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Daily News - Thursday, 18 September 2014

Medina to UN and Italy this month
President Danilo Medina will address the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations (held from 24-30 September 2014) in New York on Wednesday 24 September 2014. The theme of the 69th Assembly General Debate (from 24-30 September 2014) is "Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda". This will be the second time that Medina speaks at the UN General Assembly. His first time was on 25 September 2012, just one month after taking office.

Next he will travel to Rome to take part on Monday, 29 September in the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Committee on Agriculture 24th Session in Rome (29 September - 3 October 2014).

At a press conference held yesterday, Wednesday 17 September 2014, Presidency Communications Director Roberto Rodriguez Marchena said that during his talk at the FAO, President Medina will describe his program of surprise visits that he has carried out since the start of his administration to support small farm operations nationwide.

Medina's surprise visits in support of small and medium businesses in the farming sector have generated interest among other presidents who plan to replicate this experience in their own countries.

Renee Klang de Guzman passes away
Santiago and the nation has lost a great lady. Former First Lady, Renee Klang de Guzman, passed away yesterday, Wednesday 17 September 2014, at the age of 98, after suffering an embolism in her right leg that led to a kidney complication. Her death came at 5:05pm at the Metropolitan Hospital (HOMS) in Santiago, according to Dr. Manuel Lora Perello, her doctor for many years. Dona Renee, as she was known, was the widow of former President Silvestre Antonio Guzman (1978-1982).

She was the country's First Lady from 1978-1982, after the role remained unfilled throughout the 30-year long government of former President Joaquin Balaguer who never married.

She was regarded as an example for many who sought strength in her quiet demeanor and iron-willed defense of poor people and children. She was the founder of the institution known as CONANI (the National Council for Children) that continues to oversee everything from adoptions to children's homes to this day.

Dona Renee survived the tragic death of her husband, former President Antonio Guzman, shortly before the end of his term of office on 3 July 1982. She also suffered the tragedy of the death of their 26-year old son Ivan Guzman in an automobile accident in 1970. She is survived by her daughter Sonia Guzman.



Public Health refurbishes Robert Reid Cabral Hospital
The Ministry of Public Health has begun the refurbishment of the outpatient building of the Robert Reid Cabral Children's Hospital in Santo Domingo, and has issued a tender for the construction of a new building. Minister of Public Health, Freddy Antonio Hidalgo made the announcement during an evaluation of the Improvement Plan that has been underway at the hospital for several months. According to El Caribe the remodeling program consists of repairing leaks, painting, replacing furnishings, lighting and an overall cleanup. Hidalgo said that in order to improve the quality of the care given to patients, the Ministry will continue delivering new medical equipment and repairing and maintaining other equipment. He mentioned that high-tech equipment has been delivered to the hospital over the last two months.

Connecting Punta Cana with Sabana de la Mar
Minister of Public Works and Communications Gonzalo Castillo has attended a ceremony to mark the opening of travel on a 43-km stretch of the highway between Uvero Alto and Miches. Castillo said that this highway would stimulate the economic development of tourism in the region and benefit residents in 12 communities along the roadway. He added that the highway, which cost US$265.3 million will be completed at the end of November, or beginning of December 2014 when it will officially be inaugurated by President Danilo Medina.

An additional stretch of road between Miches and Sabana de la Mar, some 40 km in length, is due for completion by mid-2015. Tourists can take a ferryboat from Sabana de la Mar to Samana.

Valdez: More growth and less fiscal deficit by end of 2014
The Governor of the Central Bank Hector Valdez Albizu forecasts that by the end of the year the country will post a GDP growth three to four times greater than the rate that international organizations are projecting for Latin America. He said by year's end, the fiscal deficit would be very low and that the economy was showing positive indicators and stability in its indicators.

He commented that paying low wages is the reason why the benefits of economic growth are not better distributed among the population. He said that a bank teller with a university degree could earn less per month than many a street fruit vendor in the informal sector. He called for better wages that would increase consumption, improve demand, investment and the GDP. He said that so far wages were adjusted according to inflation levels while this does not improve people's purchasing power.

Valdez was speaking yesterday, Wednesday 17 September 2014, during the opening of the 4th International Workshop on Digital Communication organized by the Central Bank.


Yosarah Fernandez replaces Ovalles in Presidency press team
The Presidency has appointed Yosarah Fernandez to replace Rafael Ovalles as deputy director at the Communications Office of the Presidency (Dicom), the press arm of the Medina administration. Ovalles appointed as director of INFOTEP earlier this week. The announcement was made by Dicom director Roberto Rodriguez Marchena yesterday, Wednesday 17 September 2014.


Police open Villa Altagracia-Bonao "safe highway corridor"
The National Police will provide security services on the Duarte Highway between Villa Altagracia and Bonao to prevent robberies, especially during the night. Police chief Major General Manuel Castro Castillo told El Caribe reporters that they also plan to open another safety corridor that will cover the stretch of road between Bonao and La Vega, and later on between La Vega and Santiago. He also said that police and Metropolitan Transport Authority agents are also equipped to assist travelers who experience mechanical problems on the way. Castro Castillo was speaking to reporters at the inauguration of a new police station at the Mogote sector of Villa Altagracia yesterday, Wednesday 17 September 2014.

Parties defend JCE and PLD reacts
After the Social Christian Reformist (PRSC) and the National Progressive Force (FNP) parties came out in defense of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) yesterday Wednesday 17 September 2014, government authorities responded by saying that they do not think that the JCE is being harassed by the Presidential Palace. They were reacting to statements by JCE president Roberto Rosario Marquez, who claimed that there was a smear campaign against the JCE, and that through the Controller of the Republic, Rafael Germosen Andujar, there is an attempt to monitor the extraordinary use of government funds. Rosario says that only the Chamber of Accounts can audit their accounts.

In the meantime, the presidents of the two minority parties, Federico Antun Batlle (PRSC) and Marino Vinicio Castillo (FNP) were in agreement, stating that the JCE should be covered with complete confidence, given the fact that it has earned the confidence of the people by managing itself correctly.

Four foreign sex promoters told to leave
Two Germans, one US citizen and one Italian resident in the DR have been deported at the request of Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito as part of his campaign to reduce promotion abroad of the Dominican Republic as a sex tourism destination. Migration revoked their residency permits after the foreigners were accused of promoting prostitution in the establishments they own in the municipality of Sosua, Puerto Plata. The foreigners were deported to their home countries for alleged involvement in sexual exploitation as well as promoting sex tourism. They are Germans Erwin Seitel (Caribbean Men's Paradise) and Peter Jensen (Passions Bar), US citizen Robert Anechiarico (Rumba Bar) and Italian Armando Casciati (Club Merengue and others).



Air France pilots' strike leaves passengers stranded
Hundreds of Air France passengers were forced to use other airlines as a result of a pilot strike that began on Monday, 15 September 2014. Many passengers in this situation have opted to make connections through Air Europa and Iberia, as well as on flights to France via New York City. Nevertheless, some passengers were stranded at the terminal because they could not afford to pay for other flights back to Paris.

As long as the Air France pilots maintain the work stoppage, passengers who have bought tickets on this airline will have to wait, or buy tickets on other airlines. If no agreement can be reached between the airline company executives and the Pilots' Union leadership, the protest action will continue until the 22nd of this month.

Unions representing cabin crew as well as pilots are demanding improved living conditions, including salary increases, saying that they have to face higher expenses on their international flights.

Small business event in Santo Domingo
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is hosting a Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises event from 26-30 November at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel exhibitions area. Small business support programs will be available, as well as bank promotions and university courses. Consulting firms and entities that back entrepreneurship will be taking part. The event is being organized by the office for the promotion of small business at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce under Deputy Minister Ignacio Mendez.


Expo Cibao open in Santiago
The largest products and services exhibition held annually in Santiago opened yesterday, Wednesday 17 September 2014 on the grounds of the Gran Teatro Regional del Cibao. First Lady Candida Montilla de Medina was there for the opening ceremony for the event, which is now in its 27th year. During the opening, Santiago Chamber of Commerce and Production president Maria Victoria Menicucci shared highlights of the 100 years of the entity. She called for a more competitive country, with improved quality of life, and increased government investment in Santiago. She called on the government to build a cargo port on the north coast to facilitate exports.

1 Million Meter-Marathon at Body Shop pool
Monsignor Victor Masalles of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo is inviting swimmers to take part in the annual swimathon on Saturday, 11-12 October 2014 at the Body Shop in Naco (Av. Fantino Falco) in Santo Domingo. Swimmers raising funds for the causes supported by the Monsignor should register at the club by 30 September 2014. The goal is to swim one million meters in the shortest time possible. Elianne Disla will have a lane to herself in her attempt to set a new long distance pool record for a woman. The swims will be around the clock. Masalles is a former Dominican national swimming team member. The event is also sponsored by Televida, the Catholic Church TV channel in the Dominican Republic.


Marco Antonio Solis and Ana Gabriel
Mexican stars Marco Antonio Solis and Ana Gabriel will be together in concert at the Filmore Hall of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana on 29 November 2014. Ana Gabriel is best known for her songs like "El cigarillo," "Tu lo decidiste," "Quien como tu" and "Cosas del amor". Marco Antonio Solis is famous for his greatest hits, including "Y ahora te vas," "A donde estara mi primavera" and "Si no te hubieras ido." Tickets are available at La Sirena, ticketexpress.com.do and tuboleta.com.do


Oscar de la Renta: 50 Years at Bellas Artes
Do not miss the exhibition on Oscar de la Renta and his influence and impact on fashion and design over the past 50 years. Opening Thursday, 18 September 2014 through 15 November 2014 at the National Gallery of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo.

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

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