DR1 - In a bloody scene in the very center of the southwestern city of Bani, agents of the National Police were able to rescue a lawyer who had been kidnapped. Yesterday, Wednesday 25 April, the National Police rescued Julio Franjul, who had been kidnapped by four individuals in the afternoon. They killed two of the kidnappers, arrested another and are looking for the fourth who went into the mountains near the Cruce de San Jose de Ocoa. Franjul, a well-known lawyer in the province of Peravia, was violently taken out of his offices on Duarte Street by four men who escaped down the highway that leads to Azua.
National Police spokesman General Maximo Baez Aybar reported that the two kidnappers, whose identity is still unknown, died in a gun battle with a patrol that was looking for them. The team that rescued Franjul was led by General Juan Ramon de la Cruz Martinez, the police commander in the National Police Central Directorate. The National Police chief ordered an elite team from the institution to take part in the search for the fourth kidnapper. Read original at DR1.
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Dominican Today -
Last week, Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, wrote to the leaders of all of the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies*.
The letter formed a part of the UK Government’s attempt to have the leaders of all G8 nations - the grouping that brings together the world’s wealthiest countries - agree a concrete action plan to tackle tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
Mr Cameron’s initial objective is to be able to demonstrate by the time of the G8 meeting on June 17/18 in Northern Ireland, that he is getting his own house in order by first bringing the UK’s Overseas Territories and Dependencies into line. His hope then is that all G8 nations, including the US, will agree to adopt similar principles, with the ultimate objective being a changed global approach to taxation and tax information exchange.
As Mr Cameron’s letter states: ‘There is no point in dealing with tax evasion in one country if the problem is simply displaced to another…. I hope others around the world will follow the lead we are setting together’.
The British Prime Minister also made clear that while he respects the right of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to be lower tax jurisdictions, he believes that that they must change their approach by addressing two key issues: tax information exchange and beneficial ownership.
Mr Cameron could not have been clearer: ‘dealing with tax evasion is not just about exchanging information. It is also about improving the quality and accuracy of that information. Put simply, that means we need to know who really owns and controls each and every company. This goes right to the heart of the ambition of Britain’s G8 (chairmanship) to knock down the walls of company secrecy’.
In other words Britain, and it hopes the G8, will agree that the true owners of any offshore vehicle anywhere in the world should cease to be invisible or by extension be able to be hide their tax affairs behind nominees in on one or multiple offshore jurisdictions.
The path that Britain has now embarked on has significant implications for the future of the BVI and Cayman in particular, but may eventually impact on all Caribbean economies - dependent and independent - that have developed offshore financial services regimes.
What the UK is proposing is that is that its territories and dependencies agree to bring within their government registry details of the ultimate beneficial owners of trust companies, funds and other financial vehicles. It intends that they should move from an opaque to a transparent regime sharing information on nationals of nations with which they have signed tax information exchange agreements.
To achieve this, the UK expects its dependencies and overseas territories to provide for, to quote the British Prime Minister, ‘fully resourced and properly managed centralised registries that are freely available to law enforcement and tax collectors, and contain full and accurate details on the true ownership and control of every company’.
At present the Overseas Territories seem uncertain how best to respond.
They fear they are being caught up in a British domestic political issue that is being driven by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and the media. They are concerned that any commitment they might make, without the agreement of the US and EU member states to tackle the more questionable aspects of their own tax regimes, or without any indication as to how opaque offshore environments in independent countries will be encouraged to adopt similar principles, will only result in them damaging irretrievably a significant part of their economy.
This is because it is likely a high percentage of offshore companies currently registered in the Caribbean Overseas Territories, as well as the large numbers of resident professional advisers, will relocate to environments where the beneficial owners can continue to retain their anonymity, whether operating legally to minimise their tax bill, or illegally to hide assets questionably acquired.
Speaking in St Lucia last week about the potential dangers the changing global tax environment poses, the Premier of Montserrat, Reuben Meade, pointed out what worries Overseas Territories most is their small size and limited resource base. This means, he noted, they rely totally on tourism and financial services; sectors, he noted that are negatively affected by the global recession and by actions taken globally to combat crime and corruption.
“(Present) actions have serious implications for the territories because their economies are not sufficiently diversified to absorb the fallout from major reductions in income from tourism and financial services. The reality is that their entire economy can become unsustainable from failure or major disruption in these markets”, Mr Meade told participant in a Caribbean Development Bank meeting.
What remains far from clear is how the UK intends taking this issue forwards in the Caribbean.
If it is really its intention to see the principles it wants to apply to its Overseas Territories eventually adopted through a consensus, achieved on a multilateral basis by all nations including those in independent Caribbean, then it needs also to explain in the region how it and other wealthy nations intend supporting the likely transition out of yet another sector that has previously enabled the Caribbean to prosper.
What seems to be happening is that a new global policy, driven by concern about tax arbitrage, tax evasion and avoidance, organised crime, cyber criminality and financing for terrorism, has coincided with domestic lobbying by political parties, the media and NGOs on increasing the tax take at a time of austerity. These factors together are now leading to the promotion of change without any serious consideration being given to the collateral damage in regions like the Caribbean, let alone any understandable basis on which such a policy might be applied globally.
While Mr Cameron, Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, Mr Obama and others clearly hope that all nations will act in a similar way, in the real world, where large sums of legal and illegal money flow rapidly across the global financial system using multiple jurisdictions, the detail is fraught with problems
As matters stand, the UK is hoping that its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies will agree to demonstrate publicly at an event on June 15 that they intend making the changes that Britain requires. Under the present poorly defined circumstance, this may be wishful thinking.
*Bermuda; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; Gibraltar; Anguilla; Montserrat; The Turks and Caicos Islands; Jersey; Guernsey; and the Isle of Man
David Jessop is the Director of the Caribbean Council and can be contacted at david. jessop@caribbean-council. org
Previous columns can be found at www. caribbean-council. org
May 24th, 2013
Read original at Dominican Today.
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Dominican Today -
Nearly 6 million people die every year via cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other chronic, long-term health conditions associated with smoking. Over the course of the 21st century, tobacco use could kill up to a billion people unless urgent action is taken.
“Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80 per cent will live in low- and middle-income countries,” says the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Upper middle to high-income countries are seeing drops in tobacco consumption but lower-income countries are increasing out of control. These countries are at greatest risk due to lack of education, poor legislative oversight and greed by tobacco companies.
31 May marks World No Tobacco Day. The 2013 theme is “ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship”. Only 6 per cent of the world’s population were protected from exposure to the tobacco industry’s advertising, promotion and sponsorship according to the WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic.
To help reduce tobacco use, the WHO highlights the importance of counteracting “the deceptive and misleading nature of tobacco marketing campaigns”. Governments and civil society must work together to limit the unavoidable exposure of youth to dangerous tobacco marketing.
Banning of tobacco advertising must include the media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. It must encompass public places that highlight poster and billboard marketing. A comprehensive ban must also include the regulation of ‘brand stretching’. Brand stretching is the use of brand names and logos to indirectly advertise products.
World No Tobacco Day 2013 highlights the failure of the tobacco industry to effectively self-regulate and the ineffective results of partial bans in place. “The tobacco industry uses sponsorship and especially corporate social responsibility tactics to trick public opinion into believing in their respectability and good intentions while they manoeuver to hijack the political and legislative process,” says the WHO.
The true impact of tobacco
Tobacco use is a global epidemic that brings disability, disease, lost productivity and death to entire countries and regions throughout the world. Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and currently kills 1 in 10 adults worldwide. It’s documented that tobacco kills up to half of its users.
“The tobacco epidemic is entirely man-made, and it can be turned around through the concerted efforts of governments and civil society,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director General WHO.
Expensive healthcare costs are just the start to this global killer. It also causes hundreds of billions of dollars of economic losses via diminished productivity, missed workdays, poor morale and the physical, mental and emotional strain that tobacco places on one’s family.
Smoking during pregnancy is far too prevalent and can cause significant harm to the mother and child. Hazardous chemicals such as nicotine, carbon monoxide and a variety of other poisons inhaled during smoking go directly to the baby.
There’s a direct relationship between the amount of cigarettes smoked per day and the chance of severe complications. Smoking during pregnancy has been found to affect the amount of oxygen to organ and brain tissue of the child and mother. Tobacco is a chemical stress that is known to elevate the mother’s heart rate and blood pressure. These two factors are significant risk factors for pre-eclampsia, miscarriage and stillbirth.
Tobacco causes heart disease, cancer and diabetes
Tobacco use is one of the most important risk factors in the development of cardiovascular disease. Statistics show that smoking increases the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and impotence by 100 per cent and increases the risk of death from undiagnosed coronary heart disease by 300 per cent.
Nicotine, the addictive component in tobacco can accelerates the heart rate and raises blood pressure. It also damages the lining of the blood vessels, increases fatty deposits in the arteries, increases clotting, raises bad cholesterol, reduces good cholesterol and promotes coronary artery spasm according to the World Heart Federation.
Tobacco use is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer mortality worldwide, causing an estimated 22 per cent of cancer deaths per year according to the WHO.
Tobacco smoking causes many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix. About 70 per cent of the lung cancer burden can be attributed to smoking alone. Second-hand smoke has been proven to cause lung cancer in non-smoking adults as well. Smoking is also a leading cause of allergies, asthma and other respiratory related conditions.
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds and 400 other toxins. The toxins include but are not limited to nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic and DDT.
Diabetics that smoke have twice the risk of premature death. The risk of complications associated with tobacco use and diabetes in combination are nearly 14 times higher than the risk of either smoking or diabetes alone according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the risk of Type 2 diabetes rose by 61 per cent in people who smoked 20 cigarettes per day. A similar study found smokers had a 44 per cent elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes when compared to non-smokers. Quitting smoking can reduce the progression of diabetes by 30 per cent.
Benefits of quitting smoking
There are immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting smoking according to the WHO. Within 20 minutes one’s heart rate and blood pressure drops. The carbon monoxide level in one’s blood stream drops to normal within 12 hours. Lung function improves and circulation increases within weeks of quitting.
Quitting smoking for a year reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 50 per cent in comparison to a smoker. One’s risk of stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
The risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker after 10 years. Cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases as well. Quitting for 15 years reduces the risk of coronary heart disease to that of a non-smoker.
Studies show that few people know and understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. Most smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco want to quit.
“A comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship could decrease tobacco consumption by an average of about 7 per cent,” according to the WHO.
The ultimate goal of World No Tobacco Day 2013 is to contribute to protect present and future generations not only from these devastating health consequences, but also against the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use.
Dr Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization’s goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.
Email: drcorycouillard@gmail. com
Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Read original at Dominican Today.
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Dominican Today -
Santo Domingo- In the heels of the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) report that Xstrata Nickel Falcondo’s plan to mine Loma Miranda isn’t feasible, civil society groups were quick to demand its designation as a National Park.
The report against the planned mine marks the third major victory for the country’s environmental movement, after the ban on development of the Bahia de las Aguilas beach, and the construction of a cement plant near the Los Haitises National Park.
The UNDP said of evaluation of the environmental impact assessment by the firm, said the Falcondo’s project neither meets environmental, social nor sustainable development requirements.
In a press conference Thursday, UNDP officials headed by country representative Valerie Julliand listed the deficiencies found in the Falcondo study, noting that the miner didn’t take into account the growth in water consumption nor an analysis on the project’s impact on rivers. “Given the deficiencies in the environmental impact study, it’s concluded that the Loma Miranda project doesn’t meet the environmental and social requirements and therefore, the country’s sustainable development. “
The UNDP official said relevant issues were omitted, such as ecosystem services and risk, and were considered only those relating to mining activity and not those of social biophysics.
The report notes that aside from those considerations, Falcondo did submit a novel project with new mining technologies in areas of sediment and runoff management and the reforestation process in the affected areas.
Academy of Sciences
Dominican Republic Academy of Sciences president Miltiades Mejia said once again its technicians showed they possess the knowledge to express objections on topics such as Loma Miranda, when they called the project as unsustainable and counterproductive while taking into account the population’s views.
“Our proposal today is to designate Loma Miranda a National Park and ask Environment minister Bautista Rojas to enforce Law 64-00 in the case of Xstrata Nickel’s operation, to start restoring the mined areas, as the Law stipulates,“ Mejia said.
The Bonao City Council yesterday issued a resolution to support the city of La Vega’s demand that Congress declare Loma Miranda a protected area, according to a proposal submitted by Senator Euclides Sanchez.
Falconbridge willing to dialogue and to improve
Meanwhile Xstrata Nickel Falcondo said it would carefully analyze the UNDP’s report on mining viability of its project near La Vega.
Read original at Dominican Today.
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The Dominican Sun - Across the Dominican Republic in the last 24 hours the highest observed temperature by DRSol was 88 at Puerto Plata International. The coolest reading came from Las Americas with an overnight low of 70. Widely scattered light to moderate showers and thunderstorms were reported, the last in Santiago at 2AM this morning. Skies were generally mostly cloudy. Winds are averaging 10 mph from the SE, with a peak gust to 23 mph seen at 4PM yesterday afternoon at Santiago. By the Numbers DR cities reported rain 22% of the time, and thunderstorms 5%. Average reported rainfall intensity on a scale of 0 to 100 was 42. Cloud cover totaled 62%. Click above to view summaries for the last week or last month. Last updated at 7:28AM. Read original at The Dominican Sun.
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Listin Diario - La alimentación durante los primeros meses de vida es primordial para un ser humano. El tiempo que se considera determinante para el futuro desarrollo de las capacidades cognitivas y motoras abarca incluso desde antes del nacimiento, que es cuando se encuentra aún en el vientre de la madre. El doctor Rafael Quevedo, gerente de medicina en Wyeth Nutrition, desea compartir el mensaje de que la nutrición en los primeros 1000 días de vida son claves para su formación, y sostiene que en este periodo el niño debe ser alimentado exclusivamente con la leche materna. “Incluso hasta en el momento en que la mujer está intentando quedar embarazada, debe tener los micronutrientes, vitaminas y minerales claves necesarios para la adecuada formación del niño”, afirma Quevedo, “sin embargo lo más importante es que el niño sea alimentado durante los primeros seis meses por la lactancia materna”. Si por algún motivo la madre no está en disposición de alimentar al infante con leche materna, debe conseguir. . . Read original at Listin Diario.
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Listin Diario - Todo ser humano que ha convivido con su madre considera que la comida que preparan esas manos es la mejor del planeta. Y hay que incluir también a las abuelas. Diosas entre los fogones, magas del sazón, esas que saben sacar maravillas de unos pocos ingredientes comunes, que hacen rendir el guiso si llega más gente a la hora de comer y que improvisan con cualquier cosa que tienen a mano son las orgullosas transmisoras de la herencia gastronómica de la humanidad. La cocina de mamá es el referente de todos en lo que a buena comida se refiere. Si algo es rico, es porque se parece a la manera en que mami lo prepara. Los hombres tienen en su cabeza un modelo de sabor que muchas veces buscan en sus esposas y las mujeres se aplican para ser buenas alumnas y aprender cómo la madre o la abuela preparan esas delicias que a todos sorprenden. Pero ¿Qué ocurre con quienes dedican su vida a cocinar como profesión? ¿Qué tan determinante es la influencia materna en su decisión de ser chef o cociner. . . Read original at Listin Diario.
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Listin Diario - Siempre es importante brindar por las madres, sobre todo cuando es un día especial para ellas. Recurrir a un sorbo de lujo es un buen detalle para festejar con ellas. Something Special se une a la celebración, pero por partida doble. Una por ese ser tan especial, y otra porque acaba de obtener dos medallas de oro en la categoría de Whisky Escocés Menor de 15 Años, en la competición de bebidas espirituosas San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Nikki Burgess, director internacional de la marca, cuenta que el tercer whisky escocés premium más vendido en Latinoamérica impresionó a los 34 jueces del concurso, de tal manera que recibió por parte de todos la puntuación máxima que le hizo merecedor de medalla de oro. Por esa razón recibió automáticamente la doble medalla de oro. Dice que esta bebida que, hoy brinda por las madres, está entre las cinco propuestas que entraron en la categoría de oro, de los 27 whiskys que participaron en ese galardón. “Recibir este premio de una de las más . . . Read original at Listin Diario.
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Listin Diario - El Día de las Madres es un dia muy especial en que tratamos que mamá esté feliz y relajada compartiendo con sus familiares. Un regalo diferente para complacerla es prepararle un trago que la haga sentir la reina de la noche. Los tragos o bebidas alcolicas por lo general suelen brindarse fuertes o mezclados, dependiendo del gusto de las personas. Las mujeres suelen optar por mezclarlos o pedir algo suave y dulce. Muchos de estos tragos se pueden preparar en casa o brindar a la hora de invitar a nuestra progenitora a cenar. Praxedes Hernández, bartender de Pat’e Palo Restaurant, recomienda el “Mudslide Cocktail“ es una bebida. Inspirada para deleitar los mas exquisitos paladares de las damas muy en especial el de las madres. Es un coctel festivo donde los ingredientes armonizan con el sabor y la textura. Ingredientes:2 Bolas de Helado de Vainillaæ Oz de Baileysæ Oz de Kahluaæ Ketel One VodkaSe decora con crema Chantilly y Syrup de chocolate y un cherry. Lorraine Castellanos representan. . . Read original at Listin Diario.
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Listin Diario - El domingo es el Día de las Madres. Halagarla con una buena comida es ideal para compartir en familia esa fecha tan especial. Mercedes Heredia Rojas, a través del libro “Herencia gastronómica dominicana”, iniciativa del Grupo Rica, ofrece una receta llena de historia para deleitar el paladar de mamá. Cuenta que cuando tenía entre 8 y 10 años, vivía con su abuela. Recuerda cuando ella la preparaba el consomé en un caldero. La cocinaba en carbón porque no había estufa. Explica que este consomé se preparaba para las reuniones familiares como entrada. Se servía en una cazuela de barro o en higüeritos que todavía conserva. Este consomé era algo que toda la familia esperaba. Dice que cuando su abuela no podía cocinar, era su madre la que se encargaba bajo la dirección de la abuela. No olvida cuando esta le decía: “Tienes que aprender a cocinar para cuando yo no esté”. “Sobre el consomó siempre nos repetía que alimentaba mucho, que era muy nutritivo, saludable y que preparaba el estóma. . . Read original at Listin Diario.
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Listin Diario - Si hay algo fabuloso y que me recuerda a mi madre es la receta increíble de la lechona rellena. Es un plato típico de Colombia que tiene sabor a celebración. La lechona es una receta espectacular. Para que quede con todas las de la ley, debe hacerse con cerdo de tamaño medio. Está compuesta de carne, arvejas y adobos. Es importante que tomemos en cuenta algunos detalles para lograr sabrosos resultados. Así que tome nota. Se pone el cuero boca arriba y se comienza a rellenar con una capa gruesa de la carne del propio lechón. Luego se pone otra capa de guiso, otra de la carne y, por último, una de guiso. Se cose con hilo grueso en punto de cruz, asegurándose de que quede algo de guiso cerca de la costura. Se voltea y se pone en una bandeja de hornear. Para el tiempo de horneado se debe poner a 3508C por 3 horas y a 2008C por dos horas. Se baña el cuero con naranja agria antes de ponerlo al horno y se repite durante la cocción. Para el guiso usamos 4 tazas de manteca de cerdo, un puerro . . . Read original at Listin Diario.
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