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Daily News - 26 November 1999

Eight-second blackout, prior to opening of Summit
An eight-second blackout introduced the 35 visiting dignitaries to life in the Dominican Republic yesterday morning, prior to the opening of the II African, Caribbean and Pacific Summit. It took about the eight seconds for the back-up power plant to kick in. Street power was restored three minutes later. News reports say the blackout was caused by a mishandling of a transformer at the Dirección General de Impuestos Internos government building, that tripped the circuit where the National Theater is located.

Poverty, foreign debt, globalization and bottlenecks
The reduction of poverty, the pardoning of the foreign debt as a measure to help countries develop, and the effects of globalization on developing economies were recurrent themes focused upon by those speaking at the opening ceremony. Host President Leonel Fernández called the attention of developing nations to the extreme burden the foreign debt is on developing nations. President Didier Ratsiraka of Madagascar stressed that in 2000, the difference between rich and poor countries will be 63 times greater than it was 10 years ago. He emphasized that economic globalization is a kind of totalitarianism that threatens poor nations. And urged that developed nations respect the right of developing nations to maintain positions different from theirs. The President of Gabon, Omar El Hadj Bongo, rendered the opening speech. At the opening ceremony, President Fernández was entrusted with the presidency of the ACP group of states through the next summit in two years. The Declaration of Santo Domingo will be issued today.
The Summit has caused major traffic jams. While it was said that traffic along restricted major avenues would only be interrupted for half-hours before and after the transporting of the statesmen, in reality thousands of city residents have suffered major inconveniences in getting to and from work. As a result, those who can have stayed home, many of those who have had to go to work have had to walk, go by bike, or just bear with one to two hour bottlenecks. For those living in areas outside of the influence of the summit, it has been almost as if it was a Sunday, with very little traffic.
For more information on the summit, see

Home for homeless mentally ill
The Ministry of Public Health inaugurated a Psychosocial Rehab Unit at the Padre Billini Hospital. The unit will care for homeless and mentally ill persons that today roam city streets. The hospital was recently modernized by the state. The unit was named for Doctor Maximo Beras, the legendary psychiatrist who worked at the Padre Billini for many years but is best remembered for taking the stigma off psychiatry, as a result of his long-running radio medical advice program.

New toxicology lab
The Instituto Dominicano de Seguros Sociales (IDSS) announced it will soon inaugurate a modern toxicology laboratory that was built at a cost of RD$20 million. The lab will test for lead, chemical, insecticide poisoning. Its services will be available to individuals and companies.

Government committed to repair Olympic Center by August
The Deputy Minister of Public Works Leonel Carrasco said that the government will repair the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center before the end of the Fernández administration, on 16 August 2000. The Ministry of Public Works is repairing the Olympic stadium, working on the wrestling pavilion and two softball stadiums. Likewise, it is building a new warm-up and training short course track beside the Olympic Stadium. The Fernández administration had committed to repair the city's facility that will be the site of the Pan American Sports Games in 2003. The Olympic Pool and the Sports Palace have already undergone repairs.

Major department stores accused of intellectual property violations
Plaza Lama and Sederías California, two large Santo Domingo stores, have cases in the judiciary pending for selling computers with MS-Dos operating systems for which they do not have licenses. The District Attorney has sent to justice more than 30 companies for reproducing or selling merchandise without the authorization of the manufacturers. Maira Guzman, who works with the department of intellectual property, said that the legal department will take the cases to the last consequences. The District Attorney's office regularly raids businesses that have been reported to be illegally using software and other copyrighted items.

Surplus of poultry for Christmas
The president of the Comisión Nacional Avícola estimated that from November to December there will be about a 17% surplus of chicken. Abelardo Liriano, president of the poultry commission, says that only in the month of December some 14 million chickens will hit the markets, two million more than the usual monthly production that ranges from 10-12 million units. The surplus is expected to result in a decline in prices. The pound of chicken sells for RD$10-RD$12.

Balaguer shows more signs of senility
The photograph of an aging President Joaquín Balaguer, in a house robe, with long-sleeved white shirt showing below, swearing in the members of the pro-Christmas dinner committee of the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano was released to the press yesterday. He was swearing in Alexandra Izquierdo and Victor Bisono. The former President is best known for his elegant austerity in dress and this is the first time that he allows himself to be photographed in house robe performing an official party activity. Balaguer has conditioned his running for President in 2000 to his physical health. He is 93 years old and blind. The two strongest contenders for the presidency in 2000 have both sought his favor. In 1996, Leonel Fernández won the presidency when he was endorsed by then President Balaguer.

Dominican police to train abroad
More than 100 Dominican police will be sent to train with the New York City police and with the Spanish police. For six month straight, the agents will have the mission of assimilating the culture, organization and modern investigation methods as well as developing new skills of how to deal with the community, while applying the law. Likewise, dozens of policemen from those countries will come to the DR to train Dominican policemen. Carlos Felix Gimbernard, president of Consulting Group, a US company that is assisting the National Police in its attempt to become modern released the information to Hoy newspaper. Police Chief Pedro de Jesus Candelier recently returned from a visit to New York earlier this month where he coordinated the NYPD assistance.

Winter baseball update
Friday, 19 November 1999
7 pm game Santo Domingo: Escogido vs. Licey
Santo Domingo: Escogido vs. Licey
Santiago: Estrellas vs. Aguilas

Saturday, 20 November 1999
5 pm game San Francisco de Macorís: Escogido vs. Pollos
Santo Domingo: Aguilas vs. Escogido
San Pedro de Macorís: Pollos vs. Estrellas

Sunday, 21 November 1999
Santo Domingo: Licey vs. Escogido
San Francisco de Macorís: Aguilas vs. Pollos

Team standing as of Thursday, 25 November 1999:
Leones del Escogido 14-7 (.667)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 15-8 (.652)
Estrellas Orientales 11-11 (.500) ­3.5 games
Pollos del Cibao 6-13 (.316) ­7.5 games
Tigres del Licey 6-13 (.333), -7.5 games

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