DR1 Daily News breaks for Independence Day
What’s happening on 27 February?
UNIORE starts the audit on failed automated voting
Turning a negative into a positive, JCE advertising shows young people motivating to vote
No demonstrations on the Metro
Am Cham meets the future President in March
Verify your polling place
NYC Patrol Chief Fausto Pichardo visits
Leon David receives the 2020 Natonal Literature Award
Students in Bahoruco get electronic notebooks
Mapping coral reefs in the Dominican Republic
Japan donates for UASD musical instruments
DR monitors 27 who visited countries with coronavirus cases
Yeni Berenice Reynoso speaks out against Jean Alain Rodríguez
Odebrecht retrial to start in April
Cecilia Garcia and Elvira Taveras play Bette Davis and Joan Crawford

DR1 Daily News breaks for Independence Day
The DR1 Daily News update will not be published on Thursday, 27 February 2020, Independence Day, a national holiday. The next issue will be the Friday, 28 February edition that will compile headline news for Thursday and Friday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the DR1 Forums. See DR1 Forum at https://dr1.com

What’s happening on 27 February?
27 of February is Independence Day in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican independence was declared on 27 February 1844. This year, the national holiday falls on a Thursday, making for a long weekend for many.

Independence Day is also the day when the President of the Republic gives the state of the nation address, a summary of the annual reports prepared by government departments and agencies. This will be President Danilo Medina’s eighth annual report, and his last, as the 2015 Constitution establishes, he is only allowed to run for two terms. For the date, the traditional military parade is scheduled for the sea-fronting Malecón in Santo Domingo.

Parallel to the government-organized events, a major protest event is organized by young groups at the Plaza de la Bandera, adjacent to the Central Electoral Board (JCE), the Ministry of Defense and the Constitutional Court. The young people are protesting the disruption of the municipal election on 16 February, demanding a clear explanation and transparent and fair elections for the rescheduled date on 15 March.

The demonstration is apolitical, with political propaganda not welcome. On Tuesday, 25 February, Karim Abu Naba’a was expelled from the protest area as a non-grata person. The young politician is the son of a long time importer of asphalt. He appeared recently in a video distributed by the Domingo Contreras campaign for National District mayor promoting the construction of a race track for Formula One events.

Those that are welcome to join, include contemporary singer Juan Luis Guerra and Rita Indiana, whose “El Castigador” 2017 video has gone viral again. Hector Acosta (El Torito) will sing the national anthem to mark the start of the event. Others that have said they will perform in the demonstration are Pavel Núñez, Eddy Herrera, Vakero, Yiyo Sarante, Raymond Pozo and many others are part of the event named Trabucazo 2020. The name is about the Matías Ramón Mella rifle shot that triggered the National Independence in 1844.

Pot-banging has been a regular from 8 to 8:10pm in anticipation of the demonstration.

Major shopping stores will be open. Casa de Cuesta is advertising a 50% sale starting on Wednesday, 26 February 2020, as of 7pm. There will be a 50% on many items, plus a 15% for those using Banco de Progreso American Express credit cards and 20% for those using the American Express store card. Jumbo stores of the same CCN Group are also offering a 50% sales price and 15% on those using Banco del Progreso Amex cards. Corripio stores are advertising major discounts on Whirlpool appliances with discounts of 35, 50 and 60%. Bravo supermarkets is rounding off the prices of items for savings at the stores that are open 7am to 12 midnight on 27 February. Home Gallery furniture store is offering 50% in all the store and 70% on lamps.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fp1apn935Xs - Altagracia Salazar

UNIORE starts the audit on failed automated voting
The Technical Mission of the Inter-American Union of International Organizations (UNIORE) has begun its work to ascertain the events leading to the collapse of the electronic voting system used for the municipal election on 16 February 2020. The members of that team were received on Tuesday, 25 February 2020 by the plenary of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), including its president Julio César Castaños Guzmán.

UNIORE's technical mission is made up of experts from member electoral bodies, including Dennis Cascante, director of Technological Strategy of the Supreme Electoral Court of Costa Rica; Jorge Torres, coordinator of the Information Technology Services Unit of the National Electoral Institute of Mexico; Miguel Duarte, advisor to the Directorate of Information Technology of the Superior Court of Electoral Justice of Paraguay; Alma Iliana Ramos, head of the Department of Opinions of Technological Solutions of the Information Technology Services Unit of the National Electoral Institute of Mexico; and Sofia Vincenzi, coordinator of Center for Electoral Promotion and Assistance (CAPEL).

Uniore will carry out one of the three technical investigations of the automated voting system used in the suspended municipal elections of last Sunday, 16 February. The others are the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) and the Organization of American States. The JCE announced on Friday, 21 February 2020 that both Uniore and IFES will be conducting their research separately and will start this week.

The Organization of American States (OAS) also agreed to conduct an independent investigation after the government's suggestion, so the Public Prosecutor's Office suspended its investigations of electoral crimes. This audit is scheduled to begin next week.


New JCE vote campaign
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) vote campaign now shows young people dressed in black, like those who have been demonstrating in front of the JCE headquarters for more than a week. The campaign is to motivate Dominicans to vote in the rescheduled 15 March 2020 municipal election.

Traditionally, abstention in the municipal elections has been around 50%, but this time around a larger than normal vote is expected, more so after young people have become active in politics after the municipal election was abruptly canceled on 16 February 2020 for reasons yet to be explained.

In the 45 seconds spot that has gone viral in social networks, the JCE invites people to vote with a storyboard where young people remark: "This has never happened before, let's leave it at that, that's your duty, we are not going to vote, suspend the elections," are read.

And then the young people turn the banners upside down and what was previously negatives become: "Let’s continue the election, I'm going to vote again, I'm going to express myself, this will never happen again, let's not leave it at that, it's our duty."

"If we give a turn to the negative we all win, this 15 March let's vote again in the extraordinary municipal elections, democracy does not stop, Central Electoral Board," says the voiceover.


No demonstrations on the Metro
The Metro and Skylift Office (OPRET) is reminding young people that protests within the Metro are prohibited.

OPRET posted a video on its Instagram account showing eight young people covered with Dominican flags starting a demonstration inside a Metro stop. The young people were joining thousands who have been protesting the aborted municipal election at the Plaza de las Banderas. They were warned that demonstrations or protests are not allowed inside the Metro or Cable Car. They were asked to maintain the order and calm that is necessary for the safety of all on the mass transport means.


Am Cham meets the future President in March
The American Chamber of Commerce announced its traditional conversations with presidential candidates will start in March. The “Ciclo Candidatos 2020” interviews is an opportunity for former President Leonel Fernandez for the People’s Force (FP), Luis Abinader for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) and Gonzalo Castillo for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) to share their insights into what they have to offer the Dominican people. AmCham says the focus of the interview will be on the business climate and relations with the United States.

The schedule is:
Leonel Fernandez: Thursday, 19 March 2020 at 12:30pm. Salon Anacaona, Jaragua Renaissance Hotel.
Luis Abinader: Tuesday, 24 March at 12:30pm. Garden Tent, Hotel Embajador
Gonzalo Castillo: Tuesday, 31 March at 12:30pm. Garden Tent, Hotel Embajador.


Verify your polling place
The national secretary of organization of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) is asking the Central Electoral Board (JCE) to adequately inform the more than 450,000 voters that they are assigned to vote at different places than what is indicated on their voting cards (cedulas). Deligne Ascención says the changes were made recently and many voters may not be aware.

Ascencion says the JCE is in a position to resolve the situation since it has the telephone numbers or addresses of the citizens affected by the changes and can notify these persons.

The JCE says people can consult their website to verify where they vote. The electoral body says the information was also published in several newspapers.


NYC Patrol Chief Fausto Pichardo visits
President Danilo Medina received Fausto Pichardo, the Dominican-born new executive officer of the Patrol Services Bureau of the New York Police Department (NYPD) on Tuesday, 25 February 2020 at the Presidential Palace. Pichardo is a native of the Jánico municipality in Santiago province. He migrated to the US when he was nine years old.

During the meeting, President Danilo Medina was accompanied by the ministers of Defense, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem, and of the Interior and Police, José Ramón Fadul, as well as the director-general of the National Police, Major General Ney Aldrin Bautista.

In his new capacity as chief of patrol of the New York City police, oversees around 22,000 uniformed police officers in New York City. He is the first Dominican American to head the Patrol Services Bureau. The Patrol Services Bureau is the largest and most visible bureau in the NYPD, overseeing a majority of the department's uniformed officers on patrol.

According to Wikipedia, Pichardo began his career in law enforcement as a patrolman in 1999 after graduating from the New York City Police Academy. Linked In explains he worked himself up the ranks from captain/deputy inspector of the 33rd Precinct, Deputy Inspector, Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Deputy Inspector/ Inspector, 43rd Precinct; Assistant Chief, Patrol Services Bureau.

Chief Pichardo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Masters of Public Administration degree in Government from Marist College. He is a 2015 graduate of the Police Management Institute at Columbia University and a 2008 graduate of the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia.

During his visit to the country, Chief Pichardo and a delegation from the NYPD donated 2,400 bulletproof vests to the National Police.


Leon David receives the 2020 Natonal Literature Award
Playwright, essayist, poet and critic, León David received the award and RD$2 million cash prize on Tuesday, 25 February 2020. The award is funded by the Corripio Foundation and the Ministry of Culture. David has more than 30 published works. Businessman Pepín Corripio delivered the award at the ceremony at the National Theater in the presence of Culture Minister Eduardo Selman.


Students in Bahoruco get electronic notebooks
The Ministry of Education is distributing 8,313 11-inch notebooks to an equal number of high school students in Bahoruco province from Monday, 23 February to Wednesday, 25 February. Likewise, the Ministry handed out 400 laptops to teachers in the province. Students and teachers in Neiba, Duvergé, Tamayo, Jimaní and Villa Jaragua are receiving the computers. The computers are fitted with Windows programs.

The favored centers are Escuela Humberto Recio, in Villa Jaragua; Escuela José Del Carmen Sena Segura, in Duvergé; Centro Educativo Prof. Máximo Pérez Florián, Liceo Máximo Gómez and Escuela José Francisco Peña Gómez, in Jimaní; and Escuela María Antonia Gómez, in Tamayo.

Claudia Rita Abreu Herrera, MINERD's Director of Educational Information, said that the deliveries are scheduled for different regions nationwide until the 300,000 scheduled for the "One to One" Program is completed.

The distribution of the computers coincides with the upcoming municipal, congressional and presidential elections.


Mapping coral reefs in the Dominican Republic
In a joint effort, the Nature Conservancy (TNC), Puntacana Group Foundation (FGPC), the Dominican Foundation of Sea Studies (Fundemar) and the Dominican Reef Network (RAD) presented data on the advances to conserve coral reefs in the country during a presentation at the Hotel Embajador on Monday, 24 February 2020. During the presentation, a map using data from the Global Airborne Observatory (GAO) was presented.


Japan donates for UASD musical instruments
The Santo Domingo Autonomous University (UASD) received a donation from the government of Japan for the equipping of the music school of the Arts Department at the state university. Japan Ambassador Hiroyuki Mariuhi signed the agreement with the rector of the UASD, Emma Polanco Melo on Monday, 24 February 2020. The donation is for US$73,639 and will be used to purchase music instruments. The UASD commits that the music instruments will be used in special courses, master classes, concerts and musical presentations as established in the donation agreement.


DR monitors 27 who visited countries with coronavirus cases
The Dominican medical authorities have monitored at least 27 people who arrived after stays in China or other countries where there are cases of the coronavirus COVID-19, according to a report in Listín Diario. This includes 15 Chinese citizens. Public Health Minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas said that travelers are in their homes and are being monitored by Ministry of Public Health personnel as established by international health protocol in these cases.

The official was interviewed at a time when the World Health Organization (WHO) is asking the world to prepare for a pandemic of the acute respiratory infection.

So far, at least 35 countries are reporting cases of this new strain of coronavirus, first detected last December in Wuhan, China, where it has caused the death of more than 2,700 people.

In an update, Farah Peña, director of the Epidemiology Department (Digepi) at the Ministry of Public Health said there are no suspect cases of coronavirus in the country at this time.

In the Dominican Republic, a special isolation unit to treat cases has been set up at the Ramón de Lara Military Hospital, where the first suspected cases were kept. The people who had traveled to China were discharged when coming clear of the disease.

The Dominican Republic has more direct flights from cities abroad than any other country in Central America and the Caribbean. This makes the country vulnerable to receiving a person with the virus from abroad.


Yeni Berenice Reynoso speaks out against Jean Alain Rodríguez
The general prosecutor of the Court of Appeals, Yeni Berenice Reynoso criticized that local prosecutors are being penalized for doing what is right. N Digital reported that Reynoso made the remark given the ongoing competition that the Attorney General Office is carrying out to replace vacancies in the Public Ministry.

"We prosecutors want and demand that we are not punished for doing the right thing and that those who dare to have criteria according to law are being silenced, because they harm interests,” said Reynoso. “We know our rights and we will not hesitate to demand them," Reynoso said on her Twitter account.

The former National District Attorney urged social and political leaders in general to respect the career of the Public Prosecutor's Office.

"The Public Prosecutor's Office is indispensable for guaranteeing the rule of law, its credibility, strength and efficiency is everyone's business," Reynoso said.

Last week, Participación Ciudadana had warned that Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez has allegedly forced the resignation of a group of prosecutors at a time when the nation is in a political crisis.

"While public attention was and is focused on the elections, the Attorney General of the Republic Jean Alain Rodriguez has put in place a plan to hijack the Public Prosecutor's Office for partisan purposes. In this way, he has called for a competition to designate the vast majority of the main positions in the structure of the Public Prosecutor's Office, and to do so it has been reported that he has forced different members who had not completed their term to resign," she said.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office defended itself by affirming that this competition is being held in strict compliance with the Organic Law of the Public Ministry No. 133-11, which mandates the competition for positions that have expired, as well as for positions made available to their holders, who in this case have requested promotions, and those that are on an interim basis.

Rodríguez disputed there was anything abnormal about the competition to name new prosecutors.

The prosecutor complained she is under strict vigilance. She remarked those that are following her are going to get bored and will have little to report.

The National Investigation Agency (DNI) director, Sigfrido Pared Perez says there is no reason to spy on Yeni Berenice Reynoso.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g3nkEBmR6-8 _ Edith Febles
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9mOaE_c5Q7I Esta Noche con Mariasela

Odebrecht retrial to start in April
The Supreme Court of Justice is now only hearing the case of Senator Tomas Galan in the Odebrecht US$92 million bribery scandal. In January 2020, the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice decided to send the case against the other five defendants to ordinary justice.

Senator Tomas Galan’s case is assigned to the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice. The cases of businessman Ángel Rondón, attorney Conrado Pittaluga, former Public Works Minister Víctor Díaz Rúa, former director of the National Institute of Potable Water and Sewage (INAPA) Roberto Rodríguez and former senator Andrés Bautista will now be heard at the First Collegiate Court of the National District. This court, presided over by Judge Esmirna Giselle Méndez, who set the start of the case for 20 April.


Cecilia Garcia and Elvira Taveras play Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
The Sala Ravelo of the National Theater presents award-winning Dominican artists Cecilia García and Elvira Taveras in “Your Best Enemy” (Tu mejor enemiga). The play will be staged 16 to 26 April.

The performance is on the rivalry of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the golden years of the two Hollywood stars. It is based on the play by French playwright Jean Marboeuf. Carlos Espinal of DW Producciones has adapted it for Dominican audiences.

Tickets are now on sale at the National Theater box office and online at Uepa Tickets. Tickets cost RD$1,000. Performances are scheduled from Thursday to Saturday at 8:30pm and on Sunday at 6:30pm.