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Daily News - 14 April 1998

Major League baseball officers come to sign agreement
Key officers of Major League baseball will be in Santo Domingo next week for the signing of a baseball agreement with the Caribbean League that groups baseball league teams in the Caribbean. The Major Leagues will help modernize the winter baseball that is played in Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. It will make possible that Panama return to the Caribbean baseball league. Juan Francisco Puello Herrera, Baseball Commissioner for the Caribbean, said the agreement will be signed Tuesday, 21 at 5 pm at the Santo Domingo Meliá Hotel (former Sheraton).
Puello explained that the agreement will bring about an overall improvement in the baseball played in the Caribbean. He also said that the Caribbean Series will be promoted to the North American public, making Caribbean baseball self-financing.
This is the first time such a high level mission of Major League baseball visits the Dominican Republic. Coming for the event are:
Paul Beeston, president and chief of operations of the Baseball Office of Major Leagues.
Len Coleman, president of the National League.
Gene Budig, president of the American League and provisional commissioner for the Major Leagues.
Tim Brosman, chief of operations of the International Office of the Major Leagues.
Bill Murray, executive director of the Commissioner's Office.
Roy Krasik, assistant to the executive director of the Commissioner's Office.
Miguel Rodríguez, Major League baseball office.
The key officers of baseball in the Caribbean are also expected to attend the meetings, including Arturo León for Mexico, Carlos Cordigo Valerie, Venezuela; Elpidio Batista, Puerto Rico and Leonardo Matos Berrido for the Dominican Republic.

Free zone exports touchy issue
Central American cabinet ministers are in Santo Domingo for the conclusion of the free trade agreement between Central America and the Dominican Republic and for discussion of key issues on the regional agenda for the Summit of the Americas that opens in Santiago de Chile with the attendance of chiefs of state from all throughout the Americas. Meanwhile, Hoy newspaper reported that Central American ministers have opposed including Dominican free zone exports in the free trade treaty. Free zone exports are the Dominican Republic's principal exports. Frederic Emam-Zade, chief negotiator for the Dominican Republic, said that the inclusion of the free zone exports in the tax exempt treaty is a non-negotiable issue.

Blackouts attributed to too much electricity
News commentators couldn't help seeing the humor in the latest excuse given by the administration of the Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad (CDE) as to why the blackouts continue now that new generators are on line. The state electricity utility said that the blackouts have continued because the increase in the generation of power has tumbled several of the electricity transmission lines. The CDE explained several of these are badly maintained and thus were affected by the jolts of electricity. The CDE alerted the citizenry to be careful with the fallen electricity lines. Emergency brigades are busy repairing the lines. The CDE emergency unit telephone number is 537-111 and 537-1871.

New judges appointed for Santo Domingo courts
The Supreme Court of Justice appointed 12 new judges to Santo Domingo courts, confirmed two of the presently working judges, and retired three others. The new judges are Ignacio Pascual Camacho Hidalgo, Manuel del Socorro Pérez García, Juan Hirohito Reyes, Modesto Antonio Martínez Mejía, Pedro Antonio Sánchez Rivera, Kattia Miguelina Jiménez., Nancy María Joaquín Guzmán, Carmen Altagracia Fortuna Belliard, Francisco Ortega Polanco, Hector Enrique Marchena Pérez, Ysis Nuñez Aponte, Eduardo Sánchez Ortiz. The retired judges are Maria del Rosario Cuello Paradis, Juan Maria Severino and Francia Concepción Martínez. Julio César Canó Alfau and Bienvenida Belliard were confirmed in their posts.
The judges were chosen from a pre-selection of 30 that resulted from the evaluation of 169 candidates during the end of March testing of lawyers. The judges are provisional, as they will not be confirmed in their posts until Congress passes the judicial career bill. They will remain in their posts for a period of seven years, prior to being given permanent jobs until mandatory retirement age at 70 or 75 or their earlier retirement.

Sending U.S.-trained criminals back home
The U.S. has deported 6,582 sentenced Dominican-born criminals to the Dominican Republic from 1993 to 1997: 1,024 (1993), 969 (1994), 1,165 (1995), 1,472 (1996), and 1,952 (1997). The deportations occur following the passing of a bill that seeks to save the U.S. government money. The deportations have been criticized because they send U.S. trained expert drug traffickers and criminals to countries, like the Dominican Republic, where the crime rate is low and the drug problem is not at critical levels.
Some of these had just served the first years of 25 year or life sentences.

Government announces plan to rehabilitate libraries
The director of the National Library, Diómedes Núñez Polanco said that the government plans to rehabilitate public libraries, including those in city halls all around the country. The libraries will be physically rehabilitated and stocked with new books. Núñez also said that President Fernández has given instructions to turn the National Library at Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo into a model in the Caribbean. He said that the government has plans to create mobile libraries, using buses, that will travel all around interior towns and rural areas promoting reading.

Minister of Tourism criticizes Mayor Suberví
Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez was defeated in his aspirations to be elected mayor of Santo Domingo in the 1994 election by present incumbent, Rafael Suberví Bonilla. At the start of the week, in an interview in Hoy newspaper, he criticized Suberví for neglecting his work as Mayor of the city in order to campaign for deputy on the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano ticket. Suberví is running for deputy for his home town of Barahona. The Minister of Tourism accused Suberví of negligence in garbage collecting in the colonial city.

PLD hopes to win 11 seats in Senate
The government party, Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) is hard at work to secure congressional veto power in the congressional elections of 16 May 1998. The PLD seeks to break the control of Congress by opposition parties Partido Reformista Social Cristiano and the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano by winning at least 11 of the 30 senate seats or 50 of the 149 deputy seats that are up for grabs in the elections. The PLD feels it has a chance at winning congressional positions in Santiago, Espaillat, Salcedo, La Vega, Dajabón, Duarte, La Romana, San Juan de la Maguana San Cristóbal, Peravia, Monseñor Nouel, Barahona, La Altagracia, Valverde, Elías Piña and El Seibo. PLD strategist, José Tomás Pérez, says that the present composition of forces within Congress impedes economic and social development.

Dominican poor win many scholarships
Dominicans were the ethnic group that most scholarships won in the School Choice Scholarships program that benefits grade school children attending public schools in low income areas of New York City. This year, some 1,000 scholarships in private schools were distributed among children in low income school districts of New York City. More than 50% of the scholarships were won by Hispanics, of which Dominicans were the most outstanding group. Some 20,000 families participated, and 1,000 children were chosen based on their grades. The two-year old foundation is sponsored by private business that contributed US$6 million to fund the tuition in private schools of outstanding students attending schools in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. The program has the support of mayor Rudolph Guiliani.

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