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Daily News - 05 August 1999

Attorney General to investigate claim against JCE
Attorney General Mariano Germán Mejía gave due course to the case against the Central Electoral Board presented by lawyer Marino Vinicio Castillo. Castillo is questioning the whereabouts of 37 equipment determined missing by an audit carried out by CAPEL, an affiliate of the Organization of American States. The JCE has said that only 17 equipment are missing. The others were either in repair shops or were at the JCE. Attorney General Germán sent the claim to the attention of Justo Pedro Castellanos, who is the director of the Department of Prevention of Corruption of the government. Several claims of corruption have been sent to this department that has yet to establish any fault with any government officer or department.

JCE extends days for new voters to get voting card
The president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Dr. Manuel Ramón Morel Cerda said that the new deadline for those that will be 18 on the day of the elections (16 May 2000) or before to get voting cards has been extended to 16 January 2000. The JCE responded positively to a request from the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) and the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD). The two parties had pointed out that the Electoral Law establishes that first time voters (those who will be 18 on 16 May 2000 or before) have until up to 120 days before election day to get their voting card/identification cards.
The JCE said it will not be issuing new voting card/identification cards for those aged 16-17 after 17 August 1999 until after the presidential election. Identification cards are mandatory of Dominicans and legal residents once they are 16 years old.

Sosa to fund preventative medicine clinics
The Sammy Sosa Foundation announced it has plans to provide free immunizations to 50,000 children and youths next year. The three-year plan is being created with the collaboration of the Ministry of Health of the DR, the US Agency of International Development and the Centers for Disease Control. Foundation officials have announced they will be developing a network of clinics throughout the Dominican Republic. The focus of the clinics is on preventative medicine. Streaming audio containing comments from Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa can be heard at http://www.newstream.com/r99-209.shtml
Sosa and Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals are tied for the lead of the Major League home run competition. They both have hit 42 home runs.

San José Pact renewed
Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are due to renew the San José Pact that supplies oil on easy terms to the Dominican Republic and 10 other Caribbean countries this week. The agreement splits 160,000 barrels per day of demand equally between the two oil exporters. The pact dates back to 1980. The 1999 agreement renewal sets a price range in which financing becomes available to US$14-US$27 per barrel. Within that range, beneficiary countries get a soft loan for 20-25 percent of the import cost to finance development projects.

Abducted Italian child left by the Port of Santo Domingo
Migration authorities confirmed that Ricardo Baio Mejia departed the DR on 22 July in the company of his father. He cleared Migration at the Port of Santo Domingo. The Migration authorities have yet to determine if there was negligence or corruption involved. He traveled under his father's passport, which is authorized practice. The minor's mother, who has custody over the minor, had placed an impediment for his departure. The Migration Department inspector reportedly only checked the computer for the father's status and not the boy. He departed by ship to Puerto Rico, from where he flew to Italy. His mother has requested authorities' collaboration to get her son back. The District Attorney's office requested the assistance of INTERPOL to locate Antonio Baio and his son in Italy.
The father has alleged the boy is better off with him in Italy. Nevertheless, in the divorce sentence, custody was awarded to the mother, Indhira Mejía. The father, Italian Antonio Baio had been in the DR since 2 July to spend vacation time with his son.

Eligio Jáquez to head Hipólito Mejía campaign
Eligio Jáquez was appointed campaign chief of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano presidential candidate, Hipólito Mejía. Jáquez, an agronomist, is a member of the Political Committee of the party. He will direct the Comando Nacional de Campaña de Hipólito Mejía. During the PRD governments (1978-1982) he was director of the Banco Agrícola and the Instituto Agrario Dominicano. He aspired to win the PRD Santo Domingo mayor nomination in 1998, but lost.

Juana Arrendel promises a comeback
The Dominican Olympic Committee and the Dominican Federation of Track and Field are standing behind high jumper Juana Rosario Arrendel, the Dominican star track and field contender who jumped 1.93 meters in the Pan Am Games, only to fail the doping test, and be stripped of the gold medal. Earlier, Arrendel had jumped 1.91 meters to win the gold medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games held in Venezuela. That mark would have been sufficient to win the Pan Am Games gold medal.
The president of the Dominican Olympic Committee, neurosurgeon José Joaquín Puello said in a press conference that the amount of the anabolic steroid stanzolol found in her blood was minimal and had no effect on her performance. They expect a penalty of six months to a year will be imposed. He also announced he is recommending that the Dominican government send her to train in Poland, from where the best high jumpers are coming from at present. The 20-year old 6'3 inches tall is a natural athlete and Puello says she still has at least seven more years left to her career as one of the world's top notch high jump athletes.
Juana Arrendel says she is innocent and will accept her misfortune as a challenge. She says she will work to make a comeback. "Even if it's the last thing I do, I will come back and meet my objective to be a world champion, regardless of the suspension I get," she said holding in her tears.
Dr. Puello described Juana Arrendel as a model athlete. She is an example for others in her sports life, family and personal life, said Puello. He said an investigation is being carried out to determine how she received the steroid.
Arrendel has received the support of sports entities and public figures in the DR that encourage her to make a comeback.
Arrendel's gold medal was the only one won by the DR in the Pan Am Games. The DR delegation has done poorly, only winning a silver and three bronze medals.

Wilfrido Vargas to close Pan Am Games
Wilfrido Vargas and his merengue orchestra are scheduled to be the stars of the Pan Am Games closing ceremony. Santo Domingo will host the Pan Am Games in 2003, and Wilfrido Vargas' performance will serve as a taste of what visitors to the Santo Domingo games can expect. During his performance he will perform a medley with five of his best merengues of all times.
Dominicans will be able to watch Wilfrido Vargas in Winnipeg on Sunday, 8 August. Color Visión (Channel 9) will be transmitting live on the Gordo de la Semana program from 5 to 6 pm.
Wilfrido Vargas, who is celebrating his 25 years as a merengue star, is one of the greatest merengue musicians of all times. He is credited with being one of the first Dominican musicians to win international recognition and to travel extensively abroad.
That same evening, from 9:30 to 10 pm, also on Channel 9, viewers in Santo Domingo may also watch the ceremony during which the Mayor of Winnipeg hands Mayor Johnny Ventura of Santo Domingo the Pan Am Games flag.

"Cartas" at the National Theater
The best of Dominican ballet will go on stage at the National Theater on Friday, 6 August and Saturday, 7 August. "Cartas", gathers talented Dominican dancers. Mercedes Morales, Michele Jiménez, Soraya Franco, Silvia Crespo, Victor Ramirez, Raul Valdez, Edwin Silfa, Armando Gonzalez, and Monika Despradel. Choreography is by Alberto Méndez (Cuba), Juan Fidel Mieses, Lourdes Ramírez, Antonio Gómez, Carlos Veitía, Mercedes Morales, and Victor Ramírez.
The ballet is a drama and the script is based on legendary letters written by Gabriela Mistral, Manuel Magallanes, Pablo Neruda, Rodolfo Boulanger, Gustave Flauber, Minerva Mirabal, Manolo Tavárez, Virginia Woolf, Van Gogh, Frank Kafka and Juan Pablo Duarte. Co-starring is actress Monina Solá and pianist María de Fátima Geraldes.
The letters will be read by Mariasela Alvarez, Nuria Piera, Milagros Germán, Mariela Mercado, Jesus Torres Tejeda, Jose Antonio Rodríguez and Felix Germán.

Santo Domingo marathon set for 7 August
More than 300 runners will participate in the 4th Hispaniola Marathon, set for Saturday, 7 August in Santo Domingo starting at 4:40 pm. Organized by the Club de Maratonistas de Santo Domingo, the 21 kilometer race along the Avenida de la Salud of the Mirador Park will offer cash prizes for RD$100,000.
The competitors will compete in 18-29 years men and women, 30-34 years men and women, 35-39 years men and women, 40-45 years men and women and 45 years+ men.
Organizers are charging a RD$50 inscription fee that can be paid from 2-6 August from 6-8 pm at the Mirador Park.

Presidente Summer Games
Presidente Beer is sponsoring what is being called its Summer Games. Sumo fights (with contenders inside inflated balloon sumo costumes), races, roulette, beach volleyball and other games scheduled. There will also be live music with some of the top rock groups, including Al Jadaqui and Toque Profundo, as well as the participation of leading DJs.
The locations are as follows:
8 August: Playa Salinas, Baní
22 August: Cabarete, Puerto Plata
5 September: Boca Chica, Santo Domingo

Michael Camilo at the National Theater
Michael Camilo, one of the most talented Dominican musicians and performers of all times, will perform his Concert for Piano at the National Theater. He will perform accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra that will be conducted by Carlos Piantini. The performance is slated for Wednesday, 11 August at 8:30 pm. Tickets are for sale at the National Theater box office.

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