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Daily News - 24 November 1999

Major avenues closed to expedite Summit traffic
Traffic in Santo Domingo diminished greatly after the government announced it would be closing several principal avenues on occasion of the II Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Summit of Heads of State and Government. The initial announcement gave the impression the avenues would be closed for the duration of the event, but this was quickly clarified.
The avenues would be closed off to vehicular and foot traffic for half an hour prior and after each activity in preparation for the II Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Summit of Heads of State and Government that opens tomorrow at 10 am in Santo Domingo. The summit is scheduled for 25-26 November, but the measure is in effect starting Wednesday, 24 November and through Sunday, 27 November.
And almost 700 traffic cops have been given orders to reduce bottlenecks on side streets and alternative streets.
The Ministry of Education ordered public and private schools to close. While the order did not restrict university classes, the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo announced it was closing on Thursday and Friday.
The streets will be closed off both for security reasons and to expedite the transporting of the visiting heads of state and government and their delegations as well as the many other high-ranking government and international organization officers that will be traveling to and within Santo Domingo. Most of the visiting delegations are arriving today and tomorrow.
The avenues and streets that are affected are:
1. Bulevar del Faro, from Av. Las Americas through Av. España.
2. Av. España, from Bulevar del Faro through Av. 25 de Febrero.
3. Mella Bridge from the bridge over Av. 25 de Febrero through Av. México/José Martí intersection.
4. Juan Parra Alba street, from Av. Mexico through Av. del Puerto.
5. Av. del Puerto and the Malecón, from Juan Parra Alba St. through Av. Winston Churchill.
6. Av. Máximo Gómez, from Malecón to Av. 27 de Febrero.
7. Av. 27 de Febrero, from Máximo Gómez to Av. Isabel Aguiar.
8. Av. Luperón, from the entrance to El Siglo newspaper through Av. Anacaona.
9. Av. Abraham Lincoln, from Av. George Washington through Av. 27 de Febrero.

II ACP Summit opens tomorrow
More than 30 heads of state and government and over 70 delegations from Europe, the United States, Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific nations are expected to attend the opening of the II Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Summit at the National Theater at 10 am, Thursday, 25 November. President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic and El Hadj Omar Bongo of Gabon will give the keynote opening speeches. Since last week, ambassadors, Lomé coordinators, and ministers of foreign relations of ACP countries have been working on the final details of the Santo Domingo Declaration. The declaration will present the unified position of the ACP before the European Union regarding the negotiations for a successor agreement to the Lomé IV trade and cooperation treaty. The ACP countries will meet with European Union officials in Brussels, 5-10 December.
For more information on the event, see
http://www.presidencia.gov.do/2dacumbreACP99/
http://www.acpsec.org/
http://www.dr1.com/daily/news112399.shtml
http://www.dr1.com/daily/news112299.shtml
http://www.dr1.com/daily/news111999.shtml
http://www.dr1.com/daily/news111899.shtml
http://www.serex.gov.do

Miriam Makebba comes for ACP music extravaganza
Miriam Makebba, the legendary and most well known African music performer, ("Pata Pata", 1967) will be the star performer of the Saturday evening African, Caribbean and Pacific music extravaganza at the Fortaleza Ozama of the Colonial City. Also part of the evening of folklore are merengue stars Toño Rosario, Chichí Peralta and Son Familia. The event is free for the general public.

US Embassy speaks up for US-built helicopters
The charge d'affairs of the United States Embassy in the DR, Linda Watts sent a letter to the president of the National Senate, Ramón Alburquerque and the Technical Secretary of the Presidency, Temístocles Montás requesting that the Dominican government hold a public tender for the purchase of 10 helicopters. The Dominican government has purchased helicopters from a French company and a Brazilian company. The Brazilian company purchase was very much criticized in the press, to the point the Ambassador of Brazil issued an explanatory note saying the Brazilian company was granted the order because it offered better payment terms. Mrs. Watts called for more transparency. Rumbo newsweekly carried an extensive report questioning why the government had chosen the relatively unknown Brazilian firm over the offer of Bell helicopters of the United States. Mrs. Watts would like a US firm to win the order for 10 helicopters that the government is considering placing soon.

Blackouts reduced to two hours
In an interview with El Siglo newspaper, Marcos Cochón, superintendent of electricity, said that private companies' efforts are paying off and by now blackouts have been reduced to a maximum of two hours a day. He mentioned that 100 of the country's 224 power circuits are given preference, meaning they should only be shut off in extreme circumstances. Major hospitals, airports, Presidential Palace and other similar institutions are located along the circuits.
El Siglo newspaper also reports that the transmission of power will soon be handled by a new government-owned company that will be in turn operated by a private company. Antonio Isa Conde, president of the Commission for the Reform of Public Enterprise (CREP) said that the new company should be in operation at the start of year 2000. There had been news reports expressing concern that the transmission lines which are state-owned would not keep up with improvements being made by private companies that are now in charge of generating electricity and those in charge of distributing electricity.

Haiti-DR migration meeting set for next week
The ministers of foreign relations of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Eduardo Latorre and Fritz Longchamps announced that next week migration technicians from both countries would meet to find solutions to the problems of the flow of Haitians to the DR and the repatriations. The diplomats said the city where the meeting would take place has not yet been decided. A first meeting called by Longchamps last Friday to be held in Jimaní, on the frontier with Haiti, had to be aborted when the Haitian migration authorities did not show.

Privatizing the collecting of potable water bills
The Corporacion de Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Santo Domingo (CAASD), the water authority of Santo Domingo, said it has passed on the collection of overdue potable water bills to Informaciones Remotas S.A. The company will be responsible for collecting bills of users that are six months or more in arrears. For the service, they will deduct 20-30% of what they collect. The CAASD says that city residents owe them more than RD$1,000 million. He says the CAASD is having liquidity problems now that they need to come up with RD$200 million a month to pay power bills now that electricity supply was privatized.

Mexico and DR leading Latin American sites for Germans
Mexico and the Dominican Republic are the leading Latin American and Caribbean holiday destinations for German tourists, according to German government statistics. Traffic to the DR is up 24.1% this year, totaling 337,000. Traffic to Mexico is up 15%, totaling almost 150,000 passengers. 2.7 million Germans (up 7.4%) traveled to the US, and 443,000 to Canada (up 6.1%).

Baby died of malnutrition not from rape
The National Police clarified that it is not true that the eight-year-old baby girl that died in El Tamarindo had been raped. The autopsy to the baby showed she had died from malnutrition and a severe anal infection. There were no signs of rape. The baby was found dead on the floor of her El Tamarindo shack in the Santo Domingo slum. The Police had released an earlier version indicating that she had been raped. Her father was suspect.

Caribbean World Series
The Dominican Republic is preparing to host the Caribbean World Series, 2-7 February 2000. The event will be dedicated to Pedro Martínez, two-time winner of the Cy Young award. In a press conference, Leonardo Matos Berrido, president of the Dominican Winter Baseball League and Juan Francisco Puello, Caribbean Baseball Commissioner, confirmed the event will be televised to Hispanic viewers in the US and Latin America by Fox TV Español.
Twelve games (two per day) will be played at the Santo Domingo Quisqueya Ball Park. Games have been scheduled for 4 and 8 pm on weekdays, and 2 and 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The DR has won the past three Caribbean World Championships.
Santo Domingo has hosted the event six times (1972, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1996).

The Calendar for the games is as follows:
2 February
4 pm PR vs. Ven
8 pm RD vs. Mex

3 February
4 pm PR vs. Mex
8 pm RD vs. Ven

4 February
4 pm Mex vs. Ven
8 pm RD vs. PR

5 February
4 pm Ven vs. PR
8 pm Mex vs. RD

6 February
4 pm Mexico vs. PR
8 pm Ven vs. RD

7 February
4 pm Ven vs. Mex
8 pm PR vs. RD

Winter baseball update
The next games of the Dominican Winter Baseball Championship are: Wednesday, 24 November 1999
5 pm game San Francisco de Macorís: Escogido vs. Pollos
8 pm Santo Domingo: Estrellas vs. Licey
8 pm San Francisco de Macorís: Escogido vs. Pollos

Team standing as of Tuesday, 23 November 1999:
Leones del Escogido 12-6 (.667)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 14-8 (.636)
Estrellas Orientales 11-9 (.540) ­2 games
Tigres del Licey 6-13 (.333), -7 games
Pollos del Cibao 5-12 (.294) ­7 games

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