Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Saturday, August 29 2015 @ 03:16 AM EDT

View Printable Version

Economic crisis '09: Latin America to face 'enormous stress'

Money MattersBy Barbara J. Fraser (CNS) - The global economic downturn has cast a pall over the new year in Latin America. While the region's leaders initially struck a positive note in the face of bad news from abroad, most are now drafting plans to create jobs, keep financial systems from wobbling and shore up social programs in case of a prolonged recession. "It's very hard to have an upbeat outlook about the region," where countries "are going to be under enormous stress," Michael Shifter, vice president for policy at the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue and adjunct professor of Latin American politics at Georgetown University, told Catholic News Service. Experts say the crisis will hit poor Latin Americans hardest. It will increase unemployment, pushing more into the informal economy --- without insurance, pensions or other benefits --- and widen the gap between rich and poor. Economic hardship and cuts in social spending may trigger discontent reflected at the polls or in the streets. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Lack of Fidel Castro sightings fuel health-crisis rumor mill

Panama News By Juan Castro MIAMI (AFP) – It has been two months since he was photographed greeting Chinese President Hu Jintao and with ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro off the political radar, rumors he is dying or dead are in full swirl here. The health of Fidel Castro, 82 -- who was sidelined in July 2006 by major intestinal surgery after almost 50 years at communist Cuba's helm -- is front-page news in Miami, home to the bulk of the Cuban-American community. Last February his brother Raul Castro, 76, officially took over as president. Meanwhile the elder Castro, who had appeared stabilized if frail, was writing regular editorials in official media. He has not run one recently. And on January 1, as Cuba celebrated a major historic landmark with the 50th anniversary of the revolution Fidel Castro led, many Cubans expected he might make some kind of appearance in official media. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Copa Airlines Reports 87.5% On-Time Performance for 2008

Cars & TransportationPANAMA CITY, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Copa Airlines, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A., registered an on-time performance of 87.5 percent for its flights in 2008, as well as a flight-completion factor of 99.6 percent. The airline measures on-time performance according to international aviation-industry standards. "At Copa we strive to provide our passengers a world-class service and on-time performance is one of the keys to our success," said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines. "All passengers want to arrive at their destinations on time, whether they are traveling on business or for pleasure, and that is a major reason why they continue to make Copa part of their travel plans year after year." Copa Airlines maintains one of the best on-time performance records in the aviation industry. Skytrax, the well-known independent aviation-research company, selected Copa "Best Airline in Central America and the Caribbean" in 2008. About Copa Holdings, S.A. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama recognizes Kosovo independence

Panama News PRISTINA — Panama officially recognized Kosovo as independent Friday, its foreign ministry said in a press release. The recognition was announced by Panama Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro who confirmed by telephone to his Kosovo counterpart Skender Hyseni that "Panama officially recognized the independent and sovereign state of Kosovo," according to the release. Navarro said Panama's diplomatic note of the Kosovo recognition "will be handed over today to Kosovo's charge d'affaires in Washington". Kosovo declared independence in February. More then 50 countries, including the majority of the European Union members and the United States have so far recognized Kosovo's unilateral secession from Serbia. Belgrade still considers Kosovo as one of its provinces and Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has backed its ally Belgrade in the dispute.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Larger Advantage for Martinelli in Panama

Politics (Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Ricardo Martinelli seems poised to become Panama’s next president, according to a poll by Unimer published in La Prensa. 43.1 per cent of respondents would vote for the candidate of the opposition Democratic Change (CD) in this year’s ballot, up 6.9 points since November. Balbina Herrera of the governing Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) is second with 25.4 per cent—down 5.4 points since December—followed by Juan Carlos Varela of the Panameñista Party (PPA) with 14.9 per cent, and former president Guillermo Endara of the Moral Vanguard of the Homeland (VMP) with 0.9 per cent. 13.8 per cent of respondents remain undecided. PRD member Martín Torrijos—the son of Omar Torrijos, an army general who ruled Panama from 1968 to 1981—won the May 2004 presidential election with 47.44 per cent of the vote. His tenure included an ambitious plan to expand the Panama Canal with an investment of $5.25 billion U.S. In October 2006, the proposal was ratified in a nationwide referendum. Martinelli, the owner of a major supermarket chain, portrays himself as a political outsider. Herrera served as housing minister in the current government. On Jan. 12, Herrera referred to Martinelli as a "wolf in sheep’s clothing", adding, "People’s conscience and dignity cannot be bought in supermarkets." The presidential election in Panama is scheduled for May 3. (See Comments)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Program highlights plants of Panama Canal region

History & ReferenceTampa Bay Newspapers - ST. PETERSBURG - Dustin Smith with the Panama Canal Museum will lead a Horticulture Program "The Plants of the Panama Canal Region" at Sunken Gardens on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 11:30 a.m. The program is free for members or with paid admission ($8 adults, $6 seniors 55+, $4 children 2-11). Smith has been working in zoos for nearly 10 years in Tampa, specifically with reptiles and amphibians. With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida, Smith currently serves as the Zoological Supervisor of the Miami Metrozoo. Smith supervises a recently built exhibit called, “Amazon and Beyond.” Professionally, Smith has emphasized the husbandry of reptiles and amphibians. More recently, his attention has been on their conservation, as a result of the current global amphibian decline. Because reptiles and amphibians are some of the most misunderstood animals, Dustin is trying to make their importance understood. Smith has been a frequent visitor to Panama to assist with the conservation of many species of amphibians, including the critically endangered Panamanian Golden Frog. Smith offers talks on his work in Panama with the golden frog and other amphibians and reptiles. His talk includes many pictures of the diverse ecosystem in Panama. For further information on his work, visit projectgoldenfrog.org. Sunken Gardens is located at 535 Fourth Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Latin America to hold summit to fight crime

Drug Trafficking By Arthur Brice (CNN) -- Violence and drug-trafficking have become such a major threat to Latin America that the presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and Panama will sit around a table Friday in Panama to discuss what they can do about it. Their summit comes at a particularly troubled time for these governments, especially Mexico, which tallied a record number of drug-related killings last year. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich characterized the battle in Mexico among drug cartels and with government authorities as a "civil war" on a news program this week. But Mexico is not alone. Colombia has been fighting drug cartels for decades. Panama has been a center of money-laundering for dug cartels and other organized crime groups for many years. And Guatemala has seen its share of slayings and bloodshed. "It's a recognition that there is a shared problem and that they can't solve that problem independent of each other," said Robert Pastor, a professor of international relations at American University in Washington who served as a national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

CyberTrips: beaches, jungles and a canal among Panama's attractions

Travel & TourismThe Canadian Press - Many people see the scenery of Panama only in passing, from the deck of a cruise ship passing through the Panama Canal. But if you take the time to visit, you'll find even more scenic countryside, tropical birds and plants, and reefs for diving. Panama's official Tourist Bureau - http://www.visitpanama.com/ - (click on the tiny U.S. flag for the English version) offers a Destination of the Month, promoting spots such as the Anton Valley, an area of wildlife, villages, festivals and long-distance hiking. If you're more interested in the coast, look under "Where to Go" for "Islands, Coasts ..." in the category drop-down menu for information on spots such as La Barqueta beach, for kite surfing, or Boca del Drago, for scuba diving. Open up the menu again for "Mountains" and places including the Baru Volcano, Panama's highest elevation. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Street Protest Against Israeli Ambassador in Panama by Arabs

Protests & Demonstrations

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Just received this Spot Report via email - "Protest against Israel, on Aquilino de la Guardia in front of Banco General, across from Banesco Tower. Supporting the Palestinians. Saying India has joined them in "the struggle" and they will "blow themselves up" if it's necessary. I learned the Israeli Ambassador lives in the Banco General tower. It's a peaceful crowd - just noisy Oops - looks like they are burning an Israeli flag - I can see the smoke but nothing else. They have a banner with "Judios Asesinos" and nazi symbols. If you use this please rewrite it - I'm on my blackberry :) -jeff" Rewrite it? Why? I think you hit it right on the head. This protest took place at 5:00 pm this afternoon. The crowd then marched up toward Calle 50. (more)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Murder of Spanish Businessman Makes International Headlines

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - More than 400 people were murdered in street violence in the Republic of Panama during 2008, but one senseless killing just two weeks into 2009 created international headlines. Yesterday Spanish businessman Manuel Machin Ramos, 49, the local director of the Spanish petroleum company Cepsa, was shot and killed by an unknown number of assailants who wanted to steal his car as he left the Parque Omar after having completed his morning exercise routine. The news made headlines on CNN , AP, Reuters, and other international media outlets - letting the rest of the world know what we already knew - that street crime is getting out of control in Panama. And apparently, the government and police authorities can't do a damn thing to stop it. Sorry, but I've got some bad news about the proverbial "Goose That Laid The Golden Egg" - she was shot and killed by some punk kid with an old rusty .38 ...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Lucy vs. Balbina - "Chick Fight!"

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Yesterday morning on the TVN Channel 2 early news, the PRD presidential candidate Balbina Herrera sat down with one of my favorite journalists in Panama, Lucy Molinar. Lucy asked tough questions about Balbina Herrera's brother, Pablo Garrido Araúz, who is currently serving as Panama's Ambassador to Brussels. If you will remember, late last year Panama was notified that they will no longer be eligible for importation tax breaks from the European Union for failing to file some documents on time. Lucy went right at Balbina with the question, asking why no one has been fired over this incident, who's going to be held responsible, etc. Balbina responded by deflecting the question, defending her brother, and trying to turn the tables back on Lucy, alleging that both she and Channel 2 are in Martinelli's back pocket. It was a great exchange, and this morning someone actually sent me a transcript of the dialog between the two (in Spanish). I'm not going to take the time to translate the interview, but let's just say that Balbina came out looking like, well, Balbina. Maybe Martinelli will hold someone responsible for the screw-up after he wins the election? Hey, what's $30 million dollars of lost tax revenues between friends...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

"Suitcases Full Of Money" Allegedly Offered to Molirena

Politics
By JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ PINILLA for La Prensa - The temperature of the Panamanian political climate heated up considerably yesterday with accusations of suitcases full of money to buy support. José Raúl Mulino, from the campaign of Ricardo Martinelli's Cambio Democratico campaign, accused Héctor Alemán, the chief of Balbina Herrera's campaign, of having offered money to the Molirena to not break their alliance with the Panameñistas in order to form an alliance with Martinelli. The President of the Molirena political party, Sergio González Ruiz, denied the accusations, but admitted having met with Alemán to discuss politics. (See Comments)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Shipping industry prepares for economic turnaround

Canal Daily OperationTampa Bay Business Journal - by Larry Halstead Staff writer - There were no Pollyanna words of encouragement for shipping in 2009 at an American Association of Port Authorities conference Thursday. Richard Wainio, Tampa port director, said 2009 is going to be “a very difficult year.” James Brennan, partner with Norbridge Inc., a Concord, Mass.-based management consulting firm for the transportation and logistics industries, echoed that assessment. Brennan spoke to more than 100 shipping industry executives, representing ports and vendors around the world, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa. Even with potential bailout money, there would be a lag of perhaps 18 months before any shipping industry infrastructure projects could be completed and provide benefits for the economy. Manufacturing inventories have risen since 2002 and any economic recovery would have to be predicated on companies working off those excess inventories, Brennan said. Brennan predicted it would be the first half of 2011 before the economy returns to normal, although it should begin to turn around in 2010. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama Ranked #9 in World - Baseball by IBAF

Sports Section

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) recently released their world rankings, with Panama ranked as #9 in the world thanks to their participation and results in several important baseball events through 2008. Specifically, Panama finished 3rd in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, 11th in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, and 14th in the 2006 Baseball World Cup for most of the 197.64 points awarded. Panama also scored points for a 6th place 2008 finish in the COPABE Americas Cup/Continental Championship as well as for participation and results in other regional tournaments. Teams ranked above Panama are Cuba (1), USA (2), Korea (3), Japan (4), Chinese Taipei (5), Netherlands (6), Canada (7), and Mexico (8).

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Appeals court weighs Manuel Noriega's challenge of extradition order

Panama News BY JAY WEAVER for the Miami Herald - Lawyers for Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, the former Panamanian dictator incarcerated in a Southwest Miami-Dade prison, faced tough questions Wednesday from an appeals court that seemed to support his extradition to France rather than his repatriation to Panama. Noriega, a convicted narcotrafficker who was captured by the U.S. military in 1989, is challenging an extradition order on French money-laundering charges in hopes of returning to his native country. Noriega, 73, asserts his status as a prisoner of war entitles him to be repatriated to Panama under the Geneva Conventions. But the federal judge who granted him POW status in the original trial in Miami has ruled the United States can extradite him to France, setting the stage for Wednesday's appeal arguments. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama gov't says consumer prices slowed in Dec

Money MattersPANAMA CITY, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Consumer prices in Panama slowed for the second straight month in December as falling energy, utility and transportation costs offset higher food prices, the government said on Wednesday. The Comptroller General's office said the consumer price index fell 0.4 percent in December. Consumer prices in November were down 0.6 percent. Local housing, water, electricity and gas prices dropped 6 percent in December, while transport costs were down 2.3 percent. Food costs, however, rose 1.4 percent. Inflation in the 12 months through December was measured at 6.8 percent. No comparative figures were immediately available. Panama, which uses the dollar as its currency, traditionally enjoys lower inflation than the United States. But last year, high global food and fuel prices combined with strong domestic demand drove inflation rates to their highest levels since the early 1980s. In recent weeks, pensioners and public workers took to the streets to protest the high cost of living. In the 12 months ending in December, food prices jumped 14.9 percent and transport costs rose 10.2 percent, largely due to high international oil and food prices through most of the year. President Martin Torrijos, who faces presidential elections in May, has tried to head off unrest with energy subsidies and food discounts for the poorest families. (Reporting by Andrew Beatty; editing by Gary Crosse)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Spanish businessman gunned down in Panama

Crime & PunishmentPANAMA CITY, Panama (CNN) -- Police on Thursday said they found the car stolen from a Spanish businessman who was gunned down a day earlier after exercising at a park in Panama's capital. Officials have not named any suspects or revealed a motive in the shooting death of Manuel Machin Ramos, 49, the local director of the Spanish petroleum company Cepsa. "He was a respected and loved person," said company spokesman Ignacio Rodriguez-Solano. "We lament these sad circumstances." Rodriguez-Solano said he could not provide personal information on Ramos, who was a "longtime employee." According to information provided by the company and the Spanish Embassy in Panama, Ramos was driving away from Omar Park in a residential part of Panama City on Wednesday morning when his car was intercepted and fired upon by an unknown number of assailants. They then stole his car. Barely alive when an ambulance arrived, Ramos was transported to Santo Tomas Hospital, where he died, officials said. Police found his car Thursday morning on the outskirts of the city, but no other details were immediately available. Ramos family members were believed to be traveling from Spain on Thursday, as were two representatives from Cepsa. The oil company's office in Panama City remained closed after the shooting. Cepsa, which mainly refines crude oil and markets petroleum products, employs more than 11,000 people in nine nations, the company says on its Web site. In addition to Spain and Panama, the company says it has offices in Algeria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Peru and Portugal and sells its products worldwide. The company is also involved oil and gas exploration and production, natural gas operations and the generation and sales of electric power. In Panama, Rodriguez-Solano said, Cepsa operates oil bunkers along the Panama Canal.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama Arrests 4 in Connection With Murder of Spanish Oil Company Head

Crime & PunishmentLatin American Herald Tribune - PANAMA CITY -- Panamanian police said they arrested four people on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Manuel Machin Ramos, head of the Panama subsidiary of Spanish oil company CEPSA. The suspects were picked up late Wednesday afternoon in the poor Panama City neighborhood of Rio Abajo, media outlets reported. While a police source told Efe that "the investigation remains open," diplomats at the Spanish Embassy said they had yet to hear anything official about the case from Panamanian authorities. The local head of operations for Compañia Española de Petroleos S.A. was murdered Wednesday morning near a Panama City park where he regularly exercised. Witnesses told Panamanian media the Spaniard was shot by two assailants who then fled in the victim's SUV. Machin was taken to San Tomas Hospital, where he died of a gunshot wound to the stomach, Dr. Einar Cruz said. Police, who suggested that theft could have been the motive for the shooting, apparently tracked down the suspects by following the trail of the stolen SUV. CEPSA PANAMA was established in 1998 as part of the Spanish company's strategy to supply bunker fuel in the world's principal ports.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Johns Hopkins to manage Panamanian hospital

HealthcareAssociated Press - Johns Hopkins Medicine International announced Wednesday that will take over day-to-day management of a Panamanian hospital, expanding upon an earlier agreement in which it provided educational and consulting services. The Baltimore-based international arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine said it has entered into a seven-year agreement with Hospital Punta Pacifica in Panama City, Panama, that gives it complete managerial oversight of the 75-bed hospital. Harris Benny, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine International, said the expanded role puts the two institutions "firmly on the path toward our shared mission of raising the standard of health care in Panama and the surrounding region." Johns Hopkins Medicine International also has clinical affiliations with hospitals in Chile, Turkey, and Japan; manages three hospitals owned by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company in the United Arab Emirates; and jointly owns and operates an oncology unit in Singapore. (See Comments)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Now More Than 8,000 Articles on Panama-Guide.com!

What is PG?

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - For the record, today's article about the guys in Chiriqui who are splitting away from Juan Carlos Varela was the 8,000th article published by this website (whew.) Today I received an email that started off with "Dear Don, I sincerely appreciate your work, sifting through the Panama news for your readers. I'm certainly a fan, and a daily visitor, as the Panama guide is my primary source of information here. Thank you." Why, you're very welcome. And I must say, I have the most fun when I get to "go off" in the comments section and voice my opinion (for what it's worth.) I'm sure sometimes you agree with me, sometime's you might think I'm a nut, and that's as it should be. Just so long as you keep coming back (grin). I'll let you know when we hit 9,000. That should happen sometime in May or June 2009.

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

A New Crop Of Police Cadets Begin Training

Schools & Education

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The Superior Training Center of the Panamanian National Police received about 85 new cadets, 65 men and 20 women, who will spend the next five years as cadets in officer training. Those who finish the training and graduate will be part of the 12th graduating class from this institution. The mission of the Superior Training Center (CES) is to prepare the future officers of the Panamanian National Police force, within a disciplined superior education system, oriented towards professional excellence, adjusted to the national and institutional reality, based on solid moral and ethical principles that will make the public servant respectful of the national constitution and laws. Upon graduating the cadets will receive the rank of Second Lieutenant in the National Police with a guaranteed job and Bachelor's Degree in Police Public Administration from Panama's National University.

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panameñistas in Chiriqui Break With Varela, Look For Martinelli Alliance

Politics By Elmer Enrique Quintero for El Siglo - They are asking their members to form a grand opposition alliance. A group of Panameñistas in Chiriqui decided yesterday to take a walk in the shoes of the people and to join a movement called "Panameñistas For A Real Change" that demands that the Panameñista Party ally themselves with the Cambio Democratico political party and to form a true opposition that, according to them, should be led by Ricardo Martinelli. "We think it is evident Martinelli is leading in the polls and as good Panameñistas, we have to look for a dialog in order to form an alliance and to support Ricardo Martinelli," said Roiner González, a spokesman for the group. "We are delivering a joint opposition attack, to support the candidate who really has a chance of winning," he added. (See Comments)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Spanish Businessman Killed In Car Theft

Crime & Punishment By Kathyria Caicedo for Telemetro Reporta - According to preliminary reports, delinquents murdered Spanish businessman Manuel Machín Ramos as they tried to steal his car in the area of Via Porras in the San Francisco neighborhood of Panama City. Apparently Manuel Machín finished exercising in the Parque Omar and then left the park using Calle 66 in San Francisco when he was intercepted by a gray Hundai Accent with license plate 452753. Manuel Machín Ramos was injured by the attackers and abandoned - the attackers fled the area in a Toyota Prado owned by the businessman. Machín Ramos was assisted by residents in the area and taken to the Santo Tomas hospital, where later died. At the moment, the Direction of Judicial Investigation is starting their investigation into this murder.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

CSS Strike Could End Today

Protests & DemonstrationsBy José Edwin Sánchez M. for La Critica - Panama's Office of Social Security (CSS) has offered a $60 per month wage increase that would be effective as of June 2009 to striking administrative workers. The administration of the CSS proposed a $60 per month wage increase effective in June 2009 for all administrative employees. In addition, they offered a productivity bonus under two different scenarios. The first - a $175 annual bonus based on a satisfactory work evaluation dated after June 2009. The second - a $200 annual bonus that would be paid starting in December 2009, based on an evaluation of work from the same year. The CSS Administration would be amenable to paying the increased wages starting in 2009 for all employees who have not received a wage increase since 1 January 2006. With this new alternative presented at the negotiation table, the CSS administration looks to end the strike that has already cost the institution more than $20 million dollars. On Monday the leadership of the ANFACSS labor union announced they would present their counterproposal but in fact they never did, and this is when the CSS administration presented their proposals in order to try to end the strike. The leadership of the ANFACSS, through its president Guillermo Gotti, stressed they cannot decide and that it will fall to the union members to decide if they will accept or not the counterproposal presented to them yesterday. "As long as there is no final decision the strike will continue and it will not be until sometime Wednesday afternoon when we might have an answer," said Gotti. If the proposal is accepted they could be signing an agreement this afternoon and everything will return to normal. Today the strike enters its tenth day and so far has cost the CSS more than $20 million dollars.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

"Transmóvil" Bid Delayed in Panama

Cars & Transportation By SHELMAR VÁSQUEZ SWEEN for La Prensa - The date for the government bid that would have selected the company responsible to supply and manage the 420 new buses for Panama City's new "Transmóvil" public transportation system, originally scheduled for the tomorrow morning, 15 January 2009, has been pushed back to the last week of this month because the the organization responsible for administering the bidding process has not yet finalized changes to the charge sheet. A group of seven vehicle manufacturers and distributors sent a document to the Ground Transportation and Transit Authority (ATTT) emphasizing deficiencies in the original charge sheet.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Obama to work to pass Bush trade deals: Democrats

Money MattersWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama wants to win approval of stalled free trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, but further work is needed on two of the pacts, Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday. "The president-elect wants to work with Republicans and Democrats to get those trade agreements moving," House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said during an organizational meeting to outline the panel's priorities for the year. Earlier this week, outgoing President George W. Bush said failure to win approval of the three agreements was one of the biggest disappointments of his second term. Bush lost a showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year when he tried to force a vote on the Colombia free trade agreement, despite concerns that Democrats had raised against violence toward union workers in Colombia. It was never the case that Colombia was "a bad trade agreement," Rangel told reporters. Rather, the issue was "whether the administration was prepared to insist on the protection of labor leaders in Colombia." In the case of South Korea, the main issue blocking that pact was the Bush administration's unwillingness to change auto provisions that many Democrats believe favored South Korea's automakers too much, Rangel said. "If they fought as hard for cars, as they did for beef, we wouldn't have that problem," Rangel said, referring to the strong pressure the Bush administration put on South Korea to open its market to U.S. beef. (Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Anthony Boadle)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Copa Holdings Announces 16.5% Traffic Growth for December 2008

Cars & TransportationPANAMA CITY, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Copa Holdings, S.A. and its Copa Airlines and Aero Republica operating subsidiaries, today released preliminary passenger traffic statistics for December 2008. For the month of December 2008, Copa Holdings' system-wide passenger traffic (RPM) increased 16.5%, while capacity (ASM) increased 20.0%. System load factor for December 2008 was 74.2%, a 2.2 percentage point decrease when compared to December 2007. Copa Airlines passenger traffic (RPM) for December 2008 increased 17.7%, while capacity (ASM) increased 22.0%. This resulted in a load factor of 75.2%, a 2.8 percentage point decrease when compared to December 2007. Aero Republica passenger traffic (RPM) for December 2008 increased 10.8%, while capacity (ASM) increased 11.1%. Load factor for the month was 69.4%, a 0.2 percentage point decrease when compared to December 2007. Copa Holdings, through its Copa Airlines and Aero Republica operating subsidiaries, is a leading Latin American provider of passenger and cargo service. Copa Airlines currently offers approximately 144 daily scheduled flights to 45 destinations in 24 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In addition, Copa Airlines provides passengers with access to flights to more than 120 other international destinations through code share agreements with Continental Airlines and other airlines. Aero Republica, the second-largest domestic carrier in Colombia, provides service to 12 cities in Colombia as well as international connectivity with Copa Airlines' Hub of the Americas through flights from Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Medellin and Pereira. Additionally, in May 2008, Aero Republica increased international service by launching direct daily flights to Caracas, Venezuela from the cities of Bogota and Medellin. CPA-G SOURCE Copa Holdings, S.A.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Emerald Monkey: Striving to be the First Ever 'Zero Carbon Footprint' Luxury Resort and Residences

Real EstateBOCAS DEL TORO, Panama, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Emerald Monkey Eco-Luxe Resort and Residences is the newest development to be announced in the Caribbean. This one of a kind development is located in the Archipelago region of Bocas del Toro, Panama on Isla Pastor (Shepherd Island). This property has been designed to be the first "Zero Carbon Footprint Project" in the world. Kimberly DeLape of Island Living Resorts states, "You can't help but to fall in love with the warm people and beautiful islands of the Archipelagos of Bocas del Toro. It's one of the finest locations I've ever visited in the Caribbean. The islands offer a great diversity of breathtaking attractions including the amazing white sand beaches, magnificent coral reefs in crystal clear water, and magical mountainous rainforests." (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Beaches, jungles and a canal in Panama

Travel & TourismBy ROGER PETTERSON for MSNBC - Many people see the scenery of Panama only in passing, from the deck of a cruise ship passing through the Panama Canal. But if you take the time to visit, you'll find even more scenic countryside, tropical birds and plants, and reefs for diving. Panama's official Tourist Bureau — http://www.visitpanama.com/ — (click on the tiny U.S. flag for the English version) offers a Destination of the Month, promoting spots such as the Anton Valley, an area of wildlife, villages, festivals and long-distance hiking. If you're more interested in the coast, look under "Where to Go" for "Islands, Coasts ..." in the category drop-down menu for information on spots such as La Barqueta beach, for kite surfing, or Boca del Drago, for scuba diving. Open up the menu again for "Mountains" and places including the Baru Volcano, Panama's highest elevation. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

6 nations accused of fishing violations

FishingWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government said Tuesday that a half-dozen foreign nations are engaging in illegal or unregulated fishing. Officials said they plan consultations with France, Italy, Libya, Panama, China and Tunisia in hopes of getting those countries to take corrective action. "Illegal fishing is a global problem that is depleting fish stocks and hurting the economies of nations and the livelihoods of people who depend on sustainable fishing," said Dr. Jim Balsiger, acting assistant administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service. It is the first time NOAA has reported specific countries as engaged in such fishing. After consultations, the agency will either certify that a country has taken corrective action, or list it as still engaging in illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing, in which case that nation's vessels may be denied entry into U.S. ports and the president may prohibit imports of certain fish products from that nation. According to NOAA's report, in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, fishing vessels of identified nations were using illegal fishing gear, fishing during a closed season or not complying with reporting requirements. In the Pacific Ocean, it said, vessels violated an international rule requiring any ship fishing for tuna in the eastern Pacific be listed by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, which manages tuna stocks in that area.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks