DR1 Daily News next update on 13 August 2018
President sets 2B Line of Metro into operation
China announces Medina trip
Mirex wants apostille and certifications to go online by year’s end
JCE says it will work with parties on the primaries
Senasa pays out RD$10 billion in services
ADP demands opening of opposition?? process to find new teachers
IADB helps close down Duquesa dumpsite
Institutions call for breast-feeding for first six months
Odebrecht trial can’t get started
Fires affect pine forests in the Cibao
National District stats
Tornado hits Moncion
Works by Fernando Peña Defilló on exhibition in Colonial City
Da Republik advances in America’s Got Talent
15th Van Cliburn Piano Competition players at the National Theater

DR1 Daily News next update on 13 August 2018
The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 13 August 2018. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the Forums. See the DR1 Forum at http://www.dr1.com

President sets 2B Line of Metro into operation
President Danilo Medina posed for the start of operations of Line 2B of the Metro that now connects eastern and western Santo Domingo. An estimated 150,000 persons will use the line daily for one-way fares of RD$20. In eastern Santo Domingo, the Metro will now be accessible to residents in the populous areas of Los Trinitarios, Los Mina, Los Billeteros, Cancino, Las Palmas de Alma Rosa, Katanga.

The 3.6 km extension to Line 2 includes four stations. These are: Ercilia Pepín, Trina de Moya, Rosa Duarte, Concepción Bona. The extension crosses over Ozama River and continues along the San Vicente de Paul Avenue until it reaches the Carretera Mella. The line also connects to the Santo Domingo Skylift that was put into operation on 28 May 2018.

The government announced that next is the construction of the second skylift line in the western Santo Domingo with stations in Los Alcarrizos, Pantoja, Avenida Monumental, entrance to Manoguayabo ending in Av. John F. Kennedy.


China announces Medina trip
FuXinrong, the Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, formally announced that the governments of China and the Dominican Republic are in the preparation stage for a visit of President Danilo Medina to China. During the visit, agreements for cooperation in the areas of farm products produced in the Dominican Republic for export to China, infrastructure, and finances are expected to be signed.

Also, there is the possibility of establishing a direct flight between China and the Dominican Republic. While this last point may seem extravagant, it should be remembered that there are now direct flights lasting 19 hours between Australia and London. Efforts at promoting tourism to Cuba with a direct flight from Havana to Beijing, China set in December 2015. This flight, nevertheless, has a stopover in Montreal, Canada and reports are that it has been slow to develop. The Beijing-Montreal-Havana flight has brought businessmen from China to Cuba, in addition to tourists. The Chinese tourists are attracted to learn about the Cuban revolutionary history that is part of the Cuba-Chinese tourism program.

In a document from the Chinese Embassy, the diplomat said that the strong political will, the high level of economic integration and the broad popular support guarantee and point to a future of positive relations between China and the Dominican Republic. The diplomat also noted that in November 2018 a high level Dominican delegation will attend the International Exposition of Chinese Imports and during the same month the hospital ship Arc of Piece will visit the country on the “Harmony Mission 2018.” It is expected that some 5,000 Dominicans will receive free medical treatment.

http://elnacional.com.do/Fu Xinrong-xinrong-informa-se-prepara-visita-presidente-medina-a-china/

Mirex wants apostille and certifications to go online by year’s end
The Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas ratified the intention of the Ministry of Foreign Relations (Mirex) to provide services of documents certifications (apostilles) to be available online before the end of 2018. “This will improve services to citizens and optimize state resources,” said Vargas.

Colombian experts are assisting the ministry in setting up the new program in combination with the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development as part of the technical cooperation between the two countries.

Vargas explained that Mirex has invested a lot of money in new technologies and in the preparation of the necessary platform. By means of the apostille, the Ministry of Foreign Relations validates the origin of a public document so that this can be accepted by other nations. Internationally, apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority.

The department of Legalization of the Deputy Minister for Consulate and Immigration Affairs of the Ministry sees approximately 750 persons and legalizes with the apostille some 1,300 documents each day.


JCE says it will work with parties on the primaries
The head of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Julio Cesar Castaños Guzman, announced that as soon as the Political Parties Bill is enacted, he will convene the political organizations that have been recognized to discuss the rules for the political primaries. The bill calls for these to be held simultaneously. Castaños said that the law, that will provide a guide for political institutions, will foster close collaboration between JCE and the political parties, civic groups and political movements.

In a statement issued to the Diario Libre, Castaños Guzman said that the legislative proposal approved by the Chamber of Deputies authorizes the JCE to draft the rules and regulations for the primaries and take into consideration factors of time, logistics, technology and resources.

The top elections official reported that in a JCE meeting on 8 August 2018, budget considerations for 2018 were concluded, a preamble to the presidential elections of 2020.

The bill approved in the Chamber of Deputies and that is expected to pass in the Senate by Friday, calls for the political parties to determine how they select their candidates. In the case of choosing the modality of primaries, the bill establishes they will be simultaneous for the political parties. The primaries need to be held no later than the first Sunday in October 2019.

The bill was passed with the vote of 146 deputies in favor and 38 against. The bill received the votes of representatives of the PLD (Danilo Medina supporters), but not so supporters of the president of the PLD, former President Leonel Fernandez. The bill also received ‘yes’ votes from deputies that are members of the PRM, PRSC and PRD. The PLD legislators who opposed the bill, say that it violates the Constitution and it is sure be contested in the Constitutional Court. The bill contains clauses to control campaign spending, access to the media, gender and youth participation.


Senasa pays out RD$10 billion in services
The National Health Insurance (Senasa) paid RD$9.96 billion in health services to participants in the Payroll Deduction and Subsidized Regimen of Family Health Insurance. Dr. Mercedes Rodriguez, the administrator of Senasa, indicated that in 2017 they spent 23% more than the previous year. She underlined the growth of Senasa that includes 45% of those affiliated to the nation’s Social Security program, and this means a total of 4,500,000 Dominicans are covered.

Dr. Rodríguez said that Senasa covers 300 procedures and noted that the premium plan has a cost that is 50% less than the other health insurance providers (ARS). She said Senasa covers many services that are not in the private basic health plans.

Speaking to reporters during the activity celebrating the ninth anniversary of Senasa, Dr. Rodriguez explained that Senasa contributes to the reduction of poverty and social inequality. She said that over the last four years, 2,459 persons have been treated for cancer thanks to coverage provided by Senasa.

She said that there are 960,000 persons who are affiliated through a payroll deduction program and 3,554,324 persons who are on the subsidized program. She noted that hundreds of thousands of pensioners are now covered by Senasa.


ADP demands opening of selection process to find new teachers
Dozens of teachers protested on 8 August 2018 in front of the Ministry of Education, calling for the start of the selection process according to Law 66–97, to select new teachers. The teachers are also calling for the payment of incentives to those teachers who have been evaluated.

Eduardo Hidalgo, the ADP leader, said that the ADP has been asking the Ministry of Education to convene the selection process since last May. He said that Education Minister Andres Navarro has preferred to violate the law once again. He said the Association of Dominican Teachers (ADP) has complaints on file from Baní, Azua, Santo Domingo and other parts of the country with reports that persons involved in the selection process have not been appointed to teaching positions while others who did not pass the process have been hired.

Hidalgo said the protests are also in demand of increased retirement benefits, a commitment signed last March 2017 and, as yet, not realized.

Education Minister Navarro acknowledged some 20,000 teachers have been evaluated and have yet to receive the corresponding benefits.

The protest shut down part of Maximo Gomez Avenue near the Ministry.


IADB helps close down Duquesa dumpsite
With a deposit of US$1 million made by the Inter-American Development Bank, together with assessments from local technicians who worked with the leaders of the “Dominicana Limpia” government plan, the shutdown process of the Duquesa landfill and the studies required for a new solution of the problem of the solid waste generated by Greater Santo Domingo began on 8 August 2018. The funds will be used to study all the possible solutions to deal with this massive problem.

The expert on sanitary landfills, Pilar Tello, told Diario Libre that it was necessary to divide Greater Santo Domingo into two parts due to the complexity: a new sanitary landfill for East Santo Domingo and a similar solution somewhat like Duquesa that implies the closure of the current landfill.

Domingo Contreras, who is director for Special Programs of the Presidency and for Dominicana Limpia, explained that in the case of Duquesa they have asked President Danilo Medina for equipment to deal with daily operations, while they work on the new design with the support of the IADB. When he was asked if the new design would locate the waste solution in the vicinity of Duquesa, he said: “This will be defined by the studies, since there is a technical team of the highest level in Latin America that is accompanying us to determine the final destination. When we have everything worked out, we will produce a press release.”

With regards to East Santo Domingo, which is the most populated municipality of the country, they have already found several possible areas for a “dry landfill” to be built. And a similar process will be carried out in Puerto Plata. At these landfills the refuse will be deposited directly at the site but will be separated into materials that can be recycled and then the leftovers will be left at the landfill.

Contreras noted that this year Dominicana Limpia is trying to deal with the problems of garbage in Villa Altagracia, Azua, Veron, Santiago and Puerto Plata.


Institutions call for breast-feeding for first six months
The Ministry of Public Health, together with other institutions, called on women in particular and the Dominican family in general to understand the importance of breast-feeding babies exclusively during the first six months of life. The institutions note that this will reduce infant mortality and diseases such as cancer in the woman.

Public Health Minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas headed a huge march under carry the slogan “Life Pillar” for the closing of activities of World Week of Breast Feeding. The minister noted the importance of the integration of all of the different organizations that provide incentives to promote breast-feeding that quite low in this country. In fact, Sánchez Cárdenas expressed his confidence that next year when they take a new survey regarding breast-feeding the index will be more than the current level of 4%.

Sánchez Cárdenas said that he is working with the National Health Service (SNS) so that none of the neonatal care facilities and maternity wards would promote “milk formulas” as a substitute for mothers who are able to breast-feed their babies.

In a press release regarding the march, Sánchez Cárdenas said there is no substitute for maternal milk to promote the healthy development of the child. He called upon everyone to join in the campaign so that every Dominican woman who becomes a mother understands the importance of breast-feeding their baby from the first moment of life.


Odebrecht trial can’t get started
Dozens of motions filed by defense attorneys, some of which have to be decided upon by the judge of Special Instruction, Francisco Ortega Polanco, will delay the beginning of the formal trial in which seven persons are accused by the Attorney General Office of having accepted bribes from Odebrecht. Odebrecht officers admitted to a New York court to having paid US$92 million in bribes to get contract work in the Dominican Republic. This is the third time the start of the trial is delayed.

On 8 August 2018, among others, the judge accepted a motion by defense attorneys of accused Victor Diaz Rua who requested that the Attorney General supply proof of the accusations. Other motions were also reviewed for the judge to reach the decision to postpone the start of the trial until for 21 August 2018.


Fires affect pine forests in the Cibao
Communities in the area have been affected by forest fires. These are Jánico, Damajagua, Juncalito, Hoyo de Bao, Corocito, Guazuma, Las Manaclas, among others in the province of Santiago. Authorities of the Ministry of Environment say they are investigating the causes. Ecologist Winston Vasquez, coordinator of the Movimiento Tiempo Verde suspects criminals started the blazes. Long days of droughts affecting Cibao forests have put the pine forests in the central mountain area at risk.

The Santiago provincial director for the Ministry of Environment, Eduardo Rodríguez said that three persons were suspect of having caused the fires. These are sought by members of the environmental police.

The area is a water source for the rivers Yaque del Norte, Bao, Jagua, Guanajuma, Mao, Amina, Los Ramones that irrigate farmlands in the northwest, the Tavera-Bao and López-Angostura dams.


National District stats
The capital of the Dominican Republic, the National District, sits on an area of 104.4 square kilometers, where vertical growth is the new norm and the population density is the highest in the DR.

The National District’s population is estimated to be 965,040, or 10.22% of the estimated total national population of 9,445.281, according to the IX National Population and Housing Census 2010.

The National District is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the South, the Ozama River to the East and the Santo Domingo Province to the West, and Isabela River to the North.

There are 18 deputies that represent the National District and one senator in Congress.

When Santo Domingo East and Santo Domingo West municipalities are added together, the so-called Greater Santo Domingo has 40% of the national population, and 61 deputies of 178 in the Chamber of Deputies.


Tornado hits Moncion
A sudden storm packing high winds affected numerous dwellings in and around the northwestern city of Moncion on Monday, 6 August 2018. Power was out for several hours and when electricity was finally restored, many residents in the area complained that a high voltage spike in electrical lines damaged electrical installations and household appliances. Internet service to many in the area was affected.

Authorities are evaluating the damage of the tornado that destroyed houses and toppled trees and electricity polls and signage in the province of Santiago Rodríguez.

Monción mayor Joselito Espinal estimated that at least 30 homes suffered considerable damage, including several building that lost their roof. The mayor said the storm lasted only 10 to 15 minutes. He said if it had been longer, the town would have been wiped out. The most affected areas were in Barrio Nuevo, Gurabo, El Rodeo, Durán, Cañada Grande, Cepillo and the center of Monción.


Works by Fernando Peña Defilló on exhibition in Colonial City
Two exhibitions of works by legendary Dominican painter Fernando Peña Defillo are open at the Fundacion y Museo Fernando Peña Defilló in the Colonial City. The exhibitions “Antologica 02” and “Defillo de pintura a la danza” include works by the visionary and genius artist from his initial phases, through his later abstraction and figurative art phases. The exhibition also includes photographs taken by Karoline Becker and Elianne Mena and paintings that served as inspiration for the ballet “Defilló” that was choreographed by Marianela Boan, director of the National Dance Company, and presented in 2017 at the National Theater.

The exhibitions are open to the public at the Fernando Peña Defilló Museum that is located at Calle Padre Billini corner Calle José Reyes in the Colonial City. The exhibition will be open through 14 October 2018, from Wednesday to Sunday in afternoon hours.


Da Republik advances in America’s Got Talent
Da Republik, a dance ensemble based in the Dominican Republic, moved up again in the America’s Got Talent reality show. Da Republik was created by the married dancers Larybel and Jonathan Castillo. The group is the reigning World Hip Hop SubChampions at the moment. The ensemble was formed by a group of best friends ages 15-32 that are living out their dream.

The group made the cut for Season 13 during the America’s Got Talent contest that airs on NBC. Da Republik advanced in the performance of Tuesday, 7 August 2018. The group received praise from judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howie Mandel and Chris Hardwick.

The contest involves 18 groups, of which only six will move on to the final battle. The judges agreed that the group advance to the live AGT shows at the Dolby Theater.

Da Republik is part of the Academia Nucleo Extremo in Santo Domingo.

See the segment:

15th Van Cliburn Piano Competition players at the National Theater
The Fundación Eduardo León Jimenes and the Fundación Sinfonía announced the celebration of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Winners Gala on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at the Sala Carlos Piantini of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito.

Three pianists will be performing – gold medallist South Korean pianist 28-year old Yekwon Sunwoo, silver medallist 23-year old Kenny Broberg and bronze medallist 19-year old Daniel Hsu of the USA. These young musicians won the event held May-June 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The pianists will be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jose Antonio Molina.

The program for the evening is Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in E Minor.