Ministry of Education signs agreement for quality education with Public School Teachers Association
National Book Fair 2020: Honduras is guest country
Vice President Margarita Cedeño operated for appendicitis
IDAC explains whereabouts of jet landed with Chinese nationals
National District mayor debate, Monday, 3 February
JCE sends decision on defector candidates to the TSE
Results to be known two hours after the official closing time for municipal elections
Alhambra cybersecurity check clears automated voting equipment
Know your Candidate: Promoting women politicians
Farm exports increased in 2019
Omar Ramírez says hotels were outlawed in National Park of the East when Globalia purchased their plot
Fewer jobs available for young people
Evidence mounts for incriminating PLD presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo
TV journalist Santiago Holguin loses defamation suit to Lucia Medina, sister of President Danilo Medina
Orchids expo set for National Botanical Gardens
Central American and Caribbean botanical garden experts to meet in Santo Domingo for Botanical Bridges Congress
Los Toros defeat Mexico but lose to Venezuela in Caribbean Series
New restaurants in Santo Domingo
21-year old Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado is 2020 UCI Cyclo-cross World Champion



Ministry of Education signs agreement for quality education with Public School Teachers Association
The Ministry of Education and the Dominican Public Teachers Association (ADP) signed an agreement whereby they commit to work to improve the quality of public education. The working arrangement was signed by Education Minister Antonio Peña Mirabal and Xiomara Guante, president of the ADP. The agreement addresses educational quality, departmental ordinances and orders, school maintenance and infrastructure, teacher job competitions, teacher dignity, social security, teacher assessments, mutual commitments and some issues that are still pending.

The commitment integrates family members represented by Associations of Parents and Friends of the School (APMAE) and all entities of society working to advance education. With the agreement, it also will endeavor so that as of 2020, the continuous training programs are effective.

https://diarioadiario.com/educacion-...-de-ensenanza/


National Book Fair 2020: Honduras is guest country
Culture Minister Eduardo Selman announced Santo Domingo will stage the 23rd International Book and Culture Fair from 24 April to 3 May 2020 in the Colonial City. The 2020 International Book and Culture Fair of Santo Domingo is dedicated to Dominican writers Camila Henríquez Ureña and Abigail Mejía for their literary contributions and for their work in demanding women's rights in this country, the Caribbean and Latin America.

This year the guest country will be Honduras. Honduran ambassador Marino Beriguete said a delegation of intellectuals and artists will come to participate in literary and cultural activities during the fair. The heart of Central America, Honduras is a multiethnic nation of nine million inhabitants, with an important cultural legacy. Its literature dates back 1,500 years, from the Mayan civilization in the city of Copán, the Culture Ministry statement added.

https://z101digital.com/honduras-ser...-domingo-2020/
https://www.facebook.com/ferilibro/


Vice President Margarita Cedeño operated for appendicitis
On Friday, 31 January 2020, Vice President Margarita Cedeño underwent surgery at the Center for Diagnosis, Advanced Medicine and Telemedicine (CEDIMAT) in Santo Domingo.

She is recovering successfully from laparoscopic appendectomy surgery due to acute appendicitis. Her surgeons were Dr. Luis Betances, Dr. Gustavo Rojas and Fernando Contreras. The physicians said there were no complications of any kind from the surgery at around 7 am on Friday and that
she should have a quick and satisfactory recovery. She was sent home to recover at her residence.

El Caribe reported she received the visit of President Danilo Medina and of former President Leonel Fernandez, her husband.

https://elcaribe.com.do/2020/01/31/d...e-apendicitis/
https://hoy.com.do/operan-de-emergen...garita-cedeno/


IDAC explains whereabouts of jet landed with Chinese nationals
The Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC) said that the Dominican Republic did not deny the landing of a plane carrying a dozen Chinese citizens who arrived on a non-scheduled flight, as was reported locally. The IDAC says in a press release that, in coordination with the Minister of Public Health and other authorities in the field, IDAC had authorized the landing of aircraft BWJ033, TIPO GLF6, Registration N666HD, flying from Iceland to Bermuda, so the plane could refuel.

Alejandro Herrera said the authorization was given under the condition that the crew and its occupants did not disembark from the aircraft. The Chinese nationals were suspected of having come from the region of China where the coronavirus is spreading. The flight landed at Las Americas International Airport at 3:50 pm and took off at 6:05 pm to its next destination, which turned out to be Haiti.

"We learned that the same thing happened in Haiti, although the crew there had exceeded the regulatory time and had to spend the night to rest, which they did on the aircraft until the next day," explained IDAC.

IDAC reports that the jet then flew to Aruba, where the passengers neither also were not allowed to deplane.

https://www.idac.gob.do/director-ida...e-de-islandia/


National District mayor debate, Monday, 3 February
Listen to the leading mayor candidates for the National District as they discuss what their priorities as mayor for the capital city. The debate is organized by the Santo Domingo Economic and Social Development Council (Codessd). Bartolomé Pujals (Alianza Pais); Carolina Mejía, Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Domingo Contreras, Dominican Liberation Party (PLD); Johnny Ventura, People’s Force (FP); and Hugo Beras, Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) are scheduled to participate in the televised and radio streamed event.

Santo Domingo Debate will be aired at 9pm on El Nuevo Diario TV, Channel 16, TeleRadio America, Canal del Sol (Zol-FM), and RNN. Pablo McKinney hosts the debate.

https://elnuevodiario.com.do/candida...omingo-debate/


JCE sends decision on defector candidates to the TSE
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) said the objection to 176 candidates to municipal candidacies nationwide is “inadmissible”. The ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) had submitted a motion against the nominations, saying that Electoral Regime Law 15-19 and Political Parties Law 33-18 both ban defector candidates. The PLD complained that these politicians had initially run for their appointments on the PLD ticket and, after having lost, had switched to another party where they would win the right to compete in the 16 February municipal election.

The JCE ruled that it is not their responsibility to hear objections to candidacies that have been admitted by the municipal boards. That this is responsibility of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).

https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...gas-BH16770221


Results to be known two hours after the official closing time for municipal elections
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) said the plenary approved the resolution whereby the election results will begin to be transmitted two hours after the official closing time, or 5pm.

It was established that on 16 February 2020 official bulletins will be issued so that they are henceforth made public starting two hours after the official closing time of the polling stations or when at least 50% of the results of the polling stations in each municipality have been received.

The results will be of preliminary nature until the electoral boards conclude the count in their respective districts, after which time they shall be final.

Moreover, the Central Electoral Board announced on Friday, 31 January 2020 the start of distribution of the resources to authorized political parties according to the number of votes obtained by each in the 2016 elections.

In total the JCE will distribute in 2020 RD$3,013,903,594.00. Of that amount, 80%, that is, RD$2,411,122,875.20 will be distributed in equal parts among the parties that obtained more than 5% of the valid votes cast in 2016 election at the presidential level.

Another 12% (RD$361,668,431.28) is allotted to the political organizations that obtained more than 1%. Finally, the remaining 8% will be distributed to political organizations that obtained less than one percent.

https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...gas-BH16770221


Alhambra cybersecurity check clears automated voting equipment
During a press conference held on Friday, 31 January 2020, information technology (IT) experts for Alhambra-Eidos, the international auditing firm, said the forensic audit carried out to the software used in the sample of 390 voting machines during the 6 October 2019 primaries proved it secure, with a robust tolerance, viable and fast operating. The audit analyzed traffic and outside communication with the machines. It determined no malicious virus or malware was affecting the operation of the devices.

“There have not been alterations from the point of view of the malicious code,” said the company during the press conference. The company experts say that the equipment does what it has been said to do, and nothing more. The government spent US$500,000 for the forensic audit.

The audit was called after former President Leonel Fernandez alleged there had been fraud in the 6 October 2020 primary. Fernández went on to resign from the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) after his leading contender in the primary, Gonzalo Castillo, was announced the winner of the PLD presidential nomination.

Miguel Angel García, IT director for the Central Electoral Board (JCE) said that after receiving the recommendations from Alhambra Eidos and the experts from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) a new software version was installed with nine levels of security. García said that all data is encrypted for transmission.

As part of new measures to reduce fraud in the 2020 general elections, the JCE announced the voting stations will be limited to the 600 voters registered for these, and a digital fingerprint reader has been added.

https://domiplay.net/podcast/la-cues...2020-01-31-Fri
https://hoy.com.do/gonzalo-reafirma-...uditorias-jce/
https://n.com.do/2020/01/31/en-vivo-...toria-forense/
https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...les-ME16749216


Know your Candidate: Promoting women politicians
“Know Your Candidate” (Conoce Tu Candidata) is the new digital platform launched on 30 January 2020 that seeks to promote Dominican female politicians. The platform is funded by the Chamber of Deputies and its Permanent Commission for Gender Equity, the Central Electoral Board (JCE), the Ministry of Women (MMujer), the Center for Research and Women Action (CIPAF) and the United Nations Development Programme have joined efforts to launch the new platform.

Also participating are the UN agencies of Unicef, Unfpa, and civic movements Citizen Participation, Politics on Heals (Política en Tacones), the Dominican Republic Youth Leadership Association (Aljuve-RD) and the National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (Anje).

In the Dominican Republic, some 7,487,040 people are eligible to vote in the 16 February 2020 municipal election. Of these 3,828,786 are women and 3,658,254 are men.

http://conocetucandidata.com/


Farm exports increased in 2019
Recent statistics reveal that exports of several farm products were up significantly in 2019 compared to 2018. The Ministry of Agriculture reports that tobacco products were up 6%, from US$883,3112,428 in 2018 to US$934,780,830 in 2019. Banana exports increased 12% going from US$64,392,150 in 2018 to US$71,889,455 in 2019. Avocado exports were up 22%, from US$51,145,821 in 2018 to US$62,223,592 in 2019. Mango exports incased 54%, going from US$16,476,808 in 2018 to US$25,449,075 in 2019.

Pineapple exports were up 41%, going from US$4,113,638 in 2018 to US$6,061,712 in 2019. Salad tomato exports were up 165%, from US$305,391 in 2018 to US$808,633 in 2019. Squash exports were up 76%, from US$212,149 in 2018 to US$363,410 in 2019. Potato exports went from US$795,234 in 2018 to US$1,212,161 in 2019, A 52% increase. Yuca (cassava) exports increased 161%, from US$84,568 in 2018 to US$220,303 in 2019.


Omar Ramírez says hotels were outlawed in National Park of the East when Globalia purchased their plot
Former National Parks director Omar Ramirez Tejada says that when he was at the head of the agency, he certified that the controversial land plot 24A of La Altagracia province, where hotel construction has been announced, was within the then National Park of the East, today National Cotubanamá Park. He says the certification establishes that no infrastructure can be built in the area.

Ramírez said the certification was issued to correct a previous certification signed by himself on 1 October 1997 that had stated that the plot was 300 meters outside of the protected area.

Ramírez says that the first of the rectifications was issued on 22 May 1998. At the time, the Ministry notified to Norka Espaillat Bencosme, legal representative for the company Corsario, C. por A., of the Canadian Charles Thomas Ogryzlo, then owner of the land, that this plot was part of the Parque Nacional del Este. She was referred to go to the General National Assets Agency (Bienes Nacionales) to seek economic compensation because the land had been declared of public utility.

He added that later, on 29 July 1999, the Legal Advisor of the Presidency requested a report on the status of parcel 24A, in which it was established that the land in question did indeed belong to the Parque Nacional del Este. He indicated that both clarifications were made before October 2000, when the company Globalia said it had bought the land from the company Corsario.

"Globalia, of Juan José Hidalgo, must find out who sold him the land and perhaps did not offer him all the information, and disassociate me in my management at the National Parks Agency from the whole process of buying and selling that parcel," Ramírez said, warning that if this is not the case, he reserves the right to take legal action.

The construction of the Leaf Bayahibe, a proposed luxury development of 96 cabañas in the beach plot, was announced at the Madrid Fitur trade show this 2020. The development has the backing of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment. After environmentalists objected the constructed, the Presidency ordered that a commission head by Presidency Minister Gonzalo Montalvo, legal advisor to the President Flavio Darío Espinal and Environment Minister Angel Estevez prepare a report on the legalities that have led to the granting of permission for the exploitation of the hotel.

https://hoy.com.do/afirma-certifico-...tro-de-parque/
https://eldia.com.do/terrenos-global...rea-protegida/


Fewer jobs available for young people
Young people (ages 15 to 24 years) in the Dominican Republic have a hard time finding regular jobs. The Labor Overview 2019 for Latin America and the Caribbean (Panorama Laboral) establishes that from a youth unemployment of 13.5% from January to September 2018 to 15.5% for the same period in 2019. This is above the regional average of 13.3%. The International Labor Organization prepared the report.

https://www.ilo.org/americas/publica...--es/index.htm
https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/pu...cms_732198.pdf

https://www.ilo.org/caribbean/newsro...--en/index.htm


Evidence mounts for incriminating PLD presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo
Muckracking journalist Marino Zapete reveals that the Presidency says there is no record of President Danilo Medina authorizing then Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo to sign controversial contracts for asphalt works worth around a billion pesos with Grupo Asimra SRL. Zapete has made public that the contracts were conditioned in writing to Castillo receiving the power of attorney (authorized by President Medina) to sign on behalf of the government. Zapete also revealed evidence of RD$70 million in campaign contributions made by Asimra to the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and the Medina presidential campaign in 2016.

Zapete has also protested the denial of the judge hearing the defamation suit to call the president of Asimra to testify, nor the persons signing the contracts with the former Minister of Public Works.

The Grupo Asimra SRL contracts were signed on 10 June 2013 by Massiel Uceta Sánchez and those of 1 November and 30 November 2017 by Maybeth Rodríguez Sánchez (sister of Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez).

Maybeth Rodríguez Sánchez is suing Marino Zapete for defamation.

Zapete has presented evidence of the disbursement of more than RD$1 billion based on the contracts signed by the then Minister of Public Works.

Zapete has protested he is the one standing trial for defamation, while the evidence of the violation of procurement law is ignored by the judicial authorities. “How is it possible that this cannot be presented in the court as evidence,” he said when presenting his case on the Rumba de la Tarde radio talk show to defend his legitimate right to defense.

Gonzalo Castillo is running for President for the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) with the backing of President Danilo Medina.

On 26 June 2019, investigative journalist Alicia Ortega had called for the Attorney General to investigate new evidence that tied the former Minister of Public Works and current PLD presidential candidate to the Odebrecht bribe-paying scandal.

TV journalist Huchi Lora criticized that the opposition had not called for an investigation of the evidence presented by Marino Zapete and Alicia Ortega of illegal contracting of PLD presidential candidate. The evidence is in documents that are certified by the government.

On the El Dia television show, Deputy Robinson Diaz (PRM-Santiago) said that, given the lack of action from the Dominican judiciary, they would call for questioning in the Chamber of Deputies. The president of the Chamber of Deputies is Radhamés Camacho, a strong follower of President Danilo Medina.

“We are noticing that the judiciary will not act. We are not talking about defamation or not, but regarding the three contracts that have violated the procurement law,” said Diaz in an interview on El Dia.

Furthermore, Deputy Henry Meran, spokesman in the Chamber for those who follow former President Leonel Fernández, also called for the Chamber to review the evidence presented by journalists Marino Zapete and Alicia Ortega.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3wR6F5qEPc -- Rumba de la Tarde
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XeybAwqbUfQ
https://acento.com.do/2020/actualida...der-ejecutivo/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnKdwdJYwEs
https://acento.com.do/2020/actualida...pc-con-asimra/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNuIfaBeyTo


TV journalist Santiago Holguin loses defamation suit to Lucia Medina, sister of President Danilo Medina
The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ordered TV journalist Santiago Holguin to pay RD$5 million for defaming Lucia Medina on his TV program. Holguin responded he would publish the book “El Braguetazo. ” He says the book will reveal details on infidelity, drug trafficking, treason, reelection, persecution and corruption and other compromising issues affecting persons in government.

"Yomaira [Lucia] Medina will know if she won when the book ‘El Braguetazo; infidelity, drug trafficking, treason, reelection, persecution and corruption’ is published,” Holguin said.[KR1]

The sentence, confirmed by the Court of Appeals and that of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, establishes without any doubt that the accused Salvador Holguín attempted to defame the honor of the congresswoman in the program Hilando Fino on 7 November 2016.

"The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice has been able to verify the criminal responsibility of the accused in the incident, both in the sentence issued by the first court and in the sentence issued by the second court, since each and every one of the elements constituting defamation was established," reports Acento. It also states that the court proved that the intention was to damage the honor and good name of Lucia Medina Sanchez.

https://n.com.do/2020/02/02/holguin-...el-braguetazo/
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...por-difamacion


Orchids expo set for National Botanical Gardens
The Dominican Society of Orchidology is inviting [KR2] to its 2020 exhibition, “Love, Country and Orchids” at the grounds of the National Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo this 20-26 February 2020. The exhibition brings together big and small orchid growers, private and commercial growers.

Every year dozens of local growers compete in the exhibition for the best in show. This year, jurors from the American Orchid Society will be deciding the best in the country.

The exhibition of the best orchids will be at the Gran Domo of the National Botanical Gardens. There also will sale of plants and associated products.

The exhibition is in its 48th year and is open from 9 to 5 pm.
Ricardo García, director of the National Botanical Gardens, says the exhibition is an opportunity to interact with nature at a time when the human species is exposed to great challenges for its survival and conservation of the planet. “The activity is a way to enjoy but also serves to call the attention of humans to our responsibility and commitment to the other species with which we share this Planet Earth,” he says.

“This is a prime time to buy plants, learn about orchid cultivation and enjoy this privileged space in the city of Santo Domingo,” said García. [KR3]

http://jbn.gob.do/


Central American and Caribbean botanical garden experts to meet in Santo Domingo for Botanical Bridges Congress
The National Botanical Gardens is hosting the Caribbean and Central American Botanical Gardens Congress (Botanical Bridges III) from 23 to 26 March 2020. The event is a follow up of previous congresses held in 2016 in Panama and 2018 in Havana, Cuba.

The National Botanical Gardens explains the event seeks to encourage collaboration or build bridges, between regional botanical gardens and botanical enthusiasts, research centers in the Central American and Caribbean region. It also seeks to find convergences between conservation and the usefulness of floristic resources in the region. The Congress promotes the exchange of experiences and innovations in research, conservation and education to address the common challenges facing botanical gardens in the region and associated research institutions.

http://puentebotanico.jbn.gob.do/?lang=en


Los Toros defeat Mexico but lose to Venezuela in Caribbean Series
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Felix Sanchez was in San Juan, Puerto Rico to cheer the Dominican baseball team Los Toros del Este in the Caribbean Series when it played the Cardenales de Lara, that are representing Venezuela in the Caribbean Series. But his good vibes were not enough, and Los Toros lost to Venezuela 3-2.

The Dominican Republic and Mexico are now tied in the regional championship. Mexico and the Dominican Republic are the favorites to win the series. Other participating teams are Panama, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

https://n.com.do/2020/02/03/venezuel...ie-del-caribe/
https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/...fuerzo-de-lujo
https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/...el-caribe-2020
https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/...fuerzo-de-lujo
https://www.septimaentrada.com/liga-...-juegos-mexico


New restaurants in Santo Domingo
A Santo Domingo resident pastime is to share information on restaurants in the city to go with family and friends. New in the city is the Korean restaurant Ñam Ñam Korean Cuisine on Av. José Andrés Aybar Castellanos, Tel 809 472-0273. Also Asian food restaurant, Wu Asian Cuisine (Sushi Bar in Los Prados, Tel. (809) 960-8886.


21-year old Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado is 2020 UCI Cyclo-cross World Champion
Competing for the Netherlands, Dominican-born Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the 2020 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championship held 1 to 2 February in Dubendorf, Switzerland. She clocked in at 0:45:20, defeating fellow teammates Annemarie Worst (Netherlands) with 0:00:01 and Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) with 0:00:10.

The now world champion in the elite category competes in cyclo-cross for the UCI Professional Continental team Alpecin–Fenix. In 2018, she won the gold medal in the Under-23 race at the UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships in Rosmalen and then repeated this feat in 2019.

https://cyclingtips.com/2020/02/youn...-dutch-battle/
https://www.redbull.com/pk-en/videos...2020-dubendorf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVvQ3AUNuCg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJCn0PtqQgc