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Daily News - Tuesday, 05 August 2014

President Medina inaugurates health center at Ministry of Defense
President Danilo Medina was at the Ministry of Defense yesterday, 4 August 2014, to open a Primary Care Health Center that will provide medical assistance to members of the military and their families. The facility is approximately 560 square meters of floor space and has an emergency room, laboratory, sonography, x rays, emergency surgery, pharmacy, and consulting rooms for cardiology, gynecology, psychology and pediatrics.

The center was handed over to the Association of Officers' Wives at the Ministry of Defense. The president of that organization, Rosalba Oleaga de Pared, thanked the President and First Lady Candida Montilla for their support.

The President sat at the head of the main table which also had the Minister of Defense, Admiral Sigfrido Pared Perez; Commanding Officers of the Navy, Vice Admiral Edwin Rafael Dominici; the Army, Major General Ruben Dario Paulino Sem; the Air Force, Major Ramon Hernandez y Hernandez and the chief of the National Police, Major General Manuel Castro Castillo.


President inaugurates schools
Yesterday, 4 August 2014, President Danilo Medina inaugurated 64 new classrooms In Hato Mayor that will serve 2,415 students for the extended school day.

The schools were elementary schools in Los Hatillos and Juan Pablo Duarte and high schools Cesar Caceres Castillo and Morquecho. The total cost of the public work was RD$190, 208,000.

The inauguration of the schools took place at the Cesar Caceres Castillo High School.

The President was accompanied by Education Minister Carlos Amarante Baret and Miguel Pimentel Kareh, director of the Office of Supervising Engineers for Public Works (OISOE).


President attends Educa anniversary
President Danilo Medina attended yesterday, 4 August 2014, the lunch held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Educa Foundation (Business Action for Education), whose president is Elena Viyella.

At the lunch, Viyella thanked the President for all he had done for education in the country, making it a priority for his government and being the first President to comply with the law that stipulates that 4% of GDP is to be used to fund the education sector. She also highlighted the President's program to stamp out illiteracy throughout the country, and the building of new schools and classrooms so that all schools could transition to the full day school program.


Cristina Lizardo to head the Senate
In a two hour meeting (short for these types of meetings) the Political Committee of the governing Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) endorsed Cristina Lizardo (PLD-Santo Domingo province) for the presidency of the Senate, making her the first woman to head the Senate.

During the same meeting, the Political Committee confirmed its support for Abel Martinez (PLD-Santiago province) to continue to preside over the Chamber of Deputies.

In addition, it was proposed that the vice president of the Senate should be Francis Vargas, representative for Puerto Plata and Lucia Medina (sister of President Danilo Medina) will continue to be vice president of the Chamber of Deputies.

The election for the officials of Congress was unanimous, according to the secretary general of the PLD, Reinaldo Pared Perez (PLD-National District), who met with reporters following the meeting. Pared Perez noted that 34 of the 35 members of the PC attended the meeting. Only Architect Eduardo Selman was absent.

President of the Senate Reinaldo Pared Perez had announced earlier that he would not seek reelection in the Senate to pursue the presidential candidacy for the PLD into the 2016 presidential election.


Malaria on the way out
The Ministry of Public Health has announced that the country is on the road to once again eliminate malaria, whose incidence has decreased by 53% over the last 14 years.

Doctor Jose Manuel Puello, director of the National Center of Tropical Diseases (CENCET), confirmed that this year the number of cases is down by 61.5% over the same period last year. This year no deaths from the disease have been reported.

According to a CENCET report, during 2013, 108 of the 155 municipalities reporting to the Ministry of Public Health had not reported cases of malaria; 40 municipalities reported less than 0.1 cases per 1,000 inhabitants and only seven municipalities had more than one case per 1,000 inhabitants.

The report said that more than US$4.5 million had been invested in programs to reduce the incidence of the disease over the last five years. These have included implementing epidemiological vigilance programs, modernizing databases and information systems, and stepping up efforts to diagnose and treat cases of malaria.


ECLAC forecasts 5% growth for Dominican Republic
THE Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean says the Dominican economy will experience growth of 5% in 2014, more than double it has forecast for average growth for the Latin American and Caribbean region. The forecast for Dominican economic growth is up from 4.1% in 2013 and 3.9% in 2012. Growth is attributed to an increase in mining, construction, farming and manufacturing.

The findings are in the Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2014, released on Monday.

The ECLAC forecast for regional growth is pegged at 2.2%, down from 2.5% in 2013. In the analysis, ECLAC economists say the trend for the region could surpass expectations towards the end of 2014, given possible gradual improvement in some of the world's major economies.

Panama is predicted to be the country in the region with the highest increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 6.7%, followed by Bolivia with 5.5%.

In addition to the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador and Nicaragua are all forecast to experience economic expansions of 5%.

Alicia Barcena, ECLAC's executive secretary, during the presentation of the Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2014, said on Monday:

"Macroeconomic policies have to take into account each country's specific vulnerabilities. Without a doubt, it is important in all cases to increase investment and productivity to guarantee structural change with equality in the medium term. Both factors are key challenges for the economic sustainability of development, especially in the current context."

In the report, ECLAC economists say that the resumption of economic growth in the United States will benefit Mexico and Central American countries, while the recovery of the United Kingdom and several economies in the euro zone will also have a positive impact, especially in the Caribbean, due to the arrival of more tourists from these nations.

The main risk is the lower growth forecast for China in 2014, the report emphasizes. The regional economies that are more specialized in exporting commodities to that country could be affected if the Asian giant cannot maintain its growth above 7%.

The study adds that in the medium term, the region is expected to face less demand for its main export goods and experience more costly external financing.

ECLAC recommends that governments closely coordinate macroeconomic policies to manage the economic cycle and implement policies that foster more long-term growth. ECLAC recommends greater investment in infrastructure and innovation and efforts to spur diversification of production.



Detour at Bani-Azua highway
The Ministry of Public Works announced that starting Tuesday, 5 August light traffic on the Bani-Azua highway will be detoured between La Virgen and Hatillo (kilometers 23.5 and 26). The note from the Ministry says that the detour is to allow for the expansion of works being carried out by the Constructora Rizek y Asociados. The detour will only affect light vehicles from 7am to 5pm. A maximum speed limit of 30 km per hour will be enforced along the 30 km of the detour. The Ministry of Public Works spokesperson said that cargo trucks may continue to use the main highway, but access will be controlled.

The restrictions only apply to daytime traffic. After 5pm, all vehicles may use the main highway.

Hacienda says Internet tax will go into effect, others dispute it
The Minister of Hacienda Simon Lizardo says that taxing Internet purchases less than US$200 is legal. Lizardo supports the decision announced by the Customs Agency that Internet purchases less than US$200, that were previously exempt by Law 277-12, could now be taxed. In a convoluted series of past rulings, Law 277-12 had authorized the revocation of the section of Art. 49 of Law 253-12 Fiscal Reform and reinstated Presidential Decree 402-05.

On the issue, the President of the Senate, Reinaldo Pared Perez has said the taxation would be in violation of the Constitution.

Likewise, the Justice and Transparency Foundation (FJT), the Dominican Alliance for Consumer and User Defense (Asodecu), and the Dominican Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Cadolec) submitted a legal recourse against the Customs Agency at the Administrative Superior Court (TSA) on grounds that the notice is in violation of the authority of a presidential decree and a law passed by Congress. Spokesman for the group, Felipe Herrera who is president of Asodecu, said the announcement was irrational and imprudent.

The Dominican Association of Courier Companies (Asodec) says that in addition to violating Decree 402-05, Law 277-12, the ruling is also in conflict with the DR-CAFTA trade agreement and the 2010 Constitution.

"Consequently, any attempt to administratively establish a Customs charge is an abuse of power, totally unconstitutional and even subject to criminal penalties in accordance with our legal framework," stated Asodec.


PRD recommendations on rules for applying naturalization law
The Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) has handed in to the government, 10 proposals taking into account the rules for the application of Law 169-14 concerning naturalization.

PRD members suggest that a personal identity document from the country of origin or at least a legalized document from one of the parents of the applicant must be presented to demonstrate that the Dominican state does not create the condition of statelessness.

PRD president, Miguel Vargas, suggested that the Executive Branch declare a state of alert, and order the strengthening of all security measures in the border area, during the foreigner regularization period to prevent a mass influx of illegal immigrants wishing to take irregular advantage of the free process to gain legal status in the Dominican Republic.

Vargas requested that the application process be supervised by a Committee of Monitoring and Evaluation consisting of a representative of the Catholic Church, five representatives from Civil Society, three media directors representatives and a representative from each party that hold seats in Congress.

He suggested that a procedure be established that assigns a category for each application based on the type of status requested or demonstrated by the applicant.

He proposed that a "Pact for the Control and Development of the Border Area," be developed between the social and political forces of the country.

The proposals were delivered to the Presidential Palace by a commission, made up of the legal director of the PRD, Salim Ibarra; spokesman Victor Gomez Casanova; lawyer Jose Miguel Vasquez; and ex-Senator Tonty Rutinel.


Free zone innovator Luis Manuel Pellerano passes away
Free zone industry promoter Luis Manuel Pellerano died yesterday of a heart attack in Santo Domingo. He had served as president of the Dominican Free Zones Association (Adozona) and board member of several other development organizations. He was president-founder of the Las Americas Free Zone. At the time of his death he was a member of the board of directors of the National Council of Free Zones (CNZFE) and vice president of the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO).

Drug arrest at the ferry to Puerto Rico
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) announced that the agency has confiscated nine packets of suspected cocaine or heroin found inside a hidden compartment of a car belonging to a 24-year old Dominican who would have traveled to Puerto Rico on the ferry. The substance confiscated by the DNCD will be analyzed by the National Institute of Forensic Science. The identity of the person has not yet been revealed.


Rains on the way
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has said that there is a weak tropical wave moving over the country towards the east to west. The highest rain activity is forecast along the Caribbean coast. Isolated thunderstorms are predicted for the late afternoon and evening affecting the provinces of La Altagracia (Punta Cana), San Pedro de Macoris, La Romana, Hato Mayor, Monte Plata, Santiago, San Juan de la Maguana, Sanchez Ramirez, La Vega and Monsenor Nouel.

This weak storm will be followed by a new tropical wave that will most likely bring electrical storms, again in the afternoon and early evening in the south east, northeast, central mountain regions and along the Caribbean coast.

To follow weather in the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, see http://dr1.com/forums/weather-beyond/143439-2014-hurricane-season.html


DR prepares for the FIBA Cup
With its third victory over Jamaica, 73-68, in the Centrobasket 2014 qualifier in Tepic, Mexico (1-7 August 2014), the Dominican Republic national men's basketball team earned the right to play in the FIBA Americas Championship. The FIBA Americas Championship is the pre-Olympic qualifier and will be played in Rio de Janeiro. This event will determine the teams that will play in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Centrobasket is also helping to prepare the Dominican national men's team for its participation in its most important challenge n the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. In Bilbao, Spain, Dominicans will play Ukraine, the United States, Turkey, New Zealand and Finland in Group C.

Coaches see Centrobasket 2014 as a testing ground for players looking to earn places on the World Cup squad. The Dominican men's team won Centrobasket in 2012.

After Centrobasket, the Dominican team will play the University of Kentucky on 15 and 17 August 2014 in Nassau, Bahamas. Also participating in that series is the French first-division club team Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket and the Puerto Rico national team. These matches will serve as preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Afterwards, the Dominican national team will play the United States national basketball team at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on Wednesday 20 August.

Former UK assistant coach Orlando Antigua is now head coach of the Dominican team.

The Dominican Republic is No. 26 in the current FIBA World Rankings.




Polibio Diaz exhibits in Canada subway
Dominican photographer Polibio Diaz is participating along with 10 other artists in the Canadian art project, "Confluence: Shifting Perspectives of the Caribbean". The exihibit will run from 25 July to 29 August 2014. The event brings together artworks produced by artists from the Caribbean or artists with cultural ties to the Caribbean. The artworks are appearing every 10 minutes on screens at the Pattison Onestop subway platform screens across Toronto as well as on screens in shopping malls all across Canada


Pavel Nunez in Santiago
On 15 August, Pavel Nunez will be at the Gran Teatro del Cibao in Santiago for a greatest hits concert at 8:30pm. He will welcome guest performers, including Pamel Mancebo, Covi Quintana, Victor Victor, Laura Rivera and Hector Anibal. Musicians playing with him that evening will be Guy Frometa, David Vasquez, JV Olivier, Otoniel Nicolas, Luis Payan, Pamel Mancebo, Missael Manon, Alvaro Dizen and Patricio Bonilla.

For more on ongoing and upcoming events, see http://www.dr1.com/calendar

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