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Daily News - Tuesday, 08 July 2014

DR-Haiti talks resume this week
Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo has announced that high-ranking government officials from Haiti and Dominican Republic will be meeting this Thursday, 10 July 2014 in the southeastern beach area of Juan Dolio to continue bilateral talks.

Montalvo said that this meeting would focus on trade, health, tourism, immigration, agriculture, security and the environment, and that new topics could be added to the agenda.

Montalvo said that the Haitian and Dominican people were very different in many ways but both shared a desire for more employment, increased security, improved health care and more opportunities. "The meetings are a starting point for reaching agreements and seeking solutions," said the Dominican official.

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe will head his country's commission at the meeting.

The first bilateral talks took place on 7 January 2014 in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, the second on 3 February 2014 in Jimani, Dominican Republic. A third meeting was held on 8 May 2014, but only at ministerial level, when the Dominican Ministers of Tourism and Commerce travelled to Port-au-Prince, and the Haitian Ministers of Tourism and Interior visited Santo Domingo.

Read more in Spanish: http://presidencia.gob.do/comunicados/nuevo-encuentro-rep%C3%BAblica-dominicana-hait%C3%AD-tendr%C3%A1-lugar-el-jueves-en-juan-dolio

More cheap imports for next year?
Consumers may stand to gain from cheaper imports now that DR-CAFTA agreement allows for products made in duty-free industries in Central America to be sold tax-free in the DR. Dominican manufacturers are concerned this could affect their local sales because the tax free provision does not apply to products made locally in similar duty-free industries.

Trade expert Hugo Rivera says that an interim solution needs to be found to allow the sale of locally-made products here, discounting the taxes on the value added, and also relieving local industries that export to Central America from income tax and other export taxation so they can compete with their Central American competitors that enjoy those privileges.

Rivera forecast that as of 2015, there would be a commercial revolution when the governments of Central America are due to grant their industries better taxation conditions for export than those in effect in the DR.

He said that in Central America companies do not need to be categorized as free zones to export free of tariffs and income tax payments.

Read more in Spanish: http://hoy.com.do/productos-que-no-pagan-impuestos-en-centroamerica-podran-venderse-en-rd/

Waiting lists at extended schedule public schools
Parents requesting registration for their children at extended schedule schools nationwide now face long waiting lists. El Dia reports the case of the Centro Politecnico Militar San Miguel Arcangel in northern Santo Domingo that has 2,100 places but has enrolled 2,500 students. The number of students per classroom in high school ranges from 49 to 56, when there should not be more than 35 students for pedagogical reasons. The school offers vocational training programs that enable students to graduate with working skills. Students regularly secure jobs and continue their university studies.

The increased demand is also because many parents with children in private schools are switching them to the free state school system where quality is improving.

PUCMM launches nutrition degree course
The country's largest private university, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) has announced the launch of a new degree course in Nutrition and Diet Sciences at its Santiago branch this fall semester. The course is directed by Gloria Velazques who is in charge of nutrition at the Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago (HOMS) and is the coordinator of the Ministry of Public Health's Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition Program in the Dominican Republic.

Discriminating against poor Dominicans?
A report in El Dia makes the point that while the Dominican government is offering fast-track and free legalization processes for the children of foreigners living illegally in the Dominican Republic, parents who did not declare their children during the 30-day period in urban areas and 90-days in rural areas given at birth need to go through a long process to legalize them. Usually low-income parents who fail to register their children at birth creating the complications when the child needs a birth certificate to pass eighth grade.

Trajano Vidal Potentini, president of La Fundacion Justicia y Transparencia said that the proposed ruling for the Naturalization Law 169-14 releases the cases of foreigners from the requirement of the Superior Eectoral Court that decides on the case. It establishes that the decision needs to be fast-tracked for the foreigners in 30 days.


Chikungunya on the wane but dengue on the rise
The deputy director of the Robert Reid Cabral children's hospital, Virgen Gomez, says that there appears to be a decrease in the number of newborns affected by the chikungunya virus.

She said that between four and six children were affected last week, but no cases were reported over the weekend of 5-6 July. She went on to say that so far there have been 296 cases, 219 affecting children of hospital employees.

Gomez warned that people still needed to take precautions to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds as on average 60% to 70% of the population might become infected.

However, she also warned that there had been an increase in the number of people with dengue with 13 admitted yesterday.

The hospital director concluded by saying that July and August were usually the peak months for dengue.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/7/328881/Disminuyen-los-casos-de-chikungunya-y-aumentan-los-de-dengue-en-hospital

Barrick says gold exports make up 55% increase of GDP
The impact of mining taxation revenues on government finances is evident this year. As reported by Analytica, Barrick Pueblo Viejo Dominicana mine contributed US$1,208.7 million to last year's GDP. The impact of the mine on total exports in 2013 was US$1,214 million. The company reports making an investment of US$4.47 billion during the 2009 to 2012 period. The report was presented in an event headed by Barrick president, Manuel Rocha, who highlighted that mining is profitable and the benefits were not only for the company but also for the Dominican Republic. The company sponsored the report. The report also shows that the company made a 2% direct and indirect impact on growth in 2013, accounting for 50% of total growth. It reports net income of US$814 million in hard currency. It says that as a result of the operation, 236 new companies were created in the local economy in Sanchez Ramirez province. It also claims that more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs were created because of the mining operation.

Barrick Pueblo Viejo says that RD$12,412 million in tax was paid in the first year of operation, accounting for 4.4% of the total internal revenues for the period.

The Medina administration has been supporting increased mining operations in the country, motivated by the short-term taxation benefits.



Great debate on Loma Miranda
Advocates of the mining of Loma Miranda, Dominican Geology Society president Eduardo Verdeja and geologist Osoris de Leon, and opponents Luis Carvajal of the state university and Academy of Sciences president Milciades Mejia, will be leading a debate on the controversial proposal for declaring the mountain a National Park to permanently outlaw mining at the Barcelo Santo Domingo hotel on Sunday 13 July starting at 9:45am. Anyone interested in attending may register by calling 809 565-9582, ext 272 and 413. The debates are organized by El Dia newspaper.

Read more in Spanish:




Oldest woman in Hato Mayor dies
Hato Mayor's oldest woman died at the age of 113 yesterday, Monday 7 July.

Paula Caraballo remembered events during the governments of Ulises Heureaux, Horacio Vasquez and Rafael Trujillo, and attributed her longevity to eating more meat than rice and root vegetables.

She was born in 1901, at a time when identity cards were a simple piece of paper with names, surnames, addresses and the Dominican shield. Originally from Bayaguana, she moved to Hato Mayor in the 1930s, during the early years of the Trujillo dictatorship.

She and her late husband Bonifacio Aquino had eight children, seven of whom are still alive and all over age 60.

She and her husband used to grow coffee and cocoa. Caraballo said that she was never ill, her only illness was her age and she complained that her children were so poor they hardly gave her any food.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/2014/07/07/i689711_muere-los-113-aos-mujer-vieja-hato-mayor.html

New Bayaguana mayor sworn in
The new mayor for Bayaguana, Amarilis Sosa, was sworn in yesterday, Monday 7 July 2014, taking over from Nelson Sosa who is currently in jail in San Pedro de Macoris for three months on remand, while investigations continue into the murder of councilor Renato Castillo.

Sosa was sworn in by the council leader, Jose Francisco Ogando Rojas in the presence of their fellow councilors and local government officials. Councilor Santos de la Cruz was also sworn in to replace Renato Castillo, who was murdered by hit men a week ago.

Mayor Amarilis Sosa promised to continue working for Bayaguana, and asked for support from her colleagues.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/7/328886/Posesionan-sustitutos-de-alcalde-preso-y-regidor-asesinado

Increased airport security
Specialized Corps for Airport Security and Civil Aviation (CESAC) director General Miguel Pauline Espinal has announced an increase in security in all of the country's airports, following an alert issued by the United States that groups linked to Al Qaeda may be planning bomb attacks in airports.

He said that they would be concentrating on direct flights to the United States and Europe. The United States Transport Security Administration (TSA) has placed certain restrictions on equipment carried by passengers, stating that all electronic devices that cannot be turned on will be confiscated and passengers carrying them will be subject to additional security checks. Paulino Espinal said that passengers going to the United States and Europe should ensure that their electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops can be switched on before they board the aircraft.

He confirmed that the measures would be in place in all airports across the country including Las Americas and La Isabela in Santo Domingo, Gregorio Luperon in Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Santiago (Cibao), El Catey in Samana and La Romana.

Additional security measures are now in place at Las Americas International Airport, in that after passengers have gone through the X-ray machine they undergo physical checks by members of CESAC with metal detectors.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/7/328891/Aumentan-la-seguridad-en-aeropuertos-dominicanos-tras-alerta-en-EEUU

Taxis threaten to strike
Tourist Taxis Federations are warning that they will strike at airports, hotels and ports if the Minister of Tourism does not remove an illegal taxi fleet that they say belongs to their competitor group, head by Antonio Marte.

National Tourist Transport Federation (Fenatratur) president Santiago Zamora says that the illegal operation is operating at the new hotel Embassy Suites Santo Domingo by Hilton but has not been certified by the Ministry of Tourism.

At a press conference held yesterday, Monday 7 July, they called on Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia and President Danilo Medina to find a solution to the problem. They stated that they would take the fight to the streets if the authorities fail to remove the taxi company.

Zamora said that this new organization was aiming to get rid of his tourist taxi organization that has 15,000 members across the country and that this could not be allowed.

He went on to name the people in the organization, mostly members of Antonio Marte's family.

While the Constitution guarantees business freedom in the Dominican Republic, transport groups have intimidated the Dominican government through acts of vandalism, and the authorities accept their de-facto monopolies on hotel and airport taxi services, in addition to public transport and cargo routes in the country.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/7/328897/Taxistas-Turisticos-amenazan-con-paralizar-servicios-en-aeropuertos-y

Prosecutor attacked in Santiago
Tamaris Moronta, the prosecutor in charge of the Unit Against Domestic Violence has been attacked and robbed in her own house in Sorangel Residence in south Santiago.

She and her brother, Felix Antonio Moronta, were threatened at gunpoint and made to lie on the ground by two individuals who arrived on a motorcycle.

The thieves took a graduation ring, two cell phones, laptops, an iPad, a television, car keys and money.

Chief suspect Luis Miguel Tejada (Monaco), 19, was arrested, but Willy Vargas Almonte is still on the run. Tejada was in court two weeks ago for possession of illegal firearms.

Seven prosecutors and judges have now been attacked in Santiago.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/2014/07/07/i689691_asaltan-fiscal-santiago.html

Repeat offender figure is too high
The General Office of Prisons has announced that 28% of people who committed crimes were repeat offenders who had already spent time in jail, some having been sent to jail as many as 15 times.

Lawyers Ruben de los Santos and Jose Calazan Mateo said this was a cause for concern and they blamed the police and the Public Prosecution service for the way cases were prepared, saying that the evidence was often contaminated or there simply was not enough evidence for a conviction.

Read more in Spanish: http://hoy.com.do/preocupa-cantidad-de-reingresos-a-las-carceles-del-pais/

Ensemble Spirituosi at Bellas Artes
Spirituosi is a trio of Dominican sisters Nathalie, soprano, Nicole, violoncello and Evelyn, flute). Join them together with guitarist Damien Lancelle (France) and Jonathan Bolivar (Venezuela) for a night of classical music on Wednesday, 9 July at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo at 8:30pm. This is a production by MD Producciones (Monika Despradel) and DW Comunicacion (Dunia De Windt). They will be playing a selection of the best classical music by Dominican composers, including Julio Alberto Hernandez, Bienvenido Brens and Francisco Simo Damiron. The concert is a benefit for the Fundacion Nido para Angeles that works with children with special needs.

Listen to their music at:

Toy Contento: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoeeEPEC-Gw

Dolorita: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubY2u8tJO2M

Hymne a l'amour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwPQ46HV9yY

Comedy at Casa de Teatro
This evening, Tuesday, 8 July 2014 at 10pm, La Guagua stand up comedy troupe takes the stage of the Cafe Teatro at Casa de Teatro in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone. Arzobispo Merino 110, Tel 809 686-7840.

Comedy at the National Theater
The comedy "Nosotras lo hacemos mejor," a production by Niurka Mota, continues 10, 11, 12, 13 July at the Sala Ravelo of the National Theater in Santo Domingo. 8:30pm, and Sunday at 6:30pm. Tickets: RD$700.

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

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