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Daily News - 12 November 1999

II ACP Summit of Heads of State
Some 133 heads of state and government, top-ranking executives representing international organizations, and special guests are expected in Santo Domingo for the II African, Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government Summit, 25-26 November 1999.
Hoy newspaper reports that the list of special guests includes former South African President Nelson Mandela and Reverend Jesse Jackson. Some 58 heads of state, the King of Tongo and 16 prime ministers and 58 directors of international financial organizations are expected.
The first arrivals will be the President of Angola, the Prime Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Jamaica, Grenada and Kiribati. Also the Presidents of Haiti, Dominica, Ethiopia, Guyana, Guinee, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, Surinam, Zambia, Sudan, Micronesia, Palau and Cuba.
Development ministers from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Portugal, United Kingdom and Sweden are expected.
Also, Secretary General of the United Nations, Koffi Annan; Secretary General of the UNESCO, Federico Mayor; Secretary General of the OAS, Cesar Gaviria; Enrique Iglesias, president of the Interamerican Development Bank; Michel Camdessus, president of the International Monetary Fund; Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), José Ocampo.
Those attending are expected to begin arriving on 23 November.
The news item also says that more than 200 journalists from newspapers around the world will be covering the event that is described as the summit of the millennium.
The opening of the summit will take place at the National Theater and the work sessions at the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

DR economy described as economic miracle of the region
The visiting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), José Antonio Ocampo told the Listín Diario newspaper that the DR economy is the "economic miracle of the region." He said that the Dominican case is exceptional because it is the only Latin American country that has maintained accelerated growth after the 1994 Mexican economic crisis. ECLAC stats show that the DR will post a growth of its GDP of 6% by year's end. This would be the fourth consecutive year the country shows a growth rate of between six and eight percent. Ocampo explained that the regional average is at 4.2% and that the DR's growth is only comparable to that of Chile, that has had a 5% growth. He attributed the growth of the DR to its two dynamic export sectors - tourism and free zone assembly industries.
Furthermore, he highlighted that the DR is only one of four countries in the region that has reduced its unemployment rate. The other countries are Panama, Peru and Bolivia. ECLAC stats show unemployment in the DR declined from 20% at the start of the decade to a present 14%. He said this is exceptional in Latin America.
Ocampo has said the government needs to spend more on social needs. He said the government will now be able to used moneys that were used to subsidize public enterprises in the past.

President of Uruguay visits
President Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Uruguay arrived yesterday to participate in the Montevideo Circle. He came on board a Montevideo Air Force airplane accompanied by his wife and official delegation. It is a first time that a Uruguayan President visits the DR. Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre received him at the Las Americas International Airport. Upon arrival he explained that the Montevideo Circle seeks to be a think tank for motivating new ideas to contribute to a better understanding of the world.

A nationwide test to enter universities?
Ana Silvia Reynoso, the new director of the National Council of Superior Education (CONES) says that the government is considering testing high school students to see if they are prepared to enter the nation's universities. The test is part of a proposal to create a new Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología that would replace the present CONES.

CDE administrator promises no blackouts by Christmas
The administrator of the Dominican Electricity Corporation says that blackouts have been reduced since Saturday, when the Smith and Enron plant went back on line. He said that Haina, Itabo II units are also on line again. He said that the increase in generation capacity means there will be no blackouts this Christmas, and that there will be stable power by March of next year.

More rains forecast for Santo Domingo
The Weather Department alerts that it will continue to rain over the weekend. A tropical disturbance in the area is expected to bring rain showers and cloudy skies for the weekend. The wet forecast is primarily for the Northeast, the East, the Southeast and the West of the country. Thus, Puerto Plata seems to be spared from the heavy rains. Note, though, that this is the tropics and it is common that mornings may be bright and sunny to be accompanied by a heavy rain shower in the afternoon. Likewise, it could be pouring one moment, and sunny the next.

DR was second largest group of legal migrants to NY from 1995-96
The New York Times reported that the DR is the second largest legal migrant group to New York City from 1995 to 1996. Russian immigrants were first, with 20,327, followed by Dominicans with 19,587 and Chinese 11,200. New York City received 115,700 immigrants from 1995 to 1996. 25% of the migrants from 1995 were from Europe, up from 20% in the first years of the decade. Migrants from the Caribbean were 29%, followed by Asia 29%, South America 11,%, and Africa 5%.
Dominicans are the third largest group of legal immigrants in the US, only behind Mexicans and Puerto Ricans.

Seven year old boy still missing
"If he's dead, then I would like his body to be found," said the mother of seven-year old Michael Guzmán who tripped and fell on Tuesday into the Cañada del Diablo gully in Villa Duarte slum area. News reports say that the child's father has never stopped looking, coming home just to sleep. The torrential rains that fell yesterday flooded the gully. The Civil Defense brigade that together with the Navy has head the search for the boy, says he is the seventh victim of the gully that crosses through several city slums. Little Michael was on his way to school when he tripped and fell lose from his 13-year old cousin who was holding his hand. A sneaker and his backpack were found yesterday in Sans Souci. The gully drains into the sea. Pedro Julio López of the Civil Defense brigade said they are looking for the body near the Navy port area in Sans Souci.

Traffic accidents cost RD$707 million
Insurance companies had to make payments on claims for RD$707 million last year for the many traffic accidents in the DR. The accidents are attributed to the lack of drivers' and pedestrians' education, lack of signposts, and the increase in the number of vehicles, according to a report in El Caribe newspaper. The insurance companies lose money on their car insurance coverage. Marcos Villamán, vice president of the Dominican Chamber of Insurance Companies (Cadoar) said that insurance companies lost RD$56 million making payments on insurance claims last year. Police stats show there were 8,504 accidents during the first six months of 1999. June was the month in which most accidents occurred - 1,843 accidents. The month with the least accidents so far this year was April with 225.

DR exports US$141.5 million to European Union in 1998
El Siglo reports that last year Dominican exports to European Union countries were more than US$141.5 million. The principal exports were coffee, bananas, tobacco, cocoa, citrics, and the industrialized products such as footwear, cigars, apparel and furfural.

Baseball to be obligatory sport in schools
The Ministry of Education has decided that baseball be an obligatory sport in public schools. So far, basketball, volleyball, chess, track and field have been the official sport. The Ministry says that arrangements will be made so that the children can use available courts. Likewise, they will be talking to the Major League baseball training camps in order to hire trainers to prepare new coaches.

Sammy Sosa's birthday party
It's been raining in Santo Domingo, but that should not affect all the enthusiasm for the Sammy Sosa birthday party. Sosa will celebrate his birthday inaugurating his US$5 million home built between Anacaona and Hatuey streets. The city gave him a special concession. His home is No. 21 (for his uniform No.), when numerically it would have been No. 14. Newspaper reports say that on his 1,000-person guest list are multimillionaire Donald Trump, Reverend Jesse Jackson, performers Michael Jackson, Kenny G, Leonardo Dicarpio (of Titanic movie-fame), Boston Red Sox's Pedro Martínez, New York Yankee Derek Jeter, president of the Chicago Cubs Glenallen Hill and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Also expected at the party are singers José José and Ana Barbara from Mexico, Cuban salsa legend Celia Cruz, Cuban actor Francisco Gatorno, Hoy newspaper reports that multimillionaire Donald Trump, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, Reverend Jesse Jackson and baseball player Derek Jeter have already confirmed they will be in the DR for Sammy Sosa's birthday party. President Leonel Fernández and Vice President Jaime David Fernández are also expected to attend as several visiting statesmen that may be in town for the Circle of Montevideo talks. For background information on Sammy Sosa, see: http://www.majorleaguebaseball.com/u/baseball/mlb/players/player_8242.htm or www.chicagocubs.com

Dominican baseball update
Dominican Winter Baseball Game standing as of Thursday, 10 1999:
Leones del Escogido 7-2 (.778)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 6-5 (.500) ­2 games
Pollos del Cibao 3-3 (.500) -2.5 games
Estrellas Orientales 4-5 (.500) -3 games
Tigres del Licey 3-8 (.273), -5 games

Friday, 12 November 1999
Santiago: Pollos vs. Aguilas
San Pedro de Macorís: Licey vs. Estrellas

Saturday, 13 November 1999
Santo Domingo: Pollos vs. Licey
San Pedro de Macorís: Escogido vs. Estrellas

Sunday, 14 November 1999
Santo Domingo: Licey vs. Escogido
San Pedro de Macorís: Aguilas vs. Estrellas

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