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Saturday, December 20 2014 @ 12:55 PM EST

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PaNETma.com Now Providing My Internet Service

Internet & Technology

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Just a quickie - as you might remember I told Cable Onda to pound sand awhile ago and now PaNETma.com is providing me with high-speed symmetric Internet connectivity at 6 mb (+) up and down. Check 'em out, and make sure to tell them you heard it from me. Good luck.

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

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Five Customs Officials To Be Charged For Corruption

CorruptionBy Rocío I. Martins A. for El Siglo - It's possible irregularities have been occurring for years. Five employees of Panama's National Customs Authority and a private customs agent are being investigated by Customs Control for their alleged involvement in a scheme that has cost the government thousands of dollars in lost revenue since 2007. Vilma de Luca, the Director of the National Customs Authority (ANA), said they have already sent the results of an internal audit to the Nation's Comptroller containing key information so the state can determine the actual total of lost government funds. So far it has been possible to determine that the government employees involved, among them two who work in the computer department, falsified certain documents and only paid $1 one dollar in import taxes to pull cars from the lots containing recently arrived vehicles. Once they obtain a legal opinion based on the information contained in the comprehensive audit, they intend to forward the information and evidence to the Public Ministry so that charges can be pressed against the employees involved for the crimes related to their conduct.
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Jackknifed Truck Blocks Road to Centennial Bridge

Cars & Transportation By Denise Lara for Telemetro Reporta Early this morning an 18 wheeler carrying a heavy container loaded with scrap metal jackknifed on the road leading from the Centennial Bridge towards Panama City near the National Baseball stadium. The accident caused traffic to be blocked for about an hour and a half in both directions while the disabled truck and container were cleared from the roadway. Some people were able to turn around and use other routes to arrive at their destinations, but most just stayed in their vehicles and waited for the accident to be cleared. Apparently the driver lost his brakes and control of the truck, causing the accident. No one was injured.
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Nobody Supports Miguel Antonio Bernal

Politics
By Meredith Serracín for the Panama America - Panama City mayoral candidate Miguel Antonio Bernal said he does not support any presidential candidate, and that none of the candidates have offered their support to him. Bernal, who said he feels satisfied with the work he's accomplished thus far and that he feels confident he will win the 3 May election. According to the recent Dichter & Neira polling data Bernal is receiving only 12.9% support, and he said that these kinds of polls are necessary and one should take them for what they are, a snapshot of the moment. "The people are tired and I'm going to do away with the monopoly of partisan politics that has prevailed during the recent years in the mayorship of Panama City," he said. According to the Dichter & Neira survey, Bernal scored below the PRD candidate Bobby Velasquez and Panameñista party candidate Bosco Vallarino. Velasquez, in spite losing some of his lead, still heads the polling data with 46.8%, followed by Bosco Vallarino with 32.1%. According to the same poll, the candidate for the Cambio Democratico party Ricardo Martinelli leads with 44.3%, followed by the pro-government candidate Balbina Herrera with 31.3%, Juan Carlos Varela with 14.1% and Guillermo Endara with 2.5%. (See Comments)
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Holy Crap! Ricardo Martinelli Leading in Polls By 13% !!!

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - That's a huge lead, and much larger than I expected. According to polling data released last night, in a poll taken between 2-4 January 2009 by Dichter y Neira, Ricardo Martinelli from the Cambio Democratico political party is now pulling 44% of adults who intend to vote, compared to 31% for Balbina Herrera from the ruling Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) political party. In this poll Martinelli increased his lead over Herrera by four points while support for Herrera remained static (no change.) Juan Carlos Varela from the Panameñista party dropped from 18% to 14%. So, it would probably be fairly safe to conclude the additional four points picked up by Martinelli in this poll most likely reflects the shift of people changing their support from Varela to Martinelli. Guillermo Endara still barely registers a pulse at 2%. (more)

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Traffic Pattern Changes in Banking District

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - There have been some changes made to the traffic flow in the banking district, specifically between Ave. Balboa and Calle 50 and the area near the Hotel Marriott. Thanks to Russ for sending me this map:

The map says it all. There's an ATTT press release which describes the same changes depicted on the map, but you can figure it out.

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

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Hedge-fund manager held in fraud

Expat TalesBy Henry K. Lee for the San Francisco Chronicle - An alleged hedge-fund scam artist being sought by the FBI was arrested at San Francisco International Airport after arriving on a flight from France, authorities said. Alexander James Trabulse, 61, was taken into custody Monday, according to U.S customs and border protection officials. He appeared later that day before U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Laporte in San Francisco and is to return to court on Friday. His arrest came three days after federal prosecutors charged him with mail fraud in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Trabulse sent account statements to investors in his Fahey Fund that inflated the fund's returns by as much as 200 percent, while using investor money to purchase cars and finance shopping sprees for family members, authorities said. In 2006, about 165 investors had invested $17.6 million in the Fahey Funds, investigators said. Trabulse misled those investors into believing that their investments were worth $50 million when in fact they were worth $12 million, authorities said. The alleged victims were told that their money was being invested in various securities, commodities and currencies, but investigators concluded that more than 20 percent of all invested assets included things like rugs, real estate in Southern California, France and Panama, art and jewelry, FBI Agent Kelvin Zwiefelhofer wrote in court papers. Trabulse was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007 in connection with the case. In April, U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco entered a final judgment against Trabulse, ordering that his assets be liquidated and that he pay a $250,000 civil penalty. The SEC said Trabulse misused fund assets to pay for personal expenses and to buy cars, a $25,000 home theater system and his ex-wife's overseas shopping allowance. Trabulse let his daughter use a debit card linked to one of the fund's bank accounts to buy furniture, airline tickets and to pay for her 2007 honeymoon in Panama, the commission said. Over the past three years, Trabulse had spent about half his time in France, Zwiefelhofer wrote.
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Interpol head touring Latin America

Crime & Punishment PANAMA CITY, Panama, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The head of Interpol is on a three-country tour of Latin America to discuss national and regional policing initiatives with top security authorities. Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble is meeting with leaders in Panama, Costa Rica and Argentina. The official trip through Latin America is part of an effort to discuss the tools and services that Interpol provides around the world to address policing initiatives regionally and at the national level, Interpol reported. Noble, who is expected to meet Friday with Anibal Domingo Fernandez, Argentinian minister of justice, and Nestor Jorge Valleca, head of the Argentinian Federal Police, was in Panama Tuesday to recognize a group of police officers who recently arrested a Colombian fugitive less than 24 hours after Interpol issued an alert. "This case was a model of transnational police cooperation and what can be achieved through coordination between officers on the street, Interpol National Central Bureaus and the General Secretariat headquarters in France," Noble said in a statement. "We have seen, time and time again, that regional initiatives within a global context can have a significant impact on international policing."
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Panamanian workers protest for more pay

Protests & DemonstrationsXinhua - A group of workers from the Social Security Cashbox (CSS) of Panama on Wednesday protested on the main avenue of Panama city, demanding higher pay. They blocked the Transistmica Avenue, which links the center with the east of the city, for more than four hours, according to local media. The general secretary of the Association of Officers and administrators of the CSS, Guillermo Gotti, said that the protest was to demand a salary rise of 75 U.S. dollars per month and a productivity bonus to compensate the high cost of living. The workers also urged the government to raise the quality of the medicines that the CSS gives to Panamanians with social security, and to improve their working conditions. The director of economic affairs of the CSS, Eduardo Carrasquilla, responded that the government does not have the resources to satisfy the demands of the protestors. The demonstrators said they would continue the protests until they achieve their goal.
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Why bananas are a parable for our times

Panama NewsBy Johann Hari Columnist, London Independent - Below the headlines about rocketing food prices and rocking governments, there lays a largely unnoticed fact: bananas are dying. The foodstuff, more heavily consumed even than rice or potatoes, has its own form of cancer. It is a fungus called Panama Disease, and it turns bananas brick-red and inedible. There is no cure. They all die as it spreads, and it spreads quickly. Soon - in five, 10 or 30 years - the yellow creamy fruit as we know it will not exist. The story of how the banana rose and fell can be seen a strange parable about the corporations that increasingly dominate the world - and where they are leading us. Bananas seem at first like a lush product of nature, but this is a sweet illusion. In their current form, bananas were quite consciously created. Until 150 ago, a vast array of bananas grew in the world's jungles and they were invariably consumed nearby. Some were sweet; some were sour. They were green or purple or yellow. (more)
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Nations Hotel Panama, Following the Rules or Real Estate Investment

Real EstatePanama City, Panama, January 08, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Recently the so called "Hot Spots" have gone very cold in the past few months and there are numerous given reasons for the different cases but at the end of the day no one can ignore the fact that a good investment is based round 2 "Golden Rules". Location & Demand. GLS Property Services have teamed up with the Nations Hotel Panama to bring to investors and buyers a project that adheres to those 2 "Golden Rules". Rule # 1 Location - Nations Hotel Panama is located right in the heart of Panama City close the entertainment centre and the banking sector. Rule # 2 Demand - There is a huge demand for hotel rooms in Panama City, anyone who has tried to book a room there recently will support this statement. Panama is one of the few place not directly affected by the credit crunch. Tight banking polices on lending and limited outside foreign investment has kept the banks in Panama in the black. It is a well known fact external investment in Panama has been strong in the past few years. So now Panama has re emerged at the "Hot Spot" for investment quite and the reasons being so simple. Panama strengths are not based solely on Tourism, the Canal has always been its main income and now with the canal expansion well underway the need for more accommodation will continue. However Panama will be indirectly effected by the credit crisis there will be a slowing down in sales as less buyers are looking to spend money but globally Panama does offer investment potential that will be missing elsewhere in the World. Buyers who previously might have considered Dubai, Spain or even Asia should now re think there strategy and look towards Panama as a better and more stable option. Anyone wishing to obtain more details on Panama should contact GLA Property Services S.A.
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Credit-Crunch Should Boost Overseas Property Investment

Real EstateHartlepool, United Kingdom, January 08, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Liam Bailey, chief market analyst for overseas property portal Property Abroad said: "The effect the global credit-crunch has had on overseas property markets has been nowhere near as bad as it could have been. But one negative effect that I have seen is that it has caused a lot of people who bought overseas property as an investment in the last 2 years putting their properties back onto the market, in a flurry of panic. This has been especially true in established markets. But as the credit-crunch has grown worse, overseas property has continued to become an even more favourable investment -- especially for those with substantial savings. " "There are still many opportunities to secure guaranteed rental yields of between 6 and 10% per year for between the first two and three years of the investment, far higher than the annual interest of any bank at the moment. After the guaranteed rental yield ends the credit-crunch should and probably will be over -- though several recent surveys show it isn't affecting tourism anyway. I would definitely recommend that those who have substantial savings buy overseas property in emerging markets -- preferably with guaranteed rental yields." (more)
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Tropic Thunder: The Panama Jazz Festival

Bands & Musicby John Oseid for the Daily Traveler - Should you be in the vicinity of Panama City next week (anywhere between Canada and Chile, basically), drop into the Panama Jazz Festival. The sixth annual event series runs January 12 through 17 and I promise you: It is going to jam. Has there been a more celebrated saxophonist working over the last 50 years than Wayne Shorter? The legendary Jazz Messengers and Miles Davis alum brings his quartet, while Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés leads his own quintet. Let the video above whet your appetite: The virtuoso Valdés reunites with his 90-year-old father Bebo, who just happens to be one of Cuba's greatest pre-Revolutionary pianists, to play Ernesto Lecuona's gorgeous classic "La Comparsa." (more)
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Cuban Sports Trainers Travel to Panama

Sports SectionHAVANA, Cuba, Jan 7 (acn) The group is comprised of specialists in physical culture, recreation and sports, in general. The head of the delegation, Rene Jimenez Sagarra, told ACN that they will work in Panama until next July at the request of the Panamanian National Institute of Sports. Jimenez added that the contingent will split in eight groups that will make their contribution in 15 districts, mainly focusing on community work. “We will implement the Cuban experiences in this field there as we have also been doing in Venezuela,” Jimenez stressed. He recalled that the work of Cuban sports technicians in Venezuela has allowed this country to achieve unprecedented results in regional and international sports events and added that they expect to achieve the same results in Panama.
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Contemporary clothing articles from the collection of Jerry Martin are on view at the Wichita Art Museum

Panama NewsBY JOANNA RAMONDETTA Wichita Eagle correspondent - Colorful, bold, intricately patterned and exquisitely crafted aptly describe the Central American textiles on view at the Wichita Art Museum. The pieces are contemporary clothing articles from the collection of Jerry Martin, director of the Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology at Wichita State University. It is a staggering exhibition, both in the aesthetic punch it carries and in the sheer number of pieces. Stephen Gleissner, the museum's chief curator, said they represent only a fraction of Martin's collection. Martin has been collecting textiles from regions in southern Mexico and Guatemala since the mid-1990s. But his interest in the indigenous peoples of Central America began in 1963, when he had a chance to study the Cuna and Choco Indians in Panama. The visit not only sparked his interest in a career as an anthropologist, but also laid the foundation for his lifelong passions for traveling and collecting ethnographic art. (more)
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Ship catches fire in Suez Canal, blocks oil tankers

Panama NewsISMAILIA (Reuters) - A Panama-flagged ship caught fire while passing through the Suez Canal on Wednesday, temporarily blocking oil tankers from the waterway, canal sources said. Most ships were diverted around the fire, but canal officials would not allow oil tankers to pass because of the danger, said the sources, who did not give their names. They gave the name of the ship as Shingal and said it was carrying 60,000 tonnes of goods, without giving further details. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire was unclear, they said. The ship caught fire in the southern part of the canal, as it was crossing from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, the sources said. The 190-km (110-mile) waterway linking Europe and Asia is a main foreign-currency earner for the Egyptian government.
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Murcia Wants DMG Shops Reopened

Panama News Colombia Reports.com - DMG director David Murcia Guzmán says that, unless the Government allows his company to reopen its doors, there will be no money to pay the people who invested in the suspected pyramid scheme. One of Murcia's lawyers, Dagoberto Charry, expressed his client's thoughts saying that "if the company is operating, there will be enough money for everybody. If not, the money won't even be enough to pay the providers," he said. Murcia also proposed a co-administration, in which the company's management would be divided between the Colombian government, himself and investors. Charry stressed that the national authorities have no way to prove that DMG's capital was earned through illegal activities as drugs trafficking or paramilitarism. The 28-year-old Murcia was arrested in Panama on November 19th and extradited to Colombia a day later. He has been held by authorities since and is suspected of illegal gaining of resources, money laundering, illicit enrichment and the organization of criminal activities.
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6th Annual Panama Jazz Festival Starts Next Week

Bands & MusicSource: The Panama Jazz Festival Website: American jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter's acclaimed quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade, and the legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes are among the headliners at the 6th annual Panama Jazz Festival, which will take place in Panama City January 12 through 17, 2009. The Boston-based Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez, who founded the festival in 2003 and whose Danilo Perez Foundation coordinates its educational component, anticipates more than 16,000 attendees. "The Panama Jazz Festival has been a magical journey to a dream we've had for years in Panama," says Perez. "We, as a country, see the entire world pass through the Panama Canal every day, and we are honored to be the bridge of the Americas. But today, we are proud to say that every year -- for the past six years -- the Panama Jazz Festival has been the national event where the world does not pass by, but makes a stop in our wonderful land. The world's best jazz artists, as well as students and volunteers from all over the globe, unite in Panama with one goal in mind: to celebrate the world's diversity through jazz." The 2009 festival will be dedicated to the late bassist, composer, and arranger Clarence Martin Sr., whose contributions to Panamanian jazz date from the 1940s and have influenced several generations of musicians from many genres such as jazz, classical, and Caribbean music.

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ANFACSS and CSS Fail To Reach Agreement

Protests & Demonstrations By Dudibben Jiménez for TVN Noticias - For the third consecutive day the administrative workers of the Office of Social Security (Anfacss) closed Via Transistmica in front of the Bolivar building, where employees from several health clinics and hospitals protested. After several hours, the Administrative Secretary of the Anfacss Guillermo Gotti said they did not reach an agreement in the meeting held with the CSS, because they offered a raise of only $50.00 per month and an annual bond of $150, which was rejected by the employee union. According to Eduardo Carrasquilla, the Administrative Director of the CSS, the strike by the government employees has caused a crisis that is affecting the level of care being offered to patients. The administrative workers went on strike on Monday demanding a raise of $75 dollars per month and an annual bond of $250. The governmental authorities argue the proposal would cost an additional $30 million dollars annually, making the increase impossible.
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Unemployment in Panama Down To 5.6% in 2008

Employment & Jobs Telemetro Reporta - Unemployment in Panama dropped to 5.6% in 2008 according to the Ministry of Labor, and they estimate that in 2009 the Panamanian economy will maintain the conditions necessary to continue to generate new jobs. "One should not fear an apocalyptic scenario because there are conditions to generate dignified and decent jobs," said Labor Minister Benjamin Salamín today, Wednesday, making reference to the international financial crisis. Salamín said unemployment in Panama was at 14% in 2004 and that it has been continuously lowering. "2008 closed with an unemployment level of 5.6% which is very positive - it means approximately 215,218 new jobs have been created in the country," he said. The economic activities that have contributed more to the creation of new jobs are commerce, construction, and tourism among others. The government has said sustained growth of the economy based on public and private investment has allowed Panama's poor access to new jobs. (See Comments)
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His US sentence served, Noriega fights extradition

Panama News By CURT ANDERSON – MIAMI (AP) — As the only prisoner of war held on U.S. soil, inmate No. 38699-079 gets annual visits from the Red Cross and can wear his military uniform and insignia when he goes to court. Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega frequently sees his wife and children, who make the trip to his private bungalow at a federal prison near Miami from their home in Panama. The onetime CIA operative is a dedicated news junkie, reads voraciously about history and politics and is working on a memoir. Whether the vanquished dictator's story ends in prison or freedom, at home or abroad, depends on how courts in three countries on two continents decide to punish him for his drug-running past. (more)
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Panama's Political Community All A'twitter...

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This evening for the 6:00 pm daily news the polling company Dichter & Neira will release the results of their most recent evaluation of the Panamanian political scene with regards to intent to vote in the upcoming national general election. Leaked information indicates the presidential candidate from the Cambio Democratico (CD) political party Ricardo Martinelli will extend his lead by about two to three percentage points, and will be the first candidate to break the 40% barrier with a total of about 42%. Supposedly Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) candidate Balbina Herrera will increase her support by about one or two points but she remains about five points behind Martinelli. These two candidates gain support at the expense of Panameñista candidate Juan Carlos Varela, who drops even lower in the polls and loses additional support. Finally, Guillermo Endara barely even registers as having a pulse. (more)

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Charges Formed Against FARC Guerrilla in Panama

Crime & PunishmentBy Rocío I. Martins A. for El Siglo - The Colombian FARC guerrilla still has not been positively identified. Panama's Auxiliary Prosecutor has formulated official criminal charges for "crimes against the collective security" and possession of military weapons against the Colombian FARC guerrilla who was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with units of the Border Police on 12 December 2008 in the town of Manené in Panama's Darién province. The Auxiliary prosecutor, Luis Martinez, said the interrogation of the Colombian guerrilla fighter had to be suspended because the suspect avoided answering any questions and maintained that he did not remember anything, and that the charges were formulated based on evidence found at the moment he was detained. The insurgent provided a name to the prosecutor's office which was investigated in Colombia, but everything seems to indicate the name he provided was either false or an alias, and his fingerprints were sent to Colombia in an attempt to positively identify the man. So far the government of Colombia has not responded with any further information or an identification.
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Panamanian Economist Predicts 80,000 Jobs Will Be Lost in 2009 (He's Wrong)

Money MattersBy Manuel Luna G. for La Estrella - 2009 will be a year of challenges; the global financial crisis will strike the country forcefully and the projections are not good. Economist Rolando Gordón sends the first warning, and according to his estimations this year there could be 80,000 jobs lost. Although this number is far less than the 2.8 million jobs expected to be lost in the United States, for a small economy such as ours the number calls for some reflection. Gordón's predictions are sustained in the forecasts being made by most economists who expect the economic growth in the country in 2009 to be less than 5%. Most jobs will be lost in the construction, commerce, and tourism sectors. Negative numbers began to show themselves last trimester. For example during the month of October 2008 real estate sales fell 78%. The former President of the Chamber of Commerce, Domingo Latorraca, does not talk numbers, but he agrees that the international financial crisis will effect the employment scenario in the country. Amidst this panorama, businessmen are betting that in 2010 the economy will turn around when the most significant portions of the construction work on the expansion of the Panama Canal begins. (Comments Follow)
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ANFACSS Blocks Transistmica For Third Day - They Want A Raise

Protests & DemonstrationsLa Critica - The Association of Functionaries and Administrative Workers of the Social Security Office (ANFACSS) blocked all four lanes of Via Transístmica today near the Bolivar building. While a large number of employees keep this important road blocked, a commission from the ANFACSS is meeting with representatives from the Board of Directors of the Office of Social Security. The protesters, who today enter their third consecutive day of strikes and street closings, are asking for a $75 dollar per month raise, the payment of a "productivity bond", improvements in the availability of medical supplies, and improvements to the labor structure. Guillermo Gotti, the General Secretary of the ANFACSS, said the employees want the Board of Directors to prove there are no funds for a raise. On the other hand, Eduardo Carrasquilla, director of Economic Subjects of the CSS, said through a press release that in order to grant the request for a raise the CSS would have to increase the quota paid by both workers and employers by 1%. National police officers are positioned around the edges of the protest, while vehicular traffic is being routed through the area of Pueblo Nuevo.
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ATTT Begins $25,000 Payments To Park "Diablo Rojo" Buses

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Yesterday Panama's Ground Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) made the first payments of $25,000 per bus to the owners of "Diablo Rojo" buses as part of a plan to upgrade and improve the mass transit system in Panama City. To date an estimate 1,250 bus owners have submitted the requisite paperwork to qualify for the payments. As part of the deal, once the bus owners receive the $25,000 payment for their bus, the vehicle must be immediately parked and taken out of circulation. This program could eventually cost the Panamanian government more than $31 million dollars to take all of the Diablo Rojo buses off of the road. In a few weeks the government will decide who will provide 420 new buses as a further step to improve and upgrade mass transportation in Panama City.

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

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Travis Pastrana Will Record Show for MTV in Panama

Entertainment(Source: Press Release) Panama City, Panama- The world famous American athlete, Travis Pastrana will visit Panama, Jamaica and Puerto Rico starting next weekend to film a few episodes of his new reality show for MTV. Pastrana will join his colleagues in the Nitro Circus, a group of athletes who perform daring feats by air, sea and land. During the filming a group of high-class athletes will join the crew, such as like Colombian Orlando Duque, diver world champion, and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, former boxing world champion. "We are very pleased to visit Panama, Jamaica and Puerto Rico for our new show for MTV," said Pastrana. "Last year we visited Costa Rica to film our most recent movie, Thrillbillies Doublewide, and we were eager to return to the region," he added. (more)
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Two Happy Warriors Were We

Books & Reading By Hunter Baker (The American Spectator) The Reagan I Knew By William F. Buckley, Jr. (Basic Books, 279 pages, $25) When William F. Buckley died in February 2008, it was widely known that he had been working on a book about Ronald Reagan. He died before completing the task. The unfinished nature of the work is something that should be understood at the onset. It is quite clear that The Reagan I Knew runs short of a great deal of personal reflection by Buckley on the former president. There is simply no question about it. The good news for readers is that the editorial team made skillful use of Buckley-Reagan correspondence and a series of footnotes to create a highly engrossing reading experience. Indeed, the book may have begun as the narrative story of a relationship with substantial personal reflection, but of necessity it became a successful collection of letters with a solid array of commentary by an author who pre-deceased his project's completion. (more)
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Shipping hit by global downturn

Canal Daily OperationBy Barry Turnbull, Liverpool Daily Post - Shipping lines and major ports like Liverpool are having to rethink their futures in the face of the credit crunch. The international shipping trade has been hit by the global economic slowdown that looks set to have a knock-on effect on the Port of Liverpool. Container traffic, in particular, is sharply down, which may have repercussions for Peel Ports’ plan for a £100m post-Panamax container terminal at Seaforth. Peel says it will take account of economic and financial conditions when it makes a final decision about the in-river engineering project in May. The company has obtained a Harbour Revision Order to enable the work to go ahead if the plan proves viable. Frank Robotham, Peel Ports marketing manager, said: “We are still doing detailed work on the engineering and costings, which won't be finished till next May. It is only then that we will look at the total costs and take a view on timescales. (more)
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Rough seas throw 36 containers overboard

Panama NewsThanh Nien News.com - Huge waves swept away 36 containers from a Panamanian cargo ship in central Phu Yen Province on Sunday, the provincial border guards’ office said Monday. The border guards have salvaged two containers of furniture, while one sank and others are drifting, said Nguyen Truc Thom, head of the Phu Yen Border Guards. On Saturday, the soldiers also received a drifting container from local fishermen and are investigating the case. In related news, fishermen in central Quang Ngai Province have collected many sweaters in plastic packages that swept to the coast over the past few days. The sweaters came from an unknown drifting container that was destroyed by the big waves. Reported by Trinh Ke - Hien Cu
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