Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas in Brazil to promote Dominican exports and investment
Indotel suspends telecom spectrum tender
Medical Guild calls for Migration to check birthing tourism
Health plan companies control health system
Many children in temporary care at Conani
Who is the owner of vote counting machines?
Quorum again not met on Political Parties Bill
Senators divided over changing the 2015 Constitution to allow Medina to run
School in Moca is example for public schools
Dominican masters students honored in Sweden
Trial to begin this week in the murder of Emely
Ex-prosecutor from Samana arrested for sexual abuse
DR loses to China in game one in Volleyball Nations League
Big blow to Robinson Cano for taking diuretic



Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas in Brazil to promote Dominican exports and investment
Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas was in Brazil on Monday, 14 May 2018 to meet with Brazilian government authorities to discuss alternatives for closer ties between Mercosur (the trade block comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Central American Integration System (SICA). The Dominican Republic presides over SICA this first half of the year. SICA is made up of Central American nations and the Dominican Republic.

Vargas met with Brazilian Deputy Foreign Minister Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvão to review various initiatives for trade ties with SICA countries and bilateral trade with the Dominican Republic. The participation of the Dominican Republic in the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) was also discussed. While the DR only exports US$14 million of products to Brazil, total trade with Brazil is around US$604 million in 2017. Foreign Minister Vargas understands Dominican exports could increase if tariffs were lower.

On his visit, Vargas also signed accords on political consultation, as well as in the air services, tourism and investment sectors. He also met with Brazilian businessmen interested in doing business in the Dominican Republic in mining, telecommunications, tourism and other services.

The agreements, signed at a ceremony held at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, include the suppression of tourism and business visas; establishment of political consultation mechanisms; air services; cooperation in trade and investment; and collaboration in the field of national defense. Finally, they signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in diplomatic training between the Institute of Higher Education Specialized in Diplomatic and Consular Training (INESDYC) and the Alexander Gusmão Foundation (FUNAG).

"We believe that today's meeting demonstrates the value and commitment that both countries have for our bilateral relationship to continue to grow closer in a framework of mutual respect and collaboration," said Minister Vargas.

Vargas said he secured the commitment from Brazil for their vote for the Dominican Republic to become a non permanent member on the United Nations Security Council this year.

Vargas also participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Dominican embassy in Brasilia. The embassy and residence would be located Asa Sul, Brasilia, on a lot of 25,000 meters donated by Brasil, in the embassy area. Construction time is estimated at 16 months. Present for the ground breaking were Deputy Minister Hugo Rivera; Dominican ambassador in Brazil Alejandro Arias and the president of the Dominican Civil Aviation Board, Luis Ernesto Camilo.
http://www.mirex.gob.do/medios/notic...-abbott-galvao
http://www.mirex.gob.do/medios/notic...a-rd-en-brasil


Indotel suspends telecom spectrum tender
The Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) has suspended a tender for a 30MHz block of wireless telecommunications spectrum in the 1700-2100MHz band, following a complaint from Servicios Ampliados de Telefonos (Satel) company that contested that Viva Dominicana was the sole participant in the tender.

Indotel announced it would halt the process after Satel complained that it already owns the rights to operate those frequencies.

Viva Dominicana was the only bidder for the spectrum after reportedly offering US$30 million for the spectrum, with rivals Altice and Claro not taking part. The regulator said it would investigate Satel’s claims before deciding whether to allocate the 30MHz block.

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/do...ender--1244340


Medical Guild calls for Migration to check birthing tourism
The president of the Dominican Medical Guild (CMD), Wilson Roa, criticized the Migration Agency for not enforcing migration laws and for not impeding the flow of Haitians to the Dominican Republic. Every day hundreds of Haitians enter the country, including many seeking to give birth for free at Dominican public hospitals. In an interview with the Corripio Media Group, Roa said that it is not the role of the physicians to decide the nationality of those who seek services at a hospital. He said it is up to Migration to control the migration of undocumented persons.

Roa said that when foreigners, be these Haitians, Cubans or Venezuelans, or from wherever, seek the services they often have no health records for attending physicians to exam and hence these patients are at an increased risks of developing health complications during treatment. He said when this is added to the shortcomings of the public health system in general, higher mortality rates at our public hospitals may be expected.

http://hoy.com.do/video-tiene-que-ve...cos-responden/


Health plan companies control health system
The president of the Dominican Medical Guild (CMD) accused health plans (ARS) of placing themselves above the law and deciding which doctors can offer services. If the physician is not assigned a code in the ARS’s system, then that doctor will have difficulties participating in the Dominican medical system. Dr. Wilson Roa, president of the CMD, said that this affects the physicians who have been authorized by the Executive Branch to serve as doctors in the country.

The way the system works, if the physicians have not been assigned the ARS code, they cannot prescribe pharmaceuticals to be billed to the system, and their services are not authorized as payable by the health plans. Roa said this is a big obstacle for the medical practice in the country and especially affects low income patients. He said this is a situation that needs to be resolved.

Speaking during the interview were Wilson Roa Familia, Santos Ramírez, Carlos Roa, Fulgencio Severino and Alma Bobadilla.

"We doctors, after six or eight years of studies, what empowers us to do our medical work is the exequatur that the Executive Branch gives us. Now the ARS companies effectively decide whether you can practice or not and if you are not assigned a code, the prescriptions you write will not be valid in any pharmacy, because it will be rejected by the system," said Carlos Roa.

Wilson and Carlos Roa criticized that the ARSs are paying physicians RD$262 per each patient consultation. Making matters worse, the transactions are on a credit basis, with the law giving the ARS 45 days to pay the health care bills. But he said that many ARS companies often take longer than that to pay, and God forbid if the physician makes a clerical error in the billing process which will undoubtedly lead to more delays in reimbursement for services rendered.

The physicians criticized what they called the lucrative nature that prevails in the Social Security Law 87-01, that they say was adjusted to benefit the financial capitals that now dominate the health system.
"The law was designed to cater to the ARS businesses enriching a few financial emporiums. In short, private ARS companies are big businesses and their role seems to boil down to manipulating clinics and doctors to maximize profits," said Roa.

Ramírez advocated doctors should have a voice in the National Social Security Council to address problems within the health care system that are affecting patients and physicians alike. But as it stands, the financial companies that are the owners of the health plan companies are reaping huge profits.

http://hoy.com.do/ars-se-situan-por-...a-los-medicos/


Many children in temporary care at Conani
Some 303 children and teenagers reside at the temporary children’s homes operated by Conani, the National Council for Childhood. The children are taken there after it is determined they have been abused or abandoned by their parents.

The media reported that in the first quarter of 2018, Conani homes took in 148 minors, 15 for physical abuse, 13 for sexual abuse, 12 for psychological abuse and the rest because they were abandoned. Of the 148 children who were given protection during this time period 23 were Haitians.

The number of Haitian children given this type of protection has been increasing, according to the director of the homes, Natalia Asmar. She also said that every day they receive 2 to 15 children a day, while the numbers increase during Christmas, Easter Week and the school holidays.

The affected children are usually placed with a family member. According to Alí Peña, the legal advisor to Conani, they will first confirm that the person is indeed a family member, carrying out DNA testing if necessary and then they will evaluate the home to ensure it is a suitable environment for the child. She said that a multi-disciplinary team carries out in depth studies to determine the wellbeing of the child based on the belief that no minor should grow up outside the family.

Most children in the homes live there for three to six months, sometimes longer. If no family members can be found they are taken to a Non-Governmental Organization that agrees to be responsible for the care of the child.

Conani again was in the press after a video circulated on social media of an abusive Haitian mother and her two-year old child.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...os-maltratados
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...os-maltratados
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...so-y-sus-hijas
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...a-apresa-mujer
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...iana-a-su-hija


Who is the owner of vote counting machines?
Last weekend, the president of the Central Electoral Court (JCE), Julio César Castaños Guzmán, said that the JCE is not the owner of the scanners and printers that were used in the 2016 general elections. A contractual clause indicates that the systems are owned by Indra Sistemas, the vendors, until these are fully paid by the JCE. The JCE is thus far refusing to pay an outstanding balance of US$13.9 million of the US$39 million total cost of the Indra Sistema scanners and printers, on grounds that the equipment was faulty, the training of poll workers by the company inadequate, and the equipment failed to fulfill its function for the 2016 election for which they were bought during the administration of JCE president Roberto Rosario.

Castaños Guzmán says the JCE is only the custodian of the equipment. He has said they are in conversations with representatives of the company to look for a solution over the payment impasse. The JCE is paying US$15,000 a month to warehouse the equipment as the impasse is resolved.
Castaños has said the deciding judges of the JCE have rejected the use of the equipment in the 2020 election.

The political parties PRD and PRSC suggested returning the equipment to Indra. The PRD, PRSC, PRM also suggest that a full-fledged investigation of the contract be carried out.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ague-HN9861559
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ndra-FH9876272


Quorum again not met on Political Parties Bill
The Special Commission established to study the proposed Political Parties Bill set to go before the floor of the Chamber of Deputies suspended their first meeting yesterday, Tuesday, 15 May 2018, when the 50%+1 quorum was not reached. Those attending were Hamlet Amado Melo, Fátima Pujols and Henry Merán, for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD); Alfredo Pacheco and Víctor D’ Aza, for the Revolutionary Modern Party (PRM) and Fidel Santana, for the Popular Front.

Those who did not attend were the deputies from the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and supporters of Danilo Medina, Gustavo Sánchez, Miriam Cabral, Radhamés Camacho, Plutarco Pérez and Dilepcio Núñez. Others that did not attend were Radhamés González, of the PRD and Máximo Castro, of the Social Christina Reform Party (PRSC).

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...idos-EE9868503


Senators divided over changing the 2015 Constitution to allow Medina to run
PLD senator Adriano Sánchez Roa said that if in January 2019, polls show that President Danilo Medina is the favorite pre-candidate, the Dominican Constitution would be “adjusted” to respond to the “wish of the people.” The 2015 Constitution bans President Danilo Medina from seeking re-election in 2020.
Nevertheless, the ruling party senator says that based on the January 2019 polls the party will choose the highest ranked PLD politician since that official would be the best candidate for the party.

"In January, the leader who gets the highest percentage in the polls is a clear indication that the public has identified the most popular candidate, and frankly, that is all I need to see. If the polls conclude that the most popular candidate is Leonel Fernández, then our party should choose Fernandez as our candidate. If it is the Minister of Education, we should support him. Now if the highest ranked candidate is the President of the Republic and that is the interest and desire of the people, then the legislators will have to adjust the Constitution to whomever the people want," he said.

Fellow PLD senator Dionis Sánchez said that the Constitution does not permit President Medina from seeking reelection and said that subject should not be touched.

Former President Leonel Fernández (1996-2000, 2004-2008, 2008-2012) aspires to be the PLD candidate in 2020.

http://hoy.com.do/dice-modificarian-...sale-favorito/


School in Moca is example for public schools
A public school in Moca, Espaillat province shows that when there is a will, there is a way. A YouTube is circulating nationwide showing the creativity of the directors, teachers and students at the El Corozo Polytechnical School in the northcentral community. The public school opened three years ago offering students the possibility of learning new skills from 8 to 4pm.

The students and teachers are making the most of the new facilities at the 902-student school that serves students in 7th to 12th grade. The school works closely with the governmental technical training institute, Infotep, that offers training courses. In the video by Claudio Caamaño Velez, Pedro Paulino, director of the center, highlights the training courses, labs and sports programs also offered to the students.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mac0oCxu3c4
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/05/1...elo-educativo/


Dominican masters students honored in Sweden
Dominican students in Sweden, Ivanna Read and Rosa Guzman, were honored with the awards of Global Swede 2018 ambassador’s by the Swedish governmental Swedish Institute during their studies in Sweden. Global Swede is an annual award given to international students from different Swedish universities, who have excelled in academia in the areas of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. This initiative seeks to form long - term relationships with outstanding international students in Sweden and create bridges of multicultural and transnational networks.

The awards were presented to the students in a solemn ceremony by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Swedish Institute. The two Dominicans were selected from thousands of eligible international students in Sweden.

Rosa Guzman studies at International Projects Management at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenberg. She has been involved over the past two years in the welcome committee for new students at the university.

Ivanna Read studies a master’s program in Strategic Communication at Lund University. During her two-year stay in Sweden she has participated as a blogger at the studyinsweden.se website.

The ceremony was presided over by the Minister for European Affairs and Trade, Ann Linde; Director General of the Swedish Institute Annika Rembe; and the Head of the Unit for the Promotion and Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Sweden, Camilla Mellander. Also present were a representation of the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Sweden, members of other diplomatic missions and public and private sector of the Scandinavian country.

http://blogs.studyinsweden.se/about-our-bloggers/li
http://blogs.studyinsweden.se/author/ivannaread/
https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/art...bal-ambassador


Trial to begin this week in the murder of Emely
Marlon Martínez, accused of the murder of pregnant teenager, 16-year old Emely Peguero will serve another three months in jail after the coercive measure was ratified by a San Franciso de Macoris court.
The trial of Marlon and his mother Marlin will begin this Friday, 18 May 2018.

The public prosecution service is asking for 30 years in jail for Marlon and 20 for Marlin for the crimes they are accused of committing.

The defense for Marlon Martínez continues to insist that Emely’s death was not murder, but an illegal abortion leading to an “accidental death”. Emely was pregnant with Marlon’s child. The abortion was allegedly carried out at the home of Marlin and Marlon. The performing doctor or others intervening in the abortion itself have not been identified.

Thus far, only Marlin and Marlon will be on trial as prosecutors have not charged others possible suspects in the case, including the maids, María Balbina Rodríguez Santos and Sugel Miguelina Polo García, who worked for Marlin Martínez and Marlin’s brother, Henry Martínez.

Also not standing trial will be Simón Bolívar Ureña Almánzar (El Boli), who reached a deal with the prosecution to appear as a witness against Marlin, to prove that she pressurized her son to “undo” the pregnancy. Ureña lead crime investigators to the body of Peguero that was thus located on 31 August 2018 in Cayetano Germosén, Espaillat province, after several days of the teenager declared missing.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...e-involuntaria
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...-emely-peguero
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...e-involuntaria
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...-temor-de-fuga


Ex-prosecutor from Samana arrested for sexual abuse
The former head of the Public Prosecution Service in Samaná, Robert Justo Bobadilla, was arrested on the morning of Tuesday, 15 May 2018, having been declared in contempt of court for the ongoing case accusing him of sexual assault on several employees and visitors to his office.

Justo Bobadilla, was arrested in the Galá sector of the National District, after being presented with an arrest warrant. He has not complied with pre-trial orders issued last year.

According to a press release, Bobadilla was taken to the Department of Justice in Samana where the court will be seeking jail on remand as a coercive measure in order that the court case against him can continue without fear of him fleeing again.

It appears jail on remand is the only option as following the accusations and his disciplinary hearing and subsequent dismissal he asked for several postponements and used multiple measures to delay the legal process.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...xual-BH9867311
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/05/1...resion-sexual/
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...so-sexual.html
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/05/1...resion-sexual/


DR loses to China in game one in Volleyball Nations League
The Dominican women’s volleyball team lost to China (25-17, 25-15, 25-11) in its first match in the Volleyball Nations League Tournament, the most prestigious global volleyball event, that is taking place in Ningbo, China. The DR is one of 16 top-ranked countries from all around the world playing in the tournament. The DR next matches Korea on 16 May 2018.

http://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl


Big blow to Robinson Cano for taking diuretic
Dominicans will always remember Robinson Cano for raising the plantain as the symbol of Dominican superiority in the sport of baseball as he led the Dominican team to win the World Baseball Classic in 2013. Now, the slugger and second baseman who had all the credentials to make it to the Baseball Hall of Fame has been suspended for 80 games for testing positive for a banned drug. Cano said the drug was prescribed by a Dominican doctor for a medical ailment, and he now wishes that he had been more careful. He was banned for the use of the diuretic Furosemide, that is described as a masking agent to conceal PED use.

The Seattle Mariners second baseman will now lose about half his US$24 million annual salary and will be ineligible for the All-Star Game and the postseason, should the Mariners reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/...riners-season/
https://bleacherreport.com/articles/...itive-ped-test
https://www.listindiario.com/el-depo...ncha-para-cano
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/2...hall-fame-case