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Wednesday, January 28 2015 @ 07:06 AM EST

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35% More Corruption Complaints in 2008

CorruptionBy William Sala for La Prensa - Complaints filed against Panamanian government institutions alleging acts of corruption increased 35% in 2008 compared to 2007, according to information released by the offices of the Anti Corruption Prosecutor yesterday. Prosecutors Ramsés Barrera, Yolanda Austin and Mercedes De León explained that in 2008 a total of 821 complaints were filed, compared to 520 in 2007, an increase of 291 cases. In addition these cases represent alleged acts of corruption in 56 different governmental agencies causing more than $7.5 million dollars in damages to state coffers. In addition there are twelve more cases in which the total damages to the state have not yet been determined. The scandal involving the Fund for Fairness and Quality in Education (FECE) of the Ministry of Education for $1.5 million dollars was the largest single case of the year. The theft of the sculptures of the "Juegos de Antaño" from a storage facility in the Parque Omar was also included on the report. With regards to the recovery of stolen assets, the First Anti Corruption Prosecutor Mercedes De León said those agencies or institutions affected must demand them, since it is not a function of the prosecutor's office. The prosecutors said it has been difficult to investigate these kinds of crimes because subordinates who are caught often do not want to implicate their bosses who obligate them to commit these acts. They added that rewards for $1,500 and $10,000 respectively are still in effect for the cases of the embezzlement of the FECE funds and the theft of the sculptures, respectively. (See Comments)
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Tucson Audubon Society celebrates its 60th year

Expat TalesB. POOLE for the Tucson Citizen - Perhaps it's fitting that the first order of business for the newly formed Tucson Audubon Society in 1949 was to organize a birding field trip for the 25 founding members. Birding trips are a staple of the conservation group that keeps an eye on our birds, and the Tucson chapter apparently comprises champion day-trippers. "Bird-watching field trips are a hallmark of the Audubon Society, and the Tucson chapter does more of them than any other chapter, according to some research," said Kendall Kroesen, the society's restoration program manager. The group has sponsored hundreds of trips to every corner of Arizona. A trip to Panama is planned for later this year. (more)
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Panama Focuses on Elections

PoliticsPanama, Jan 10 (Prensa Latina) Panama is focused on the forthcoming May vote in an environment characterized by revitalization of campaigns for the different posts. The election will allow Panamanians to choose occupants of the Presidency and Vice Presidency of the Republic and 621 mayoralties' representatives. Positions include 75 mayors, 71 National Assembly legislators, 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament and 7 town city councilors, with their substitutes in all cases. In this context the governing party is losing position in this candidature for the presidency of the country after announcing the first polls from January 2009. For the Dichter and Neira firm opponent Ricardo Martinelli from the Democratic Change has reached a voter intention rate of 44.3 percent in contrast to 31.3 percent of Balbina Herrera from the Democratic Revolutionary Party. Street campaigning is growing with the participation of groups defending different political tendencies.
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Sector Snap: Drybulk shippers soar as rates rise

Canal Daily OperationNEW YORK (AP) -- Drybulk shipping stocks leaped Friday as the rates for the biggest drybulk vessels on the seas hit their highest point since October. Capesize vessel rates jumped 20 percent Friday, Dahlman Rose analyst Omar Notka said, as excess vessels supply continues to shrink, driving up prices for remaining vessels. The cost to charter a Capesize vessel has leaped nearly 50 percent in the last week, he said. Capesize vessels are so named because they are too big to fit through the Panama or Suez Canals and must instead navigate around the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn to travel between oceans. "Other sectors of the market are more muted, but Capesize momentum is carrying through to some extent," he said. Two out of three other vessel classes posted minimal gains on Friday. Also Friday, Lazard Capital Markets shipping and logistics analyst Urs Dur raised his price target on drybulk company Diana Shipping Inc. to $17 from $14 and reiterated his "Buy" rating, suggesting the company is low-risk compared with its peers. In afternoon trading, Diana Shipping rose 77 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $14.91. DryShips Inc. gained $1.94, or 12.8 percent, to $17.07 and Danaos Corp. added 75 cents, or 7.9 percent, to $10.21.
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IPTV Makes Rapid Strides in Latin America

Internet & Technology By Eve Sullivan, TMCnet Editor - IPTV (Internet Protocol television) is emerging as the buzzword in Latin American’s telecommunications industry, as several operators have either started testing the waters or intend to do so. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Internet Protocol Television Services Markets in Latin America,” finds that IPTV service is beginning to see widespread deployments in the region, as traditional telecommunications service providers try to complete a triple-play offer. “Traditional telecommunications providers are increasingly feeling the heat of competition from cable TV service providers bundling TV, Internet, and telephony,” explains Ignacio Perrone, industry manager at Frost & Sullivan. “To retain their market share and reduce churn, they may also have to join the IPTV bandwagon and increase their wallet-share among their client base.” (more)
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Torrijos to SICA Summit in Nicaragua

Panama NewsPanama, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) Panama President Martin Torrijos will attend the 30th Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) on January 15 in Nicaragua. Foreign Minister and Vice President Samuel Lewis said the President will return home on the 15th itself but attending this summit will help attract investments, prosperity and domestic development. He added that Panama has been able to create new jobs and hit new levels of prosperity and development thanks to international arrangements and contacts with investors and other governments. The SICA Summit will address key issues when the world deals with an economic crisis that affects many countries. An irresponsible behavior in that scenario would result in retrogression in poverty fighting and creating opportunities.
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FTA between Panama, Honduras takes effect

Money MattersTrend Capital - The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Panama and Honduras took effect on Friday, which will facilitate the circulation of 80 percent of the goods between both countries, the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici) said, Xinhua reported. According to Mici, the commercial agreement will allow the free circulation of goods, intensify the services sector and create opportunities for bilateral commercial exchanges, which totaled 165 million U.S. dollars. The agreement was signed in June 2007 by Panamanian President Martin Torrijos and his Honduran counterpart Manuel Zelaya after one-year negotiations. For the Panamanian production sector, the accord means preferential deals on the trade of 400 tons of bovine meat and 100 tons of pork meat in two years, as well as quotas on other products like milk and cheese. Honduras is considered the third largest market of exports for the Panamanian products and one of the most important destinations of the re-exports in the Colon Free Zone, the main commercial center of the region. Meanwhile, 17 percent of the Honduran exports are sent to Panama. Honduras' main investments and credits also come from Panamanian banking institutions, with a credit portfolio of over 236 million U.S. dollars. In addition, the Panamanian financial and insurance institutions will extend their operation to the Honduran market, where there is a growing maritime industry that needs those services.
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Panama Now Using Satellite Technology to Monitor Commerical Fishing Fleet

Fishing

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - According to a press release from the Panamanian Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP), the government will begin using satellite technology to more closely monitor the activities and behavior of Panama's commercial industrial fishing fleet. ARAP Director Dr. Reynaldo Pérez Guardia recently signed resolution #46 which informs the owners of industrial fishing boats weighing more than six gross tons that they had until 20 December 2008 to obtain and install the mandatory system in order to be granted fishing licenses. These systems are now required and will allow for governmental oversight of the activities of the commercial fishing fleet, specifically to prevent fishing in protected areas.

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 Photographer Exhibited At Prendergast Library

Expat Tales By Nicholas L. Dean for the Post-Journal - Suzette A. Paduano answered questions about how she captures such magical moments Friday night at the Prendergast Library Art Gallery. A Panama resident, Mrs. Paduano's exhibit, entitled ''God's Creations, My Inspirations,'' will remain on display through Feb. 6. ''I just want to show people what I see,'' said Mrs. Paduano, who shoots most of her photographs around her home. ''I didn't go to school for this. I've always taken pictures, but really just started three years ago. I've only been developing for two-and-a-half years. It's really just an outlet to something creative.'' Now the president of the Jamestown Audubon Society Photo Club, Mrs. Paduano's work on display now at the Prendergast Library looks like it must have taken years to compile - though she says it was all recently shot within the last six months. Many photos of birds she shot from within her home, through her kitchen window. (more)
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"China" Run Down by Diablo Rojo in Crosswalk on Via España

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This morning a woman of Chinese descent was hit by one of Panama's famous "Diablo Rojo" (Red Devil) buses as she tried to cross Via España using a crosswalk, near the Blockbuster where Via Argentina meets Via España. When I arrived on the scene and started talking photos of the accident, immediately witnesses told me "hey, take a picture of the potatoes, there's the proof..." The woman had walked up to the corner store to buy a couple of potatoes and carrots to make lunch, and she was hit while returning to her store, the Electronica Caribe on Via España. And sure enough, there were two potatoes right in the middle of the crosswalk where she was hit. The force of the impact sent her flying about 15 meters down the street where she landed. (more)

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ANFACSS Workers in Fifth Day of Protests

Protests & Demonstrations By José Edwin Sánchez M. for La Critica - Chaos has dominated the streets in Panama as the administrative employees of the Office of Social Security enter their fifth consecutive day of strikes and protests in demand of wage increases and the payment of an annual bonus higher than the $150 already offered by the government. There were street closings again yesterday and there was rioting in Colón resulting in the arrests of members of the protesting ANFACSS. Meanwhile in Panama City protesters burned tires and closed vía Transístmica. Although it was hoped that yesterday the members of the ANFACSS would return to the negotiating table with a new proposal this never happened, and they are expected to return to negotiations today. Those that did sit down to negotiate with the administration of the Office of Social Security were the Association of CSS Employees (AECSS) who arrived with a proposal asking for an across the board increase of $150 salary for all employees of the CSS and which discards the idea of an annual bonus which they had previously solicited. The CSS said through a press release the affects of the strikes and protests are evident. Rubén Lopez, the Director of Medical Benefits, denounced that at several medical clinics and hospitals there are already accumulations of trash and garbage which could provoke an epidemic in the next few days that could affect thousands of patients. A Call For Calm - President Martin Torrijos made a call to the good sense of the striking Social Security administrative employees to consider the greater needs of the patients before making decisions. Torrijos said prudence should prevail.
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Teck Cominco cuts 1,400 jobs, 13 per cent of workforce to deal with falling prices

Gold & MiningTHE CANADIAN PRESS - VANCOUVER, B.C. - Giant metals miner Teck Cominco Ltd. says it will cut 1,400 jobs around the world to help it deal with a global slump in commodity prices. The Vancouver-based company says the cuts will reducing its workforce by about 13 per cent, and will also help eliminate redundancies after its acquisition of Fording Canadian Coal last year. About 1,000 employee and 400 contractor positions will be eliminated by the end of 2009, most of the cuts coming in the first quarter. Teck Cominco hopes the moves will save it about $85 million a year, and it will take a one-time charge of about $35 million for severance and other related costs. The company also says it will reduce coal production in 2009, due to declining global steel demand.
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New Vehicular Bridge Over Ricardo J. Alfaro (Tumba Muerto) Will Help Traffic Flow

Cars & Transportation La Prensa - The construction of a new vehicular bridge at the intersection of Ricardo J. Alfaro (Tumba Muerto) with the Avenida de la Paz (the road that goes into Cerro Patacón) and Villa Cáceres, that started on 14 January 2008 at a cost of more than $28 million dollars is now 71% finished, according to Panama's Ministry of Public Works (MOP). The construction, which is being completed by CONALVIAS S.A., should facilitate the flow of traffic and will help provide access to the two primary highways carrying vehicles toward Colón and La Chorrera and the Centennial Bridge. The total cost of the project includes the cost of indemnifications paid to residents in the area who were affected by the construction of new infrastructure, earth moving, and the placement of the new pillars that will support the bridge. It is estimated construction on the project will be completed by July 2009.
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Central America in 2009: Off the U.S. Radar

Panama NewsAbraham F. Lowenthal, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution - A generation ago, three successive U.S. presidents—Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—came to office facing high profile issues in the Central American isthmus. Carter’s first national security memorandum dealt with the Panama Canal issue, and his administration soon found itself embroiled in the civil wars of Nicaragua and El Salvador. Ronald Reagan entered office determined to “draw the line” against international communism in Central America, stepped up U.S. involvement in El Salvador and supported a major program to establish a “contra” armed force to attempt the overthrow of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. And George H.W. Bush focused early on how to extricate the United States from intense intervention in El Salvador and Nicaragua but soon undertook a massive U.S. military intervention to topple the Manuel Noriega government in Panama. (more)
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Preparing for Panama

Sports SectionBy Andrew Coakley for The Freeport News - Nothing seems to motivate guys more than competition. Even the thought of competition gets some guys revved up and prepared to "do what it takes" to compete and win. It's that thought of getting a chance to compete on the international stage that seems to be the motivating factor for members of The Bahamas Youth Football National team. Their goal is to secure their first win on the international stage when they compete in the IFAF first World Youth Football championship qualification round in Panama on January 23. It's amazing how much the members of that team have grown over the past few weeks. Of course, the 75 member team was picked out of the best The Bahamas has to offer, and the best got a little better since they began their workout sessions. (more)
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Panamanian Gov't Defines 2009 Priorities

Panama NewsPanama, Jan 8 (Prensa Latina) Education, public security and the high cost of living are the main issues Panamanian government will have to tackle during the first half of 2009, according to official sources. Cabinet Minister Rafael Mezquita pointed out that with that goals in mind, coordination has been made to guarantee that schools and public colleges are ready to begin 2009 school year. He added that the first session of the Council of Cabinet in 2009 worked on the agenda of the meeting on security, to be held here by representatives of the governments of Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala and Panama. Regarding the high cost of the family shopping basket, Mezquita noted that the government would continue to producers through credit facilities to guarantee low-cost products and to prevent speculation. In addition, the vehicles for the new public transportation program will be auctioned in January, so that the first Transmovil buses can start circulating by April.
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Still a PoW, Noriega faces extradition, more jail time

Drug Trafficking The Star.com - MIAMI – Whether Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega's story ends in prison or freedom, at home or abroad, depends on how courts in three countries decide to punish him for his drug-running past. More than a year ago, the only prisoner of war held on U.S. soil completed his sentence for drug racketeering and money laundering and thought he was headed home. Instead, American officials said he would be extradited to France to stand trial on more money laundering charges. A federal appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday on Noriega's claim that as a PoW he should be repatriated immediately. President George H.W. Bush ordered the 1989 invasion of Panama after Noriega became increasingly belligerent, ignored democratic election results and turned Panama into a way station and banker for Colombia's powerful Medellin cocaine cartel. Noriega took refuge in the Vatican embassy in Panama City and U.S. troops blasted the building with loud rock music until the Vatican complained, and Noriega finally surrendered. He was immediately flown to Miami to stand trial and has been in U.S. custody ever since. France wants to try Noriega, whose age is listed by U.S authorities as 72, on charges of laundering $25 million (U.S.) in cocaine profits through three major French banks and using drug cash to invest in three posh Paris apartments. With its own extradition request pending, Panama convicted Noriega in absentia on murder, embezzlement and corruption and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
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Insurance fraud canoeist misses father's funeral

Expat Tales Northumberland Gazette - Back from the dead canoeist John Darwin has missed his father's funeral in County Durham. The 58-year-old, jailed in 2008 for fraud, did not attend father Ronald's funeral in St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Blackhall Colliery. The 90-year-old died in a nursing home after suffering a series of strokes, a source close to the family said. The woman, who did not want to be named, added that Mr Darwin had been unable to see his son before his death. "I don't think you can be sad about someone dying in their 90s," she said. After a short service, Mr Darwin's coffin, draped in a Union Flag, was taken to Blackhall Cemetery to be buried in the bright winter sunshine. John Darwin, a former prison officer, was declared dead in 2003 after going missing off the coast of Hartlepool the previous year. Five years later he walked into a London police station claiming to be suffering from amnesia. But in the intervening five years, he hid in the next-door bedsit they owned, took on a false identity and then tried to start a new life in Panama after his wife cashed in a life assurance policy and paid off their mortgage. After his reappearance, Mrs Darwin was traced to Central America and acted surprised at the discovery of her husband. Her tale collapsed when a photograph of the couple smiling in a Panamanian estate agents surfaced on the internet. She returned to the UK and was convicted of six fraud charges and nine counts of money laundering. Her husband admitted the charges, as well as falsely obtaining a passport, and was jailed for six years.
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10 Points for President-Elect Obama's Latin America Strategy

Panama News By James M. Roberts and Ray Walser for the Herigage Foundation - Latin America and the Caribbean may not sit high on President-elect Barack Obama's foreign policy agenda, but geography, trade, investment, migration, and transnational threats draw Western Hemisphere issues inexorably closer to the top of the list. The new Administration will quickly discover opportunities and risks in the region. As a host of appointees and would-be ambassadors jockey for selection and Senate confirmation, the time is right to set down a list of 10 things Obama and the new Administration can undertake to demonstrate strong leadership for the Americas. (more)
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Third Panama Canal expansion contract awarded

Canal Expansion By Richard High for khl.com The US$ 5.25 billion expansion of the 77 km-long Panama Canal, is the largest infrastructure project currently underway in Latin America (see www.khl.com/features for more information on this project). The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has awarded Costa Rica's Constructora MECO the third of four dry excavation contracts to help create an access channel linking the new Pacific locks with the Canal's existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch of the Panama Canal). Commenting on the contract award, the ACP's executive vice president of engineering and program management, Jorge L. Quijano, said, "This pivotal step in the process to build the new lane represents just one more example of the Expansion Program's steady progress. Constructora MECO is a leading construction company in Latin America with expertise in the execution of infrastructure projects such as this one. (more)
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Governing Party Loses Ground in Panama (Martinelli by 17%)

Politics Panama, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) Panama's election scenario shows that the governing party is losing ground in the presidential race, according to a recent poll published by the firm Unimer. The survey, carried out from January 2-5 shows that Balbina Herrera, of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), is supported by 25.4 percent of potential voters, five points lower than in November. That way, Herrera is closer to Panameñista Juan Carlos Varela, who is backed by 14.9 percent of possible voters. Ricardo Martinelli, of the opposition Democratic Change (CD) party, won seven points, to 43.1 percent, compared to the voters' intention in November 2008. Results are similar than those published by the firm Dichter and Neira, which said that Martinelli was supported by 44.3 percent of possible voters from January 2-4. Guillermo Endara, of Vanguardia Moral de la Patria, ranks fourth with 0.9 percent of potential votes. Analysts said this is the first Unimer survey since Panama City Mayor Juan Carlos Navarro was chosen as Herrera's running mate. (See Comments)
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Today, 9 January, is "Martyr 's Day" in Panama

History & Reference

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The following historical recap of strife and tensions between the government of the United States and the people of the Republic of Panama was taken from Global Security.org and it's a fairly objective, historically accurate, and "middle of the road" description of the events leading up to the Panama Canal Riots that took place from 9-12 January 1964. As a result of those events, today, 9 January, is "Martyr 's Day" in Panama and it's a national holiday. These riots were the spark which led to the eventual signing of the Torrijos-Carter treaty and the return of the Panama Canal to Panamanian control. (more)

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Berklee College to Audition for Scholarships at Panama Jazz Festival

Bands & Music By Jeff Tamarkin for the Jazz Times.com - Before the featured artists for the Panama Jazz Festival step on stage, Berklee College of Music will have already put many of the country’s young talents in the spotlight to audition for the prize of music education. In the past two years, the college has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships for summer and full-time education. As part of the college’s unique worldwide search to identify outstanding musicians, a team of Berklee educators will conduct auditions and interviews on January 11 (Panamanian applicants), at Academia de Música La Nota (in front of the Multiplaza on Via Israel), 9 am-5 pm, and on January 15 (foreign applicants), at Ascanio Arosemena Theater (in classrooms behind the Theater), Panama Canal Authority, Balboa-Ancon, from 9 am-2 pm. They will select and announce winners on Saturday, January 17, at Cathedral Square, Old Panama City. Some of those chosen may attend Berklee as early as this summer. (more)
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Trump project in Panama downgraded

Real Estate By Kevin Brass - (International Herald Tribune blogs) Fitch Ratings recently downgraded $220 million of debt on the bellwether Trump Ocean Club project in Panama City, warning price declines in the city “could lead to higher than expected default rates for existing buyers.” At the very least, the Fitch assessment provides a glimpse into the way the financial community is reevaluating even well performing developments in the wake of the credit crunch. Trump Ocean Club - To date, prices in the Trump project, where low-end units typically cost around $500,000 (€370,000), have remained “stable,” Fitch notes in its report on Newland International Properties, the developer. However, between August and October of 2008 the project “experienced a significant decrease in project absorption rates.” (more)
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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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