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Daily News - 2 January 1998

News on the DR One daily news service  
Readers, please note that the DR One daily will not publish on 5 January, Three Kings Day, a national holiday. Important news over this period will be compiled for the Tuesday, 6 January report.

1,000 homes for Dominican expatriates  
The government will build a housing project exclusively for Dominican expatriates. The 1,000 unit development will go up in the proximity of the Quinto Centenario Race Track, along the Autopista de las Americas. It calls for a US$50 million investment that will be shared by the government and the private sector. The announcement was made by the director of the Instituto Nacional de la Vivienda, architect Joaquín Gerónimo, who said that a government commission and investors will travel to several states in the U.S. and other countries to explain the financing facilities that will be available through Dominican banks and savings and loans associations.

Ship with nuclear wastes to pass near us  
Greenpeace alerted the Dominican Republic as to the "floating Chernobyl" that will pass through the Mona Channel, that separates Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The Pacific Sandpiper is loaded with nuclear wastes, and will depart from the Port of Cherbourg, France on its way to Japan. It will also pass through the Panama Canal.

Sportswriters forecast win of Lions or Tigers  
The Tigres del Licey and the Leones del Escogido appear to be the most likely winners of the round robin of the Dominican Winter Baseball League tournament that begins today at 7:30 pm with games in Santo Domingo and Santiago. The league champions, Aguilas Cibaeñas and the Estrellas Orientales, are the other two contenders. The Aguilas will confront the Escogido in Santiago, and the Estrellas will match the Licey in Santo Domingo. On Sunday, a full house is expected for the Escogido vs. Licey game scheduled for the Santo Domingo Quisqueya Ball Park. Each ball club will play six games against the other teams until completing the 18 games of the round robin. The "all-against-all" semifinal series ends on Thursday 22.

Negotiations between the PRSC and PLD?  
Hoy newspaper reported that Miguel Cocco, director of the Department of Customs, and Danilo Medina, Secretary of the Presidency and political strategist of the PLD, met for an hour yesterday at 4 pm with former President Joaquin Balaguer at the latter's home on Avenida Máximo Gómez. Also present was Guaroa Liranzo, an influential person during the Balaguer governments. The newspaper observed that Cocco and Medina entered the residency through the back street, Mahatma Gandhi, and not through the front entrance on Máximo Gómez avenue. Cocco has met previously with President Balaguer and press reports have indicated they have discussed a solution to the supposed involvement of PRSC members in a major contraband of luxury vehicles. The situation is delicate as the PLD has sought an alliance with the PRSC for the municipal and congressional election of May 1998.

Holiday tragedies drop significantly  
Everyone is congratulating the National Police on the reduced number of tragedies this Christmas and the New Year. Hoy newspaper reported there had been only three deaths and about 300 injured. The victims were Maria Teresa Gonzalez, 54 years, run over by a motorcycle; Johnny Montero, 26 years, stabbed in a fight; and policeman Jose de Jesus Ogando, when the motorcycle in which he was traveling without a helmet was crushed by a car. His death was the only one that occurred during the New Year celebrations and would have been avoided if he had been wearing the protective helmet now being required by the Police. Measures such as arresting reckless drivers for 48 hours for crossing red lights, obliging motorcyclists to wear their protective helmets and prohibiting fireworks have proven beneficial.

Mariñez says he'll do what Peña decides  
Julio Mariñez, the apparent winner of the PRD primaries for mayor of Santo Domingo, has said he will not pursue his victory, and instead will leave the final decision in the hands of the PRD leader, Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez. "We will do whatever he says," is now the new line of the Mariñez group, that earlier had said they would complain before the Central Electoral Junta, the electoral court. Peña Gómez has said that today he would announce a solution to the conflict. The race to choose the PRD candidate for mayor was split almost equally between the three contenders, with Mariñez slightly ahead. Milagros Ortiz Bosch, who received 70% of the vote for the senatorial position for Santo Domingo, has said repeatedly that she does not have a vocation to be mayor of Santo Domingo, thus rejecting that to be part of the solution.

Lotto winner goes about life as normal  
A man who played lotto every week and last week won a RD$5.9 million prize continues about his life as usual. Adolfo Antonio Gonzalez, 44 year old, continues working with his wife and three sons in his auto repair shop, Adolfo, in the Ciruelito area north of Santiago. He said he hasn't touched the money now in a bank account. His wife Ana, said they would celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, because now they can afford to. He said he would expand his workshop and buy a home, as he lives in a rented house. He purchased the ticket in a Estanilao pharmacy where he would buy a ticket every week. The people of the pharmacy said he had promised to buy the owner of the pharmacy a car when he won the lotto. The news item says that while he was having lunch on Sunday, he called a nephew to find out the winning numbers of the lotto. "The numbers are all here, but let me eat first," he calmly told his nephew when checking his ticket.

International reserves up  
Central Bank governor, Hector Valdez Albizu, said that net international reserves of the Central Bank at year's end were US$247 million, an increase of 71% compared to 1996. Gross international reserves were US$555 million, compared to US$512 in 1996. He said that the Bank is up to date in its foreign debt payment and other commitments of the bank.

Dominicans want light for the New Year  
What Dominicans most want for the New Year is an improvement in the electricity situation, according to a Hoy newspaper poll. Dominicans would like the government to do everything possible to reduce considerably the electricity deficit and blackouts.

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