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Daily News - 28 July 1999

DA says DR is haven for international bandits
District Attorney Francisco Domínguez Brito expressed concern that numerous international delinquents have set up residence in the DR. Several of these are sought by judiciary or police authorities in their countries of origin. He said his office has recently been reviewing cases of drug traffickers, financial services crooks and child abusers, most Europeans that are living in the DR. He mentioned the recent case of a French man, Serge Galle, who lived in a villa in the exclusive Casa de Campo and was arrested after Interpol officers reported he was wanted for drug trafficking in Bordeaux, France. He was arrested here on charges of credit card fraud. His case had been investigated after a local lawyer placed a claim against him in the police for attempted murder in a car crash. Domínguez called for more global efforts to combat crime. "It is not possible that a citizen may commit a crime against a Frenchman in Italy, and then can come and seek refuge in the DR; or someone commits a murder here and then seeks refuge in the US," he reasoned. Reportedly Galle had transferred to Dominican banks near US$1 million dollars, making investments in business here.

Bank videos show faces of alleged assassins of teacher
The Police presented yesterday on TV videos showing the faces of two alleged assassins of high school teacher Vilma Miguelina Núñez Martinez. According to reports, the teacher was last seen when she boarded a taxi upon leaving the Your Place Gym on the evening of 21 May. The Police traced the two men as they visited several automatic teller machines to get cash. They took out a total of RD$26,400 from her bank account using different ATM machines in Santo Domingo. A last withdrawal of RD$8,500 was made six days after her body was found. She was found dead in shrubs off Avenida Luperón near the Herrera Industrial Zone. The police is showing the faces of the two men, of approximate ages 25-30, seeking to identify them and arrest them. Anyone who may have seen them is urged to report on their identities to the Homicide Department telephones 685-6010, 65-6011 and 687-6919.

Spanish firm buys DR garbage contractor
The Spanish firm Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) purchased Dixi Sanitary Service, which has a contract with the government to collect approximately 80% of garbage in Santo Domingo. Jan Hendrick, former president of Dixi, said the company is ranked one of world's largest in urban services.

Aerodom seeks US$120 million IDB financing
The Interamerican Development Bank signed a contract with Aeropuertos Dominicanos (Aerodom) to carry out technical feasibility studies for funding a US$120 million expansion and modernization of the Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, Samana and Barahona airports in the DR. Aerodom won the tender for the privatization of these. 

Ban on using cellular phones while driving
The City Hall seeks to soon prohibit the use of cellular phones when vehicles are in motion. Police records show that distracted drivers have caused many accidents. The City Hall contemplates penalties of two days in jail for those caught talking on the phone while driving.

UN sponsors regional trade seminars in DR
The Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Technical Secretariat of the Presidency are organizing two important international trade-related seminars that will take place in the DR in the first week of August.
The Seminario Inter-regional sobre Agenda Positiva de los Países en Desarrollo (Inter-regional seminar on positive agenda of developing countries) will take place 2-4 August at the Coral Hamaca Resort in Boca Chica. It is sponsored by the Conference of the United Nations for Trade and Development. An estimated 40 ambassadors from Latin America, Asia and Africa, as well as international experts from 25 developed countries will be participating. The event will serve as a think tank in which representatives of developing countries will discuss their position in the forthcoming multilateral negotiations that will take place, especially those during the Third Ministerial World Conference of the World Trade Organization, that is scheduled for November 1999 in Seattle, Washington.
Following this event, the ministers and ambassadors will participate in the Meeting for Consult and Coordination of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) set for 5-August. This meeting will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Santo Domingo. There the regional position before the UNCTAD meeting set for February 2000 in Thailand will be discussed. Those attending will review policies and institutional frameworks for trade and world finance as well as international economic events and how they affect the region.
Secretary General of the UNCTAD, Rubens Ricupero will visit for the occasion.

Bird watchers to meet in DR
The Caribbean Society of Ornithology will hold its 12th annual meeting in Santo Domingo 29 July through 5 August. The organization carries out research on birds and their conservation in the region. Vice President Jaime David Fernandez, one of the nation's leading ecologists, will give the welcome speech. As part of the post convention program, delegates may participate in excursions to the Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve, the Baní salt mines, the Santo Domingo Botanical Gardens and the Bahoruco mountain range.

IDB to finance modernization of potable water management
The government has plans to implement a major potable water project that will call for the participation of private companies in the modernization of the sector. The US$90 million project is known as  "Consolidación de la Reforma y Modernización en Agua Potable y Saneamiento," and will be financed by the Interamerican Development Bank. The IDB will be funding US$70 million of the total. The project calls for a change in the institutional framework of potable water services in the DR with the contracting of private companies as service providers.

Kennedy and Churchill overpasses now open
With an outstanding showing of fireworks, and the presence of President Leonel Fernández, the government inaugurated last night East-West and West-East overpasses along John F. Kennedy Avenue and Winston Churchill Avenue in Santo Domingo. The overpasses were built at a cost of RD$129 million. In the same area, the government invested RD$75 million to expand the John F. Kennedy to 10 lanes, up from six lanes and RD$24 million in a 2.41-kilometer rain drainage system. Construction of the overpasses began in August 1998. The overpasses have two lanes 350 meters wide and a 7.15 meter height from the ground. They can be crossed at speeds of 50 kilometers per hour. It is estimated that 80,000 vehicles will use the overpasses at peak travel times. The overpasses are part of a transport improvement program underway for the city's two primary East-West connections, that of 27 de Febrero and the John F. Kennedy Avenue. Works continue along the John F. Kennedy Avenue at the crossing of the Abraham Lincoln and Máximo Gómez avenues.

Milly Quezada to close Merengue Festival in Santo Domingo
Milly Quezada, the darling of merengue in the DR, will close the Merengue Festival performing on Sunday, 1 August at the Avenida del Puerto. The Ministry had earlier announced the performance of Toño Rosario, La Banda X and Peña Suazo y su Banda Gorda which may still join Milly for the closing.
The Ministry of Tourism has also organized presentations of leading bands in Boca Chica. In Boca Chica Beach, Fernando Villalona and Francisco Ulloa will be entertaining all at the main parking lot as of 3 pm.
Plan on having dinner in one of the Colonial City restaurants. Afterwards, take a stroll down to the Malecón or the Avenida del Puerto to enjoy some of the best Dominican merengue bands playing live and free for the entertainment of all. On weekdays, the crowds are small, and there's room for all to get a close up look at one of the leading bands.
Schedule for the week is as follows:
Thursday, 27 July
Fernando Villalona, Manole Banda del Truco
Friday, 30 July
Eddy Herrera, Parada Joven and Juan Manuel
Saturday, 31 July
Kaki Vargas and Ramon Orlando
Also part of the Merengue Festival, the Second Gala of Unpublished Merengues 1999 will take place on Thursday, 29 July at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Hotel Jaragua. Fifteen compositions were selected from 400 submissions and are being arranged by leading Dominican musicians for the upcoming competition. The event is part of the Merengue Festival that opens 23 July and will end 1 August in Santo Domingo, and the southeastern beach communities of Boca Chica and Juan Dolio.
The Gran Encuentro de Música Típica is set for Friday, 30 July at 8:30 at Plaza Nico Lora (in front of Parque Eugenio María de Hostos) on the Malecón. Francisco Ulloa, Jose y su Artilleria Pesada and La India Canela will perform their own particular brand of grassroots music.

DR makes it to the volleyball semifinals in Winnipeg games
The Dominican Republic volleyball team classified for the volleyball semifinals in the Winnipeg Pan American Games. The semifinalists are Cuba, Brazil, the US and the Dominican Republic. The DR defeated Canada and Peru in the first round, losing to Brazil and Cuba. Tomorrow the DR will play the US, Cuba will play Brazil, and Peru will play Canada. Brazil and Cuba lead with 8 points, followed by the US and DR with 6, and Canada and Peru with 4.

DR athlete qualifies in 400-meter hurdles event in Pan Ams
Felix Sánchez, son of a Dominican migrant to New York City, qualified with the second best time in the 400 meter hurdles. He clocked in at  48:33. He lives in Los Angeles where he is a third year psychology student. The Pan Am record is 48:49 (set in Indianapolis Pan Ams in 1987). The world record is 46:78, owned by Kevin Young of the US, who set it in the Barcelona Olympics.

DR leads Group B in baseball Pan Am tournament
DR defeated Panama in baseball, winning 8-5 to lead in the Group B of the Pan American baseball tournament. The game was won in an extra inning in which the DR batted in three runs.

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