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Monday, April 27 2015 @ 09:37 AM EDT

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"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)
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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)
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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.

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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)
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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)
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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.
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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.
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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)
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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.

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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.

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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)
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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.
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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.
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"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.
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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)
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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.
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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)
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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)
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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.
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Salsa star Blades donates recordings to Harvard

Bands & Music BOSTON (AP) — Salsa superstar and actor Ruben Blades has agreed to give his personal papers as well as rare recordings of rehearsals and concerts to Harvard University. The university's Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library will receive a complete collection of all the 60-year-old musician's LPs, CDs and liner notes. The archive will eventually grow to include material devoted to his political career, with posters from his failed run for the Panamanian presidency in 1994. Harvard librarian Virginia Danielson said the first components of the collection will be available in mid- to late-2009. The seven-time Grammy winner holds a masters degree in international law from Harvard. He recently announced he was leaving his post as Panama's tourism minister to return to recording music.
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Courts try to decide what to do with Manuel Noriega

Panama News By Rich Phillips, CNN Senior Producer MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- What to do with an aging, all-but-forgotten former military strongman who has served his time but is also a prisoner of war? Manuel Noriega's U.S. drug trafficking sentence ended about 16 months ago, but he remains behind bars. The controversy over the next step for former Panamanian Gen. Manuel Noriega is winding its way through the federal courts. Arguments were heard Wednesday by an appeals court in Miami, Florida. Noriega, who was captured in Panama by U.S. military forces, completed his prison sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering in September 2007 but remains imprisoned until the courts can decide where he should go. Noriega attorney Jon May told the court that his client wants to return to Panama and that the United States is obligated to return him under the Geneva Conventions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Cronin said that the government has been asked to send Noriega to France and that there is nothing in the Geneva Conventions to prevent that. (more)
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The Cuban Music Chucho Valdés at the VI Panama Festival Jazz 2009

Bands & MusicCuba News Headlines - The sixth edition of the Panama Jazz Festival 2009 was opened last 12th of January in installations belonging to the Panama Canal. About 20 halls of the Ascanio Arosemena Auditorium and Training Centre are at disposal for this event that will receive students and teachers who take part in different musical institutions, indicated. The participation of several international musicians, such as the Cuban Chucho Valdés, the US Wayne Shorter and the Panamanian Danilo Pérez, considered all of them legends of jazz, are expected to take part in the Festival. The installations of the inter ocean way will also receive the famous quintet of the Puerto Rican saxophonist Marco Pignataro as well as a recital of the US pianist Edna Golandsky. The Ascanio Arosemena centre, as well as school for students, will be the stage of concerts and workshops given by the musicians who take part in this international event. The sixth edition of the Panama Jazz festival 2009 will be held for six days, from the 12 until the 17 of January. These events started in 2003 and since that moment on it has consolidated as one of the most important cultural events of the hemisphere. The festival also has concerts in the historic centre of the Panama capital and at the Anayansi theatre of the Atlapa Conventions Centre, located next to the shore of the Panama Bay. The organisers expect to have over 16,000 spectators, which is the number of public who attended last year edition.
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Safe Foods' Cecure Heads To Panama

Foreign Direct InvestmentBy Arkansas Business Staff - Safe Foods Corp. of North Little Rock said Wednesday that its Cecure antimicrobial technology will be used in Panama. "We are pleased to see the further adoption of this proven food safety intervention in markets beyond the U.S.," Curtis Coleman, Safe Foods' president and CEO, said in a news release. The product has recently been deployed for use South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Canada. Coleman said the product has been used in the U.S. poultry industry to provide control against Salmonella, E. coli and other food-borne pathogens. Coleman also said studies are underway exploring the use of Cecure for treating the surface of certain tropical fruits to control bacteria and molds. Safe Foods’ food safety interventions are used in more than 20 U.S. food processing companies and in meat and poultry processing companies in Canada, South Africa, the Middle East and Central America.
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Templar Panama Sponsors Jazz Fest Trip

Bands & MusicPanama City, Panama (PRWEB) January 14, 2009 -- Panama City-based real estate company Templar Panama has organized a trip for children from El Valle to the 2009 Panama Jazz Festiva. The real estate company commissioned a minibus to bring 12 children and four parent chaperones to a the final performance of the festival, a free, open-air concert on in Casco Viejo's Plaza de la Catedral on January 17th. This effort grew out of Templar Panama's Christmas Toy Drive, explained Martin Lamb, Templar's President of Investment. "While organizing the toy giveaway, we had the chance to contact and develop relationships with needy families," Lamb said. "We couldn't help everyone and people's needs continue after Christmas. So we see little things like this as a way to reach more people and help them access Panama's many cultural opportunities year round." The excursion includes round-trip transportation to the concert and lunch for the group. This is the type of effort than any company can and should make, Lamb said, adding that admission to the Jazz Festival event is free, and the company rents cars for business every day. "We take things like going to a free concert for granted, but for families who can't afford transportation, even these events are usually out of reach."
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Panama's Noriega fights U.S. extradition to France

Panama NewsMIAMI (Reuters) - The fate of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was placed in the hands of a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday, as he fought another round to avoid extradition on money laundering charges in France. Seeking to overturn three previous U.S. court rulings, Noriega's attorney Jon May told a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his status as a "prisoner of war" gives him special protections under the Geneva Conventions that block his extradition. "The convention trumps the extradition," May told the judges, arguing that because of his POW status Noriega should have been repatriated to Panama immediately upon completion of his U.S. prison sentence in September 2007. That argument has been rejected before, most notably by U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler, who presided over Noriega's 1992 trial on drug trafficking, racketeering and conspiracy charges. He was the judge that granted Noriega POW status in the first place. (more)
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Balbina Herrera Returns To Her "Chola" Roots

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I caught the speech Balbina Herrera made in Penenome yesterday. Quite obviously, after having reviewed the most recent polling data, she has decided that the "nicer, calmer" Balbina Herrera simply is not working, and that it's time to go back to the screaming and yelling fiery approach she's famous for. During the PRD primary her "Balbina de Corazon" campaign had her just smiling nicely, tapping her heart, and shooting big a thumbs-up to supporters. In short, the word was that she had to try to play "nicer" in order to gain wider acceptance - that people didn't want to see the "Chola" side of Balbina Herrera. Well, yesterday she said "screw it" and went on an all-out (rather bumbling) offensive. Don't worry so much about facts and content, just come out blazing... She's down by about 15% or more depending on which poll you read so she probably thinks she had to make some kind of a change. Also, today I had the opportunity to talk to reporter who covers the political beat for one of the newspapers. I pointed out that the polling data from Jan 2004 hit the May 2004 election results just about on the head - he's going to use it because no one had picked up on that (except me, of course.) Anyway, as usual, politicians are fun to watch, especially when they're getting desperate like Balbina Herrera.

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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Panama property could offer spectacular growth

Real Estate Hot Property.co.uk - Latin American Panama enjoyed a property boom from 2006 to mid-2008, but things have been quiet in the last six months. However, in the long term Panama is to the US what Spain is to the UK, so it should always have appeal. Examples of ongoing construction are the Trump Ocean Club, a “condo” tower development by Donald Trump, and the Canal Expansion Project, which should provide a massive boost to the Panamanian property market and overall economy. It is due for completion in five years. Despite the economic slowdown Panama’s annualised growth for first quarter 2008 was 6.9 per cent. However, that was down on the figure for 2007 which was 11.2 per cent. (more)
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FAQ: Is Efferdrine Legal in Panama?

Healthcare

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "Hello, We are going to be traveling to Panama in a couple of weeks and one of our party is taking efferdrine as a supplement for weight loss. Should she be bringing it to Panama? Is it illegal there? Thank you." I have no friggin' idea. Can anyone help this person? Please add comments below, and thanks.

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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Retired Polk County judge drowns in Panama

Expat TalesBy Archie Ingersoll and Kirsten Stromsodt, Grand Forks Herald - A retired Polk County judge drowned this week while on vacation in Panama, his daughter, Jill Burggraf, said Monday. John M. Roue, 68, Crookston, died Sunday afternoon, she said. Roue was vacationing with his wife, Mary, at a friend’s villa. Burggraf said her father and stepmother were swimming when they were caught in an undertow. “She was able to escape it and Dad wasn’t. The water was waist-high, but Dad must have stepped into a hole or got caught or something.” Roue graduated from Fosston (Minn.) High School in 1957. In 1961, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with bachelor’s degrees in political science and history. He received his law degree from the U of M in 1964. (more)
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FBI Returns Pre-Columbian Artifacts to Panama

Panama News

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Today the FBI returned to the government of Panama more than 100 ancient artifacts uncovered during an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Portland Division. Deputy Assistant Director Daniel D. Roberts, Criminal Investigative Division, presented the artifacts to Deputy Chief of Mission Abey Saied, Embassy of Panama, at a ceremony at FBI Headquarters. The artifacts include a number of pottery pieces and gold works, including jewelry. Experts date many of the objects to the pre-Columbian period of 1100-1500 A.D. It is difficult to put a monetary value on the items, although some estimates range from $500-$3,000 per piece depending upon the item’s age, quality, and preservation status. (more)

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