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Wednesday, August 27 2014 @ 09:17 PM EDT

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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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The (Lack of A) Case Against Richard Fifer

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I've heard Eric Jackson ranting for years about "the case against Richard Fifer for embezzlement of public funds while he was governor of Cocle." So, I decided to look into it. Here's what actually happened. When Richard Fifer was named as the Governor of Cocle he moved into the Governor's (mansion?) and there was no furniture in the building. So, using his own funds, he bought some furniture. When his time was up he moved out and took his furniture with him. The new guy, finding there was no furniture in the building, filed a complaint. It was investigated and when the facts came out and were verified it was dropped. It was never prosecuted, and never will be, because (in truth and in fact) there was no crime committed. No matter. In order to continue reading Eric Jackson you will have to keep being able to put truth and fact aside to endure his rants against his chosen targets, and Richard Fifer, the CEO of Petaquilla Minerals, is on his "froth" list. Thought you might like to know.

Copyright 2007 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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Chu Diaz Wins in Legal Battle with Olloqui Over Palacio de la Bahia

Law & Lawyers

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I just received a telephone call from Jesus "Chu" Diaz, the original architect for the Palacio de la Bahia building. Construction started on this project in July of 2006, but at that time Chu and the Spaniard Adolfo Olloqui were in a conflict over his fees. What happened (over time) was that Olloqui had ordered several significant changes and modifications to the design of the building, basically causing Chu to have to toss out the plans and start over from scratch. For example, Olloqui would simply say "I want there to be a restaurant on the roof, and I want it to spin..." (more)

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Gutted Murderer

Crime & Punishment By Jaime A. Saldaña for La Critica - At first sight the murder by machete strikes of Enelda Camarena at hands of Humberto Venado seems like a common crime of passion. But that changed when the horrible facts of the murder were discovered during the investigation. Apparently, Venado had attacked and injured Enelda with the machete, and thinking he had killed her he turned the machete on himself with the intent to commit suicide, opening up his abdomen. When he saw that Enelda got up to run away, the killer reintroduced his intestines into his body cavity, chased down Enelda, reached her and finished her off with 13 machete blows.
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Doctor's Suspend Scheduled Meeting With Government

Protests & DemonstrationsBy MEREDITH SERRACIN for the Panama America - Panama's Health Minister Rosario Turner and the Director of the Office of Social Security René Luciani were left waiting for the representatives of medical union COMENENAL who did not arrive at the meeting scheduled for 10 am this morning. The doctors decided to suspend the meeting because they are still discussing in a general assembly their counter proposal which they will present to the government, in response to an offer for a 7% wage increase, which represents an increase of between $75 to $100 per month in their wages. This information was offered by Eylina Alvarado, the President of a group of General Medicine doctors who arrived at the offices of the Ministry of Health. According to Alvarado the meeting has been reprogrammed for tomorrow morning at 10:00 am, with the objective to find solutions and to end the doctor's strike.
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Gomez Asks to have Complaint Against Cornejo Thrown Out

Law & LawyersBy José Otero for La Prensa - Panama's Attorney General Ana Matilde Gomez asked the Criminal Court of Panama's Supreme Court to dismiss the criminal complaint filed against Anti Corruption Prosecutor Maribel Cornejo last July by the President of Panama's Supreme Court Graciela Dixon. In her opinion which was sent to the Supreme Court yesterday, Gomez recommends the dismissal of the charges for alleged abuse of office for supposedly using her position to attempt to prosecute government officials. According to the 35 page opinion, there was no bad intent in the performance of Cornejo. In the complaint Dixon indicates Cornejo investigated a decision of the Supreme Court without having the legal authority to do so. The Criminal Court of the Supreme Court is comprised of judges Dixon, Aníbal Salas and Esmeralda de Troitiño. Carlos Muñoz Pope, lawyer of Cornejo, said this request does not surprise him because it was demonstrated that his client never broke the law. Cornejo is on vacation until the 6 of December.
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Copa Holdings Announces 10.8% Traffic Growth for October 2007

Cars & Transportation PANAMA CITY, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Copa Holdings, S.A. , and its Copa Airlines and Aero Republica operating subsidiaries, today released preliminary passenger traffic statistics for October 2007. For the month of October 2007, Copa Holdings' system-wide passenger traffic (RPM) increased 10.8%, while capacity (ASM) increased 17.9%. System load factor for October 2007 was 69.3%, a 4.4 percentage point decrease when compared to October 2006. Copa Airlines passenger traffic (RPM) for October 2007 increased 16.1% while capacity (ASM) increased 21.7%. This resulted in a load factor of 72.2%, a 3.5 percentage point decrease when compared to October 2006. (more)
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Key Figure in Schueler "Gringo Gang Bang" Case Executed

Crime & PunishmentLa Critica - Henry Marshall, 35 years-old, was found dead next to the road that leads to the Sea Cliff development in Antón. The body had a gunshot wound in the nape of the neck. Marshall was wearing a shirt, shorts, and sandals, had $8 dollars in his pants pocket, was wearing a watch, and keys to a Lexus.

Editor's Comment: This dead guy is actually Ruperto Antonio ("Tony") Henry Marshall, a key figure in the Richard Schueler "Gringo Gang-Bang" case. Richard Schueler trusted Tony with legal power and signature authority for the companies he established in Panama. Tony then illegally used that power to transfer all of Schueler's assets to Alfredo Vallarino Alemán and the other lawyers who did the number on Schueler. And who really owns the Lexus the dead man was driving? Schueler... (more)

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ANCON Raising Protest Over Petaquilla Environmental Damage

Gold & Mining By Yelena Rodriguez for the Panama America - Although the company has not yet initiated the extraction of minerals in Petaquilla and Molejón in the Colón province, those who live in affected communities and conservationists are asking governmental authorities to stop this project. Apparently nothing can stop them because from the start of this ambitious project the company has been protected with a "Contract Law of the Republic" that the Petaquilla Minerals company signed with the Panamanian government in 1997. Paradoxicalally, that same year, while the right was granted to the company "to extract, operate, benefit, process, refine, transport, sell, and commercialize gold, copper, and other minerals" the Chiefs of State of Central America created, in June, in a meeting made in Panama, the Meso American Biologocial Corridor (CBM). (more)
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New President of MOLIRENA - Sergio González Ruiz

Politics By Rafael Quezada for La Prensa - Lawyer and businessman Sergio González Ruiz became the President of Panama's opposition Liberal Republican Movement (Molirena) political party yesterday, beating out Gisela Chung who was running for reelection. The party's new president made a call for the unification of all opposition political parties to the leaders of the other major parties - the Cambio Democratico (Ricardo Martinelli), Partido Panameñista (Juan Carlos Varela), Vanguardia Moral de la Patria (Guillermo Endara), and the Unión Patriótica (Billy Ford.) González Ruiz obtained 369 votes from party delegates compared to 330 for Chung.
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Leading Medical Tourism Company signs with Largest Hospitals in Panama

Healthcare(PRLog.Org) – Nov 10, 2007 – Panama-- Pana-Health, Corp., Panama's premier Medical Tourism Company, have recently signed affiliation contracts with the two largest, and most experienced Hospitals in Panama, Clinica Hospital San Fernando and Centro Medico Paitilla. These two Hospitals have over 30 years of experience in the medical arena, are equipped with state of the art technology, and have affiliations to highly distinguished international Institutions such as Cleveland Clinic, Tulane University Medical Center of New Orleans, Baptist Hospital South Florida and Miami Children's Hospital, among others. These alliances strengthen Panama's medical choices to patients looking for first class medical services that are, both, closer to home and affordable. Pana-Health was founded in 2003 by a small group of doctors and has rapidly grown to become a Company with over 150 of the best doctors in Panama. Membership is by invitation only, and after peer recommendation and review. Pana-Health brings personalized attention to all medical travelers, helping them to find the best doctors in Panama for their specific needs, as well as handle consultations and appointment scheduling. Its alliance with Pesantez Tours, the largest tour operator in Panama, gives Pana-Health the capacity to take care of transportation, lodging and any type of tourism that the patient wishes to do while visiting the country.
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