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Daily News - Monday, 10 August 2009

Caribbean Biological Corridor
Environment ministers from Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic signed an agreement that formalizes the Biological Corridor of the Greater Caribbean.
The corridor serves as a biological and cultural bridge among participating countries and focuses on connecting remaining patches of richly diverse natural habitats so that plants, animals, and ultimately humans, can survive.
Meeting in southwestern Barahona for the signing, Dominican Environment Minister Jaime David Fernandez said: "This initiative seems small, but it is of enormous potential because by protecting the biodiversity of one area you are protecting the communities around it."
Fernandez and the environment minister for Haiti also signed an agreement regarding the problems at the Enriquillo and Azuei lakes.

Morales Troncoso is PRSC president
Foreign Relations Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso has been officially named president of the PRSC party. The PRSC assembly also elected Ramon Rogelio Genao as secretary general of the party, Maximo Castro Silverio as secretary of organization and Ricardo Canalda as secretary of finance.
Morales' election was never in question and was originally announced in July. It is expected that Morales will run for the presidency of the DR on the PRSC ticket in 2012. The party received less than 5% of the vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Barrick grabs power plants
Barrick Gold, the mining company that will exploit the gold reserves in Pueblo Viejo, Cotui, has purchased the Monte Rio (100MW) and Seaboard (116MW) energy generators. Power would be used by Barrick beginning in 2011 when they are expected to begin their mining operation. Hoy newspaper reports on concerns about the impact taking 216MW of energy from the public energy pool will have on the already deficient supply in general.

Hospital director gets attacked
The director of the Francisco Moscoso Puello hospital, Roberto LaFontaine said that he doubts that it was a doctor who attacked him as he was consulting patients at the hospital during a work stoppage of public hospital doctors called by the Dominican Medical College (CMD). The director was punched on his bottom lip. LaFontaine says that he believes that the aggressor sought to cause problems. He added that he has canceled all consultations today to avoid any more conflicts.
LaFontaine believes the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) is behind more acts of aggression towards doctors who have, or who are considering, crossing picket lines.
Diario Libre reports there were scuffles at the Robert Reid Cabral Hospital, when picketers tried to impede access to the hospitals of doctors sent by the Ministry of Public Health.
The CMD says it will continue striking until Thursday.

Police arrest 5 in banker murder case
The Police announced the arrest of seven in the murder of a young bank executive in the middle-class El Millon sector of Santo Domingo. Kaisha Patricia Requena Grullon, personnel director at the Asociacion Popular de Ahorros y Prestamos, had arrived at her home at 9pm at night when two men demanded she hand over her handbag. Onlookers say the 33-year old woman tried to resist the robbery, which led to the shooting. The assailants fled on a RSX115 motorbike.
Police reported that those arrested were known to have been involved in more than 15 robberies. An editorial in Listin Diario complains that the complicated requirements of the Penal Code work in favor of criminals that repeatedly are let off by the judiciary due to "lack of proof" and return to the streets to commit more crimes.

Haitian Dominican tensions rise
Tensions between Haitians and Dominicans are once again on the rise after the death of a Dominican national at the hands of a Haitian man. Reports indicate that tensions began when youth Jesus Rivas Polanco was stabbed to death by a Haitian man, during an attempted robbery. As a result the homes of 15 persons, in Canca de Reina sector of Tamboril, were destroyed by angry Dominican residents. A small farm, which was reportedly owned by the thief, was also destroyed by residents. Police have five men in custody.
Listin Diario reports that police and immigration officials patrolled the area to protect Haitians from being hurt for acts they did not commit.
The newspaper also reports that the border patrol Cesfront recovered cattle that was stolen and was being sent to Haiti by a Dominican and Haitian gang.

Drug troubles in Azua
Concerns are growing in Azua over the continuous flow of drugs and the lack of prosecution of accused drug traffickers. The latest is the case of Feliz Antonio Rosado who will only get one month preventive custody after having been caught with 12 packets of cocaine. Hoy reports that of the 12 packets seized eight have been evaluated and seem to be extremely bad drugs, which might have been used to pull of another drug "heist."
Since July 75 kilos of drugs have been found in local drug raids. Azua district attorney Angel Arias says that Azua officials will meet with US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials to look into possible cooperation to stem the flow of drugs.

Juan Luis Guerra in Japan
Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra is stretching his fame just a bit further and and is in Japan on tour. Guerra, who is traveling as part of the "Travesia Tour," was in Fukuoka, Japan, yesterday, where he performed also as part of a promotional campaign by the Ministry of Tourism. Guerra took the stage with the Japanese salsa group Orquesta de la Luz. Guerra will have his next show, on Tuesday, at the Shinkiba Studio COSAT in Tokyo, Japan.

Papi speaks
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz says he yet does not know for what drug he tested positive and was included 104 players for substance steroid abuse in 2003. During a press conference before the Red Sox/Yankee matchup at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Ortiz claimed that he ingested over the counter supplements that could have triggered a positive test result. He said that on many occasions companies send him and other players supplements to try, as a way to garner an endorsement. He said he was extremely careless in those days, with regards to supplements he might have consumed.
MLB Union General Michael Weiner joined on Ortiz at the press conference and explained that of the 104 players who are on that list 13 of them are not believed to have consumed steroids because the test results are inconclusive. Weiner said Ortiz could have been in fact one of those players.
Ortiz says that since the list came out and his name was on it he hasn't slept. He says he is going through all channels to prove his innocence.
In contrast to fellow players Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, Ortiz seemed contrite and honest in his answers and was viewed as very apologetic by fans and reporters. Rodriguez in his "admission" statement said much of nothing to fans and was even caught in a "lie" of sorts when statements made nearly a year early, about his innocence, were proven false. Ramirez on the other hand, who was suspended for 50 games earlier this season for his positive test in 2009, said nothing to the press, reiterating the fact that the issue was behind him and that he wanted to play baseball.

DR golf takes trophy
The DR's mid amateur golf team was crowned tournament champions in its class during the Caribbean Golf Championships held in Turks and Caicos. The team had round scores of 70, 68, 72 and 73 and shot 5 under par for the tournament. The team dedicated the victory to the Dominican Republic and to the attending public. The Dominican team that played for the Perkins (Seniors) trophy came in second place to the team from Puerto Rico.

2009 FIBA Americas Championship
The ten of the best national men's teams of the continent are in San Juan, Puerto Rico competing to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship. The Dominican team is one of these that will play in the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum from 26 August to 6 September 2009. The top 4 teams will advance to next year's World Championship set for Turkey.
Teams are: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, Canada, Cuba, US Virgin Islands, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. The USA team is not participating as it already qualified for the 2010 Championship after winning the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Games are being televised on ESPN Deportes.
The ten countries were divided into two groups. Group A has Canada, US Virgin Islands, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. Group B has Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Panama and Venezuela.
The games will also be live on fiba.tv and the stats and news are available on puertorico2009.fibaamericas.com

Gold in US Masters Swimming
World-ranked Dominican master swimmer Danilo Vicioso won gold, silver and bronze medals in the US Swimming Master Championship that ended on Monday, 10 August in Indianapolis. This is the most important event organized by the US Master Swimming. More than 1,000 swimmers participated, representing several countries. He is the only Dominican ranked in three events in the Top 10 of his category of the Federation of International Amateur Swimming (FINA).
Vicioso competed in the 45-49 category. His wins were:
- Gold. 200 back with 2:24.99
- Silver. 100 back with 1:05.91
- Bronze. 200 fly with 2:23.22.
This is the first of three international meets Vicioso will participate in this year. "The competition was great, I had good swims. Now I will adjust my training to improve my times," he said. His next swim will be in October at the Panamerican Master Championship in Veracruz, Mexico and then in November at the South American Master Championship in Mar de Plata, Argentina.
Vicioso trains at the La Romana Country Club in Casa de Campo. His swims were sponsored by Grupo Vicini and Central Romana.
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