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Daily News - Tuesday, 10 June 2014

President Medina meets UN reps
President Danilo Medina hosted a meeting with representatives from several international organizations in his office in the Presidential Palace yesterday, Monday 9 June 2014, mainly to discuss the National Foreigner Legalization Plan. The Presidency reported that the officials expressed satisfaction with the progress made to date and acknowledged it was a major step towards resolving a historical problem.

The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations and the representative for the United Nations Development Program in the country, Lorenzo Jimenez de Luis attended the meeting along with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative Maria Jesus Conde and Cy Winter from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative Sonia Vasquez and her counterpart from the United Nations Refugee Agency, Maria Paz Bermejo were also at the meeting.

Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo accompanied President Medina.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Jimenez de Luis said that they all wanted to help with the National Regularization Plan. Pending still is the publishing of the ruling for the implementation of recently passed Naturalization Law 169-14.


Businesses can transmit FIFA World Cup games
The National Copyright Office (ONDA) has confirmed that no one can prevent others from tuning in to authorized channels for the transmission of the FIFA World Cup Games. A local company, Pio Deportes has demanded that hotels, bars and restaurants that transmit the games pay for this right.

Today's El Dia, Tuesday 10 June, published an advertisement with the times and days during which Telemicro Channel 5 and Digital Channel 15 will be transmitting the FIFA World Cup Games starting Thursday, 12 June when Brazil opens vs. Croatia at 4pm. The group stage is from 12 June to 26 June. The second stage begins 28 June with quarter-finals scheduled for 4 July, semi-final for 8 July and the final for 13 July.


Legalization process flows but Haitian government slows it down
In a process in which more than 16,000 foreigners have been interviewed so far, the Foreigner Legalization Plan began in Santo Domingo province yesterday, Monday 9 June, albeit with some technical difficulties that prevented offices from opening in all three of the municipalities n Santo Domingo North and West, and Los Alcarrizos. Provincial Governor Juan Frias and Jenny de la Rocha, head of international affairs for the Ministry of Interior and Police, said they would open later this week in the remaining municipaliteis.

De La Rocha said that the process was slow due to the lack of capacity of the IT system, combined with the time it took to fill in application forms and obtain biometric data.

Applicants who were unable to register were put into groups of 40 and given a day to return later in the week.

Meanwhile, Interior and Police Minister Jose Ramon Fadul said that between Monday 2 and Friday 6 June, some 16,000 foreigners had been interviewed as part of the plan. He called for the Haitian government to help people get their documentation and reminded that anyone who did not register would be sent home.

A headline in El Dia today, Tuesday 10 June, makes the point that the government of Haiti is not cooperating with the plan. As reported, the Haitian consulate is asking Haitians to pay per birth certificate (US$50 first time) and passport (US$70 first time and US$80 renewal) needed for the process. In the Dominican Republic birth certificates are free.

Haitians also need to wait three months for the documents to be issued. Haitians are calling on the government of Haiti reduce the costs and waiting time so they can make the most of the free legal status regularization process offered by the Domincian government. This can mean savings of around US$1,000.

Furthermore, Haitians interviewed at the Haitian consulate said that they were experiencing major difficulties in getting information at the consulate, leading them to resort to "paid experts" to speed up the process.

In contrast, the Dominican authorities are providing all legalization services for free.

Deputy Minister of Interior and Police Washington Gonzalez warned that anyone who takes money to help with the process would be penalized. He said that they were aiming for centers to open in 98% of cities nationwide by next week.

In Santiago, they now have an appointment system due to the large numbers of applicants, and staff numbers have also been increased.

The plan supervisor in Santiago, Amaury Duran said that they have had 400 people per day queuing for the process. Of this total 98% are Haitians and the rest Colombians, Hondurans, Argentineans, Brazilians, and others.



Water problems in Santo Domingo
The Santo Domingo Aqueducts and Sewers Corporation (CAASD) says that due to the low rainfall levels over the last few weeks, there will be a reduction in water supplies to the Haina-Manoguayabo and Isa Mana and Duey aqueducts that should affect water supply to more than 30 areas of the National District and Santo Domingo province.

CAASD director Alejandro Montas said that the affected areas will be Pueblo Nuevo, Invi, Obras Publicas, Pantoja, Villa Morada, Los Girasoles l and ll, Paraiso, 24 de abril, El Chucho, Savica, Las Mercedes, Los Alcarrizos Viejos, Los Americanos l and ll, Juana Saltitopa, Barrio Landia, El Tamarindo, La Esperanza, La Union, 30 de Mayo, Solimar, Miramar, Costa Azul, Costa Verde, El Pedregal, Mar Caribe, Engombe, Loyola, La Urena and Brisa del Norte.

He said that the water authorities were considering increasing the number of trucks to supply free water so that local residents will not suffer shortages.


The fight to stop charcoal production
Members of the National Environmental Protection Service (SENPA) and the Dominican Army are preparing a plan in action aimed at stopping the illegal traffic of charcoal across the border with Haiti.

According to Minister Bautista Rojas Gomez this is of great concern to the Ministry of Environment. Charcoal production is a major factor in the rapid deforestation of the area. He said it was not enough to confiscate the charcoal and arrest those involved, but that the people running the major business of charcoal manufacture and supply in the area must also be arrested.

Rojas said that so far this year, the Ministry of Environment had destroyed more than 100 charcoal manufacturing ovens, especially in the wooded areas in the provinces of Barahona, Bahoruco and Independencia.


Calls for border wall to be built
New deputy Vinicio Castillo Seman has submitted a proposal for the construction of a wall along the border with Haiti to increase migratory control, saying that it is a high priority for the country to control entry and exit to the Dominican Republic.

He warned that the naturalization and legalization process could backfire for the Dominican Republic unless there were strict cross-border controls. He said that Haiti should cooperate by providing documentation to its nationals.

Castillo Seman went on to say that most Haitians would be ineligible for the plan as they cannot demonstrate their ties with this country and Haiti is not providing the documentation that they need in order to legalize their status (birth certificates, passports).

He predicted that the international community would back Haiti when it says the documentation is the Dominican Republic's problem disregarding the mass systematic migration the country faces.

Castillo is new at the Chamber of Deputies. He replaced his brother, Pelegrin Castillo who was named Minister of Energy and Mines.


17 nuisance callers arrested
According to the Attorney General, Francisco Dominguez Brito, 17 people have been arrested for making prank calls to the 911 System.

He said that the calls had been made by children, most living with their grandparents, but the adults had been arrested and not the children.

He said that in some cases, once they arrived at the homes from which the calls had been made, the adults in the home simply wanted to hit the child as a punishment, but Dominguez Brito said that they still did not know how many would be prosecuted.

He went on to say that the number of nuisance calls had decreased significantly this weekend.


Ex-National Treasurer dies
A former director of the National Treasury and National Budget offices, Ruben Pena Pichardo, died after choking on an olive on Monday, 9 June 2014.

According to reports, he choked when an olive stuck in his throat. As reported in Listin Diario, he was taken to Hospiten hospital at Av. Alma Mater and Bolivar in Santo Domingo but died shortly afterwards.

Born in Villa Gonzalez, Pena was an economist and a member of the ruling PLD Central Committee and had held several posts.



Drugs confiscated at Haina port
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) together with the Public Prosecution office has confiscated 160 sheets of what is thought to be cocaine found in boxes containing cassava, lemons and peppers in a freight container at Haina Oriental port. The container was bound for New York.

DNCD spokesman Miguel Medina said that the drugs were discovered by a trained dog and that two people have been arrested. They were now looking for others linked to the same network.


Protests in Santiago for road to Puerto Plata
A series of protests are being organized by transport unions across Santiago to complain about the state of the roads, especially the road linking Santiago to Puerto Plata.

A strike is planned by the Luperon transport workers that will affect the Municipal District of Pedro Garcia and La Cumbre areas as well as a march this morning, Tuesday 10 June at Kilometer 8 in Gurabo.


Ten women murdered by partners this month
Three more femicides were reported on Sunday 8 and Monday 9 June, bringing the total number of women murdered by their partners or former partners to 10 this month. Four of the victims had their throats cut, one was dismembered and another beaten and thrown into the sea in San Pedro de Macoris.

The latest victims include 27-year old Yesennia Suero Jimenez, who according to the police was decapitated by her former husband, who then hanged himself. They left behind a six-month old girl.

Later the same day, Yomaira Altagracia de la Cruz, 20, from San Franciso de Macoris was shot in the head by her former husband who was later arrested.

According to relatives, in both cases the women had left their husbands due to domestic violence.

In San Pedro de Macoris, a 23-year old man was arrested on Sunday, 8 June, as a suspect in the death of his girlfriend, Coralis Nolasco, 16, who was found dead just off the jetty in the city.


Transcript in the Adriano Roman and Jordi Veras case
Diario Libre publishes a second 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 court admitted the use of the recording, of which Roman was not aware, on the grounds that it was provided by one of the parties.

The case has been in the courts for several years.



Woman sentenced for murder released from jail, leaves country
Welsh media have been covering the case of Nicole Reyes who was convicted of killing her Dominican husband. Reyes was the first to announced she had been released after making a 55,000-pound payment, as the family reported once she had flown to the UK. Her parents Jeannette and Mike Clements ran an aggressive media campaign for her release.

The Dominican authorities have not been clear about the nature of the payment, reported in the media as 'bail' as she had already been sentenced to 12 years in jail in Puerto Plata. There has been no explanation as to why a woman sentenced to jail for murder was allowed to leave the country.

Walesonline.co.uk carried a statement from the UK Foreign Ministry indicating: "We are aware that a British National has been released from prison in the Dominican Republic pending a further appeal. We continue to provide consular assistance."



Dominican-American girl wins La Voz Kids 2014
Born in the US to Dominican parents, 11-year old Amanda Mena won the La Voz Kids 2014 reality show on Sunday night, 7 June. Amanda, who was coached by Prince Royce, lives in Lynn, Massachusetts. She won a recording contract with Universal Music Latin Group and more than US$50,000 in cash prizes. In an interview with El Dia, she said the singers she admires most were Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Beyonce. She also hopes to become a songwriter.



DR national team prepares for World FIBA Cup
Dominican Republic national basketball team coach Orlando Antigua is confident the Dominican Republic can defeat Ukraine, New Zealand and Finland in the World FIFA Basketball Cup that will be played in Madrid from 30 August to 14 September. In a press conference, he said that the team would train in Tampa and then in the Bahamas. A selection of players will travel to Mexico for the Centrobasket 2014 championship.

Jose (Maita) Mercedes, who is coaching the Dominican basketball team that will be playing in Centrobasket 2014 in Tepic, Mexico said the players are: Edgar Sosa, Juan Coronado, Manny Quezada, Luis Montero, Kelvin Pena, Victor Liz, Brandone Francis, Juan Miguel Suero, Manuel Fortuna, Giancarlos Acosta, Orlando Sanchez, Gerardo Suero, Sadiel Rojas, Rafael Crisostomo, Angel Nunez, James Maye, Edward Santana, Ronald Roberts, Angel Luis Delgado, Manuel Guzman, Alejandro Salas, Juan Jose Garcia, Eloy Vargas, John Garcia and Alexis Montas.

In the Bahamas, the national team will also play games against the University of Kentucky, Pineros de Cancun (Mexico) and Puerto Rico. The University of Kentucky coach John Calipari is a former coach of the national basketball team.

Also on the national team, but that will not be playing in Mexico, are: Jack Michael Martinez, Francisco Garcia, Ronald Ramon and Eulis Baez.

Mango Week at Supermercados Nacional
The best trip to make to taste the best mangos in the world is to Bani, in the southwest in the summer, but if you can't make it, second best is a trip to the Supermercados Nacional that this week are inviting customers to their Mango Week. This is your opportunity to taste popular varieties like Grano de Oro, Madame Francoise, Mingolo, Tommy Atkins, Keith, Pascual and Banilejo.

Ruben Gonzalez at the National Theater
Guitarist Ruben Gonzalez is booked for a concert at the Aida Bonelly hall of the National Theater in Santo Domingo on 27 June at 8:30pm. He will be playing music by Albeniz, Mangore, Brower, Piazzola, Ildefonso Acosta, Francis Kleynjans and The Beatles. Ruben Gonzalez has also invited fellow guitarists Blades Pena, Joel Rosario, Jose Ricardo Rojas and Diego Mendez to the concert. Tickets are RD$500.

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

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