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Daily News - 15 April 1998

German Emilio Ornes passes away
On the same day the newspaper he dedicated his life to celebrated its 50th anniversary, 78-year old Germán Emilio Ornes Coiscou called it quits. He passed away of cardiac-respiratory arrest shortly before he would have attended the placing into circulation of his book "Monopoly and its Legal Situation in the Dominican Republic," as part of commemorative events of the gold anniversary of the El Caribe newspaper. Ornes suffered from diabetes and arteriosclerosis. He didn't make it alive to the emergency room of the Corazones Unidos clinic.
Ornes was best known for his permanent struggle for freedom of the press in the Americas and for helping to train hundreds of Dominican journalists, many of whom are today editors of newspapers or outstanding professionals.
El Caribe was the leading Dominican newspaper through the 70s when it was surpassed by the more contemporary and dynamic Listín Diario. Ornes had received several offers for the purchase of the newspaper, but had expressed his desire to be the newspaper's publisher when it reached its 50th anniversary. He did sell the newspapers archives to OGM, a data research service funded by the Banco Popular.
Ornes is a past president of the Inter American Press Association, and was recently honored as ad vita president of the IAPA's Freedom of the Press and Information Committee. A winner of the Columbia University Maria Cabot Moor award, and the Mergenthaler award of the IAPA, as well as the Dominican government's prestigious decoration Orden del Mérito de Duarte, Sánchez y Mella, Grado Gran Cruz de Plata, he recently received a doctor honoris causa at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña and another from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra.
He is survived by his wife Virginia Parra de Ornes, his daughters Clara and Angela Ornes, his son Antonio Emilio Ornes and his sister, Maricusa Ornes viuda Alvarez.

Fidel Castro expected to visit in October
It is expected that Fidel Castro will accept an invitation to visit the Dominican Republic en route to Lisbon, Portugal to attend the 8th Iberoamerican Summit. Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese statesmen participate in that annual summit. The 9th version of the meeting of chiefs of states will be held in Havana. This would be the first visit of Castro as chief of state to the Dominican Republic. Press reports indicate that it is expected that most of the nations that participate in the summit will have normalized their relations with Cuba in time for the 1999 summit. The Listín Diario government reporter Máximo Manuel Pérez said he expects that the Dominican government will have established full diplomatic relations with Cuba in time for the visit of Castro to Santo Domingo this October.

Salcedo expects to win city mayor post
Roberto Salcedo, candidate to mayor for Santo Domingo for the incumbent Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, said that he is capitalizing on what he described as the "irreversible crisis" of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, the result of the chaotic primaries held by that organization. He said that recent surveys show that he is gaining on the PRD candidate, Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez, in the preference of voters. Peña Gómez is in the United States recovering from health problems. Furthermore, Salcedo told the Listín Diario that he is counting on city voters increased maturity and awareness. He said that he will carry out a city administration that he described as modern and decentralized, in order to guarantee the efficiency of services.
Salcedo is 45 years old, married with four children. He was not affiliated to any political party, but used his TV show as a platform to promote his aspiration to mayor. The PLD invited him to be their candidate.

Peña reports on his health
Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez, leader of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano and the party's candidate to mayor for Santo Domingo, said in a press conference in New York City that no important organ of his body was affected by the health problems for which he traveled to New York City for treatment. Peña Gómez suffers from cancer of the pancreas which was diagnosed in 1994, shortly after he lost the presidential elections in the second round. He said that he suffered from malaria, anemia, acute pharyngitis, and difficulty with breathing and high fevers. He was hospitalized at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of the Memorial Hospital of New York City. While he left the hospital this week, he said he is still in New York because his physicians requested that he submit to supplementary tests. He said his physicians authorized him to return to Santo Domingo within a few days and to continue the electoral campaign. But he said they advised that he not subject himself to excessive and uncontrolled politicking. He said his health was affected by the stress of the last weeks of the difficult process to select the PRD candidates to the 16 May 1998 congressional and municipal elections.

PRD visits JCE to complain of unfair practices of the PLD
A committee of high-ranking members of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) visited the judges of the Junta Central Electoral, the court in charge of organizing the elections, to present proofs that the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) is violating the electoral law. During the visit, representatives of the party requested that the electoral court intervene to stop the PLD from using state resources for their campaigns. Party spokesmen said that on 6 April President Fernández proclaimed the PLD candidates in San Pedro de Macorís and the central stand he used was built by brigades of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Public Works. Furthermore, they presented reports showing that government officers attended a major political campaign event in San Juan de la Maguana using the state vehicles they are assigned.
The committee that visited the JCE was made up by Tony Raful, Sofia Leonor Sánchez Baret, Milton Ray Guevara, Guido Gómez Mazara, Enmanuel Esquea Guerrero, and Rafael (Fafa) Taveras.
Dr. Juan Sully Bonelly, president of the Junta Central Electoral, said the JCE would also investigate the complaints made by the PRD and the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC) that PLD and government officers are purchasing voting cards so that potential voters may not be able to vote for opposition parties. Recently, Esteban Amancio, the PLD director in San Juan de Maguana, was arrested for holding 723 cedulas or voting cards. It was later said that he had the cedulas in order to copy them as the bearers were beneficiaries of the Social Plan of the Presidency.

New judges for Southwest
The president of Supreme Court of Justice, Dr. Jorge Subero Isa announced the appointment of 34 new judges that will work in Barahona, Bahoruco, Independencia and Pedernales jurisdictions of the Southwest. The appointments are part of efforts to renovate the Dominican justice system.

Grocers reach agreement with government
The principal federations of grocery wholesalers and retailers reached an agreement with the government and thus will desist from their call to a national grocer's strike that had been set for 21 and 22 April. The owners of small grocery shops, or colmados, were demanding participation in the government sponsored food sales program, Alimentos para Todos. The government, through its Inespre department, had become unfair competition with the colmados, and had set up fix sales points near the colmados and was using small trucks to sell low-cost produce to Dominicans throughout the country. The authorities of Inespre, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce committed to integrate the merchants, and agreed to grant the wholesalers a 12% profit on goods sold through the program. The retailers would receive a 3% profit. Furthermore, Inespre will sell the subsidized produce to the colmados within the next seven days.

Public school children suffer from anemia
The Ministry of Public Health said that 30-40% of public school children suffer from anemia. The director general of the nutrition department of the Ministry, Matilde Vasquez said that the Ministry is considering programs that would distribute iron supplements to children. Also considered is supplementing flour used to prepare bread.

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