New traffic plan
SANTO DOMINGO — The Inter-American Development Bank is trying to help reduce fatal traffic accidents here in the Dominican Republic which has the second highest traffic-related death rate in the world at nearly 42 deaths per 100,000 people.

Bank officials met with government officials on Friday to implement a plan that aims to reduce accidents by 30 percent in 2016 and 50 percent in 2020.

The bank announced in April that it was donating $500,000 for the initiative.


Alejandro_Garcia_Padilla cc fcEntrepreneurs wooed

SAN JUAN — Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has signed a law that aims to keep young business owners on a U.S. territory struggling with population loss.

The bill allows for local income tax exemptions on the first $40,000 generated by those aged 16 to 26. They also would receive some tax breaks on the first $500,000 generated and their business applications will be fast-tracked.

The commonwealth is struggling to emerge from a nearly eight-year recession while battling an ongoing population loss, with more than 450,000 people leaving the island in the past decade.


Sargasso panel set up

HAMILTON — The government announced it appointed five commissioners to submit recommendations about how best to safeguard the ecologically rich waters of the Sargasso Sea.

The creation of the Sargasso Sea Commission follows the signing of a non-binding declaration by five governments to collaborate on conservation of the mid-Atlantic waters. In March, the U.S., Britain, Monaco and the Azores joined Bermuda in signing the Sargasso Sea-focused declaration.

Bermuda is the only island within the Sargasso Sea, a roughly two million square miles body of warm water in the Atlantic. It’s a major habitat and nursery for eels and numerous other marine species.

The commission will recommend measures to the governments. Its members include Billy Causey, the southeast regional director for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Howard Roe, a British oceanographer.


43803bunting cc fcCorruption fight

KINGSTON — National Security Minister Peter Bunting announced the government consolidated the police force’s anti-corruption agency and a major organized crime task force to better tackle public corruption and organized crime.

The consolidation will “result in greater effectiveness through better use of limited resources in the fight against criminals and corruption,” the minister said.

The new organization, named the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, should streamline communication and boost law enforcers’ capacity to carry out effective investigations on high-profile suspects, “including the police and those in public office,” he said.

New laws and additional procedures being enacted will also assist with arresting and prosecuting criminals, he added.