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Daily News - 02 November 1998

President Fernández active in afforestation programs
President Leonel Fernández actively participated yesterday in the formal start of the National Reforestation Plan, the afforestation program that seeks to rehabilitate the principal river basins of the country, valleys and mountains where trees where the winds of Hurricane Georges uprooted by the hundreds last September. President Fernández himself planted trees in the basins of the Ozama, Haina rivers, and atop the hills of La Comadreja in Monte Plata and Los Ganchos in Villa Altagracia. Vice President Jaime David Fernández, coordinator of the Plan Quisqueya Verde, the national forestry plan that was being implemented before the hurricane, was also there as well as employees of the principal national forestry departments.

Political party sit down to talks
The three leading political parties are expected to sit down to talks as the second round of talks mediated by the Roman Catholic Church begins this afternoon. The leading opposition party, the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano has said it is privy to increasing the number of members of the board of the Junta Central Electoral as a way to resolve the present political crisis. The other two majority parties, the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano and the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, the government party, contest the appointment by the Senate of five judges, of which several are known as PRD activists. The judges were unilaterally elected by the PRD which is majority in the Senate, in violation with an unwritten agreement that established that the judges would be chosen by consensus of the parties.

Are you insured for an earthquake?
The president of the Dominican chamber of insurance firms and underwriters, the Cámara Dominicana de Aseguradores y Reaseguradores, Luis Eduardo Guerrero alerted businesses to check for earthquake coverage in their insurance policies. He said that most businesses are insured for hurricanes and fire, but not for earthquakes. He also commented that there is much under valuation in coverage, which will impede businesses from being able to claim sufficient coverage for repairs when necessary. Guerrero said that the DR is receiving US$350 million from its underwriters due to damages caused by Hurricane Georges. He said that 40% of claims have already been paid.

Laureano Guerrero resigns
Hoy reported that Laureano Guerrero resigned on Friday his post as president of the Comisión Nacional de Espectáculos Públicos y Radiofonía, after the government instructed him to revoke his decision to ban cable TV channels from inserting local advertising. Hoy reported that it is likely that Ruben Camilo, a broadcaster with ties to the government party, will be appointed. Guerrero had announced the ban on local advertising on international cable TV programming under the understanding that cable TV subscribers pay for the service and not to see local advertisement. He also argued that the placing of advertising on international cable programming was affecting the profitability of local television stations. The most affected party, Telecable Nacional was the first to announce that the measure was revoked. Some RD$40 million a year are at stake.

New president of foreign enterprises lobby group
Carlos Espinal, president of Codetel, the leading telecommunications company, is the new president of the board of directors of the Asociación de Empresas de Inversión Extranjera (Asiex ) for 1998-2000. Asiex represents the interests of major foreign firms in the DR. Prior to his appointment he was vice president of the organization. Other board members are:
Ramón Menéndez, Central Romana; Juan Manuel Pérez, Warner Lambert; and Edgar Pichardo, Smith Enron. Also Alejandro Peña, Cerinca; Enrique Lithgow, Falconbridge; Osmar Olivo, Hoescht; Fernando Sánchez, Texaco Caribbean; Roman Santana, 3m Domincana; and Paul Witmond, Colgate Palmolive.

Singer feels insulted by Minister of Tourism
Claudine Bonó, chosen to represent the Dominican Republic in the Festival de la OTI 13-14 in San José, Costa Rica, is the talk of the town. Bonó will perform, "Me Levanto," lyrics by Manuel Jiménez and musical arrangements by Manuel Tejada.
Last week, she visited Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez seeking that department's sponsorship for her participation in the festival, one of the most important in Latin America. The Listín Diario reported that she felt humiliated by Minister Jiménez's response to her request. Bonó said that he offered her only US$1,000 for her to distribute brochures on the country among the audience of the festival. And he demanded that she sing the ballad, and then told her she didn't have a chance. The minister was married to Maridalia Hernández, one of the best Dominican singers of all times. He has not told the press his version.
Adriano Rodríguez, representative of the Organización de Televisión Iberoamericana said that the Minister asked him to request the site of the event for Santo Domingo next year.

Juan Luis Guerra's CD is coming
The Listín Diario reported that Juan Luis Guerra's new CD will be out either by Christmas or January at the latest. "Mi PC" (La computadora), and "El Niagara en bicicleta" are two of the 12 innovative tracks. The Listín reported that the production cost US$1 million. Millions have already been pre-sold. Juan Luis Guerra is the biggest selling Dominican performer. He has sold over 15 million units of his contemporary merengue and Latin music albums. His biggest sellers have been "Ojalá que llueva café," in 1990 and "Bachata Rosa," that from November 1990 to September 1992 sold four million copies.
Juan Luis Guerra will be on stage 12 December in a super production with José Antonio Molina and Emilio Estefan. Some of the top Latin stars -- Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Jon Secada, Jennifer Lopez, Carlos Vives and Carlos Ponce will also perform that evening marking the re-opening of Altos de Chavón in La Romana.

Weekend baseball games
Sunday
Licey Tigers defeated the Escogido Lions 9-7 in Santo Domingo. Licey tied with the Escogido for the first place of the 1998-1999 season. Both teams have won five games and lost three.
The Aguilas Cibaeñas defeated the Giants of San Francisco de Macorís, 7-0 in San Francisco de Macorís.
Saturday
Tigres defeated the Aguilas 7-1 in Santo Domingo
Leones del Escogido defeated the Gigantes in San Francisco,5-4.

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