Construction of Santo Domingo-Samana highway’s 2nd stage begins

The contract to begin construction of the Santo Domingo-Samana highway’s second stage, at a cost of US $103 million, was signed yesterday by Public Works minister Víctor Diaz Rúa and the representative of the company Atlantic Tourism Boulevar, Armín Garcia.

It includes construction of the road circuit linking the Atlantic coast towns Nagua and Sanchez, to Samaná; Samana-Las Terrenas until the airport at Catey, and to Rincón Molinillos, a total of 123 kilometers, estimated to last two years.

Diaz Rúa said the Santo Domingo-Samana (north-south) highway network will encompass all the Northeastern region’s tourism destinations, satisfying the needs of Samana province’s communities and the tourists who visit them.

For years, motorists have demanded the construction of a fast north-south route to Samana, and to spur the economic development of the country’s northeast.

Dominican Today, 02.12.07

Former Vice-President Jaime David will be subjected to justice

NAGUA – Former vice-president of the Republic, Doctor Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, will be subjected to the justice on Monday and Tuesday by the public ministry, following the complaint deposited by the parents of a woman deceased in a traffic accident involving the political chief.

Last Friday, the Jeep in which travelled the « peledeísta » leader struck the young girl Ana Josefina Marte García, on the road Nagua-Cabrera, when her companion with whom she circulated on a motorbike turned back without realizing that a vehicle arrived behind them. The driver of the scooter, Justo De la Cruz Guarionex Paredes, was wounded, and he is hospitalized in the Medical centre Siglo XXI, of San Francisco de Macorís.

The prosecutor of the province María Trinidad Sánchez, Juan Raúl Quiroz, informed that he is preparing the file.

Listín Diario, by Teonilda Gómez, 02.12.07


Dominican business leaders slam« discriminatory» gas subsidy

The government’s plan to subsidize diesel for public transport and cargo vehicles, while welcomed by the transport sector, has been criticized by business leaders, who describe the measure as discriminatory and politically motivated.

These were the views of the National Gasoline Retailers Association leader Juan Ignacio Espaillat and former National Private Business Council head Elena Viyella de Paliza, who said that the subsidy was contradictory and discriminatory, which could become a source of tremendous administrative corruption.

Freddy Méndez, president of the Bus Owners’ Union, said that the subsidy should be analyzed to determine whether or not it was needed, while transport leader Juan Hubieres suggested that it could be applied according to route and not by organization or union.

Dominican Today, 01.12.07

The resignations of the PRSC leaders continue in Samaná

Psrc-V

The municipal directory of the Social Christian Reformist party (PRSC) of the commune of Sánchez, province of Samaná, gave up of this political organization, in solidarity with the senator of the province Sánchez Ramirez Felix Vásquez, who recently gave up the lines of reformism.

Information was provided by Melvin Ramirez, member of the National Directory of the PRSC and ex candidate to the town hall during the local elections of 2006.

With a letter addressed to the president of the PRSC, Federico Antún Batlle, the leaders announce that they do not feel represented nor not protected by the directives from the red party.

Our political action will have to be surrounded by a party for which the leaders feel the necessity that they must present to the country with coherence and veracity a project of nation, Melvin Ramirez expressed.

The outgoing leaders of the red party affirmed to feel themselves fully identified with the action undertaken by Senator Felix Vásquez, who several weeks ago gave up the PRSC.

After the resignation of the senator, leaders’ reformists of several communes of the provinces of Sánchez Ramirez, La Vega and Samaná followed him.

El Nuevo Diario, 03.12.07

New handing-over of free glasses

After the control of the vision carried out in the previous weeks, Médico-Lions manufactured, in France, 70 pairs of glasses for children and adults for our Association.

The beneficiaries are the inhabitants of the villages of Agua Sabrosa, Rancho Español and La Hormigua.

On Saturday December 1st, our team, President Serge Rousset and Doctor Helene Piriou, offered the glasses and controlled their good adaptation.

The « control vision » team, as from January will be reinforced by a second team to start the program « vision in the schools ».

We give an appointment on Sunday 9/12 to 17h30 for our great LOTTO in BARRIO LATINO.

Come to help us to develop our actions.

HDEA, 03.12.07


Use of exotic animals in Samaná

Animals used as tourist attraction

The Center for the Conservation and Eco development of the Bay of Samaná and its Environment (Cebse) denounced in front of the Secretariat of the Environment the use of a series of exotic animals in the zone of Cayo Levantado, among them sea-lions, monkeys and parrots which are used as attraction for the tourists.

According to Cebse, they already asked the authorities to investigate regarding the authorizations granted for the use of these animals and the infrastructures being used to shelter them over there.

He said that although the authorities sent a technician in the zone, they do not have to date a response as for knowing if these operations are authorized or not.

The Cebse indicates that it is common to see on the beach of Cayo Levantado people with a sea-lion kept on a lead as if it was a dog in order to attract the tourists to take a photo of them with the animal.

He informed that Rancho Michell, company owner of the animals, requested the authorization to bring tigers and other animals to form part of private zoological garden of a hotel of the country.

The use and the transfer of any exotic species introduced or reproduced in captivity on the national territory must be carefully controlled in order to avoid their illegal use which endanger the integrity of our country in relation to the handling and the traffic of species , this is why it is necessary that the authorities take measures concerning this business.

Hoy Digital, by Odalis Mejia, 05.12.07

The students of the PUCMM celebrated the eighth hotel fair Samaná 2007

This fair seeks to obtain integration and to stimulate the students to put learned knowledge in practice

The students of the sector sales and marketing of the hotel school of the Pontifical Catholic University Madre and Maestra (PUCMM), organized a hotel fair devoted to the tourist destination of Samaná.

This fair which since year 1994 is carried out promotion after promotion seeks to obtain the integration of the students and to stimulate them to put into practice the knowledge acquired during all their formation.

This year was dedicated to the province of Samaná because we know that it is a promising destination which not only offers to its visitors all inclusive tourism but also the option to develop eco-tourism said, Miguelina Butrón, Director of Sales and Marketing for Latin America and the Caribbean of Viva Wyndham Resorts, and professor of the university.

The companies which took part in the fair are Amhsa Marina Hotels & Resorts, Bahía Príncipe, Viva Wyndham Resorts, Avisa Tours, KM Destinos, Telefónica Tours, SEMAGE and Mundi Libro.

Among the artistic participations which were offered during the two days of the fair they were the folk National ballet and Perico ripiao, Showtender, and Bamboolá of Samaná.

Diario Digital, 06.12.07

Role of the foreign investment underlined

The foreign investment is decisive in the tourist sector

The principal adviser in investments of the Conference of the United Nations for the Trade and the Development, Rory Allan, indicated that to achieve the goal to direct the economy of the Dominican Republic towards a new level of development based on activities of a greater added value in the manufacturing and services sectors, it is important to recognize the essential role played by the Direct Foreign Investment (DFI).

Allan made these statements during the presentation of the report « Analyzes of Investment Policies of Dominican Republic », worked out by the UNCTAD at the request of the Dominican government.

Moreover, the adviser of the UNCTAD underlined the challenges with which the country is confronted to give the impulse to larger and better flows of investments and he referred to the need for promoting a diversification of the productive sector towards activities of companies which can operate with higher costs and better qualification of the workforce.

He also mentioned that the principal recommendations include improving the legal and regulating framework for the investment with a new law of investment and the adoption of a law on competition.

The UNCTAD proposes the reinforcement of the promotion of the investments at the national level, through the creation « of a true » national system of investments promotion which would formalize the relations between the various agencies involved in the promotion, and which would be directed by a new Secretariat of Investments.

Diario Libre, 07.12.07

Miss France 2008 in Las Terrenas

Miss Reunion elected

Mr. José Alexis MARTINEZ, Mayor of Las Terrenas, with the Misses France during the closing night in Gran Bahia Principe of Las Terrenas, and to the right side Valérie BÈGUE, Miss Reunion elected Miss France 2008.

Sylvain MAUFRAIS, 10.12.07

Red alert on the North-East of the Dominican Republic

The tropical storm Olga is moving over the country

Towards 4:00am (local time) Olga started to produce strong wind gusts and torrential rains over the East coast of the Dominican Republic.

The Civil Defense aids are in red alert on at least 24 provinces and the tropical storm Olga could be strengthened into tropical cyclone in the next hours.

Sylvain MAUFRAIS, 11.12.07

Olga spares major Dominican tourism regions

Punta Cana, Samaná and Puerto Plata airports continue operating normally

Olga V01

The Dominican Republic’s major tourism regions were spared from damages from Subtropical Storm Olga, as hotel resorts coneinue normal operations and no tourists were injured, said the Tourism Ministry (Sectur) and the National Hotels and Restaurants Association (Asonahores).

Asonahores president Luis Lopez said the tourism industry laments the loss of lives and economic damages from the storm in some of the country’s provinces. He said the Punta Cana, Samaná and Puerto Plata airports continue operating normally, receiving flights from around the world.

In a statement the Tourism Ministry said although the storm penetrated Dominican territory through the eastern zone and its displacement it included the northern, northeastern and northwestern coastal zones, damages to neither infrastructure nor to accesses roads have been reported.

Dominican Today, 13.12.07

After the deaths, Dominicans count Olga’s damages to crops

Tragedy

Olga04

Millions in losses to agriculture and livestock, at least three people missing, more than 500 homes damaged and around 300 families evacuated were the grim totals so far Thursday morning from the flooding as a swollen North Yaque river passed though this northwestern province.

Meanwhile, as the waters began entering the community Hatillo Palma on dawn Thursday, senator Hans Vieluf said most residents in areas prone to floods had already been taken to different shelters. All this makes one suppose that the floods will be the most dramatic in this zone’s history.

This morning Civil Defense PR chief Yesmin Simon said evacuated families were taken to the La Barranquita sports complex, as their homes were flooded when the North Yaque, the Amina and Arroyo de Mao overflowed their banks.

Around 500 houses located in the community Junquito were affected by the North Yaque’s waters after Tavera dam’s floodgates were opened at dawn yesterday, to prevent its collapse, said the government in its Web site. It said the waters began to subside Thursday morning, while several helicopters and boats rescued people atop trees and roofs.

The newspaper El Nacional, quoting Mario González Minaya, coordinator of the Farmers Associations Board of Montecristi province, reports that the flooding damaged more than 80 percent of the plantain and banana crops, and livestock in the zone.

Dominican Today, 13.12.07

The aqueducts damaged by the storm are restored in Samaná

The aqueduct of Las Terrenas had been put out-of-order in a preventive way because of the turbidity of water

Frank Rodriguez, director executive of the National Institute of Drinking waters and of Sewers (INAPA), informed that the passage of the storm Olga over the country put out-of-order 43 systems, number which on Thursday morning was reduced to 34 with the start-up of 9 aqueducts, thanks to the keen and effective work of the technicians of the organization.

The civil servant said that among the affected aqueducts there is that of the North-western Line, which is partially out-of-order because of a piping coming from Navarrete and going to Montecristi which was damaged.

In order to guarantee the supply of drinking water while the works are carried out, the director of INAPA ordered the sending of 20 tank trucks which will freely distribute duly treated water to the populations of the North-western Line.

The aqueducts in service after having repaired their electric damage are those of Cotuí, Los Corozos, Fantino, Múltiple La Mata – Bija, Quita Sueño, La Cueva and Comedero, in Sánchez Ramírez, and of Sánchez, in Samaná.

Diario Libre, 14.12.07

The SIV approves a public offer of 4 billion RD $

The resources will be used for the repair of the roads of Nagua, Sánchez, Santa Bárbara de Samaná, El Limón, Las Terrenas and Majagual

Superintendence of Values (SIV) approved yesterday a public offer of more than 4 billion pesos equivalent to 130 million USS, from the Boulevard Turístico del Atlántico company.

The superintendent of the SIV, Haivanjoe NG Cortiñas, informed that Boulevard Turístico del Atlántico (BTA) is devoted to the construction of public works under the system of concession; as well as to the total or partial development of private works under other methods.

The resources coming from this emission will be used for the repair and the construction of the roads which connect the communes of Nagua, Sánchez, Santa Bárbara de Samaná, El Limón, Las Terrenas and Majagual, for an order of 80% of the total cost of the work.

The company will rehabilitate 99 kilometers of roads and will build 24 of them, by assuming the duties and the rights in connection with the operation, the maintenance and the cashing of the toll tariffs of the communication road of the mentioned communes.

Listín Diario, by Cándia Acosta, 14.12.07

The restrictive controls on closing hours and drink selling will be lifted from 21

From December 21 and until January 2 the restrictive hour controls will be lifted on alcohol drink selling

The Interior and Police secretary, Franklin Almeida Rancier, justified the decision pointing out that in this Christmas season, festivities are realized in every moment and thatwe have to respect this year time.

Concerning the fireworks selling, he recommended to sellers to make it in good conditions, without putting in danger the citizens.Here the fireworks are sold like bananas, confetti or Christmas candies, and we can’t make money like thathe expressed.

He reminded to this branch businessman that since the past year, by means of a decree, the president Leonel Fernandez established the regulations and norms for the fireworks selling, for which they can’t claim to be unaware of these.

He ruled out that homemade fireworks enterprises rise out as a result of the officials regulations. He ensured that all the State system will be attentive on this activity, with the many sectors support, since firework selling has been free for a long time.

Interviewed in the D’Agenda show, which is produced by Héctor Herrera Cabral, the official pondered the fact that the citizenship has recovered the social space in emblematic district like Capotillo, after the Barrio Seguro Programme implementation, which has permitted that people could go to the streets with their christens in this Christmas time.

Al Momento, 17.12.07

4.3 degree Earthquake registered in East and North county zones

The quake could have been felt in Puerto Plata, a part of Moca and Hato Mayor, as well as Samaná and Nagua

An earthquake with a 4.3 degree magnitude in Richter scale has been registered this Sunday in a large part of Dominican Republic, principally in North and East regions.

The University Seismologic Institute director, Juan Payero de Jesús, informed that the earthquake was registered around 4.00 am in San Pedro de Macorís and had a depth of 77 square kilometres, with an epicentre localized at the north of Los Llanos in East zone.

He upheld that the quake could have been felt in Puerto Plata, a part of Moca and Hato Mayor, as well as Samaná and Nagua, without reports of these localities yet.

The past December 14 another earthquake of same depth and intensity had been registered. It was felt in several country provinces, especially in Tamboril and Santiago.

Al Momento, 16.12.07

American Airlines adds new Dominican-Puerto Rico flight

Samaná is a destination with extraordinary potential

American Eagle, American Airlines’ regional air service, has added a new daily flight between Samaná and San Juan, Puerto Rico to its schedule.

Flight 5047 will leave Samaná’s El Catey airport at 3:40 p.m. daily, while flight 5046 will leave San Juan at 1:45 p.m. daily.
Rafael Sanchez, General Director of American Airlines in the Dominican Republic, said the new flights are a response to increasing demand from clients. Samaná is a destination with extraordinary potential and this new service will contribute to the development of the region.

Samaná is one of six Dominican destinations offered by American Eagle.

Dominican Today, by Alexandra Pope, 18.12.07

Las Terrenas: Closing times relaxed

Overtime during the week and the weekend as from December 18

This Monday, at the request of Veronique of the Mosquito Bar, a meeting took place in the Cayuco between the local authorities and the restaurant and bar keepers of Las Terrenas, in order to obtain an explanation over the extension of the schedules of closing of the entertainment places and to talk about the possibly of an overtime during the week and the weekend.

In the presence of the Governor, Señora Dra. Elsa A. de LEÓN and under her convocation the Politur Colonel, Señor Pérez MARTINEZ and the Colonel of the National police force, Señor Andrés RODRIGUEZ, as well as the bar and restaurant keepers of Las Terrenas attended this meeting.

The Governor, coming from Las Terrenas, explained to have already tackled this subject a few months ago with the Minister of Interior and Policia, Señor Franklin ALMEYDA, but her request had remained unanswered.

Then the last week, it was with the General of the National police force of San Francisco de Macoris that an agreement was concluded, giving right to one additional hour during the week and the weekend as from this evening, December 18, for the totality of the bars and restaurants of Las Terrenas.

The authorities specified that the restaurants, bars and discotheques of the private residences such as Alisei could remain open but only for their customers « with bracelet » , accommodated in the rooms and apartments of this same residence.

The authorities also insisted on the fact that the owners and managers of these establishments have to make sure that the customers are more than 18-year-old and are not carrying firearms and that no excuse will be accepted for the contraveners.

Politur is there to apply the law and not for making the law. The responsibility of Politur is to ensure the security of the tourists and we are waiting for the co-operation and the communication on behalf of Europeans owners of these establishments. We must maintain this communication because the law is the same for everybody, said Colonel Pérez MARTINEZ of Politur.

He finally invited the people present to note his personal telephone number to inform him directly of any abuse: 809 754 3017.

Telephone of Colonel Andrés RODRIGUEZ of the National police force: 829 865 2495

To close this meeting, it was confirmed that as from December 22 the closing schedules will be free and this until January 2, 2008.

Sylvain MAUFRAIS, 18.12.07

The Chief of the DNCD inaugurates premises in Las Terrenas and in Samaná

The agents can work with dignity

The National Office of Drugs Control (DNCD) inaugurated yesterday its new premises in Las Terrenas and Samaná, buildings in which the personnel was immediately installed, agents who will have the responsibility to fight against drug traffic in the two Communities of the North-Eastern area.

The act of inauguration was chaired by the president of the agency, Major General Rafaël Radhamés Ramirez Ferreira, who stressed that the installations were prepared according to the instructions of the President of the Republic, Doctor Leonel Fernández, as forming part of the support that the Government offers to the DNCD.

The new premises are located in a house yielded by the Army, institution which supports the work that the DNCD carries out, like the Navy, the Police force, the Dominican Air Force and the National Department of Investigation (D.N.I.).

These two new buildings, as well as the others which will be inaugurated during the next months, are the result of the transformations carried out by the DNCD in its installations in all the country, so that our personnel can work with dignity, said Ramirez Ferreira.

He supported that they gradually made important transformations in the physical installations of the DNCD, while starting with the central headquarter in Santo Domingo, where great changes occurred.

The agents who will work in the zone were stimulated to work hardly Mr. President provided us the resources we requested so it is possible to do an efficient work. We will continue to work in order to have our own premises, so that the DNCD offices are not in the same installations as other agencies, he commented.

He indicated that in many cities where the agency has Divisions and Board of inspectors we have an adequate housing so the agents have a safe and worthy roof which allows a most effective work.

El Nuevo Diario, 19.12.07

Thousands of new cops hit the streets for the holiday

Democratic Security Plan

National Police chief Rafael Guillermo Guzmán said on Thursday that 3,165 new police agents will begin patrolling nationally in this holiday season, to guarantee order.

He said of the 3,165 agents, 1,095 will reinforce the Metropolitan Transit Authority (AMET), 400 will patrol, 306 will reinforce citizen security and 1,670 will enter as auxiliary agents.

With these new agents the police now has 15,000 to patrol the Capital’s streets and the rest of the country starting today Friday, to protect to the citizenship, and coincides with the heightened commercial activities and the Christmas and New Year celebrations, said Guzmán.

He said the number of police agents in the streets will set a precedent, and praised president Leonel Fernandez’s support of the Police, basically for the strengthening of the Democratic Security Plan.

Dominican Today, 21.12.07

Major tourism breakthrough

The decrees opens doors for visits from tourists and investors from several affluent countries

Foreigners holding up-to-date passports and visas issued by the United States, Canada, European Union or the United Kingdom will now be able to enter the DR with the purchase of a tourist card and not a visa as previously required, according to Decree 690-07 issued this week by President Leonel Fernandez.

The measure comes at a time when tourism to the Caribbean is on the decline, and acknowledges the importance of tourism and foreign investors for the Dominican economy. With a modern travel vision, it recognizes that those countries have better systems to screen unwanted visitors than the DR.

Complementary Decree 691-07 derogates the visa requirement for tourists from Andorra, Bahrain, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Iceland, the North Marianas Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Micronesia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Qatar, South Africa, Romania, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. These will now also be able to enter with the purchase of a tourist card.

Dominican Ambassador to India Hans Dannenberg stressed that the decree is a major step towards achieving regional connectivity with Asia and Africa. Both Dannenberg and Dominican ambassador in Qatar, Hugo Guiliani are lobbying for direct air link from the Middle East to the DR so that travelers no longer have to make stopovers in Europe or the US to travel to the DR.

The decrees opens doors for visits from tourists and investors from several affluent countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Brunei, Kuwait, Qatar and South Africa as countries from where investors and tourists could be attracted.

He also mentioned that the elimination of visa requirement for Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Seychelles is part of a reciprocal visa treatment, following these countries’ elimination of the requirement for Dominican citizens.

He also commented that the visa requirement follows diplomatic efforts for increased integration through European Union-sponsored ACP meetings, at the United Nations and other international forums.

DR1, 21.12.07

The national press praises Las Terrenas: A « little piece » of paradise

Las Terrenas offers a paradisiacal environment

Embraced by the Atlantic light winds, the Samaná peninsula wears with the palm trees greenness and enlists itself to offer to the country visitors virgin beaches, rivers and fantastic waterfalls and its multicolored and exuberant flora and fauna. It’s not in vain that this northeast province is known as the new Dominican tourism promise.

In the peninsula north part, the Las Terrenas zone emphasizes itself.

It’s the home of turquoise waves beaches, blond sand and modest hotels which invite the tourist to rest with familiarity and simplicity.

Las Terrenas offers a paradisiacal environment without the traditional great hotels chains and its all inclusive plans.

The best quality of the zone is its tranquility, the proximity of hotels and residences to the beach and the great quantity of activities that, which range, opens out under the traveler eyes. The on foot, on horses, in buggy, or four-wheel excursions; the scuba diving, windsurfing, kite-surfing and the boat rides are only a few of them.

From Las Terrenas, it’s possible to accede to the most memorable beauties of all Samaná tips, like the Limón Cascade, the National Park Los Haitises, Cayo Levantado and depending of the time of the year, humpback whales, which arrive from January to March to mate.

The zone tourism is very European, with predominance of French and Italians, these one form a resident colony, even if 60 per cent of zone tourism is local.

From Santiago, Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo families and groups come looking for emotion and recreation or to celebrate some course or seminar.

Another aspect of the real estate in Las Terrenas are the villas and actually residential projects are in construction that will permit, to whom can afford it, have their permanent or resting residence in front of the Atlantic, in a beautiful location.

In Las Terrenas, there are several localities with distinct attractions that, if you have time, are worth to visit.

Punta Popi, Pueblo de los Pescadores, Playa de Las Ballenas, Playa Bonita, Punta Bonita and Playa Cosón emphasize themselves.

Listín Diario, 20.12.07

Las Terrenas: Christmas Show in the Paseo

Santa Klaus will be there !

Like every year, el Paseo proposes this Saturday December 22, a Christmas spectacle for everybody of every age.

The spectacle will start at 06:30 PM and will offer songs, dances and games as well as a refreshment bar organized by the Humanitarian Association Dominico-Europea.

Come numerous !

LTL, Editorial staff, 21.12.07

Santa Klaus on the beach !

For all the children of Las Terrenas

Santa Klaus will be on the Popi Beach to greet all the children of Las Terrenas on Sunday Decembre 23 at 04:00 PM.

Merry Christmas !

LTL, Editorial staff, 21.12.07

This evening, the Moon and Mars will offer a beautiful spectacle

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The red star will be very close to the Earth this evening

For the amateurs of night spectacles, the night of December 24 could be ideal, because we will be able to observe in the sky a giant and clear Moon, accompanied by the planet Mars, in its maximum splendor.

The red star, in opposition with the Sun, will be then very near the Earth, fact which will not be repeated before 9 years.

Thus, while watching towards the east at twilight, the Moon and Mars will appear to be very close.

Diario Digital, 24.12.07

Dispute for the Santa Klaus house location !

This conflict involves sentimental and cultural, but such economic reasons

The real figure who inspired Santa Klaus is Saint Nicolas, a bishop who lived during the century IV in current Turkey, but the Western figure born at century XIX is an American creation, and it locates the house of Santa Klaus in the North Pole.

Finland has the advantage since at the end of the decade of the Twenties, the programs of radio unified the traditional « joulupukki » with the Anglo-Saxon iconography of Santa Klaus, figure with white beard and red combination who every year distributes the day before Christmas gifts to the children everywhere in the world in a flying sledge drawn by reins.

For the Finnish people, and many children of Occident, Santa Klaus lives in the hill of Korvatunturi, close to the northern border with Russia.

However, for the Danish children, Santa Klaus lives in Nuuk, capital of Greenland, where the local authorities are trying since decades, although with modest means, to promote this image, by building a history inspired by Inuit mythology.

Dominicanos Hoy, 23.12.07

Japan delays plan to resume humpback whale hunting

Japan has now officially announced that they will not kill humpback whales this season

Humpbacks are safe, at least until December 2008.

In a deal brokered by the United States, Japan has agreed to remove the humpbacks from the death list for this season. There have been no reports from the Japanese fleet on how many humpbacks if any have been killed so far this season.

Japan still intends to continue to kill 50 endangered Fin whales and 935 piked (minke) whales. Japan put the humpbacks on the list at the 2007 International Whaling Commission meeting primarily as a bargaining chip to broker for support of their commercial whaling activities on other species. That tactic failed and Japan set forth to punish the pro-whale nations of the IWC by announcing the quota for endangered humpbacks.

Unfortunately this is only a temporary respite for the species. Japan is determined to continue to escalate their kill quotas and to expand to other species. The Japanese are planning the construction of a much larger whale processing vessel to replace the aging Nisshin Maru.

The Japanese whaling fleet has a long history of under reporting catches to the IWC.

Dominican Today, 24.12.07

The Government will extend the aerian network in 2008

Rd Airports V

For better answering the catastrophes and motivating the tourism in the country

Next year, the Government will take again the construction of the airport of San Juan de la Maguana and projects to build aerodromes in Jimaní, Pedernales and San Francisco de Macorís.

The agenda of the Airport Department includes also the inauguration of the airport of Montecristi, which is in its final stage, and the construction of the heliport of Santo Domingo, which is temporarily stopped by order of the syndic Robert Salcedo.

As explained by Andres Vanderhorst, director of the Department, the idea is to connect the country by air in order to have a fast response to face the atmospheric phenomena and also in order to the tourism can easily join all the areas of the country.

With on last Friday the incorporation of the airport June 14 of Constanza in the international category, they are now 10 terminals of the country which have this status.

The others are those of Las Americas in Saint-Domingue; Gregorio Luperón in Puerto Plata; Punta Cana in La Romana; María Montez in Barahona; Cibao in Santiago; El Catey in Samaná; Higüero in Northern Santo Domingo, and Punta Aguila in La Romana.

In November, these nine airports had mobilized 8.502.119 passengers.

The statistics of the Airport Department stress that 4.177.158 people entered and that 4,324, 961 left the country during this period.

Only for the airport of Las Americas, we are waiting for 250 thousand passengers only during the Festive Season.

Diario Libre, by Yvonny Alcántara, 24.12.07

Dominican holiday death toll at 18

Most accidents were reported in the provinces of Santo Domingo, the National District, Duarte, San Cristóbal, Monte Plata and Samaná

Eighteen people have died and 286 were injured since Operation Christmas Rebirth 2007-2008 started on Monday 22nd, traffic accidents being the main cause of death, according to the Emergency Operations Center (COE).

Four people were killed on the road between Jarabacoa and La Vega yesterday, after the truck they were traveling in came off the road and crashed into a tree. The driver was reported to have been under the influence of alcohol.

Most accidents were reported in the provinces of Santo Domingo, the National District, Duarte, San Cristóbal, Monte Plata and Samaná.
Four people were killed on Christmas eve, all in road accidents, including a 12-year old boy. These occurred in Azua, Boca Chica, Villa Consuelo and Quita Sueño de Haina.

Eight people were killed on Saturday and two on Sunday. Since the 22nd, 123 accidents were reported, involving 129 motorbikes and 52 vehicles. Twenty pedestrians were hit by vehicles.

The 286 injuries include 23 cases of alcohol poisoning, including a three-year old boy who was treated in Rodolfo de la Cruz Lora hospital. Two people have died of alcohol poisoning.

Dominican Today, 25.12.07

The average expenses of the tourists only increased by five dollars in five years

During the five last years, the average expenses of the tourists in Dominican Republic increased approximately by five dollars, by reaching the sum of 109.26 US $

On the other hand, the revenues from tourism taxes maintain a growth rate of around billion pesos per year.

As well the investment, as the flow of tourists visiting the territory and the number of rooms, recorded an important rise the last five years, which contrasts with the average expenses, still considered low, compared to other nations.

A report of the Central Bank indicates that until September of this year, the average of expenses by tourist was maintained at 109.26 dollars, meaning approximately 5.00 US $ more than what was spent in 2002 (102.17 US $).

This year, the duration of stay recorded a slight reduction and went from 9.65 to 9.24.

Among the factors which influence the fact that the expenses of the tourists who visit the Dominican Republic are not higher, it is that these visitors buy « all inclusive packages » and that they are accommodated in hotel centers, where they just buy some gifts.

However, this year the average of the expenses of the tourist recorded a significant increase, allotted to the efforts which the authorities make to attract a tourist with a greater purchasing power.

In order to allow that a greater part of the population can benefit from the rise of tourism, which attracts every year approximately four million people, and which produces receipts for approximately 4 billion US $, in 2006 the tax department brought 5 thousand 647 million pesos, for the private sector and for the Government.

This allowed the repair and maintenance of the principal access roads, the colonial zones, the hotel, stores, restaurants and other attractive places like the historical heritage.

This allowed as well the safeguard of the natural places like rivers, waterfalls, caves etc…

The craft industry was also developed, in order to have a « country-brand name », this to increase the added value of tourism and so more Dominicans can benefit of a sector which could be transformed into one of the principal support of the economy.

Perspectiva Ciudadana, 26.12.07

Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide attack

Supporters burst into tears

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan. – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been murdered in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

At 6:16pm she expired, said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack. A senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, confirmed that Bhutto had died.

Her supporters at the hospital began chanting Dog, Musharraf, dog, referring to Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf. Some of them smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears.

Dominican Today, 27.12.07

The COE, Amet and the Police force announce a new operation

The Operation « Renacer Navideño » will be reinforced with five thousand new volunteers

The Center of Operations of Emergencies (COE) announced that it will carry out a new operation at the end of the year, in coordination with the Metropolitan Authority of Transport (Amet) and the National police force (PN), by means of which they will stop all the motorcyclists who circulate without helmet, drunk or with more than two passengers.

The Operation « Renacer Navideño » will be reinforced with five thousand new volunteers, so now in the streets, 40 thousand people take care on the lives of the travelers, informed the director of the COE, colonel Juan Manuel Méndez.

The civil servant announced that they will subject to justice the drivers which will be arrested under the effects of alcohol or violating the laws of circulation.

We coordinated each other with Amet and the National police force to carry out this operation, and we will stress the most vulnerable zones, and where the most accidents during the Festivals of Christmas occurred, he added.

He explained that the second phase of this operation will begin on Sunday 30 and will finish the New Year’s Day 2008.

He explained that the operation was also coordinated by Civil Defense and the other organizations of civil protection in order to increase the personnel who will take part of it.

He added that thanks to the reinforcement and indication on the motorways of the country, the traffic accidents in these points were almost null during the Christmas festivities, and that on the contrary, they all were almost recorded in the urban zones, which will be reinforced.As the motorcyclists are one of the most involved in accidents, we will take measures with all those who will be under the effects of alcohol and their motor bike will be confiscated to them in order to prevent that they continue to sow bereavement in the Dominican families, he said.

He asked the citizenship to celebrate with wisdom and to not drive if they drunk alcohol.

Listin Diario, 28.12.07

He asks to restore the restriction of alcoholic drinks sales for the End of the year

To liberalize the restrictions of sale of alcoholic drinks is a nonsense

Under-secretary of Collective Health, Doctor Nelson Rodriguez Monegro, asked the Secretariat of Interior and Police to maintain the restrictions of sale of alcoholic drinks, independently of the Festive Season.

Rodriguez Monegro considered that to liberalize the restrictions of sale of alcoholic drinks, for these days off and during the Holy Week is a nonsense because it is on these dates that people tend to drink a greater quantity of alcohol, and if we leave them without control, we will have an increase in accidents and mortality, compared to last year.

He supported that many victims do not appear in the statistics and remain at home with permanent lesions, resulting of traffic accidents, especially motor bikes.

He said that the request of the director of the hospital Darío Contreras, Héctor Quezada, who would like to prohibit the circulation of the motor cycles as from 01:00 AM, obeys to the fact that the majority of the victims, who arrive in emergency in this establishment, are victims of motor bike’s accidents.

However, the under-secretary of Health considered this proposal as nonviable because the motor bike constitutes the means of transport par excellence as well as in the large cities as in the Communities far-off in the country.

The motor bike is the transport used by people in the rural zone, it is the means of transport which replaced the horse, the mule, the ass, and it is that which is most frequently used by people to move from one village to another, he added.

He also said that in addition, the motor bike is a work instrument because it is used to transport products and goods from a place to another.

He said that what must be done is to implement the circulation rules which exist in the country, for the vehicles as for the motor cycles, to implement the mandatory wearing of helmet and the obligation of having a driving license, and that everybody is provided with their respective plates.

He moreover supported that the « motoconchistas » and those which use the motor bikes like means of transport, must be also subjected to the restrictions to not drink alcohol while they drive, measures which he ensured, would contribute to reduce the number of accidents and in consequence of victims.

He considered that like all the drivers of vehicles, the « motoconchistas » must be subjected to the breathalyzer test. He indicated that the majority of the injured motorcyclists die by cranial traumatism resulting to the obligation to use the helmet because the majority has it but hung to the handlebar or in the hands.

He moreover recalled that thousands of people are bread-winner like « motoconchista », additional reason to say that the request of Quezada is contra-indicated.

Clave Digital, 28.12.07

Tradition : 12 grapes to welcome the New Year

A tradition which takes place in many Dominican households

There are many traditions and habits celebrated in Latin America to welcome the New Year with chance, joy and happiness. One of them is to eat 12 grapes while the 12 midnight strokes are resounding, a countdown with the clock right before finishing the year.

Thus, the grapes are by tradition the last food which we eat during the year and the first nutrient that our organization receives to strengthen health.

This tradition is inherited from Spain where it started at the beginning of the century.

In addition to this curious tradition which takes place in many Dominican households, it is important to underline the great benefit which the grapes offer to the body.

Delicious practice which joins together all the tradition of the great majority of the Latin-American countries, which since centuries regard the grape as the fruit of Christmas par excellence to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.

Diario Digital, 30.12.07

Public works will continue constructions with a good rhythm

Public Works V

It is foreseen to carry out during the year 2008 some 34 works in the whole national territory

In spite of the challenge which the natural disasters of the tropical storms Noel and Olga meant, the Secretary of State of Public works and Communication, Víctor Díaz Rúa, affirms that this wallet does not lower the rhythm in the execution of the 14 works which he assumed since August, 21 when he designed for this charge.

Moreover, Díaz Rúa indicated that it is foreseen to carry out during the year 2008 some 34 works in the whole national territory.

He indicated as a important part of his management in 2007, the beginning of a plan of national asphalting in the streets and the avenues of Distrito Nacional, as well as in the communes of San Francisco de Macorís, La Vega, Bonao, Puerto Plata, Mao, San Juan de la Maguana, Higüey, la Romana, San Pedro de Macorís and the district Cien Fuegos of Santiago.

He also explained that they began the second stage of the Santo Domingo – Samaná road, which starts from Rincón de Molenillo to Catey, Sánchez and Las Terrenas, while the first stage (Santo Domingo – Rincón de Molenillo) will be finished in March 2008, in addition to the repair of the Nagua-Sánchez road.

Among work foreseen, it is also the Tourist Boulevard of the Atlantic, Nagua-Samaná (Samaná).

Listin Diario, 31.12.07

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