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Friday, July 25 2014 @ 06:37 AM EDT

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PRD Setting Their Sights On The Presidency Of The National Assembly

PoliticsThe National Assembly Deputy-elect from the Partido Revolucionario Democrático political party Zulay Rodríguez said today the PRD will choose their candidate to lead the National Assembly, starting from 1 July. (more)

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Attempted Assassination Against Vernon Ramos' Assistant (Financial Pacific Case)

CorruptionGustavo Gordon, a government employee who works for the Superintendency of Market Securities who is scheduled to testify before the Thirteenth Prosecutor for the trial of Mayte Pellegrini, who has been accused of financial crimes to the detriment of the brokerage house Financial Pacific, was stabbed yesterday in the park Urracá, on Avenida Balboa. (more)

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"Alert Zone" Declared Due To Diarrhea Outbreak in Panama

HealthcareStatistics from the Directorate of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health show an increase in the number of cases of diarrhea in the first five months of the year compared with the same period last year. (more)

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Contraband Smugglers Detected And Arrested Outside Of La Joyita Prison

Crime & PunishmentPanamanian authorities recently detected two people attempting to smuggle contraband into the La Joyita prison, and even grizzled veterans were surprised at what they found. (more)

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Alejandro Perez Threatens To Sue For "Violating His Privacy"

CorruptionThe lawyer and former Minister of Government, Alejandro Pérez defended himself on Monday morning, after the broadcast of a video that was posted on YouTube, after a collision with another vehicle, showing him exchanging words with the other driver involved in the accident. (more)

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No Water Service Today In Several Areas of Panama City

Infrastructure UpgradesThe Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers (IDAAN) announced today via their Twitter account that several areas of Panama City will be without water service today, due to maintenance work. (more)

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Searchers Redirected After Discovery Of Missing Dutch Girls' Belongings

Expat TalesThe discovery of a backpack containing the personal belongings of the two missing Dutch women Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers could give searchers clues to the location of the two tourists, who have been missing in the area of Boquete in the province of Chirquí since 2 April. (more)

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Panamanian Politician Alejandro Perez - Driving Drunk, Causes Accident, Leaves Scene (Video)

CorruptionBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - There's a minor flap in the morning news today, after the prominent politician Alejandro Perez was caught on video tape over the weekend - drunk, causing a traffic accident, being combative and belligerent, and leaving the scene of an accident. (more)

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Former IDAAN Officials Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Stealing Materials

CorruptionThe Thirteenth Criminal Court sentenced three former officials of the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (Idaan) to three years in prison, for their roles in a network that was stealing supplies and materials from the IDAAN's warehouse, which were then resold. (more)

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Martinelli Denies Any Involvement In Hurtado Case

Panama NewsAfter a group of people who were "persecuted" by Maria del Pilar Hurtado, the former director of the Colombian DAS (intelligence agency), announced on Friday in a press conference in Panama they were aware President Ricardo Martinelli is protecting the former Colombian official at one of this properties, the Panamanian leader was swift to respond to the accusations through the social networks. (more)

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Prosecutors Assuming Missing Dutch Women Fell Into River And Were Washed Away

Expat TalesA group of people who live on the banks of the Culebra River in the province of Bocas del Toro found a backpack containing some of the belongings of the missing Dutch women Lissane Fronn, 21, and Kris Kremers, 22. (more)

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Found - Backpack Containing Personal Effects Of Two Missing Dutch Women

Expat TalesA group of Indians in the province of Bocas del Toro have discovered a backpack belonging to one of the two missing Dutch girls, along the "El Pianista" hiking trail - near where they were reportedly last seen. (more)

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Mirei Endara Will Review Vertikal's Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental IssuesThe next administrator of Panama's National Environmental Authority (ANAM), Mirei Endara, announced she would "review" the EIA approved for the Vertikal Corporation Inc., allowing them to build a marine viaduct to deliver jet fuel to the airplanes at the Tocumen International Airport. (more)

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Lame Duck National Assembly Passes Controversial Last-Minute Laws

Law & LawyersThe lame-duck National Assembly controlled by the outgoing Cambio Democratico political party approved a new law authorizing security guards for the wife and children of former presidents, and approved several controversial executive appointments. (more)

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Martinelli Leaves Behind A Staggering Public Debt

Money MattersThe debt being left behind by the government of Ricardo Martinelli exceeded the imagination of all local and international analysts. (more)

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President-Elect Varela Picks Career Officer To Be The New Chief of Police

Panama NewsWhen announcing his decision to select a career police officer to be the new Director of the National Police in Panama, president-elect Juan Carlos Varela said he did not want to politicize the office. (more)

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Any Alliance Between The PRD And The Panameñistas Will Be Short Lived: Miller

PoliticsThe National Assembly Deputy from the Democratic Change (CD) political party Mario Miller said any potential alliance between the PRD and the Panameñista political parties will have a "short life." (more)

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Panama Canal chief says new locks operational by January, 2016

Canal ExpansionReuters – The Panama Canal’s new set of locks will be operational by the January, 2016 deadline, the canal’s chief said on Tuesday, after fears that a recent labor strike could have further delayed the project.

“In January, 2016, the widened canal will be working,” Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano told reporters. “We have already completed between 75 and 76 percent” of the engineering project.

PANAMA CANAL EXPANSION (EPA) – Workers observe the arrival of four new gates for the locks of the Panama Canal expansion from Italy where they were built, in Colon, Panama, June 10, 2014. With the arrival of the second set of four gates, from the total of 16 of the new locks for expanding the Panama Canal, it is estimated that works to increase the capacity of the waterway have been completed in more than 75%, said the administrator of the waterway, Jorge Luis Quijano.

Quijano said there could still be some work outstanding, but the new locks will be ready for use.

The strike, which ended on May 8, brought work to widen the 100-year-old canal to a halt for more than two weeks.

Panama’s largest construction union walked out on April 23 demanding higher wages from employers, halting work on hundreds of projects across the country.

The expansion was originally scheduled to be completed this year, but has been delayed several times, in part due to a dispute earlier this year because of about $1.6 billion in cost overruns.

The Panama Canal Authority and the consortium contracted for the project, led by Spain’s Sacyr and Italy’s Salini Impregilo, signed a deal in March to resolve the dispute and finish the project.

The expansion involves building a third set of locks to allow bigger ships to pass through the 50-mile (80-km) waterway.

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Panama Cancels Emergency Energy Saving Measures - Rainy Season Started...

Infrastructure UpgradesThe National Secretariat of Energy announced that starting on Monday, June 16, the emergency energy conservation measures implemented in the private sector since April 10th will be cancelled. (more)

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SINAPROC Issues Safety Warning For High Pacific Tides

WeatherPanama's National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) warned of exceptionally high tidal activity from 12 - 19 June 2014, with tides over 15 feet, through their Twitter account. (more)

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Panama Supreme Court Orders "Preventative Detention" For Ecuadoran Politician Lara

Panama NewsToday the former Ecuadoran lawmaker Eduardo Galo Lara faced the Panamanian Supreme Court, regarding his arrest in Panama after the country decided to revoke the political asylum that had been granted earlier. (more)

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Blandon Finds "Abnormalities" In Panama City Municipality Payroll

PoliticsWith only 20 days remaining before the new Mayor-elect of Panama City takes office, Jose Isabel Blandon said they are moving forward with the transition process. (more)

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Castalia's Designation Revives Debate Over "Turncoat Journalism"

Panama NewsTwitter and Facebook once again became the podiums where Internet surfers could argue. This time the question was: Does the designation of the journalist Castalia Pascual as the official spokesman for president-elect Juan Carlos Varela affect her credibility? (more)

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More flu cases in May

HealthcareA report from the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health shows that during the month of May there were 807 more cases of influenza reported as compared to the same period during 2013. (more)

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Elevator Fails and Plunges To The Ground In Panama Shopping Center - Nuns Hurt

Safety & SecurityAn elevator inside of the Raenco store on Via Transistmica fell on Tuesday, injuring at least four people, among them three nuns. (more)

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Drug Bust In Panama's Kuna Yala Region

Drug TraffickingPanamanian Border Service agents seized 14 packages of cocaine in the community of Acuatupu, in the Kuna Yala region, that was found in some residences there. (more)

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Former Ecuadoran Lawmaker Lara Arrested in Panama

Panama NewsEcuador's Attorney General Galo Chiriboga called the antics of the former Ecuadoran lawmaker Galo Lara, who has been arrested in Panama after his political asylum was revoked, a "show" - for saying he's being politically prosecuted and that they want to kill him. (more)

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MOLIRENA Has No Plans To Break Their Alliance With The CD

PoliticsThe president of the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA) political party Sergio González Ruiz denied rumors saying the party intends to break their alliance with the Democratic Change (CD) party. (more)

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Taxi Driver Who Killed Television Cameraman Has To Report In...

Law & LawyersPanama's Auxiliary Prosecutor ordered the taxi driver who struck and killed TVN cameraman Bolívar Jurado on the Northern Corridor to report to his office regularly. (more)

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Heavy Rains Cause Flooding, Mudslides...

WeatherAfter the heavy rains that fell starting at noon today, several neighborhoods in Arraiján and in Panama City were flooded, and a small river burst its banks. (more)

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