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According to US media reports, the Department of Justice is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.
Robert Menendez is alleged to have used his New Jersey office to promote the interests of a Democratic donor, in exchange for gifts.
Attorney General Eric Holder has reportedly given prosecutors permission to proceed with charges.
Senator Robert Menendez has labeled the probe a smear campaign.
“I am not going anywhere,” he said on March 6 at a press conference in New Jersey.
“Let me very clear, very clear. I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law.”
An official announcement from prosecutors is expected in the coming weeks.
Robert Menendez is one of the highest-ranking Hispanic members of Congress and a former chairman of the Senate’s foreign relations committee.
He is also one of President Barack Obama’s strongest opponents on lifting the embargo on Cuba and negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.
For the past two years, Robert Menendez has faced an investigation into his relationship with friend and donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, following accusations that he paid for underage prostitutes for the senator in the Dominican Republic.
Senator Robert Menendez vehemently disputed the claims and the allegations were eventually withdrawn.
FBI officials continued to look into the ties between the two men and the scrutiny shifted to whether Senator Robert Menendez had traded gifts for official duties.
On March 6, Robert Menendez said that he had known Dr. Salomon Melgen for more than two decades and that their families had been “real friends”.
According to CNN, the government’s case focuses in part on plane trips Robert Menendez took in 2010 to the Dominican Republic as a guest of Dr. Salomon Melgen.
Prosecutors also are examining what role the senator played in helping Dr. Salomon Melgen secure a deal to sell port screening equipment to the government of the Dominican Republic.
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Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic Jozef Wesolowski has been put under house arrest following allegations he abused young boys in the Caribbean country.
Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski has already been defrocked after the Vatican’s canon law court found him guilty in June and imposed its toughest penalty: laicization, or returning to life as a layman.
Jozef Wesolowski was Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic
On September 23, the Vatican’s separate criminal court opened a preliminary hearing into his case and ordered him placed under house arrest.
A Vatican statement said Jozef Wesolwski presented medical documentation detailing health concerns that prevented a more restrictive type of detention. The Vatican has a few small detention rooms inside its police barracks.
Jozef Wesolowski could face jail time if found guilty.
According to health officials, the number of suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya virus in Caribbean countries has risen sharply over past weeks.
Tens of thousands of new cases have been reported in the Dominican Republic and its neighbor, Haiti.
There is currently no vaccine or treatment for the mosquito-borne virus which resembles dengue fever and can cause fever, skin rash and joint pain.
European health authorities have warned travelers to take extra precautions.
The number of suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya virus in Caribbean countries has risen sharply over past weeks
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control told people travelling to the Caribbean to apply insect repellent and avoid mosquito bites.
France has detected more than 70 imported cases of chikungunya, mainly in people returning from holidays in the French Antilles.
The Centre said there was a risk the virus could spread in Europe if infected patients were bitten by mosquitoes upon their return home and those mosquitoes then infected other people.
There are also signs chikungunya is spreading further to Central and South America.
According to the latest figures released by the Pan American Heath Organization (PAHO), almost 265,000 suspected and confirmed cases have been recorded since the outbreak began in December.
More than half of those have been in the Dominican Republic, which has stepped up its fumigation efforts in an attempt to reduce the number of mosquitoes.
Health officials warn that the true numbers may be much higher as some countries have been slow in testing and reporting cases.
Chikungunya is rarely fatal but according to the PAHO, 21 people have died in the Caribbean after contracting the virus.
There have also been cases in Central America, with El Salvador the hardest hit with 1,300 suspected incidences.
Paraguay recorded its first citizen with the virus on Tuesday, but said the man had contracted it while travelling in the Dominican Republic.
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High winds and driving rain are lashing the coast of Haiti as Tropical Storm Isaac moves closer to the shore.
The centre of the storm was last reported as being about 100 km from the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.
Aid groups warn that some 400,000 Haitians still living in makeshift camps after the deadly earthquake of 2010 are extremely vulnerable.
Forecasters say Isaac could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The United States National Hurricane Centre (NHCi) predicts that the storm will move near or over Cuba later on Saturday and approach the Florida Keys on Sunday.
High winds and driving rain are lashing the coast of Haiti as Tropical Storm Isaac moves closer to the shore
The storm could pose a potential threat to Florida during the US Republican National Convention.
Tropical Storm Isaac is no longer expected to become a hurricane as it hits the island of Hispaniola – the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic – but the near-hurricane strength winds and rain have the potential to cause great destruction, especially in Haiti.
“These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the NHC warned.
In Haiti, people living in the makeshift squatter camps were “amongst the more vulnerable, should the storm hit the city”, humanitarian group World Vision said.
“Without a stable sanitation system or permanent housing, heavy rain and wind can create much larger problems like disease from water contamination,” the group’s Haiti director Jean-Claude Mukadi was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
The country’s president, Michael Martelly, has toured some of the camp sites.
“It looks like the south coast is going to get hit, but again we’re so fragile here in Port-au-Prince that just some rain can cause a lot of damage,” Associated Press quoted him as saying afterwards.
Isaac is also expected to bring rain and wind to nearby Puerto Rico.
Several Cuban provinces are now on a state of alert, as are parts of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands.
Last night episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians got off to a rocky start when Kris Jenner decided to meet with ex-boyfriend Todd Waterman behind her husband’s back.
The show began with Kris Jenner turning the car around after she realized the move was a bad idea.
She called her confidant Noelle Keshishian and told her that she backed out of meeting Todd Waterman that was the reason behind her divorce with the late Robert Kardashian.
“I think the healthiest thing for me to do is not see Todd,” she finally confessed as she pondered when to break the news of her prior motives to Bruce Jenner.
Perhaps Kris Jenner should have confided in her other half sooner as the guilt of keeping her intentions behind his back followed her throughout the entire progamme.
As the family sat at dinner on their Dominican Republic holiday and Kris Jenner dished out relationship advice to pregnant Kourtney, her meddling came back to bite her as her eldest child revealed that Kris had gone to meet Todd Waterman.
Kourtney Kardashian lashed out: “I’m not taking relationship advice from you. When you’re going and meeting with people from your past. It’s disrespectful to Bruce.”
And when she tried to explain that she hadn’t quite made it to see Todd Waterman, her spouse understandably wouldn’t hear any of it.
Before getting up and leaving the table he said: “Why would she ever make contact with him? This is bunch of bull, I’ve lost my appetite.”
The whole group felt the same about her terrible idea and followed him away from the meal.
With Khloe Kardashian being the last one to leave their full plates of food she had some harsh final word for her parent.
“You said that if and when you were going to meet with him, you would discuss it with Bruce first. So you’re a liar.”
Bruce Jenner stormed away from their family dinner after talking about Kris Jenner meeting with Todd Waterman
It didn’t turn out to be the ideal trip for Khloe Kardashian who turned up to their resort a day before them as a surprise.
The family had expected her to stay at home with her basketball player husband Lamar Odom.
To make matters worse for her, she barely got to spend any time with Kourtney, her boyfriend Scott Disick and their son Mason.
The group had arrived extremely late because of the heavily pregnant star’s especially picky ways now she is carrying a daughter.
After cancelling their original vacation to Ireland, and a number of other perhaps selfish moves such as purposely missing the family’s flight and refusing to get on another one because she didn’t like the aircraft, her relatives were not happy.
Brother Rob agreed with the clan: “Her current mood is making things a lot more difficult for us.”
However another factor ensured that things weren’t all hunky dory on the luxury vacation.
Scott Disick was upset when Bruce Jenner introduced him as his friend earlier in the episode as they went with his son Brendan to race cars.
Scott Disick disappeared without warning in the middle of the outing and after they found out he has left, Bruce Jenner complained: “I went out on a limb to get him here.”
The bitching went back and forth as both men spoke about each other behind their backs the more and more they seemed to annoy each other during the break.
Scott Disick wasn’t the only one whose feathers Bruce Jenner seemed to ruffle.
He went out of his way to find Kim Kardashian a date causing her to eventually put her foot down.
Kim Kardashian agreed to go play a game of golf with him although she was unaware of Bruce Jenner’s plans. Instructor Eric, and Kim Kardashian suitor helped her perfect her technique as Bruce Jenner was visibly excited.
The only people that seemed to be having fun on the break were the young girl Kylie and Kendall and their friends, who created a tribe with Khloe.
However Kris Jenner complained that she could no longer wear shoes because her toe was broken thanks to them trying to sacrifice her as part of their game.
She shouted: “They dragged me down two flights of stairs, broke my toe and threw me in a pool!”
Kim Kardashian knows exactly how to dazzle in swimwear and obviously doesn’t keep her trim body by just lying by the beach.
On a family holiday in the Dominican Republic, Kim Kardashian’s showed her love of adventure by diving straight into the sea.
Kim Kardashian, 31, flaunted a fabulous figure in her aqua bikini.
Her curves were made for bikinis and the string number, accessorized with a perfect tan meant Kim Kardashian certainly stood out from the crowd.
On a family holiday in the Dominican Republic, Kim Kardashian's showed her love of adventure by diving straight into the sea
According to TMZ, Kim Kardashian’s relationship with rapper Kanye West is going from strength to strength with him even being introduced to the Kardashian crew who “absolutely loved him”.
A source said: “Kanye and Kim were excited for the family gathering and the opportunity to show them just how great they are together.
“The meeting went great and the family thinks they make the perfect couple.”
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West celebrated by going on a romantic stroll in New York City but perhaps soon it will be a family holiday for the pair.