Bocio Fortuna, who in years back was personally caught smuggling in undocumented Haitians.

President Danilo Medina ignored a request from the Green March movement that the President answer to 10 questions on corruption and impunity.

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https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...dina-XL9296671


Dominican embassy in London decides to move
Neighbors in an exclusive London garden square are against the £11 million house being used as the Dominican Embassy. As reported in British press, it was only now that the Dominican mission had applied for the planning permission to use the eight-bedroom property on Gloucester Square, north of Hyde Park as base for the Embassy. The media report that the Dominican ambassador Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo and his family had moved there three years ago.
According to Westminster Council documents, its lawful use is of “a single family dwelling”.

Residents in the square, where three-bedroom flats sell for £4.2 million, urged the council to reject the application as it would set a precedent.

Ambassador Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo said he was unaware he needed to apply for a change of use until the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told him.

He said: “As of today, neither my family nor any permanent staff resides in the embassy and those few working do so between 9am and 4pm. The council indicated I will not be given planning permission, so I am looking for a new place.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/lond...-a3776651.html


Google dedicates a doodle to Dominican independence
On 27 February 2018, when accessing Google, Dominican Internet users were greeted with a doodle celebrating the 174th Independence Day. The doodle seemed to be inspired by the arches of the Plaza de la Bandera. Independence Day in the Dominican Republic marked the reinstating of the nation in 1844 after 22 years of Haitian domination. In 1821, the country had declared independence from Spain.


Marlin Martínez stays in jail on remand, PRD leaders deny meeting with her
Judge Isolina Contreras Peralta imposed another three months in jail on remand for Marlin, who is accused together with her son Marlon of the murder of 16-year old Emely Peguero in August last year. Martínez had previously served six months of pre-trial custody. Contreras Peralta said that nothing had changed since the original coercive measures were handed down and she should stay in Rafey women’s jail in Santiago.

During the court hearing in a San Francisco de Macorís court, Marlin Martínez admitted that she had been in the videos from the security cameras in the apartment where Emely Peguero was murdered which showed her son, Marlon, going down the stairs carrying a bag, in which it is presumed was Emely’s body. The young woman was carrying his baby. These video tapes have since disappeared. Jose Hoepelman, the lawyer for Emely Peguero’s family said that the fact that Marlin admitted having seen them was a transcendental moment in the case as until then Marlin had said she had not seen the tapes. The head of security in the apartment had said last August that he himself had shown the video to Marlin showing her son taking the body and putting it into the trunk of his car. No one knows where the tapes have disappeared to.

During the hearing, Marlin Martínez responded to the accusation by Emely Peguero’s father, Genaro Peguero that he was in danger of being killed and said that she feared for the life of her son, as Emely’s parents had threatened to avenge her death. She said that she knew that sooner or later Peguero would kill both her and her son.

Meanwhile, in a new development both ministers of Foreign Relations and Women, Miguel Vargas and Janet Camilo have denied meeting with Marlin Martínez on the day of the death of Emely Peguero. Martínez’s defense lawyer Cándido Simón had stated that the meetings proved she was not an accomplice in the death. Simón has said that on the day of the murder, Marlin Martínez had traveled to the capital city to begin the procedure for visas for a grandmother of Emely Peguero, Claudia Rosanna Toribio and also for that of Ana Mercedes Cáceres Frías.

Marlin Martínez was a high-ranking PRD party member and held the position of deputy director of the Passports Agency at the time of the murder. The PRD allied with the PLD to enable the reelection of President Danilo Medina. Vargas is the president of the PRD. She was fired once she became suspect of having participated in the crime (Decree 326-17).

The autopsy of the 16-year old girl who was five months pregnant showed evidence of a botched abortion but also that the teenager died as a result of blunt force trauma on the day of the abortion, 23 August 2017. Martinez’s son is the lead suspect of the murder.

The family of Emely Peguero had reported she went missing after going out with Marlon Martínez to get medical tests due to her pregnancy. The search for her ended with the body was found in a suitcase.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...inez-AA9288046
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...desaparecieron
http://www.cdn.com.do/2018/02/26/mig...emely-peguero/


Credit card cloning laboratory dismantled
A laboratory being used to clone credit and debit cards in a home in Charles de Gaulle Street in Sabana Perdida, Santo Domingo North, has been dismantled by the National Police and the Prosecution Service.

During the raid Wander Rafael Angomás Paulino was arrested and equipment and 21 different credit cards were confiscated.

Angomás Paulino had been arrested for shopping using cloned credit cards in September 2016, and spent three months in jail on remand. He was then arrested again in May 2017 for buying gas again using cloned cards, and this time spent six months in jail on remand.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...tas-de-credito


Helicopter lands on Duarte Highway to buy roast pork
The director of the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC), Alejandro Herrera, has launched an investigation into a helicopter that landed on the Duarte Highway, near the entrance to Santiago, so that one of its occupants could buy roast pork.

A video shows a person can be seen leaving the helicopter, walking to buy the pork and then returning to the helicopter that took off. The event was captured on video by a passerby, and has now been circulating on social media.

Herrera has said that the helicopter, owned by the Alta Vista company, cannot fly until the investigation is complete.

http://hoy.com.do/video-autoridades-...r-cerdo-asado/


Augusto Sánchez wins the 39th Vuelta Independencia
Veteran cyclist Augusto Sánchez won the 39th Vuelta Ciclística Independencia Nacional, a second victory for him. He had first won in 2010. The two Dominican teams Aero Cycling Team and Inteja/Dominican Cycling Team lead the final 130 km stage of the race around the Mirador Sur park, the last of six stages that took road racers all around the country.

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BRIC in Brooklyn opens Dominican and Haitian art exhibition
An exhibition of art from the island of Hispaniola has opened at the BRIC in Brooklyn, New York City. BRIC is regarded as the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City.

“Bordering the Imaginary: Art From Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas” is curated by Abigail Lapin Dardashti, a Franco-Dominican Ph.D. candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and specialist in postwar Latin American art. The curator explains that the exhibition investigates the complicated relationship between the Dominican Republic and Haiti – two nations that share the island of Hispaniola. The exhibition features work in a wide array of media by 19 Dominican and Haitian artists, based in both their native countries and in the United States.

The curator explains that the artists draw on their experiences of difference, movement, and immigration to create a collective visual narrative that exposes inequalities and stereotypes of race, gender, and sexuality, which have plagued the island since the 15th century. Their work also displays the vitality of the visual arts in their communities. Through the exhibition, exhibition catalogue, and public programs, Bordering the Imaginary seeks to reveal the complexities of a historically shifting transnational border space and the formation of distinct but intertwined nations.

The participating artists are:
Edouard Duval-Carrié, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Patrick Eugène, Iliana Emilia Garcia, Scherezade Garcia, Leah Gordon, André Eugèn, Evel Romain, Fabiola Jean-Louis, Tessa Mars, Pascal Meccariello, Groana Melendez, Alex Morel, Raquel Paiewonsky, Raúl Recio, Freddy Rodríguez, Julia Santos Solomon, Nyugen E. Smith and Roberto Stephenson
In collaboration with this exhibition will be a conference at CUNY's Center for the Humanities, "Art and Literature in Contemporary Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas," on 15 March 2018 from 1-8pm, organized by Abigail Lapin Dardashti.

The exhibition is sponsored by Goya. BRIC is located at 647 Fulton Street, in Brooklyn, New York.

https://www.bricartsmedia.org/art-ex...heir-diasporas