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Panama inaugurates Frank Gehry-designed museum
30 September 2014 - After years of delays Panama has inaugurated a museum designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that officials hope will become a cultural symbol of the country's economic ascent. The Biomuseo at the Pacific Ocean gateway to the Panama Canal celebrates the isthmus' history as one of the world's most-diverse ecosystems, with more bird, mammal, and reptile species than the United States and Canada combined. (more)

Panama's President unveiling Central America's first subway system
5 April 2014 - Counting down his final weeks in office, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli on Saturday is inaugurating the most-emblematic project of a five-year term marked by fast economic growth and more than a hint of hubris -- Central America's first subway system. The metro will surely alleviate the booming capital's dreadful traffic. (more)

Panama: Tropical forests 'fix' themselves - Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
15 September 2013 - Tropical forests speed their own recovery, capturing nitrogen and carbon faster after being logged or cleared for agriculture. Researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama think the discovery that trees 'turn up' their ability to capture or 'fix' nitrogen from the air and release it into the soil as the forest makes a comeback has far-reaching implications for forest restoration projects to mitigate global warming. (more)

Panama's economic growth accelerates in second quarter
13 September 2013 - Panama's economy grew by 7.6 per cent in the second quarter, led by stronger activity in transport and communications and brisk business in the construction and mining sectors, the government statistics agency said. Panama has managed to evade much of the global recession, with its economy growing at double digits for four of the past six years. Much of the growth is thanks to significant infrastructure spending, including the building of the canal's third lane, begun in 2007. (more)

Panama harbours ambitions beyond its canal
28 May 2010 - A generation after Panama shed a tradition of military rule, canny fiscal management, and good stewardship of its emblematic canal have made the tiny country a model of success for today's frontier markets. An investor darling that has grown rapidly over the last decade and even managed to dodge recession during the recent global downturn, Panama's government debt has received a coveted investment grade rating by Fitch and S and P. (more)

Panama switches on to energy-saving light bulbs
2 September 2008 - Panama plans to hand out 6 million energy-saving light bulbs, nearly two per citizen, to ease soaring demand for electricity and prevent future blackouts, President Martin Torrijos said on Monday. 'Operation Light Bulb' will require the government to buy $13 million worth of fluorescent energy-saving bulbs replacing the less-efficient incandescent ones. (more)

Panama to open up Latin American diamond market
5 August 2008 - Diamond sellers are setting their sights on Latin America's increasingly prosperous middle class, which is benefiting from economic growth and stability, as US and European sales of the rare stones slow. To meet the new demand, Panama is building Latin America's first diamond exchange expected to be recognized by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, one of the main players in the wholesale diamond market. (more)

Panama rules out hosting US military base
4 July 2008 - Panama has ruled out hosting a US military base to replace one in Ecuador which is being reclaimed by the Quito government, a senior Panamanian official said on Friday. Although Panama has close ties with the United States, the Central American country has enjoyed full sovereignty only since Washington handed over control of the US-built Panama Canal and its surrounding land and military bases at the end of 1999. (more)

Panama ports prosper on strong Chinese demand
19 June 2008 - The maritime authority sees Panama's ports handling 5.6 million 20-foot (6.1 meter) shipping containers in 2009, up from around 5 million this year and 4.1 million in 2007. Panama has seen shipping volumes nearly double since 2006 on increasing Chinese demand for raw materials as well as growing exports in finished goods from the world's most populous country. (more)

Panama: January economic activity rises 10.21 per cent
26 March 2008 - Panama's economic activity rose 10.21 per cent in January over the year-ago period, the government said on Wednesday, driven by growth in transport and commerce. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

Panama: Yogic Flying students to create invincibility for the nation
20 May 2008 - Speaking recently on Maharishi Global Family Chat, Raja Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja of Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace, spoke about a university and private school in Panama that are introducing Consciousness-Based Education to their students. (more)

Panama City school will raise the country to invincibility quickly
14 September 2007 - A private religious school in Panama City will raise the country to invincibility quickly by introducing Consciousness-Based Education into the existing school, and by constructing a new Invincibility School. (more)

More Panama traditional Kings supporting invincibility programme
27 June 2007 - Panama is an important country as it sits as the gap and link between north and south in the Americas. In that gap, two important projects are developing to establish invincibility for the nation. (more)

Panama community to learn Transcendental Meditation
13 March 2007 - Two hundred individuals in a community of the Kuna people in Panama will be learning Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation this week. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Rising sea drives Panama islanders to mainland
12 July 2010 - Rising seas from global warming, coming after years of coral reef destruction, are forcing thousands of indigenous Panamanians to leave their ancestral homes on low-lying Caribbean islands. Seasonal winds, storms, and high tides combine to submerge the tiny islands, crowded with huts of yellow cane and faded palm fronds, leaving them ankle-deep in emerald water for days on end. Carti Sugdub is one of a handful of islands in an archipelago off Panama's northeastern coast, where the government says climate change threatens the livelihood of nearly half of the 32,000 semi-autonomous Kuna people. World leaders have failed so far to reach a global accord to curb the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change. A UN climate change conference later this year in Mexico aims to make progress towards a binding agreement. If the islanders abandon their homes as planned, the exodus will be one of the first blamed on rising sea levels and global warming. Scientists warn that sea level rise in the next century could threaten millions with a similar fate. (more)

Colombian rebels planting landmines in Panama
2 July 2010 - Colombian drug-running rebels are planting landmines in neighbouring Panama along cocaine smuggling routes between the two countries shared border, a top Panamanian official said on Friday. The FARC has been smuggling cocaine to the United States for two decades, according to US anti-drug officials. In Colombia, where the FARC are fighting a decades-old insurgency against the government, they regularly use homemade landmines to attack Colombian troops and protect coca fields. The group has turned increasingly to overland routes across the porous border with Panama to haul drugs. Rebels use indigenous people as guides and mules as more police sea and air patrols cut off traditional smuggling routes northward. (more)

Panama's Darien teems with FARC drug runners
29 May 2010 - Drug-running Colombian rebels are using the dense, lawless jungle joining North and South America to smuggle cocaine past sea patrols, creating a new troublespot in the continent's drug war. Squeezed in the Caribbean and the Pacific by Panamanian and US patrols that regularly seize loads of the drug, traffickers now zigzag through Panama's Darien province, which joins the isthmus nation with Colombia. Forcing local indigenous people to act as guides and mules, they haul packs of the white powder along Darien's rivers and hike through swampy, mountainous rainforest to the Panamanian end of the Pan-American highway. And there is little indication that Panama can push the traffickers back into Colombia or curb the movement of cocaine, and the threat of violence that comes with it. Without a standing army since a US invasion overthrew dictator Manuel Noriega in 1989, Panama has little control over its porous border with Colombia. US anti-drug officials say the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC has turned to coastal overland routes as increased sea and air interdiction cuts off traditional routes northward. The upsurge in drug trafficking through the Darien has profoundly altered the indigenous way of life where families live in wooden houses propped on stilts to stay safe from jaguars, and men ferry bananas to market in dugout canoes. Many men now live alone in riverside huts, having sent their wives and children to live in larger communities out of fear of rebel raids. Women have largely ceased working in community rice and banana fields, hurting production. (more)

Panama: Gourmet coffee eats into forest
26 July 2008 - Panama's gourmet coffees fetch record prices for their prized flavours but the strong demand is convincing some growers to clear land illegally and plant in one of the country's few protected highland forests. Last month, Panama's Environmental Protection Agency discovered 40 acres of clandestine coffee trees nestled deep in the Volcan Baru National Park, sparking fears that more forest could be cleared as prices rise. The nature preserve is ringed with coffee farms growing the country's 'geisha' beans, often described as the champagne of coffee for their subtle jasmine-like taste highly sought after by boutique roasters from North America, Europe, and Japan. (more)

Panamanian hydro dam causes deep rifts in one of Latin America's last kingdoms
22 May 2008 - Tito Santana, one of the last tribal Kings in the Americas, has been driven into exile from his lands deep in the Panamanian jungle by a fight over a hydroelectric project that has divided the tiny Naso kingdom. Members of his royal family have turned against Tito after he sanctioned the building of the plant on a pristine river in tribal territory, accusing him of putting his own interests first. Tito says the project will provide jobs and infrastructure, and help Naso farmers to take crops to market, but his opponents say it will destroy the tribe's traditional way of life. Panama's Naso monarchy has survived for millennia, and this is the first serious challenge to a King in recent history. (more)

Panama lethal mystery disease and malnutrition
4 October 2007 - At least 10 people have died and dozens more are hospitalized due to a mysterious respiratory illness that has struck indigenous villages in western Panama, health authorities said on Wednesday. According to Nutre Hogar, a charity which works on children's health, one in three indigenous children in Panama is malnourished. One senior foreign health official, who asked not to be named, said the spate of deaths was caused by complications linked to malnutrition. (more)

Panama: Tainted medicine found to be cause of almost 100 deaths
6 July 2007 - A top Panamanian prosecutor said tests show at least 94 people have died from taking medicine contaminated with diethylene glycol since July 2006 and that 293 more deaths are under investigation. (more)

Panama's agricultural minister resigns
10 January 2006 - Panama's agricultural minister, Laurentino Cortizo, resigned today, accusing the United States of pressuring the Central American country to allow US imports despite inadequate US inspections that could expose Panama to the 'catastrophic consequences of plagues and diseases'. (more)


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