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Daily News - Monday, 09 June 2014

President visits southwest
President Danilo Medina was in the southwestern provinces of San Jose de Ocoa and Peravia (Bani) yesterday, Sunday 8 June where he met with farmers and offered them low-interest credit for farming. The Presidency said that Medina met with Santa Cruz Agricultural Cooperative members in San Jose de Ocoa and offered credit to the coffee producers who are affected by coffee rust and need to replant their plantations. The President met with members of the Municipalista Cristo Redentor and Los Desamparados de la Lechuza associations in Bani, also affected by the coffee rust. The loans are repayable at 0.41% per month, equal to 5% a year, through the Special Fund for Agricultural Development (FEDA) and the Banco Agricola.

Inflation at 3.7%
The Central Bank reports that the National Consumer Price Index was up 0.02% in May. The increase means inflation for the first five months of the year adds up to 1.55%, and annualized inflation (over the past 12 months) is at 3.7%, which is within the 4.5%+ 1% rage established in the Monetary Program for the year. Inflation this year is one percentage point below the same period last year when it was 4.99%.

Dominican mangos sold in Japan, US, UK, Canada and Caribbean
Keith and Tommy Atkins are the two most exported Dominican mango varieties, according to a report in Hoy. The most popular local variety is the Banilejo, but its thin skin makes it less durable for export. June, July and August are the peak mango production months, with supermarkets offering specials on the popular summer fruit. Mango exports topped US$11 million for the first time in 2013, up from US$8 million in 2003. Principal export markets are the US and Canada, the UK, Holland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Ukraine, Japan, Guadeloupe, Netherlands Antilles, St. Martin, Martinique, Turks & Caicos and Haiti.

Most of the country's mangos are cultivated in the provinces of Peravia (Bani), San Cristobal and Azua. This is the best time of the year to plan a trip to the southwest and pick up delicious Banilejo mangos that sell for RD$50 for a dozen or RD$40 for two dozen or more.

Last week, Expo Mango 2014 took place at the Central Park in Bani to showcase the seasonal crop.


Montecristi and Dajabon last to catch chikungunya
The chikungunya cold virus has spread nationwide with cases detected in all provinces with the exception of Montecristi and Dajabon in the northwest, as reported in Hoy. Most patients are being treated for the acute cold at home. Some 53,000 people were registered seeking treatment at hospitals for the joint pain effect of the cold.

It is expected that around seven million of the country's 10 million inhabitants will catch the cold and develop immunity.


DREAM Project trains in customer service, and care for children and elderly
The Dominican Education and Mentoring Project (DREAM Project) held its seventh graduation ceremony for its Ganar program that focuses on youth workforce development on Thursday, 5 June 2014. A total of 32 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 graduated after completing a six-month course focused on customer service, the elderly and childcare. Research by the DREAM Project showed that they are two fast growing markets in the North Coast region and the course is designed to train them for job opportunities. More than 200 young people have graduated from courses run by DREAM since 2012, and 70% of the graduates are now in employment, studying at university or both. The initiative contributes to reducing the area's high youth unemployment rate, early pregnancy and crime by providing the young people with new work skills that are in demand.

See http://dominicandream.org

Bars and hotels can show FIFA World Cup games
According to the Dominican Intellectual Property Association (Adopi), Pio Deportes only has the rights to the transmission of the signals to the FIFA World Cup. Bars, hotels and 'colmados' do not have to pay any kind of rights to the company. Adopi explains that this is a case of the right of communication to the public and the establishments can show the games when they do not charge cover or admission to watch the games. Lawyer Jaime Angeles of Adopi told dr1news that this right "is even recognized on the FIFA official website."


Italian visa 'mafia' in Santo Domingo to be tried in Italy
Italian Deputy Foreign Relations Minister Mario Giro has told Listin Diario that last year the Italian government "detected serious irregularities in the granting of visas by the Italian Embassy in Santo Domingo. "There has been an inspection and several officials have been penalized," he said. He added that "the ambassador has been courteous and has left the service. All is in the hands of the Attorney General (in Italy) and we will see what he will do and what will happen. This is a pending matter because there should not be flaws when it comes to services."

He denied, however, that this was the reason behind the decision to close the Italian Embassy. Giro said that the decision had been made for economic reasons. "Nevertheless, we have to guarantee that the services that are offered comply with the law, and naturally the official who will be based in Santo Domingo will have that priority: We as Italy will try to give him the conditions to grant transparent services to the citizens of Santo Domingo, both to Dominicans and Italians."

Giro told the newspaper that some of the Italian government properties would be sold, and others will be rented.


'Pregnant' holdup gang leader arrested
The Police have announced the arrest of a gang fronted by a woman faking pregnancy for robberies in stores. The woman would enter first and after obtaining the employee's trust she would take out a gun and announce it was a holdup. Her accomplices would then enter the establishment. The Police say that they have arrested three of the four members of the group that was reportedly led by the woman. They were named as 21-year old Paola Jimenez Jimenez, 23-year olds Alexander Joel Gomez and Yonatan Contreras Herrera, all residents of Ensanche Espaillat in Santo Domingo. The Police caught them with stolen goods. A fourth man, named as Antonio, is reported to have several guns in his possession. He is accused of the robbery at a warehouse of goods seized from customers who were behind in their payments located at Av. Padre Castellanos. The thieves had taken a laptop and seven TVs.


Tragic death of Carlos Alberto Navarro
The son of the head of the European Union delegation in the Dominican Republic died yesterday, Sunday 8 June 2014 when he fell from the 14th floor of the luxury high-rise Torre Caney on Santo Domingo's Av. Anacaona. The deceased was named as 32-year old Carlos Alberto Navarro, whose father Alberto heads the local EU Delegation. El Nuevo Diario said that while the motives are not known, it is presumed that he was depressed or under the influence of toxic substances. Assistant prosecutor Primitivo Luciano Comas said that the man suffered from paranoia, as reported in El Nuevo Diario. His parents confirmed he suffered from schizophrenia and had been receiving medical treatment.


Attorney General warns of ex-police agents turned contract killers
Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito says that the practice of allowing police agents to finish off known criminals is having serious consequences. He said that most people involved in deaths of rival gang members fighting for control of drug trafficking are former police agents. Interviewed by journalist Federico Mendez in the program Esferas de Poder, Dominguez said that most murders by contract killers remain unpunished, which is one of the greatest incentives for crime. He said that many police agents involved were members of teams used to eliminate criminals when they worked in the police. Dominguez Brito stated that these people ultimately "become monsters that no one can control."

The full transcript on the case of Adriano Roman and Jordi Veras
Diario Libre has published a first part of the full transcript of the taped conversation between Franklin Reynoso, accused of shooting at TV news commentator Jordi Veras, and Adriano Roman, allegedly the mastermind behind the attempted murder.

The case has been in the courts for several years.


Dominican jockey Joel Rosario wins Belmont Stakes
Dominican jockey Joel Rosario riding Tonalist won the 146th Belmont Stakes on Saturday, 7 June. His win prevented the strongly favored California Chrome from winning the first Triple Crown (Derby, Preakness and Belmont) since Affirmed did so in 1978, some 36 years ago. Rosario led Tonalist to a dramatic finish before the crowd at the Belmont Park in New York. Tonalist won by just a head.

As reported by NBC, Rosario described his victory as bittersweet. "I'm a little bit upset about California Chrome," he told NBC Sports. "If I was going to get beat, I wanted to just get beat by him."

California Chrome would finish fourth.




It's hot
The hot humid summer is here. Thermal sensations will lead people to feel 36C temperatures, when the temperatures are around 32C, especially for residents of Punta Cana, where temperatures are usually among the hottest in the country in the summer. Punta Cana residents and visitors will need to rush to air conditioned spaces or the beach because of the hot temperatures. The Meteorological Office (Onamet) is forecasting scattered showers nationwide.

For Santo Domingo there will be highs of 33C to lows of 24C in the early morning.

Dominican Film Festival in New York City
It has become a tradition. It is helping to promote emerging talents from the Dominican Republic in films and strengthens cultural ties between both countries. Now in its third year, the Dominican Film Festival (DFFNY) brings the new talents and best of Dominican films to audiences in New York City from 18 to 22 June 2014.

Armando Guareno, the DFF's founder and executive director, highlights that each year the festival has been getting better. He said that 12 films were screened in the first year, 28 films were shown in 2013, and this year 38 films that were either made in the Dominican Republic or tell about the Dominican experience outside of the country are scheduled. Guareno is founder of the Dominican Film Festival, Latin American Cinema Film Festival in New York and KidCinemaFest.

The movies will be shown at the cinema at Columbia University Medical Center, the Hall of Fame Theater of the Armory Foundation and the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center.

The films to be shown this June are:

To the South of Innocence (Al sur de la inocencia), Greencard Warriors, Once Upon a Fish (De pez en cuando), Journey of a Female Comic (Trayectoria de una comediante), Ponchao, Duarte: Betrayal and Glory (Duarte: traicion y gloria), Who's the Boss (Quien manda), Wake (Despertar), Circus Night (Noche de circo), Dominican Shorts (Cortos dominicanos), Lotoman 003, The Mountain (La montana), Biodegradable, Locas y atrapadas, Arroba, Una familia del sur del Bronx, Diaspora, Blanco, The Cock (El gallo), The Dolls House (Mala mala).

See the schedule at: www.dominicanfilmfestival.com/index.php/schedule

Electronic music at Quisqueya Ball Park
Barbarella by Presidente 2014 is the electronic music event at the Quisqueya Ball Park in Santo Domingo on Wednesday, 18 June. The electronic music extravaganza sponsored by Presidente beer is now in its fourth year.

Performing this year are DJs Steve Angello and Hardwell with appearances by AllNight and Manners. This is a chance to hear them play "I Love It" that reached 7th place on Billboard's Hot 100 list. The lineup for Barbarella also includes Australians Miriam and Olivia Nervo, Dimitri Egas & Like Mike from Belgium, Irish DJ Dyro and DJ Connor Cruise (son of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman).

The DR is represented by Local Superheroes (Omar Andino and Joseant Hidalgo).

Euforia Fest at Sambil Mall
Poeta Callejero, Marel Alemany, Capital and DJ Miguel Duarte are booked for Euforia Fest at the events room of Sambil Mall, at 7pm on 28 June. This is a production by Capital Sonora. Tickets are for sale at ticketexpress.com.do for RD$800.

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

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