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Daily News - Tuesday, 09 September 2014

Taiwanese companies want to invest
President Danilo Medina hosted a Taiwanese business delegation representing companies interested in investing in the DR at the Presidential Palace yesterday, Monday 8 September 2014.

The Dominican ambassador in Taiwan, Rafaela Alburquerque accompanied the mission. She said that the visiting business owners were interested in setting up operations in Dominican free trade zones. National Free Zones Council director Luisa Fernandez and Administrative Minister for the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta also attended the meeting with President Medina.

Members of the Taiwanese delegation included mission advisors Felipe Lin and Nicholas Hung, Nan-Pin Yang, president of Astro Corp, an Internet games development industry, Min-Loon Hsiao, sales executive of Astro Corp, Wei-RenChen, director general of GuanHuaSoftGarning LTD, rubber recycling industry, Ting-Lin, general manager of GuanHuaSoft, Yin-Chih Lo, general manager of Bao-Ya International, and Yun-Shan Chang, general manager of Innovation Spring Tech Inc, an electronic LED light bulb company.


Antigua's tourism and economy minister visits
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Minister Asot Michael met with Acting Minister of Foreign Relations Jose Manuel Trullols on Monday, 8 September 2014 in Santo Domingo and discussed mutual interest in developing strong bilateral relations.

Also attending the meeting was Foreign Relations Deputy Minister Cesar Dargam and Ambassador Ivan Ogando, the Dominican Republic Consul General in Antigua and Barbuda Adriano Herrera and Antonio Vargas, National Authorizing Officer for the European Development Funds. They discussed a series of projects including security, agriculture, tourism, sports and education.

Michael was in the Dominican Republic to attend last week's Invest DR forum that took place in Santo Domingo.

Vargas expressed an interest in setting up a European Union-funded development program that will benefit both countries, and they discussed the creation of joint initiatives for promoting regional integration as a way of attracting more investment and supporting development in the Caribbean.

During his visit to the Dominican Republic, Michael also met with Regional Integration Minister Miguel Mejia to discuss a range of projects in development and the Dominican Republic's relations with CARICOM. Mejia invited Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne to visit the Dominican Republic.

Chicken prices expected to go down again
The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Jose del Castillo Savinon says that poultry producers have told him that the rise in the price per pound of chicken to RD$65 in some places had resulted from a temporary shortage after the summer heat caused the death of many chickens.

As reported in Diario Libre, the retail price could drop to RD$45 to RD$48 a pound again as the rains have allowed production to increase. The poultry farmers say that the wholesale price will return to between RD$31 and RD$31.50.

Industry and Commerce Minister became the talk of the town after when originally asked about the high price of chicken he commented that people should switch to eat tayotas (chayotes), sardines, pork and other foods. Chicken is the most popular Dominican meat.


Caribbean data backup located at Cyberpark
The Caribbean NAP has been operational in the Province of Santo Domingo for the past six years and serves a key strategic purpose, reports Diario Libre. The Caribbean Network Access Point is a connectivity center that serves as a linking point for telecommunications circuits and stores large volumes of data. It is able to distribute them securely and effectively, providing better digital information management as well as optimal connectivity, and serves mainly as a strategic back up for large companies and government.

Locally, it serves major companies, providing data backup for clients that include the Grupo Popular, Progreso and Promerica banks.

Maria Alvarez of NAP told Diario Libre that they 50% of their clients are international, mainly from the Caribbean, Europe, and US and Canada. The Dominican government is a client and they store data from the Treasury, Social Security and the National Police.

The center is connected with the world by the Columbus Americas Region Caribbean Optical-ring System (ARCOS), a US$450 million undersea broadband fiber-optic cable network. The network is 8,600 km in length and connects the United States with Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

The NAP, located at the Santo Domingo Cyber Park, is one of several in Latin America and the Caribbean. The others are in Bogota, Colombia and Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Former site of US consulate up for sale
With an asking price of US$4 million, the US government is selling the corner location at Maximo Gomez and Cesar Nicolas Penson avenues in Santo Domingo, Listin Diario reported.

As reported, the US government is also selling the buildings where other government offices like USAID were located, prior to the move to the centralized office building on Av. Republica de Colombia in northern Santo Domingo. Nevertheless, the US Embassy residence is staying in its existing location, next door to the Central Bank on Pedro Henriquez Urena Avenue.

Signs direct potential buyers to Remax Metropolitana and realtor Raisa Jiminian.

Listin Diario says the asking price for the USAID offices is US$1.5 million, and the property next door to the US Embassy residence is on the market for US$5,950,000.


Rizik claims irregularities in his arrest on drug charges
The lawyer representing accused drug dealer Winston Rizik Rodriguez (El Gallero) says that the Public Prosecution service is being both "abusive and irrational" by asking for his client to be remanded in custody. Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito has described Rizik as "the country's most dangerous drug dealer."

Lawyer Pedro Duarte Canaan said that his client should be allowed out on bail as he is not a flight risk and there is only a slight suspicion that he is linked to drug dealing.

The US government had earlier requested Rizik's extradition for drug dealing, but the Supreme Court of Justice turned down the order.

The authorities allegedly found ten kilos of cocaine, two rifles and a shotgun amongst other evidence when they raided one of his properties in Monte Plata.

Duarte Canaan says that the drugs were planted and the weapons were not Rizik's. He said that he would explain other violations of the process in court, but said that no representatives of the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) were present and they are in charge of drug cases, and that the prosecutor, German Miranda Villalona was in the house for four hours.

The Public Prosecution service is basing their request for remand in jail on the gravity of the offences Rizik is alleged to have committed.


More illegal boat trips intercepted
The Dominican Armada (Navy) has announced the arrest of ten people trying to leave the country illegally and confiscated four boats.

One boat was discovered near the Cofresi cave in Boca de Yuma River in La Altagracia province, and two people were arrested.

Two more were arrested in the port in San Pedro de Macoris trying to stow away on a boat bound for Curacao.

The Armada also announced that a known illegal trip organizer, Jesus De Leon Berroa, alias "Kenny" had been sentenced to three months on remand and he was believed to be behind a recent illegal trip that was intercepted, together with Julio Alexis Pena Abreu, alias Lilo.


Marcos Martinez libel case to be heard tomorrow
Santiago judge Ingrid Beato has set the date for deciding whether the case against lawyer and television commentator Marcos Martinez will be heard for tomorrow, Wednesday 10 September 2014. Martinez was sued by Vice President Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez who is accusing the journalist of libel and forgery of documents purporting to show that she had millions of euros in a Danish bank account.

At the hearing yesterday, Monday 8 September, Martinez's defense asked for the hearing to be adjourned because Cedeno de Fernandez was not present, but the request was denied, on the grounds that according to the law she could be represented by her lawyers.

In March this year, Martinez was granted bail of RD$800,000 with periodic appearances before the authorities and a ban on leaving the country.

Vice President Margarita Cedeno has presented documents to prove she did not have the alleged bank account with EUR43 million, and has demanded a retraction from Martinez who has stood by his statements. She accuses Martinez of presenting forged documents as proof of the account.

Martinez made the statements in his TV Program Diario 55 on Super TV 55 when the First Lady was campaigning for the Vice Presidency. Reportedly, Cedeno presented a certificate from the bank stating that she never had an account there.



Judge turns down trying Wesolowski here for pedophilia
It appears that 66-year old former papal nuncio Josef Wesolowski may not be tried in the Dominican Republic. Judge Roman Berroa Hiciano said that the Dominican Republic is ruled by the Vienna Convention that states that diplomats can only be tried in the state that they represent. Wesolowski could still win an appeal against the Vatican court order that recently defrocked him and removed his diplomatic immunity.

The Judge announced his decision to National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso who was seeking Wesolowski's extradition to stand trial in the Dominican Republic on charges of sexually abusing minors.

Although Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito has been cooperating with the Vatican and Polish judicial authorities by supplying evidence that Wesolowski sexually abused underage Dominican boys, he also has expressed his opinion that the former diplomat for the Vatican in the Dominican Republic should be tried abroad.



Constitutional Tribunal rules in favor of property owners
The Constitutional Tribunal set a precedent in favor of property owners in the Dominican Republic when it overruled a presidential decree article that had prohibited the eviction of a tenant. The case for violation of constitutional right to property had been presented by Clinica Dominicana (Clinica Abreu).

The higher court ruled that what the present times require is the implementation of reverse policies, so that the right to property ownership is strengthened so as to promote the investment of capitals in housing that can later be rented or sold.

The court upheld an earlier decision of the Supreme Court of Justice but expanded its scope and stated: "This tribunal considers, the same as the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of justice, that the restrictions to the right to property that derive from the application of Art. 3 of Decree 4807, while they were justifiable in the late 1950s and the following years, are no longer justifiable."

The higher court stated that Art. 3 of the Decree 4807 that prohibits the eviction of the tenant from a property due to the persecution by the owner, unless the rescinding of the contract has been ordered for lack of payment of rent, or for using the rented property for a different purpose than that for which it was rented, when this is in detriment to the owner or contrary to public order or good customs, or due to the tenant subleasing totaling or partially the rented property despite this being prohibited in writing, or for changing the form of the rented property. The decree had ordered that the ruling that orders the eviction of the tenant could not be executed until 15 days after notified.


Gallup poll: Medina government is less corrupt
The latest Gallup-Hoy poll says 55% of Dominicans feel there is less administrative corruption in the Danilo Medina administration compared to the previous Leonel Fernandez administration. Both represent the same political party, the PLD.

For the poll, 1,200 eligible voters were interviewed between 29 August and 2 September 2014. The margin of error is 2.8%.


Yaqui Nunez del Risco dies at 75
TV presenter Yaqui Nunez del Risco passed away yesterday afternoon, Monday, 8 September 2014, after several days in hospital at the Centro de Diagnostico, Medicina Avanzada and Telemedicina (Cedimat).

His brother said that he died at 3:24 in the afternoon. He had been in poor health for the last few years, and suffered a stroke in December 2008.

Yaqui Nunez del Risco was born in Santiago on 4 May 1939 and was best known for being one of the main Dominican TV presenters and master of ceremonies.

He started his career in San Francisco de Macoris as a sports journalist for the La Nacion newspaper and then moved to Santo Domingo to work with Rafael Solano on Radio Television Dominican.

He produced the popular TV shows "El Show del Mediodia" at noontime, "Nosotros a las ocho" with the late Freddy Beras Goico for many years. Other programs he produced for TV were "Otra vez con Yaqui," "De noche", "Diario vivir", "El tiempo pasa", "Comida y comidilla", "Global y local", "Chiqui show", "La alegria del pais", "La vida es una feria", "En hora buena con Yaqui" and "Buen provecho".

Del Risco was regarded as a teacher of many of the new generations in TV and his productions served as a training ground for many of today's successful TV hosts and producers.

He also leaves a legacy of the songs he wrote for many singers, including "Companera" (Fernando Villalona), "No es lo mismo ni es igual" (Dioni Fernandez), and "Pensandolo bien" (Rafael Solano).

He was married three times, to Violeta Yanguela, Sonia Silvestre and Susana Silfa. He had seven children.

He was also a radio producer, his last show being "Aqui Yaqui" together with his wife Susana Silfa. He retired in 2008 after suffering the stroke in December.




Basketball heroes return home
Members of the Dominican men's basketball team returned home last night, Monday 8 September 2014 after representing the country at the FIBA World Championship in Spain. The DR finished 13th of 24 countries and for the first time was part of the second round of 16.

A large crowd greeted the players at Las Americas International Airport, expressing pride for the team's achievement of making it past the opening round for the first time.

Star player Francisco Garcia thanked the Dominican people for their support on behalf of himself and the rest of the team. He has announced this was the last time he would be playing for the Dominican Republic and spoke highly of the new generation of Dominican basketball players

The other players who arrived last night were Jack Martinez, Juan Coronado, Manuel Fortuna, Eloy Vargas, Victor Liz and Edward Santana, as well as assistant coach, Jose "Maita" Mercedes. Team members James Feldeine, Ronald Ramon, Orlando Sanchez and Edgar Sosa flew directly to New York and Eulis Baez stayed in Spain.


Green alert due to rains
The Emergency Operations Center (COE) says that it has increased the alert to green for the provinces of Sanchez Ramirez (Cotui), Duarte (San Francisco de Macoris) especially Bajo Yuna, Hato Mayor, Greater Santo Domingo (including the National District), Monte Plata, La Vega, Monsenor Noel (Bonao), San Pedro de Macoris and Barahona.

The COE warns that water levels may increase in rivers and streams, and that flooding and mudslides could affect populated areas.

The public is advised to listen to the weather forecasts from the National Meteorological Office, ONAMET and the COE due to the heavy rains across the country.


National Symphony Orchestra concert
The National Theater presents the second concert by the National Symphony Orchestra this Wednesday, 10 September 2014 at 8:30pm at the main hall of the theater.

Gerardo Estrada is the guest conductor, and pianist Alfredo Ovalles is the guest musician.

The works to be played are:

Festive Overture, in A Major, Op. 96 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Listen to the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gDZTah8J2A

The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 for solo piano and symphony orchestra by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Listen to the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHyCClQ9S3M

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36. Listen to the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1_xO3TrBDI

The concerts are part of the National Symphony Orchestra's fall season with six concerts in September, October and November 2014.

Tickets are for sale at the National Theater box office (Tel 809 687-0504) or can be purchased by calling the National Symphony Orchestra foundation at Tel 809 532-6600 or writing to [email protected]

Ticket prices range from RD$1,000 to RD$200.

Tel: 809-687-0504 ext. 2213-2215

Urbanova at Terrazas del Meson
Drop by the Terrazas del Meson de la Cava on Santo Domingo's Mirador Sur Avenue for an evening of good jazz under the stars. Contemporary Dominican jazz group Urbanova will be playing a free concert this evening, Tuesday, 9 September 2014, starting around 8:30pm. Tel. 809 930-1840

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

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