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Daily News - 09 July 1998

Agreement to help improve garbage collection
The government reached an agreement yesterday with Dixi Sanitary Service, the largest private service that collects garbage in Santo Domingo. The Administrative Secretary of the Presidency said they agreed to make the US$800,000 a month payments, and each month contribute half of that amount to the US$3.5 million in arrears with the company. Garbage collecting is big business with several companies contracted by the municipality and the central government.

Attorney General says there are gangs within the Police
The Attorney General of the Nation insisted yesterday in a press conference that there are organized bands within the National Police and the National Drug Control Department (DCND). He has signaled out a Claudio de los Santos, linking him to the disappearance of university professor Narciso González, a case still under investigation by his office.

Attorney General is not going anywhere
Attorney General Abel Rodríguez del Orbe said he ignores he has been replaced from his function to be designated ambassador in Cuba. "I have no opinion on that, what I recommend is that you do not appoint me, I know nothing about being an ambassador," he said in a press conference at his office in the Palacio de Justicia. Hoy newspaper journalist Manuel Jiménez had said yesterday in his column that he had heard from reputable sources that Rodríguez would be sent to Cuba as the country's first ambassador there in over 30 years.
"Those are my enemies that want me deported, they want me to be exiled, or perhaps sent to the cemetery. And then instead of sending me to Washington or to Paris, they want to send me to Havana," he said, all smiles. He said that all criminals are his enemies. He said he does not know anything about being an ambassador, who he described as a person who speaks to you for an hour and a half on a subject but doesn't ever give you a yes or a no.

Barahona's radar to stay in Barahona
The director of the Dominican Aviation Board, lawyer Vitelio Mejía said that it is not true that the radar installed at the Aeropuerto Internacional María Montez of Barahona, a large airport facility still not in operation, will be transferred to another airport. He said that rather than remove equipment from the airport, the CAB has decided to install new equipment to make the airport operational. He said that in his capacity as director of the CAB, the issue of the transfer of the radar is a dead issue.
Frank Rainieri, promoter of the idea of transferring the radar to Punta Cana, said that the suggestion was made based on a more rational use of resources, not as a debate between two regions. He said it is necessary that the instrument be installed because the air traffic is increasing in the area. The Punta Cana International Airport is a private airport. He said it is a better deal to the government than all other airports because it pays the same taxes, but the government has not had to make the infrastructure investment. He said that the airport produced for the state receipts of RD$300 million in 1996 and RD$360 million in 1997. He said the transfer would impede that the radar deteriorate from lack of use.

Sports Palace to be air conditioned
The Palacio de los Deportes will be a world class modern air conditioned multi-sports facility once it reopens. The Ministry of Public Works has approved the installation of a modern Carrier air conditioning system costing upwards of RD$10 million. The renovation of the sports arena will be completed by next month.

Senate passes extradition bill
The Dominican Senate passed the extradition bill that would authorize the Executive Branch to extradite Dominicans or foreigners involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption of minors, sabotage, terrorism or other crimes. The bill had been lobbied for by U.S. government officers.

City mayor to be on his plans for Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo mayor-to-be Johnny Ventura said Miami city government officials are helping develop a system of critical point drainages. The improvement of the drainage of Santo Domingo is one of the priorities of the Ventura who will be sworn in on 16 August 1998. The city floods in several points when it rains heavily. The definite solution of the problem has been estimated to cost over US$1,500 million pesos. The mayor-to-be also told Hoy newspaper that he will foster a revision or rescission of the Dixi Sanitary Service contract signed by the central government. Press reports say that the contract has almost no provisions so that the government can verify and enforce that the company gets the job done. Ventura, nevertheless said that as a mayor he will seek solutions, not persons to blame for the problems. He said that all is ready to divide the city in six departments to make services more efficient.
He met with President Fernández earlier this week.

Peynado favors re-election
Vice President Jacinto Peynado favors changing the Constitution to permit consecutive re-election for a single additional period or extending the presidential period to six years. But he said that President Fernández would not win the re-election because his government has not been satisfactory.

World Bank vice president visits
The World Bank will be financing environmental improvement projects in tourism areas. Vice President of the World Bank, Shahid Javed Burki visited yesterday together with John Panzer and met with President Fernández and his economic advisors. The World Bank has approved loans for US$180 and is contemplating projects for an additional US$250 million. He said that the World Bank has given its total and absolute support to the Fernández government's privatization project. He called "impressive" the growth and economic stability of the DR in recent years. He said that they would be opening an office of the World Bank in Santo Domingo as testimony to the confidence they have in the development of the country.
The World Bank also has pending the resolution of the differences between the Dominican government and the International Finance Corporation-financed Smith-Enron power plant in Puerto Plata.

New board at Italian chamber of commerce
The Dominican-Italian Chamber of Commerce has elected a new board for 1998-2000. The chamber fosters increased trade relations between Italy and the DR. The new board is presided by Giovanni Aguzzi. Other members are Vicenzo Mastrolilli, vice president; Guillermo Rodr[iguez Vicini, second vice presidnet; Franco Oliva, secretary general administrative, and members Jose Alberto García, Tamara Simó, Carlos A. Elmúdesi, Andrea Fontani, Maujrizio Bellia, Augusto Vargas and Perluigi Gerro. The chamber was founded 10 years ago and today has a membership of over 200 members.

Coffee harvest minimized this year
El Caribe newspaper reports that members of the Dominican Association of Producers of Coffee and Cacao met yesterday with the Ministry of Agriculture to explain that coffee production in the Cibao, the nation's principal producer, will be 50% less this year due to the "broca" plague that has affected the crop. Some 1,210,846 tareas (629 square meters to the tarea) are planted in the north central Cibao region, or 49.9% of the total coffee planted area of the country. This will be the year of the lowest coffee harvest. In the 1990-1991 harvest, 900,000 quintals were harvested. In 1995-1996 production was 1,055,900 quintals. In the 1996-1997 harvest, the harvest dropped to 749,500 quintals after the plague was detected. Experts believe it will be considerably less this year.

DR fails to make it to world basketball event
The Dominican Republic failed to make it into the select four that will represent the Americas in the World Juvenile Basketball Games. The DR placed fifth in the regular round of the Pan-American Championships taking place in Puerto Plata 4-11 July. The Dominican team defeated Canada 107-99 in the last game played at the event in Puerto Plata. Canada had won the first half 53-51.
The semifinals begin today. Venezuela will play Argentina, the US will play Brazil.

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