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Daily News - 08 September 1999

President Fernández to speak at UN General Assembly
President Leonel Fernández will address statesmen and foreign ministers on 23 September during the 54th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. US President Bill Clinton will be present.

National Senate passes Electricity Bill
The Senate passed the Electricity Bill yesterday, after a four year delay. The bill received the favorable vote of 16 of 17 senators present. The bill needs yet to return to the Chamber of Deputies.
The delays in passing the bill are attributed to particular interests of involved parties who sought to preserve privileges or inset new ones.
News reports indicate that a consensus was reached, especially now that privatization is being implemented.
The bill sets the legal framework for the production, transmission, distribution and marketing of power in the DR, as well as establishes the roles to be played by private companies and government entities.

US and DR government to grant scholarships
The US and Dominican governments are relaunching the Fulbright and Humphrey post graduate studies scholarships, this time with the cooperation of Dominican companies and the Dominican government. The US$50,000 scholarships will now be funded by US$33,334 to be provided by DR-based companies, US$6,666 by the Dominican government and US$10,000 by the US government. The new agreement is to be known as Alliance for Excellence. In the past 225 Dominicans have been awarded these scholarships, which were fully funded by US parties since their start in 1960. The deadline for the Humphrey scholarship is 30 September 1999 and 15 August 2000 for the Fulbright. Applicants need to present their curriculum, university record, recommendation from professors, level of English and need to pass an interview. Winners of the scholarships are chosen on merit and excellence. Winners of the scholarships need to return to the DR for two years after finishing their studies.

Mariñez's home furniture embargoed
The furniture of the home of Julio Maríñez, former secretary general of the Dominican Municipal League, was embargoed by a court order. Maríñez attributed the embargo to political persecution and abuse of power by President Leonel Fernández. El Siglo newspaper reported, though, that the embargo was not against Maríñez, but rather against his wife Jacqueline Pérez. Reportedly, she had a legal suit against her for the sale of a dwelling. The sale was annulled and she was sentenced to return the money, which she didn't resulting in the forceful seizure of her household goods for sale in an auction to pay the debt.

Government owes US$16 million for non-delivered sugar
The government owes US$16.2 million to Amerop Sugar Corporation, Commodity Specialist Company and Carnikow Rionda Sugar Trading. The state sold 100,000 tons of crude sugar last year, worth US$44 million, receiving an advance of 75% from the companies. But the State Sugar Council only delivered 42% of what it had committed. The government needs to pay this amount before leasing the sugar mills to private companies.
The moneys received were used to pay employees and repair the mills. The CEA sugar mills are falling apart and practically worthless.
Estimates are that the CEA will produce less than 55,000 tons of crude this coming harvest, of which it will export 41,550 million of a total 85,795 tons assignment in the preferential US market. Private producers Central Romana and Grupo Vicini will fill in the deficit.
The government is in the process of privatizing the CEA, but has met with obstacles such as moneys owed to sugar cane suppliers, laborers and employees, takeover of sugar cane lands by opportunists, as well as the total abandon of the facilities.

Coffee exports increase
Coffee exports in 1998 reached 21,777,591 gross kilos, three million more than in 1997. Coffee exporters shipped 20.36 million kilos of green coffee, 1.03 million kilos of toasted coffee grains, and 382,835 kilos of ground toasted coffee. The US was the largest importer buying 9 million kilos of green coffee, followed by Germany with 3.47 million, Italy with more than 2.8 million kilos, Canada with 1.84 million and Japan with 1.8 million. Other countries that purchased Dominican green coffee were Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Jamaica, France, Guadeloupe, Sweden, Belgium, Australia, Lebanon and the UK. The coffee is primarily used to make gourmet blends.
Exports continue to increase. Exports of the first trimester were close to two million kilos shipped primarily to Italy, US, Japan, Germany and Spain.
Toasted coffee grains were shipped to Puerto Rico, and ground toasted coffee was primarily shipped to St. Marten, Curaçao and the Virgin islands.

Foreign companies take over power plant parks
The Generación Eléctrica Itabo is the new private company that will manage the Itabo power plant park. Consorcio Coastal-Genel won the tender to manage this park (a 50-50% joint venture with the government's CDE). The park has capacity to supply 360 megawatts to the electricity grid. Coastal-Genel bid US$177.7 million for the power plants park on 13 May.
Haina, the second large park will be also passed on to the private sector in two weeks, according to a news report in El Siglo. Seaboard Corporation bid US$145.5 million for a similar joint venture regarding the Haina power plants park.

DR joins Central American Taiwan support group
The DR confirmed its support to Taiwan in its struggle to maintain its status as an independent country. Vice President Jaime David Fernandez traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to participate in a summit of Central American statesmen and the Taiwan government. The DR and Central American countries agreed to continue to offer diplomatic support to Taiwan. Taiwan agreed to increase its economic support to the region. President Alvaro Arzú, Guatemala; Arnoldo Alemán, Nicaragua; Carlos Flores Facussé, Honduras; Francisco Flores, El Salvador attended. Also present were Vice President Astrid Fishel, Costa Rica; and Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, John Briceno. Vice President Jaime David Fernández attended as an observer.
The plan calls for the establishment of a US$240 million fund for the development of Central America. Taiwan will also lend US$50 million to the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica. The moneys will be lent out to small businesses. The government of Taipei also committed to increase its investments and development cooperation efforts in the region.
The countries support Taiwan's aspirations to continue as an independent nation, regardless of China's position that Taiwan is but a renegade Chinese province.

Winner of RD$40 million lotto prefers anonymity
The winner of the RD$40,553,455 prize of the 4 September LEIDSA lotto has preferred to remain anonymous. The electronic lotto company was notified by Napoleón Chevalier, the manager of the Department of Transfers and Collections of the Banco Popular, that the funds should be deposited in the Banco Popular, which would transfer these to the winner of the prize. Once taxes are discounted, news reports say the winner could keep RD$39 million.

Aeromar offers bus service from Santiago to AILA
Aeromar Airlines announced a new free bus transportation service for its passengers in the Cibao region. Company president, Raymundo Polanco announced the airline will be offering free bus transportation in coordination with Metro buses. The passengers will be transported directly from the Metro station in Santiago to Las Americas International Airport on the outskirts of Santo Domingo. The airline will begin offering the service for its passengers headed to Miami, and later will offer the service to its San Juan-bound passengers. Aeromar is the only alternative to flying American Airlines on the Miami route.

Handicraft fair coming up this week
Feriarte 99 will be held 16-19 September at the Hotel Embajador. Feriarte, in its ninth year, is the leading handicraft fair held in the DR. It is organized by the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce. The fair is an exhibition of Dominican crafts where those attending can purchase items at attractive prices.

What's causing the delay of Samana ferry
El Siglo newspaper attributes the delays in the start of the Sabana de la Mar-Samana Elupina I ferry service to unfulfilled promises on behalf of government organizations. The ship has capacity for 300 passengers and 36 standard sized vehicles. It was scheduled to start its four trips a day on 15 June. The private company that purchased the ship, at a cost of RD$6 million says that the port has to be repaired and dredged by the Ministry of Public Works and the Navy, and the waters of Yabón River need to be rechanneled by the Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INDRHI).

Piano contest winners to play at National Theater
The National Symphony Orchestra will accompany the winners of the Santander International Piano Concert during their presentation today, Wednesday, 8 September at the National Theater. They will be here participating in a benefit for the Asociación Pro Educación y Cultura. The Santander contest is organized by the Foundation Isaac Albeniz, that was founded in 1972 by Paloma O'Shea, a world-recognized supporter of young piano talents. The award-winning pianists are Koreans John Hwa Park and Yung Wook Yo, both US trained, and Plamena Mangova from Bulgaria. For tickets contact Sinfonía at Tel. 532-6600 or the National Theater at 682-7255. Tickets: RD$500-RD$300.

National Theater Drama Season continues this weekend
The National Theater's drama season resumes this weekend, 8-12 September with the presentation of the play, "Bachata para María Viveza." This play will last through 26 September.
Radhamés Polanco wrote and directs this play that was chosen "best drama" by Casa de Teatro in 1997.
The action takes place primarily in a brothel. Actors play the role of eight Dominican stereotypes.
The play will also be shown 15-19 September, 22-26 September at 10 am and 8:30 pm at the Sala Ravelo.
Starring roles are played by Laura Guzmán (María Viveza), Henry Mercedes (Pedro Baile), Ramón Matrille (Deputy Medina Rubirosa), Clara Luz Lozano (Maria Paulino), and Doris Sánchez (Rosa Velorio). The play is produced by Mariela Freundt.
The National Theater's drama season continues with: "Creonte" from 1 October to 7 November; "La Trinitaria Blanca," from 12 November to 5 December and "Chicken Cordon Blue," from 14 January to 6 February.

Presidente Beer Summer Games in Boca Chica on Sunday, 12 September
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 are 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 final location for the games is in Boca Chica, next 12 September. The games were held previously in Salinas Baní; and Cabarete, Puerto Plata.

Arrendel to get six month ban from competitions
Juana Arrendel, the Dominican world class high jumper, will be banned from competitions for six months. The Dominican Federation of Track and Field said the penalty will be imposed for her testing positive in the Winnipeg, Canada drug test. She won the gold medal in her event, but later tested positive and lost the medal. Earlier in Venezuela she had set a mark that would also have won her the Pan Am gold in the Central American and Caribbean Games, where she did not test positive. Her trainer, Russian Natalia Korotaeva may also be penalized. What happened with Juana Arrendel has not yet been fully explained. Arrendel says she did not knowingly take the steroid. The International Federation of Track & Field had asked the Dominican track and field federation to choose the penalty.

Mauricio Báez wins Basketball Championship
Mauricio Baez defeated San Lázaro 69-61 last night to win the Presidente Beer Cup and the 1999 Superior Basketball Championship of Santo Domingo. Carlos Paniagua was the hero of the game. He was responsible for 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Mauricio Báez had lost three championship finals to San Lázaro in this decade. This is their fourth championship and first championship in 13 years. They had not won a championship since their three consecutive wins in 1984, 1985 and 1986.

Casa de Campo golf course is ranked top in the world
In the just released Sept. 1999 issue of Golf Magazine, Casa de Campo's renowned "Teeth of the Dog" is ranked #28 in the publications "Top 100 Courses in the World," and remains the only course in the Caribbean to appear on the prestigious ranking.
The classic Pete Dye designed par 72- "Teeth of the Dog" is frequently described as a work of art both architecturally and aesthetically. "The "Teeth" has seven holes right on the Caribbean Sea: four on the front nine and three on the back. " Golf Director Gilles Gagnon explains, "To make your game even more interesting you have to cross Casa de Campo's airport runway to get from hole #11 to #12 and #17 to #18."

28 sports for the DR Pan Am Games
The Santo Domingo Pan American Games will feature 28 sports, 13 less than were played in the Winnipeg, Canada games this summer. The Santo Domingo games will be held during the first week of July 2003. Dr. José Joaquín Puello says they are working on the budget for the event, and he estimated that 10,000 volunteers will work in the Games.

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