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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 10:12 PM EDT

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Thanksgiving Dinner at the Hangout

Food & Drink

By MIKE HINTON for Panama-Guide.com - This Thursday there will be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at THE HANGOUT on Via Argentina in the El Cangrejo neighborhood of Panama City. There will be two seatings, the first at around 12:00 noon and another in the early afternoon at around 4:00 pm or so. Angel will be doing the cooking and she has additional information with regards to the menu. The cost is $15.50 per person, and please buy your tickets in advance at the restaurant as there are a limited number of tickets being sold. Later I will provide Angel's telephone number and in addition she will be mentioning the event on the talk radio station 98.9 FM on Monday morning I think.

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American Couple Victims of Home Invasion Robbery and Assault

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - An American expat and his Panamanian wife were the victims of a home invasion robbery in the early morning hours of Sunday, 4 November 2007. The assault occurred in their home in Cerro Cama, located about 5 kilometers outside of La Arenosa near Gatun Lake. The couple has lived in the area as full time residents for many years. They believe they were targeted by a local gang of criminal youths who thought they were keeping cash in the house. (more)

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Police Bust 197 Kilos at Pier 18 in Balboa

Crime & Punishment By Rafael Rodríguez for La Estrella de Panama - Panamanian national police arrested two people yesterday who were caught trying to smuggle 197 kilos of cocaine through Pier 18 which is managed by the Panama Ports Company in the area of Balboa. Reports indicate a private security officer observed two suspects who were moving through the harbor area and acting suspiciously in a car at about 10:15 Thursday evening. The security guard called the police who responded to the area. Police officers from the Canal Area as well as Investigators from the Police Directorate of Intelligence and Information (DIIP) arrived at the scene and arrested four suspects. (more)
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Government Presents Another Proposal to Striking Doctors

Protests & DemonstrationsBy Isidro Rodriguez for the Panama America - As part of ongoing negotiations to find an end to the public doctor's strike, yesterday afternoon the government presented a document to the doctor's union in which it promises not to privatize public health services. Now the doctors will study the proposal and provide a response, but they did not establish a date when they would make their opinion known on the matter. Meanwhile, government health authorities announced they had contracted five popular private health clinics to provide medical attention to both insured and uninsured patients. The contracted clinics will be located in the areas of Parque Lefevre, Santa Ana, El Chorrillo, Tocumen and in the District of San Miguelito according to information provided by health authorities.
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Getting Ready for the Start of the "Cinta Costera" Construction Project

Panama News La Prensa - The Panama City municipal government began the removal of things like light fixtures, park benches, and other public property along Balboa Avenue yesterday, as part of the preparations for the start of construction of the new "Cinta Costera" (Coastal Tape) construction project. Panama's Ministry of Public Works (MOP) announced that construction will begin at the start of next month, pending the approval of the environmental impact study. (Photo Credit - LA PRENSA/Víctor Arosemena)
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Mexican tycoon wins contract in Panama Canal expansion

Canal Expansion Mercopress.com - A consortium led by Mexican billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim posted the cheapest bid on Wednesday to win the latest small contract to expand the Panama Canal, part of the wider 5.25 billion US dollars project. The consortium beat out competitors from Colombia and the United States, as well as Mexican construction firm ICA, with a bid of 25.5 million for the excavation of 7.5 million cubic meters of earth, the Panama Canal Authority said. The awarding of the contract to the consortium –called Consorcio Cilsa Minera María and registered in Panama and Mexico– depends on its paperwork being in order. There were seven other bidders. The contract is the second, and one of the smallest, of five dredging contracts that the Panama Canal Authority has planned in its effort to double the capacity of the canal by 2014. It is the first contract won by one of Slim's firms, which he also expressed interest in bigger projects yet to be awarded, including the construction of a third set of locks.
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Cuba and the United States to battle it out for gold

Sports SectionTaipei - Cuba and the United States will battle it out for gold at the 37th Baseball World Cup in Taipei on Sunday. In Saturday's games, Cuba bettered Japan 5-3, the US trounced the Netherlands 5-0, South Korea beat Taiwan 3-0 and Australia clobbered Mexico 7-1. On Sunday, South Korea will meet Australia to vie for 5th and 6th place, while Taiwan and Mexico to fight for 7th and 8th place. Japan and the Netherlands will take on each other for the 3rd and fourth place. In the closing game on Sunday afternoon, Cuba will challenge the US to decide who takes gold and silver. Record winner and defending champion Cuba will be going for a 26th title in total while the US will be looking to beat its rival for the first time in a World Cup game and with it a third gold. Cuba was absent from the 1973 and 1974 World Cup games in which the US won gold. The US, determined to reassert its reputation as the baseball nation of the world, has sent a strong team to the 37th World Cup, with some players coming from the Major and Minor leagues. The tournament began on November 7 with 16 teams. The games have gone smoothly except for a technicality that led to Panama being stripped of its place in the quarter-finals. Panama, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Canada, Venezuela, Germany and Thailand have so far been eliminated. The tournament has been a learning experience for South Africa and Thailand - the last-minute replacement after China withdrew - as they were sent home with seven defeats in seven games.
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Panamanian Selling Imported Rice at .30 cents per Pound

Food & Drink La Critica - Panamanian President Martín Torrijos eats a plate of imported rice of the "Compita" brand yesterday that the government is distributing through a system of fairs at a price of .30 cents per pound. It remains to be seen if the government's efforts to make cheaper rice available will reduce the numbers of people protesting against inflation on Transístmica.
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Kidnappers Asking for $20,000 To Return Colombian

Crime & Punishment By Elio Núñez for El Siglo - Sources close to the investigation said kidnappers who are holding Colombian Ramón de Jesús Arroyave Castaño, the President of the "Unión de la Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa" (UMPYME) (Union of Micro, Small, and Medium Businesses), who was kidnapped this week in Pueblo Nuevo, are asking for $20,000 for his safe return. The kidnappers, according to police sources, have communicated with the Colombian's relatives and since Thursday have started a series of negotiations to get Arroyave Castaño back alive. It was also reported that yesterday afternoon investigators located a burned-out vehicle in the area of Rio Chico in Pacora that is believed to belong to the Colombian, but that information was not confirmed. (more)
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The Partido Popular Might Return to Original Party Name

PoliticsBy Míriam Inés Quintero for La Estrella de Panama - Just six years after having changed the name of the "Partido Democratica Cristiano" (PDC) (Christian Democrat Party) to the "Partido Popular" (PP) (Popular Party), the group is considering the possibility of changing the name back to the PDC. At the moment there is a proposal in the National Executive Committee of the PP, presented by the President of the Youth of the Party, Hermel Rodriguez, to return to the original name. The president in charge of the party, Camilo Brenes, preferred not to comment.
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Public Doctor's Strike Enters 11th Day

Protests & Demonstrations By Isidro Rodriguez for the Panama America - The strike continues. The National Medical Negotiating Commission (COMENENAL) in a single day changed of percentage of wage increase they are requesting. Earlier this week the doctors had presented a negotiating position to the government asking for a 45% wage increase, but now they have returned to their original demand for a 60% increase. Julio Garcia, the lead negotiator for the COMENENAL said they did this because the government lied to them. Garcia said the government has refused to put a promise not to privatize health services in writing. He said that they have denounced publicly that the single health system, which is being developed by the government without explaining how it will be financed, is really nothing more than an attempt to privatize public health services. (more)
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Marcel Salamín Now Working for Petaquilla Copper Ltd.

Gold & MiningBy Rafael Berrocal for La Prensa - The Deputy Director of Panama's National Security Council, Marcel Salamín, resigned his post last Thursday, two days after having been named as a member of the Board of Directors of Petaquilla Copper Ltd., the company that has a mining concession on 13,000 hectares of land in Donoso, Colón. In a press release from the Vancouver stock market, Petaquilla Copper Ltd. confirmed Salamin will collaborate in the elaboration of the mining plan, and clarifies that in October of 2006 the company entered into a plan of adjustment with Petaquilla Minerals, transferring 52% of the shares in the copper mining project to Petaquilla Copper Ltd.
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Panama Canal Ushers in New Fiscal Year Setting Transit Record

Canal Daily OperationPANAMA CITY, November 15, 2007 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) opened the 2008 fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) setting a monthly transit record in October for ships spanning 900 feet or more in length. A total of 164 ships of these dimensions transited the Canal last month, breaking the previous record of 159 ships, achieved in December 2006. Additionally, the daily average for registered ships 900 feet or more in length transiting the Canal in October was 5.29 per day, surpassing the previous record of 5.17 per day, reached in November 2006. (more)
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New ferry to pass through Panama Canal today

Panama News Victoria Times Colonist - Those interested in B.C. Ferries' latest vessel can view the ship online today as it passes through the Panama Canal. The Coastal Renaissance is scheduled to move through the canal beginning about 4:30 a.m. The canal trip is expected to take 111/2 hours. Built in Germany, the new Super C-class vessel is expected to arrive in B.C. in mid-December. To view the ship, go to www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html. You can also visit B.C. Ferries' home page at www.bcferries.com. to study the passage.
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Joshua Anay - Disgruntled Rex Freeman Former Insider

Money Matters

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This is the first negative communication I've received about Rex Freeman from someone who is negative about him and his operations. I have also received information from someone who calls himself "Dr. Gonzo" in Costa Rica, who I think is one of the disgruntled ex-employees who started the legal action against Freeman. This guy, Joshua Anay, still lists himself as "a member of the Executive Council with the Venture Resources Group." So apparently this guy is another disgruntled ex-employee or insider and not a former investor or someone who either lost money or was "ripped off" by Freeman - I'm still waiting for that one. Anay originally posted this as a comment to an earlier article and I'm pushing it up front here to give it fair play. I will be contacting both Freeman and Anay to hear their respective versions, and will present my take on it (for what it's worth) later. (more)

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Rodolfo "El Charro" Espino Avoiding Prosecution

Law & Lawyers By José Arcia for La Prensa - The prosecutor from Chorrera could not locate Rodolfo "El Charro" Espino, the uncle of Panamanian President Martin Torrijos, in order to officially notify him of a legal requirement to appear to testify. The prosecutor is investigating a complaint against Espino for crimes involving damages to the environment in Chame. No one lives at the address appearing the the case file. Employees of the Public Ministry went to a house in Reparto El Carmen and it was empty. A source within the judiciary said Espino's lawyers asked for an authenticated copy of the case file yesterday.
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Another Email In Support of Rex Freeman

Expat TalesGood Morning Don and Greetings from New Zealand

Don I would like to share a bit of my experience with you regarding Rex and VRG. I become involved some three years ago after a good friend and I decided to take more responsibility for our own financial freedom. We wanted some vehicle that would educate as well as providing guidance along the way. VRG at that time had just developed an automated trading system of FX that gave me control but would make the trades. This really excited us but more than anything Rex backed this up with 'The VRG Guarantee' that is if we did not make money in the first 90 days he would refund the loss. Now we have heard this sort of thing many time before in the online investment scene and did not really pay too much attention to it. As it happened the start up phase did not go as well as we all thought and a few of us did in fact loose a fair portion of our seeding capital. But get this !!! Rex did refund the loss. I have been involved in online investing for 15 years and this is a first. One of VRG great strengths is the communication with its members and Rex will not avoid any issues good or bad. They have regular conferences so that you can meet the team personally. There is no hiding behind some online image. If you have a problem pick up the phone and talk to Rex and he will sort it there and then good or bad. I hope this information is of benefit to you and I am only too happy to talk to you personally.

Rod McColl JP

Justice of Peace

0061-3-388-3886

0061-21-770-297

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BASEBALL WORLD CUP: Panama stripped of quarter-final spot,Mexico to face Cuba

Sports SectionTaipei Times - Mexico is headed to the Baseball World Cup quarter-finals after an administrative error robbed Panama of a final eight berth. Panama was set to face Cuba in the quarter-finals today, but International Baseball Federation officials discovered that seven members of the Panamanian team failed to take out the required insurance before their first group stage game against Spain and handed it a loss in that game late on Wednesday night. That was enough to put Group A fifth-place finisher Mexico ahead of Panama in the standings and earn it a ticket for today's quarter-final against the Cubans. (more)
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Panama: Coosemupar suspends delivery of bananas

Money Matters By Jahir Lombana for Freshplaza.com - Since last Monday, Coosemupar (Cooperative of banana producers in Puerto Armuelles-Panama) suspended banana deliveries to Chiquita as a request of the Manager Hirisnel Sucre. One month ago, Coosemupar and Chiquita reviewed the business contract to improve its conditions and prices according to production costs. The manager invokes the 6th clause of the contract which states that if one of the two parts is economically affected, it would be possible to suspend partially or totally the contract without any judicial order. (more)
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Fitch Expects to Rate Panama's Trump Ocean Club Sr. Secured Notes 'BB'

Real EstateFitch Ratings has assigned a preliminary 'BB' rating to Newland International Properties, Corp.'s (Newland) senior secured notes. Newland is developing the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower, a multi-use tower located on the Punta Pacifica Peninsula in Panama City, Panama. Fitch currently rates Panama 'BB+' with a Stable Rating Outlook. When fully developed, Trump Ocean Club expects to have luxury accommodations for both permanent residents and tourists alike. Plans call for 627 residential condo units, 369 hotel-condo units, a casino, a pier facility, a yacht club, pool decks, retail shops, gourmet restaurants, a fitness center and spa, along with a parking garage of more than 1,400 spaces. All unit sales within the project benefit from a license agreement signed by Newland with Trump International. The target market for sales focuses on upper-income buyers in the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America. (more)
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Panama Canal Lures Bidders for $3.2 Billion Project

Canal ExpansionBy Carlos Barletta (Bloomberg) -- The Panama Canal Authority said four consortiums submitted papers indicating they plan to bid on a $3.2 billion contract to install new locks in the waterway. The groups include 30 companies in 13 countries, the authority said today in an e-mailed statement. Participants include Germany's Bilfinger Berger AG, Mexico's Empresas ICA SAB, Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. and Bechtel Group Inc. of the U.S. The locks construction project makes up 60 percent of the total cost of the authority's $5.25 billion expansion plan for the 93-year-old waterway. Widening and deepening the waterway will allow bigger ships to pass through the canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. (more)
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Panama's Consumer Prices Increase Most in 14 Years

Money MattersBy Carlos Barletta (Bloomberg) -- Panama's inflation rose at the fastest pace in more than 14 years last month because of increased costs for transportation and housing and utilities. Consumer prices climbed 5.5 percent in October from the same month a year earlier, and rose 0.5 percent from September, the country's statistics agency said today on its Web site. Near-record prices for oil are increasing the costs of transportation, and higher prices for electricity and natural gas and also fueling inflation. Increased consumption is also being fueled by economic growth, which reached 9.6 percent in the second quarter, boosted by 18.5 percent expansion of the construction industry. (more)
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"M" Takes Off To Panama

Entertainment By Matt Weston for Commander Bond.net - According to a report from Yahoo! News UK, Dame Judi Dench’s “M” will head to Panama in the next James Bond picture. The actress said, “‘M’ is off to Panama - there’s a big adventure with James. Mind you, I’ll be too busy flirting with Daniel Craig. He is gorgeous.” If accurate, the news confirms reports that Panama would feature in next year’s Bond 22. At September’s National Movie Awards, the actress revealed her character would once again be in the field, having last year briefed Daniel Craig’s 007 in the Bahamas. Bond 22 will mark Dame Judi’s sixth appearance as “M”.
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National Police Rounding Up Illegal Aliens in Panama

Crime & PunishmentEl Siglo - In the last hours, units of the National Police conducting a nationwide operation have resulted in the detention of several foreigners who are in the country illegally, including four Chinese, a Costa Rican, two Colombians, and one from the Dominican Republic. Through the use of a checkpoint on the bridge San San, located on the main road of Guabito in Changuinola, police reported the detention of illegal aliens Liz Zhin Hua Li (35), Shu Maggie (21), Jockey Zhu Ping (18), Guilian Song (45), and Horacio Reyes (29) from Costa Rica. Meanwhile, units from the Traffic Department in the Province of Coclé arrested Joaquin Pinilla Restrepo (32) and Ángela Maria Correa Domínguez (29). Joaquin Pinilla entered the country on 18 June 2006 whereas Ángela Maria Correa arrived on 2 August 2007, both were on expired visas. (more)
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On The Run For Eleven Years - Real Life Prison Break

Crime & PunishmentBy Rocío I. Martins A. for La Critica - Edgar Eliécer Acosta Santos, alias "Fulo", stayed on the run for eleven years after having escaped from the Santo Tomas hospital in June of 1996, where he had been transfered from La Joya, to be treated for a back problem. In the early morning hours on Monday police recaptured him in the Pedernal of Chilibre where he was partying at a dance. "Fulo" only had 12 months remaining on his sentence for robbery. Now he will be facing additional time for escape and evasion.
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Mo money - Yanks' record-setting offer is a no-brainer for Rivera

Sports Section Sports Illustrated - Someday soon, maybe even today, Mariano Rivera, arguably the greatest pitcher to ever consistently nail down the last few outs of a game, will look at the money that the Yankees are showing him -- more per year than any reliever ever has been offered -- smile broadly and sign on the dotted line. Is there really any doubt? The only team for which Rivera has ever pitched, the one with which he says he wants to finish his career, has offered him some $4 million a year more than any reliever has ever made. This is no time to play coy. This is time to take the money and run, before some Steinbrenner in the front office comes to his senses.
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The FTA Is On Track - Samuel Lewis Navarro

PoliticsBy Manuel Luna G. for La Estrella de Panama - In an attempt to help the private sector regain confidence in the future of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the United States, Panama's First Vice President Samuel Lewis Navarro said that the commercial agreement is following its course and that the Panamanian government is staying in contact with American senators. There are people who would vote against the Free Trade Agreement said Lewis Navarro, in reference to Senator Hillary Clinton. He added that the important thing is to obtain the endorsement of the majority. "In that we continue to work."
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Sergio González Ruiz Adds Himself to the List of Opposition Presidential Candidates

Politics By Eneida Prieto for the Panama America - The panorama for Panama's opposition political parties is not getting any clearer, even though parties such as MOLIRENA have already created their new structure. The recently elected President of MOLIRENA Sergio González Ruiz, would add himself to the list of those aspiring for the Presidency of Panama in the next national elections in 2009. González Ruiz said if the members of his party propose him as a presidential candidate he would run saying "one should never say no to this type of challenge put to us by the Panamanian people." He said the opposition "is screaming for unification, which is why I will work to comply, I am a faithful believer who thinks we must look for a consensus candidate". (more)
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SUNTRACS Receives More Than $5 million Per Year

Groups & OrganizationsLa Prensa The National Front for the Defense of Economic and Social Rights (Frenadeso) is a step closer towards obtaining a valuable tool to gain access to the millions of dollars received by its main ally, the Sindicato Único Nacional de Trabajadores de la Construcción y Similares (Suntracs). On 27 September 2007 Saúl Méndez requested from the Public Registry the inscription of a private interest foundation named "Frenadeso". In the documents Méndez, the secretary of the Suntracs organization, did not detail who would be the beneficiaries of the new foundation: that will be reserved for internal regulation which can be done in private and out of public view. (more)
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Want To Make Some Money? Buy PTQMF

Gold & Mining

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Petaquilla is going to announce the production of their first ounce of gold in either late December or early January 2008. When that happens you can expect a nice spike in the stock price, the last of three surges that happen to a gold or mineral stock for a company that's bringing a mine on-line. They already had two earlier boosts, the first when they announced the intent to put the mine into production, and another when they started building their base camp. (more)

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