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Friday, March 30, 2012

More Anonymous hackers fall in Dominican Republic

Police in the Dominican Republic have arrested six more hackers belonging to the Anonymous collective who had been linked to attacks on the websites of state and private companies.

A report on The Hacker News on Wednesday quoted Public Prosecutor German Vasquez as saying the six hacked into government websites, including ones for the president and the education ministry.

Vasquez was also quoted as saying the suspects' ages ranged from 17 to 23.

The Hacker News report identified four of the six as:

- Milton Corniell David Jimenez (Zerohack)
- Juan Rafael Leonardo Acosta (Nmap)
- Cristian de la Rosa Jose de los Santos (Mot)
- Robert Reynoso Delgado (Frank-Ostia)

Authorities made the arrests last Sunday in Santiago, the report said.

But defense lawyer Carlos Guerrero denied the accusations and claimed the government has no evidence.

The defendants were accused of cyber terrorism, which the prosecution defined as a new form of threats and vulnerabilities in the Internet.

Source: GMA Network

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Dodgers agree to deal with Dominican teen

The Dodgers, missing in action on the international bonus scene in recent years, have agreed to sign 16-year-old right-handed pitcher Bryan Munoz from the Dominican Republic for a reported $300,000 bonus, pending a physical exam.

The signing will mark a re-entry by the Dodgers into a Dominican market they once owned. They ranked last in Major League Baseball last year in money spent on international signings. The Dodgers outbid the Rangers, Twins, Tigers and D-backs for Munoz.

The agreement was reached last week, while Munoz was in Arizona with the Dominican Elite Travel Team. The signing bonus is believed to be the largest the Dodgers have given a Dominican player since signing Joel Guzman for $2.25 million in 2001. Guzman played eight games for the Dodgers and was traded to Tampa Bay.

With a fastball reportedly already touching 90 mph, Munoz is expected to start his Minor League career in the United States and not at the Dodgers' Dominican academy at Campo Las Palmas, according to Kevin Bandel, Munoz's agent.

Source: LA Dodgers

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Relationships Increasingly Strong between Haiti and Dominican Republic

The Minister of Foreign and Religious Affairs, His Excellency Laurent Lamothe, met his Dominican counterpart Carlos Morales Troncoso, this Sunday, March 24 at La Romana in the Dominican Republic, around finalizing the preparations for the official visit of President of the Republic, His Excellency Mr. Michel Joseph Martelly, on the other side of the island this Monday, March 26, 2012.

The main objective of the visit of the Chief of the Haitian State to his counterpart Leonel Fernandez will include reactivating the formal bilateral joint commission between Haiti and the Dominican Republic and initial seven memoranda of understanding to expand cooperation in various fields such as a trilateral agreement between the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Venezuela regarding cooperation with social programs.

Also discussed during this two-hour meeting clock between the Haitian and dominicain Chancellors, the need for immigration agreement to manage the transport problem (the company, Haitian Capital Coach Line), the creation of a fund between the tripartite Dominican Republic, Haiti and Venezuela (Petrocaribe) on projects for Haiti's development and signing of a social assistance for affirmative action programs.

The two Foreign Ministers of the island welcomed the excellent relationship the Dominican Republic and Haiti are currently experiencing, to the benefit of the expansion of trade relations between the two states. "We will consider how best to extend continued cooperation and cooperation between our countries and sectors to create private wealth and economic development for the benefit of our peoples, " reported the Chancellor Lamothe.

Source: Defend Haiti

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Dominican Republic to start destination promotion in India

Keen to tap the growing Indian outbound market, especially the Wedding and Family Travel segments, Dominican Republic made its first marketing and promotional foray in India by participating in SATTE which was held last month. According to Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, Ambassador of Dominican Republic to India, the island nation, the second largest in the Caribbean’s, is already a favourite wedding destination for Indian families settled in the US and Canada. “We wanted to expose the destination to the Indian market as well and also want to engage the Indian travel trade. In order to co-ordinate the promotional activities in India, the embassy in Delhi, has appointed a dedicated official who will take care of promotional brochures in different Indian languages,” informed Castellanos.

There has been tremendous growth in trade and business between the two countries since Dominican Republic set up Embassy in Delhi. According to Castellanos, lot of Indian companies like Wipro, TCS, etc., have set up their call centres in the island. He informed that about 3,000 Indians visited Dominican Republic last year. "The country received four million tourists last year. The average growth in tourism in the country is 5.2 per cent, which is well above the regional average of 3.2 per cent," added Castellanos. When asked about the Visa formalities, the Ambassador said that the Embassy can issue Visa within 24 hours, which is quickest for any country. When asked about growth expectations in terms of Inbound from India to Dominican Republic, Castellanos said that the country wants to double the figures this year.

Speaking about connectivity, Castellanos said that people without Shengen or the US visa can travel through Middle East by Emirates to Brazil and then to Dominican Republic; as well as through Amsterdam. According to him, European countries offer transit visas easily to people having Dominican Republic Visa. The Republic is also easily accessible through New York. Dominican Republic recently signed air bilateral agreement with India, which qualifies Indian carriers to fly directly to the Caribbean nation. Indian carriers which are already flying to Europe and the US are also eligible to extend their route to Dominican Republic, the Ambassador added.

Major source markets for tourism for Dominican Republic are the US and Canada, followed by Europe. Golfing is a major leisure activity for tourists in the Dominican Republic. The Republic's East coast - Punta Cana - is a top destination for sophisticated luxury, championship golf and world's top beaches. Santa Domingo, the capital city, La Romana and Bayahibe, Puerto Plata on the Northern coast; Santiago in the Central region, Barahona, etc. are the most popular destinations in the island.

Source: Travel Biz Monitor

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dominican Republic to Open Training School for Larimar Craftsmen

It is a stone found only in the Dominican Republic. And now, a semi-precious stone called Larimar will get its own school in the country.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce announced that it would be installing a working school to train craftsmen who work with Larimar, aiming to improve the range and quality of jewelry made from the stone.

Work has begun on a project to create the school in the community of Bahoruco, according to Industry Minister Manuel Garcia Arevalo, who was speaking during a tour of a Larimar mine.

The Dominican Republic is currently exporting significant amounts of the stone to China and other nations, and the country hopes it can add to that value.

The country’s Central Sugar Corporation will reportedly sign an agreement with the government to support the school, and a search for teachers has already begun, according to engineer Pena Rubio.

About 10,000 Dominicans depend directly and indirectly on the extraction of Larimar for crafts and jewelry, according to the government.

The Dominican Republic has been extracting Larimar from its mines on the road from Barahona to Pedernales since 1975.

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Source: Caribbean Journal

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dominicans sent more money home, US$3.1B in 2011, report

US$3.1 billion in remittances were sent to Dominican Republic in 2011, 7.7 percent more than in 2010, says a Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) study cited by EFE.

The report by the IDB’s Multilateral Investments Fund (Fomin) said the figure takes the Caribbean country to fifth place in the most remittances received during that period, a list headed by Mexico, US$22.7 billion; Guatemala, 4.3B; Colombia, 4.2 and El Salvador, 3.7B.

“In countries such as Dominican Republic, the study says, remittances can reach 5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product," adding, "without this regular flow of resources the immigrants send to their relatives, many receiving families would fall below the line of poverty."

The statistics note that the immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean live mostly in the United States, from where they sent around US$61.0 billion to their countries last year, or 6 percent more than the 57.6 billion in 2010.

The IDB said the reception of remittances form one of the Dominican economy’s "three legs," with tourism and free zone exports the two others.

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Source: Dominican Today

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Dominican Republic Removes 68 City Dump Child Laborers

The Domincan Republic’s Department of Labor along with the Unit against Child Labor (UTI) removed 68 children working at the Rafey dump in Santiago as well as the city market, ‘Hospedaje Yaque.’

The coordinator of UTI, Félix Hidalgo, led the inspection and removal of these children in an attempt to reduce child labor in the country.

Felipe Rosario, the president of the Association of Workers at the Rafey Dump, stated that last year, three minors were killed after being run over by garbage trucks. He was grateful for the presence of UTI and the Labor department and hopes that future tragedies will now be prevented.

The Secretary of Labor, Francisco Domínguez Brito, made a plea to all Dominican citizens to avoid putting the children of the country in such horrific situations. He also stated that they will be pushing to guarantee that children remain in school instead of the workforce, where many of their young lives are in danger.

He continued to express that there needs to be options and social support given to the parents of these children in order to keep them away from dangerous working conditions.

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Source: Hispanically Speaking

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Roberto Hernandez strikes a deal

Dominican Republic prosecutors say Cleveland Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez has agreed to a deal to have false identity charges against him dropped in return for completing a work program in his Caribbean homeland.

Court documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press show how the deal was obtained.

Formerly known as Fausto Carmona, Hernandez was placed on baseball's restricted list after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic last month. Authorities say he is 31, three years older than the pitcher claimed.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said the team is monitoring "the developments related to Roberto's return to the United States and remain in touch with his representatives."

"We are not able to elaborate beyond that at this point," he said in an email.

Carmona is due to make $7 million this year, and the Indians hold options for 2013 at $9 million and 2014 at $12 million.

After winning 19 games in 2007, Carmona followed up with a disappointing 2008 season, and in 2009 the club sent him to the lower minors to work on his mechanics.

Carmona rebounded to win 13 games in 2010 in manager Manny Acta's first season, and went 7-15 last season. He was expected to be part of the starting rotation this season.

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Source: ESPN

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

EU Pledges US$55 Million Aid Funding For Dominican Republic, Haiti

The European Union (EU) has pledged 42 million euros (US$54.6 million) in aid to fund infrastructure, trade and sustainable development projects in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, according to an agreement signed Wednesday.

Chief of the EU delegation, Ambassador Irene Horejs, said the agreement was aimed at promoting trade, sustainable development and socioeconomic development in communities along the border the two Caribbean island nations share, Xinhua news agency reported.

It objective is to drive local development and generate jobs and revenue in the region by promoting trade between the two nations, said Horejs.

Domingo Jimenez, EU director in charge of coordinating European development funds, stressed the benefits of the agreement.

The agreement calls for the construction of a binational market in Dajabon and Juana Mendez, twin border cities, and overhauling the customs infrastructure in the border zone.

More than 23.2 million euros (US$30.1 million) will be released as part of the initial aid funding under the agreement.

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Source: Bernama

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Four top shipping companies to call modern port home

Four of the world’s leading marine transport companies will base their operations at Caucedo Multimodal Port to transship containers between North and South America.

Caucedo terminal’s high efficiency and bolstered security are the key element taken which attracted the foreign shippers to take the step, said Caucedo Port manager Multimodal Jose Nelton González during a tour for the press Wednesday.

The executive provided details on the various processes from the arrival, exit, positioning and to the final unloading of containers full of merchandise. “The fact that the shippers arrive in Dominican Republic opens new market opportunities for the local exporter, because services will be added which weren’t previously available.”

He added that the arrival of the new shipping companies starting March 22 will bring more jobs and improve the country’s competitiveness.

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Source and Photo: Dominican Today

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dominican Republic and Chile Strengthen Relations, With Rum and Wine

With Ron Brugal and Santa Ema wine, the Dominican Republic and Chile discussed the increased trade and economic interaction between the two countries in a ceremony Wednesday night.

Chile said it is open to accepting quality products from around the world, noting the recent success of the Dominican Republic’s Ron Brugal Ron Barcelo and Presidente beer, particularly among the country’s 20-to 30-year-old population.

Chilean Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Manuel Hinojosa Muñoz invited journalists and others to taste the new release of Santa Ema from its winery in Chile’s Maipo valley at the Chilean Embassy in Santo Domingo.

Santa Ema is currently sold in 30 countries.

Hinojosa said that relations between the Dominican Republic and Chile are growing every day, as is the flow of Chilean citizens becoming aware of the Dominican Republic.

Chile has been increasing its interaction with the wider Caribbean region of late; President Sebastian Piñera attended the recent CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Paramaribo last week.

In February, the two sides held their second CARICOM-Chile Joint Commission in Santiago, focusing on issues including renewable energy, agriculture and health.

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Source and Photo: Caribbean Journal

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dominican Baseball Director Visits Cuba

The president of the Caribbean Baseball Confederation, Juan Francisco Puello, is now in Cuba to make preparations for the 2013 Caribbean Baseball Series, disclosed Cuban weekly magazine Jit Tuesday.

According to the digital edition of Jit, Puello will talk to Cuban sports authorities about the possible participation of the island in the coming edition of the regional contest, anticipated for the Mexican city of Hermosillo and in which already South Korea has confirmed.

The event summons the champions of the professional winter leagues of Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Cuba is a founder of the Caribbean Baseball Series in 1949, in which it competed until 1960, winning seven of 12 editions.

From 1961 to 1969 the event was not celebrated, the 1970 edition was celebrated with three teams and from 1971, the inclusion of Mexico was confirmed.

Dominican Republic is the country with most wins (19), followed by Puerto Rico (10), Venezuela (7) and Mexico (6).

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Source and Photo: Solvision

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Dominican Republic tests Indian waters

Testing Indian tourism market for the first time is The Dominican Republic. Sabrina Cambiaso, director, Dominican Republic Tourist Board speaking to Express TravelWorld said, “We have always had interest in the Indian market. Our first inroad was the setting up of the embassy six years ago. We have successfully established trade relations with India and would now like to extend this to tourism as well.” She further informed that in 2011, 3,000 Indians travelled to The Dominican Republic and this was a positive sign because of which they wish to check the possibility of developing this market further.

“We are currently testing waters and getting feedback from Indian travel trade about The Dominican Republic and the response has been overwhelming,” she added. The feedback recieved will be conveyed back to the ministry of tourism in The Dominican Republic, who after careful study would draw out a Master Plan for this region.

On products and packages which have shown most interest, Cambiaso informed that they have seen particular interest in adventure products, affordable luxury as well as exclusive luxury. There has also been interest in golf and wedding based packages as well. “MICE seems to be a big business generator, and The Dominican Republic is well equipped for that as well with a total of 70,000 hotel rooms,” she added.

Acquiring visa is also not a challenge, Cambiaso promises. “Visa process is also simple, it takes two working days to procure a visa. And all those who have a valid UK, Schengen, UK and Canadian visa, are granted a 30-day tourist card,” she said.

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Source: Express Travel World

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Dominican Republic honors University professor

President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic awarded his country’s highest honor to a University professor in a ceremony held Feb., 10, according to a University press release.

Howard J. Wiarda, Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations in the School of Public and International Affairs, received the “Order de Colón” for his research on the Dominican Republic.

“It feels wonderful because I’ve been working and studying Latin American politics for a long period of time and writing about Latin American politics and American foreign policy for a long period of time,” Wiarda told the Red & Black. “So this is really the culmination of a long career.”

Professor Howard Wiarda wearing a medal that he received when honored by the Dominican Republic. Courtesy Bill Zachmann

The ceremony was held in the diplomatic room of the National Palace in the Dominican Republic. About 150 people attended.

“A lot of them were my friends from my earlier studies there as diplomats and people from the presidential office,” Wiarda said.

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Wiarda has written 7 of his 70 published books on the Dominican Republic. He has also visited and conducted research in the area 33 times, according to the press release.

“To be honest, I’ve kind of lost track [of the number of books I’ve had published],” he said. “I just very much enjoy the research work that I do — and I very, very much enjoy the writing that I do.”

Wiarda began his interests in both writing and Latin American culture as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. There he took some courses on the region.

“When I was a student the Cuban revolution was just occurring. A lot of people were really excited about the overthrow of the dictatorship in Cuba and the rise of a new regime,” he said. “Latin America in those days was a very exciting place to study because all kinds of things were happening in the region.”

While attending the University of Michigan, Wiarda also worked as an editor at a “really good” publication called the Michigan Daily.

“It was the Michigan equivalent to the Red & Black,” he said. “So I really learned how to write as a college newspaper writer and editor.”

Wiarda’s talent with writing and interest in the affairs of Latin America led him to graduate school at the University of Florida.

At the time, that university had the best Latin American studies program in the country, he said. His professor there was working on a textbook about Latin America and had enlisted graduate students to work on individual countries within that region.

“[My professor] said, ‘Why don’t you write about the Dominican Republic?’” Wiarda said. “So that’s what I did – and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.”

In 1962, Wiarda wrote his master’s thesis on the Dominican Republic. The paper turned into his first book – “Dictatorship and Development” — and looks at the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.

While researching and teaching in the Dominican Republic, Wiarda taught the Dominican Republic President and later worked on his presidential campaign.

“When he was about 20 years old … I had him immediately spotted,” Wiarda said. “He was clearly the smartest guy in the class. He knew things that the other kids didn’t know and he raised his hand — and asked good questions.”

As of now, Fernández is in his third presidential term in the Dominican Republic. He is considered “among the best and brightest” of the new Latin American presidents. He also may be a leading prospect for a high-ranking United Nations position, according to a press release.

Wiarda came to the University from the University of Massachusetts to work as the head of the Department of International Affairs in the School of Public and international Affairs, said Thomas Lauth, dean of SPIA. He then served in that position for six years before stepping down.

While Wiarda considers himself “very much an American,” he also maintains strong ties to the Dominican Republic.

“I love this country,” he said. “On the other hand … I lived in the Dominican Republic when I was very young and my wife and I actually had a baby that was born [there]. We have many good friends there and so often times we feel very close to the countries we study.”

Wiarda teaches a class in American Foreign Policy and a graduate seminar called Culture and Foreign Policy at the University.

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Source and Photo: Red and Black

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Haiti-Dominican Republic Border Region to Get EU Funding for Development

The European Union will spend $95.8 million for projects and programmes in the Dominican Republic this year, primarily in the country’s border region with Haiti, according to Andris Piebalgs, EU Development Commissioner.

Peibalgs was speaking after a working meeting with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez.

He also said the European Union had signed an “important” cooperation agreement with the Dominican Republic that will provide $62.3 million for major projects on both sides of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The programme includes the repair of roads, training of customs officials and other initiatives aimed at improving the living conditions of families living on both sides of the border.

According to Piebalgs, who called the Dominican Republic “an important regional partner,” the EU has also provided $21.6 million to be eventually invested in the relaunch of the Dominican Republic’s banana industry.

During the meeting with Fernandez, the two sides discussed security issues, the fight against drug trafficking and the way forward for economic cooperation.

The European Union is the third-largest foreign investor in the Dominican Republic, Piebalgs said.

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Source and Photo: Caribbean Journak

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rafael Nadal’s New Villa in Dominican Republic

The 10-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has received keys of his new home in a ceremony on Sunday, which it is located in Dominican Republic.

The former World No. 1 Nadal has got the keys of his new Villa at new beach casa in Residential Playa Nueva Romana in the Dominican Republic, where he attend the ceremony along with his sisters Isabel and Lidia Pinero on Sunday 4th March. Pinero Group has given the keys to Nadal at an event with local authorities in the Dominican Republic.

World No. 2 Nadal said life has given him more than he dreamed and not interested to think about records. He added he also thanked his family for supporting and coaching team members for encouraging throughout his tennis career, especially to Uncle Toni Nadal. Nadal had best moments of his first Wimbledon championship at All England Club in 2008, beating Roger Federer in tough five sets and also led Spain to clinch the 2004 Davis Cup title against United States.

25-year-old Nadal also praised the best qualities of his rivals’ 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is one the best talented players on all surfaces and he is very confident in his game. Spaniard said Federer is the best rival of his tennis career, where both the players have played several amazing matches in Grand Slam tournaments.

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Source and Photo: Live Tennis Guide

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Friday, March 9, 2012

House-in-a-box sets sail for Dominican Republic

A Nova Scotia-made house in a box will board a ferry for Saint John, N.B. on Thursday.

The house, a series of natural jute fibre panels, will then be packed onto a container ship and transported to the Dominican Republic.

“We’re building houses without cutting down trees,” said Glen Aylward, president of Aylward Fibreglass Ltd.

“It’s a totally green house that will be off the grid with a 12-volt system using wind and photovoltaic power.”

The Shelburne company has teamed up with Nova Advanced Composite Solutions Inc. of Bedford to make eco-friendly panels for the homes.

Aylward Fibreglass, which also makes hulls for catamarans and commercial fishing boats, has the Atlantic Canada licence for the clean-tech panels.

Once the house in a box arrives at its destination in late March, Aylward will fly to the Dominican Republic to set up the roughly 500 square-foot home on the Caribbean country’s northern coast.

“We’ll take it out of the container and just assemble the four walls, roof, interior walls and windows,” he said.

While the cost of a house varies depending on the size and interior partitions, Aylward said it is roughly $10 a square foot.

“The cost is very comparable (to a normal house), but there are a lot more benefits. It’s a three-inch wall, but its insulation value is better than a six-inch wall of a typical home.

“When it is assembled it is a monolithic structure because it is all glassed together, so it can’t move.”

A similar house made by a licensee in Spain was able to withstand an earthquake simulator, he said.

Aylward said he was approached by Nova Advanced Composite Solutions to produce the panels.

“We’ve made insulated panels for doors on boats for years and it just seemed to be a good fit.”

In addition to the jute panels and fibreglass hulls for commercial fishing boats, Aylward Fibreglass is also designing a mould for a 150-passenger catamaran in partnership with GPSC Yachts Inc. of Middle West Pubnico.

The diversification has paid off for Aylward Fibreglass, which has seen sales double to about $1.3 million from $500,000 three years ago.

The company now has eight workers in Shelburne and 10 in Clark’s Harbour.

Still, Aylward said access to capital has been difficult for the business, which he launched in 1997.

However, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has stepped in with an $80,000 interest-free loan that has helped the company construct a 4,200-square-foot building adjacent to its existing facility at the Shelburne Industrial Park.

Aylward said the building uses a vacuum infusion process that ensures no harmful odours are released.

“The resin fusion is all done under a vacuum, so the process itself is green and the end product is green as well.”

While Aylward Fibreglass is exploring new export-oriented products, the company is still focused on building durable seaworthy fishing vessels.

“We’re building a 63-footer for a Newfoundland fisherman for scallops and crab,” Aylward said. “That’s still an important part of our business.”

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Source and Photo: Chronicle Herald

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dominican Republic joins U.S.-Central America anticrime pact

Foreign Relations minister Carlos Morales on Tuesday announced that Dominican Republic will enter into the Framework Treaty on Democratic Security in Central America, to confront local organized and transnational crime.

The regional pact forces member countries to prevent and fight terrorism, sabotage, organized crime, the illegal traffic of military and personal weapons, as well as other international crimes. They must also cooperate and exchange information to prevent at all costs, within their territory, the planning and preparation of criminal activities.

Morales provided the information during the luncheon for the Government and Heads of State from countries of the Central American Integration System, held in the Honduras presidential palace, with United States vice president Joseph Biden.

"For the Dominican Republic, common crime and organized transnational crime have become a problem which has overflowed beyond our capacity to act, product the limited funds which we count on to fight them efficiently," the official said.

Morales added that for Dominican Republic the best way to fight those crimes is by taking concrete actions that provide effective security for all, with freedom, fairness and respect of individual rights.

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Source and Photo: Dominican Today

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dominican First Lady Hits Back on Bank Account Allegation

In an ongoing tit-for-tat over explosive allegations about corruption, the First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Margarita Cedeño filed a criminal complaint over a TV commentator's allegations that she has a secret stash of cash in a Denmark bank.

Filed Tuesday, the complaint charged a TV commentator Marcos Martínez falsified documents to support his claim that she has millions of dollars in an overseas bank.

Margarita Cedeño's lawyer, Luis Miguel Pereyra, said he filed a criminal complaint rather than a civil lawsuit charging slander and defamation because it would carry a harsher penalty.

On Feb. 15, Martínez, a former legislator, claimed on television that Cedeño, wife of President Leonel Fernández, had $58 million in Denmark's Danske Bank. He later claimed the actual amount was nearly $96 million.

"I repeat my claim," he said last week. "All the documents are there. I made the corresponding accusation. I will not recant."

Cedeño's attorney said he has given state prosecutors documents in which Danske Bank certifies that the first lady does not have an account there.

Pereyra said the lawsuit is meant to clear Cedeño's name and added that if she is awarded the $256,000 she seeks in damages, it will be donated to a hospital.

A day after Martínez first made the claim, Cedeño posted a video link on her Twitter account criticizing the allegation, saying "nor as a mother, nor as a wife, nor as a first lady will I ever allow garbage to be thrown upon me."

It was the only public comment on the issue from Cedeño, who was a public employee working in the presidential office before she married Fernández.

Martínez had no immediate comment on the criminal complaint and it wasn't known if had a lawyer. He said Monday that if proof was presented in court that the bank account did not exist, he would accept the court's findings.

Prosecutor Luisa Liranzo said she was reviewing the lawsuit and would begin an investigation.

Last month, police raided the office and home of the manager of an online newspaper suspected of hacking into emails of Cedeño and other government officials. Several bloggers and online news sites claimed that in one of the purported emails, Cedeño asked the wife of the president of the Dominican Republic's largest private bank for financial backing for her campaign in the May election.

Cedeño, a 46-year-old lawyer, is running for vice president. She rejected calls by supporters to run the presidency and succeed her husband, who is barred from seeking a third term.

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Source and Photo: Latino Fox News

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dominican Republic: Chairman Underlines Importance of DP World Caucedo

His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, underlined the importance of DP World Caucedo in serving the wider Caribbean region as a hub port as he concluded his tour of the company’s marine terminals in South America with a visit to the Dominican Republic terminal.

Mr Bin Sulayem was accompanied on his tour of DP World’s terminals in Peru, Argentina, Suriname and Dominican Republic, as well as the new development in Brazil, by senior company officials including Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Sharaf, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Suhail Albanna and Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Americas, Matthew Leech.

In March last year, HE Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic and Mr. Bin Sulayem officially inaugurated the second phase of DP World Caucedo, which increased Caucedo’s overall handling capacity by 25 per cent to 1,250,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) annually. The expansion consists of an additional 300 meters of deepwater berth, two new broad yield mobile cranes in addition to the existing five gantry quay cranes. A sixth quay crane and three further rubber tyred gantry (RTG) cranes will arrive in April as the final part of the capacity expansion initiated in 2009.

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Source and Photo: Dredging Today

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Fernandez Says Dominican Republic 2011 GDP Rose 4.5% on Mining

The Dominican Republic’s economy expanded 4.5 percent in 2011 behind “astronomical growth” in the mining sector and a record increase in national exports, President Leonel Fernandez said today.

Speaking in Santo Domingo during his annual Independence Day address to the National Assembly, Fernandez said that the mining sector grew 79.7 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. Gross domestic product rose 7.8 percent in 2010, according to the central bank.

Further growth is expected in 2012 due to continued extraction of nickel at the Xstrata Plc Falcondo mine and the beginning of gold production this year at the Pueblo Viejo mine by the Barrick Gold Corp., Fernandez said.

National export sales increased $1.78 billion from 2010 to 2011, led by a 15.8 percent increase in exports from free-trade zones, Fernandez said. Exports from free-trade zones earned over $4.84 billion in 2011, a national record, he said.

The tourism sector also saw record revenues, Fernandez said, earning over $4.35 billion in 2011.

Fernandez’s speech today was his final state of the nation address as the president of the Caribbean nation. Fernandez, who was been president since 2004, will leave office Aug. 16. National elections are scheduled for May 20.

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Source and Photo: Bloomberg

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dominican will play in volleyball matches planned in Havana

The matches of the World Volleyball League-2012 corresponding place in Cuba will now have as the new headquarters Dominican Republic, the change of plan was informed by the president of the Cuban Federation Eugenio George.

At a meeting held with the trade press that caters to the sport, George addressed the disposition of the Caribbean nation to assume the challenges of achieving the second weekend of the League, a competitive segment scheduled for Havana.

Following discussions with the local Federation, and the head of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean (NORCECA), Dominican Christopher Martens, we come to that agreement, endorsed by the International Federation, argued George.

Dominican will be a good scenario for the participating teams and especially to the Cuban, by the ties of friendship that unite us, he argued.

The fight will take place at Havana's Volleyball Pavilion, with seating for seven thousand spectators, and in 2003 served as headquarters for the tournament of the Pan American Games.

With a format identical to the Grand Prix, this year the League intends that each of the four qualifying groups will hold the set of all against all with two matches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In Cuba integrates with Russia, Serbia and Japan, which will host the 18th, 19th and 20th May, the first weekend of the competition.

After the Dominican segment on 15, 16 and 17 June, the teams will travel to Kaliningrad, Russia, toparán square where 22, 23 and 24 March.

The fourth week for the group to finish in Novi Sad, Serbia with a program for 18, 19 and 20 May.

The rest of the World League group-2012 are:

B: Brazil, Poland, Finland and Canada, C: Italy, U.S., France and South Korea, and D. Argentina, Bulgaria, Germany and Portugal.

Last year Russia, Brazil and Poland, occupied, in that order, the first three places in the tournament.

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Source and Photo: Cuba Headlines

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dominican Republic reminds tourists to be social

The Dominican Republic is reminding travellers that it ‘is Closer Than You Think’ by launching a new social media inspired marketing campaign.

Highlighting the region’s attractions, destinations, activities and services, the campaign surrounds itself on the message ‘You don’t have to go far to be social’ and inspired fans to share and engage despite where they are in the world.

Launched by the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism and off the back of the destination’s recently launched social media-friendly website, the Group’s international promotion vice minister Magaly Toribio explained the campaign was designed to distinguish the destination.

"We're ensuring that the campaign remains unforgettable, yet continues to capture Dominican Republic's one-of-a-kind offerings as the ads' captivating images trigger a need for experience and travel,” Ms Toribio said.

"The TV spots and ads rely on social media terms as metaphors for socializing with others about a vacation in Dominican Republic.

“The social interaction suggests the vacation as something worthy of a status update, both literally and in the Facebook sense.

“As the power of social media is undeniable, the ads blend technology and social interaction to create value, the value of sharing your experiences with others.”
The ads are set to feature in magazines, broadcast as well as New York’s Times Square billboards to draw visitors online and to the destination.

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Source and Photo: Blackboard Asia

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Hollywood gets a taste of Dominican Republic

Celebrities and VIPs in attendance entered to win free airfare for two to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and received a taste of lavish gift bags highlighting Dominican Republic's coveted Arturo Fuentes cigars and Godiva's rich Santo Domingo chocolate.

Dominican Republic is known as the breadbasket of the Caribbean since its fertile valleys produce some of the world's best sugar, tobacco and cocoa, which is then developed into uniquely flavorful Dominican rum, cigars and chocolate.

"Dominican Republic is becoming a major presence in Hollywood with a newly inaugurated Dominican Republic Film Commission office in Los Angeles and many new incentives for producers to film in our magnificent country. Because many Dominican celebrities call the Los Angeles area their second home, we are especially pleased to share the tastes and styles of our large island nation at the Academy Awards Gifting Suite," said Magaly Toribio, Vice Minister of International Promotion, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.

Dominican-born designer Lucia Rodriguez was at the Celebrity Lounge event styling celebrities with her stunning, yet delicate gowns. Rodriguez's delightfully Dominican-inspired designs are high-quality finesse, made to perfection - a stunning combination for any leading lady's award-winning ensemble.

In 2011, the Dominican government announced the new, state-of-the-art Pinewood Indomina Studios, which will further enhance the growth in film and TV production in the country.

The Red Carpet Celebrity Style Lounge was held in honor of the 84th Annual Academy Awards, Hollywood's celebration of the biggest names in the film industry hosted by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Nominees, celebrities, press and more attended the event, which raised money for The Humane Society of the United States.

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Source and Photo: Dominican Today

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rene Gough honoured by the Dominican Olympic Committee

Rene Gough has been awarded "Athlete of the Year 2011", at the Dominican Olympic Gala Ceremony, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The surfer from Boca Chica was nominated by the Dominican Surfing Federation (FeDoSurf) for his outstanding achievements in high-performance surfing and for his discipline, training and focus as an athlete.

The annual event is organized by the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) and rewards the most outstanding Dominican athletes in all disciplines, nominated by their Olympic Federations.

Rene Gough became National longboard champion in 2011 and placed fourth in the National Open of Surfing. The Dominican surfer has a great history of achievement in the sport of riding waves. In 2011, he took fourth place in the Monster Energy Longboard Pro at Belmar, USA, amidst tough competition.

He is an active competing member of the Dominican Surfing Team, and was selected to compete at the X Pan American Surfing Games, in Guadeloupe in 2011, and the ISA Billabong World Surfing Games, in Peru, in 2010.

In 2004, he got first in longboard, at the Latin Pro event, held in the Dominican Republic, at Canal Beach Cabarete. In 2001, Rene placed fifth overall in the Junior category at the Latin Pro, Punta Care, Venezuela.

The Athlete of the Year Award is based on the excellence and achievement of the athlete, their place in the National ranking, good sportsmanship and conduct, discipline, training and service.

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Source and Photo: Surfer Today

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