NEWS MARCH 2008

Dominican Republic at Center of Berlin Fair

march 2008

ITB Berlin FairDominican Republic special invitee

The Dominican Republic is the official partner country at this year’s Berlin International Tourism Fair (ITB), the world’s largest tourism fair.

Minister of Tourism Felix Jimenez told reporters from El Caribe that the featured status of the Dominican Republic would result in a larger flow of tourists to Dominican destinations, not only from Germany but from many other places as well.

The fair lasts until 9 March.

The role of special invitee will cost the government two million euros, but the minister is convinced that the country will get at least a 15% return on its investment in the fair.

Members of the Dominican hotel sector, newspaper reporters, artists, chefs, and the National Folkloric Dance Group are just part of the huge delegation that is attending the fair.

Dominican Republic Live, 03.03.08

Earthquakes Frighten Inhabitants in Salcedomarch 2008

Richter’s scaleEarth tremors also felt in Nagua and San Fransisco de Macorís

HERMANAS MIRABAL.- The fear reached thousands of persons this Monday at dawn, when this province was tremored by an earthquakes with 4.5 and 3.8 grades in Richter’s scale.

The telluric moves that were registred at 2h28 am and 2h47 am, produced dread and desesperation of the residents that couldn’t find sleep again.

The Seismic Institute of the Santo Domingo Automomous University (UASD) informed that the seisms had an epicenter in the 19.40 grade North latitude and 70.50 grade West longitude, at 40 kilometers under the sea level.

Juan Arias, responsible for the Seismic Data Analyses section, said that the fisrt earthquake happened at 2h28 am in the Hermanas Mirabal province, but was felt in Nagua and San Fransisco de Macorís too.

He signaled that the second one took place at 2h47 am.

He explained that only in the last week, 12 telluric movements with a magnitude inferior at 0.4 degree were registred.
128 earthquakes in 2008

The UASD Seismic Institute manager informed that since the beginning if the year, 123 earthquakes happened. He added that the most part of these seisms took place in North and East country regions.

Besides he considered that these earthquakes were normal and that they always have been present in the country, but he explained that they are nowadays detected with more easiness, thanks to the material and technology that uses the Seismic Institute, and to a machine network that are connected to similar equipments in Puerto Rico.

On past year, 411 telluric movements were registred, that is an average of three earthquakes per day.

Dominican Republic Live, 04.03.08

Chávez Confirms Presence in Dominican Republic Summitmarch 2008

Hugo Chávez and Rafael CorreaRio Group Summit.

The ambassadors from Venezuela and Ecuador today denied online media reports that presidents Hugo Chávez and Rafael Correa had cancelled their participation in the Rio Group Summit, scheduled from today Tuesday to Friday in the Dominican capital.

Ecuador’s ambassador Carlos Manriquez said Correa will attend to the event and is scheduled to arrive in the country via Las Americas International Airport at 6 p.m.Thursday. “Yes, president Correa and our Foreign Relations Minister are going to be present here in the Dominican Republic,” Manriquez said.

As to Venezuela, its ambassador Francisco Belisario Land is said if President Hugo Chávez cancels his visit he would be one of the first to know, and that he would inform the media.

The diplomats held separate press conferences in the embassies of the South American countries.

Dominican Republic Live, 05.03.08

Another earthquake, This Time in Higüeymarch 2008

Seismograph4.0 in the Richter scale

A new earthquake with a 4.0 magnitude in the Richter scale was felt in Higüey, according to the informations of the Seismic Institute of the Santo Domingo Automomous University (UASD) and of the Seismic Center of the Puerto Rico University.

This is the third telluric move that is registered in the country in less than 24 hours.

They informed that the seism had its epicenter in the latitude 18.67 North and longitude 68.74 degrees West, at 170 kilometers deep under sea level.

The telluric move happened at four thirty pm, at six kilometres of Higüey. The same seism was felt in El Seibo and La Romana. No victims or material damages were reported.

On past Monday at dawn two earthquakes with 4.5 and 3.8 grades in Richter’s scale were sensed too in the Hermanas Mirabal province, with an epicenter in the 19.40 grade North latitude and 70.50 grade West longit

ude, at 40 kilometers under the sea level.

These quakes were felt in Nagua and San Fransisco de Macoris.

The person in charge of the UASD Seismic Data Analisis section, Juan Arias, explained that in the last week, 12 telluric movements with a magnitude inferior at 0.4 degree were calculated.

The majority of these quakes occurred in the East and North regions

Dominican Republic Live, 05.03.08

Leaders Arrive Today for Rio Group Summit in Dominican Capitalmarch 2008

Rafael Correa, Alvaro Uribe, Hugo Chávez and Felipe CalderónHeads of State of the Rio Group are expected to debate the diplomatic crisis between Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador

The 13 leaders who will arrive in Dominican Republic today to take part in the 20th Summit of Heads of State of the Rio Group are expected to debate the diplomatic crisis between Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.

Yesterday the national coordinators of the member countries made the technical revision of the documents, positions and topics the Foreign Relations ministers and the chief executives will discuss starting today, to be stated in the Declaration of Santo Domingo.

The delegates worked on the points to bolster the Rio Group, the report on Financing for Development; a statement on Argentina’s claim of sovereignty over the Falkland islands; cooperation and energy integration, and solidarity with the countries affected by natural disasters in 2007.

The requests for membership in the forum were heard, which in addition Haiti (invited country of honor) and Guyana..

The Dominican Foreign Relations Ministry said the presidents Cristina Fernandez (Argentina), Alvaro Uribe (Colombia), Michelle Bachelet (Chile) Felipe Calderón (Mexico), Bharrat Jagdeo (Guyana), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Alvaro Colom (Guatemala), Elías Antonio Saca (El Salvador), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Manuel Zelaya (Honduras), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Martín Torrijos (Panama) and Haiti prime minister Jacques Edouard Alexis have confirmed their attendance.

The chief executive host, Leonel Fernandez, will head the inaugural at 9:30 a.m. Friday, with a speech broadcast abroad via satellite.

Dominican Republic Live, 06.03.08

In Summit of the Dominican Capital: Chavez Ssks Uribe to Work Together for Peace

Rafael Correa and Hugo Chavez”Let us move far away from war and work for peace”march 2008

Venezuela president Hugo Chavez today asked Alvaro Uribe, president of Colombia, to set aside their differences and work together for peace -“Let us move far away from war and work for peace”, he said, after denying funding the FARC guerrilla.

Ecuador President Rafael Correa began his turn at the Rio Group Summit calling the crisis a “gravely serious problem facing the latin american region,” but Fernandez stopped him short and suggested instead a vote on allowing new members

“The region lives an situation of extremely serious emergency and must be dealt with at length,” he said and began showing maps of Colombia´s military incursions.

Dominican Republic Live, 07.03.08

Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela Smoke the Peace Pipemarch 2008

Rafael Correa, Leonel Fernandez and Hugo ChavezSouth America leaders bury the hatchet in Dominican summit

Rafael Correa: “Dominican Republic has become a nation of peace”

Dominican president Leonel Fernandez, after detaining a last wave of explosive banter between Ecuador’s Rafael Correa and Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe, obtained a peaceful solution from the two leaders of the countries involved in the conflict stemming from the latter’s incursion in its neighbor’s territory.

“President Uribe, if there is a public commitment from our brother nation Venezuela to work for peace, then I ask all here to stand and let us give ourselves a hand shake to reaffirm the commitment to dialogue and peace,” said the Dominican leader to bring to a close the gathering fraught with accusations and threats.

The session began at 10 a.m. with Correa railing Uribe for ordering the attack against the FARC guerilla group in Ecuador last weekend, which the Colombian leader sought to justify calling a necessary measure aimed at protecting his country’s own sovereignty from the insurgents.

Uribe also told the leaders gathered in the Dominican Foreign Relations Ministry that orders to cross into Ecuador’s border was his government’s decision, in response to allegations by Correa and Venezuela president Hugo Chavez that the incursions was the work of the United States. “Get this out of your head that this is an imperialistic project, it’s an autonomous project of the Colombian people.”

Dominican Republic Live, 08.03.08

The Electric Subsidy Could Reach 150 Million Dollarsmarch 2008

Three times more than in 2007

The Superintendent of Electricity announced that following the exorbitant increases in the price of the oil barrel at the international level, the subsidy of the government for the maintenance of the sustainable operations of the electric sector could reach 150 million dollars this year. Francisco Méndez said that this sum represents almost three times more than the 60 million dollars which were allocated as subsidy in 2007, and that the contributions of the government are quasi tripling compared to year 2006.

Interviewed by Héctor Herrera Cabral during the D`Agenda program which very Sunday is diffused by Telesistema Canal 11, the civil servant invited the population to become aware of the devastators effects which the price of fuel causes on the economy, this is why the key to face this situation is to save fuel and energy.

He announced that the economy, not only no producing countries of oil, but on a world level, does not support a price above the 100 dollars for the barrel.

“Indeed, if the rise of oil continues like during the last week, the subsidy which was 60 million the last year could reach 150 million, which is equivalent to more than five billion pesos for the current year”, insisted the Superintendent of Electricity.

However, he clarified that the government will not increase the price of the electric tariff, because the first conscious one that the electric power is rather expensive in the country is President Leonel Fernández.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.03.08

Dominican Expert Says He’s Created a Chip Based on Fractal Theorymarch 2008

Fractal theoryRevolution in digital equipment

A Dominican expert said he has created an electronic chip, based on fractal theory, which he said could revolutionize digital equipment, making them cheaper, less complex and which consume less energy.

The engineer Luis Jose Quiñones said the integrated circuit he calls DBC 440 would allow the creation of digital structures in fractal form, different from those currently manufactured.

He said a fractal is a semi-geometric object whose basic structure is repeated on different scales, leading to more perfect symmetrical and harmonic structures, mentioning a flower, a tree and even a human being as examples of natural fractals.

Quiñones spoke in the monthly conference of the Consultancy of Cooperation, Science and Technology (Cocecit), headed by Héctor Báez Tisol, in coordination with the Dominican Academy of Sciences, on this occasion titled « Digital Fractals ».

The National Energy Commission’s (CNE) nuclear adviser said once an international company applies his invention, the chip could be available for public use.

Quiñones said his DBC 440 chip, already in the patenting process, would be used not only in the computers, but also in cameras and all equipment with digital structures.

Also present in the activity was Academy of Sciences president Nelson Moreno Ceballos, among other personalities of the country’s electronic circuitry industry

Dominican Republic Live, 11.03.08

Easter Week : Civil Defense Closes Beachesmarch 2008

Civil Defense« Semana Santa Reflexiva 2008 »

As Easter Week (16-22 March) approaches, the Civil Defense office has issued its yearly notification of beach and swimming-hole closures to ensure public safety.

The list includes beaches and fresh water areas where people tend to congregate.

The closures are part of the program drawn up by the Center for Emergency Operations (COE) for Easter Week 2008.

A total of 1,212 aid posts of various sizes will be set up all across the Dominican Republic to serve the public during the week.

According to the COE a total of 12,120 volunteers will staff the posts stationed along highways, beaches and bathing areas.

Dominican Republic Live, 13.03.08

Brugal Pays Bigmarch 2008

Profits from the sale of the company

The Brugal rum factory has paid the government RD $4 billion in capital gains on profits from the sale of the rum-producing company to Edrington International Brands Limited. The funds were handed over to the government during a special ceremony.

The director of the Tax Department, (DGII) Juan Hernandez, received the funds on behalf of the government.

Brugal executives say that the sale and the payment of capital gains on the sale were made in strict compliance with the law and with full transparency

Brugal is the largest rum manufacturer in the DR.

Dominican Republic Live, 14.03.08

Baby Manati Rescued in Dominican East Coastmarch 2008

Baby manatiThe little mammal is safe

Technicians of the Dolphin Island and Manatí theme partks rescued on Friday a baby manatí which swam along the coast in front of the hotel Ocean Blue, whose manager, Alberto Smith noticed its presence.

The manatí is on the list of endangered species, which fishermen kill for its meat.

Another manati, under the care Santo Domingo’s Aquarium, died a few months ago, after being in captivity for over 3 years.
This rescued baby manati was transferred to Santo Domingo by Aquarium technicians.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.03.08

No Tolls on Dominican Highways From Thursday and Fridaymarch 2008

Dominican highwaysMeasure to speed up traffic

Public Works minister Víctor Diaz said all vehicles can use the roads free of tolls around the country, including highways 6 de Noviembre, Duarte and Las Americas, from noon Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.

He said the measure aims to speed up traffic so travelers and vacationers headed to towns, beaches, rivers and hotels better enjoy the Easter break.

He also announced the ban on heavy vehicles on the highways from noon tomorrow Thursday to noon Sunday, with the transport of fuels and perishable foods excluded.

Dominican Republic Live, 19.03.08

Dominican Fruits Back in Japanmarch 2008

Almost 100 years later

Dominican fruit arrived in Japan after the embargo in place since 1914 prevented their export, said the vice president of the company Melysol, one of the Caribbean country’s fruit exporters, quoted by newspaper Diario Libre.

Humberto Franco said Tuesday Japan’s ban on Dominican fruit resulted from a « misunderstanding » after a report on the presence of the Mediterranean fruit fly on the eastern part of the island.

He said the first shipment of Dominican fruit arrived in Japan in February 11, 2008. “This event is a great step for Japan and Dominican Republic, because it opens a new avenue of free trade between these countries.”

In 2007 Dominican Republic imported US $300 million from Japan in automobiles and machinery, and exported US $87.1 million, Franco said.

Dominican Republic Live, 20.03.08

Dominican Easter Break Toll 25 Dead, 335 Injuredmarch 2008

Emergencies Operations CenterLast bulletin

As of Sunday afternoon 25 people had died and 335 others were affected during the Easter break, mostly from traffic accidents and drowning.

Two people died when a passenger bus and a Honda Civic automobile collided in the La Romana-San Pedro highway (east).

Emergencies Operations Center director Juan Manuel Méndez said 19 people died in car accidents, including 113 involving motorcycles, with 287 injured.

Five others drowned in rivers and beaches in Montecristi, Santiago, El Seibo and Monte Plata provinces, including an 8 year old boy; one person died and 44 taken to emergency rooms for alcoholic poisoning.

In the emitted bulletin the Good Friday had passed away six and 51 was affected. The numbers increased to Saturday Santo with 13 and 199 affected victims.

Around 31,000 people from different agencies, distributed in 2,125 positions, participated in Operation Easter 2008, tending one to prevent accidents as well as to assisting vacationers on the highways, rivers, mountains and beaches, with 116 ambulances, four mobile hospitals and three aircraft to transfer the wounded.

Dominican Republic Live, 24.03.08

Treasure Hunter Goes After US $100M Booty off Dominican Waters

Banco de la PlataExclusive rights to search

A renowned treasure hunter has announced a 50-50 split agreement with the Dominican Government for the exclusive rights to search a 25-square-mile portion of the Silver Bank (Banco de la Plata) for shipwrecked silver, gold bullion and centuries-old artifacts, north of the Caribbean country.

Burt Webber Jr. said “it’s not just about getting rich; it’s also history, the mystique of it all. It is just fascinating” he said regarding an estimated US $100 million in riches that went to the bottom of the sea after the Spanish galleon Concepción foundered on the Silver Bank, about 80 miles north of the Dominican Republic.

Now 65, Webber has been a treasure hunter since 1978, when he first located the Concepción and recovered booty then valued at US $14 millionmarch 2008

But Webber is confident more remains, and when he and his 13-member crew head south to Banco la Plata aboard the Ocean Lady next week, they’ll take with them an unprecedented array of high-tech detection equipment.

Dominican Republic Live, 25.03.08

PGA Championship Tour comes to Dominican Republic

Cap CanaConfirmed players will be there

The Cap Cana PGA Championship Tour will take place at the Punta Espada Golf Course from 31 March to 6 April.

Some of the confirmed players are Jay Haas, Craig Stadler, Curtis Strange, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Nick Price, Fred Funk, Eduardo Romero, Vicente Fernández, Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam.

Tickets are RD $1,000 per person for one day and RD $2,000 for 3 days.

Dominican Republic Live, 26.03.08

Installation of Three Wind Parks in Dominican Republicmarch 2008

Wind parkIn Baní, Oviedo and Monte Cristi

The Secretariat of Environment granted the licenses necessary to the installation in the country of three wind parks which will each one produce 190 megas of energy.

The holder of the portfolio, Omar Ramirez, informed that these parks will be installed in Baní, Oviedo and Monte Cristi.

“We work on the inspection and the establishment of the National Wind Park. We are already the third country in Latin America and the seventh in the world, which obtained through the Mechanism of the Clean Development, to register these three projects”, he specified.

These details were exposed during an extraordinary meeting of the Ministers of Environment of El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic, during which one posed the need for defining a joint position and for creating regional strategies on the climatic changes.

They also tackled key subjects for the processes of adjustment and mitigation of the climatic change, particularly concerning the vulnerability of the countries represented like the water, the sustainable energy, the forecast and the control of pollution and the mechanisms of clean development.

Omar Ramirez explained that the Secretariat of the Environment also works with the hotel sector to the energy efficiency, by the saving in fuels.

He said that every country of the sector has different plans and applies measures with regard to the climatic changes.

The meeting was chaired by Carlos Guerrero, Minister of the Environment of El Salvador and president of the Commission of Central America Atmosphere and Development (CCAD). This meeting is a preparatory meeting at the Presidential Summit on the Climatic Changes and the Environment which is scheduled for May 28, of this year, in Honduras.

Dominican Republic Live, 28.03.08

 

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