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Holidays 2017 Disaster at Dam prevented / Release of Opening Hours for Sale of Alcoholic Beverages As it was known later, by discharging up to 500 cubic meters of water per second into the Yaque River, which led to flooding in Santiago, Valverde and Montecristi, the imminent breaking of the Tavera dam could be prevented, which would have led to an unimaginable disaster. The Tavera dam was operating at its maximum capacity during several days for the first time since inaugurated in 1972, as the torrential rains drenched the Yaque and Jimenoa river basins.

The Ministry of Labor has now announced the public holidays for the year 2017 and which of them are moved to another date so that the Dominican families can enjoy a long weekend as usual. The 1st of January remains, Epiphany will be moved from the 6th to the 9th of January. January 21, the day of the Virgen de la Altagracia, remains on Monday. However, the anniversary of the founding father, Juan Pablo Duarte, will be postponed from the 26th to Monday, 30th of January. The Independence Day on Monday, the 27th of February, can not be moved. The Good Friday will, anturally, be celebrated on a Friday, April 14. Also the 1st of May, which falls on a Monday next year, will not be moved. Corpus Christi is on Thursday, the 15 th of June and also is not moved. Restoration Day, the 16th of August, falls on a Wednesday and is also not moved. Also the holidays „Las Mercedes“, on Sunday, the 24th of September, and the Constitution Day on Monday, the 6 th of November will remain. And, of course, the 25th of December, the Christmas Day, will not be moved.

Since Saturday, the 10th of December, the sale of alcoholic beverages, due to the Christmas celebrations, is again possible without any restriction of the opening times until Epiphany on the 9th of January 2017. But the Brigades for the Control of alcoholic Beverages (COBA) warned that they will make sure that in the vicinity of bars, discotheques, colmadones and drinks no drunks will drive their vehicles.

The next arrivals in “Amber Cove” Maimón Dec., 20 - 23 Adonia December, 21 Nieuw Amsterdam December, 22 Carnival Sensation December, 26 Carnival Glory December, 28 Caribbean Princess December, 29 Carnival Sunshine December, 31 Costa Deliziosa January, 2 Carnival Magic January, 3 - 6 Adonia January, 4 Eurodam January, 5 Carnival Conquest January, 6 Carnival Pride January, 10 Regal Princess January, 10 Costa Deliziosa January, 13 Azura January, 16 Carnival Magic Jan., 17 - 20 Adonia January, 17 MSC Divina January, 18 Carnival Conquest January, 20 Costa Deliziosa January, 20 Carnival Splendor January, 22 Veendam January, 23 Carnival Conquest January, 23 Carnival Glory January, 24 Regal Princess January, 24 Koningsdam January, 25 Eurodam January, 27 Oriana January, 29 Azura January, 30 Costa Deliziosa January, 30 Carnival Magic January, 31 Carnival Splendor January, 31 Carnival Sunshine 1/31 – 2/3 Adonia

The brave Three Politicians rebel against Paternalism / Politicians who became a Talking Point in 2016

The professional guild with the worst reputation in the population are the politicians. In their universality, they are regarded as corrupt and without a backbone, almost independently to which party they belong.

The fact that there are others was shown by three examples this year that made headlines due to their resistance to the flow. Fidelio Despradel of the opposition party, Alianza País (center), as the oldest of the Chamber of Deputies, refused to take the oath of Lucía Medina, sister of President Danilo Medina, on the 16 th of August, because as the sister of the President and the chairwoman of the Chamber of Deputies she did not guarantee the separation of powers. Faride Raful of the opposition party PRM (left) refused to sign government bonds of 600 million dollars for the coal-fired power plant which is built by the government in Baní, without first seeing any document. For the other PMs apparently no problem. As a result, deputy colleague Noé Camacho (PLD) pulled his belt to beat Faride Raful. José Laluz of the governing party PLD (right) called Lucía Medina a “dictator”, because she refused to let him speak and closed the meeting when he wanted to express himself on a large scale to illegal arms imports end of September, in which the reformist politician Néstor Muñoz seems to be involved. The sister of the President said the House of Representatives would not investigate the case, and that's it.

In 2016, other politicians made negative headlines. The last one was mayor Francisco Peña, who erected a copy of the Eiffel Tower in Santo Domingo as a Christmas tree substitute, but did not even know where the original Eiffel Tower stands. Case two was the belt swinging deputy Noé Camacho, who threatened to beat his colleague Faride Raful. Number three: Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, Vice-President and wife of former President Leonel Fernández, who publicly supported Hillary Clinton's campaign. Case four is the senatoress of Dajabón, Sonia Mateo, who complained that her salary of 300,000 pesos a month sometimes is not enough to buy even a small bottle of water. Ligia Amada Melo, Minister for Higher Education and Science, refused a scholarship to a student because she had an Afro hair style. She denied it. Deputy Elías Báez (PRM) published a photo of guns and expensive Château-Neuf-duPape at the seats of his SUV in the social networks, saying: “This is how this government has us: armao, bebío y con cuarto”, as it says a song by Mozart La Para (armed, drunk and with bucks). He apologized. And the former police and interior minister José Ramón Fadul said in early February, the high number of crimes in the country are only a perception, not the reality. The numbers actually were declining.

Santos receives Nobel Peace Prize New Negotiations and Peace Treaty / Controversy over Election Result in Haiti continues

On the 10th of December, the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos accepted this year's Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. He was awarded, because, despite many pushbacks and past futile efforts, he was able to end the 52-year bloody civil war in the South American country. Until last there was considerable opposition from the opponents of the peace treaty, first of all the former president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, who managed that a narrow majority of the Colombian population rejected a first peace treaty with the FARC

(Colombian Revolutionary Forces) on the 2nd of October, which had been negotiated in four years in the Cuban capital Havana. Strengthened by the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, Santos re-negotiated the criticized points with the FARC and concluded a final peace treaty with the leftist rebel organization. This peace treaty now had finallly been ratified by the Colombian parliament a few days ago. At the handing over of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize, Santos devoted it to his country and the victims of the conflict. Already at the announcement of the prize winner in October, Santos said that he will donate the prize money of 950,000 dollars for compensation payments to the victims of the civil war. “The war that has caused so much suffering and anxiety in our population, in the length and breadth of our beautiful country, has ended,” said Santos. The nightmare, which lasted for more than half a century, had only brought pain, misery and retreat. In his speech, Santos recalled the more than eight million victims and displaced persons and the more than 220,000 murdered men, women and children. The FARC has asked their victims for forgiveness, and Leyner Palacios, who lost 32 family members in a fight between the FARC and paramilitary groups in May 2002, when the guerrilla group shot a rocket at a church where peasants sought shelter, has forgiven them. Santos said it was “paradoxical” that the victims of the conflict sought reconciliation, while many who did not experience the conflict on their own person or family were opposed to peace. He invoked that peace is for the whole population and it has to be constructed among all.

In Haiti, the dispute over the election results continues. According to the preliminary official result, Jovenel Moïse of the PHTK won the election clearly with 55.67 per cent of the votes and will presumably take office as the next Haitian president on the 7th of February 2017. If the three opponents, who say to have proofs of massive electoral manipulations, will not be successful in the courts. Jovenel Moïse (photo) is a 48-year-old banana exporter, who until the elections was a political no-name.

Leptospirosis Former Director of CMD: More than 100 Deaths / Health Authorities inform Population The health authorities call on the population to avoid contact with clean and dirty water because both can be contaminated with the urine of rats. For in the weeks following the long-lasting rainfall, there have been reported many cases of leptospirosis. In case of fever and diarrhea, the experts advise to consult a doctor as soon as possible, who will determine whether it is leptospirosis, dengue, malaria or any other disease.

The symptoms of leptospirosis, which can occur up to 20 days after the infection with the bacteria, which in the worst case may be fatal, are fever, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, dizziness and vomiting, dryness in the mouth, chills, but also conjunctivitis and skin infections. The disease can still be combated with antibiotics in the early stages; in the further course, only the symptoms can be treated, that is, reduction of the fever and compensation of the loss of fluid. As it is also the case in Dengue and Chikungunya, where there are also no medicines. The fact that the situation is obviously serious is shown by the accumulated publications in the press. Thus the official number of the deaths of leptospiroses this year is 51. The former chairman of the Dominican Medical College (CMD), Dr. SenĂŠn Caba, assured that he believes there are already more than a hundred deaths due to leptospirosis, and thousands of infected people. According to him, the Dominican Republic has traditionally recorded fewer deaths and cases of illness than there really are.

In provinces like Montecristi there still are flooded areas and the water is just starting to drain. Therefore, says SenĂŠn Caba, the number of leptospirosis cases will increase further in the near future. He called on the government to issue an epidemic warning for areas affected by the floods. Dr Manuel Puello, the Director of Public Health Affairs of the Ministry of Health, called for the disinfection of water with chlorine, and to ensure, whenever it is possible, to wear rubber boots in floodprone areas. In addition, the concentration should not only be put on the control of rats, because also other animals, such as dogs, can excrete the Leptospira bacterium. If walking on damp soil, people should take care to wear shoes. The leptospires are very thin bacterial cells, which can penetrate into the body via very small skin injuries. So there is a higher risk for people who have small cuts or injuries or skin lacerations. Water for brushing teeth should be cooked or disinfected with a few drops of chlorine, also to prevent diarrhea.

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Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity Unesco declares Merengue Cultural Heritage / “Recognition of the Dominican People” The 26th of September has been declared the National Day of the Merengue already in 2006, and has since been celebrated in various places throughout the country. Now, an international recognition has been added: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) declared this typical Dominican dance as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Pedro Vergés, Minister of Culture, said the Unesco's decision was “a praiseworthy recognition to the Dominican people, which in turn reflects an authentic expression of their daily joie de vivre as well as their national values.” In its annual meeting, this organization of the United Nations recognized that the Dominican Merengue “plays an active role in many areas of the population's daily lives: in education, in social and friendly meetings,

in public events and even in political campaigns." This element of the intangible cultural heritage “is primarily transferred by participation, and its practice brings together people from very different social classes”, which promotes respect and coexistence among themselves. Vergés said, “besides being an expression of joy, this rhythm is

one of the elements that identifies Dominicanism in the whole world and with its simple sound it is a national brand.” “The Merengue was present in the various stages of the patriotic struggle of the Dominican people and in the joint effort to build up its identity.” Vergés also attributed the recognition to the efforts of the Dominican Ministry of Culture and various performers of this genre, who have committed themselves to the development and spread of the Merengue. Vergés emphasized that Merengue is “a special rhythm with its own character, a multicultural instrumentation with melodies of the Spanish heritage, enriched with African rhythms. That is why it has obtained a captivating sound, whose dance projects happiness, sensuality and freedom”.

What is this Man singing? “El tamborilero” by Raphael From the original American Christmas song “Little Drummer Boy”, there exist many versions in many languages, such as “El tamborilero” by the Spanish minstrel Raphael. El camino que lleva a Belén baja hasta el valle que la nieve cubrió. Los pastorcillos quieren ver a su Rey, le traen regalos en su humilde zurrón Ro pom pom pom, ro pom pom pom. Ha nacido en un portal de Belén el niño Dios. Yo quisiera poner a tus pies algún presente que te agrade Señor, mas Tú ya sabes que soy pobre también, y no poseo más que un viejo tambor. Ro pom pom pom, ro pom pom pom En tu honor frente al portal tocaré con mi tambor. El camino que lleva a Belén yo voy marcando con mi viejo tambor, nada mejor hay que te pueda ofrecer, su ronco acento es un canto de amor Ro pom pom pom, ro pom pom pom. Cuando Dios me vio tocando frente a Él me sonrió, me sonrió.

The path that leads to Bethlehem, goes down to the valley, covered by snow. The little shepherds want to see their King, They bring him gifts in their humble pocket Ro pom pom pom, ro pom pom pom. In a gate of Bethlehem was born the God Child. I would like to lay you at your feet, some gift that delights you, Lord, But you know I'm also poor, I have nothing but my old drum. Ro pom pom pom, ro pom pom pom. For your honor in front of the gate I will play with my drum. The path that leads to Bethlehem, I mark with my old drum, there is nothing better that I can offer you, its rough accent is a love song Ro pom pom pom, ro pom pom pom. When God saw me playing in front of Him, He smiled at me, He smiled at me.

The original English Version Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, So, to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, When we come. Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum ... Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum? Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum, The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum I play me best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum ... Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum Me and my drum.

A German Version Durch die stille Nacht Pa ra pa pam pam Da ging ein kleiner Junge, Ra pa pam pam Hielt seine Spielzeugtrommel in der Hand, Wollt' zu dem Stalle, wo die Krippe stand Ra pa pam pam, Ra pa pam pam Und die Trommel klang Pa ra pa pam pam Durch das Land. Liebes Christuskind, Pa ra pa pam pam Bin nur ein armer Junge Ra pa pam pam Wo alte Könige mit Gaben steh'n, lässt man vielleicht mich gar nicht zu dir gehn Hab' ja kein Geld, hab' ja kein Geld Kann nur trommeln für dich Ra pa pam pam Wenn's dir gefällt. Und vom Himmel hoch Pa ra pa pam pam Da fiel ein Stern herab, Ra pa pa pam Er führte ihn die stillen Straßen entlang Und seine kleine Trommel klang und sang Ra pa pam pam Ra pa pam pam Dass zum Heil der Welt Pa ra pa pam pam Christus kam.

Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez was born in Linares, Jaén, Spain on the 5th of May 1943. Raphael, as he is known with his artistic name, is regarded as one of the pioneers of romantic ballads in Spain and the countries of Latin America. His career started at the beginning of the sixties. In 1966, he was the main actor in one of eight films that were successful all over the world, up to Russia and Japan. At that time Raphael started an unprecedented activity of world tours, which continues to this day. In 2017, he will be on the “Loco por cantar Tour” (crazy to sing). According to himself, he will never make a farewell tour, but possibly one day he might say spontaneously: It is enough. Raphael, next to Michael Jackson and Queen, is the only singer who ever was awarded a “Uranium Record” for 50 million sold albums. Raphael lives and suffers his songs with theatrically great gesture and sang duets with the greatest stars, from Julio Iglesias to Tom Jones, Paul Anka, Patti LaBelle, Charles Aznavour and even Gina Lollobrigida.

Oh, Jesus!


True Hell

Jesus walks in a park in Frisco. He meets a stoner sitting on a bench. Jesus sits down beside him and takes a pull on the joint, which the toker passes to him. After a while, Jesus asks the weedhead, „Did you know that I am Jesus?“ Smiling he replies: „Yeah man! That's the way it has to be!“

Each row, column and square has to contain the numbers from 1 to 9. X-Sudoku must show these numbers also on the two diagonal lines. Solutions on page 14.

A convinced atheist who has just died found himself in a dark passage. Somehow confused, he walks along and discovers a sign which says, “To Hell.” He has no choice but to follow the path to hell. After a while, he gets to an unlocked door. The atheist opens the door and enters hell - and does not trust his eyes. Bright sunshine, pleasant temperatures, palm trees, a beautiful beach, every 100 meters a beach bar, cheerful people romp about. In short, paradise. The late deceased atheist walks along the beach when he sees a sinister looking figure with a horse's foot and a tail sitting in a beach chair. He walks up to him and asks if he is the Devil. The addressed affirms and greets the newcomer in hell very warmly. After a pleasant chat, he sends the atheist to a beach bar to get a drink. The atheist picks up the drink and strolls along the beach to explore hell. Between the dunes he discovers a large, deep hole. Curiously, he looks into the depths and gets frightened to death (if he had not already died). He sees nude men and women, wailing and squirming on the dirty floor. There is hot fire blazing and wild beasts are bawling and whipping their pityful victims with thorny branches and lash them brutally with long cowhides. The atheist goes back to the devil and asks, what is this terrible hole about. First, the devil does not understand the question, and the atheist explains, the deep hole with all those terribly tortured people. “Oh, that,” laughs the devil, “That's for the Christians. That's the way they like it.”

 Jesus is pushing his way throug a mass of people. A woman lies on the ground and the people scream: „Stone the sinner! Stone the sinner!“ Jesus lifts his arms and says, „Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!“ At that moment, a stone from the crowd flies to the head of the sinner. Jesus turns around and says angrily, „Mom, sometimes you are really so obnoxious!“

Dick Abner, a boy from a small village close to Citronelle, Alabama, comes home with a grade F in Religious education. The father is indignant and goes to school the next day. He asks the catechist about the reason for this F. The catechist explains, „Look, Mr. Abner, your son did not even know that Jesus has died.“ The father answers, „Good man, we live in the countryside, have no TV. I didn't even know he was sick!“

Sudoku No. 373 (easy)

What was Jesus' profession? He obviously was a student. At 30 he still lived with his parents, he had long hair, and when he did something, it was a miracle.

Sudoku No. 374

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Christmas The doorbell rings. The housewife opens and sees a man of the Refugee Action. He tells her, “It's Christmas time, the time of love and to help people in need. Would you mind to take a Syrian refugee?” The woman thinks for a moment and then says, “Alright. But next year we want a turkey again.”

IMPRESSUM Editora LA PLAYA Director: Werner Rümmele, Phone: 829-373-1218 RNC 5-31-87397-3

English 1,500/German 1,500

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by phone: 829-373-1218 LA PLAYA office in Sosúa at the Beach Way Plaza Mon. - Fri. 1- 4:30 p.m. PRESS DATE FOR ISSUE 190 (4th of JANUARY 2017): 27th of DECEMBER 2016

Sudoku solutions from page 11:

Sudoku No. 373

Sudoku No. 374

La playa 189en  
La playa 189en