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This Happened

This Happened — May 4: Ground Is Broken On The Panama Canal

The building of the Panama Canal started on this day in 1904. This man-made waterway connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and was built by the United States.

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Geopolitically, "Latin America" Does Not Exist

The election in Brazil of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) is being hailed by some as the confirmation of Latin American around a shared leftist project, yet even the left can't agree with itself. It's a story that goes back centuries, and can only change with a commitment to move beyond ideology.


BOGOTÁ — In 1826, the liberator and then president of (a much larger) Colombia, Simón Bolívar, convened the Summit of Panama, in Panama City, with the aim of uniting the recently liberated provinces of the Spanish empire. Bolívar's guest list excluded the United States and imperial Brazil. In spite of good intentions, the summit proved an utter failure.

There was no Latin American integration then, nor is there today, 200 years on, as the continent remains fragmented and divided. In geopolitical terms, there is no Latin America.

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Manuel 'El Man' Noriega Dead At 83, Front Page From Panama

Critica, May 30, 2017

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Building With Bottles On A Panamanian Island

COLÓN ISLAND — As the world continues to bury itself in plastic bottles, a few pioneers are coming up with clever ways to put all that refuse to good use.

One of those people is Canadian innovator Robert Bezeau, who decided after a visit to Panama to build an entire plastic-bottle village — presumably the first of its kind — on the island of Colón, just off the Central American nation's Caribbean coast.

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How Panama's Indigenous Use Drones To Save The Rainforest

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Panamanian holding a drone — Photo: UN Food and Agriculture Organization

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Nicolas Richter

My Yacht, My Shell Company: Cheating, Divorce And Panama Papers

There may be only one thing super-rich men fear more than the tax authorities, and it's a wife gearing up for divorce. Panama has havens for that too.

MUNICH — The divorce of Dmitry Rybolovlev and his then wife Elena was not just spectacular melodrama, but also a textbook example of the lengths rich people (in most cases men) go to protect their considerable wealth in case of a marital breakup.

Rybolovlev, one of the richest men on the planet according to Forbes, had not only tucked away his wealth away in tax havens but tried to literally hide paintings, home furnishings and a yacht to prevent his wife from being able to lay claim to them. The internal papers of Mossack Fonseca, a Panama law firm, document Elena Rybolovlev's lawyers' efforts to recover these items.

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Mathilde Damgé

Panama Papers, A Haven For "Regular Guys" Too

While most attention has been devoted to the VIPs and politicians cited in the leaked documents of the Panama shell-company firm, most of the people turning to tax havens look much more like you and me.

PARIS — There are heads of state, billionaires, big names in sports and show biz scattered among the more than 11 million client files of Mossack Fonseca, the firm specialized in the creation of offshore companies that is the source of massive Panama Papers leak.

But the documents also reveal that the vast majority of the names on the lists are nobody you've ever heard of: They belong to "ordinary" people who've turned to tax havens. While the Panama Papers files that Le Monde was able to consult don't always specify the sums that were transferred, thanks to offshore shell firms in places with lenient tax authorities, numerous email exchanges, official business documents and photocopies of passports flesh out a detailed portrait of the regular clientele of the Mossack Fonseca firm that is at the center of the largest leak in newspaper history. Names have been changed.

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Extra! Panama Corruption Crisis Spreads

La Estrella de Panamá, June 16, 2015

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Emily Liedel

Smart Cities International: Magnet Elevators, Disaster Prep, Rate-A-Loo

Here is a preview of our exclusive newsletter to keep up-to-date and stay inspired by Smart City innovations from around the world.

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NYC Protests, Super Typhoon Alert, Whiny Jihadists

Thursday, December 4, 2014

For the second time in less than two weeks, the presiding grand jury in a high-profile case of a white police officer who'd killed an unarmed black man chose not to bring charges against the officer involved. Protests quickly spread around New York and in other American cities after the grand jury in the borough of Staten Island found no evidence Wednesday of possible criminal activity by 29-year-old officer Daniel Pantaleo in the July death of 43-year-old Eric Garner. The encounter, which began when officers accused Garner of selling loose cigarettes, was captured on video, and showed a cooperative Garner in a chokehold repeatedly saying that he couldn't breathe.

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Alexis Masciarelli

Trade And Tax Shelters - Can Panama Become "Latin America's Hong Kong?"

PANAMA CITY - Panama's fiscal incentives are luring more and more people to its shores: multinationals, retirees in search of sun and investors seeking new opportunities. Real estate prices are ballooning into a mini Manhattan-on-the-Pacific.

The latest notable arrival is PKB Privatbank, the first private Swiss bank to open a "banking center" in Panama City. The bank's CEOs are waiting to obtain all the licenses they need in order to officially start trading. The Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) also has a base here, which also serves as a springboard to attract clients to Switzerland.

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