Home  Message Archive  2015  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998  Premium News Service


Daily News - Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Fernandez to Cuba
President Leonel Fernandez will head to Havana next Monday to attend an economic conference with regional heads of state and eight Nobel Prize winners in economics. Fernandez will take part in discussions about the global financial crisis and will also hold a private meeting with Cuban leader Raul Castro and Cuban Foreign Relations Minister Felipe Pere Roque.

President suspends military parade
President Leonel Fernandez suspended the 27 of February Independence Day military parade on the Malecon. The parade is a long-time Dominican tradition. The decision comes on the heels of the widespread media coverage on several cases of complicity of active military with crime, and at a time when several others in the military are under investigation for ties to organized crime and drug trafficking. Mayor General Pedro Rafael Pena Antonio had met with President Leonel Fernandez on Monday.

Senate approves loan
The Senate has approved two loans from the World Bank totaling US$122 million. The funds will be used to fund disaster relief and the rehabilitation of electrical networks affected by storms. One of the loans that were approved yesterday, for US$80 million, will be directed towards the National Hydraulic Institute (INDRHI) and the State Run Electric Companies (CDEEE). The Santo Domingo and Santiago water authorities (CAASD and CORAASAN) will also receive funding from these loans. The remaining US$42 million will be used by the CDEEE for the rehabilitation of the power distribution system.

Just ask
The Spanish government says it is willing to fund the completion of the Santo Domingo Market project and that all the Dominican government has to do is ask for the money. According to Hoy the project will need a final investment of US$45 million. Spanish Ambassador Diego Bermejo said that as soon as the authorities submit the request the Spanish government would make the funds available. During a walk through the Merca-Santo Domingo installations Bermejo said it was of utmost importance to finish the project at the same time as the Cristo Rey and Duarte markets are completed. These two markets could be ready within 18 months with a US$69 million loan. Merca-Santo Domingo is an agricultural market located at the 22 kilometer of the Duarte Highway initiated with a Spanish commercial bank loan under the Hipolito Mejia administration (2000-2004).

Cleaning up the Ozama
The National District, Santo Domingo East and North municipal authorities, in coordination with the Navy, began cleaning up the banks of the Ozama and Isabela rivers, which in recent years have become major dumping grounds. National District Mayor Roberto Salcedo shoveled the first pieces of trash and said the Ministry of Environment would also be contributing to the clean-up process. Hoy reports that local community groups will collect more than 200 tons of trash on a daily basis. Salcedo said that the Ministry would launch initiatives to protect the river combined with forestation projects on the riverbanks. There will also be cooperation with local businesses to prevent them from dumping chemicals into the river. Salcedo also spoke of the eventual relocation of the families located in the neighborhoods near the rivers. These barrios include La Cienega, Los Guandules, Gualey, Las Canitas, Simon Bolivar, Capotillo, La Zurza, Los Tres Brazos, Ribera del Ozama, La Barquita and Los Coordinadores.

New ambassadors arrive
Yesterday, during separate ceremonies, President Leonel Fernandez received the credentials of five new ambassadors to the DR. Manuel Enrique Hinojosa will represent Chile, General Mario Montoya Uribe will represent Colombia, Francisco Domingo Garcia Falco will represent Portugal, Crispina Gomez will represent Cape Verde and Katrina Cooper will represent Australia. The ceremonies were held at the Presidential Palace with Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso and Vice President Rafael Alburquerque in attendance.

Illiteracy rate "shameful"
Education Minister Melanio Paredes says it is shameful that more than one million people in the DR are illiterate. Paredes made his statement during an event launching the 1000x1000 initiative, which aims to ensure that schoolchildren get at least 1000 hours of teaching per school year. On previous occasions Paredes has said that on average Dominican students get just 400 hours of schooling per school year. Paredes said that although there have been educational advances in the last 16 years, programs like the National Exams have not been enough to influence change within Dominican schools.
In response to yesterday's announcement that there has been a considerable increase in drug consumption among schoolchildren, Paredes said the Ministry plans to implement new programs to help combat the problem. Paredes said that the situation in the DR is not as serious as in other countries, but that programs would seek to tackle the root causes of the problem.

FBI investigation reaches DR
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the DR Prosecutor General's office and the Santiago District Prosecutor are investigating eight people suspected of involvement in a US$100 million fraud case regarding US income tax returns. Hoy says that eight people have been detained in Santiago in the tax evasion investigation. Prosecutor General Radhames Jimenez stated that the tax evasion scheme spanned Puerto Rico, the DR and the US and that investigations have been ongoing for the last few months.

"Zero tolerance"
Police Chief Rafael Guillermo Guzman Fermin has reaffirmed his assurance that under his leadership the National Police will have a zero tolerance policy towards corruption within the ranks. Guzman says he has been given orders by President Leonel Fernandez to "rescue" the moral standing of the National Police so that officers can conduct themselves in a manner dictated by the law. "There will be zero tolerance and the President has made it very clear and has reiterated that the person who is leading these purges is President Fernandez." Guzman says he agrees with statements by President Fernandez and Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez that there has been a loss of morals and values. Guzman also pointed out that there are thousands of officers within the ranks who go about their work correctly.

Corruption in POP
The General Prosecutor's office, the National Police and the National Drug Control Department (DNCD) have ordered the arrest of three district prosecutors from Puerto Plata, Grimilda Disla, Wilfredo Martinez and Ramon Nunez Liriano, accused of collaborating in a drug trafficking network on the north coast. The three will be transferred to Santo Domingo for further investigations. This is the latest development in the uncovering of a widespread drug network that led to the dismissal of 30 law enforcement officials in Puerto Plata. Disla, Martinez and Nunez have refused to comment and there is no word as to how deep the drug network runs in Puerto Plata and whether or not it has connections to other networks operating in the country or abroad.

Drink up
The Ministry Interior & Police has announced that alcohol restrictions will be relaxed for the Independence Day holidays. The restrictions will be lifted as of Thursday, 26 February through Saturday, 28 February. Entertainment centers and businesses selling alcohol will be able to remain open past the usual times of 12 midnight Monday to Thursday and 2am Friday to Sunday.

Dominican to NYC Council
Dominican born Julissa Ferreras has won a special election for New York City Council. With 99% of the precincts reporting, Ferreras received 46% of yesterday's vote, well ahead of Francisco Moya who received 25%. The other candidates in the four-person race finished in the teens. Ferreras ran to fill the New York City Council seat vacated by former Councilman Hiram Monserrate who is now a New York State Senator. Ferreras, whose parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic 35 years ago, becomes the first Dominican and the first Latina to represent Queens in the New York City Council. She will join fellow Dominican council members Miguel Martinez (Manhattan) and Diana Reyna (Brooklyn) in the New York City Council. Ferreras serves on the board of directors of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR) and the Dominican Wheelchair Foundation. Ferreras is a resident of Corona, Queens.

Nestor Montilla to DANR
Nestor Montilla has been named as the new president of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR), the US organization that advocates and supports the empowerment of Dominicans in the United States, Puerto Rico and the US territories. Montilla replaces Victor Capellan whose two-year term recently came to an end. Montilla is from The Bronx, New York and works as Public Relations Director for Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College at The City University of New York (CUNY). He is best known for his educational documentaries about Dominican history including his 2009 film "Los Panfleteros de Santiago" and "Dominican Identity and Migration to Hispaniola" (2006), which has been viewed by thousands of people throughout the US. Montilla is the sixth president in the 11-year history of the DANR. The DANR is the only national Dominican-American civil rights and advocacy organization in the US and is based in Washington, DC with membership all over the US and Puerto Rico.
www.danr.org/ip.asp?op=press090223 and www.danr.org/ip.asp?op=Spress090223

Independence Cycling Tour
Youngster Roberto Perez added a bit of excitement to the Independence Cycling Tour as the 21-year old rider came in first place during the third stage of the race. An excited Perez dedicated the race to his mother, Milagros, calling it the most unforgettable race of his career. Perez finished the race with a time of 3"12.18, beating Osvaldo Capellan from Onapi La Vega and Edgar Pimentel from CDP. Costa Rica is leading the team standings with Onapi La Vega in second and Canada in third place. Luis Sepulveda is still atop the leader board with Wendy Cruz following closely behind in second place. Ismael Sanchez is currently in third place with Augusto Sanchez rounding out the top four.

DR favorite to make semi-finals
Major League Baseball news report says that Group D, in which the Dominican Republic will play in the WBC Classic, could be the most competitive of the four groups. It points to the powerhouse teams of Puerto Rico and the DR. In 2006, the DR beat Puerto Rico, but later fell to Cuba in the semi-finals. Other players in that group are the Netherlands and Panama, both considered lightweight teams.
The DR is considered a favorite in the first round of games. Group D will be played at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The MLB report says: "The DR's roster has undergone quite a turnover from the '06 edition, which posted a second-best Classic record but fell victim to the round-robin format. Even though Miguel Tejada, Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano and Vladimir Guerrero are gone, the roster remains packed and is a definite threat for the title.
Other pools are A (China, Taipei, Japan, Korea), B (Australia, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa), C (Canada, Italy, USA, Venezuela).
See http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090224...

Cats musical to go on stage here
A Spanish version of the Broadway musical "Cats" will open at the Maximo Aviles Blonda hall of the newly remodeled Palace of the Arts on Maximo Gomez Avenue. Producciones Amaury Sanchez and the National Classical Ballet under Marinella Sallent are working together to produce the musical. Choreography is by Isadora Bruno. The show opens on 8 May 2009.
This production of Cats follows in the footsteps of "Fiddler on the Roof" (26, 27, 28 February at the National Theater), and the upcoming performances of Hairspray and The Graduate, also at the National Theater this year.
For dates, see www.dr1.com/calendar
Home  Message Archive  2015  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998  Premium News Service

The contents of this webpage are copyright 1996-2015.  DR1. All Rights Reserved.