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Daily News - 13 March 1998

U.S. preferential quota increased
The U.S. Department of Agriculture increased the share of the Dominican Republic in the U.S. preferential market. The quota was increased by 35,736 metric tons. The additional raw sugar exports will be undertaken by the State Sugar Council (18,216.24 metric tons); the Central Romana (14,294.40 metric tons); and the Grupo Vicini (3,216.24 metric tons). This is in addition to the quota that had been set for this year of 196,878 metric tons.

PRSC chooses Roberto Santana for Peravia
The Partido Reformista Social Cristiano announced that Roberto Santana, the former leftist on the run from police who later became one of the most outstanding rectors of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, will be the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano candidate for senator for the province of Peravia. The present PRSC senator for Peravia, Feliz Pérez, was accused last year of illegally purchasing state lands that are part of the Jaragua National Park under the disguise of agrarian reform. The real motive for the purchase was to resell lands to tourism project investors, as the lands are adjacent to some of the country's best beach property. Reportedly, Feliz Pérez returned the property to the state in order to avoid facing legal charges.
The PRSC also said that singer Cheo Zorrilla will be the PRSC candidate for Bahoruco and Fernando Villalona, the most popular Dominican merengue singer of all times, will be their candidate for the Dajabón province.

Julio Iglesias records in Santo Domingo
Julio Iglesias has recorded a multi-disk in the Dominican Republic, according to a report in the Listín Diario. The renown Spanish crooner chose the studio of Dominican musician Manuel Tejada to record the multi-disk that is made up of six compilations of 45 songs each. Iglesias said he chose to make the recording in Santo Domingo as he loves this country and is at present completing the construction of his new home in the Punta Cana beach area.

Nicaraguan President visits
President Arnoldo Alemán of Nicaragua visited Santo Domingo to attend the wedding of the son of businessman Abraham Selman. President Alemán will meet with President Leonel Fernández during his short stay. He said he will invite President Fernández to visit Nicaragua in September. President Alemán is expected to return to Santo Domingo for the 16 April Central American summit during which the Dominican Republic will sign a historic free trade agreement with Central America. Statesmen Alvaro Arzu of Guatemala, Carlos Roberto Flores of Honduras, Armando Calderon of El Savaldor, and Jose Figueres of Costa Rica, are also expected to attend.

Dominicans on way to World Volleyball Games in Japan
The Dominican national volleyball team defeated Puerto Rico yesterday in the first of two games that are being played to determine which of the two islands will represent the region in the World Volleyball Games scheduled for Japan in November. The first of the matches was held in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. The Dominican team is scheduled to play Puerto Rico again Saturday at the Volleyball Pavilion of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center in Santo Domingo. The Dominicans defeated Puerto Rico 3-0. The games ended 15-12, 15-8 and 15-8. Cuban technician Jorge Pérez Vento is the coach of the Dominican team.

Dominican cookbook exhibition
A Dominican food book fair section is part of the 1998 National Book Fair that will open in mid April at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica. For 10 days, 20 Dominican authors of books on cuisine will attend to sign their books at the exhibition. Lourdes de Cuello and Esperanza de Lithgow are the organizers. Authors that have confirmed their participation are:
Silvia de Pou, (Mujer 2000)
Chea de Ortiz (Cocinando con Chea)
Ligia de Bornia (Cocina en Microondas, La Cocina Dominicana)
Esperanza de Lithgow (Cocina Facil)
Yolanda Zouain de Castellanos (Cocina Arabe)
Miriam de Gautreaux (La Magia del Azucar)
Elba Isidora (Gourmet Facil)
Johanna Goede (Comida Afrodisiaca)
Nilda de Suriel (Recetas de Navidad)
Yolandita Valdez (Hoy Cocino Yo)
Amanda Ornes (La Cocina Criolla)
Mercedes Amiama
Maria Ramírez de Carias (La Cocina Dominicana)
Doris de Febles. (Veinticuatro Menus)
Dora de Bisono
Clara Cabrera. (Para Comer con Salud)
Eugenia Rojo
Zaidita Lovatón (Las Recetas de Doña Zaida)
Xilia Hernández
Argentina de Alvarez
Editora Taller (El Cocinerito Latinoamericano)
Unicef (Cocinando con los Niños)

Spanish singer banned from singing here
Spanish rock singer Enrique Bunbury could not perform in Santo Domingo after he was banned by local showbusiness authorities. The Comisión Nacional de Espectáculos Públicos, which had earlier okayed his presentation at the Fortaleza Ozama esplanade, revoked the permission after the Listín Diario reported that Bunbury's latest CD promotes drug consumption. In his defense, Bunbury said that drug consumption is not illegal in Spain and he has not had a problem with his presentation before in Europe or other Latin American countries. The news has increased sales of the CD of the artist, who previously was not much known. Bunbury's CD, "Radical Sonora," encourages listeners to consume hashish. Dominican law prohibits the consumption of drugs.

The Economist forecasts on DR
According to The Economist's Intelligence Unit, the Dominican economy will grow 6.5%; the annual per capita will increase from US$1,895 to US$2,005, average interest rates will be 27%. The services sector is the largest, with 62.4%, up from 62% in 1997. Farming will continue to decline, dropping from 14.9% to 14.4% of GDP in 1998. The Economist forecasts that remittances from Dominicans living abroad will increase to US$912 million this year, up from US$868 million in 1997. The stock of the external foreign debt will only grow 1%, up from US$4,077 million in 1997 to US$4,140 million in 1998.

Air fare sales
Martinair, which flies directly from Santo Domingo to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in Holland, is offering a special fare of US$499 for round trips. This fare does not include taxes which are 20%. Copa, Compañía Panameña de Aviación, is also announcing a sale on tickets, - US$78 - for the round trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

D.R. feels it might be awarded the 2003 Pan Am Games site
The Dominican Republic continues to aspire to win the right to host the year 2003 Pan American Sports Games, the most important regional sports championships. The D.R. is competing with Mexico, Chile and Colombia, that also hope to be favored with the majority vote of the Americas. Dr. Jose Joaquin Puello, president of the Dominican Olympic Committee, will travel to Mexico next week to deposit the official Dominican request to host the event during the assembly of the Pan-American Sports Organization. Dr. Puello will travel with Minister of Sports Juan Marichal and Minister of Public Works engineer, Diandino Peña.
Puello is counting on 25 votes, more than closest rival, Mexico. A total of 46 nations vote. While most countries have only a single vote, countries that have already hosted the Pan American Games have two votes. These are Argentina, Mexico, the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and Brazil. He said the D.R. has the support of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
In 1994, the D.R. lost the right to host the Pan Am Games by only one vote, which was won by Winnipeg, Canada. These Games will take place in 1999.

Drug director seeks Haitian cooperation
The director of the Dirección Nacional de Control de Drogas (DNCD), Rear Admiral Luis Alberto Humeau Hidalgo, told El Siglo newspaper that he will travel to Haiti to meet with Haitian authorities next week. Rear Admiral Humeau seeks to open communication channels with Haitian authorities in order to coordinate new joint efforts to combat drug trafficking. Colombian drug smugglers are increasing their use of the Colombia-Haiti-D.R.-Puerto Rico-U.S. route. Rear Admiral Humeau explained that because of the political problems in Haiti, that country is increasingly serving as a base for drug smuggling operations. The D.R. is participating with the U.S. in the Frontier Lance project whereby a major naval and air fleet patrols Dominican territorial waters.
Rear Admiral Luis Alberto Humeau Hidalgo also said that the DNCD will begin next month to implement a United Nations program that seeks to reduce the consumption of drugs in the Dominican Republic. Press reports recently indicated that Colombian drug traffickers are paying local partners in drugs instead of in money. The dealers then must sell the drugs on the Dominican marketplace to cash in on their work. While in the past, the Dominican Republic was merely an intermediary point for drug trafficking, this change in trade practices is having an adverse effect on drug consumption in the DR.

Limelight on the Attorney General
The most controversial figure of recent weeks is Attorney General Abel Rodríguez del Orbe. Righteous, honest and yet outspoken, Del Orbe has a knack for making enemies. He has clashed with the powers that be and several important local organizations. Del Orbe has been in disagreement with the Supreme Court over legal jurisdiction, and with the Colegio de Abogados over the quality and morals of its members. Actions of these have affected the development of new tourism projects. Del Orbe has called several lawyer groups, "la plaga," (the plague).
Del Orbe has also clashed with the National Congress, over the changes made to the Telecommunications Bill in its passing through the office of Senate president, Amable Aristy Castro.
Also, following his criticism of the quality of Dominican law schools, implying they are merely title factories, he has been confronted by the rectors of several of these. Del Orbe has said that only four law schools should be allowed to graduate lawyers. These are the UNIBE, PUCMM, UNPHU and the UASD law schools.

Minister of Public Works priority is new superhighway
Minister of Public Works Diandino Peña said his priority during his term at the Ministry will be the construction of a superhighway that will link the Avenida Luperón with the 27 de Febrero, and on to the Autopista de las Americas that heads East. The Avenida Luperón/27 de Febrero links to Autopista Duarte, which was recently expanded, heading north. Minister Peña said works would begin in three months on the expansion of the Autopista de las Americas, the highway that communicates Santo Domingo with the East, linking on to Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, La Romana, Higuey-Punta Cana-Bavaro travel destinations. He said that the repair of the Duarte Bridge is also a top priority, as are the three underground tunnels to be located at the intersection of the Máximo Gómez, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill avenues. The Winston Churchill tunnel is currently under construction.

Falco brought upon his own death
Recent press reports have confirmed that Austrian rock star Hans Horsel, "Falco," was drunk and drugged prior to crashing into a mini-bus in Puerto Plata last month. Pathologist Sergio Sarita Valdez said that laboratory tests revealed that there was a level of 1.5% of alcohol in Horsel's blood level, triple of what is permitted in Austria, where he lived. Also, for every milimeter of blood, Horsel's blood contained 2.604 nanograms of cocaine and 43 miligrams of marihuana.
Horsel was known worldwide for his "Rock Me, Amadeus," song. He was a personal friend of Formula One champion Niki Lauda who has invested in the Hacienda Resorts project in Cofresí, Puerto Plata. He was driving a jeep when he crashed into a bus on the Puerto Plata-Sosua highway near La Gran Parada. At the time, the Dominican press reported that employees at La Gran Parada had recommended that he not drive, as he was apparently under the influence of alcohol. He did not heed the recommendation and crashed into the mini-bus.

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