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Daily News - 05 June 1998

Hurricane season update
Dr. William M. Gray, Colorado State University, leading forecaster for Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane activity, predicts this June-November Caribbean hurricane season will be of near average hurricane activity. Based on information obtained through May 1998, the Colorado State University weather team confirms earlier predictions that the total season activity will include 10 named storms (average is 9.3), 50 named storm days (average 47), 6 hurricanes (average 5.8), 25 hurricane days (average 24), 2 intense (category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average 2.2), 4 intense hurricane days (average 4.7) and a hurricane destruction potential of 70 (average 71).
This year's activity should be appreciably more than 1997 but less than the unusually active 1995 and 1996 seasons, he says. Still, 1998 should be significantly more active than the average of the generally suppressed hurricane seasons during the last 25
years and especially in comparison to the particularly quiet seasons of 1991-1994.
This early June updated forecast is very close to the early April
1998 forecast. An important element entering this updated forecast is the belief that the strongest El Niño on record will be mostly dissipated by the most active portion of the hurricane season from mid-August to late October.
If this 1998 hurricane forecast is approximately correct, then the 4-year period of 1995-1998 will have been the most active consecutive four years of hurricane activity on record. The weather scientists forecast a new era of generally greater Atlantic basin hurricane activity. The Colorado State University will issue a final updated forecast for 1998 on 6 August 1998.

In favor of helping Haiti's tourism trade
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Latorre said he favors the signing of a tourism treaty with Haiti based on the fact that in future years more tourists will seek multi-destination vacations seeking to encounter different cultures. Nevertheless, he said that plans for joint promotion and marketing will necessarily depend on the support of the tourism sector of the country. Yesterday, the National Hotel & Restaurant Association openly opposed the carrying out of joint marketing and promotion packages with Haiti hotels due to that country's negative image. Defending the agreement that could be signed when President Leonel Fernández visits Port-au-Prince on 21 June, Haitian Ambassador Guy Lamothe says, "Tourists that come from Europe don't think they are visiting the Dominican Republic, for them they are visiting the island of Hispaniola."
Lamothe said that one cannot see things in the short term. "We are about to enter a new millennium in two years and we share the island," he said. He said that many tourists that travel to Puerto Plata already book excursions to visit Haiti.
Minister Latorre said that the private sector should have been consulted prior to the completion of the talks with Haiti over the tourism agreement.

Minister of Foreign Affairs calls out to businessmen
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Latorre said that the Dominican government strategy to negotiate and maintain active participation in international integration processes that may have an effect of the country is worthless without the follow up of the private sector. He urged Dominican businessmen to take advantage of the opportunities that are being opened in trade, investment and the production of goods and services.

Air France to set up Caribbean headquarters in Santo Domingo
El Siglo newspaper reports that Air France has plans to convert the Dominican Republic into its headquarters for the area. Thiarry Jacques-Edouard, new director of marketing and sales for Air France for the Northern Caribbean, made the announcement that the French airline would soon be opening its regional office for the Caribbean in Santo Domingo.
The new structure will be responsible for flight operations in Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Dominican Republic.
"Santo Domingo is no longer a simple technical stop as in the past," he said. "We have many plans for the Dominican Republic and we see it as a privileged place," he told travel agents participating in a workshop held at the Hotel Jaragua. He said that Air France began flights to the DR in the summer of 1994 with two flights a week. Today, Air France operates daily flights from Santo Domingo to Paris.
The seminar was hosted by Air France, Turinter, Marriott and Hertz.

President Fernández's agenda in NY
Press secretary of the Presidency, Adriano Miguel Tejada gave details of President Leonel Fernández's agenda for his visit to New York City next week.
President Fernández will travel to New York City on Sunday, 7 June at 12:15 pm on flight 588 of American Airlines. That same day at 7 pm, the President will meet with members of the government party, the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, that reside in the United States.
On Monday, 8 June at 8 am he will give a press conference for the New York City TV and press.
At 10 am he will attend the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem. President Fernández joins President Clinton and 28 other chiefs of state that will be present or speak at the meeting. He will speak at 12 noon.
Afterwards he will participate in a luncheon hosted by the Secretary of the United Nations for the attending statesmen.
At 2:30 pm he has scheduled a press conference for Dominican journalists that are traveling to New York to cover the President's trip.
At 6 pm he will inaugurate Expo Reforma Internacional, an exhibition to showcase the reform and modernization efforts of the Dominican state with the participation of 72 government departments. At 8 pm he will meet with the Dominican community in New York.
On Tuesday, 9 June at 9 am he will attend the opening of the Dominican Office for the Promotion of Investments at the New York City Consulate. And at 10:30 am he has scheduled an interview with The New York Times.
At noon, he will meet with commissions of community directors of New York City. At 2 pm he will attend a private luncheon.
President Fernández is scheduled to return at 10:30 am of Wednesday, 10 June.

President Fernandez to meet with Dominican community in NY
El Siglo newspaper reported that the Dominican community in New York seeks to obtain a commitment from President Fernández that consular fees will be reduced. El Siglo New York City correspondent José Alduey Sierra, reports that the services offered at that consulate are "the most expensive in the world". The community alleges that President Fernández when campaigning for President promised to substantially lower the prices of consular services.

U.S. UNICEF committee meets in Santo Domingo
The 40-member U.S. committee for the UNICEF Fund is holding meetings in Santo Domingo. It is the first time that the committee meets outside the United States. Charles J. Lyons, presides over the group. The committee will visit several UNICEF projects in the Dominican Republic.

Three Dutch travelers arrested for drug trafficking
The Dirección Nacional de Control de Drogas (DNCD) arrested two Dutch women and a Dutch man at the Las Americas International Airport yesterday. The five packages containing 4 kilos 116.9 grams of cocaine were uncovered on the travelers bodies or luggage. The DNCD had reports that the drug would be smuggled from Colombia to Holland, via the DR. The travelers were scheduled to take Martinair flight 603 to Amsterdam.

Regional telecommunications meeting held here
The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations met at Casa de Campo, La Romana last week for the 14th Annual Telecommunication Conference and Trade Exhibition. Some 420 Caribbean government ministers and product and service suppliers participated in the meetings held 31 May to 4 June. Ministers of Cuba, Antigua, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Trinidad & Tobago, and Montserrat were present.
In an interview for the Listín Diario, the director for the Caribbean and Latin America of Intersat/Teleglobe, one of the companies participating in the event, said that the DR telecommunications technology is the most advanced in the Caribbean. He said that the DR is the seventh most important market for telephone calls in the United States. This is the second time the DR is host to the event.

Isha to abandon her show
TV producer Isabel Aracena "Isha" chose to retire from producing her children's TV show, "El Club de Isha" until the District Attorney officer Rosa Núñez presents the proofs that substantiate that office's claims that producers of her program oblige children to dance in a provocative manner in order to increase ratings.
Isha sent a letter to President Leonel Fernández, the president of the Supreme Court, Dr. Jorge Subero, and Attorney General Abel Rodríguez del Orbe and District Attorney Francisco Brito Domingo requesting an explanation.
Local TV programs oriented to children have been in the spotlight after Carmen Moreno, visiting regional representative of the International Work Organization, denounced that Dominican children's TV programs present children wearing scant clothes and dancing obscenely as if in a cabaret show.
Isha admitted that this is a fact of Dominican and Latin American programming.
"In the case of the programs of Promovisión (her company), it is fair to recognize, that if there are not extreme cases as mentioned, we are not free of guilt," said Isha. Nevertheless, she said they have taken care to not allow the children performers to incorporate inadequate movements in their dances.

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