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Daily News - 25 November 1999

33 heads of state and government visit for Summit
33 heads of state and government are in Santo Domingo for the II African, Caribbean and Pacific Summit of Heads of State and Government. The event opened at 10 am at the National Theater today. The event lasted almost five hours, ending at around 2 pm. Afternoon work sessions are scheduled for 3 pm. The speakers included the President of the Dominican Republic, the president of the ACP nations, the new secretary general, spokespersons for the European Union and African (President of Madagascar), Caribbean (Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago) and Pacific (Prince of Tonga) groups of states, among others. Seventy-one ACP countries are represented in the event that gathers about 100 delegations from around the world.
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Bottlenecks, a quiet city and studying Africa
The city of Santo Domingo took a break from its normal bustling commercial activity to give way to visiting statesmen here for the Summit. As word got around that city residents should keep traveling around the city to a minimum, in order to avoid bottlenecks as a result of temporary short closing off of major avenues to give way to passing caravans of heads of state, many chose to stay home. As a result, in many areas of the city, traffic was down to the pleasant levels of a Saturday afternoon. In other areas, longer than usual traffic bottlenecks did occur.
Schools were called off in the city, and children sent home to watch the event on TV, read the newspaper reports in order to write up their own papers on the event and the little African and Pacific countries that are represented.
The attendance of the African visiting delegations, attired in their long robes, has also motivated Dominicans to focus on the African continent for a first time.

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 Friday and Saturday evening African, Caribbean and Pacific music extravaganzas at the Fortaleza Ozama of the Colonial City. Chichí Peralta and Son Familia will accompany Makebba during the invitations-only Friday presentation. Toño Rosario will entertain all during the Saturday presentation that will be open gratis to the general public.

First DR diplomatic relations with Africa
Benin and Guinea Equatorial are the first African nations with which the Dominican Republic has established formal diplomatic relations. The protocols were signed by Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre and visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Benin, Kolawole A. Idji, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Planning of Guinea Equatorial Santiago Nsobeya Efuman Nohana. The statesmen of both countries visited the DR on occasion of the II ACP Summit.
Benin obtained its independence from France in 1960 and was known as Dahomey until it changed its name to Benin in 1975. It has 112,622 square kilometers and its capital is Portonovo. It has a population of six million people; its official language is French. Its President is Mathieu Kerekou.
Guinea Equatorial is located in the west of Africa. It has 28,051 kilometers, its capital is Makabo, and it has a population of 465,746, and is the only African country where Spanish is the official language. Guinea Equatorial became independent from Spain in 1968. Its President is Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Report recommends better drainage will resolve tunnel problem
A preliminary report prepared by a technical commission appointed by the Ministry of Public Works to study the displacement of the concrete lining of the tunnel at the intersection of 27 de Febrero and Máximo Gómez avenue was released yesterday in a press conference. Group spokesman, Pedro Delgado Malagón, of the Inarsa-Tecnoamerica engineering firm said that the installation of drainage orifices on the floor of the tunnel would have averted the problem. Delgado Malagón is a former Minister of Public Works (during the President Salvador Jorge Blanco government (PRD 1982-86). He said there are no construction defects, and rather the damages are easy to find and fortuitous. He explained these were caused by the pressure of the subterranean and superficial waters due to the lack of drainage. The commission reaffirmed the solution to the tunnel fissure being implemented by the builders, Modesto Construcciones, and recommended the anchoring of the prefabricated lining to the base rock. The company is using special heavy duty drills and bolts to secure the concrete lining along the tunnel under 27 de Febrero Expressway at the Máximo Gómez Avenue intersection. The north side of the tunnel was closed to traffic last week after drainage problems resulted in a meter-wide fissure between the expressway and its intersecting tunnel.
The commission was made up by engineers Diego de Moya and Christian Maluf, Cadocon; Tirso Alvarez Efres and Samuel Alvarez Fermín, Coindisa; and Pedro Delgado Malagon and Carlos Garrido Demoriza, Inarsa-Tecnoamerica.
The committee assured that the underpass was built, designed and supervised by qualified technicians.

Samana mega project on hold
El Siglo reports that the construction of a mega tourism port and residential and tourism development on the Malecón of Samana has been paralyzed. The newspaper reports that Samana residents are complaining of the abandon in which the builders have left the area. The ambitious project had been begun in May with the attendance of President Leonel Fernández. It calls for an investment of RD$4,000 million. The project met with opposition of environmentalists when the Instituto Nacional de Protección Ambiental (INPRA) alerted that the displacement of mud to prepare for the port construction was probably to blame for the death of thousands of fish in the bay area. The government environmental organization said that the builders of the project did not carry out the required environmental impact study prior to starting the construction. Promoters of the project are Bancalari, Delgado y Asociados. El Siglo says that delays in getting government clearance with the presentation of adequate studies could be behind the suspension of the construction.

German funds to preserve largest river in the DR
The governments of the Dominican Republic and Germany signed a financial cooperation agreement for RD$85 million (10 million Marks) to fund the planting of trees to prevent erosion at the Yaque del Norte River, the most important in the DR. The Krenditanstalf fur Wiederaufbau institution will handle the funds. Technical Secretary of the Presidency Juan Temístocles Montás signed the five year agreement for the Dominican government. Ambassador of Germany Eva Alexandra Countess Kendeffy signed for Germany.

RD$6.7 million in jewelry stolen from parked car
Dany Castellanos de Guerrero denounced on Tuesday that thieves stole from her Mitsubishi car two brief cases in which she had RD$6.7 million pesos worth of jewelry. She had parked her car in the Jardines del Sur neighborhood in Santo Domingo. Castellanos is a renown local jewelry designer. At the time of the robbery, she was visiting a client. She did not notice the brief cases were missing until about five hours later.

40th anniversary of the assassination of the Mirabal sisters
The world commemorates today the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Mirabal sisters. The United Nations recently voted to declare the day, Day of No Violence Against Women, in honor of the brave sisters.
María Teresa, Minerva and Patria were murdered by slugs of the Trujillo regime's feared Servicio de Inteligencia Militar in 1960 as they made their way back to their home in Ojo de Agua, Salcedo after visiting their jailed husbands in Puerto Plata. They were murdered and their car thrown down a cliff so that their deaths appeared to be an accident. But the slaying of the Mirabal sisters backfired for the regime. Nobody believed the story of the accident. The death of the sisters was the straw that broke the camel's back, as the saying goes. Dominicans were outraged to find out that the dictator was murdering even women. This outrage spurred the eventual assassination of Trujillo in 1961, about six months after the death of the Mirabal sisters.
The home where the sisters grew up is today a museum.

Winter baseball update
The next games of the Dominican Winter Baseball Championship are: Thursday, 25 November 1999
Santo Domingo: Escogido vs. Licey
Santiago: Estrellas vs. Aguilas

Friday, 26 November 1999
Santo Domingo: Pollos vs. Escogido
Santiago: Licey vs. Aguilas

Saturday, 27 November 1999
Santo Domingo: Aguilas vs. Escogido
San Francisco de Macorís: Estrellas vs. Pollos

Sunday, 28 November 1999
Santo Domingo: Estrellas vs. Licey
Santiago: Escogido vs. Aguilas

Bartolo Colón to pitch on Friday
Bartolo Colón, the Cleveland Indians star pitcher, announced he will be the starting pitcher on Friday when the Aguilas Cibaeñas face the Licey Tigers in the Estadio Cibao in Santiago (about one hour from Puerto Plata). He was authorized by the Cleveland Indians to make up to 75 pitches. Colón says he will be playing in the tournament because he feels he has a commitment with the Aguilas' fans. Colón is a native of Altamira, Puerto Plata. He was one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues this past season, winning 18 games, and only losing five.
Fox Sports World Español, the only Spanish-language all-sports network in the US will transmit the game live.

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