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Daily News - Monday, 28 April 2014

President Medina swears in new ministers
President Danilo Medina swore in Pelegrin Castillo as the new Minister of Energy of Mines and Angel Estevez as the new Minister of Agriculture during a ceremony in the National Palace today, Monday 28 April. Carlos Segura Foster was appointed manager of the Banco Agricola. It is understood that Castillo will have had to resign from his role as a Congressional deputy in order to take up the new post.


First Lady in Rome for canonization ceremony
During her visit to Rome for the canonization of popes John 23 and John Paul II yesterday, Sunday 27 April, First Lady Candida Montilla invited Pope Francis to visit the Dominican Republic, according to news reports. She was accompanied by Dominican ambassador to the Vatican Victor Grimaldi and former Dominican diplomat Victor Gomez Berges. The First Lady told the Pope that Pope John Paul II had visited on three occasions. "Let's see, let's see," Pope Francis is reported to have told the First Lady.


Update on new IDs and IAHRC report
Central Electoral Board (JCE) president Roberto Rosario says that more than 20,000 ID cards (cedulas) have been issued during the first week of ID card renewals. He said the JCE had received hundreds of letters from businesses and institutions requesting the mobile units for the process. Diario Libre reports that because of the long lines, citizens could take a whole day to get their document. The IDs are being issued at main JCE offices nationwide. The current document will expire in around a year and a half.

Commenting on the recent comment by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights on the "arbitrary" privation of nationality rights to people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, Rosario made the point that the human rights of Haitians are respected more in the Dominican Republic than in their own country.


Rafael Yunen resigns, Centro Leon falls under its board
The Eduardo Leon Jimenes Foundation and the Centro Cultural Eduardo Leon Jimenes have announced that Rafael Emilio Yunen has resigned from his post as director of the Centro Leon, effective 5 May. He will dedicate himself fully to consulting. The Centro Leon will come under the direction of the Eduardo Leon Jimenes Foundation, led by Maria Amalia Leon. Leon said that the managers, community of collaborators of the Centro Leon and the team of the Fundacion will continue to work together on the programs and projects and to search for new opportunities for research and promotion of national and regional culture, seeking the development and sustainability of the institution, as reported in acento.com.do


Italian mafia head arrested in Juan Dolio
Local authorities and International Police (Interpol) have arrested 42-year old Nicola Pignatelli who is accused of a string of criminal acts in Italy. A fugitive from justice, he had been sentenced to 15 years jail for drug trafficking in his home country. He was arrested in an intelligence operation in Juan Dolio yesterday, Sunday 27 April. As reported in Diario Libre he is described as a head of the mafia in Calabria. He is linked to operations coordinated by Roberto Pannunzi, one of the world's biggest drug traffickers, who was recently arrested in Colombia. Pignatelli was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado at the time of his arrest. He will be deported to Italy, say the local authorities.


Police extorting youths fired
The National Police have announced the arrest of four policemen who were fired after the confirmation of reports that they demanded bribes from young people who were arrested late at night. If they did not have the money, the police would oblige them to go to ATMs to withdraw the cash. An intelligence operation provided the evidence for incriminating the four policemen. According to the Police, they will also be sent to court.

Diario Libre reported on the practice by corrupt police agents on 23 April. The victims of the extortion were usually young people who had been out for a night of entertainment.


Award-winning films to be shown in Santo Domingo
The Muestra International de Cine de Santo Domingo, now in its 16th year, opens at the Novocentro Fine Arts movie theater on Av. Lope de Vega in Santo Domingo this week. This year the event is dedicated to Canada, but there will be films from 20 other countries. It opens with the film Gabrielle (directed by Louise Archambault). The festival will be held from 30 April through 1 May. Many award-winning films are included in the selection.

Other films from Canada are:

Gabrielle (Louise Archambault)

Blackbird (Jason Buxton)

Sarah Prefers to Run (Chloe Robichaud)

Incendies (Denis Villeneuve)

Inch'allah (Anais Barbeau-Lavalette)

Rebelle (Kim Nguyen)

The other films include:

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Felix van Groeningen, Belgium)

Los bastardos (Mexico, Amat Escalante)

Cannibal (Spain, Manuel Martin Cuenca)

Like Father, Like Son (Japan, Hirokazu Koreeda)

Two Lives (Germany)

Family United (Spain, Daniel Sanchez)

The Notebook (Hungary, Janos Szasz)

Love Steaks (Germany, Jakob Lass)

La Paz (Argentina, Santiago Loza)

La pelicula de Ana (Cuba, Daniel Diaz Torres)

Bad Hair (Venezuela, Mariana Rondon)

Dust on the Tongue (Colombia, Ruben Mendoza)

Walesa: Man of Hope (Poland)

The Great Beauty (Italy, Paolo Sorrentino)

The Grandmaster (China, Kar Wai Wong)

Blue Is the Warmest Color (France, Abdellatif Kechiche))

Blanco (Dominican Republic)

Labor Day special at Ocean World
If you still don't know what to do for the Labor Day long weekend, Ocean World Adventure Park in Cofresi, Puerto Plata has an special offer for groups for this coming long weekend 2-4 May that includes a day pass to the park, a lunch buffet, a group photo, access to water slides, aquatic balls, the dolphin, sea lion, shark and bird shows, as well as snorkeling in a tropical reef aquarium, visits to the tiger pool and beach and much more for only RD$1,100 adults and RD$850 children (ages 4-12)

The offer, however, is only valid for locals and DR residents in groups of 15 people or more. Bookings can be made by companies for groups of their employees, families or friends.

From Puerto Rico: Obscuro total
Obscuro Total opens at the National Theater in Santo Domingo with two performances on 14 June. The cast of this tragicomedy includes Fernando Colunga, Aylin Mujica, Blanca Soto, Ernesto Laguardia and Lorena Magallanes from Puerto Rico. The play's intriguing plot deals with the complexities and intricacies of the relationships among the couples. There are plenty of plot twists and revelations that will, at times, give the audience a laugh, but also evoke somber reflection on life. The play has been performed all around the United States, receiving rave reviews in Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

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

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