Daily News

Daily News - Friday, 24 June 2016 (Archived Daily News)

Socrates Garcia
at National Conservatory of Music

DR-UK trade to be affected by Brexit

The United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union will have immediate effects on Dominican trade with the European Union. Dominican ambassador to the UK, Federico Cuello has warned that Dominican exporters and importers will be the biggest losers. The decision (51.9% leave, 48.1% stay) will have almost immediate effects on Dominican exports of bananas, cacao, cigars and rum. UK sales of cars, chemicals, electronics, pharmaceuticals and whisky will also be hurt when the duty free provisions end. Trade relations between the UK and the DR are governed by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which allowed duty-free reciprocal exports.

Cuello recently warned that the impact would be felt almost immediately because the EPA would cease to apply the minute the UK signs the Withdrawal Agreement under Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty.

Cuello has said that Dominican importers would most likely source new suppliers for imports in the United States, with which it has a free trade agreement, DR-CAFTA.

According to Cuello, the biggest losers, nevertheless, would be Dominican exporters. "After investing so much time and resources in meeting strict UK quality and fair trade standards, tens of thousands of smallholder farms producing bananas and cacao in cooperatives would be left without access to their largest European market," he has stated.

Fresh produce that will be affected also includes air shipments of avocadoes, vegetables and mangoes, which are sold in UK fresh markets. He said the freight business would "evaporate overnight" as the trade barriers return with the UK's exit from the European Union.


CEI-RD Exports Trade Show opens 27 June

The Center for Exports and Investments (CEI-RD) has announced the celebration of the DR Exports Trade Show at the Sans Souci Convention Center in Santo Domingo East from 27-29 June 2016. President Danilo Medina is expected to attend the inauguration on Monday, 27 June 2016 at 7pm. CEI-RD director Jean Alain Rodriguez said that the fair seeks to promote Dominican exports in international markets. There will be exhibitions of products in agribusiness, construction, manufacturing and industry, health and beauty, technology, and artisanal and cultural goods. The exhibition is open to the general public from 9am to 7pm on 28 and 29 June.

Public Works Ministry outlines bid to reduce traffic jams

The Ministry of Public Works (MOPC) has outlined hundreds of small solutions that are expected to bring significant relief to traffic in Santo Domingo by 15 August 2016. Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo said that they have concentrated on 800 critical points in major intersections by filling in potholes and the construction of operational returns on major avenues. They also plan to synchronize traffic lights with faster turnover at Abraham Lincoln with Charles Sumner, Lope de Vega with Jose Amado Soler and Lope de Vega with Gustavo Mejia Ricart avenues.

An investment of RD$400-500 million is being made in the program in Greater Santo Domingo that is expected to reduce traffic jams 10-15%.

A Ministry press release lists works carried out on the Luperon, Los Proceres, Abraham Lincoln, Republica de Colombia, Sarasota, Malecon (Av George Washington through Autopista 30 de Mayo), Nunez de Caceres, 27 de Febrero, Isabel Aguiar with 6 de Noviembre avenues, among others.

On Republica de Colombia, 1,400 trees are being planted to reduce carbon monoxide pollution.

He announced imminent changes to the Republica Argentina Avenue in Arroyo Hondo (change of direction) and the roundabout next to Supermercado El Nacional.

The Minister also described the new works underway on the Malecon with Abraham Lincoln Avenue, opposite the Feria Ganadera and the Universidad del Caribe. An exclusive lane will be set aside for vehicles headed eastwards. On the Malecon, 20 points are being prepared where drivers can make U turns.

At Las Americas Expressway with Charles De Gaulle Avenue the road has been expanded from four to six lanes, the Juan Carlos Bridge was renovated, there are now new bus stops, green areas and pedestrian walkways, as well as children's play areas.

The Ministry of Public Works says that the main reasons for the traffic chaos in Santo Domingo are lack of driver education, horizontal growth of the city, lack of parking, and an inefficient public transport system.

New public transport solutions include the progress made on the construction of the II-B line of the Santo Domingo Metro and the addition of new buses to the OMSA routes.

Metropolitan Transport Authority director Frener Bello Arias said that a driver education campaign is underway to discourage drivers from blocking intersections.



Jacqueline Montero announces her first bills

Getting down to work, legislator-elect Jacqueline Montero called a press conference to make it known that an estimated 90,000 Dominican women work as prostitutes in the country and a similar number work abroad in Haiti, other Caribbean islands and Europe. Montero, a retired prostitute herself, has announced she will work to help women find work alternatives to the profession and find education and job opportunities to prevent women from having to work in the sex trade.

She took part in a press conference together with fellow elected deputies Fidel Santana, Frente Amplio, and Fidelio Despradel, Alianza Pais.

Montero is the president of the Movimiento de Mujeres Unidas (Modemu) that represents prostitutes.

In addition to her priority to help prostitutes find new opportunities, she announced she would present a bill in August 2016 focusing on young people who are not working or studying, the so-called: "ni nis" for "ni estudian, ni trabajan".

She also announced she would seek approval in Congress for a bill on Equality and No Discrimination focusing on HIV-AIDS.

Montero began her political career when she was elected councilor for Haina municipality in San Cristobal.


International tobacco growers meet in Santiago

The International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) is hosting its Meeting of the Americas Regional Meeting 2016 in Santiago on 29 and 30 June 2016. The event is co-sponsored by InTabaco in the Dominican Republic, the government tobacco institute.

A not-for-profit organization, ITGA represents the interests of more than 30 million tobacco growers worldwide through grower associations in 25 countries. These producers account for more than 90% of the tobacco consumed in the world.

Participants are coming from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and the United States.

The ITGA is represented by executive director Antonio Abrunhosa.

Minister of Agriculture Angel Estevez, Foreign Trade and Treaties Administration (Dicoex) in the Dominican Republic director Katrina Naut, and Hendrik Kelner, president of ProCigar, the leading organization representing Dominican cigar producers. The agenda includes a nicotine reduction proposal made by the World Health Organization (WHO), production, global tobacco consumption, situation of tobacco farming in the DR, the global cigar market and new regulations in the United States and the rest of the world.



Little Caesar pizza chain plans to open in DR

US News & World Report says the Detroit-based Little Caesars pizza chain has just released updated plans that include expanding to the Dominican Republic. Other new foreign markets include Australia, Costa Rica and Panama.


Announcement of new cardinal expected soon

The Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez celebrates his 25th year as cardinal for the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, 28 June 2016. El Dia reports on the possibility the Vatican will announce his replacement shortly after that date. The Vatican has announced it has accepted the aging cardinal's resignation submitted in 2011. The cardinal will be 80 years old this year. El Dia speculates that his successor may have already been chosen. It reports that an extended consultation process has already been carried out by Apostolic Nuncio Jude Thaddeus Okolo.


Miguel Vargas ordered to rest after breaking foot

PRD president Miguel Vargas Maldonado has fractured his fibula, the deputy and leader of the political organization, Victor Gomez Casanova confirmed speaking on El Sol de la Manana morning talk show on Thursday 23 June 2016. He said that his foot is in a cast and Vargas was told to move about as little as possible for four to five weeks to avoid putting pressure on his foot. According to reports, Vargas will have to cancel trips he had to Panama and Geneva for the world assembly of the Socialist International Organization.


Call center workers complain about working conditions

Call center labor union spokespeople have taken their labor complaints to the press.

As reported, workers representing unions in the call centers Xerox, Vixicom/Provitel, Altice-Tricom, Convergys/Stream and Alorica say the companies that operate under the free zone regime are violating Dominican laws.

They complained they are harassed at work, the companies constantly make wage deductions, change the commission standards, carry out unauthorized deductions, there are violations of nighttime hours conditions, labor union discrimination, violations of maternity rules, social security law, unfair dismissals and violations of regulations on the work period and working hours. The abuses affect around 50,000 people employed at call centers nationwide. They say they are constantly threatened with job losses and that the companies would relocate to Central America and other countries were unionization is now required.

The union representatives said they are exempt from paying taxes and benefit by hiring thousands who are graduates of government programs to teach English as a second language, as reported in Hoy.

NY sixth graders name new wasp species discovered in DR

Sixth grade students at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School in Washington Heights, New York City have been chosen to name a newly discovered species of wasp native to the Dominican Republic. The students, who were selected by Bernardo Santos, an entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History focused on the wasp's bright colors and came up with "La Luz Brillante," Spanish for "the bright light."


Former MLB ball player Julio Lugo wins case for fraud

Former Major League Baseball player Julio Lugo has won his case against Raquel Baquero Sousa. On Thursday, 23 June 2016, the National District Court of Appeals sentenced the woman to 10 years in jail, and ordered her to pay RD$50 million in compensation and to return US$1.6 million to Lugo. Baquero was accused of asset laundering, complicity, document forgery and fraud. She will serve her sentence at the Najayo Women's jail in San Cristobal.


DR wins Group A of Centrobasket

The Dominican Republic national men's basketball team placed first in the Group A division of Centrobasket Championship 2016 taking place in Panama City from 19-25 June 2016. Mexico also qualified for the semi-finals for the group. The DR defeated yesterday Virgin Islands 75-69. The tournament is a qualifier for the 2017 FIBA Americup and the Division A of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The DR made it to the semi-finals, and qualified for Division A of FIBA's new competition system.

In the highlights of the game, FIBA reported that the Dominicans captured a 15-point lead in the third quarter, but the Virgin Islands team reduced the Dominican advantage and got within six points of the opponent during the fourth quarter. Melvyn Lopez's team stayed calm and closed the match in their favor. The Dominican men dominated the rebounds, 44-36. Angel Delgado was the top scorer for the Dominicans with 21 points.



Socrates Garcia at National Conservatory of Music

Dominican Socrates Garcia will be performing with the National Conservatory of Music jazz band on Saturday, 28 June 2016 at 7pm. The performance takes place at the Conservatory's Sala Juan Francisco Garcia on Av. Cesar Nicolas Penson in Santo Domingo. It will mark the Conservatory jazz band's 25th anniversary.

Socrates Garcia is a composer, arranger, producer, recording engineer, guitarist, and teacher from the Dominican Republic. He is the Director of Music Technology at the University of Northern Colorado's School of Music, where he teaches courses in music technology such as Introduction to Music Technology, Digital Composition, and Recording Techniques. He also oversees the recording studio, keyboard lab, and computer music lab.

Garcia taught Jazz Harmony and Theory at the Santo Domingo Conservatory of Music between 1999 and 2004 before immigrating to the United States.


Anthony Rios concert at Zutros Restaurant

Dominican romantic song singer-songwriter Anthony Rios is performing at the Zutros Restaurant Bar & Lounge of Av. Espana in eastern Santo Domingo as of 9pm on Friday, 1 July 2016. The concert is named "Rios de Mujeres Divinas", accompanied by Johanna Almanzar and Mabel de Leon.

Rios will be singing some of his most memorable songs, including Fatalidad, Senora tristeza, Jaula de Oro, Si entendieras, and Si usted supiera senora.


RD Fashion Week at Acropolis Center

The RD Fashion Week 2016 is set for Thursday, 7 July at the Acropolis Center in Santo Domingo. Santiago designer Zukita's fall-winter collection will be presented. The "Rebel Queen Haute Couture" collection is inspired by the Goth subculture, originally from the UK, and the post-punk scene of the 1970s.

Los Ilegales at Hard Rock Cafe

The Ilegales Concert Party will take the stage of the Hard Rock Cafe at Blue Mall in Santo Domingo on Saturday, 9 July 2016. This is a SugarEvents production. Bladimir Dotel's group tickets are going for RD$1,400, RD$2,000 and RD$3,400. They are for sale at Uepa Tickets, Supermercados Nacional, Jumbo and Hard Rock Cafe Blue Mall.

Read more about upcoming events at http://www.dr1.com/calendar

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