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Wednesday, July 30 2014 @ 11:10 AM EDT

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'Missing' canoe man and James Bond help raise Panama profile

Travel & Tourism(Source) Overseas property investment news - Fly to let Panama is being heralded as having something for everybody when it comes to Fly to Let investment as buyers have a choice of mountains, beachfronts or city life in Panama city itself. Ironically tourism interest in Panama, which has grown substantially in recent years, was given a boost by the headlines surrounding ‘missing’ canoe man John Darwin. It coincided with the release of the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace, which was partly filmed in Panama. One tour operator Journey Latin America, reported that sales to Panama have increased by 249 percent in the last year. All Fly to Let properties are very affordable and acquiring them is a fairly straightforward for foreign buyers who get the same property ownership rights as the country’s population. Plus the government in the South American country is trying to attract foreign investors by announcing an extension to the property tax exemption laws on both new and old property transactions. Panama City continues to develop with luxury properties usually in high-rise buildings for sale. These apartments are popular and are often sold off plan. If the high life doesn’t appeal, there is still plenty of choice of other existing city apartments and houses which are often cheaper than the new developments. The cooler climate in the mountain countryside is also attractive and just as affordable. The most popular areas are in Chiriqui province. Those looking for beachfront opportunities will find plenty on the Panama coastline which is still being developed.
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FAQ: Please Add Me To Your Mailing List

Why Panama & Frequently Asked Questions

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I get this one all the time - "Would you please add this e-mail address to your e-mail list. Thanks. Alice" I send out an email broadcast practically every day containing links to the headlines I publish on Panama-Guide. The easiest way to receive those broadcasts is to subscribe to the Panama-Guide Yahoo! email group. This group is not a social chat group and its only function is to give me a way to quickly and easily broadcast the headlines. If you want to get the headlines and participate in a social chatting network about Panama, then you can join the Americans in Panama Yahoo! email group, which has almost 4,000 members. Thanks for your interest.

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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Oh Yeah, About Link Submissions...

What is PG?

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I almost forgot - if you submit a link then I probably won't approve it unless you are following the guidelines established in our long-running Link Exchange Program. It's always best to follow that up with an email, and please put enough bells and whistles on it to get my attention so that it doesn't get blown off into the waste pile of spam and junk. If you send it in and don't get a reply, fire off a reminder in a day or two with something in the Subject line like "Hey Don!" I mean it, I'm pretty dense sometimes. I love to swap links with other websites, but they must have English language content that's somehow related to the Republic of Panama - that's my niche. For example, there are five link submissions sitting there right now and I have no way of knowing if those dudes have already linked to me - and I also don't have the time to go banging around their websites to find out. So, if you want to swap please follow the guidelines, and thanks for playing...

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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Contributing to Panama-Guide for Publication

What is PG?

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The best way to get something published on Panama-Guide is to follow Don King's example. If you'll notice I just published two articles he wrote and submitted. If you want to appear in Panama-Guide please follow these guidelines:

  • Identify Yourself: I generally won't take much from anonymous sources. If you want to feed me a hot tip or something but don't want me to use your name, then I will have to be able to verify your identity and the information you're providing. If I can do that then I can trust the validity of the information and protect your confidentiality as a source. And for the record, literally dozens of people have come to me in confidence with sensitive information and I have never once violated that confidence, and I never will. But for these kinds of articles it's better to just use your own name (and get the credit and the "By" line.)

  • Your User Account: It's much better to sign up with a user account on the website and submit your article by hitting the "contribute" button (found towards the top of the page.) For your user account, please try to use your real name so the article will appear as "Contributed By" you and not "sparky69" or something similar.

  • Don't Try To Advertise: If your "article" is really nothing more than a commercial advertisement cleverly disguised as an article then chances are I'll be able to penetrate your clever plan - and probably not post it. Our motto here at Panama Guide is "if you want to advertise, write a check." You'll probably get a nice return on your investment anyway, so why not? Any anyway, you might be clever, but we're clevererererer... (grin)

But other than that, there are thousands of things out there you can write about, social issues, public service, community events, or just venting your spleen. It's nice to hear other voices, so join in. The articles posted by Don King today are perfect examples - Bocas del Toro is open for business, and they need to do something about juvenile home robberies. Hey, you guys live in your communities and you know what's going on a whole lot more than I do, so use this website as a kind of community bulletin board to let everyone else know what's going on where you are.

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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Bocas del Toro, Burglaries, and Solutions

Crime & PunishmentI’m originally from Florida, but I have lived in the Province of Bocas del Toro in the town of the same name on Isla Colon for 5 years now. It’s sort of like saying I live in New York, New York. My wife came down about a year later. We came to this place of amazing beauty to get away from the commercialism, crime, and outrageous costs of our home country, but more importantly we came to Panama to start a family and a new life. We now have two children ages 3 and 1, both were born in Panama. We are proud they were born here and we are happy to still be here. There was petty crime here when I arrived 5 years ago, but the number of burglaries in the past five months seems to be on the rise among both locals and expats. The main source appears to be a small number of local juveniles (all known by the authorities) who have apparently discovered a loophole in the legal system. (more)
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Bocas del Toro, Tourism, and Geography

Travel & TourismBocas del Toro along with other areas of Panama made local news recently, due to flooding and heavy rains from a stalled storm front. The news typically mentions Bocas del Toro, but people outside of Bocas do not realize that both the Province (a huge area) and the main tourist town on Isla Colon, both have the same name. It's like saying, "I live in New York, New York". When tourists hear the name Bocas mentioned they think of the town, when the news media may be referring to and in this case was referring to the Province. There was damage due to flooding and mudslides in the mainland portion of the Province, but all the tourist activities generally occur in the islands. The recent storms caused minimal problems in the town of Bocas,but many problems in the rest of the Province. The town of Bocas was up and running as soon as the airlines felt confident to fly again and gasoline was delivered. There was never a loss of power, water, or a shortage of food (except for vegetarians) in the town. All hotels, restaurants, and tour companies are fully operational. We welcome you to come and experience the magic of Bocas Town and the surrounding islands and to be able to proudly say, "Columbus Slept Here"!
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Panama City Mayoral Race Starting To Heat Up

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Well, maybe "heat up" is the wrong term. How about "getting out of the chair." Most of the second tier politicians have been relatively quiet for the past few months, waiting for the 3 May 2009 date of the Panamanian national general election to get a little closer before they start spending their precious resources to gain votes. Over the weekend PRD candidate for Panama City Mayor Bobby Velazquez held a rally in Rio Abajo with a "Mother's Day" theme. He gave his pitch to the crowd, putting an emphasis on the problems facing Río Abajo such as street crime and garbage collection. Velazquez has a basic political handicap in that he can't really criticize the current situation very much, because if he does he will be in effect doing damage to his political mentor, the current Mayor of Panama City Juan Carlos Navarro, who is now running as the Vice President on the Balbina Herrera ticket. We are now less than five months away from the elections, so expect things to be picking up a bit and to gather steam as we get closer to the date of the election.

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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FAQ: How Much Should I Pay For A Cab from Tocumen to Casco Viejo?

Why Panama & Frequently Asked Questions

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - "Don, I was wondering if someone could tell me what a typical cab fare from the Tocumen Airport to the Casco Viejo area would be approximately. I had already called on a recommended driver - he quoted $30 - but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be overcharged unknowingly... Sorry to bother you with a trivial question like this, but I have looked on the Panama Guide site and others on the internet, and have not been able to find the info... Thank you for your time!! Ammie" No such thing as a trivial question when you're making your way around in unfamiliar territory, Ammie. $30 bucks for a cab from Tocumen to Casco Viejo sounds about right - if you're paying that much you're not being terribly overcharged. Have a nice visit.

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 To Host Meeting of Regional Foreign Ministers

Panama News

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Panama will host a meeting of regional ministers of foreign relations and commerce on 10 December 2008 under the banner "Roads to Prosperity in the Americas." According to a press release from Panama's Foreign Ministry, the goal of the conference will be to increase commerce and investment and to promote development in order to improve the lives of citizens. Regional Foreign and Trade Ministers are looking for ways to continue to attract foreign direct investment to the region as well as to promote regional commerce among the countries in Latin America in order to be more competitive with the countries of Asia. Ministers also want to expand the economic development of the region to create new jobs and to improve regional cooperation on issues such as labor and environmental law. International organizations as well as more than twenty regional ministers have confirmed they will be attending this conference. Among those who will be attending are the Secretary General of the Organization of American States José Miguel Insulza, the Secretary of State from the United States of America Condoleezza Rice, Mexico's Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa, among others. The meetings will be held at the Playa Bonita Hotel in Veracruz.

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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FAQ: Where Can A Get A Military ID Card Renewed?

Why Panama & Frequently Asked Questions

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - "Hello Don, Do you have knowledge of anywhere in Panama to get my wife's military dependent id card renewed? If not, do you know where she would need to go? I can't find anything on the Consulate website, and Homestead AFB can't help. Thanks, Bob." Sure. You can go to the Retiree Services Office (RSO), located in Building 9 on Corozal in the same area where the Panamanian police have their Institutional Protection Service (SPI). The are open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 am until 12:00 noon only. This office is manned by volunteers, and they can help you fill out the correct forms and send them to Puerto Rico where your wife's new ID card will actually be produced. In order to apply for a new card you will need a current 8 x 10 photo of your wife with a white background. Also, you will have to get the form, fill it out, and then take it to the Americans Citizens Services section of the consulate in order to have it validated and certified (no cost there, just time and hassle.) Note: Do not sign the form until you are in front of the Consul! Bring your own ID card and passport just in case. And, kids don't need an ID card until they are ten years old. Hope this helps.

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 Gov. Will Pay $25,000 For Each "Diablo Rojo"

Cars & Transportation By Jessica Tasón and José Edwin Sánchez for La Critica - Members of the "Transportation Members Movement" described the government's proposal of $25,000 as an insult. The government will pay $25,000 as compensation to the owners of the 1,500 buses ($37.5 million dollars) currently circulating in the area of Panama City and announced the purchase of 420 buses, but that will be based on the selection of a contractor. In order to justify accelerating the purchase of the buses, the government declared a "state of emergency" and consequently the publication in the "Panama Compra" system announcing the call of the purchase of 420 buses will be reduced to only ten days. All of these measures were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of the Ground Transportation and Transit Authority (ATTT) and comprise the "Process of the Administrative Rescue of the Panama City Public Transportation System." The offer of $25,000 dollars in compensation to the bus owners will be open for 45 calendar days during which time they will be able to voluntarily sign an agreement to participate. Nevertheless, the "Transportation Members Movement" has already rejected the proposal and announced they will present a counter proposal next week. Sergio Molina, a spokesman for the bus owners, said the offer of $25,000 per bus was an "insult."
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Monday is Mother's Day (Don't Forget)

History & Reference

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Just a gentle reminder that Monday, 8 December 2008, is Mother's Day in Panama and as such it's a legal holiday. Everything except retail, restaurants, and entertainment will be closed. Your maid gets the day off. So, don't forget to do something nice for all those Panamanian Mothers out there...

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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Wet Cement Floor Collapses In San Francisco, Injuring Three

Construction & Interiors By William Sala for La Prensa - Three workers were slightly injured and six vehicles were damaged yesterday when the wet concrete of the 8th floor of a new building under construction in San Francisco called "The Metropolitan" collapsed as it was being poured. Police reports indicate the accident occurred shortly before noon. According to Pedro Cortés, a carpenter who is working on the building, when the concrete pour of the 8th floor collapsed, about 9,000 pounds of wet cement fell down to the next level where several people were working and three of them were injured. In addition, part of the 7th floor cracked under the additional weight and the material fell down into the street, damaging the cars that were parked in front of the building. The accident happened because a beam supporting the floor failed, according to Gregorio Guerrel of the Suntracs labor union. The company responsible for the construction of the project was unavailable for comment.
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Idaan, IDB working on water sector diagnosis - Panama

Infrastructure UpgradesBy Renzo Dasso, Business News Americas - Panama's national water and sewerage authority Idaan is working with IDB on an evaluation of the country's potable water and sanitation sector, which will lay the groundwork for an all-encompassing modernization, Idaan deputy director Ámbar Pinzón told BNamericas. "The bank has determined the sector lacks clear policies and strategies to carry out a much-needed modernization program, considering the challenges facing the country," Pinzón said. "Coverage has seen minimum expansion and service quality has to improve. We need to clear up policies to subsidize poor communities. There are no clear criteria for setting tariffs. And currently, each entity carries out little projects with a five-year timeframe at the most," Pinzón said, citing some of the areas Idaan needs to improve. (more)
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First Russian warship in Panama Canal since 1944

Panama News COLON, Panama, (AFP) – A Russian warship was moving early Saturday through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II, after participating in maneuvers with the Venezuelan fleet symbolizing Moscow's growing military presence in the region. An official with the Panama Canal Authority said the destroyer "Admiral Chabanenko" reached the Caribbean port city of Colon late Friday, after taking part earlier this week in the joint naval maneuvers that posed a symbolic challenge to US influence in the region. The warship and its crew of 451 entered the canal at about 0200 GMT Saturday, the official said. The Chabanenko will take several hours to sail through the 77-kilometer (48-mile) long canal before reaching the former US naval base of Rodman, on Panama's Pacific coast, where it will stay at anchor for five days. (more)
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And Now For Something Really Important - There's Beer in Bocas del Toro!

Travel & Tourism

By Forrest Walker for Panama-Guide.com - Cheer Cheer, the Beer is here! Today for the first time since the storm, the beer ferry arrived in Bocas! I have not noticed any dancing in the street, but a lot a cheery people are out and about. Not only the beer, but the rest of the provisions we (I at least) was worried about are arriving as normal. Tourism still seems a bit low, mainly because most tourists that get to Bocas need the roads from either David or San Jose CR to be functioning properly, and to my knowledge they are not. The airlines are back to normal service. It appears that all of Bocas is as abnormal as ever, which makes it normal. Besides that, the weather is fantastic. I am so glad that the worst of my predictions have not come true. I will sing Hallelujah in Bohmfalks this afternoon as promised.

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

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Cable Onda - You're Fired!

Internet & Technology

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - As Popeye used to say, "I’ve had all I can stand. I can’t stands no more." When I came into my office this morning, I was thinking to myself "great, getting in nice and early, I'll have a chance to get caught up with some stuff that I wasn't able to get done this week..." But lo and behold, when I tried to start working I saw that the modem provided by Cable Onda which feeds me Internet service was dead. Well, the power light was on, and the "down-link signal" light was lit, but the "up-link signal" light was flashing and I couldn't do anything. Of course in my infinite wisdom I purchased the all-in-one plan with these guys, meaning that since this box was apparently out, then my office phones were out as well and I was forced to call their customer service line via my cell phone. I make a long story short (the longer version is down below if you care to read it) I basically fired these guys and went out to buy a Wipet box. Now, I'm happy... (more)

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Panama Petaquilla gold mine to start production soon

Gold & MiningPANAMA CITY, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Vancouver-based mining firm Petaquilla Minerals Ltd will begin producing gold at its Molejon project in Panama within weeks, the company said on Friday. The concession is expected to produce an estimated 100,000 ounces of gold by the end of 2009 and maintain those levels for at least six more years, Chief Financial Officer Bassam Moubarak told Reuters. "We will start production before the end of the year," Moubarak said. The announcement comes after lengthy delays and a series of environmental complaints about the mine linked to cyanide and deforestation. Originally the project was supposed to begin production in January this year. Petaquilla now has permission from Panama's environmental regulator to go ahead with the project, Tom Byrne, the company's spokesman, said. (more)
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SINAPROC - Still Early for Tourism to Bocas del Toro After Floods

Travel & Tourism

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - According to Jaime Quijada, a spokesman for Panama's National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), the road from David to Almirante is open to the public during the hours of 6:00 am until 4:00 pm, but it's still a very dangerous trip and only small vehicles are allowed to pass. "As a matter of fact we were just conducting soil stability studies along the route to identify areas vulnerable to potential new mudslides," he said. "The road is still very, very dangerous and right now large trucks cannot use the road." He said the goal is to continue to "normalize" all aspects of life in the province of Bocas del Toro, and that while they are making progress a lot remains to be done. I asked him specifically about the hotels and restaurants on the islands in Bocas del Toro who are hungry for tourists at the start of the peak season - "Can we safely begin to invite tourists to visit the islands of Bocas del Toro?" He said it would be prudent to "wait a few more days" for the situation to continue to stabilize and for logistical lifelines to continue to improve. "For example in Boquete they are going to have their festival, but Chiriqui was not hit as hard as Bocas in terms of widespread flooding and damage," said Quijada. "With every passing day, more water is draining or evaporating, the soil is drying out and becoming more stable, disaster relief is being delivered, and the province of Bocas del Toro continues to recover from one of Panama's worst ever natural disasters; but, it's still a little early for tourists," he said.

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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Prosecutor Investigating Panamanian Illegal Aliens in the US

Immigration IssuesBy Rafael Pérez G. for La Prensa - The Fifth Prosecutor of the Public Ministry in Chiriqui that is investigating the supposed trafficking in human beings after a group of 52 illegal undocumented Panamanians were arrested in the United States last August, requested a report from Panamanian Immigration authorities to determine if these people actually returned to Panama after having been deported from the US. Prosecutor Leonila Gaytán also asked the Ministry of Foreign Relations for a report on the procedures followed by Panamanians in order to obtain a visa to visit the United States. Now three months after the arrests, the prosecutor's office has taken declarations from at least 20 relatives of the Panamanians who were arrested in Laurel, Mississippi.
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Panama: Canal open to Russian warships

Canal Daily Operationiht.com PANAMA CITY, Panama: Panama said its canal is open to all, including a Russian warship sailing through the transoceanic waterway on Friday. The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko is the first Soviet or Russian military ship to traverse the 50-mile (80-kilometer) waterway since World War II. The U.S. government has shown little concern about the destroyer's trip through a canal that was off limits to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The destroyer's journey to the Western Hemisphere, however, reflects Russia's growing influence and anger with the U.S. for using warships to deliver aid to Georgia after its August war with Russia. Panamanian Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis portrayed the Russian canal crossing as business as usual. (more)
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IT Factory trail points to Panama

Expat Tales The Copenhagen Post - Missing CEO wanted in connection with allegations of fraud could have gone to secretive Central American country. Stein Bagger, the former CEO of bankrupt company IT Factory, could be hiding out in Panama. Bagger, who is suspected of defrauding the company of 1 billion kroner, went missing last week after a trip to Dubai. Documents discovered in a secret office used by Bagger included clear indications of his involvement with Panama. Among the documents was evidence that he had set up a company there, as well as information about a Panamanian bank account. A note was also found which read ‘Hello Allan, it’s done’. Bagger’s Danish partner Allan Vestergaard owned a 22.5 percent stake in IT Factory, although it is not clear whether the note referred to him. (more)
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Yankees, Phillies among Astros' spring headliners

Sports SectionBy JOSE DE JESUS ORTIZ for the Houston Chronicle - The Astros’ spring training schedule is highlighted by two games at Osceola County Stadium against the New York Yankees and another pair against the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Astros, who released their spring schedule Thursday, will play exhibition games against Team Venezuela on March 4 and Team Panama on March 5, as those countries prepare for the World Baseball Classic. The club will also have a split squad on April 2, when part of the team will head to Whataburger Field to play Class AA Corpus Christi while another remains behind to play the Atlanta Braves. Astros pitchers and catchers will report to their Kissimmee, Fla., facility on Feb. 14. Three days later, the position players will arrive for the first full-squad workout in preparation for the opening of the Grapefruit League on Feb. 25 against the Washington Nationals. (more)
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Petaluman helps rescue efforts in Panama flood disaster

WeatherPetaluma 360.com - Petaluma resident Dirk Ditmer was working on a project in the Panamanian province of Bocas del Toro when it became isolated by flooding after a week of nonstop rain. More than 20,000 people were displaced by the flood. Ditmer and a co-worker helped get food, clothes and medicine to the people in the town where he was working before Panamanian authorities could deliver humanitarian aid, including water, food, medicine, clothes and machines to rebuild the roads. This is Ditmer’s account of his experience. (more) (Editor's Comment: Don't miss this one.)
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Troops Aiding Panama, Costa Rica

Panama News Army News Service - CHANGUINOLA, Panama - Two U.S. military disaster-relief teams from Joint Task Force-Bravo, based at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, have delivered more than 278,000 pounds of relief supplies to victims in flood-affected communities in Panama and Costa Rica. The teams, composed of 68 U.S. military personnel from the task force, have been supporting U.S. relief efforts in both countries since Nov. 26. During the past week, the teams have flown 95 missions, using eight "Chinook" and "Blackhawk" helicopters to distribute aid and evacuate 17 flood victims in need of immediate medical attention. U.S. Southern Command directed the teams to support ongoing U.S. relief efforts in Costa Rica and Panama after authorities in both countries declared a state of emergency and requested U.S. assistance. (more)
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Russian warship to pass through Panama Canal: embassy

Panama NewsWASHINGTON (AFP) — A Russian warship was set Friday to sail through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II in a symbolic challenge to US influence in the region. The large anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko is scheduled to traverse the waterway from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, the Russian embassy in Panama said. "The only time such an event took place was in 1944 during the Second World War, when four Russian submarines passed through" the canal, said the embassy in a statement. At that time, when the waterway was under US control, both Russia and the United States were allied in the anti-Nazi coalition, the embassy added. (more)
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Crooks Use Homemade RPG to Assault Brinks Armored Car

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - What will they think of next? Innovative Panamanian thieves used a homemade Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launcher in an attempt to rob more than $2 million dollars from a Brinks armored car in the Juan Díaz area of Panama City. The criminals used two vehicles to block the road on via José Agustín Arango near the entrance to the San Cristóbal neighborhood in Juan Díaz, forcing the armored car to stop. They then brandished the homemade RPG and an AK-47 to force the Brinks security guards to surrender. The assailants handcuffed the security guards and forced them into the back of the armored car, but the guards had apparently managed to alert the authorities and the police responded to the scene. Police units engaged the assailants in a high-speed chase, which included the crooks tossing wads of cash out of the armored car in an attempt to disrupt the persecution. Officers managed to arrest one of the criminals, recover most of the stolen money, and free the Brinks security guards who had been taken hostage. (more)

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Airplane Accident in the Darién

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - According to Panama's Civil Aeronautical Authority (AAC) this morning there was an incident involving a Cessna T-207A with tail number HP-1356. The aircraft, piloted by captain Fabio Sanford, took off from the Marcos A. Gelabert airport at Albrook in Panama City, destined for the El Real de Santa María airport in the Darién province. The accident occurred at 10:38 am when one of the wings of the aircraft struck a tree located next to the runway as the pilot was landing. Five people were aboard the aircraft, including the flight crew. There are no reports of injuries produced by this accident. (Note: There were a couple of mistakes in the AAC press release - they got the name of the Marcos A. Gelabert wrong as well as the aircraft type.)

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

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Russia to Send Warship Through Panama Canal

Panama News Foxnews.com - PANAMA CITY, Panama — Russia said Wednesday it is sending a warship through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II, a short journey loaded with symbolic weight: the destroyer will dock at a former U.S. naval base, showcasing Russia's growing influence in the region. Russia appears to be relishing the idea of stopping at what was long a symbol of U.S. global power; the Russian Navy announced it would visit "the Rodman naval base" — a name that the host nation, Panama has not used since taking over the base from the United States in 1999. The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko is scheduled to enter the Panama Canal on Friday morning and arrive late in the day at what Panama calls the Balboa Naval Base. (more)
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PANAMA REGISTER PASSES 8,000-SHIP MILESTONE

Panama News Maritime Global Net - PANAMA Ship Register's fleet grew by 7.28% in terms of vessel number, in the first 10 months of this year to a total of 8,159 vessels and by 7.25% in gross tonnage, to 180.18m gt, according to the Panama Maritime Administration, quoting Lloyd's Register statistics. Newbuildings accounted for 50% of the increase. As at the end of October the main users of the Panama flag by country were: Japan, 52%,; Greece, 10%; Korea, 7%; China, 7%; Hong Kong, 5% and Taiwan, 5%. The administrator of the Panama Maritime Administration, Fernando Solorzano, said the flag had stayed the largest fleet through reinforcing safety measures, updating Merchant Marine procedures, and implementing international conventions during the year. Panama has launched biometric, digital seafarers' ID cards, with nearly 3,000 already issued in South America. The new cards are to be issued progressively worldwide.
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