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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 16 January 2020

    Next DR1 Daily News update on Monday, 20 January
    Ministry of Agriculture to help small producers recover from the effects of poultry virus
    Mark Penn poll: Abinader is the man to beat
    Manuel Jimenez says he will decentralize Santo Domingo East
    JCE announces legal deadlines for municipal elections; campaign closes on 13 February
    Expect lots of government inaugurals from 17 February to 16 March
    7.5 million eligible to vote in 2020
    Most municipal officials to be elected by printed ballots
    JCE will wait until Friday to start printing the ballots for the municipal elections
    Church condemns corrupt practice of buying IDs
    JCE announces campaign against voter fraud
    Supreme Court president Luis Henry Molina to speak at AmCham luncheon
    PUCMM inaugurates energy efficiency and renewable energy lab
    Eel fishing fever takes over the northeastern coast
    US Consulate issues 50% less visas than in the previous year
    Thousands affected by the flu
    Triple tie in the Professional Baseball Championships
    1st Fortnight of Dominican Film from 3 to 8 February 2020
    Mega bolero concert at the Jaragua
    Date change for Ozuna February concert
    Jose Luis Perales to have two concerts in Santo Domingo

    Next DR1 Daily News Update on Monday, 20 January
    The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 20 January 2020. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the DR1 Forums. See DR1 Forum at

    Ministry of Agriculture to help small producers recover from the effects of poultry virus
    The Ministry of Agriculture said in an interview on Hoy Mismo TV show that the government is taking measures to control the Newcastle virus that has affected poultry producers. The virus has primarily affected small producers in the province of Espaillat (Moca).

    To date, Ministry of Agriculture says that its Department of Livestock has identified 60 small poultry farms that will be sanitized, be provided with healthy baby chicks. The Ministry is also assisting with the restructuring of the poultry farm debts with the governmental Agricultural Bank and other financial institutions, as well as helping with readjusting debts with input suppliers. The Ministry is also stepping up the campaigns to raise awareness among producers of the advantages to maintaining ongoing poultry vaccination programs.

    Agriculture Minister Osmar Benítez also seeks to spread the word that eating chicken is safe. During an interview on the Hoy Mismo TV show, the Minister said that "eating chicken meat is safe and the cheapest protein." After the news of the virus spread, poultry consumption dropped significantly.

    Benítez says the country can produce up to 25 million chickens per month. He noted that the Dominican poultry industry has the most advanced technology in the entire Caribbean for production under a controlled environment. He again attributed the cases of Newcastle virus to the negligence of small producers to comply with the vaccination protocols.

    Mark Penn poll: Abinader is the man to beat
    The recent Mark Penn poll shows that support for opposition party presidential candidate Luis Abinader is gaining. The Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) candidate would win the 2020 presidential election set for 17 May 2020 in all scenarios. Nevertheless, Abinader still does not have enough votes to pull a win in a first round, according to the poll that was carried out nationwide 8 to 10 January 2020. Some 1,030 eligible voters were polled. The survey has a margin of error of 3% plus or minus.

    According to the poll that was published by Grupo SIN on Tuesday, 15 January 2020, Abinader would get 43% of the vote. The presidential candidate for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) would get 28%, Leonel Fernández running for the People's Force 19% and Guillermo Moreno 3%. 6% said they are undecided and 1% said they would vote for other political parties. The poll reflects the effects of the split of the ruling party, with 60% now backing Gonzalo Castillo and 40% former President Leonel Fernández.

    The approval ratings, according to the poll are:
    Luis Abinader 43% (up from 31% before the split within the PLD)
    Gonzalo Castillo 28% (down from 36% before the 6 October primary)
    Leonel Fernández 19% (down from 36% before the 6 October primary)
    Undecided 6%

    The poll indicates that Luis Abinader receives most of his support from men and independents. Gonzalo Castillo has the backing of women and young people and 72% of the PLD members. Leonel Fernandez received 22% of the vote of the PLD members and 19% of the independents.

    The poll reveals that neither of the contenders will get enough votes to win in a first round. The electoral law requires the vote to be 50%+1 to win in a first round. In a second round between Luis Abinader (PRM) and Gonzalo Castillo (PLD), Abinader would win with 56% to 35% that would vote for Castillo. As reported, Abinader would capture 53% of those that voted for Leonel Fernández and 59% of the independent voters. Gonzalo Castillo would win only 14% of the votes of the People's Force (Leonel Fernández) and 32% of the independents.

    In the unlikely scenario that in a second round Abinader compete with Fernández, Abinader would take the election 57% to 31%, even with 50% of the PLD voters backing Fernández. Meanwhile, Abinader would get 98% of the PRM vote and 59% of the independents.

    In the also unlikely case that the second round candidates be Gonzalo Castillo and Leonel Fernández, Castillo would defeat Fernandez 40% to 38%, with a 19% abstention. The poll indicates that Castillo would receive 70% of the PLD vote and 10% of the People's Force vote. Fernandez would receive 90% of the People's Force vote and 28% of the PLD vote.

    In the scenario where the Constitutional Court decides that Leonel Fernández cannot run for president for the People's Force because he competed for the presidential nomination in the PLD primary, 53% say that they would vote for Luis Abinader. In contrast, only 35% say they will vote for Gonzalo Castillo of the PLD.

    The same poll reveals that 59% of those surveyed say they are satisfied with the Medina administration, up from 54% in a previous survey. 55% of the independents, 46% of the PRM followers, and 34% of the People's Force.

    55% say former President Leonel Fernández did what was right in resigning from the PLD. 35% say he should not have left.

    Those polled by Mark Penn say that crime, insecurity, unemployment, corruption in government and femicides are the main problems in the Dominican Republic.

    Manuel Jiménez says he will decentralize Santo Domingo East
    Candidate for Mayor for Santo Domingo East Manuel Jiménez proposes to create 13 mini city halls in Santo Domingo East to better manage the largest municipality in Greater Santo Domingo. An estimated 850,000 people live in Santo Domingo East that has an area of around 106 square kilometers.

    Running for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Jiménez says his government will focus on improving the El Almirante and Los Mina produce markets and will build smaller markets in each of the proposed 13 mini polygons.

    He says his government will give priority to redirecting city streets to reduce traffic congestion.

    Referring to security, Jiménez said that the best way to manage it is by integrating neighborhood boards. He said the neighbors know who is who and can play a more significant role than the police in stopping crime. Nevertheless, he sees a greater role for the municipal police. He explained that in this municipality there are 520 neighborhood councils in its 166 square kilometers.

    Jimenez also will give priority to ensuring that the 38,000 electricity poles in the municipality are lit.

    He said that grocery stores and businesses should have security cameras that are linked to 911. He said all businesses should ensure their front space is lit.

    Jiménez promised that after the first 100 days of his administration, Santo Domingo East will be a clean and livable municipality.

    On the issue of traffic, Jiménez said architect Marcos Barinas had designed a comprehensive plan for Santo Domingo East. "We need overpasses, changing lane directions, reorienting, signage on the streets," he said.

    JCE announces legal deadlines for municipal elections; campaign closes on 13 February
    The Central Electoral Board (JCE) says that the last day for the municipal election campaign is 13 February 2020. Political parties have until the first of February to appoint their representatives at the voting stations. February 8th is the last day for the delivery of credentials to voting station officers and the last day for the publication of polls and surveys. 14 February is the last day for the publication of political propaganda in print, radio and television media.

    Expect lots of government inaugurations from 17 February to 16 March
    Expect dozens of public works dedications to take place in the legal window authorized to do so from 16 February to 16 March 2020.

    The president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) has complained that the Constitutional, Electoral and Administrative courts have created confusion and uncertainties after knocking several of the JCE initiatives. He also criticized that the Political Parties Law and the Electoral Regime Law that were passed in 2018 and 2019 are full of contradictions and incongruences that have made the organization of the elections more difficult.

    Castaños Guzman recently cited the disposition that prohibits the inauguration of public works until after the 16 February elections. But he says it leaves a window of 30 days from 16 February to 16 March for the inaugurals to take place.

    Political analyst Nelson Rodríguez forecasts the floodgates will be open for President Danilo Medina to deliver all the projects to capitalize on these as part of the PLD campaign for the 17 May presidential elections.

    7.5 million eligible to vote in 2020
    The Central Electoral Board (JCE) reported that it expects the electoral roll for the presidential and congressional elections of 17 May to be 7,556,397 voters, of whom 51.14% are women and 48.86% men. The cut-off date for the electoral voting list is 17 January 2020, some 120 days before the presidential and congressional elections.

    The JCE says that the register for the presidential and congressional elections in May 2020 should increase by 69,357 voters, corresponding to 18, 467 minors who will be of voting age by May 2020 and another 50,890 new registrants.

    Most municipal officials to be elected by printed ballots
    The Central Electoral Board (JCE) in its Resolution 01/2020 orders that in the February elections, 3,849 positions to be defined: 987 will be elected with automated voting and 2,862 with ballots.

    For the municipal elections on 16 February, the Central Electoral Board (JCE) has decided to implement a hybrid voting modality that consists of using the automated voting system in 18 municipalities of the country and in the remaining 140, the traditional printed ballots system will be used.

    As reported in El Caribe, while the 18 municipalities where the automated vote will be used are the largest in number of voters, they are not the places where the largest number of officials will be elected. This means that most of the mayors, vice-mayors and council members to be elected are in the 140 municipalities where the printed ballots will be used.

    The Central Electoral Board ordered that automated voting technology be used in municipalities where 13 or more city councilors are to be elected.

    These are the National District; Higüey and its 3 municipal districts; San Francisco de Macorís and its 4 municipal districts; Moca and its 7 municipal districts; La Romana and 1 municipal district; La Vega and its 4 municipal districts. Also in Bonao and its 5 municipal districts; Baní and its 8 municipal districts; Puerto Plata and its 2 municipal districts; San Cristóbal and its 2 municipal districts; San Juan de la Maguana, and its 10 municipal districts and San Pedro de Macorís. Also Santiago de los Caballeros and its 5 municipal districts; Santo Domingo East and its municipal district; Santo Domingo West; Santo Domingo North and its municipal district; Los Alcarrizos and its 2 municipal districts and, Mao.

    JCE will wait until Friday to start printing the ballots for the municipal elections
    The national election director for the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Mario Núñez, said that the JCE will adhere to the rulings by the Administrative Superior Court (TSA) and will wait until Friday, 17 January 2020 at 10 am to order the printing of the 3.2 million ballots for the 16 February municipal election.

    The TSA is scheduled to hear a request by the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) that protested the order of the political parties on the ballot. The PRD says it should be listed third and not fourth on the ballot. The JCE had ordered that the Social Christian Reformist Party be listed third and the PRD fourth.

    Church condemns the corrupt practice of buying IDs
    The Dominican Episcopal Conference (CED), in its annual Pastoral Letter entitled "Elections 2020: A Space for Participation and Commitment," called for a transparent electoral process. The CED appealed to the Central Electoral Board (JCE) to assume its responsibility. "The corrupt and illicit practice of buying selling ballots cannot be admitted in full view of everyone while the JCE evades its responsibility and does not take action against this electoral infraction," said the conference of Roman Catholic Church bishops in the Dominican Republic.

    The Roman Catholic Church issues the Pastoral Letter every 21 January on occasion of the Day of Our Lady of Altagracia. This electoral year, the Pastoral Letter focused on the elections.

    The Pastoral Letter urges the candidates to present proposals based on the solution of the most urgent needs of the Dominican people, "avoiding the intrigues, slanders and manipulations of the so-called dirty campaigns, as well as the waste of economic resources for the excessive propaganda."

    The bishops state that the candidates' agenda of concrete actions must include actions to combat public and private administrative corruption, defend the lives of mothers and unborn children, reduce crime and domestic violence, climate change, respect for the legal and constitutional order, migration policies, fair investment in health, justice and social security, employment policies, fair wages and the reduction of poverty.

    The church reminds elected officials and others who seek to be elected that public office is to serve with sobriety, education, good sense, gift of government, dignity, authenticity, transparency, wisdom and justice system. The church stresses that politicians should not feel they are indispensable or come to see themselves as political messiahs.

    Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) presidential candidate Luis Abinader and Dominican Liberation Party candidate Gonzalo Castillo expressed their agreement with the proposal by the church of the signing of a great political pact for unity in the country.

    JCE announces campaign against voter fraud
    The Central Electoral Board (JCE) responded to an appeal made in the Pastoral Letter of the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, 13 January 2020, and says it will soon unfold a campaign to create an awareness among voters not to sell their voting cards. The president of the JCE, Julio Cesar Castaños Guzmán said this time around the entity would take actions to stop the old practice. The practice was highly evident during the 6 October primary of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) that was organized by the JCE.

    Castaños Guzmán said the JCE would act in coordination with the Attorney General's Office, the Ombudsman's Office, the Superior Electoral Court and the Military Electoral Police to eradicate the practice. He made the comment when participating in the launching of the "Now That I Can Tell", the memories of Monsignor Agripino Núñez, a lead arbiter in Dominican affairs. He said the JCE would unfold a campaign to create an awareness among the population of the negative effects of the practice. He observed no one has been submitted to justice for the flagrant violations. He called for political parties to assume their responsibilities to end the practice.

    Supreme Court president Luis Henry Molina to speak at AmCham luncheon
    Luis Henry Molina, president of the Supreme Court of Justice, will be the guest speaker at the January luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic (Amchamdr). His talk, "Justice Outlook 20-24: Transforming the Dominican Judicial Branch is scheduled for Wednesday, 22 January 2020 at 12:30pm at the Garden Tent at the Hotel Embajador on Av. Sarasota.

    Molina is a law graduate from the state Santo Domingo Autonomous University (UASD). He did post-graduate studies in constitutional law from the Pontifical Catholic University in Chile. He has been a professor of law at the Madre y Maestra Pontifical University in Santo Domingo.

    Over his career he was director from 1998 to 2010 of the National Judicial School. As a reslt of his efforts, the school was recognized as a model for Latin America.

    From 2012 to 2016 he was vice minister of the Presidency under the first Medina administration. In a second term, he was appointed executive director of the Center for Export & Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) through 2018. In 2018 he was appointed director of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel), from where he was named to preside the Supreme Court of Justice.

    PUCMM inaugurates energy efficiency and renewable energy lab
    The Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) inaugurated the facilities of its new "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Laboratory", which has four full-scale experimental modules and a photovoltaic system.

    Superior Education (MESCyT) Vice Minister Plácido Gómez praised the university for its commitment to research. Kiero Guerra, PUCMM vice president for research and innovation highlighted the contribution the university makes to renewable energy sector and the business sector in the country. The labs will enable carrying out research on solar-powered air conditioning systems, real thermal and light behavior of innovative façade systems, and thermal characteristics of construction materials and systems.

    The lab has systems to measure different variables: energy consumption, ambient temperature, relative humidity, CO2, lighting, surface temperature, heat flow and air speed. The center also includes a weather station that records environmental variables such as wind direction, wind speed, air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind chill, heat index, rain, among others.

    The lab has the backing of the MESCyT through the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Research and Development (FONDOCyT), and the ERANet-LAC (Network of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean Countries on Joint Innovation and Research Activities).

    Eel fishing fever takes over the northeastern coast
    From October to February, it's eel-fishing time in the Dominican Republic, according to Diario Libre. Journalists Marvin Cid and Suhelis Tejero reveal that thousands are dedicated to the nighttime capture of the eels from Nagua to Samaná beaches on the northeastern coast of the country.

    According to Diario Libre, American eel (Anguilla rostrata) fishing happens at the river mouths from Samaná to Montecristi. The reason is that buyers are offering up to RD$230 per gram of eel captured that is about seven to eight eels. Before 2017, the price per gram was only RD$30, which did not make the fishing for these remunerative to the local populations.

    As reported, in a good night of fishing, up to RD$15,000 can be made by those fishing for eels.

    Diario Libre notes the government has begun to implement controls, but this is too late as already there is a boom in the number of people that want to benefit from the lucrative product.

    As reported, the Dominican Republic is now 17th in the world in live eel exports, with US$2.23 million. Exports in 2018 were to Canada, Hong Kong and the United States.

    To export, a license from Codopesca is required. These licenses go for RD$25,000 to US$150,000 each, as reported in Diario Libre.

    Pedro Baldera Germán, a lawyer and member of the Human Rights Commission in Nagua says that after the boom in eel fishing, during the fishing window, crime has significantly declined. But he says that the ecological damage is great and the activity is unsustainable.

    US Consulate issues 50% fewer visas than in the previous year
    Only 47% of those who requested visitor visas to the United States last year were admitted. 53% of those seeking B1/B2 non-immigrant visas at the US Consulate were rejected during the US fiscal year 2019 (from October 2018 to September 2019).

    For the second consecutive year, there has been a considerable reduction in the number of US visas issued to Dominicans. These have dropped from 142,580 approved in 2018 to 86,649 visas in 2019, according to data provided by immigration specialist Roque Leonel Rodríguez to the Listin Diario. He said the average number of monthly visitor visas being issued is about 7,200, compared to 15,000 in previous years. He said 2017 was a peak year, when 205,000 visitor visas were issued.

    Rodríguez says that the months with the highest peak in issuing immigration visas were Easter, summer and Thanksgiving vacation times. The largest number of visa application rejections affected young people ages 16 to 22 years old.

    Thousands affected by the flu
    The recent lows in temperatures and occasional rain has resulted in several rounds of the flu nationwide. Neumologist Plutarco Arias of the Unión Médica in Santiago says 30% of the patients seen at the hospital are affected by colds. He calls for prevention.

    He recommends against the local practice of greeting people with a kiss or hug. He also says to keep prudent distances of two meters from people suffering a cough or cold. The former president of the Nothern Pneumology Society (Neymonorte) said that several patients have had to be hospitalized with pneumonia when their viral process were not treated in time.

    The weather report is for the chilly weather to continue this week in the Dominican Republic.

    Triple tie in the Professional Baseball Championships
    After a triple tie for second place in the Dominican Winter Professional Championship, two more games will decide which of three teams will match the Toros del Este in the playoffs.

    The playoff teams for the 2019-2020 championship should have been decided on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, but the Leones del Escogido defeated the Tigres del Licey 4-3 in Santo Domingo and the Aguilas Cibaeñas won their game against the Toros del Este in Santiago. This lead to a triple tie. The Escogido, Licey and Aguilas each have won eight games and lost 10.

    The Dominican Professional Baseball League (Lidom) announced two more games will be played. The Escogido will battle it out against the Aguilas at the Cibao Ball Park in Santiago at 7:30pm. The winner of this match will then compete against the Licey on Friday, 17 January at 7:15pm at the Quisqueya Ball Park in Santo Domingo. The winner then will compete in the 9-5 games playoffs against the Toros del Este.

    1st Fortnight of Dominican Film from 3 to 8 February 2020
    The Film Agency (DGCINE), the Dominican Association of Film Professionals (ADOCINE), the Dominican Association of Press and Film Critics (ADOPRESCI), and the Global Film Festival (FCG) announced the 1st Fortnight of Dominican Film (Primera Quincena Cine-RD) will be held following the Global Film Festival. The event is highlighted as the largest Dominican film event to be held during the year. It seeks to promote Dominican art and culture through films. Cultural, academic and social activities will focus on filmmaking.

    "The idea of the DR-Cinema Fortnight was born in 2016, while I was at the Cannes Film Festival with Omar de La Cruz and Alfonso Quiñones," said Yvette Marichal, director of DGCine. The event follows the Global Film Festival that will take place 27 January to 2 February 2020, bringing the focus on cinema through 8 February.

    The National Film Congress, the gala dinner of the Dominican Association of Film Professionals, and the La Silla Awards are included in the 1st Fortnight of Dominican Film.

    On 3 February, the 7th La Silla 2020 Awards, organized by ADOCINE, will be held in the Carlos Piantini Hall of the National Theater. A new feature of this 7th edition is that four categories have been added to the award: "Best Short Film," "Best Casting Director," "Best Poster Design," and "Best Diaspora Director."

    The gala dinner will be held on 5 February 2020, in the Hodelpa Casa Real in the Colonial City. Tribute will be paid to the efforts of the country's film industry professionals. The Dominican Association of Press and Film Critics (ADOPRESCI) will present the 1st Film Critics Award.

    The last event is the 3rd National Film Congress that will take place from 6-8 February 2020 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Convention Center (MIREX).

    Mega bolero concert at the Jaragua
    Sergio Vargas, Eddy Herrera, Milly Quezada, Rafa Rosario, Chabelly and Ramon Orlando are part of the "Ellos Cantan Bolero." The concert will be on Friday, 6 February 2020 at the Teatro La Fiesta del Hotel Jaragua at 9pm. Tickets are for sale online at Uepa Tickets, CCN Servicios, Supermercados Nacional and Jumbo stores.

    Date change for Ozuna February concert
    Dominican-Puerto Rican urban artist Ozuna announced that the Santo Domingo performance of his Nibiru Tour has been rescheduled to comply with the Electoral Law 275-97. The concert was originally scheduled for Saturday, 15 February 2020, the day before the municipal elections. The date of the concert is now Friday, 14 February. The concert will be at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium. Tickets purchased for the 15th will be valid for the concert on the 14th.

    The concert organizers says they will refund tickets of those who cannot attend the concert at the new date. But the refunds need to be requested by Monday, 3 February. Refund requests must be processed via the main office of Uepa Tickets, located in Bella Vista Mall, or via e-mail: [email protected]

    The concert marks the start of the Dominican-Puerto Rican singer's 2020 world tour. "Nibiru" is Ozuna's third album of the Puerto Rican singer.

    Jose Luis Perales to have two concerts in Santo Domingo
    The Valentine's Day concert for Spanish singer Jose Luis Perales in Santo Domingo is sold out. Promoters of the concert announced a second date for Thursday, 13 February 2020. The concerts will be at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Jaragua Renaissance Hotel.

    The composer-singer of "Y como es el", "Que Pasara mañana," and many more great hits is coming to promote his "Mirandote a los ojos" album in which he promotes the best hits of his long career.

    In an interview with Diario Libre, he explains that he became popular first in Latin America. He also spoke of his ties with the Dominican Republic. "I am very excited to return to Santo Domingo because I have very good memories of my performances there. This is my last tour because I prefer to stay at home, because it's time to do so, as I'm about to turn 75. Although my voice and physical condition are good, I think it is time to return home and have a more peaceful life."
    Last edited by Dolores; 01-16-2020 at 07:41 AM.

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