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Daily News - Wednesday, 13 August 2014

President Medina opens more schools in Azua
In a third round of inaugurations in the southwestern province of Azua, President Danilo Medina has cut the ceremonial ribbons marking the opening of three new schools.

The Professor Juan Bosch, Las Clavellinas and Los Tramojos schools were built at a total cost of RD$106,349,000.

In addition to the schools, new uniforms were handed out to the students.

The Minister of Education, Carlos Amarante Baret also attended the event where student Antoni Alverio Matos thanked the President of behalf of the students.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.presidencia.gob.do/comunicados/en-tercera-ronda-de-inauguraciones-azua-recibe-45-aulas

The best of the Medina administration is yet to come
Speaking at a Dominican Republic of Industries Association breakfast meeting yesterday, Tuesday 12 August 2014, Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta reviewed the first two years of the President Danilo Medina government and told his audience that the best of the Medina administration is yet to come. Peralta, a former AIRD board member himself, is now one of President Medina's two closest aides.

He mentioned government priorities for security and education, highlighting the start of the 911 program that has helped reduce crime and the construction of extended school day facilities all around the country.

He announced that the Social and Economic Council would convene to start discussions towards the signing of the Electricity Pact, ordered in the National Development Strategy Law.

He also announced reforming of the Proindustria Law 392-07 and Border Development Law 28-01 to encourage modernization and competitiveness of local industry, as well as government support for the creation of the Export and Development Bank. He also mentioned the simplification of sanitary registration for pharmaceutical products, personal hygiene and household products, and eliminating of the expiration date of environmental authorizations to reduce their cost.

Other government initiatives mentioned included support for small business cooperatives and associations in rural communities and small towns, with low-interest financing (FEDA program) from the government in the wake of surprise visits by the President.

He referred to government efforts to transform La Vega and turn it into a city that is attractive to international tourism. He commented on the expansion of the privately-owned Punta Cana International Airport, and new investments in shopping areas in the east as a result of the increased flow of visitors.

He mentioned major low-cost housing developments, Boca de Cachon (Independencia province), La Barquita (Santo Domingo) and Ciudad Juan Bosch.

He spoke of government support for the footwear commission that is inviting international companies to manufacture shoes at Dominican free zones.

He spoke of the ongoing work towards creating a country-brand under the Center for Export-Investment (CEI-RD).

He addressed the requests for reduction of administrative corruption, mentioning how initiatives such as a single account (Cuenta Unica) had helped modernize state finances and the Citizen Observatory for the civil society to monitor government.

He spoke of government financing for small business, mentioning how this sector had received a boost from RD$1.26 billion as of August 2012 to RD$2.46 billion as of July 2014 through the governmental Banco de Reservas.

Other highlights were the renegotiation of the Barrick Gold contract and government's presidency of SICA, and the talks with Haiti, leading to diverse agreements. He stressed that Haiti is the DR's second largest trading partner.

Read more in Spanish: http://informa-rse.blogspot.com/2014/08/balance-desde-el-gobierno-de-medina.html

Ligia Bonetti: More production and exports needed
Dominican Republic Industries Association president Ligia Bonetti, speaking in the presence of Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta yesterday, Tuesday 12 August 2014, urged the government to respond to the challenges of national industry. "We should not allow trust to decline. We must act fast in the right direction to create wellbeing for the people and export capacity of our companies," she stated. She said it is important to understand the need for a competitive production base to generate hard currency and change the present conditions of the trade balance. She said an increase in exports and production is necessary to overcome the quasi-fiscal deficit and the current account deficit.

Read more in Spanish: http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=386696

CDEEE details payments made to power suppliers
The Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) says it has made payments for US$4.31 billion to power suppliers from August 2012 to July 2014, which is US$125.6 million more than what the power companies have billed since the start of the Medina administration.

The fact that the amount paid is greater than the bills reflects the government's efforts to cover the debt agreement, the CDEEE told Acento.com.do in a written statement detailing the payments made to each supplier.

Read more in Spanish: http://acento.com.do/2014/economia/8164240-cdeee-responde-a-generadores-y-afirma-ha-pagado-103-de-las-facturas/

More water for Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo Aqueducts and Sanitation Corporation (CAASD) director Alejandro Montas says that the drinking water supply has increased to 340 million gallons a day and that if it continues to rain, water levels will return to normal in the National District and most of Santo Domingo province.

Montas made the announcement yesterday, Tuesday 12 August 2014, when presenting a project to increase the capacity of the Oriental Zone aqueduct, which will be funded by a US$45 million loan from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Water and Sanitation.

The Spanish Cooperation Agency representative in the country, Carlos Cano, said that people needed to pay for water in order to receive a quality and efficient service.

The aqueduct would increase capacity for supplying drinking water 24/7 in Cansino Adentro, and to solve the sanitation problem by replacing septic tanks with a sewage treatment system to reduce pollution in the Ozama River.

The real problem with water provision in Santo Domingo East is that as much of the area works on pumps and the electricity is off for up to 10 hours a day, water cannot be provided during those times.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/8/12/333418/CAASD-dice-aumenta-su-produccion-de-agua-a-340-millones-de-galones-diario

Dominican army capture key convict
In a statement to Listin Diario last night, Tuesday 12 August 2014, Defense Minister Admiral Sigfrido Pared Perez said that the Dominican Army had captured the Haitian escaped convict and kidnapper, Clifford Brandt, together with two other fugitives from jail in Port-au-Prince.

He said that an army patrol had caught them on the border between Jimani and Hondo Valle. The Haitian Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe confirmed the capture with the cooperation of the Dominican authorities.

Admiral Sigfrido Pared Perez said that the Haitian authorities had asked them to hand over the criminals who are currently being held in Jimani. They will be taken to Port-au-Prince by helicopter.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/8/13/333504/Ejercito-de-RD-captura-al-profugo-Clifford-Brandt

Haitian Police to issue list of escaped convicts
The Haitian police are preparing a list of all of the 329 convicts who escaped from jail last Sunday, 10 August 2014 and will send it to the Dominican Republic and international organizations in the hope of recapturing the fugitives.

Chief of Police Godson Orelus said that although the list will be ready in a few days, the photographs and profiles of the most dangerous convicts, including kidnappers and rapists, had already been sent to the Dominican Republic and Interpol.

The fugitives included Clifford Brandt, a member of a wealthy family, who had been in jail since 2012. Brandt was convicted of kidnapping at least two people. He has since been captured by the Dominican authorities.

Dominican Police chief Manuel Castro has confirmed that the intelligence agency here is working with their Haitian counterpart to see if any of the escapees have entered Dominican territory.

The 329 convicts escaped from the Croix-des-Bouquets jail to the north east of Port-au-Prince at noon on Sunday during a riot in which two prison guards were injured. They also stole an as yet undetermined, number of weapons.

The prison governor and the guards who were on shift are all in custody as a special police team investigates the event.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/las-mundiales/2014/8/12/333414/Haiti-dice-que-prepara-lista-de-reos-fugados-pero-suministro-a-Rep-Dom

Liriano Sanchez released on bail
A San Cristobal judge has ordered the release of a former National Police lieutenant colonel Johan Emilio Liriano Sanchez, who is linked to a network of suspected drug dealers and hit men in the country.

The court changed his remand sentence in jail for bail of RD$100,000, via a bail bond, an exit ban and monthly appearances at the Public Prosecution service, which is carrying out the investigation.

Liriano, who has spent nine months in Najayo jail, is accused of belonging to a 13-man gang headed by Salomon Eusebio Rosario, also known as Piki, who is on the run. According to police they operated in La Romana and were hired to kill and collect money from people involved in drug dealing and money laundering.

In November 2013, the police said that they could show that Liriano, who had held important positions in the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD), had made irregular sales transactions of houses to people linked to the hit man.

They add that two hit men, Juan Felix Cordero Febles (Copelin) and Edgar Rafael Rijo Astacio (Maestrico), who were killed, were living at his farm in San Cristobal, and he is also accused of forging Copelin's signature on a rental contract two days after his death. Read more in Spanish:


Campaign to reduce femicides hasn't worked
Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito says that the campaign to reduce the high number of femicides in the country has not worked.

He was talking at a meeting held yesterday, Tuesday 12 August 2014, examining the "Causes and consequences of femicides, from the medical, legal and social aspects in the Dominican Republic", with the participation of the Women's prosecutor, Roxana Reyes, the president of the Dominican Psychiatric Society, Dr. Vicente Vargas and the director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention for Men in the National District, Luis Verges.

He said that rather than reducing the number of femicides, they had actually increased despite the efforts. Vicente Vargas said that despite the laws there were not adequate mechanisms in place to protect women, and that new strategies were needed, such as providing shelters where they could go to seek protection.

Femicides have not declined, despite the rate of homicides dropping 6.7% over last year, to a rate of 18.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, or 906 homicides in the first half of 2014.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/8/13/333490/Admite-fracasa-campana-para-bajar-feminicidios-en-el-pais

Murder rate down
According to the Citizen's Safety Observatory, during the first half of 2014, the rate of homicides went down by 6.7% over last year, with a rate of 18.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, or a total of 906 homicides.

March had the highest number of deaths with 191, January 141, February 131, April 165, May 150 and June 123. Santo Domingo and the National Districts had the highest number of deaths with 93 and 218 murders respectively, followed by Santiago with 96 and San Cristobal with 59. The lowest numbers were in Santiago Rodriguez and Pedernales with four apiece.

In the first half of 2013 there were 971 cases. Domestic issues continue to be the main cause.

Most murders are committed with firearms and at the weekend on public streets. The most common victims are young men from 20 to 34 years old.

The study supported by the National Police, shows that 89% of the victims of homicide are men 93% less than last year). Of the remaining 11%, almost half are classified as femicides, which is an increase of 53% over the first six months in 2013.

Traffic accident deaths have gone down by 1.5% over 2013, with a rate of 18.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, reflecting 901 deaths.

March and April were the worst months as they included the eight days of Easter Week, which were the most lethal.

The main cause of traffic deaths was collisions between vehicles that occurred in 54% of cases, followed by collisions between vehicles and motorcycles.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/8/13/333492/Homicidios-cayeron-un-67-este-ano-segun-Observatorio

Marta Heredia goes down for seven years
Judges in Santiago have sentenced the singer Martha Heredia to seven years in jail and a fine of RD$100,000.

The court, headed by Judge Herminia Rodriguez, found sufficient evidence to send the 23-year old winner of 2009 Latin American Idol to Rafey Women's jail for drug trafficking.

The Public Prosecution Service had asked for a 20-year sentence, whereas her defense had asked for only five years, and some of it to be spent under house arrest.

Heredia wept when she heard the sentence, which was issued yesterday, Tuesday 12 August 2014.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2014/08/12/condenan-7-anos-carcel-martha-heredia

Hot weather to continue
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) says that there will be little rain during the day today, Wednesday 13 August 2014, but in the late afternoon, due to the hot weather over the country, there will be an increase in cloud cover with isolated showers mainly in the provinces of Sanchez Ramirez (Cotui), Monte Plata, Elias Pina, San Juan, La Vega, Monsenor Nouel (Bonao), Maria Trinidad Sanchez (Nagua), Samana, El Seibo and Hato Mayor.

The temperatures will remain high due to the time of year with a maximum of 35 degrees Celsius in La Romana, Independencia, Montecristi and Dajabon. Greater Santo Domingo will have a maximum of 34 ?C.

For tomorrow, Thursday 14 August 2014, the persistence of the Saharan dust cloud over the Caribbean will continue to decrease the likelihood of any significant rain.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.onamet.gov.do

DR to play University of Kentucky in Bahamas
The Dominican Republic national men's basketball team traveled to Nassau, Bahamas to play exhibition games in preparation for the FIBA World Cup (30 August-14 September 2014) in Madrid. The DR team traveled shortly after winning bronze in the Centrobasket 2014. The DR is ranked 26th in the world by FIBA.

The DR plays the University of Kentucky on 15 August and 17 August. Dominican national team players will face their stiffest competition during the event. Other participants in the event are the Champagne Chalons-Reims, a first division French professional team, and the reserve team of the Puerto Rico national selection.

The Bahamas tournament will also help Dominican Coach Orlando Antigua finalize the roster for the Dominican team to the World Cup. Antigua told Diario Libre that there is so much talent, it is difficult to reach a final decision on the 12-men roster. They include Eloy Vargas, Edgar Sosa, Ronald Ramon, James Feldeine, James Maye and Karl Towns, as well as Ronald Roberts, Angel Nunez, Luis David Montero and Victor Liz.

The Bahamas games are being held at the 2,500-seat Kendal G. L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. The games are played at 1pm.

Read more: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/08/07/3370402/big-blue-bahamas-primer-what-kentucky.html#storylink=cpy

El 28 back at Teatro Guloya
El 28, a play by Claudio Rivera, is being staged at Teatro Guloya in Santo Domingo's Colonial City on Friday 15, 16, 17 August 2014. The play is inspired on the book "Mis 500 locos" written by psychiatrist Antonio Zaglul. Starring Yerlim Guzman, Noel Ventura, Viena Gonzalez and Claudio Rivera. Performances are at 8:30pm on Friday and Saturday and 6:30pm on Sunday. Tickets RD$400.

Tercer Cielo in concert
The highly successful religious music group Tercer Cielo will be performing at the National Theater in Santo Domingo this Saturday, 16 August 2014. This is a Cesar Suarez production.

Dominican Juan Carlos Rodriguez and Evelyn Herrera from the US will be appearing. The group, founded by Rodriguez, has received two Latin Grammy nominations.

Tickets: RD$3,000-RD$2,000.


Car Racing at Mobil 1 racetrack
Claro is sponsoring the national car speed-racing contest this Sunday, 17 August 2014 at the Autodrome Mobil 1 off Las Americas Expressway east of Santo Domingo. The Claro Grand Prix starts at 10:30am with motorcycling competitions. Tickets are RD$300-RD$1,500. Children under 10 years enter free.


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

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