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Daily News - Wednesday, 09 July 2014

President Medina asked to support merengue
Dominican merengue musicians and singers visited the Presidential Palace yesterday, Tuesday 9 July 2014 and met with President Danilo Medina to discuss merengue and how to preserve it and ensure that everyone knows it is a country brand for the Dominican Republic.

The President hosted merengue stars Johnny Ventura, Kinito Mendez, Rafa Rosario, Hector Acosta (El Torito), Juan de Dios (Jandy) Ventura, Roberto del Castillo and Maridalia Hernandez.

Also present at the meeting were the Deputy Minister for Culture Tommy Garcia, the head of the Ministerial Culture Cabinet Carlos Salcedo and musical arranger Manuel Tejada.

After the meeting, Johnny Ventura said that they had exchanged ideas about ways of promoting and protecting merengue.

Read more in Spanish: http://presidencia.gob.do/comunicados/presidente-medina-recibe-numerosos-artistas-en-su-despacho-palacio-nacional

Appeal your high power bills
Consumers who presented claims for overbilling by power distributors have been successful in 40 to 50% of cases, according to the Superintendence of Electricity (SIE). Electricity Superintendent Eduardo Quincoces says the high rate of successful claims is proof there are inefficiencies in the power distributors, now operated by the government. From January to June, the SIE ordered the power distributors to credit users with RD$58.6 million. Most of the claims were for excess charges. The claims were made through the Office for the Protection of User Rights (Protecom).

Read more in Spanish: http://www.diariolibre.com/economia/2014/07/09/i691591_alta-facturacin-por-ineficiencia.html

Ministry of Industry and Commerce warns of rising fuel prices
Minister of Industry and Commerce Jose del Castillo Savinon says that it will be catastrophic for the country if the price of gasoline increases to RD$300 a gallon. Del Castillo said that if the oil prices continue to increase on the world market the effects on the country would be serious, as they are linked to more than 40% of items consumed by the population and would directly affect all areas of the economy.

He said the country depends on natural gas and crude oil imports from OPEC member countries.

He did not refer to the high level of taxation that is also included in the fuel bill.

Read more in Spanish: http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=382019

New status regularization offices to be opened
Minister of Interior and Police Jose Ramon Fadul says that 300 foreigners, mainly Haitians, have completed the required process under the National Legalization Plan and now Interpol, the National Investigations Department (DNI) and the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) are carrying out the background checks for the authorization of their new legal status.

He said that so far 82,000 foreigners have visited the centers for the plan and of those, some 20,000 have presented some sort of document for beginning the process.

He said that they were continuing to open new offices in cities such as Samana, Cotui and Santo Domingo East, and are currently planning to open others in Valverde (Mao), La Vega, Constanza and Puerto Plata.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/2014/07/08/i691021_fadul-dice-trabajan-depuracin-extranjeros-que-completaron-regularizacin.html

Government can invest in power generation
On Tuesday, 8 July 2014 the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that authorizes the Dominican state to return to power generation when the generating company is 100% owned by the state. The Presidency had sent the bill to the Senate, where it was approved. The Chamber of Deputies introduced changes that authorized the temporary participation of the Dominican state through the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE). The Electricity Law stated that power generation outside hydro-electricity should be carried out by private companies. The bill now returns to the Senate for approval.

Read more in Spanish: http://elnacional.com.do/aprueban-proyecto-autoriza-al-estado-participar-en-negocio-generacion-electrica/

IDB helps encourage local business innovation
The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) and the National Competitiveness Council (CNC) have announced support to the business innovation with the backing of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). From US$30,000 to US$300,000 will be presented to each plan approved to stimulate innovation in business.

Minister of Superior Education Ligia Amada Melo said that companies could present projects focusing on innovative products, research or processes to receive the financing that the IDB will assign to the CNC through the Technical Assistance Program for Backing Competitiveness Policies. Minister Melo said that the main objective of the project was to stimulate innovation in productive sectors so they can be more competitive.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.diariolibre.com/empresas/2014/07/08/i691081_bid-financiar-innovacin-empresarial-repblica-dominicana.html

New state university in Cotui
The Chamber of Deputies has approved a bill that turns the private Cibao East Technological Institute (ITECO) into a state university. The university now falls under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, and will be known as the Central Cibao Technological University (UTECO). A total of 5,780 students are currently enrolled at the university, which is located in Cotui.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/2014/07/08/i691041_diputados-convierten-ley-que-iteco-sea-universidad-pblica-estatal.html

9,700 Dominican copyrights
National Copyright Office (ONDA) director Marino Feliz Terrero says that as of June 2014 some 9,700 copyrights had been registered in the Dominican Republic. This is up from 343 copyrights in 2005. He said that the increase in applications has required the office to expand its staff.

Read more in Spanish: http://hoy.com.do/registro-del-derecho-de-autor-en-el-pais-ronda-los-9700-por-ano/

Free zone exports were US$5,029 million in 2013
National Council of Free Zones (CNZFE) president Luisa Fernandez Duran says that industrial duty free zone exports in 2013 reached a record of US$5,029 million, which is 1.8% more than in 2012, when they totalled US$4,940 million. The CNZFE presented a statistical report for 2013 that also highlights that apparel made up 25.5% of total exports, with exports of US$1,280.5 million. Medical and pharmaceutical products accounted for 24.5% of the total, or US$1,230.4 million, and electrical products were 12.9%, for US$650.8 million in exports. Tobacco products made up 11.6% of the total, or US$584.1 million; footwear was 8.4% for US$420.9 million, and jewelry represented 7.9% of the total, or US$357.8 million. There are 55 parks and around 602 free zone manufacturing plants nationwide.

Read more in Spanish: http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=382027

New extradition treaty with the US
Deputies in Congress are in agreement with a proposal for a new extradition treaty with the United States, but are waiting for an announcement from the Constitutional Court (TC).

Chamber of Deputies Justice Committee chairman Demostenes Martinez said that the 2010 Constitution establishes that the Constitutional Court has control over international treaties. He added that any bilateral treaty between the United States and the Dominican Republic should be reciprocal.

Nelson Arroyo, from the PRD, said that in the case of extradition, the discussion should be unlimited and should work both ways, highlighting that he had never known the US to send anyone to the Dominican Republic to face trial.

Henry Meran, chairman of the lower chamber's Ethics Committee, said that he approved of the idea of having a new extradition treaty with the United States, describing the existing agreement as "100 years old and outdated."

Meran added that although the existing treaty is effectively obsolete it does have a series of safeguards that should be maintained in any new treaty. It states that any Dominican who is extradited should not receive a higher sentence than they would have received in their own country, and referred to the existence of the death penalty in several US states.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/8/329016/Diputados-favorecen-revision-convenio-extradicion-con-Estados-Unidos

101 Haitians repatriated
A total of undocumented 101 Haitians were repatriated yesterday, Tuesday 8 July 2014 after being arrested by Army and the Specialized Border Security Corps (Cesfront) agents for entering the country illegally.

An Army spokesman said that 67 men, 26 women and eight children were caught as they were walking to communities in Dajabon and Monte Cristi with the intention of travelling onward to Santiago and other northern cities.

The military authorities have said that in the last few days they have arrested dozens of Haitians who have crossed the border illegally.

They went on to say that they have also confiscated vehicles and arrested drivers who were bringing the illegal immigrants into the country and are still looking for some who escaped.

Read more in Spanish: http://hoy.com.do/autoridades-dominicanas-repatrian-a-101-haitianos-indocumentados/

Fake dollar bills in Boca Chica
National Police Criminal Investigations Department (DICRIM) agents have arrested two of four suspects who committed fraud in several stores, buying alcohol, cigarettes and other items using fake US$100 bills.

The arrested men were named as Walder Matos and Johan Gonzalez, who were travelling in a Mercedes Benz, along with two others who escaped with a suitcase believed to contain a large number of counterfeit dollar bills.

According to police, they went shopping in supermarkets and bars and purchased bottles of whisky, wine, cigarettes and other items with the fake dollars, and they were also exchanging them at a rate of 40 to one. Several shopkeepers were affected by the scam.

The two men were arrested on the Las Americas highway as they were trying to buy five bottles of whisky but the others escaped with the suitcase of dollars into the scrubland near La Caleta.

The arrested men were in possession of more than US$600 in fake money.

Read more in Spanish: http://elnacional.com.do/arrestados-dos-estafaban-con-dolares-falsos/

Fraudsters arrested for using bad checks
The High Technology Criminal Investigation Department (DICAT) has announced the arrest of three men accused of defrauding a banking institution of more than RD$13 million by paying with checks that bounced and transferring stolen money.

Police spokesman Colonel Jacobo Mateo Moquete said that the first to be arrested was Jose del Rosario Rodriguez or Juan del Rosario Rodriguez, thought to be the gang leader, followed by Eudy Alberto Amarante Divinson and Alexander Ramon Almanzar Marte, who were arrested taking food to Rosario Rodriguez following his arrest.

They had purchased 14 PC laptops and 26 Apple computers with the bounced checks and are also accused of committing bank fraud worth RD$12 million.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/8/329010/Apresa-3-acusados-de-estafar-entidad-bancaria-con-RD13-MM

Casa de Teatro Santo Domingo Jazz Festival
Every Thursday in July during the hot summer months, Casa de Teatro brings jazz from around the world to its auditorium and outdoor Cafe Teatro. This Thursday, 10 July, the Dominican Republic is represented with "Bonye con un aire a jazz". Arzobispo Merino 110, Colonial City, Santo Domingo. Tel 809 686-7840.

YOA Orchestra of the Americas at the Centro Leon
The 75-musician YOA Orchestra of the Americas is playing a free concert with 45 musicians of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of the Dominican Republic sponsored by the Symphony Foundation this Friday, 11 July 2014 at 7pm in the parking area of Centro Leon in Santiago. The young musicians are attending master classes and a Dominican Republic Residence to improve their musical skills.

Nini Caffaro and Rafael Solano at Casa de Teatro
A memorable concert by Nini Caffaro and Rafael Solano is scheduled for this Friday, 11 July at 9pm at the auditorium of Casa de Teatro at 9pm. Buy tickets previously, because this is sure to be a sellout concert. Arzobispo Merino 110, Colonial City, Santo Domingo. Tel 809 686-7840.

Alexandro Segui at Casa de Teatro
Cuban rock star Alexandro Segui is a regular at Casa de Teatro. This Friday, 11 July he will be back again. 10pm. Cafe Teatro. Arzobispo Merino 110, Santo Domingo. Tel 809 686-7840.


Gay Pride march
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (GLBT) organizations in the country have invited Dominicans to join them in their 7th Gay Pride March that will take place on Sunday 13 July 2014 from Avenida del Puerto in Santo Domingo starting at 3pm.

Friends-Always-Friends Volunteer Network (REVASA) coordinator Deivis Ventura said that everyone who believed in democracy, human rights and freedom could come together and celebrate diversity.

Marianela Carvajal, representing lesbians in the country, said that this year's theme would be "If you love... respect." She went on to say that they wanted to call the authorities' attention to the social exclusion suffered by thousands of GLBT men and women in the country who experience discrimination just because they love someone of the same sex.

Read more in Spanish: http://hoy.com.do/homosexuales-dominicanos-invitan-a-creyentes-en-democracia-y-derechos-humanos-a-caravana-del-orgullo-gay/

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

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