Daily News

Daily News - Friday, 01 May 2015 (Archived Daily News)

SDQ 10k set for 10 May 2015
(Image courtesy of sdq10k.com)

DR1 breaks for Labor Day holiday

Monday, 4 May 2015 is a holiday in the Dominican Republic, in celebration of Labor Day or International Workers' Day. While major malls and businesses catering to tourists in beach and mountain resorts will be open, most other offices and businesses will be taking the day off. Many will make it a long weekend starting on Friday. As is customary, the DR1 daily news digest will not be published on the holiday. News over the weekend will be compiled for the Tuesday, 5 May news digest. Any breaking news stories can be covered in the DR1 Forums that are open 24/7.


Danilo Medina, Man of the Year

A televised poll carried out by the Corripio media group has resulted in the choice of President Danilo Medina for "Man of the Year" for the third year running. The award is based on a televised survey conducted by the group's TeleAntillas, TV Channel 2. Ball player David Ortiz and singer Romeo Santos were also voted Personalities of the Year. Medina received 50.6% of the votes of 1,120 people interviewed on camera in 12 provinces and the National District.


DR places US$1 billion in sovereign bonds

The Dominican Republic government placed US$1 billion on Thursday, 30 April 2015 through a dual-tranche reopening of 10 and 30-year bonds. The placement was included in the 2015 National Budget.

The Ministry of Hacienda reported that the placement was dual-tranched: Reopening of the US$500 million 10-year bond (2025) at a rate of 5.125% down from 5.5%, and reopening of the 6.85% 30 years bond (2045) now priced at 6.5%.

As reported, proceeds are being used for general purposes, including partial financing for the country's 2015 budget. Investors were attracted to the bonds by reports of a booming tourism industry and an economy that has benefitted by unexpected lower oil prices and the placement was in record time due to the high demand.

The transaction was handled by J. P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and by the Banreservas as co-manager.



ProIndustria and Statistics Office alliance for better research

The Industrial Development and Competitiveness Center (Proindustria) and the National Statistics Office (ONE) have announced a strategic alliance for conducting research into local manufacturing. Alexandra Izquierdo of ProIndustria and Pablo Tactuk of ONE signed the agreement yesterday, Thursday 30 April 2015.

ProIndustria staff will receive training to generate better statistics and guidance for the creation and implementation of the entity's statistical unit.

The initiative is considered to be key to better decision-making.

Proindustria will create a new Unit for Economic Analysis and Industrial Intelligence.


DR Infant mortality still too high

The National Household Survey (Enhogar 2014) published today, Friday 1 May 2015, reveals that of every 1,000 babies born alive in the DR, 31 will die in their first year, including 24 who will die in the first 28 days. Death rates are higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) representative Maria Jesus Conde said that these figures are too high for a country where 99% of babies are born in hospitals. She called on hospitals to continue to work to reduce infant mortality.

In the past, public hospital directors have said that the statistics are skewed by thousands of high-risk patients who come from Haiti to give birth in the Dominican Republic, taking advantage of the country's free medical services.

Conde was also critical of parents of newborns who leave hospitals without their babies' birth certificates, and stated that the vaccination program coverage should be expanded.

Conde acknowledged that poverty in the Dominican Republic has been reduced from 38.1% in 2014 to 41.7% in 2012.


Dominicans can declare children abroad

Central Electoral Board (JCE) president Roberto Rosario says that soon, Dominicans living abroad will no longer have to travel to the Dominican Republic to declare their children born abroad. He said that the JCE plenary has met and discussed the resolution that establishes procedures for declaring Dominicans abroad.

Anyone interested should apply at the Offices for the Registration of Voters Abroad (OPREE) requesting the transcription of the birth certificates of foreign-born children. In the cities where there are no OPREE offices, requests should be channeled through Dominican consulates. To declare a birth of a child of a Dominican parent, the interested party needs to submit a request for the transcription and state their preference for the Civil State Office where the birth will be registered in the Dominican Republic. An original birth certificate of the foreign-born child, duly apostilled or legalized, and translated into Spanish by a consular official, must also be presented. The Dominican father or mother's identity document needs to be submitted to prove the relationship and Dominican nationality of either parent.


Colombians do not need visas to travel to the DR

President Danilo Medina issued Decree 92-15 yesterday, Thursday 30 April 2015, establishing that Colombian leisure tourists can visit the Dominican Republic without visas. It also establishes that Dominicans who travel to Colombia for leisure will not need to obtain Colombian visas. On 19 March 2015, the foreign ministers of both countries signed an agreement in Washington, D.C. eliminating the visa requirement.


DR to exhibit at Expo Milano 2015

The Dominican Republic is one of 145 countries exhibiting at Expo Milano 2015, the world fair starting today, Friday 1 May 2015. The official opening of the Dominican pavilion has been set for 7 May 2015 in the presence of Vice President Margarita Cedeno who is expected to travel to Italy for the event.

The event opened to the general public today Friday, 1 May 2015 in the presence of the President of the Italian Council of Ministers Matteo Renzi.

The Dominican pavilion is part of the Coffee Cluster. An audiovisual display is being presented, showcasing the country as a model for rural development and food productivity, and featuring the Dominican culture and landscape. The event is an opportunity for the country to expand its exports by presenting to a global audience.

FAO-IFAD-WFP Ambassador Mario Arvelo Caamano, General Commissioner of the Dominican Republic for the Universal Exhibition "Expo Milano 2015" has liaised with government agencies and a team of volunteers for the organization of the Dominican Pavilion.

The central theme chosen for the 2015 Exhibition is "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". It embraces technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet. The theme was chosen in response to the priority issue of providing sufficient nutritious, healthy and sustainable food for all humankind.

Expo Milano 2015 will be open every day from 10am to 11pm from today, Friday 1 May to 31 October 2015.



Senate president receives bill to reform Constitution

13 PLD senators who support the bill to change the Constitution so that President Danilo Medina may run for re-election delivered the bill to the president of the Senate, Cristina Lizardo yesterday, Thursday 30 April 2015. Lizardo said the bill would be presented during the Wednesday, 6 May 2015 session. She said the bill would be sent to a special commission.

The bill was signed by Senators Reinaldo Pared Perez, Charlie Mariotti, Ruben Dario Cruz Ubiera, Luis Rene Canaan, Tommy Galan, Felix Nova, Wilton Guerrero, Amilcar Romero, Rafael Calderon and Antonio Cruz Torres, who delivered it to Lizardo, and by Ivonne Chahin and Euclides Sanchez, who were absent.

15 PLD senators oppose the bid to reinsert re-election into the Constitution. However, they believe that the differences could be resolved if former President Leonel Fernandez and President Danilo Medina were to meet.

Hipolito tells his followers to work for Abinader

Yesterday, Thursday 30 April 2015, former President Hipolito Mejia encouraged his followers in the PRM and PRD to support the PRM candidate, Luis Abinader for President in the May 2016 election. Abinader was the PRD vice presidential candidate in the 2012 election.

"The people expect integration with enthusiasm, unity and respect, with every leader contributing the most possible to obtain victory in 2016," he said.

Mejia said that the time had come to work to defeat the PLD and start the cleanup of Dominican democracy and the political party system.


Ministry of Environment: forest fires under control

The Ministry of Environment says that the forest fires caused by the recent dry spell are 70% under control. He said that three helicopters were sent to Los Haitises to contribute to the prevention and control of the fires in the shortest time.

There have been forest fires in Los Haitises, Constanza, Loma de Cabrera, Martin Garcia, Santiago Rodriguez and Dajabon.

Many fires are caused by environmentally destructive slash-and-burn farming practices leading to more widespread fires as a result of the drought.



Hot spell continues, temps of 40C

Spring is ending here with some of the hottest temperatures ever. Record temperatures of up to 40C are forecast for the provinces of Santiago Rodriguez, Valverde, Montecristi, Dajabon and Elias Pina, on the border with Haiti. The heatwave affecting the country has worsened with the blue skies obscured by Saharan dust clouds. A record high of 37.5C was reported in Puerto Plata, one degree higher than the previous April high of 36.5C recorded in 1963.

Onamet is forecasting a hot weekend as the high pressure continues to bring dry air over the country.

Noontime highs of 34C are forecast for Greater Santo Domingo with lows of 23l-24C in the early morning.

Onamet is advising people to stay indoors from 11am to 4pm, wear light clothing and drink plenty of liquids.

Cesar Paniagua of Alianza Pais killed in crash with motorcyclist

Former president of the Agribusiness Board, Cesar Paniagua was killed in a traffic accident yesterday Thursday, 30 April 2015 in San Juan de la Maguana, where he owned a farm. He died of serious brain injuries after a motorcyclist, who was reportedly racing, crashed into him.

Paniagua was one of the most active supporters of Alianza Pais, the political organization with Guillermo Moreno as candidate. He was in San Juan campaigning for votes to ensure support for Alianza Pais to be formally recognized as a political party.


Ambiorix Nepomuceno Rodriguez sought for femicide

Interpol is looking for Ambiorix Nepomuceno Rodriguez, suspected by the Dominican authorities of murdering lawyer Paola Languasco. He is sought on charges of kidnapping and homicide. The woman's body was found in a sewer near Rodriguez's home in Jardines del Norte, Santiago. She had been missing for 19 days.

A judge also sent two men, Cristino Antonio Marmol Nunez and Lariel Alejandro Pichardo Marte to one year's pretrial detention in connection with the crime.

An autopsy revealed that Languasco had struggled with her killer, suffering a broken arm, nose and mouth. She died of gunshot wounds, according to the autopsy. During a meeting with Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito, the lawyer's father, Leopoldo Languasco described the murder as a femicide, saying that his daughter had been killed after refusing to have sex with the accused.

The Attorney General said, "For us Paola is one of the heroines who struggle for their integrity and dignity against the unjustified violence and machismo that we are fighting against and will always fight."

Rodriguez is known to have traveled to Madrid, Spain.

The Languasco family has accused the law enforcement authorities of complicity and negligence by allowing Rodriguez to leave the country despite being the main suspect in the case. "This is business, not investigation," said Leopoldo Languasco, referring to the prosecutors and Police agents investigating the case.




Carlos, Raul & Sly at Lulu Tasting Bar

Lulu Live Sessions at Lulu Tasting Bar in the Colonial City presents jazz with Carlos de Castro, Raul Testa & Sly de Moya on Monday, 14 May 2015. They will play music by classic artists including Sabina, Ismael Serrano and Pavel together with blues, rock and Latin beats. Free admission. 9pm.

Michael Merlino at Agora Mall

The 12-year old Dominican boy who sang a duet with Andrea Bocelli at Altos de Chavon is booked for three performances at the Agora Mall in celebration of Dominican Mothers Day in May. Michael Merlino will be singing at 7pm on 7, 14 and 28 May. Merlino is the son of Italian Silvestre Merlino, who was a pop and romantic music singer in Italy and the United States. Merlino has studied with Amaury Sanchez.


SDQ 10k set for 10 May 2015

The Santo Domingo 10k run is set for 10 May 2015. Organizers Dore Vicioso and Salvador Cuevas said they are expecting 4,000 runners to take part. The event, sponsored by Gatorade, will start and end at the Plaza Juan Baron on the Malecon. The day before the competition, an Expo Fit SDQ 10K exhibition will be held at the Santo Domingo Sheraton from 9am. During the exhibition, runners can attend a series of events, including talks on sport nutrition and aerobics for beginners. Experts from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute will be taking part.


International construction conference in May

Construction experts from 20 countries, including Switzerland, Spain, the United States, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras, Cuba and Ecuador are coming to Santo Domingo for the opening of the First International Engineering, Architecture and Surveying Conference and the Second Pan-American Construction conference. Jose Espinosa, president of the Dominican Association of Engineers, Architects and Surveyors (Codia) that is organizing the event announced it will open at the Santo Domingo Sheraton on Wednesday, 27 May at 7pm and will continue on 28, 29, 30 May at the UASD university's Pedro Mir Library.

The speakers booked for the event include the Dominican ambassador to the United Nations Francisco Antonio Cortorreal, Iberia airline president and aviation engineer Luis Gallegos, engineer Feniosky Pena-Mora who is the commissioner of the New York City Department of Design & Construction and former dean of engineering at Columbia University, and Arthur Lerner-Lam, the deputy director of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where he is also a research scientist and a professor of earth and environmental sciences, as well as other distinguished speakers, said event general coordinator Manuel Inoa.

There will be presentations on sustainable construction, how to maintain controls and solutions for climate change and making more efficient public and private relations.

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

To read more news, see the DR1 News Archives at: http://dr1.com/premium/news/2015/index.shtml