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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 04:03 AM EDT

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Bush Tax Cuts not just for the 'Rich'

Money MattersSo who did benefit from the tax cuts? Which group of taxpayers fill the US Treasury with $s? Who is paying the bills? What’s the bottom line on Federal employment and payrolls? This article will address each of those questions. I’ll separate and deal with the employment figures at the end and explain the tax cut effects first. I know many of you get bleary-eyed at lists of numbers, but there are some interesting things to think about that might help you make an informed choice in the Fall. For those who want the cliff notes version, see the table at our website www.panusatsvc.com (the .txt format to submit to p-g.com doesn’t translate tables very well). (more)
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Is This Our Boy? Michael Sanders on Federal Probation

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I did a little Internet digging on the name "Michael Sanders," running on the assumption this is the real and actual name of the "Hillbilly Bandit." Now of course, "Michael Sanders" is a relatively common name. But how many people named Michael Sanders are on Federal Probation and potentially involved in a robbery and murder of a armored car driver in Arizona in 1994? Sounding better. If you're interested, check out this link and search for "Michael Sanders." For those of you who don't want to wade through this decision I've boiled it down... (more)

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The "Hillbilly Bandit" Still In Custody in Panama

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A quick update on the "Mystery Scammer." Officials from the Panamanian National Police searched the room where he was staying in Chitré, hoping to find evidence linking him to several home invasion robberies of foreigners in Panama City. The police finger printed "Hillbilly" on Friday and have sent the prints into Interpol and the FBI in the United States to try to obtain a positive identification. He was transported from Chitré to Panama City under the name of "Michael Sanders" and supposedly law enforcement officials had a passport number associated with this individual. That name, Michael Sanders, has popped up in the past, along with other aliases such as "Jimmy" and "Hillbilly." From October 2006 to at least February 2007 he passed himself off as "David Ursprung" using the stolend identity of another US expat in Panama of the same name. To some at this point he was "Uncle Dave." (more)

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Lawyer Morgan Called to Trial for Slander and Defamation

Law & Lawyers By Juan Manuel Díaz C. for the Panama America - Panama's Eleventh Criminal Court called lawyer Juan David Morgan to trial for the crime of "calumnia y injuria" (slander and defamation) in damage to Maritime Judge Calixto Malcom. In her decision judge María Luisa Vigil de Laneado determined the case files against Morgan for this crime meet the requirements to open a criminal process. The judge established 13 October 2008 as the date for the hearing. Maritime Judge Calixto Malcom presented two complaints for slander and defamation against lawyer Juan David Morgan after a series of publications appeared in the months of January and September of 2005, in which Morgan supposedly he made injurious allegations against him.
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"Decisions According to Law and the Constitution" - Mitchell

Law & Lawyers By Virgilio De León for La Prensa - "We are sorry about the consequences that have occurred, but the Judicial Branch exists to make decisions in accordance to law," said yesterday Panamanian Supreme Court President Harley Mitchell, in talking about the recent decision by the Third Room. The court recently declared null and void, based on the fact it was illegal, a resolution issued by the (now defunct) Inter Oceanic Region Authority (AIR) granting a concession to the Paradise Beach Corporation to build a hotel on Kobbe Beach where Herman Bern build the Playa Bonita Intercontinental Resort and Spa. Mitchell said the important thing is to determine if the decisions are handed down in accordance with existing law and the constitution.
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Waked Group Asking MEF for Playa Bonita

Law & Lawyers La Critica - The law firm of Cochez - Martinez and Associates requested Panama's Ministry of Economy and Finance to award to a company owned by Ahmad Waked the 24 hectares of land in the area of Kobbe Beach where the Playa Bonita Hotel has been constructed. The request comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision which nullified an April 2003 ARI resolution granting Herman Bern's Paradise Beach Corporation the concession to develop the lands at issue, in damage to a company called Desarrollo Urbanístico del Atlántico who has retained Cochez - Martinez as their lawyers. (more)
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Mexico seizes nearly US$12 million (€7.8 million) bound for Panama

Crime & PunishmentInternational Herald Tribune - MEXICO CITY: Mexican authorities said Saturday they seized nearly US$12 million (€7.78 million) in cash during an inspection of a Panama-bound shipping container in western Mexico. The money was discovered Thursday in the port of Manzanillo during a joint anti-organized-crime operation by customs, the navy, police, soldiers and prosecutors, but wasn't fully counted until Saturday afternoon, the agencies said in a joint statement. It was found stuffed into 20 boxes inside a container that departed from the Mexican city of Toluca and was to be loaded on a Liberia-flagged ship bound for Panama, according to the statement. (more)
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Cessna Strikes Four During Practice Landing at Calzada Larga

Cars & Transportation La Estrella - Four people who were exercising early yesterday at the Calzada Larga airfield were run over by an airplane with tail number HP-1486 from the Aviation Training Center (ATC), when the pilot was making a practice landing. (Photo Credit: Levi Cruz) (Note: The aircraft involved is a Cessna 152 II, is owned by "Fly Corp" is the business behind the Aviation Training Center flight school. The aircraft shows letters after the end of the registration number, indicating commercial registration, but that is not reflected in the Panama Public Registry.)
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Airplane Hits Kids While Landing at Calzada Larga

Cars & Transportation By Rafael Luna Noguera for La Prensa - Uncontrolled access to the runway at the Calzada Larga airfield continues to be a subject of controversy. Yesterday the pilot of an airplane landing there could not avoid several young people who were using the runway to play, and struck four of them with the left wing. A press release from the Panamanian Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC) said the plane involved in the incident belongs to a flight school called the Aviation Training Center. The two occupants in the airplane were unharmed. Those who were injured are in stable condition.
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US Weighs Plans to Fortify Panama-Colombia Border

Panama News Javno.com - Darien frontier is a haven for Colombian rebels and drug runners who take advantage of the area to evade authorities. The United States is studying whether to equip Panama with sophisticated radar technology to monitor its troubled border with Colombia, a U.S. diplomat told Reuters on Thursday. The official said Panama had presented proposals for the United States to provide military hardware that would help Panama guard its remote and heavily forested Darien frontier with Colombia. Darien is a haven for Colombian rebels and drug runners who take advantage of the area to evade authorities. (more)
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Gobs and Gobs of Brand New Real Estate Inventory

Real Estate

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Yesterday I received an email from a real estate agent promoting about 40 or 50 mostly new apartments in Panama City. According to Stuart Jackson from GSL Real Estate, "there's quite a few buildings being delivered in the next two months, so many people who bought into those buildings at preconstruction prices want to sell them now at full market value, before they have to close, pay off on their commitment, and actually take possession of the property." (more)

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As Usual - Ornstein Blows It and Doesn't Check Facts

Panama News

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Ultra left-wing communist wacko Okke Ornstein is trying to come back from the grave, and he did so by basically re-writing an article of mine. He added a few other twisted thoughts and sent it into The Narco News to be published. Anything for a By Line. Ornstein screwed up (as usual.) There was one policeman injured in the exchange of gunfire, and one of the Colombian FARC members was killed. Ornstein (incorrectly) reported that a policeman was killed in the exchange. The rest of the bullshit political spin is all his. Lukewarm and just basically wrong, as usual. Anyway, it will probably generate a few visits so whatever... This boy should buy a shoe-shine kit or something because he's really not very good at this whole writing and reporting gig.

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 lawmaker wanted by U.S. won't seek reelection

Panama News PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - A top Panamanian lawmaker wanted in the United States for the murder of a U.S. soldier will not seek re-election later this year, Panamanian media reported on Friday. Pedro Miguel Gonzalez's election last year to the head of the National Assembly irked the U.S. government, which has an arrest warrant out for Gonzalez on suspicion that he gunned down Army Sgt. Zac Hernandez in Panama in 1992. Gonzalez was acquitted by a Panamanian court but Washington said it was deeply disappointed by his election and said it would hurt relations between the two countries, who had been trying to tie up a trade deal. "With all the problems that have occurred I am not considering re-election," Gonzalez was quoted as saying in the daily La Prensa, adding however that he would not step down before his term expires on August 31. (more)
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Spring Ahead - Fall Back

Weather

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This weekend people in the United States will be changing their clocks to "spring ahead" one hour. We here in Panama don't change our clocks, so starting this weekend and until next fall we will be on the same time as Central Standard Time. The East Coast will be one hour ahead of us until the fall.

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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Stay for 90 Days on a Tourist Visa - And Then Get The Hell Out

Immigration Issues

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This from Hunter Schultz - "Spent a few minutes at Migracion this am with a friend doing the tourist visa dance. Bottom line: Once your 90 days are up, you leave. No extensions. At least for Americans and Canadians anyway. There were more countries on the list so they are not targeting just a few. That's what they told us and it's printed on a little sign next to Window number 1. Cheers, Hunter" It's pretty clear now that the 30 - 60 thing is no longer an issue. You can come in as a tourist and stay for a maximum of 90 days total. There is no longer a need (as the law says) to apply for an extension at the 30 day point. But, when you hit 90 days you either have to have applied for some other status (or get the hell out.) Thanks for the update, Hunter.

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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Newsflash - Panama Does Not Break Diplomatic Relations with Colombia

Panama News

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Ecuador's President Rafael Correa visited Panama yesterday as part of a regional sweep to complain about Colombia's raid into Ecuadorian territory to kill FARC guerrilla commander Raul Reyes. Today Nicaragua also severed diplomatic relations with Colombia in support. The news flash is that during their conversations here in Panama, Martin Torrijos probably listened to Correa and then said no, Panama will not be falling in line. Here's the truth and fact - Reyes was a murderous narco-terrorist, directly responsible for the deaths of thousands in Colombia. Hugo Chavez needs a regional war to remain in power, and to attempt to realize his vision of recreating a Bolivarian Pan-Latino state based on a communistic model. It's not going to work, but there is a good possibility thousands might die while he tries to make it happen. Chavez is very, very dangerous.

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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The MEF, Kobbe Beach, and Mr. Glen Champion

Law & Lawyers

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Last night the US Ambassador to Panama William Eaton held a reception at his residence on the eve of the inauguration of Expocomer 2008 with Panamanian, regional, and international business leaders. While covering the event I talked to Glen Champion, the Vice President of Bern Hotels & Resorts Panama, and had the chance to talk to him about the recent decision by the Panamanian Supreme Court to nullify the 2003 ARI resolution granting them a concession to build and operate a hotel on Kobbe Beach, now known as Playa Bonita. (more)

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Daniel Craig To Wed

Entertainment MTV.co.uk - Sources say he will marry his film producer girlfriend after he’s filmed the new 007 film… Daniel Craig is set to marry his partner Satsuki Mitchell this year, according to reports. The Sun says the James Bond star proposed recently with a fancy Cartier diamond ring. Craig is currently filming Quantum Of Solace- the latest 007 thriller- in Panama with his love at his side. Mitchell is a film producer who is 11 years younger than Daniel, they met on a film set in 2005. The couple (pictured above) are expected to tie the knot after he wraps shooting the flick- which is due out in November this year.
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Cuba Takes Part in Panama's Expocomer Fair

Money MattersHavana, March 5 (acn) Cuba is attending the 26th International Commercial Fair Expocomer 2008, to run for four days in Panama City beginning this Wednesday. The international fair officially opens March 5 with a ceremony at the Anayansi Theater, of Atlapa Convention Center, in the capital of Panama, reported EFE. Domingo Latorraca, the president of Panama's Chamber of Commerce, said in a press conference that more than 600 exhibitors are expected at the fair including both national and foreign enterprises. He said he expects the event to exceed last year's transactions, valued at 128 million dollars. Latocarra pointed out that Panama's Canal authorities will make presentations on the impact of the canal in world trade. They will also talk about progress in the expansion of that water course. The fair is being attended by Cuba, Taiwan, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia, Italy, Costa Rica, France, Israel, El Salvador, the United States, China and Spain.
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Mexico's Calderon pushes for Panama trade deal

Money MattersPANAMA CITY, March 5 (Reuters) - Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday said Mexico was ready to talk to Panama about restarting stalled discussions on a free trade deal. In a speech to open a regional trade exposition in Panama's capital, Calderon said he had instructed Mexican officials to move toward resuming the discussions, which have taken place sporadically since the 1990s. "We're ready (to negotiate)," Calderon told businessmen. Free trade talks have been hampered by differences over Panama's laws against money laundering, which Mexico and other countries have criticized as not tough enough. A trade agreement with Panama would help Mexico diversify its trade from the United States, where it sends 80 percent of its exports. During his visit, Calderon also announced Panamanians will no longer need visas to visit Mexico. Panama's economy expanded 11.2 percent last year and is expected by the government to grow 9 percent in 2008. Major Mexican firms Cemex (CMXCPO.MX: Quote, Profile, Research), a cement maker, and ICA (ICA.MX: Quote, Profile, Research), a construction company, are already present in Panama. Telecommunications firm Claro, controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is in the running to operate a new mobile phone network. (Reporting by Andrew Beatty; Editing by Xavier Briand)
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Blown Tire on a Semi-Trailer

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This is just one of those things you run into down here often. The standards for things like buses, trucks and tires is "drive them until the wheels fall off" (literally.) The most dangerous thing you'll do in Panama is drive.



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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University of Panama Wants Back 1,000 Hectares of Land Near Gatun Lake

Real Estate By Santiago Cumbrera for the Panama America - Jacinto Cárdenas would be neighboring his boss, Wintson Spadafora, who also has property along the shores of Lake Gatún. Squatters, investors, and even a Substitute Magistrate of Panama's Supreme Court who was in the past the Director of Agrarian Reform, have their eyes on part of the more than 1,000 hectares of land owned by the University of Panama (UP) on the shores of Gatun lake in La Chorrera. In question is the property known as "Las Mercedes," donated by Castara García to the UP on 19 December 1995, and is inscribed in tomo 122, folio 54, for the university to create a School of Agriculture and to conduct experiments, according to inscription number 1409 in the Public Registry. (more)
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Expocomer 2008 Starts Today at Atlapa

Foreign Direct Investment By Roberto González Jiménez for La Prensa - The Atlapa Convention Center plays host to Expocomer 2008, the largest commercial fair in Central America and the Caribbean, which starts today and will run through the weekend. The show will be inaugurated by Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Interest in the show has grown there will be more countries and companies represented than ever. According to the President of Expocomer Fernando Arango their income has already grown 7% compared to last year, and they would have been able to do even better if they had a larger facility to host the convention. Some companies were not able to participate for lack of space. This is the 26th edition of Expocomer, which will be attended by more than 600 exhibitors from more than 30 countries. Last year more than $127 million dollars in deals were signed during the show. Organizers hope to be able to surpass that total with this year's show.
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Panama: Colombian Drug-Trafficking Route to US

Crime & PunishmentPanama, Mar 3 (Prensa Latina) Colombian drug traffickers have continued to use Panama as a route to smuggle drugs into the United States, the world's largest market of illegal substances, according to reports published on Monday. In a lengthy article entitled "Open Space for Drug Trafficking", the newspaper La Prensa revealed the existence of 36 clandestine landing strips, which are used by drug traffickers in Panama. First Anti-Drug Prosecutor Jose Abel Almengor told the newspaper that the situation is worse because there is no control in the Colombian cities of Buenaventura and Santa Marta, where the drug is shipped. Almengor admitted that the fight against drug trafficking in Panama is very difficult with Colombia on the other side of the border. He added that due to poor surveillance, clandestine landing strips "are a paradise for drug traffickers," whose pilots know that Panama's radar systems cannot detect flights below 1,640 feet. Almengor pointed out 50 private runways have been registered with the Civil Aeronautical Authority (AAC) but 14 of them are not included in any aviation map. Sources from the sector said that unauthorized planes land in many of those runways and their owners cannot prevent that situation, the newspaper reported. President Martin Torrijos said on Saturday in Parliament that the Police's naval and air services would merge to reinforce surveillance of Panamanian territory. Panama lacks an armed force since the US invasion of the country on December 20, 1989.
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USGS and USAID Announce U.S.-Panamanian Action in Response to a Joint Study of Panama’s Baru Volcano

Earthquakes US Geological Survey - A network of seismic instruments has been placed around Panama's Baru Volcano to help detect an eruption and mitigate danger to surrounding communities. The Panamanian government funded the instrumentation, completed by the University of Panama's Department of Geosciences, in swift response to a Joint Study of Panama's Baru Volcano, which revealed that it is a potentially active volcano that has the possibility to erupt again. No unusual activity has taken place at Baru Volcano since 2006, when an earthquake swarm occurred beneath the volcano, which had been slumbering for more than 400 years. (more)
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Lingo24 Develops its New Team of Professionals in Panama

Foreign Direct Investment NewswireToday - London, United Kingdom - Consolidating its reputation as the best provider of fast and high-quality language services to customers around the world, Lingo24 opened a new centre of operations in Central America earlier this year. The new home of the web’s fastest-growing translation company, Panama is a favoured location of successful businesses around the globe. More than just the country of sunny beaches and welcoming people, where tourism is a national industry, Panama also stands out as the most industrialised country in Central America, having maintained strong and thriving economic growth over the last few years. (more)
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Construction workers lead fight against police murder in Panama

Protests & DemonstrationsBy Luke Stobart for Socialist Worker - "You were a good son, a good father, a good brother and a good husband. I only hope that you give strength to your brothers and sisters to keep fighting." Those were the emotive words of a grieving mother speaking at the funeral of Al Iromi Smith, a construction worker recently killed by police in Panama. Smith was a 28-year old activist in the Suntracs union in the city of Colón. He was shot in the back by police as he entered hospital after receiving a plastic bullet wound on a demonstration. Suntracs is a radical and relatively strong union of 40,000 members. It had been protesting against the lack of safety on Panama's construction sites – last year 25 construction workers were killed at work. (more)
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Panama Chiropractic Mission May 2008

Expat Tales By Michael Dorausch for the Planet Chiropractic - A Chiropractic Mission to Panamá has been scheduled for May 24 through May 31, 2008. After weeks of communication, I received an e-mail earlier last week from Lina Guillen, that the humanitarian mission trip has been confirmed. Lina told me that she has met with Juan Carlos Navarro, the mayor of Panama City, and the country will be preparing for the arrival of volunteer chiropractors on May 24th. After nearly 11 years, I continue to receive e-mails every week regarding former trips to Panamá. I hear from people we took care of there, I hear from chiropractors looking to participate in future events, and I hear from people that want to duplicate the model of service in other countries. It pleases me greatly to be announcing a 2008 Chiropractic Mission Trip to Panama. (more)
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Panama International Merchandise Mart - PIMM

Foreign Direct Investment (Press Release) The Panama International Merchandise Mart (PIMM) is currently under development near Panama's Colon Free Zone and is Latin America's first wholesale merchandise mart. Now you can book a showroom, office and or condo at PIMM's new website (www.pimm.com). When you do, projections prove you can make US$2 million in sales, with lower overhead, in your first year. Are you a manufacturer, wholesaler, importer or exporter that wants to access the Latin American marketplace through PIMM? What does a showroom in the Panama International Merchandise Mart offer? Statistics released by ECLAC, the World Bank, the IMF and others prove that Latin American economies grew by between 4% and 5% in 2007. As a result, consumer spending is up. (more)
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International Journalists Call Ruben Blades "Hostile"

Panama News By Saúl Quintero Quirós for El Siglo - Canadian journalist Patricia Alvarez of the newspaper "Presencia" described the poor treatment she received from IPAT Director Rubén Blades as "an act of disrespect and humiliation" when trying to obtain an interview, because after having traveled so far, someone should have taken care of them. "I am very embarrassed for the Panamanians, who are very warm and who have as a manager of the Panamanian Institute of Tourism (IPAT) a person who was rude to two international journalists who only wanted to learn more about Panama and to promote the country," she said. She said that after trying for a month (to schedule an interview with Blades) they decided to go to one of the activities in which Blades would be present, but to their surprise, after having waited for his arrival for more than one hour, when they identified themselves as journalists from Canada and requested an interview, he said to them "Lady, get away from me, I don't know you," even though she had a press credential and a photographer. (more)
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