Daily News

Daily News - Friday, 29 April 2016 (Archived Daily News)

Road safety boost
(Image courtesy of mopc.gob.do)

DR1 breaks for Workers' Day

DR1 Daily News will not be updated on Monday, 2 May 2016, a public holiday in the Dominican Republic for the celebration of International Workers' Day. While the actual day falls on Sunday, 1 May 2016, the Ministry of Labor announced it would be commemorated on 2 May, making this a long weekend. Headline stories will be compiled for the Tuesday, 3 May 2016 issue. Over the long weekend, breaking stories and commentary can be shared at the DR1 Forums at http://dr1.com/forums/forum.php

Road safety boost for Workers' Day Long weekend

Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo has announced an increase in nationwide highway patrols for the International Workers' Day long weekend. The country is expected to see an increase in domestic travel starting today, Friday, 29 April through Monday, 2 May 2016. The Ministry of Public Works has introduced what have proved to be highly helpful patrols on highways nationwide. Castillo announced that 108 new units would be added to the current 147 units for a total of 255 patrols on the country's main highways. Roadside protection and assistance program spokesman Colonel Jacobo Mateo Moquete said that response time for callers to the help center, Tel. 829 688-1000 would be maintained at between 5-8 minutes with the addition of the new units in response to the expected increase in travelers. The program has been in service since December 2012 and is available 24 hours a day. The services offered include: Tire change assistance, mechanical failure assistance, and ambulance and tow-truck services.


Central Bank announces 6.1% growth in first quarter

In its quarterly economic report, the Central Bank says that preliminary Gross Domestic Product results in real terms show that the Dominican Republic grew 6.1% between January and March 2016. The most dynamic sectors were mining (33.8%), finance intermediation (12.0%), health (9.6%), construction (8.8%), hotels, bars and restaurants (6.4%), education (6.3%), energy and water (6.2%), transport and warehousing (5.0%), local manufacturing (4.0%), real estate and rentals (4.0%), commerce 3.4%) and farming (1.9%).

This follows a 7% growth rate reported in the last quarter of 2015. The National Labor Force Survey (ENFT) for April 2016 recorded the creation of 173,402 new jobs from April 2015 to April 2016.

Inflation reflected in the Consumer Price Index (IPC) during the period was -0.58%. Annualized inflation measured from March 2015 to March 2016 was 1.59%.

The Central Bank reported that the Gross International Reserves for the quarter were US$5.18 billion, while the Net International Reserves were US$5.13 billion as of 31 March 2016. The Liquid International Reserves, which are those available to tackle any unforeseen situation, were at an unprecedented high of US$3.15 billion for the same period.

Hard currency receipts for the first quarter were US$5.88 billion, up 5.4% compared to the same period in 2015 (US$301.7 million more), due to good performance in exports, tourism, family remittances and direct foreign investment.

Tourism receipts were estimated at US$1.79 billion, for a growth of 7.6% compared to January-March 2015. This is due to the increase in 8.4% of arrivals from the United States.



Cuba and DR discuss possible trade agreement

The Dominican Republic has been trading with Cuba for many years and now there are reports that the two countries plan to take this a step further. The official Cuban government press service, Prensa Latina, reports that yesterday, Thursday 28 April 2016 Cuba and the DR established the terms of reference for a joint study aimed at strengthening economic and commercial relations through a partial scope trade agreement. The DR has a similar agreement with Panama.

The commitment was included in a document signed by Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ileana Nunez, and Cesar Dargan, the Dominican Republic's Deputy Foreign Minister for Commercial Affairs and Trade Negotiations.

The conclusions of the study will be presented to both governments to decide whether to forge a strategic alliance to strengthen trade links.

On the same day, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Cuban Chamber of Commerce and the Dominican Republic Industries Association on the sidelines of a business forum, held at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana.

Dargan said that the Dominican mission taking part in the negotiations includes more than 40 executives from leading companies, and civil servants.

This is one of the largest business missions our country has sent abroad in the past few years, both for the number and the quality of its members, said Dargan, who called for the links between the two nations to be strengthened.

Dargan and the president of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, Orlando Hernandez, agreed that the conditions were favorable for extending and diversifying the exchange of goods and services and promote investments.

According to figures revealed during the talks, in 2015 bilateral trade grew to US$80 million, some US$54 million in Cuban imports and around US$27 million were exports to the Dominican market.

The parties said that the establishment of a partial scope agreement would contribute to the elimination of obstacles to trade and expand the structure of the exchange, focused on items like steel bars, medicines, tobacco, seafood, fertilizers, construction materials and food.

According to the Dominican Republic's National Business Council (Conep) president Rafael Blanco, joint cooperation and the establishment of business in the field of tourism could become a key area of mutual benefit for the two Caribbean nations.

Funding delays farm survey

The National Statistics Office (ONE) has announced the completion of the National Farming Pre-Census 2015, whose data will be used as the basis for the Eighth National Farming Census. Nevertheless, ONE national director Pablo Tactuk says US$9 million was needed for the farming census. He said this has not been done in 34 years. According to Tactuk, the census could be carried out in eight months time.


Turtles come to lay eggs

The Ministry of Environment reports that leatherback sea turtles have been sighted laying their legs on Playa La Vacama on the east coast north of Punta Cana. The Environment Ministry's coastal resources department is now monitoring the turtles. Leatherback turtles can grow to a length of two meters and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. This is the largest sea turtle species.

The mother turtles dig three-foot deep holes and lay around 70 to 100 eggs that hatch the baby turtles after approximately 60 days. The babies then make their way to the sea. The leatherback turtle is classified as species vulnerable to extinction.


110 megawatts in renewable energy

The executive vice president of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE), Ruben Jimenez Bichara says that three new renewable projects have gone on line in the first four months of the year. They have a combined capacity of 110 megawatts: Larimar with 30 megawatts, Monte Plata Solar with 50 megawatts and San Pedro BioEnergy with 30 megawatts.


Fernando Capellan to head Santiago development initiatives

Businessman Fernando Capellan was elected president of the Association for Development of Santiago (APEDI) during the organization's ordinary general assembly yesterday, Thursday 28 April 2016.

He announced that he was committed to promoting the identification and implementation of projects for the development and progress of the Santiago region and to strengthening APEDI as a leader in the region. He commented that Santiago and the central region were facing great challenges to promote their competitiveness and livability and this is why they require the enthusiasm and unified work capacity that Santiago is known for.


Haiti business sector wants to veto more Dominican products

The Haitian government has banned overland imports of 23 key Dominican products for several years now. Now, Haitian businesses are asking the government to add another 22 products. The businesses say that Haiti needs more time to improve capacity to handle the imports through the border customs.


Funglode signs agreement with NY University journalism school

Former President Leonel Fernandez has signed a memorandum of understanding with the City University of New York (CUNY) journalism school on behalf of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (Funglode) for the future signing of cooperation agreements between both institutions.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and Funglode agreed to explore ways of working jointly on educational programs.

On Tuesday, 26 April 2016, CUNY J-School Dean Sarah Bartlett and Leonel Fernandez signed the "Statement of Shared Interest" that could lead to a future agreement for developing curriculum and training journalists in the Dominican Republic or at CUNY.

The statement also mentions the possibility of finding students and scholarship funding for the CUNY J-School's new Spanish-language concentration, which will train bilingual journalists to cover Hispanic communities both in the US and abroad.




Solidarity with Ecuador

The Ecuadorian community in the Dominican Republic has announced it is organizing an emergency aid appeal in solidarity with Ecuador from 1-8 May 2016 from 10am to 4pm at the Liceo Unidad Panamericana located at Calle Paseo de los Periodistas and Mayor Valverde in Santo Domingo. The organizers are asking for donations of soap, clothing, powdered milk, canned food, toothpaste, shampoo, baby disposable diapers, mosquito nets, towels, sheets, toilet paper, plates, batteries, flashlights, electrical extensions, toys and shoes.

The donations will be sent to the victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Manabi province in northeastern Ecuador on Saturday, 16 April 2016. The latest figures show that more than 600 people were killed, more than 29,000 lost their homes, and 281 schools were destroyed, affecting more than 100,000 students.

The Ecuadorian community in the Dominican Republic has also opened a bank account at the Banco Popular (#0796393841, Ayuda Ecuador) for anyone who would like to make a cash donation.


Who is the father of Yeni Berenice Reynoso's daughter?

Speculation is rife in the press and social media about the identity of the father of National District prosecutor Yenni Berenice Reynoso's baby girl, Mariangel, who was born at the Clinica Union Medica in Santiago on 8 April 2016. A report in El Caribe speculates he could be Angel Rodriguez Patino, because he accompanied the prosecutor to church with her baby, as can be seen on his Facebook page. Rodriguez was holding the baby and also appears in several other photos with the lawyer. According to his Facebook page Angel Rodriguez is 39 years old and studied business at the Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago (UTESA).



Bank robbery suspect arrested in Spain

The Attorney General reports that a fugitive from Dominican justice, Eliezer Carrasco has been arrested in Spain. He is suspected of involvement in the robbery of RD$38 million from a Caribe Express company cash-in-transit vehicle on the Duarte Highway in 2014. He is the second suspect in the case to be arrested in Spain, along with Sterling Rivera Vilorio who is already in jail there. Both will be extradited to the Dominican Republic. The robbery took place after the suspects allegedly intercepted the cash-in-transit vehicle on the highway.


Heavy rains cause flooding

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) says that 10 people have been affected by the heavy rains caused by a front that is still affecting the eastern region of the country, which is now moving away slowly. The National Weather Office (Onamet) is forecasting more rains for the long weekend. The COE announced there was flooding in Maimon and the poor neighborhood of Simon Bolivar in the National District. A yellow alert has been issued for La Vega, Monsenor Nouel (Bonao), Monte Plata, Hato Mayor, La Romana, La Altagracia (Higuey), El Seibo and San Pedro de Macoris, and a green alert for Santiago, San Cristobal, (Villa Altagracia), Espaillat (Moca) and Greater Santo Domingo.


David Ortiz shows his class

In his retirement year, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz passed two Hall of Fame Red Sox on the extra-base hits list in the game at Turner Field when Boston beat Atlanta 9-4 on Wednesday 27 April 2016.

In the game, 40-year-old Ortiz had three doubles and drove in two runs, giving him 1,119 extra-base hits to tie Hall of Famer George Brett for 16th career. On the second double, he passed Boston greats Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx.

In the fourth, Ortiz hit his second RBI double and scored on Travis Shaw's stand-up triple.

David Ortiz has a record of more than 83% hits for his appearances as a designated hitter. Ortiz is also known for being the only player with 3,000 plate appearances.



Yandel at Imagine in Punta Cana

Latin Grammy Award winner, Puerto Rican Yandel is appearing at the Imagine Cave nightspot in Punta Cana this Saturday 30 April 2016. The reggaeton musician, songwriter and record producer is promoting his new album Dangerous. He is best known for being half of the former duo Wisin & Yandel.

Listen to his music:


Dance show at the Plaza Espana

The Ministry of Culture is presenting a dance show, "Dominicana, una primavera para el mundo" (Dominicana, spring for the world) at the Plaza Espana in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo on Saturday 7 May 2016 at 8:30pm. The performance, by dancer and choreographer Patricia Ascuasiati will take place against the scenic backdrop of the Alcazar de Colon. The program will include classical, folk and contemporary dance. Free admission.

Read more about upcoming events at http://www.dr1.com/calendar

To read more news, see the DR1 News Archives at: http://dr1.com/premium/news/2016/index.shtml