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Daily News - Friday, 03 October 2014

PLD Political Committee to discuss re-election
Public Administration Minister Ramon Ventura Camejo has announced plans to propose a discussion on presenting a bill for changing the Constitution to the US political model, which allows for one-time consecutive presidential re-election. The announcement comes after polls have shown that President Danilo Medina enjoys a popularity rating of more than 80%.

The Dominican Constitution has been modified three times in the past 20 years to change the re-election rules.

The 1994 Constitution, passed during the Joaquin Balaguer administration, reinstated a ban on presidential re-election.

The 2002 Constitution, passed during the mandate of President Hipolito Mejia, instated a one-time consecutive re-election, but at the same time banned a President who opted for re-election from being elected President or Vice President again. President Mejia ran for re-election in 2004, but lost to Leonel Fernandez who returned to power for two consecutive terms.

The 2010 Constitution, passed during the Leonel Fernandez administration, allowed for unlimited non-consecutive re-election.

The 2010 Constitution reinstated re-election but restricted it to non-consecutive. This enabled both former presidents, Hipolito Mejia and Leonel Fernandez, to run in the 2012 presidential election.

Privatizing meals for prisoners
The Attorney General Office (PGR) says that a tender was held in January and 12 companies were chosen to supply meals to the around 26,000 inmates in jails nationwide, as reported in Hoy. Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said the switch from the Comedores Economicos supplying the meals took place when the government racked up a debt of RD$1 billion to the government department that led to supplies being suspended. To resolve the problem, the Attorney General issued a tender to outsource the meals to private companies. He said that the government has increased the Attorney General Office's budget to cover the meal plans. Dominguez Brito added that the private suppliers have resulted in lower costs and more efficient deliveries.

Diario Libre, nevertheless, reports that the PGR signed contracts with eight companies for RD$280 million for the year.



Qatar and Santo Domingo trade cooperation agreement
The Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Qatar signed an agreement to work jointly to develop business and trade yesterday, Thursday 2 October 2014. The agreement was signed by Khamis Al-Sahouti, ambassador for Qatar in Santo Domingo and Pedro Perez Gonzalez, president of the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce. The agreement had the support of the Dominican ambassador in Qatar, Hugo Guilliani Cury.


Baby whale and mom helped in Puerto Plata
A female whale and her calf got caught in low tide in Cofresi Beach in Puerto Plata and had to be rescued by a Ministry of Environment brigade and experts from the Ocean World Marine Park. Expert divers released the 4.5 meter-long mother and her 2.5-meter calf back to sea on Wednesday 1 October 2014.


150 tour operators come for Discover Puerto Plata
Destination Puerto Plata hosted Discover Puerto Plata Marketplace 2014 from Wednesday, 1 October through Friday, 3 October. The event showcased the best and new of Puerto Plata for visiting buyers and the press. Around 150 tour operators from 16 countries took part.

This year's trade show was held at the Costa Dorada Iberostar, with welcoming words by Maximo Iglesias, president of the Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Consortium. The event is now in its third year.

Puerto Plata is sprucing up its attractions in order to prepare for the arrival of thousands of cruise passengers once the Carnival port opens in November 2015.


Police arrests gang accused of stealing RD$20 million in La Vega
Three men and two women from Santo Domingo were arrested after being accused of a robbery at the Agencia de Cambio Leonel, an exchange house in La Vega owned by Leonel Antonio Fernandez Almonte. The RD$20 million heist occurred on Monday, 29 September 2014. The police arrested Javier Tomas Acosta (Jonathan), Jose Ramon Jimenez Guerrero, Joaquin Escarraman, Anny Jazmin Roa German and Miguelina Martinez.

The Police recovered RD$4.6 million after arresting the accused on Km. 18 of Las Americas Expressway. The five had visas to travel to France.


Dominicans win 7th straight game in FIVB World Championship
The Dominican women's volleyball team has won its seventh straight game in the FIVB World Championship. Yesterday, Thursday 2 October 2014 the DR defeated Azerbaijan 3-1 (23-25, 25-11, 25-21, 25-17) in Bari, Italy.

This is the same team that finished 17th with a 1-4 win loss record in the previous world championship held in Japan four years ago.

FIVB is now calling the Dominican women's team "the Queens of the Caribbean" as they have posted an extraordinary record of 7-0 in Italy as the team gets close to making the top six that will play the final round for the first time.

"Just to be here is amazing! To go to the second round, it's extraordinary. To be unbeaten, it's awesome!" said Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, FIVB's First Executive Vice President. "I am very happy for my country, a very small country."

Marte Hoffiz attributed the Dominican Republic's strong performance to years of hard work.



Presidente Festival opens in Santo Domingo
With an estimated budget of RD$1.1 billion, the Festival de Musica Presidente opens at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium this weekend. The stadium has a capacity for around 50,000 people per night.

The event, which has been sponsored by the Presidente beer brewery since 1997 is now in its eighth version.

As of 4pm on Friday, 3 October 2014, the three-day Music Festival features around 20 leading national and international artists from a wide range of popular music genres.

On Friday, 3 October: DJ Tiesto, Calle 13, Duck Sauce, Don Miguelo, Vakero and Mozart La Para.

On Saturday, 4 October: Bruno Mars, Daddy Yankee, Prince Royce, Chiquito Team Band, Alex Matos, Yiyo Sarante, Hector Acosta and Miriam Cruz.

On Sunday, 5 October: Mana, Wisin y Yandel, Anthony Santos, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Victor Manuelle.



Cuban Contemporary Ballet to perform in benefit
The Grupo de Ballet Contemporaneo from Camaguey, Cuba will take the stage at the auditorium of the Dominican Sport Hall of Fame in the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center in Santo Domingo. The Cuban dancers will dance in a benefit organized by the Igneri Art/Archeology Foundation and the Dominican Association for Hospital and Health Volunteers (ADOVOHS). The performance will take place on Wednesday, 15 October at 8:30pm. "Vivir, Vivir" recreates the history of the dance company where their joie-de-vivre is expressed through the lively rhythms of cha-cha-cha, mambo, tango, merengue and even disco music.

The 18 Cuban dancers from Camaguey will also perform several of their best choreographies over the years. Tickets cost RD$1,500-RD$800 and RD$200 and can be purchased at the offices of ADOVOHS at http://www.adovohs.com


Fair for the elderly at the Botanical Gardens
The Santo Domingo Botanical Gardens is the setting for an event to honor seniors in the Dominican Republic this Sunday, 5 October 2014. The Community Foundation for Action for Health and Social Security has organized the space for the over-65s to learn about services and products to help them improve their quality of life. Free consultations by doctors and dentists will also be on offer on the day. According to estimates, the DR has a senior population of more than 500,000 people.


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

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