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Daily News - Friday, 28 November 2014

Oliver Stone visits President Medina
American filmmaker Oliver Stone visited President Danilo Medina at the Presidential Palace on Thursday, 27 November 2014. He called President Medina "extremely progressive" and had praise for the Dominican film incentives law implemented by DGCine. As reported, he told the President he could produce a local film if there was a good story to tell. He praised ongoing government educational initiatives including the possible opening of a film school in the DR.

Stone has won several Academy Award Oscars and is most famous for directing films including Platoon, JFK and Midnight Express among others.

During the visit to see the President, he was accompanied by his wife Sun-jung Jung, Culture Minister Jose Antonio Rodriguez and movie director Hector Valdez.

Stone is in the Dominican Republic for a conference at the Central Bank auditorium on film-making. The presentation is intended to boost the emerging cinematography industry in the Dominican Republic, say its promoters the Bou Group. Tickets are for sale at the Jumbo, Nacional superstores.


DR does well in Social Institutions and Gender Index
The Dominican Republic is listed in the highest ranked group of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI). The DR is ranked 14th of 108 countries analyzed in the 2014 Index.

The index is a cross-country measure of discrimination against women in social institutions (formal and informal laws, social norms and practices).

The SIGI Index seeks to raise awareness to reduce discrimination that intersects across all stages of girls' and women's life, restricting their access to justice, rights and empowerment opportunities.

The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI's variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.

Low-level discrimination countries are characterized by robust legal frameworks and measures that provide equal rights in the family code and in access to resources and assets and that promote women's civil liberties. In most of these countries, women and men have equal parental and inheritance rights, and early marriage is not a common practice. Women do not face restrictions on their access to public space or their participation in politics. Neither missing women nor female genital mutilation is a concern. However, the countries lack laws to protect women from violence and measures to implement them, and women need better access to justice. On average 20% of women in these countries have been victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.




Apparel exports up
The director of the National Council of Free Zone exports (CNZFE) Luisa Fernandez said that Dominican textile exports to the United States increased 8.21% over the first nine months of the year reaping US$548.4 million more in revenues. This is the highest increase in the past five years. Fernandez said growth of Dominican apparel exports was the greatest in the Central American and Caribbean region, including Mexico, according to data published by the US Department of Commerce.

Fernandez highlighted the value added Dominican manufacturers are bringing to textile exports, compared to the just sewing of pre-cut fabric of years back.



Talks opened with the London Stock Exchange
The head of global business development at the London Stock Exchange Group Antonella Amadei expressed interest to collaborate to help secure capital for small and medium-sized businesses to develop in the Dominican Republic when participating in activities of the Third Dominican Week organized by the Dominican Embassy in London. The event is sponsored by the Dominican Embassy, British Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic, Ministry of Tourism, Brugal Rum, Davidoff and EgeHaina.

Amadei is also head of international relations at the Strategy Division of the London Stock Exchange.

As reported in Listin Diario, Amadei expressed her interest that the DR can become the center for operations for the Caribbean and Central America of the London Stock Exchange, also enabling other regional countries to attract funds from the United Kingdom and through that country from the rest of Europe.

Dominican ambassador in the UK, Federico Cuello said that the DR was in the spotlight of international investors because of the sustained growth, geographic location and adherence to the rule of law under the Medina administration.


Campos de Moya to preside AIRD
Campos de Moya of the Vicini Group will preside the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD). He will replace Ligia Bonetti.

Also on the board for 2015-2016 are Circe Almanzar, executive vice president, Julio V. Brache (Grupo Rica), Franklin Leon (Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana), Augusto Ramirez (Brugal), Eduardo Martinez-Lima (Central Romana Co), Celso Juan Marranzini (Multiquimica), and Richard Arostegui (FARCO), as vice presidents. Other board members are Carlos Fernandez (Grupo Fersan), secretary; Roberto Herrera (CESPM), vice secretary; Juan Jose Attias Camacho (La Nacional), treasurer and Kai Schoenhals (Gerdau Metaldom), vice treasurer.

Board directors are:

Jose Luis Venta (Induveca), Ricardo Koenig (Maprica), Ana Judith Alma (Cesar Iglesias), Jose Fernando Paliza (Interquimica), Maite Barnichta (Plasticos Multiform), Karina Chez (Kaya Energy), Ricardo Barcelo (Consorcio Citricola del Este), Jose Tomas Contreras (Adozona), Victor Macarrulla (PROCEM), Edwin Rojas (AIREN), Jorge Aguayo Saladin (Industrias Aguayo), Radhames Garcia (Industrias Corripio), Massimiliano Wax (Rizek Cacao), Wendy Santos (Planeta Azul), William Keesee (DIESCO), Manuel Cabral (Phillip Morris), Carlos Zaldivar (Molinos Modernos), Alejandro Farach (Plastifar), Felipe Thomas (Font Gamundi) and David Soares (Falcondo).

Trade advisor to the AIRD is Roberto Despradel, legal advisor Marisol Vicens and financial advisor Jose Gior Ariza.

Adoexpo awards to exporters
The Dominican Association of Exporters (Adoexpo) gave awards to D'Clase Shoes, Banco Popular, Barcelo Export Import, Cortes Hermanos and Flores de Jarabacoa during their annual awards ceremony held on Thursday, 27 November 2014.

Sadhala Khoury, president of Adoexpo, commented that a 10% increase in exports is expected by year's end, for US$10.6 billion in exports, up US$1.1 billion compared to last year.



Children learn early how to drink
Jose Mieses Michel, director of Mental Health at the Ministry of Public Health, announced the creation of the Cluster for the Prevention of Harmful Alcohol Consumption and Promotion of Responsible Drinking. The Cluster is made up by 14 institutions to be coordinated by the Department of Collective Health of the Ministry of Public Health.

Mieses commented that studies show children here are initiated in drinking at around 10 years, and in most cases it is a parent or a relative who encourages the drinking. Mieses said that alcohol is related to at least 60 health problems, including premature birth, low birth weight, cancer, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, mental disturbances, and many deaths in traffic accidents, brawls and other violent acts.

Mieses encouraged the population to celebrate the Christmas holidays with responsible drinking of alcohol, and to not drive under the influence. He urged businesses to comply with Law 136-03 that bans selling alcohol to minors.

The Cluster is formed coinciding with the recent media scandal of 18-year old Estefany Estevez who posted photos on her Facebook page showing her baby girl getting initiated in beer drinking. The mother was sent to three months preventive custody and the baby was sent to the care of relatives. Lawyers are appealing the order so she can continue her high school studies.



Felix Bautista denies ownership of Gulfstream jet
The Public Ministry arm of the Specialized Prosecutors for the Prosecution of Administrative Corruption (PEPCA) issued a restrainer order for the Gulfstream American registration N16YY and/or N522HS parked at the Puerto Plata International Airport (Gregorio Luperon).

Prosecutor Laura Guerrero Pelletier of PEPCA says that the restrainer order was issued because the airplane is part of assets investigated by the Attorney General Office in the case of administrative corruption and asset laundering against senator Felix Bautista. Bautista is the former director of the Office of Supervisory Works of the Presidency under the former President Leonel Fernandez. He is also political secretary of the ruling PLD party.

Bautista is under investigation by the Attorney General Office. Previously charges against him have been filed by the Supreme Court of Justice. A court ruling scheduled for 4 December 2014 will determine whether the investigation can continue. Other cases of corruption filed against Bautista have been filed by the judiciary.

According to the PEPCA investigators, the airplane flew to Florida in September 2014 with the registration N16YY and returned to the DR in November with the registration N522HS in what is described as a phony registration transfer after the Attorney General Office had accused senator Bautista and six other persons of corruption and asset laundering on 22 October 2014.

Bautista has repeatedly over the years defended his innocence. He says that the case has already been investigated by the Supreme Court of Justice and cleared him.

Acento.com.do says the recent flight of the airplane can be followed on the private flight tracker at the website http://www.flightaware.com by entering the two registration numbers of the airplane.

Sparkles Management Services, Ltd., of the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club acknowledged having purchased in 2013 the Gulfstream jet the Attorney General Office has listed in the assets irregularly acquired by senator Felix Bautista.

The Gulfstream G-1159 jet is parked at the Gregorio Luperon International Airport in Puerto Plata. The company says that the present owner of the airplane is Secure Aircorp Inc. that is owned by Sparkles Management Services LTD of the Lifestyle Group.





Attorney General travels to Poland and Vatican for pedophilia cases
Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito has traveled to Warsaw, Poland and subsequently to the Vatican for talks with the judiciary authorities investigating the cases for pedophilia against former Polish priests, Josef Wesolowski who served for seven years as papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic and has been accused of sexual abuse against minors in Santo Domingo and Wojciech Waldemar Gil (padre Alberto Gil) who faces similar charges for sexual abuse to minors in the province of Santiago.

Dominguez will present the position of the Dominican government in both cases. In Warsaw, he is scheduled to meet with his colleague, attorney general Andrzy Seremet and others in charge of the pedophilia cases.

As reported, the attorney generals will present a joint press conference on Monday, 1 December 2014 at 11am, Polish time. Several Dominican TV journalists are traveling with the Attorney General.

Afterwards, Dominguez Brito will travel to the Vatican where he will meet with officers in charge of the case against Jozef Wesolowski. Dominguez Brito is traveling with the prosecutor of Santiago Luisa Liranzo, and the director of communications of the Attorney General Office Tessie Sanchez. Also traveling with them is the deputy for Santiago Victor Suarez, who is president of the foreign relations committee of the Chamber of Deputies. Dominguez Brito is scheduled to return to the DR on 4 December.


Victor Estrella wins gold in Central American Games
The Dominican Republic flag-bearer at the Central American and Caribbean Games taking place in Veracruz, Mexico, Victor Estrella won the gold medal in the singles tennis championship. It is his second consecutive gold in the Central American Championships. He won the gold in the Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 2010 championships.

To win this year he defeated his teammate Jose (El Bebo) Hernandez 6-4, 6-3. Hernandez won the silver medal for the Dominican Republic.

Both Estrella and Hernandez told journalists that 2014 has been the best year for Dominican tennis.

Estrella is ranked 78th in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals.

His gold is but the 9th the DR had won as of Thursday, 27 November 2014 in the Central American and Caribbean Games. The DR is in 5th place in the medals count, behind Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela.



Retro Jazz at Escenario 360
Retro Jazz and Pengbian Sang present a Christmas concert on Friday, 12 December at the Escenario 360 of Galeria 360. 9pm. Listen to their music at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHdsEm6ZHho&list=PLgTeTpk8Kt5F-WCImckkP_nI-vp2zlvi3

There will be jazz in the Colonial City
Thursdays in December, there will be jazz with the magical background of the Ozama River. Sit on the stairs leading up from the Port of Santo Domingo to Calle El Conde and listen to memorable jazz performances on Thursdays as of 8pm. On Thursday, 4 December 2014, Jacobo & Tumbao will perform. In addition to the band leader pianist and composer Josean Jacobo, others playing with the band are Otoniel Nicolas at the drums, Esar Simo, bass, Jarrington de Leon, percussion. The concert will be one of Latin Jazz fusion with the contagious beats from Africa, South America, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Brazil and the United States.

Pedro Guerra at Hard Rock Cafe
Spanish singer/songwriter Pedro Guerra will give a concert in Santo Domingo on 3 December at 9:30pm at the Hard Rock Cafe at Blue Mall. General admission RD$2,000.


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

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