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Daily News - 02 June 1998

Hurricane season begins
The Dominican Weather Department says 10 hurricanes are forecast for the season that opened 1 June in the Caribbean. The named hurricanes for this season are Alex, Bonnif, Charley, Danielle, Earl, Frances, Georges, Hermine, Ivan, Jeanne, Karl, Lisa, Mitch, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie and Walter.
The Atlantic Basin hurricane season, which includes the Caribbean, runs from 1 June through 30 November, but most hurricanes have been known to hit the Dominican Republic in August-September.
In an early year forecast issued by the Colorado State University Dr. William Gray forecast team it was revealed that the current trends in the relevant global climate conditions lack any dominating feature likely to cause either a highly active or inactive Atlantic hurricane season this summer.
According to Dr. Gray, information obtained through March 1998 indicates that the upcoming 1998 Atlantic hurricane season is likely to experience about average hurricane activity. They have projected 10 named storms (average is 9.3), 50 named storm days (average is 47), 6 hurricanes (average is 5.8), 20 hurricane days (average is 24), 2 intense (category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3), 4 intense hurricane days (average is 4.7) and a hurricane destruction potential (HDP) of 65 (average is 71).
According to this forecast team: "Whereas net 1998 tropical cyclone activity is expected to be about 95 percent of the long term average, conditions this year should be distinctively more active than 1997 but less active than the very busy hurricane seasons of 1995 and 1996. This early April prediction indicates a greater possibility of a slightly more active season than did our early December (1997)
forecast of 1998 hurricane activity. An important element entering this April forecast update is more evidence that the very strong 1997-1998 El Niño will be largely dissipated by the start of the (climatologically) active part of the hurricane season (i.e., mid-August). "
The Colorado State University team will update their forecast on 5 June.

President Fernández to speak in UN special session
President Leonel Fernández will be speaking at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem to be held in New York City, this month. President Fernández joins President Clinton and 28 other chiefs of state that will be present at the meetings.
President Fernández is scheduled to speak at 12:30 pm on Monday, 8 June. That same morning, President bill Clinton will address the Assembly at 10:30 am. President Fernández will travel to New York on 7 June.
The General Assembly is convening a Special Session on the world drug problem in New York, from 8 to 10 June 1998. This Session will mark the 10th anniversary of the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
The session will assess the international drug problem and develop a forward-looking strategy for the twenty-first century, centered around the basic principle of a balanced approach between supply and demand reduction.
Commenting on the Special Session , Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), recently said: "The Special Session should be a turning point for the world to go forward with renewed energy on drug control. There are many reasons for optimism in this regard: a politically more cooperative international climate devoid of the East-West and North-South ideological divides, sophisticated technology such as satellite monitoring systems; and the accumulated knowledge of the international community in drug control activities."
Representatives from 130 Governments will discuss the draft Political Declaration proposed for adoption at the Special Session. It sets out a comprehensive global strategy designed to tackle simultaneously all aspects of the drug problem and puts forward a bold objective: a drastic simultaneous reduction of both illicit supply and demand for drugs by the year 2008.

Differences over use of river resources
President Leonel Fernández created a government committee to resolve the differences between the Ministry of Public Works and the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Hidraulicos, the department in charge of river resources. The organizations have different views on extracting construction materials from Dominican rivers. In addition to these two departments, also on the committee is the Instituto Nacional de Aguas Potables y Alcantarillado and the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Mining. The extraction of construction materials from Dominican rivers has accelerated the decline of these. Press reports carried the differences between Minister of Public Works, engineer Diandino Peña and the director of Indrhi, engineer Mariano Germán Mejía over the authorization for the extraction of materials. Engineer Mariano German Mejía said that the different government organizations will work together to preserve the nation's natural resources.

Trying to intimidate the drug fighters?
A small bomb exploded early Monday at the headquarters of the Dirección Nacional de Control de Drogas, the government department in charge of combating drug trafficking. The bomb went off at 3:37 am destroying glass windows of the accounting, psychology, logistics and academia departments of the DNCD and those of a vehicle parked near where it was launched. The director of the DNCD, Rear Admiral Luis Alberto Humeau Hidalgo attributed the bomb to drug dealers and said that they will not be intimidated in their fight against national and international drug trafficking.

Names of corrupt judges, please
The President of the Supreme Court Dr. Jorge Subero Isa requested that lawyer Marino Vinicio Castillo provide more information that would validate his declarations that members of that court respond to political party interests and serve the interests of international organized crime. More so, Subero Isa asked Castillo to state whether his opinions, rendered on his state television station program, "La Respuesta," are his personal opinion or are made from his position as a cabinet member. Castillo is a government minister and president of the president of the Consejo Nacional de Drogas, the presidential council on drugs.

CDE administrator explains his position
The general manager of the Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad, Radhamés Segura explained that the privatization of the collections aspect of the CDE will come first. He expects private companies to be in charge of this aspect within three months time. He explained that the CDE's top priority now is to increase its collections.
If we do not collect for the electricity served, there will not be funds to pay for the fuel and then we will be back in the days of long blackouts, he explained. He said that the government has a commitment to be able to provide electricity to users 24 hours a day.
The administrator and the new board of the CDE have clashed with the Commission for the Reform of State Enterprises over the issue of the
CDE purchasing and installing power plants. The two entities will meet today at the National Palace to discuss their differences. The CDE favors the installation by the government of small power plants that would resolve the electricity deficit. The Comisión de Reforma de la Empresa Pública seeks to go ahead with the privatization process and says that the purchase by the CDE of the power plants is a short term solution and will delay the long term solution. They feel the installation of private plants should be done by the private sector. Segura advocates that the success of the privatization efforts will depend on ensuring first that Dominicans are paying for the electricity consumed. Today 50% of Dominicans do not pay for the service. The CDE recently signed an agreement with the National Police and the District Attorney to start indicting those with fraudulent electricity connections.
The CDE also recently signed an agreement with the Banco Agrícola to use the later's offices around the country as collection booths.

DR competes with Colombia and Mexico for Pan Am Games
Santiago de Chile desisted from competing for the right to host the 2003 Pan American Games. This leaves three cities, including Santo Domingo, vieing for the most important regional sports championships. The cities are Medellín, Colombia, Guadalajara, Mexico and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Twenty-six votes are needed to win the vote that will take place on 5 December in Panama. The Dominican Republic lost the right to host the 1999 championships to Winnepeg, Canada by one vote. In case of a triple tie in the vote, the site will be given to the country that has not hosted the Games, which would be the Dominican Republic. Dominican Olympic Committee president, Dr. José Joaquín Puello, who spearheads the national efforts to win the site, says he is optimistic that the DR will obtain the site as he expects to get the vote of the smaller countries that are a majority.
But Medellín and Guadalajara are making the smaller countries generous offers of paying airfare and lodging of their delegations, in addition to eliminating airport taxes and visa requirements.

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