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Daily News - Thursday, 05 June 2014

Check your cell phone is in your name
Claro, Orange, Tricom and Viva are reaching out to their customers to regularize the status of five million unidentified pre-paid cell phone lines. The Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) is giving users another week, until 12 June, to identify the lines that are in their names. The companies are urging all residents to verify the lines, as some lines could be registered in their name without their knowledge.

All they have to do is to enter their ID (cedula) number and follow the instructions.

Claro: www.claro.com.do/portal/do/sc/personas

Orange: www.orange.com.do/web/guest/validacion-de-lineas-prepago

Tricom: http://tricom.net/moviles/consultaservicio.aspx

Viva: http://viva.com.do/consultaservicios

DGII measure for stores is fair
The president of the National Shopping Malls Organization (ONEC) has praised the Tax Agency (DGII) regulation 04-2014 that enables the installation of machines aimed at ensuring that all payments are taxed in stores and businesses nationwide. Ernesto Martinez says that it is fair because it recognizes businesses that already have installed the systems, and releases from this obligation those who have applied to the simplified taxation system (PST) that are the smaller businesses. The regulation confirms credit in taxation for companies installing the machines aimed at reducing tax evasion in businesses.



Industries spokesman calls for cleanup of foreign service
The president of the Herrera Industries Association, Victor Castro, has called on President Danilo Medina to fulfill his promise and turn the Ministry of Foreign Relations into the main ally of the country's productive sector. He lamented the way that the Ministry of Foreign Relations has become a cash cow for a political party that is a ruling party ally to reward its activists by appointing them to foreign service posts. Castro said that the Ministry of Foreign Relations' mission is to identify new business opportunities in new markets and criticized the fact that there are people listed as "working" in the Luxembourg mission who have never been on a plane. Castro made his comments after a talk by the director of the Foreign Commerce division (Dicoex) of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Katrina Naut on "The Impact and Prospects of DR-CAFTA 2015: a Challenge for the Industrial Sector," yesterday, Wednesday, 4 June.

Naut highlighted of the need for local companies to produce higher value-added products.


Hotels protest ban on free public showings of FIFA games
The National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores) has backed an announcement by the National Copyright Office (ONDA) that opposes that restaurants, bars, hotels and other establishments have to pay for screening the FIFA World Cup games in their public areas. Asonahores says that they have received dozens of calls from restaurants, malls and hotels protesting a private company's ban on transmitting the games in public places without paying rights to them. The company says it has acquired exclusive rights to the showing of the FIFA games in public areas. ONDA says the games are not protected by Dominican law 65-00. What is protected is the right to TV transmission by Channels 5 and 15.

DR gets a seat in ILO Governing Body
During the 103rd International Labour Conference in Geneva on Monday 2 June, the Dominican Republic was elected as an adjunct member to the Governing Body of the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) for a three-year term.

Minister of Labor Maritza Hernandez, who led the Dominican delegation to the conference, said the role would help the country to become more active in decision making and establishment of public policies and strategies, the debate on jobs and formalizing informality in job situation, equal opportunities, elimination of child labor, and other health and security issues affecting the labor force and quality of life.

The DR has been attending the conference since 2005.

The Governing Body meets three times a year, in March, June and November and has a substantial role in the ILO. Its role includes setting the ILO's agenda, implementing new programs, drawing up budgetary proposals to be submitted to the International Labour Conference every year, electing the organization's general director, requesting information from member states about their labor markets, appointing commissions of inquiry and supervising the work of the ILO.

Metro offices disburses funds to relocate families
The Transport Reorganization Office (Opret) has announced that it has delivered the funds for 50 families living in 29 households in the areas surrounding the Metro construction works to be relocated. Several of their dwellings were affected when a steel rod construction structure collapsed. Spokesman for Opret, Leonel Carrasco said the government is providing RD$18 million to relocate the residents.


Will Loma Miranda be made a National Park?
The special Senate commission that is studying the bill received from the Chamber of Deputies that declares Loma Miranda a National Park as a way of preventing mining in the area has submitted a report favoring the preservation of the La Vega mountain area. The commission added a 10km2 buffer zone to the area to be protected. The National Park will cover an area of 42.75Km2, as reported in El Dia.

The proposed bill that would be submitted by the Senate, and that would require ratification in the Chamber of Deputies, orders a 10% increase for environmental permits in order to generate savings to compensate buyers of land that will not be able to be mined.

Falcondo Xstrata, which owns a large portion of land in the mountain, seeks to mine in the area but has met with strong opposition from the Catholic Church hierarchy in the province and La Vega Senator Euclides Sanchez.

Environmentalists point to the deforestation caused by Falcondo in Loma Peguera where the mining company has extracted ferronickel reserves.

Father Rogelio Cruz accused Falcondo of planning an accident that occurred between La Vega and Bonao in which 12 people who work in his foundation were injured. Cruz claims that Falcondo had planned the accident to get rid of him, as reported in telenoticias.com.do

The government has consulted with the UNDP, which advised against any mining in the mountain and went further by saying the nation should decide on its future as a mining country.

Senator Felix Nova described the Senate commission report as "irresponsible," saying that if it passes in the Senate the Presidency would have to veto it, as reported in Hoy.

Lawyer Eduardo Jorge Prats says that the government would have to pay US$4 billion in compensation to Falcondo if Congress declares the mountain area a National Park.

Hoy publishes a report today, Thursday 5 June, on the ecotourism attractions of the mountain that is located 17 km from the city of La Vega. The report highlights the area's tourism potential, as an economic option that is more sustainable than mining.





Lenient justice favors contraband, says Customs expert
Customs Department advisor Gregorio Lora criticized the weakness in the Dominican justice system yesterday, Wednesday 4 June. "This country is experiencing such high crime levels because there is no justice system," he commented. He said that in a case where security forces uncovered 30,000 cases of whisky, a judge ordered 19,000 of the cases of whisky to be returned to the proven smugglers because they were not taken to court as evidence. In another case he said that it was established that four employees had been receiving checks irregularly from a leading company but their lawyers were able to postpone the hearing of the case until it expired, as reported in Diario Libre.

Prank calls drown real emergency calls to 911
A spokesperson for the 911 emergency and safety line system, Zoraima Cuello said yesterday, Wednesday 4 June, that they had responded to 2,203 genuine emergency situations in the first 96 hours of the system's operation. Speaking during a press conference at the Presidency, she said that some 84,404 calls were received in the first four days. She said that it was still essential to increase public awareness because 61,505 (73%) of the total of calls received are still pranks or nuisance calls.

"We need to be aware that we are putting at risk the lives of people who could be really needing the system when keeping the lines occupied. The people who really need the service may not be able to get through," she highlighted. She stressed the system was set up to save lives and people's property.

Of the calls 56% were for Police services, 21% for health, 8% for AMET, 7% firefighters, and 7% for the Ministry of Public Works.

Of the calls, 485 (22%) were for physical violence, 475 (21.6%) for traffic accidents, 153 (6.9%) from people in danger, 115 (5.2%) for robbery, 122 (5.4%) for domestic violence, 109 (4.9%) for road assistance and 97 (4.4%) for fires.

Caller taped ordering to 'lick' TV commentator
Santiago prosecutors have presented more than 30 items of material evidence against the men accused of the attempted murder of TV communicator Jordi Veras, son of prominent lawyer Ramon Antonio Veras (Negro). The evidence includes a telephone conversation between Franklin Reynoso and the businessman Adriano Roman. Roman, who is in jail, is accused of being the mastermind behind the crime.

The recorded conversation includes Reynoso telling Roman that he needs the promised money to pay the contract killers to physically eliminate Jordi Veras. "The boys need the money, I do not want to have problems with these people, who could kidnap a relative," he said. He then says: "My boys will lick Jordi... I only know they will resolve matters not just with him [Jordi]." Reynoso's lawyers alleged the call could not be used because it was taped without Reynoso's authorization, but the judge admitted it as evidence.

Jordi Veras survived the murder attempt, but lost his sight in one eye.

Other evidence presented includes a black Suzuki motorcycle, a 9mm caliber gun, a CD with a tape from the Channel 25 security cameras, and the recorded conversation between Reynoso and Roman. The video shows Jordi Veras parking in the TV station after he was injured by gunshots. The case continues in Santiago at 10am today, Thursday 5 June.

The case has been delayed by the defense lawyers since it began in 2010.





Tragedy at Las Americas Expressway: youth dies trying to rescue teenager
A 17-year old boy died yesterday, Wednesday 4 June when trying to rescue a 16-year old girl. Leonary Charly Dominguez, 17, drowned when jumping into the Caribbean Sea at Km. 19 of the Las Americas Expressway to rescue Julia Isabel Alcantara Figuereo, 16. The teenagers were taking photos with the sea as a backdrop when Julia Isabel fell into the water. She was in her junior year in Liceo Pedro Mir in Cancela, Santo Domingo Este, on an outing with her classmates. One friend, Luz Clarita Cardenas, said that she had left the group. Charly Dominguez was at the location to take graduation photos. Since he was the only one in the group who knew how to swim he jumped in to try to save the girl. His heroic attempt was recorded on video. His grandfather told El Dia that the previous day he had spoken proudly about graduating and starting to study engineering at university. Their teachers said they were both excellent students.

The students' friends called 911, but were not taken seriously. Because 73% of all calls are hoaxes, the 911 agents asked the students whether they were aware of the consequences of making fake calls. The emergency services arrived an hour later to recover the bodies.

Man who raped 11-year old boy sent to jail
35-year old Juan Garcia Hernandez was sent to three months preventive custody after he was caught sexually abusing an 11-year old in a San Isidro area motel. State prosecutors accuse Hernandez of violating Articles 331 and 354 of Law 24-97 of the Dominican Penal Code and Article 396 of Law 136-03 for the protection of children.



Opera at Bellas Artes
Sopranos and tenors from the Compania Lirica Nacional will be singing in tribute to Maestro Luis Rivera at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo this evening, Thursday, 5 June at 8pm. The concert also includes performances by the National Choir, the National Ballet and the Wanda Camilo folk dancing group. The "Melodies and Harmonies" concert is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture. The most famous compositions by the Dominican composer will be performed on the occasion of the Day of the Teacher.

Wilfrido Vargas and Bonny Cepeda at Galeria 360
Escenario 360 at the Galeria 360 mall in Santo Domingo presents Wilfrido Vargas & Bonny Cepeda: White Party on 21 June. This is a mega merengue show where the general public will be able to dance away to the legends of Dominican merengue music.

Sonido para una Imagen at the National Theater
Sonido para una imagen is coming back to the National Theater in Santo Domingo. Producer Amaury Sanchez announced the show would be staged at the National Theater on 11-12 July. The Santo Domingo Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing. Carolina Rivas, Frank Ceara and Hector Anibal are booked for the evening, but it will also feature many emerging talents. 8:30pm. The show was first staged 14 years ago and served as a platform for launching many now famous stars, including Maridalia Hernandez.

Dominicana Moda back in October
Organizers of the year's leading Dominican fashion show, Dominicana Moda (DM2014) have announced that Naeem Khan and his sophisticated designs with hand embroidery will take the runway of Dominicana Moda this coming 20-25 October at the Occidental El Embajador Hotel in Santo Domingo. Khan's clothes have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama and Queen Noor of Jordan, Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Penelope Cruz, Brooke Shields, and many other stars.

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

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