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Daily News - 28 December 1999

Y2K follow-up commission created
The newly created Governmental Commission for the Change of the Millennium is in charge of monitoring the effects of the Y2K phenomenon before, during and after the change of year through 4 January. Monitoring will be carried out at international and national levels. For more information on this commission, see www.comision2000.gov.do or call 809 540-2000, 809 698-8482, 809 695-8483, 809 695-8371 and 1-200-0200 for toll free domestic calls. The fax is 809 687-7277.

Dominicans are 7th largest illegal group in US
Hoy newspaper reports that according to the Immigration Service of the US, Dominicans make up the seventh largest group of illegal aliens living in the US. The top ten groups by number of estimated illegal aliens are:
Mexico 2.7 million
El Salvador 335,000
Guatemala 165,000
Canada 120,000
Haiti 105,000
Honduras 90,000
DR 75,000
Nicaragua 70,000
Colombia 60,000
Ecuador 60,000
Some 600,000 Dominicans reside legally in the US.

2000: Year to Develop the Frontier
The Executive Branch passed Law 117-99 that declares 2000 as Year for the Development of the Frontier. The law seeks to promote investments in the border area with Haiti, in order to counteract the illegal migration of Haitians and the exodus to cities of Dominicans living in frontier provinces. Frontier provinces are the least populated and poorest in the DR and make up 25% of the national territory. The law establishes that central government and governmental institutions need to set aside special allotments in their budgets for frontier projects.

Colombians plant drugs in Haiti near DR border
The Listín Diario reports today that hundreds of Colombians have installed themselves in impoverished frontier towns in Haiti where they are planting marihuana to be shipped to the DR. The newspaper says that the money for the drug transactions that is pouring into Haiti is apparent in the more comfortable dwellings that are going up in impoverished areas along the frontier that contrast with the huts of indigent Haitians. This situation has placed a red alert among Dominican military that seek to impede that drug traffickers take a hold of the frontier. The DR frontier with Haiti is 378 kilometers from Pedernales to Monte Cristi. More than 300 military have been stationed in 68 booths in strategic points considered the most vulnerable for the trafficking of weapons and drugs into Dominican territory. News reports say that some 15,000 marihuana trees were confiscated in the first days of the frontier operation unfolded by the newly created Destacamentos Operacionales de Inteligencia Fronteriza. These are located in Elias Piña, Dajabón, Pedernales, Independencia, Comendador and Bahoruco. The marihuana bushes were planted among potato, onion, vegetable and legume plantations.
General Brigade Gustavo A. Jorge García commands the 24 hour activities. He operates in coordination with the national drug control department, the department of migration, the Dominican military and the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

64% Dominican women use birth control
A recent UNICEF study shows that 64% of married women in the DR between ages 15-49 years use birth control methods. The highest percentage of use of birth control methods is found in Cuba (82%), followed by Costa Rica (75%). The lowest usage of birth control in the area is found in Haiti (18%), Guatemala (31%), Honduras (50%), Panama (58%), El Salvador (60%), Nicaragua (60%). The most used methods are condoms and the pill, according to the Unicef study.

Lows at 18 and highs of 28 for most of DR
A record low of 14.4 Degrees Celsius was registered at the Las Americas International Airport yesterday at dawn. The previous low was 14.8 Degrees. Lows in Santo Domingo were 18.3 degrees. In Punta Cana and Puerto Plata lows of 18.5 and 18.6 respectively were registered. The National Weather Department reported noontime highs of 26-28 degrees. For those seeking Caribbean cool, Jarabacoa and Constanza mountain areas reported lows of below nine degrees. The lows were attributed to a cold front that is passing by. Weather forecast for the New Year holiday is of very pleasant days, scattered skies and cool evenings.

Earthquake shakes DR
A 4.2 on the Richter Scale earthquake shook southern and eastern regions on Sunday, 26 December at 10 pm, according to the Instituto Sismológico Universitario. The earthquake had its epicenter at latitude 18.3 degrees north, longitude 68.3 west, near the Milwaukee Deep. It was felt in the eastern cities of La Romana, Higuey and El Seibo and Hato Mayor.
For the second time in less than a week, residents in northcentral Santiago, Moca and La Vega also felt an earthquake. The intensity of this earthquake was not reported. It took place at 11:30 pm and caused residents in apartment buildings to come running down.
The Instituto Sismológico Universitario says its equipment has registered 10 earthquakes so far this month under five-point intensity. Seismologist Juan Arias told El Siglo that the small quakes are good news as they relieve the tension, diminishing the possibility of the nation being affected by a big shake. The Institute has forecast that the DR is due for a major quake as historically one has occurred every 50 years.
The Institute says that the areas that would be most affected by an earthquake are the northcentral regions (Cordillera Septentrional) and the southwest regions.

Christmas tragedy
Edwin Gomez, columnist of a column in the Listeen supplement of the Listín Diario newspaper, celebrated Christmas in La Vega with his family. The Gómez family is from La Vega. On Sunday, he was making it back to Santo Domingo along the Duarte Highway with his sister Ingrid and two cousins, running into a very congestioned highway. At Kilometer 28, it was backed-up, the result of a traffic accident. Then all of a sudden their car was hit from behind by a car that had been hit by a truck. The intensity of the collision was such that their car turned over and fell down a cliff. The four emerged uninjured and held hands to thank God for escaping. 24-year old Edwin Gómez then decided to go back up and help the traffic agent who was trying to untangle the bottleneck, only to be killed when he was charged by a bus.

Winter baseball games and standing
Tuesday, 28 December 1999
Santo Domingo: Aguilas vs. Licey
San Pedro de Macorís: Escogido vs. Estrellas

Wednesday, 29 December 1999
Santo Domingo: Pollos vs. Escogido
Santiago: Licey vs. Aguilas

Thursday, 30 December 1999
Santo Domingo: Aguilas vs. Escogido
San Pedro de Macorís: Pollos vs. Estrellas

Team standing as of Monday, 27 December 1999:
Aguilas Cibaeñas 27-17 (.614)
Leones del Escogido 27-17 (.614)
Tigres del Licey 21-23 (.489), -6 games
Estrellas Orientales 21-25 (.457) ­5.5 games
Pollos del Cibao 15-30 (.333) ­12.5 games

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).
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).
The week's schedule of events is:

Tuesday, 28 December
4 pm. Caroling by the Rondalla of the UASD.
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert by the Rondalla de la UASD. Parque Colón.
8 pm. "Inocente Mariposa," a show by Leonardo and Expresión Joven, presented by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
9 pm. Caroling by the neighbors of the San Miguel neighborhood. Groups leave from Parque Colón to the Parque de San Miguel (José Reyes corner Juan Isidro Pérez).

Wednesday, 29 December
4 pm. Caroling by the Rondalla of the UASD through the Colonial City.
7 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert by the Men's Choir of the Instituto Cultural Dominico- Americano, directed by Prof. Ramón E. Restituyo. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Musical Review. Grupo Sentimientos. Directed by Mirito Arvelo. Sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.

Magicians at the Inter Continental
Casino Hotel V Centenario Inter Continental. First International Magicians Festival. 27 Dec- 3 January as of 9 pm. Six leading Spanish magicians will interact with those visiting the casino as of 9 pm every evening. Card reading, and other astrology plays. Presentations of orchestras -Los Hijos de Puerto Rico, Grupo Mio, Rokabanda, Miriam Cruz, Michelle y su orquesta Pericombo, Anthony Rios. Humorist Jochy Santos, belly dance presentations. Adults only.

Frank Ceara show is worthwhile
Frank Ceara stars in "Donde Manda el Amor" at the National theater. 27-28 December at 8:30 pm. With him, leading female vocalists Adalgisa Pantaleon, Audrey Campos, Maridalia Leon. Tickets for sale at the National Theater.

La Romana Christmas concert
The Altos de Chavón Amphitheater will be presenting an encounter of classical and popular music on 29 December. The event is directed by Maestro Carlos Piantini (http://www.fiu.edu/~music/piantini.html). Leading Dominican merengue music star Milly Quezada (http://www.lamusica.com/millyquezadaeng.htm) will go on stage as of 9 pm together with internationally acclaimed violin soloist Eugene Fodor and pianist Susan Starr from the United States. With them, the Dominican Philarmonic Orchestra. They will present Dominican classics such as, "Mi Quisqueya," by Mercedes Sagredo, "La Billirrubina", by Juan Luis Guerra. Tickets are already for sale at Casa de Campo for RD$350 and RD$600.
Fodor has performed for more than three decades as a soloist with appearances in more than 35 countries on five continents. His solos have been heard by two presidents and he has appeared on a number of television shows, including 20/20, Sunday Morning, the Tonight Show and others. H also has performed on television in Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Japan and Korea.
Fodor made his solo debut at the age of 10 with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. He began touring after that, winning his first national competition at the age of 12. At 15, he performed with the Detroit Symphony and within three years won first prizes in six national competitions. In 1972 he won first prize in the International Paganini Competition in Italy and in 1974 won the highest prize awarded that year in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
He attended the Juilliard School in New York, the Vienna Academy, Indiana University and the University of Southern California. His violin instructors have included Harold Wippler, Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold, and Jascha Heifetz.
Susan Starr is regarded as one of America's most celebrated pianists. Since her triumph in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Competition, she has played to standing ovations in recital and with the world's most distinguished orchestras and conductors. Audiences throughout the world have be en enthralled by her artistry and her active international career has taken her on extensive tours of the Soviet Union, Far East, South America and Europe. Well-known for her recordings for RCA and Orion Master, Ms. Starr has been acclaimed by The New York Times as "a star of the first magnitude."

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