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Daily News - 30 June 1999

Balaguer congratulates Danilo Medina
Former President Joaquin Balaguer sent a letter congratulating Danilo Medina for his election as presidential candidate of the PLD. Medina is known as the key person who forged the Pacto Patriotico, the alliance whereby Balaguer endorsed the PLD candidate, today President Leonel Fernández. Nonagenarian Balaguer is expected to be the PRSC presidential candidate. His chances of winning the election are unlikely, but whomever he supports may again win the election.

US Consulate to review
The US consulate said today it would review Wanda Rijo's application for a visa to the US. Athlete of the Year 1998, Rijo's request for a tourist visa was turned down by the Consulate yesterday because she could not demonstrate sufficient solvency. She is scheduled to participate in Juvenile World Weightlifting Championship scheduled to be held in the state of Georgia, USA next week.

President Fernandez returns today
President Leonel Fernández returns today from his participation in the European Union, Latin America and Caribbean summit held in Rio de Janeiro. In the event, he served as spokesman for the Caribbean.
He was one of 48 heads of state from the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean that met for two days of talks ranging from free trade to drug trafficking and human rights abuses. Reportedly, the biggest success of the summit came when the European Union and South America's Mercosur trade bloc promised to begin free trade talks.
President Fernández took advantage of the meeting to secure a US$67 million loan package from Venezuela during a breakfast with President Chavez. These moneys will be used to purchase buses for Santiago city transport routes and to redo the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center, site of the 2003 Pan American Sports Games.

Santo Domingo summit is next
The next important meeting of the Caribbean and the European Union will take place in Santo Domingo this November. Heads of state for African, Caribbean and Pacific nations, signatories of the Lomé IV agreement, will meet to discuss their future relations with the European Union in the midst of changes brought about by the World Trade Organization. Some 2,500 persons, including 72 chiefs of state and 15 representatives of the European Union, are scheduled to participate.
On the agenda are the conclusions of post-Lomé IV negotiations and the beginning of a new round of talks for goods and services trade liberalization. The meeting is especially important as Caribbean nations seek to consolidate their position prior to the start of World Trade Organization Round of the Millennium in Seattle this December. ACP nations have agreed that Lomé V should be a long-term general agreement, revised every five years.

Phillippine ship crew exonerated from judicial charges
District Attorney Francisco Domínguez Brito exonerated from criminal responsibility the crew of the "Aurora Jade", the Philippine registry ship on which six stowaways recently died. Relatives of the stowaways had charged the crew with poisoning. Dominguez said that the autopsies of the stowaways showed there was no such poisoning. He said they found traces of alcohol, cocaine and marihuana in five of six corpses. The District Attorney authorized the captain of the ship and his crew to leave port with the ship.

Color-coded buses
The director of the government bus service, Oficina Metropolitana de Servicios de Autobuses, Ignacio Ditrén said that public buses have been color-coded for easier identification of the routes. The color banners were placed on the front window of the bus and side doors. The routes are coded as:
  • Avenida Independencia: blue
  • John F. Kennedy: yellow
  • 27 de Febrero: purple
  • Máximo Gómez: red
  • Los Alcarrizos: white

Traffic up at Las Americas
Traffic is up 5.9% at the Las Americas International Airport. AILA stats show that 518,565 passengers used the airport from January to May, compared to 490,095 passengers in 1998.

Can you help me find my father?
The New York press focused on the tale of a 13-year old Honduran boy who traveled from Honduras to New York City to find his father. The boy lost his mother and grandmother during Hurricane Mitch last October. The father sent his son US$200 and with that money the boy was able to illegally get into the US by way of Mexico and make his way to New York City where he agreed to meet with his father at the La Guardia Airport. He was assisted in the final stage of his journey by a Dominican cab driver who found him tired and lost at the intersection of Calle 149 and Manor Deagan and assisted him. On his travels, the boy lost his only contact with his father, a telephone number written on a piece of paper. When the taxi driver took the boy to the airport, he spent hours asking any man he saw with a cap if he was his father. Eventually, the Dominican cab driver, José Basora, took the boy to Precinct 46 of the Bronx where he requested help of the authorities for the young boy's dilemma.

Sammy Sosa leads Major Leagues in home runs
Sammy Sosa is about to become only the second slugger in the history of the Chicago Cubs to bat 30 or more home runs in six consecutive seasons. He has 29 home runs so far this year. Last year, he hit his 29th home run on 20 June. He hit his 29th home run in the game the Chicago Cubs lost 17-6 to the Milwaukee Brewers. Sosa now leads the Major League in home runs.

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