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Daily News - Tuesday, 22 December 2009

DR1 breaks for the Xmas holidays
DR1 Daily News is taking a break for the Christmas holidays. The daily news digest will not be updated until Monday, 28 December when news from over the long holiday weekend will be compiled for our readers in one summary. Breaking news can be covered through the dr1 forums, which are open for news, commentaries and questions 24/7.
See www.dr1.com/forums

Fernandez's goal
Speaking of his hopes for 2010, President Leonel Fernandez said that while there have been some economic gains in this direction, his main goal for 2010 is to reactivate the Dominican economy to pre-economic crisis levels. Fernandez made his comments while handing out holiday boxes to residents of Bahoruco, in the southwest. Asked about his yearly pardons, Fernandez said he was awaiting a list from the DR's Prosecutor General's Office before making the appropriate pardons. Once finished in Bahoruco, Fernandez flew to San Cristobal by helicopter to continue handing out boxes, while his chief of security, Major General Hector Medina y Medina handed out envelopes with RD$500 to residents of the poorer neighborhoods.
Fernandez continues on his gift-giving tour today, making stops in Sanchez Ramirez (Cotui), Maria Trinidad Sanchez (Nagua), Duarte (San Francisco de Macoris) and concluding in La Vega.

Flights restart
After flight cancellations left thousands of passengers heading for the northeastern United States stranded at several DR airports, services have now resumed. Weather conditions had caused havoc for many passengers over the weekend, but Jet Blue flight 82 to New York, which departed at 6:15am yesterday, began normalizing service. There were still some delays, and long lines were a common sight at the airports, but service is expected to go back to normal, as of today.

Fireworks destroyed
The Interior and Police Ministry has destroyed more than a million fireworks, as part of its ongoing efforts to keep dangerous fireworks out of the hands of children. The importation and sale of pyrotechnics, which were immensely popular during the holiday season, was banned two years ago due to the large number of accidents caused by misuse of fireworks. The Ministry has also charged Neftali del Rosario with illegal fireworks manufacture.

Exchange houses closed
The Superintendence of Banks has suspended the operations of seven exchange houses in the National District (Santo Domingo) for not having the corresponding permits and for other violations of the Monetary and Financial Law. These are: Agente de Cambio Dollar Express, Agente de Cambio Divisa, Agente de Cambio Super Cambio, Agente de Cambio Money, Agente de Cambio Bella Vista, Agente de Cambio FP and Agente de Cambio Super Dollar Soler, as reported in El Dia.
The newspaper also reports that Judge Ileana Garcia imposed RD$5 million bail on Hermanos Solano exchange house owner Carlos Solano, who is accused of money laundering and links to drug trafficking.

Pelaez sent to jail
Mary Pelaez, the daughter of late TV comedian Milton Pelaez, was remanded in custody by the Prosecutor General's Office after a 6-hour interrogation. Officials initially questioned Pelaez about a property in Cabarete on the DR's north coast, which has been linked to fugitive drug trafficker Jose Figueroa Agosto. Officials believe that although the apartment was registered in her name, Pelaez was serving as a front for Figueroa. At first, Pelaez denied knowing Figueroa, but the authorities say they have evidence to the contrary. Pelaez says that she is being treated well and that she is confident that all will be resolved.

Spaniard's clean break
Spanish fugitive Ruben Diez Conde cleaned out all of his bank accounts before making a clear break from the DR. According to the Superintendence of Banks, Diez all but emptied out his accounts, leaving only small amounts in each one. Officials at the Prosecutor General's Office Anti-Laundering Unit speculate that he had been planning his escape from the DR. Hoy reports that one thing Diez did leave in the DR was debt - to people to whom he had sold properties.

CND gets less
The National Drug Council's (CND) budget for 2010 will be greatly reduced, according to Council director Mabel Feliz Baez. According to Baez the CND will receive RD$64 million in 2010. Baez made her comments during an event with Taiwanese ambassador to the DR, Isaac Tsaic. The ambassador presented the CND with a US$15 million donation. Tsaic said the money would be used to build sports facilities in parts of the country with the highest risk of drug consumption.

Murder plot uncovered
Officials have confirmed they have uncovered a plot to murder Major General Rolando Rosado Mateo, chief of the National Drug Control Department (DNCD). Rumors that Rosado was in danger had been floating around for some time, but drug officials were reluctant to confirm or deny them. Listin Diario reports that the plot to kill Rosado was being planned by a drug ring linked to fugitive drug trafficker Jose Figueroa Agosto. Ramon del Rosario Puente, a.k.a. Tono Lena, has been named as the head of this particular group, and the newspaper reports that the group was based in the eastern region of the DR. Listin Diario also reports that del Rosario and his associates were also linked to a plot to kill certain prisoners at the jail in Higuey.

Marti alive and kicking
"I'll die when I want and not when they want." These were the words of Dominican actor, comedian and producer Luisito Marti, who is currently in a hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. Some reports claimed that Marti had died but his sons have emphatically denied the rumors, saying their father was alive. His son Luisin says that Marti is suffering from a sore throat after doctors performed an endoscopy.

Lots of shows in year of crisis
2009 was the year of the international financial crisis. In the DR, the Department of Taxes said there was a marked reduction in tax collections, reflecting a decline in sales in the formal sector. It was also a year when corruption in government scandals, drug trafficking and money laundering scandals also made frequent headlines. But it was also a boom year for many.
Reflecting the bonanza concentrated in a smaller sector, the press is reporting how 2009 was a record year of the most expensive international performances. The number of entertainment companies also multiplied. Among the leading companies bringing international artists were: Cesar Suarez, Saymon Diaz, Luis Medrano, Cesar Suarez (Cesarito), Evempro, Pedro Garcia, Francisco Lluberes, My Entertainment, Buena Vista Entertainment, Hard Rock Cafe. Also EME Productions, Alberto Bernabe Television, Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana, Top Music, Antonio Espaillat, Thony Tomas, Taina Medina, AmBev Dominicana, Return to Burn Events, Frank Global Beats Productions and others.
In 2009, 96 foreign leading artists took Dominican stages.
On the list of shows:
Ace of Base
Alex Santek
Andrea Boccelli
Armando Manzanero
Axel Hit5
Beto Cueva
Black Theater of Prague
Caledon Scottish Tenors
Calle 13
Carlos Santana
Cheo Feliciano
China Acrobatic Troupe Splendid
Daddy Yankee
Daniel Calventy
Danny Daniel
Danny Rivera
Disney on Ice
DJ David Tavare
DJ FatBoy Slim
DJ Steve Porter
DJ Tiesto
Don Omar
Dora the Explorer
Enrique Iglesias
Fanny Lu
Gilberto Santa Rosa (3 times)
Gloria Gaynor
Grupo Niche
Iron Maiden
Ismael Miranda (twice)
Jerry Rivera
Jesus Adrian Romero
Jose Feliciano
Jose Jose
Jose Luis Perales
Jose Luis Rodriguez
Joseph Fonseca
Julio Iglesias
Kanny Garcia
La Quinta Estacion
Laura Pausini
Lazy Town
Luis Enrique
Luis Fonsi
Manny Manuel
Marc Anthony
Marco Antonio Muniz
Marco Barrientos
Mariachi Vargas
Olga Kern
Oscar de Leon
Paloma San Basilio
Paquito Guzman
Patito Feo
Rakin y K
Raul Di Blasio
Ricardo Arjona
Richard Clayderman
Riche Rey & Bobby Cruz
Rosario Flores
Show de los Perros
Taiwan Female Orchestra
The Jonas Brothers
The Killers
Tito Nieves
Victor Manuelle (twice)
Wisin y Yandel
Yolandita Monge (twice)
Zeta Bocio
Also tribute bands for Abba, the Bee Gees, Police and others.

Christmas exhibit
A Christmas artistic installation by Pedro Voight is on public display at the Columbus Palace (Alcazar de Colon) at Plaza Espana in the Colonial City. It can be viewed from Monday, 30 December through Sunday 10 January.

Christmas concert
The Santo Domingo Cathedral Choir presents its Christmas Concert on Christmas Day. The caroling begins at 8pm sharp because it is a TV production. In order to get seats, be sure to arrive no later than 7pm because it is a very popular event.
For more on events for Christmas and the New Year, see www.dr1.com/calendar

The baseball scores
The baseball season has come to an end with some surprises for baseball fans. After three years of futility, the Escogido have finally regained some of their championship swagger, while the Aguilas, a yearly favorite for a championship, were left out of the post-season round robin. Some things remained the same in this year's tournament as the Tigres and Gigantes claimed their spots in the post-season. But the Toros appearance has added some intrigue to the post-season tournament. The presence of the Toros, Escogido and Gigantes in the post-season race increases the possibility that this post season not have a champion named Aguilas or Licey. During last night's season closer the Aguilas went out with pride, beating the Toros, 2-0. They finished the season with a .500 record (25-25) and are now entering a rebuilding off-season. In the night's other games Licey beat the Estrellas 11-0 while the game between the Gigantes and Escogido was suspended.

Team W-L Avg. Diff.
*ESCOGIDO 30 - 19 .612 --
*GIGANTES 28 - 22 .560 2.5
*LICEY 27 - 22 .551 3.0
*AZUCAREROS 27 - 23 .540 3.5
**AGUILAS 25 - 25 .500 5.5
**ESTRELLAS 15 - 35 .300 15.5

*Already classified
**Already Eliminated

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