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Daily News - 17 November 1999

Lenny is no longer a threat to the DR
Hurricane Lenny passed 240 kilometers to the south of Saona Island on the southeastern coast of the DR causing no major damage. Rain showers fell on southeastern and eastern provinces. But in Santo Domingo, residents who had prepared for the worst were "disappointed" when only a five-minute rain fell in the capital city. Many academic, cultural, judicial, government and business activities were suspended, nevertheless. As a result, traffic was pleasant in the city of Santo Domingo.
The city was affected by an increase in blackouts, as the CDE took precautions and shut off systems as a preparation for the hurricane. Flights to Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Curacao were suspended in the late afternoon and evening.
Hoy newspaper reports that not a single drop of water fell in Mesopotamia, which residents evacuated after last year's tragic experience with mudslides.
To further monitor the hurricane as it makes its way through the Caribbean, some good links with information are:

More hurricanes?
El Caribe newspaper says that it is possible that hurricanes could occur even when the Atlantic Hurricane Season ends 30 November. The season started 1 June. Historically, only four hurricanes have occurred beyond 30 November in this century. Of these two affected the DR, one in May 1932 and the other in December 1909. The others hit Cuba in December 1912 and Jamaica in December 1924.
El Caribe interviewed Mercedes Mejía, of the National Weather Department, who said that from 1886 to 1999 there have been 958 hurricanes of which 116 have occurred in the past 11 years. She attributed the increase in the number of hurricanes to the global warming phenomenon. Of the 116 hurricanes of the past 11 years, only four have occurred in November. The others have hit in June (9), July (11), August (34), September (37) and October (20).

Pedro Martínez: American League's Cy Young
Dominican Pedro Martínez received all 28 first-place votes on ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America for a total of 140 points. It is only the fourth time in the history of the award that an unanimous vote is cast. Martínez, born in Manoguayabo, a low-income suburb of Santo Domingo, was the only pitcher whose name appeared on every ballot.
The 28-year old right-hander led the American League in wins, earned run average and strikeouts became only the fifth unanimous AL Cy Young Award winner and only the third pitcher ever to win Cy Young Awards in both the American League and National League. Martínez won his first Cy Young with the Montreal Expos, under fellow Dominican manager Felipe Rojas Alou.
Pedro Martínez was in Santo Domingo when the award was announced. He answered questions of local and international journalists during a press conference transmitted live via satellite to Fox, CNN Univisión, ESPN cable networks. Acting President Jaime David Fernández sat with him for the press conference.
Martínez dedicated the award to God and the Dominican people. He said on the telecast, "Every time that I would go out to pitch my people were with me and always brought the Dominican flag to the box and bleachers," he said. He also credited his fellow players that provided the offensive support so he could win games.
He said that he became a better player when the Los Angeles Dodgers traded him believing he did not have the physical conditions to be a starting pitcher. "Overcoming that obstacle is one of my greatest achievements, since the doctors of the Dodgers were wrong and I have been able to demonstrate that I have the conditions necessary to win in this difficult sport," he said.
Moreover, he said that he has a lot to accomplish yet in Major League baseball. "I am aware that it is not an easy task, but I would like to and I am going to strive to take Boston to a World Series," he said.
His contract stipulates he will receive a US$2 million bonus for the award. For more on the prestigious award and Pedro Martínez, see the Boston Red Sox web site at http://www.redsox.com

President Fernández returns today
President Leonel Fernández is returning to the DR this afternoon on board a special flight of Cubana de Aviación. He flew to Cuba on Sunday afternoon on board a chartered plane from Venezuela that took two hours more than the usual two-hour flight. Hoy newspaper said that Fidel Castro jested with President Fernández suggesting that he buy a plane. "The opposition is too critical," the newspaper reported was the reply, according to versions of the Fernández committee. The plane will bring Fernández and the official delegation back.

MIT to help with program to set up Internet for rural poor
President Leonel Fernández announced yesterday in Havana that the government will install the first ten Internet computer centers in rural communities so that low-income persons can keep in touch with their relatives and friends living abroad. He said the program would be implemented with the cooperation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fernández made the announcement when answering questions of more than 160 Dominican students of the Universidad de la Habana where he gave a talk during his visit to Cuba.

Fernández and Preval meet in Cuba
Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre confirmed that President Fernandez and President Rene Preval discussed the repatriation of illegal Haitians living in the DR. Both statesmen were in Cuba to attend the 9th Iberoamerican Summit. The Listín Diario reports that President Preval recognized the right of the DR to deport illegal Haitians. Minister of Foreign Relations Latorre said that the deportations will continue with the participation of the Haitian Migration authorities. The Dominican government committed to investigate the complaint that two persons (one in La Romana, another in Santo Domingo) who did not have any identification papers, died when they were being deported. The Dominican and Haitian authorities also agreed to coordinate for this weekend a meeting of the respective heads of migration at the border to discuss the method that will rule the deportations. Latorre said that the Haitian government requested that lists with the names of the deported persons be sent in advance to Haitian authorities on the frontier.

Tobacco company tender is tomorrow
The Commission for the Reform of Public Enterprise (CREP) announced that the tender for the privatization of the state tobacco companies will take place tomorrow at 6:30 pm at the Salon Caonabo of the Hotel Santo Domingo. British American Tobacco and a consortium of Cita Tabaco from the Canary Islands and Cita Caribe Holdings are participating in the tender. The value of the assets of Compañía Anónima Tabacalera, the Compañía Tabacalera Santiago and La Habanera has been set at US$19,533,098 of which the CAT accounts for US$11,236,596.

Falconbridge certified for ISO 4001 Environmental Management
Falconbridge Dominicana, the nation's principal mining company, expects to produce 66 million pounds of nickel next year. Exports should reach US$40 million, at a US$3.25/lb. price. Enrique Lithgow, general manager of the company, said that this year they exported 55 million pounds of ferronickel. He expects the company to have exported about 52-53 million pounds by the end of 1999. He said that this year's profits will be US$13 million, up from last year's US$8 million. He spoke during the activity where the company received the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certificate for meeting best environmental practices on modern industry.

Spanish investment and migration to DR
Businessman and historian Manuel García Arévalo said that Spanish migrants have invested upwards of US$3,000 million in the DR and lately Spanish businessmen have made investments of US$1,000 in public and private institutions. He spoke on occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said that Spanish migrants have set up businesses in Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macorís, Santiago, Barahona and Puerto Plata. He said that while there have been many merchants, others are renowned farmers in Nagua, Constanza and San Juan de la Maguana. He said that in 1924 an estimated 1,500 Spaniards lived in the DR, which had increased to more than 26,000 by 1999.

Dominicans on police chief and the JCE
El Siglo newspaper publishes today results of a Penn, Schoen & Berland poll whereby most Dominicans say they feel the National Police has improved under Police Chief Pedro de Jesús Candelier. 58% feel the Police has improved under Candelier. More so, the general perception of 65% of residents is that crime has increased in the past year.
Furthermore, 67% say they trust the work of the Junta Central Electoral, the government body in charge of organizing the presidential election of 16 May 2000.

25% of Dominicans depend on remittances
El Siglo newspaper Penn, Schoen & Berland poll results published today show that 28% of all Dominicans (2.4 million) receive remittances from friends and relatives abroad. For 25% of those that receive remittances, the money is their principal source of income. The survey shows that 36% of those that live in the North receive remittances, followed by 31% in the South, 22% in Santo Domingo, and 13% in the East. More middle class and upper income persons receive remittances, 33 and 32%, than low-income persons, 24%.

El Siglo to publish Sunday newspaper
El Siglo newspaper announced it will publish a Sunday newspaper starting Sunday, 21 November. El Siglo thus joins the Listín Diario, Hoy, El Nacional, Ultima Hora that have Sunday morning publications. While in the US the Sunday edition is the leading newspaper, in the DR the Monday edition had traditionally been the best selling newspaper. This is changing now that many leading stores are staying open on Sunday, which is becoming the big shopping day in the DR.

Accused assassin to be extradited to DR today
Hoy newspaper reports today that the US Department of State has approved the extradition of Mariano Durán Cabrera, the former Dominican Air Force corporal who is sought by Dominican judicial authorities. The Department of State validated the extradition order issued by a New York Supreme Court of Justice in August of this year. Cabrera Durán is accused of having shot the bullet that killed journalist Orlando Martínez, back in 1975. The case is being heard in Dominican courts. The former military who kept store in the Bronx was arrested in November in New York.

PRSC convention set for 15 January
The Partido Reformista Social Cristiano announced that it will hold its convention to choose its presidential candidate in the 2000 election on 15 January. Federico Antún Batlle, political secretary of the PRSC, said that up to now no one has registered for the convention. Former President Joaquín Balaguer is expected to be chosen the party's candidate. The 93-year old master of Dominican politics has conditioned his acceptance to the condition of his health. If Balaguer chooses not to run, the contenders are former Vice President Jacinto Peynado, Angel Lockward, Senator for San Pedro de Macorís José Hazim, and Amable Aristy Castro, who is president of the Dominican Municipal League.

Danilo Medina says he will choose his vp in March 2000
Danilo Medina, the presidential candidate for the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, says that he will choose his running mate in March 2000. So far, only the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano has announced its vice president. Hipólito Mejía of the PRD chose Santo Domingo Senator Milagros Ortíz Bosch.

Rains affect Winter Baseball tournament
The rain showers that have been falling in the DR in October and November have affected the Dominican Winter Baseball League Championship. The league plans to celebrate double games to catch up, but that will depend on Mother Nature letting up. Eight double game days have been programmed, but if it continues raining the question is whether triple game days will be necessary.
Afternoon rains have become very common in the DR. The unusual amount of rain this late in the year is attributed to La Niña weather phenomenon. While El Niño brought drought, La Niña brings rains. Up to last night, the league has had to suspend 14 games.
For up to date details on the local games, see

Wednesday, 17 November 1999 programmed games are:
5pm game San Pedro de Macorís: Pollos vs. Estrellas
8 pm Santo Domingo: Aguilas vs. Licey
8 pm San Pedro de Macorís: Pollos vs. Estrellas

Dominican Winter Baseball Game standing as of Tuesday, 16, 1999:
Leones del Escogido 7-4 (.636)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 9-6 (.643)
Pollos del Cibao 3-3 (.500) -1.5 games
Estrellas Orientales 4-5 (.429) ­2.5 games
Tigres del Licey 3-8 (.300), -3.5 games

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