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Daily News - Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Japanese senators visit
President Danilo Medina met yesterday, Monday 25 August 2014 with a delegation of visiting Japanese senators to discuss the strong ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The visitors discussed projects across the country currently being implemented with Japanese funding. These include a chocolate-making initiative in Altamira, Puerto Plata and a school donated by the Japanese government.

The meeting was attended by deputy Foreign Relations minister Jose Manuel Trullols, the Dominican ambassador at the Organization of American States (OAS), Pedro Verges, Japanese delegation head Yusuke Nakanishi, Japanese senators Katsunori Takahashi and Michihiro Ishibashi, Cabinet Commission research head Masashi Kubota, and Kazumichi Tojo from the permanent Commission of Judicial Affairs, Japanese ambassador Takashi Fuchigami, second secretary for Cultural Affairs Takeshi Murakami, and the head of Technical and Economic Cooperation, Shusaku Tamura, reported the Presidency.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.presidencia.gob.do/noticias/republica-dominicana-y-japon-fortalecen-vinculos-de-amistad-y-cooperacion

Dominican Brewery installs energy saving plant
President Danilo Medina headed the inauguration of a biomass plant installed by the Dominican National Brewery (CND) to produce energy from steam yesterday, Monday 25 August 2014.

The biofuel will be the pulp from the malt used in the brewing process.

The plant, which uses the latest technology, was installed with a US$4.5 million investment.

Company president Franklin Leon says the CND is one of the pioneers in the process in the Americas. He said that the plant produces 12 tons of steam an hour generating 600 kilowatts of energy, which is then used in the manufacture and bottling of their beer.

After cutting the ceremonial ribbon, President Medina and Franklin Leon toured the new plant together with the Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo, Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta and Energy and Mines Minister Pelegrin Castillo. They were accompanied by the Executive Director of the National Energy Commission, Enrique Ramirez, CND Industrial Director Alejandro Fernandez and other high-ranking company executives.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.presidencia.gob.do/noticias/presidente-danilo-medina-inaugura-planta-de-biomasa-cerveceria-nacional

New Unidos megastore in Bella Vista
President Danilo Medina opened the first Unidos megastore in Santo Domingo yesterday, Monday 25 August 2014. Almacenes Unidos is a popular hardware store on JF Kennedy Avenue. The company has added a supermarket, pharmacy, bank branches and other services in its new Bella Vista location.

Company executive president Florencio Garcia made a speech highlighting the stability and favorable economic situation in the country was built with a RD$1.2 billion investment on a 51,000 square meter lot at the corner of Pedro Bobea Street and Sarasota Avenue. The new plaza is a construction of 19,000 square meters.

President Medina cut the ribbon before touring the megastore.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.presidencia.gob.do/noticias/danilo-medina-inaugura-unidos-pujanza-de-la-economia-motiva-inversion

Training Haiti and DR customs agents
Haiti and Dominican Republic customs agencies have joined forces in a bid to improve transparency and speed up the process of importing and exporting merchandise through the Haiti-DR borders. Jose Gabino Polanco, technical deputy director of the Dominican Customs Agency (DGA) helped train Dominican and Haitian border agents in a workshop on international customs techniques. Jean Batiste Fresnal, director of the customs administration in Haiti, stated that the workshop would help strengthen the relationship between the two customs authorities, as reported in Diario Libre.


Exam results fall short
The Ministry of Education (MINERD) says that only 50.38% of students at the middle level in general stream and 50.59% of those in the technical-professional stream had passed the second stage of the National Standardized Tests, leaving 49% to need to sit for new tests.

MINERD Quality Evaluation Director Ancell Scheker Mendoza said that of the 61,700 students from the general stream, 31,082 passed and of the 7,466 from the technical-professional stream, 3,777 passed.

She said that in the general stream, 86.87% passed Spanish, 58.11% Mathematics, 82.85% Social Studies and 69% in Natural Science.

As far as the technical professional stream was concerned, 93.88% passed Spanish, 51.63% Social Studies, 58.11% Math and 69% Natural Science.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/8/25/334966/El-49-de-los-estudiantes-no-paso-las-Pruebas-Nacionales-en-su-segunda

Court rules for annulment of Bahia de las Aguilas beach titles
Judge Alba Beard Marcos from the Land Court in the National District has annulled the land titles that the government had issued for lands in the Bahia de las Aguilas beach area in the southwestern province of Pedernales. The case had been in process for more than 18 years as the title owners sought to delay the hearings in the hope that the case would eventually expire.

The judge said the around 1,200 land title deeds were issued incorrectly to around 600 supposed farmers when Jaime Rodriguez Pimentel was head of the Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD) some 18 years ago.

The judge said that as the titles are null and void, any sale of them or transfer or survey carried out since 1990 is also null and void.

She said that the state, represented by the Public Prosecution service, the current IAD heads and the Ministry of the Environment had been victims of an unprecedented fraud in the history of land registration in the country, and said that everyone occupying this land illegally should be removed immediately.

Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito applauded the decision and the professionalism shown by the court during the process.

Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo said that the government would soon announce plans for the development of the land that he said has always been defined as a tourism area. "The time of the South has come!" he posted via his Twitter account. "We will soon have excellent news for the development of Bahia de las Aguilas."

Read more in Spanish:



El Nacional: Fear maintains cargo monopoly
An editorial in El Nacional highlights the Constitutionally guaranteed right to free enterprise and free market for the purchase of goods and contracting of services based on agreement between the parties, and the ban on monopolies or oligopolies that alter the harmonious relationship between supply and demand.

El Nacional points out that a government administrative resolution dating back to 2004 obliges users of cargo transport to grant the Dominican Transport Federation (Fenatrado) 50% of all cargo transport, an irritating privilege that is which is in violation of the Constitution.

The editorialist writes that as a consequence of this unfair trade practice, no merchandise can leave the ports unless 50% of the cargo has been loaded on trucks belonging to Fenatrado members. The same applies to farm produce or other products that are transported to different markets nationwide.

As reported, Fenatrado president Blas Peralta has warned that with the resolution being in effect, despite it being in violation of the Constitution, "we will fight to the death against anyone," a clear sign that it is a measure that will be imposed by force or fear.

The abovementioned resolution that grants such an irritating privilege to Fenatrado increases the cost of transporting goods and affects the competitiveness of Dominican companies that are obliged to contract these services to union members without being able to freely negotiate prices and conditions. "Fear is a sickness," writes the newspaper.


Wesolowski no longer has diplomatic immunity
Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito says that he had asked the Vatican to strip former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic Josef Wesolowski of his diplomatic immunity after he was accused of sexually abusing young boys in Santo Domingo.

Dominguez Brito also left open the possibility of the Dominican government asking for the former nuncio's extradition so that he could stand trial here.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said that Wesolowski was not working as a diplomat for the Holy See any more, and therefore no longer had diplomatic immunity and could stand trial in courts that had jurisdiction in this case


Hunt for prosecutor's murderer
According to authorities, the murderers of the former El Seibo prosecutor, Pedro Rafael Castro Mercedes (Rafelito) stole RD$6,000, a pistol and a cell phone. It is believed the murderers had a close relationship with the victim, and the security guard at the house is also under suspicion since none of the doors had been forced.

Castro Mercedes' body was found by one of his sons in his home in Ensanche Palo Hincado. His family insisted that the highest-level forensic analysis be carried out and so he was taken to Santo Domingo for an autopsy prior to being laid to rest in El Seibo.

Prosecutor Manuel Emilio Montero (Papito) has appointed assistant prosecutor Kenia Romero to investigate the case.


All that rain but still no water for many aqueducts
The National Institute of Drinking Water and Sewers (INAPA) has announced that 46 aqueducts are out of service due to damage caused by the rivers swelling from the rains in the wake of Tropical Storm Cristobal.

Inapa deputy director and Operations Department head Nicolas Almonte said that several aqueducts are out of service due to electrical problems affecting the engines, and others where transformers and electricity poles have fallen down. He said that when the river levels decrease then they could make a full assessment.

Those areas affected are Hato Mayor, San Pedro de Macoris, El Seibo, Monte Plata, San Jose de Ocoa and Azua.

He said that Inapa would contract trucks to deliver water to the areas where there was currently none available.


Flooding alerts
The Emergency Operations Center (COE) has extended its flooding and mudslide alerts to 20 provinces, but the number of people who were forced to leave their homes has now gone down to 1,495 from 369 homes.

The southeastern province of San Pedro de Macoris is on red alert, while the National District and the provinces of Santo Domingo, Duarte (San Francisco de Macoris), Hato Mayor, El Seibo, San Jose de Ocoa and Azua are on yellow alert.

A green alert is in place for Monte Plata, Espaillat (Moca), Sanchez Ramirez (Cotui), La Vega, Puerto Plata, La Romana, Samana, Maria Trinidad Sanchez (Nagua), Santiago, La Altagracia (Higuey), Barahona and Pedernales.

The COE said that three communities were still cut off, and that the alerts may well have to be increased if the rains are heavy today, Tuesday 26 August 2014, in the northwest, north, southwest, border region and the Cibao, which are still being affected by the trail of Tropical Storm Cristobal.


Victor Estrella's debut in US Open
Dominican Republic's best tennis player ever, 34-year old Victor Estrella Burgos is playing in the US Open Tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York. Estrella is the first Dominican ever to make it into the top 100 of the Association of Tennis Professionals. He is ranked 80th in the world.

Estrella is following in the footsteps of Olympian double gold medalist Felix Sanchez and veteran baseball pitcher Bartolo Colon when he makes his debut at the US Open today, Tuesday 26 August 2014 as the oldest person to debut in the highly rated Grand Slam tournament. Estrella plays Dutch player Igor Sijsling (ATP ranked 72nd) in the first round today, Tuesday, 26 August 2014.

Estrella attributes his lengthy experience to his being both a player and coach. He hopes his success in the tournament will motivate more people in his home country to play.

"New York will be a very special tournament for me," he said. "There will be more Dominicans in the stands than there were at Roland Garros or Wimbledon. And I have those two Grand Slams under my belt," as reported in Fox News.

Read more:



Follow the US Open action: http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/schedule/index.html?promo=sitemap

Joshy & su 4 Jazz at Terrazas del Meson
The Galleries & Las Terrazas del Meson presents Joshy & su 4 Jazz this evening, Tuesday 26 August at 9pm. Av. Mirador del Sur, Santo Domingo.

Married during the day at Bellas Artes
The comedy, "Casado de dia, soltero de noche" is being staged at the Palacio de Bellas Artes on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 8:30pm. This is the tale of a jealous rich husband. Tickets: RD$500.

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

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