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Daily News - Friday, 12 December 2014

Spanish Minister says DR immigration policy is correct
Minister of Foreign Relations of Spain Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo y Marfil met with Minister of Foreign Relations Andres Navarro in a working breakfast held at the Ministry of Foreign Relations yesterday Thursday, 11 December 2014 to continue talks for strengthening Dominican and Spanish relations.

Speaking to the press, he said that in addition to Spanish direct development aid, Spain would continue to back Dominican projects through the European Union.

He also expressed his support for the Dominican Republic's regularization process for illegal immigrants. He said the DR is "doing the right thing." He offered Spanish help in this task, and predicted that immigration would become the greatest problem of the 21st century.

Recently appointed ambassador in Spain, Anibal de Castro, vice minister for consular and immigration affairs Nelly Perez, vice minister for economic and trade matters Cesar Dargam, Ministry of Economy vice minister for international cooperation Inocencio Garcia, and Ana Idalia Castellanos, ambassador in charge of relations with Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Relations were also at the breakfast, representing the Dominican Republic.

The meeting with the Spanish Minister is the second in a series organized by new Foreign Relations Minister Andres Navarro. The first was with Haiti in November with Haitian Foreign Minister Pierre Duly Brutus. Spanish ambassador in the Dominican Republic Jaime Lacadena, the Minister's cabinet director Juan Jose Buitrago, general director for Ibero-America Pablo Gomez de Olea, international economic relations director Fernando Eguidazu Palacios, and Fernando Mier Durante, economic and trade counselor of the Spanish embassy, accompanied Margallo to the meeting.

During his visit, the Spanish Foreign Minister also visited the Instituto Dermatologico y de Cirugia de la Piel to which Spain has contributed EUR2 million. Today, Friday, 12 December 2014, he was scheduled to visit the Colonial City and the Centro Cultural Espanol and to travel to Punta Cana to meet with owners of Spanish investment hotels in the Punta Cana.


Farm exports up 6%
The executive director of the Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD) Jean Alain Rodriguez says that farm exports for the January-October 2014 period have exceeded US$1.6 billion, for a 6.07% growth compared to the same period in 2013. He said that total exports for the same period are up 6.12%, with almost US$3.14 billion in locally manufactured goods and more than US$4 billion in free zone exports. According to Rodriguez, free zone exports are up 5.92%.


Ministry of Foreign Relations documents
Acento online news service has been publishing documents said to come from official sources on who has been paid and how much at the Ministry of Foreign Relations. The news service says that many people on the list may no longer be at the Ministry. The listings include people employed up to the beginning of 2013. Since then, a purge has taken place, coinciding with the change of the Ministry under the late Carlos Morales Troncoso and current minister Andres Navarro earlier this year. In a press conference at the time, President Danilo Medina confirmed that around 1,000 employees had been dismissed from the foreign service. The list shows that political patronage is the main reason for getting a job in the foreign service, with career diplomats as the exception.

The Acento analysis by journalist Gustavo Olivo reveals that there was no official policy on salary levels for equal positions and that many who were being paid did not actually do any work. The list also names the "godfathers" of the appointees. There is a long list of people reportedly recommended by senator Felix Bautista, who is accused of corruption by the Attorney General. The case against Felix Bautista has stagnated with the judiciary ordering it to be filed on numerous occasions.



Defense minister violates transparency law
Minister of Defense Maximiliano William Munoz Delgado tops the list of government officials who are in violation of the law that requires them to present their statements of assets to the Chamber of Accounts. The list also includes the Superintendent of Banks Luis Armando Asuncion.


Abortion debate postponed
Yesterday, Thursday 11 December 2014 the Chamber of Deputies met to discuss the Presidential observations on the Penal Code reform bill but after two hours of debate the session was postponed until next week, and will resume Tuesday, 16 December 2014.

The Catholic and Evangelical Christian Churches are leading the opposition to the Presidential veto. Women's groups and doctors are leading the call for flexibility.

Legislator Guadalupe Valdez says there are only three other countries in the world, in addition to the DR, where abortion of any kind is criminalized. She called for changes to Arts. 107, and 109 and the elimination of articles 108 and 110 of the Penal Code as observed by President Danilo Medina.

She backed the exceptions in cases where the mother's life is in danger, if the woman has been a victim of rape, incest, or if the fetus shows deformities that are incompatible with life.

Meanwhile, former Senate president Reinaldo Pared Perez (PLD-National District) says that the Art. 42 of the Constitution provides for the exception of an abortion in cases where the mother's life is in danger. Art. 37 of the 2010 Constitution established the Right to Life as being inviolable from conception to death. Art. 42 on the Right to Personal Integrity establishes: "No one shall be subjected, without prior consent, to any experiment or procedure not compliant with internationally accepted scientific and bio-ethical standards; or to any medical procedure or examination, unless his or her life is in danger."

Nevertheless, in his veto of the Penal Code on abortion, President Danilo Medina went beyond therapeutic abortion and called for respect for a woman's right to end a pregnancy in cases of rape.



Metro fire victim sent home to recover
Francis Alberto Gonzalez Gil left the Luis E. Aybar burn center yesterday, Thursday 11 December 2014, to continue his recovery at home. He suffered 70% burns after a device was set on fire on line 2 of the Metro on 27 October 2014. 43 days after the tragic incident, he told Hoy reporters that he thanked God for saving his life and asked people to continue praying for him. Gonzalez, whose wife is expecting a baby any day now, says he is optimistic he will recover.


Arrest in credit card cloning case
The Police have announced the arrest of three Ecuadorians and two Dominicans caught with 426 credit and debit cards in their possession. Dionisio Javier Agua, Andy Arturo Bolanos and Vanessa Roxana Intriago from Ecuador and Dominicans Francisco Antonio Morel Andujar and Gaby Miguel Ramirez Perdomo were arrested when attempting to withdraw money from an automated teller machine at a gas station on Avenida Espana in Santo Domingo East. As reported by the Police, the bandits would trip the ATMs to retain the cards and would then retrieve them for use in fraudulent purchases. The five were traveling in a Nissan Murano and a Honda Civic. The Police retained several items including a laptop, a tablet and a credit card reader.


The Road Band at Fiesta Sunset Jazz
Fiesta Sunset Jazz at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino in Santo Domingo presents The Road Band this evening, Friday, 12 December 2014 at 8pm. Tel. 809 562-8222.

Cinema Cafe presents Tribute to Maroon 5
Cinema Cafe in Santo Domingo's Plaza de la Cultura presents a Tribute to Maroon 5 this evening, Friday, 12 December 2014 starting at 9pm.

Av. Pedro Henriquez Urena, Tel. 809 221-7555

Listen to their music at http://www.maroon5.com/home

Pavel Nunez at Casa de Teatro
Pavel Nunez is booked for a performance at Casa de Teatro in Santo Domingo's Colonial City tomorrow evening, Saturday, 13 December 2014 at 9pm. Calle Arzobispo Merino 110. Tel 809 689-3430. Listen to his music at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtzC8PBkwkU

Braulio & Jackeline Estevez at the Barcelo Santo Domingo
Braulio & Jackeline Estevez will be delighting their fans at the Barcelo Santo Domingo tomorrow evening, Saturday, 13 December 2014 at 10pm. Av. Maximo Gomez. Tel 809 563-5000.

Long Night of Museums
Saturday, 13 December is Long Night of Museums in Santo Domingo. From 9am in the Colonial City, there will be special events at many museums in the Colonial City. The museums will also stay open until late in the evening with free admission.

Altos de Chavon Arts and Crafts
The Altos de Chavon Archaeological Museum is sponsoring an Arts and Crafts Night on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 from 6 to 8pm. This is a good opportunity to buy a special Christmas gift. If booking in advance, attendees can create their own item with the craftsperson. Reserve by calling 809 523-8554. Cost of the items ranges from RD$400 to RD$1,000. There will be knitted handbags, necklaces and bracelets, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and key chains made with seeds, soaps, ceramics, silkscreen prints, plants, Guaba sailing boats, mosaics, engravings, gourds, recycled items, shell jewelry and belts.

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

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