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Daily News - 07 December 1998

Santo Domingo to host Pan Am Games
Santo Domingo, the underdog, was chosen on Sunday, 6 December as the host city for the 2003 Pan American Games. Santo Domingo defeated the cities of Guadalajara, Mexico and Medellín, Colombia. Guadalajara had offered the most perks, but regional solidarity, primarily the vote of fellow Caribbean islands, resulted in the win of the Dominican capital city.
Members of the general assembly of the Pan American Sports Organization gathered in Panama City selected Santo Domingo in a second round of voting. The DR based its campaign on being a small country that had heroically lifted itself from the ravages of Hurricane Georges and that could host the games. Hoy newspaper reported that the DR won 28-24 over Mexico. Colombia supported the DR in the second round. In the first round the DR achieved 24 votes to 21 of Guadalajara and six of Colombia.
Four years ago, Santo Domingo had lost the bid to host the 1999 Games to Winnipeg, Canada by one vote.
The city needs now to embark on a major sports facility reconstruction program. The Minister of Public Works Diandino Peña said that the commitment of the Fernández administration is to repair all sports facilities that will be needed for the Games, for which has committed RD$100 million. The construction of additional facilities is responsibility of the government that will be elected in year 2000.
The event is expected to boost sports development and tourism as it focuses the attention of the sports press on the city for the next four years.
Santo Domingo hosted the Central American and Caribbean Sports Games in 1974.

Murder case involving former military reopens
Judge Katia Jiménez reopens today the case against a group of former military suspect of the assassination of former journalist Orlando Martínez in 1975.
Orlando Martínez had been critical of the Balaguer administration, but it is believed he was assassinated because he was about to cover in his column an issue that touched upon major economic interests. The top-ranking military officers of the time have been requested to present testimony at the trial that is being heard now after years of it being untouchable.
In a late development, the alleged material assassin Mariano Durán Cabrera was arrested in New York City and the Dominican government has entered a petition for his extradition. Former President Joaquín Balaguer has declined for health reasons attending the trial and has requested that he be questioned at his home. In a bibliographical book, "Memorias de un Cortesano," the former statesman left a blank page that he has said will be filled out after his death.
In Hoy newspaper on Saturday, 5 December, lawyer Marino Vinicio Castillo (Vincho) sustained that what needs to be revealed at the trial is from where the orders came to assassinate the journalist. He explained that the material authors of the crime are known because there have been confessions. Not so the motive.
In his opinion, former President Balaguer can reveal important data leading to the clearing up of the case.
Castillo, who is president of the National Council of Drugs, says, "I have the idea that another investigation took place under five generals, high-ranking generals, and it is possible that the blank page refers to that military investigation more than to the investigation carried out by the Police. Note that the President spoke of keys, 'don't touch that key because you can be lost... a key to sugar that may lead to reveal a fraud where RD$38 million pesos had to be returned," he said. In his opinion, "Orlando had uncovered a clue to something, and he was asking Fernando Alvarez Bogaert to publish at least one sales contract of the State Sugar Council." Alvarez Bogaert is senator for Valverde province.
Castillo is of the opinion that the trial should be delayed until Mariano Durán is extradited from the United States.
The list of accused also includes retired generals Salvador Lluberes Montás, who on two occasions had been chief of the Air Force and one time Police chief; Joaquín Antonio Pou Castro and Isidro Martínez. Also accused are former military Rafael Alfredo Lluberes Ricart, Luis Emilio de la Rosa.

Forecaster warns 1999 will be another busy hurricane season
William Gray, of the Colorado State University, who failed to forecast the intensity of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, but has had some past success predicting hurricanes, has warned that the 1999 season could be just as bad. The Atlantic basin will see 14 tropical storms next year, nine of which will grow to hurricane strength, said the researcher. He explained that four of the hurricanes will be "intense," with sustained winds of 111 mph (178 kph) or greater and a strong tidal surge capable of causing extensive damage.
He announced that the U.S. East Coast could be particularly vulnerable and faces twice the chance of being hit by a major storm compared to long term averages, while the Gulf of Mexico coast faces a 150 percent greater chance of a major landfall. ''Climatic evidence strongly suggests we are embarking on a new era of enhanced major hurricane activity.''
The Atlantic basin is at the beginning of a new era of increased hurricane activity, Gray said. The periods from 1900-25 and 1970-94 were relatively quiet, but activity picked up dramatically in 1995 with 19 named storms, the second most ever recorded.
Yet in 1997, a strong El Niño, the Pacific warm water phenomenon that dampens Atlantic hurricane activity, flattened what had been predicted to be a busy season. Only seven named storms formed, three of which became hurricanes. Gray had predicted 11 storms maturing into six hurricanes.
The Atlantic hurricane season that ended on November 30 produced 14 tropical storms, 10 of which became hurricanes. Three of those storms were intense. Gray had predicted 10 storms and six hurricanes, with two of them becoming intense.
The 1998 season is considered one of the deadliest and most destructive in history, with Mitch and Georges causing the most death and destruction.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November.

Sex education expected to curb pregnancies
The Dominican press is focusing on the need to curb the increasing trend of untimely pregnancies and the spreading of AIDS among teenagers. School directors feel that incorporating sex education as a subject would have a positive effect. Physicians from major public hospitals say that 40% of mothers-to-be attending those centers are under 20 years of age.
The Minister of Education Ligia Amada Melo rejected the plan proposed by Asociación Dominicana Po Bienestar de la Familia (Profamilia) understanding that that program calls for the distribution of condoms among students, which would be a form of promoting promiscuity.
But Magaly Caram of Profamilia says, "Sex education in schools is a process of communication, of learning, of changing conduct, self esteem, respect, intrafamily communication, respect for equality of gender, and pondering of the damaging consequences of violence, not the distribution of condoms as unfortunately has been interpreted."
Caram has also advocated that the Ministry derogate the measure that calls for the expelling pregnant girls from their schools.

Julio Maríñez is PRD candidate to head city governments league
The Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) chose Julio Maríñez, present secretary general, as their candidate to run again for the leading position in the Dominican Municipal League (LMD). The position is coveted because the secretary general has a lot of influence on the allotment of the 4% of the National Budget allotted to city governments. The allotment is expected to increase to 10% in the near future.
Maríñez is expected to compete against La Altagracia Senator, Amable Aristy Castro. The PRD has said that Aristy does not meet the requirements to run for the position as he is not a university graduate, nor even a high school graduate. Aristy Castro says he will submit documentation to prove the contrary.

Government institutions to pay electricity
As of 1 January 1999, all state centralized and autonomous institutions will have to pay for power consumed, including the National Palace, said Engineer Radhamés Segura. The billing falls within the restructuring of the CDE as the state entity prepares to admit private partners seeking efficiency and capital for needed expansion. The government has budgeted RD$150 million for the payment of state power bills.

Urgent rebuilding of Constanza bridges
Constanza, one of the principal areas for the production of foodstuffs in the DR, is communicated by land as a consequence of the constant rains that have been falling in October and November, following Hurricane Georges. The president of the Asociación de Productores de Hortícolas de Constanza, Julio Trinidad said there are more 100 trucks loaded with produce ready to enter the city but that have not been able to cross because Tireo and Arroyo Frío bridges have been damaged. He urged Ministry of Public Works to send brigades and equipment to make the repairs.

Sosa to meet with Clinton 9 December
National League Most Valuable Player, record breaking Sammy Sosa will be received by US President Bill Clinton on 9 December at the White House. President Clinton had called Sosa when he broke Roger Maris's record of 61 home runs last baseball season.
"I am proud of being a Dominican and with the President of the Untied States I will talk ball, but I will also speak of the problems of Latin American countries," said Sosa. He said that after the visit with Clinton he will travel to Los Angeles for a photo session with Mark McGwire for the cover of a magazine and then he will take a break to rest to be ready for the next ball season.

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