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Daily News - Tuesday, 28 January 2014

President Medina in Honduras
President Danilo Medina attended the inauguration ceremony for Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado at the Tiburcio Carias Andino National Stadium in Tegucigalpa on Monday, 27 January.

The new President is only 44 years old, making him the youngest in his nation's history.

Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo, Presidency Administrative Minister Jose Ramon Peralta, Interior and Police Minister Jose Ramon Fadul, and Economy, Planning and Development Minister Temistocles Montas accompanied Medina, along with the Dominican Ambassador to Honduras, Jose Osvaldo Leger, the Head of Military Aides, Adan Caceres and Personal Assistant Carlos Pared Perez.

Before the ceremony begun, President Medina met with the Presidents of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla and Panama, Ricardo Martinelly, and Spain's Prince Felipe.

Following the investiture, President Medina traveled on to Cuba to attend the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) taking place today, Tuesday 28 and tomorrow Wednesday 29 January.



Greenhouse vegetable production gets full government support
Minister of Agriculture Luis Ramon Rodriguez says that the Medina government is making funds and support available for the installation of greenhouse parks. He predicted that the country would have 13 billion square meters producing vegetables in protected environments in the near future. He said that the project for farm reconversion in San Juan de la Maguana province in the southwest alone would involve the construction of a million square meters of greenhouses for vegetable production.


Milton Ray Guevara on Ruling 168-13
Constitutional Court president Milton Ray Guevara spoke out about the Constitutional Court ruling 168-13 on criteria for Dominican nationality and the foreigner legalization plan yesterday, Monday 27 January during his keynote speech on the occasion of the court's first anniversary.

He said that the ruling applies the principle of favorability because it orders the implementation of the foreigner legalization plan to enable people who qualify to obtain Dominican nationality through a naturalization process. Guevara said that the ruling does not violate the principle of retroactivity of laws because he said that laws that were in effect at the time of the birth of the persons are being applied. He said that "one cannot talk about retroactivity of any rule because the court limited itself to proving that Mrs. Juliana Deguis Pierre had never been Dominican."

He said that the ruling also established that "foreigners in transit are not a new immigration category," as reported in El Dia.

He told the audience that for more than 30 years the Supreme Court of Justice had defined and reiterated the same concept for foreigners in transit that is stated in Ruling 168-13. "Our traditional jurisprudence recognizes those who do not have legal domicile in the Dominican Republic or those that lack legal residence as foreigners in transit."



Calls to amend extradition treaty
According to Gisela Cueto Gonzalez, head of the Extradition Department at the DR Attorney General's office, the United States government is open to renegotiating the extradition treaty that has been in effect since 1910. The Dominican government wants to make changes related to the trial, the distribution of seized assets when drug trafficking-related, or other types of crime in which illicit earning of money is involved.

Nevertheless, she said that the Dominican Republic is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Illegal Drug Trafficking and the Palermo Convention that can be used to deal with the abovementioned cases.

She went on to say that when one country handed over one of its citizens to another country, in this case the United States, the country expected justice to be done for both countries. "There is a need to fulfill the justice of the country that waives judging the individual," she told the press.

Nineteen people were extradited to the US in 2012 and 2013.



Fight to keep virus out
Minister of Public Health Freddy Maduro has announced that the Ministry has set up a series of measures to prevent the Chikungunya virus, now present throughout the Caribbean, from entering the Dominican Republic. No cases have been reported here yet.

He said that in December last year the Pan-American Health Organization issued an epidemiological alert for the whole region, after the first cases were reported in St. Martin.

Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by the same mosquito as dengue, Aedes aegypti and by another mosquito called Aedes Albopictus. It has similar symptoms to dengue but with less painful muscle aches. It produces fever, headache and eye pain, vomiting and bleeding, and has a low mortality rate.

The Ministry has called on the public to keep water containers covered, use bleach in water tanks at least three times a week, replace water in flower pots with earth or sand or change the water daily and take anything out of the garden where there may be standing water such as bottles, pots and tires.

Other recommendations are that in the case of the appearance of symptoms, patients should only take medicine recommended by the medical profession and not take others such as aspirin, ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories as they can worsen the disease.

Hidalgo asked local governments to start immediately to clean parks and public spaces where there is standing water or garbage and said that ports and airports were on alert for anyone entering the country with symptoms of the virus.


Proposal to improve lawyers
The Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) has submitted a proposal to the Chamber of Deputies proposing the regulation of the practice of lawyers and notary publics in the Dominican Republic.

The proposal says that in order to practice as a lawyer, the individual needs to have a degree or a doctorate in law and have completed legal requirements including a two-year internship and revalidation examinations. The internship should be carried out at an institution linked to the courts or the process of judicial reform with the objective of acquiring knowledge and experience about the judicial system and practices. Private law firms can become accredited as intern centers with the approval of the courts.

It is proposed to set up a Revalidation Commission composed of the president of the SCJ, the director of the National Judicial School, the head of the Officials of the Judicial Power, the Attorney General, the National Director of Public Defenders, the president of the College of lawyers and a Dean from a accredited University law School.

The proposal also calls for continuing education of at least 600 hours each year and five year revalidation.

The motivation behind the proposal is the low quality of the legal profession and the consequent loss of confidence in their services.


USAID has US$184.9 million for five-year plan
The United States government is making US$184.9 million available to contribute to improvements in citizen safety and promote economic growth in the DR. USAID representative in the DR Alexandria Panehal presented the US government agency's development and cooperation strategy for the next five years. Speaking yesterday, Panehal said that the three development objectives were to strengthen crime prevention, increase people's resilience to climate change and advance towards a generation free of HIV/AIDS. She said the Embassy would work with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and to find ways to reduce gender violence. The program focuses on six of 32 provinces nationwide and on the most populated urban areas.


Too many deaths due to arguments
The Attorney General, Francisco Dominguez Brito, said yesterday, Monday 27 January that he was concerned at the increase in the numbers of murders due to arguments. He said that disputes are responsible for more deaths than other criminal acts.

He said that of the 643 homicides from January to September 2013 not due to crime, there were 423 people who died due to personal vendettas, 74 due to fights in nightclubs, 61 from domestic violence and seven for traffic related arguments.

He said that in order to decrease the number of deaths due to disputes there needed to be a cultural change by everyone including mayors, public prosecutors and the judiciary.

He went on to say that they could not allow violence to continue and that he is convinced that it could be reversed if everyone played their part. He said that Dominicans were a peaceful and hardworking people and they needed to regain what had been lost.


Arrests in case of murdered German
The National Police has arrested three women and one man accused of the murder of a 44-year old German national, Dirc Weber, and of having hidden the body under a bed in an apartment in Playa Laguna, Sosua.

Pedro Luis Tejada, Nichole Cristina John and Yasmen Bleistos were arrested in a hotel in Puerto Plata. Another woman, Estefany de la Cruz Henriquez, was also detained for questioning.

The Police accused them of killing Weber after he went to collect the rent for an apartment he owned in Playa Laguna. The Police say the accused fled in Weber's car and subsequently set fire to it.



Drugs confiscated on Duarte Highway
National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) officers have confiscated 13 packets of a white powder, presumably cocaine or heroin. Eight packets were taken from inside an SUV on the Duarte Highway, thought to be part of an international drug network and the other four from a Venezuelan man travelling to Madrid from Las Americas international airport.

The man in the SUV, reportedly from San Francisco de Macoris, had been arrested along with three Colombians in a raid in August 2012, in possession of 31 portions of cocaine.


Did the son murder his father, or is this a Police cover up?
The Head of the National Police, Major General Manuel Castro Castillo, said yesterday, Monday 27 January that it appears that the kidnap and murder of businessman Ramon Sanchez was planned by his son, who after paying RD$50,000 for his release, then had the money returned to him.

He said that two other people, identified as Jose Luis and "the Moreno or the Haitian," were on the run and that the police had more proof that it would shortly be releasing.

Referring to the case, he said that the family is obviously grieving but some are prejudicing the investigation as they do not want to believe their son or brother could be involved in criminal activities, especially when they are drug addicts.

Meanwhile, lawyer Victor Sanchez, another son of the dead businessman said that the police and public prosecution service have put together a ridiculous scenario of events, by accusing his brother Julio Sanchez of being behind the crime while he and the rest of the family knew his brother had nothing to do with it. He went on to say that the police had refused to investigate the police agents who were working outside the house in Villa Trina from where his father was kidnapped and accused the police of concealing evidence.


Yoga for pregnant women in Santo Domingo
Maria Luisa Valdez, who trained in yoga with many leading instructors in the US for several years, is back in the DR to share her knowledge as a Doula certified pre-natal instructor. She says that the practice of yoga during pregnancy is becoming more and more popular because of the many benefits, including toning muscle, improving balance and circulation, breathing techniques and relaxation techniques, so important at the time of giving birth. She explained that pre-natal yoga practice improves sleeping, helps reduce stress and anxiety, while it improves strength, flexibility and resistance of muscles used when giving birth.

Maria Luisa Valdez is director of Santo Domingo Yoga Sangha that is located at Calle Hostos on the corner of Calle Padre Billini in the Colonial City. She also offers Ayurveda Detox and Introduction to Meditation courses. She can be reached by calling 849 357-7499 or by email at [email protected]

Duarte the movie opens Thursday
The premiere of the Dominican-made film, "Duarte: Treason and Glory" directed by Leo Silverio opens on Thursday, 30 January at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo. The film was produced on the occasion of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary Duarte's birth. Sunday, 26 January 2014 was the 201st anniversary. Leading Dominican actor Ivan Garcia stars in the role of the aging Duarte, while Josue Guerrero plays him in his early years.

Fausto Rey at Hard Rock Cafe
Legendary Dominican romantic singer Fausto Rey has teamed up with Felix D'Oleo for a "Romantic Evening with the Greats." The show takes place on the eve of Valentine's Day, Thursday, 13 February. The concert will be a string of some of the most romantic songs, sure to evoke nostalgia in listeners. Tickets are RD$1,250 in pre-sale at the ticketexpress.com.do

DR matches Uruguay in Davis Cup
The Dominican Republic's best tennis players will be playing in the BNP Paribas Group I Las Americas Zonal Cup that will take place from 31 January to 2 February at the Parque del Este tennis courts in Santo Domingo. Dominican players will be matching Uruguay as they seek to advance to the World Group of the Davis Cup. Victor Estrella, ranked at his personal best of 142 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) will be playing with Jose (Bebo) Hernandez (ranked 298th ATP). The other members of the DR team are Jose Olivares, William Kirkman and Manuel Castellanos.

The DR debuted in the Davis Cup tournaments in 1989 and has been playing in the Americas Zone for 25 years. The Uruguayans have been playing since 1931, having competed in 46 tournaments. The DR is ranked 40th in the International Tennis Federation, while the Uruguayan team is ranked 31st.

The games begin on Friday, 31 January at 10am. On Saturday, 1 February games will be played at 11am, the doubles event. The tournament closes on Sunday, 2 February with two more games at 10am.




Licey wins, playoffs 4-3
Licey fans went wild last night, Monday 27 January, when Felix Perez batted the hit in the eighth inning that broke the tie in the game with the Leones del Escogido. Zack Segovia was the pitcher in the game that ended 3-1 in favor of the Tigres del Licey. The Leones del Escogido had won the previous three games.

Now the series is 4-3 in favor of Licey that just needs to win the next game. The winner of the 2013-2014 Winter Professional Baseball Championship is the team that wins the first five of the nine playoff games. Licey won the first three games.

Coach Jose Offerman was expelled from last night's game in the fifth inning when the game was tied, but his assistant Wady Jabalera took over. He said that communication with his boss was vital for the positive ending.

Tonight, Tuesday 28 January could be the deciding game.

The winner of the championship will then play in the Caribbean Series that takes place in Venezuela's Isla Margarita this year.


Futsal at the Volleyball Pavilion
Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic will be playing in the Grand Prix International Futsal Tournament on Saturday, 1 February at the Volleyball Pavilion of the Juan Pablo Daurte Olympic Center in Santo Domingo. DR plays Haiti in the opening game after the inaugural at 7:30pm. Before the opening, the match between Guatemala and Cuba will take place starting 4:30pm. The event continues on Sunday 2 February, as of 2pm.

For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar

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