President Medina opens Radiology Unit|
President Danilo Medina attended the inauguration of a modern radiotherapy and radiosurgery unit in La Romana yesterday, Tuesday 4 November 2014, an investment by the Venezuelan CDD Global group.
CDD Global president Wilson Mourad said that the center would provide quality medical services to help more than 1,000 cancer patients a year in the area. In addition, CDD Global is the only center which offers postgraduate and specialist studies in oncological radiotherapy and image diagnostics.
Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta also attended the event, along with La Romana Senator Amarilis Santana, the director of the Office for Supervising Engineers of State Works, Miguel Pimentel Kareh, National Public Health Service director Ramon Alvarado, CDD Global DR director Helenio Arque, Radiotherapy coordinator Ivo Rodriguez, the unit's medical director Victor Moreno and CDD Radiotherapy manager Jesus Fernandes.
After cutting the symbolic ribbon, President Medina and the investors toured the facility.
President Medina inaugurates more schools in the East|
President Danilo Medina spent yesterday, Tuesday 4 November 2014 in the east of the country, where he attended inauguration ceremonies at nine schools with 110 classrooms that will benefit 3,850 students. All will be teaching the extended school day programs and are located in La Altagracia, La Romana, San Pedro de Macoris and Monte Plata provinces.
He began the day in Nisibon, La Altagracia at the Concepcion Bona primary school, where the main ceremony was held. The other schools that were inaugurated included the El Cuya and Canada Honda primary schools in Higuey and Eusebio Cedano in Santana.
The new primary schools in San Pedro de Macoris are Profesor Juan Bosch in Villa Progreso, Miguel Cho in Batey El Penon in Ramon Santana and one in Batey Cachena.
The Mata Limon School in Monte Plata was also opened.
President Medina then moved on to Batey Higueral in Guaymate, where he opened the Profesora Milagros Nunez high school.
Court annuls DR's affiliation with IAHRC|
The Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic annulled the country's participation in the Inter-American Human Rights Court on Tuesday, 4 November 2014.
This means that none of the cases ruled upon by the IAHRC are valid for application in the Dominican Republic.
The Constitutional Court ruling established that the Dominican Congress never validated the membership in the Inter-American Human Rights Court and thus declared null and void the jurisdiction of the IAHRC over the Dominican Republic.
The announcement came just weeks after the human rights court ruled that the country discriminates against Dominicans of Haitian descent. The Dominican government described the ruling as "unacceptable" and "biased." The recent ruling even ordered the Dominican Republic to restore Dominican citizenship to William Medina after the Central Electoral Board (JCE) proved it had been issued irregularly.
The Inter-American Human Rights Court had given the government six months to invalidate the Constitutional Court ruling on the status of people born in the country to undocumented migrants.
In a 59-page ruling issued on 4 November 2014, the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court said the country had to annul the country's participation in the international court because the Senate never issued a resolution to ratify the February 1999 agreement with the rights court, signed by the President, as required by the Dominican Constitution. Ten judges voted in favor of the ruling, while three judges voted against it.
The court said that the ruling was in response to a complaint submitted by a group of nationalists in the mid-2000s arguing that the agreement with the rights court was unconstitutional.
Wade McMullen, a legal officer for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington, accused most of the judges on the court of playing politics at the expense of the rights of all Dominicans.
"The Constitutional Court's decision is absolutely shameful and shows a complete disregard for the rule of law," he said. "The very same Constitutional Court has repeatedly recognized the binding nature of the Inter-American Court for years, while the case it has conveniently used to invalidate the Inter-American Court's jurisdiction has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust for almost a decade."
The Constitutional Court said it recognized the power of the Dominican State to adhere to any instrument of cooperation, regional integration or protection of fundamental rights, under the constitutional procedures that are in place. The Court said that it would continue to share the principles, rules, values and rights of the Convention of Human Rights.
The Organization of American States (OAS), with which the rights court is affiliated, declined to comment.
Two other OAS members have previously separated from the court's jurisdiction. Venezuela pulled out in 2013, while Trinidad and Tobago did so in 1999 after the court questioned the country's use of the death penalty.
The rights court has issued rulings against the Dominican government in the past, but the country has not fully complied with any of them. These cases include the denial of birth certificates to two girls of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic and what the rights court labeled "indiscriminate deportations" of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent.
Labor Code talks begin again|
Tripartite discussions will take place at the Santo Domingo Technological Institute (Intec) on the reform and modernization of the Labor Code.
The discussions will be headed by Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo who chairs the Special Commission for the Revision and Implementation of the Labor Code, set up by President Danilo Medina.
The commission also includes lawyers Joaquin Luciano, Jose Dario Suarez and Marisol Vicens Bello, and economists Jeffrey Lizardo, Manuel Adriano Jimenez and Jose Manuel Vicente.
Representatives of the employer sector and the heads of the main unions will be taking part in the tripartite discussion. Both parties are still against some aspects of how the code will be changed, as are some senior government employees in their role as mediators.
The business sector argues that the labor code creates around 60% in benefits over the wages paid, which makes hiring difficult for small business and has led to the development of the informal sector.
Dominican universities make the top 300|
The latest University Ranking table by international agency QS has placed four Dominican universities on the list of the top 300 academic establishments across the whole of Latin America.
The universities that made the list are the Ibero-American University (UNIBE), the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) and the Santo Domingo Technological Institute (INTEC).
UNIBE has the highest ranking at 185 and the rest are between 200 and 250. The ranking takes into account the quantity and quality of the teaching, the university's credibility and reputation and the employability of the students once they have graduated.
Fuel prices down but fares stay the same|
Even though fuel prices have reduced by between RD$10 and RD$38 over the past couple of months, public transport operators say they have no plans to lower their fares as diesel and liquid petroleum gas prices are still higher than in 2008, when they reached an agreement with the government not to raise prices but to take a subsidy instead, which they say has never been paid properly.
The Fenatrano and Conatra transport unions leaders, Juan Hubieres and Antonio Marte, said that when diesel was at RD$140 the government promised to give them a subsidy if they did not raise their fares. However, that only covered 8 to 14 days of work a month.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the price of premium gasoline has gone down by RD$38.5 and regular by RD$35.8 since June, while diesel has gone down by RD$2.5 and LPG by RD$10.3.
The Director General of the Ground Transport Office (OTTT), Hector Mojica, is calling on the transport unions to sit down and discuss ways of lowering fares and has appointed a committee to coordinate the dialogue.
Licey strike affects businesses and schools|
A strike underway in Licey al Medio and dozens of other areas north west of Moca is now entering its second day with 80% of businesses and schools closed and almost no transport running.
The strike was called by the Committee for the Fight for Licey, which is asking for sewage construction and road repairs.
Other areas affected include Canca la Reyna, Borojol, Monte de la Jagua, El Peru, La Chiva, and other parts of the Moca area.
Roads to the Cibao International airport are blocked and the strike spokesman, Abel Rodriguez, says that the protest will continue until the authorities respond to their demands.
Dominican extradited to Spain|
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) has announced that a Dominican man has been extradited to Spain in order to complete a three-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.
After the Supreme Court of Justice confirmed his extradition, Tonys Milagros Cuesta Feliz, 51, was taken to Las Americas International Airport by members of the DNCD and then sent back to Spain in the custody of Spanish Interpol.
Frank Soto to hear Felix Bautista case|
Supreme Court Judge Frank Soto declared yesterday, Tuesday 4 November 2014 that he is able to hear a petition from Senator Felix Bautista, who has appealed for the return of confiscated properties in the name of his Rofi real estate company.
He took his decision after rejecting a request by Pelagio Alcantara, deputy director of the Unit for the Pursuit of Administrative Corruption, and assistant prosecutor Carlos Castillo.
The Convergencia Nacional de Abogados, a lawyer advocacy group, challenged Soto's impartiality for hearing the case on the grounds that he is a member of the influential Central Committee of the ruling PLD party of which senator Bautista is the organizational secretary.
The judge also ordered the lawyers for the National Lawyers' Council (CONA), the Dominican Alliance against Corruption (Adocco) and the Citizens' Movement against Corruption (C-3) to get down from the witness stand as they were not part of the process.
Remberto Pichardo of C3 and Yuniol Ramirez of CONA opposed his decision.
Read more about the corruption accusations against the San Juan de la Maguana senator.
See the complete case against Bautista in Spanish: http://acento.com.do/2014/actualidad/8189036-lea-completo-expediente-contra-felix-bautista-por-corrupcion-y-lavado/
And still it rains|
The heavy rains that have been falling since Saturday, 1 November 2014 have cut off several communities, flooded homes, hospitals and stores, and damaged crops. The flooding of the Yaque del Norte and Los Almacigos rivers cut off the communities of Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Ranchadero, Castanuelas, Loma de Castanuela, Palo Verde, El Ahogado, Guayubin, Batey Higuero, Hualterio, Villa Los Almacigos, El Pino, Partido and Los Perez de Gurabo, in the provinces of Montecristi, Santiago Rodriguez, Dajabon and Santiago.
The rains caused a mudslide on the Navarrete n Altamira road, next to the tunnel, in La Canela de Santiago and the tourist road from Santiago to Puerto Plata.
There are also reports of flooding in several areas of Santiago including Hoya del Caimito, 27 de Febrero, Hato del Yaque, San Antonio and Rinconada.
The Emergency Operations Center (COE) reports that 259 homes in the Cibao region have been affected by the rain, with 77 people evacuated. However, people on the ground are saying that more than 1,000 homes are flooded.
The Villa Vasquez and Montellano hospitals are flooded, as well as the parking lot at the Jose Maria Cabral and Baez regional hospital in Santiago.
The communities of Sabaneta de Yasica and Luperon in Puerto Plata province are now flooded and the COE says it will be increasing the alert level to red for several provinces across the country. COE director Juan Manuel Mendez says that President Danilo Medina instructed him to go to Sabaneta de Yasica and Luperon to provide all the help that is needed there. Official shelters for residents who have been displaced from their homes by floods and mudslides have been opened in Montecristi.
However, there is still more rain to come. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) a large area of disturbed weather extending northward from the northeastern Caribbean Sea has a 20% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. They say that a surface low-pressure system could form in this area later today or tomorrow, and it could briefly acquire subtropical characteristics while moving northwestward.
Heavy rainfall with a chance of floods is likely to continue across parts of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic through Wednesday night, 5 November 2014 regardless of the formation of the low-pressure system, says the NHC.
Aumi Guerra at the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup|
Aumi Guerra, the Dominican Republic's leading bowling player, placed 17th in the first round to move to the intermediate in the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup taking place in Wroclaw, Poland. 82 men and 70 women from 85 countries are playing in the second round of qualifying.
The 24 players will now bowl additional eight games to cut to the top eight who will bowl a further eight match play games to cut to the top three for the stepladder finals.
The 2014 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup was officially declared open on 3 November 2014 in the atrium of Sky Tower, the highest building in Poland and home of 24-lane Sky bowling center, in Wroclaw, Poland. The 50th edition of the prestigious event, which runs until 9 November is the biggest event in the sport of tenpin bowling in terms of the number of participating countries. Two players per country, one man and one woman, are eligible to participate.
Alberto Cortez to perform in Santiago|
Famous Argentinean singer-songwriter Alberto Cortez is booked for a concert, "Como el primer dia" at the Gran Teatro del Cibao in Santiago. The performance will take place on Saturday, 22 November 2014 at 8:30pm. He is best known for his hits that include "Golondrina," "El vagabundo," No soy de aqui, ni soy de alla", "Mi arbol y yo," and "Cuando un amigo se va".
Familia Andre and Bossa Pop shows|
Pachy Carrasco and Fernando Echavarria will be onstage together to play their romantic songs, jazz and fusion music at the Hard Rock Cafe Santo Domingo tomorrow evening, Thursday, 6 November 2014 at 9pm. The show will be repeated on 12 December at the Gran Teatro del Cibao. A video will be produced featuring a blend of music by Familia Andre (Fernando Echavarria) and Pachy Carrasco's Bossa Pop.
Pavel Nunez at Silver Sun Gallery|
Pavel Nunez is performing tomorrow, Thursday, 6 November at the show room of the Silver Sun Gallery. The concert, Pavel Nunez Acustico includes the contemporary Dominican singer's greatest hits. Tickets are RD$2,500 and include open bar. For more information, call Tel 809 685-0001.
Silver Sun Gallery is located on Av. Tiradentes in Santo Domingo.
For more on upcoming events, see http://dr1.com/calendar
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