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Daily News - 23 December 1999

Four-wheelers for frontier-based military
Hoy newspaper reports that the Ministry of Armed Forces has plans to equip frontier military posts with four-wheel vehicles and special motorcycles to enable military to patrol the border with Haiti starting early next year. The plans are part of the program to modernize the armed forces.
There are also plans to improve the living conditions of military stationed there. There are 69 posts along the 388-kilometer frontier between Haiti and DR. All of these are ill equipped to combat the increasing trafficking of stolen vehicles, drugs, weapons and humans. Haiti is the principal transshipment point for drugs to the DR, and there are many marihuana plantations located in Haiti along the frontier with the DR, as reports the press. A high-ranking commission of military, head by Chief of the Armed Forces, Manuel de Jesus Florentino toured 1,000 kilometers of border towns with journalists early this week. President Fernandez is scheduled to visit the frontier area tomorrow. Major General Manuel de Jesus Florentino announced that the military have reached an agreement with the Instituto Cartográfico Dominicano to restore the frontier limits that have deteriorated, as part of the general abandon of the frontier area. He said the Ministry of Public Works has also committed to finish the Carretera Internacional, which provides access to Dominican towns located along the frontier.
The military is working in coordination with the Dirección Nacional de Control de Drogas, Dirección de Migración and the Departamento Nacional de Investigaciones, as well as intelligence departments of the military.

President forecasts 8%+ growth for DR by year's end
President Leonel Fernández said yesterday in La Romana that the economy will grow 8%+ in 1999, more than was forecast. The accumulated annual growth would make the DR economy the fastest growing in the world. President Fernández, who traveled through five provinces in the East yesterday, said that the country needs to work to sustain an above 7% Gross Domestic Product growth rate in 2000.

Happy birthday, Mr. President
President Leonel Fernández will celebrate his birthday on Sunday, 26 December. He will be 46 years old.

Drunk driver vehicles to be confiscated
The Police announced that it will keep the vehicles of drunk drivers for 48 hours. The Police does not have apparatus to measure the level of drunkenness, so the determination of whether a driver is apt to drive will depend on the perception of the policeman. The measure seeks to reduce deaths during the Christmas holidays. With the measure, the Police hopes to offer the least inconveniences to families, and "since the driver will not be able to drive, he will be able to go home," according to the Police spokesman. The Police is urging drivers to buckle up. The Police is also confiscating until after the holidays the weapons of civilians that visit public places or entertainment center porting guns.

Caricom reduces negative list of products
The DR's chief trade agreement negotiator, Frederic Emam- Zade announced that the Caribbean has agreed to reduce its list of products excluded from free trade treatment to 48 down from 112. The treaty was signed 22 August 1998, pending the submission of the list of excluded products. Talks to this end, nevertheless, stagnated when the Caribbean sent a negative list of over 700 products. Talks will continue in Kingston, Jamaica from 5-7 January. The DR expects its list of products to be less than 25.

"Nueba Yol" to be showing on TV
The few that didn't get a chance to see "Nueba Yol", the DR's record-breaking film, can view it Sunday, 26 December at 9 pm on cable TV, Channel 42 (Cinecanal) of Telecable Nacional. "Nueba Yol" tells the bittersweet story of a Dominican who migrates to New York City.

Christmas in the Colonial City
"Navidad 99" is the celebration of Christmas organized by the Ayuntamiento de Santo Domingo (city municipality), Secretaría de Turismo (ministry of tourism), Comisión de Monumentos (historic monuments commission), Oficina de Patrimonio Cultural (office of cultural heritage), and the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial (board of the colonial city).
Activities start today, Wednesday, 1 December and continue all month long. Most of the events take place at the Parque Colón (Isabel la Católica corner Conde), the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial-Palacio Borgellá (Isabel la Católica 103) or the Palacio Consistorial (Arz. Meriño corner Conde), Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Arz. Meriño corner Arz. Nouel), Capilla de los Remedios (Calle Las Damas corner Mercedes).
Today's schedule of events is:

Wednesday, 22 December

6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert by the Biblico Cristiano Choir. Directed by Eglass Francisco. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Anahay in Concert sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.

Thursday, 23 December
4 pm. Christmas caroling along streets of the Colonial City by students of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. Directed by Juan Radhamés Cruz, and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism.
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert of the Music Band of the Santo Domingo Firemen. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Anibal de Peña in Concert, sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
10 pm. Christmas Fogata at the Plaza de San Antón (Restauración corner Hostos), sponsored by the San Antón Neighborhood.

Friday, 24 December
Christmas Eve. 11 pm. Christmas Eve Mass. Santo Domingo Cathedral.

Saturday, 25 December
Christmas Day.
4 pm. Mass opening the Jubilee Year, ending with the Nativity Concert. Performed by the Choir of the Cathedral. Directed by Prof. José Delmonte. Santo Domingo Cathedral.

Sunday, 26 December
12 noon. Mass. Cathedral of Santo Domingo.
4 pm. Christmas caroling along streets of the Colonial City by students of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. Directed by Juan Radhamés Cruz, and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism. 5:30 pm. Puppet show: "The Spirit of Christmas and the Wolf-Donkey-Dragon" by the Teatro Papalote. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Sonia Silvestre in Concert, accompanied by Maestro Tito Delgado. Parque Colón.

DR Pan Am gold medallist suspended for two years
The International Federation of Track & Field suspended Juana Arrendel, the Dominican high jumper who had won a gold medal in the Winnepeg, Pan Americans, from competition for two years. She lost her gold medal when she failed the doping test. Her mark at the Pan Am games was under an earlier mark that won her the gold medal in the Venezuela Central American and Caribbean Games. Arrendel has maintained her innocence. The Dominican Federation Track and Field has appealed the decision. The suspension affects her participation in the Sydney, Australia Olympic games.

Five Dominican judo classify for Sydney Games
Five Dominicans judo athletes classified to participate in the Sydney, Australia 2000 Olympic Games. The Dominicans accumulated points with their participation in the World Judo Championship (Paris), Panamerican Judo Championship (Guadalajara, Mexico), Central American and Caribbean Games (Maracaibo, Venezuela), Panamerican Judo Championship (Santo Domingo), World Judo Championship Campeonato (Birmingham, England), Pan Am Games (Winnipeg, Canada) and the Judo Championship (Montevideo, Uruguay). The Dominican delegation that qualified to participate in the Summer Olympics is: Eleucadia Vargas (63 kilograms) , Juan Carlos Jacinto Jiménez (60 kilograms), Jose Vicbart Geraldino (90 kilograms),
Jose Augusto Jiménez (100 kilograms), and José Eugenio Vásquez (100 kilograms).

Winter baseball games and standing
Team standing as of Tuesday, 21 December 1999:
Aguilas Cibaeñas 26-17 (.605)
Leones del Escogido 25-17 (.595) ­0.5 games
Tigres del Licey 21-22 (.488), -5 games
Estrellas Orientales 21-24 (.467) ­6 games
Pollos del Cibao 15-28 (.349) ­11 games

The League takes a break until Sunday, 26 December.

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