Panama leads the world in well-being; U.S. fails to crack top 10


Panama leads the world in well-being; U.S. fails to crack top 10


Despite financial challenges, Panama scores top in the world for four out of five measures of well-being. Click a photo for a slideshow of the top 10 nations. (Photo: Rita Willaert, Flickr)

Despite financial challenges, Panama scores top in the world for four out of five measures of well-being. Click …

For years now, Gallup and partner Healthways have been ranking U.S. states’ well-being. (See the 2014 best-off states here, and the worst-off states here, or watch the video at the bottom of this post.) Now they’ve added the rest of the world to the mix.

It’s part of a widespread and apparently accelerating trend toward weighing elements like happiness — not just traditional money-based quantifiers like gross domestic product — in evaluating the relative condition of populations. The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index conducted 133,000 surveys in 135 countries on five criteria. Each of those five elements is defined by two statements that respondents are asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5, strongly disagree to strongly agree:


• “You like what you do every day.”
• “You learn or do something interesting every day.”


• “Someone in your life always encourages you to be healthy.”
• “Your friends and family give you positive energy every day.”


• “You have enough money to do everything you want to do.”
• “In the last seven days, you have worried about money.” (This was a negative indicator.)


• “The city or area where you live is a perfect place for you.”
• “In the last 12 months, you have received recognition for helping to improve the city or area where you live.”


• “In the last seven days, you have felt active and productive every day.”
• “Your physical health is near-perfect.”

Gallup and Healthways then determined whether a population was “thriving,” “struggling” or suffering” in each element — that is, strong and consistent in well-being for a given element, moderate and inconsistent, or low and inconsistent. (Click here for a PDF of the full 124-page report, including details on the methodology.)

The index ranked nations by the proportion of their populations that were seen as thriving in at least three elements.

Perhaps its biggest surprise: The United States is not among the top 10 countries. Only 33 percent of its population is thriving in at least three elements of well-being, a showing that Gallup and Healthways deems “good but not great.” While the elements of purpose and social well-being are strengths — “consistent with Gallup’s finding that the U.S. has one of the most engaged workforces in the world” — in other areas, “the U.S. does not stand out,” the report says. Financial well-being is “arguably the biggest area of challenge” for the U.S., because “too many American adults are struggling to live within their means.”

Another surprise of the Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index is the fact that Latin America has six nations in the top 10 — including Panama at No. 1. And it has none in the bottom 10.

Europe has three countries in the top 10. The Middle East, Asia and Africa have none.

Click here or on an image to see the 10 top-ranked countries for well-being.

Here’s a Wall Street Journal video report from earlier this year, on the top- and bottom-ranked U.S. states:

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Panama’s Official Vacation Website and Tour Guide


The Official Tourism Website of the Republic of Panama, Here at Panama Visitor’s Guide we do our best to help you find information on the Republic of Panama, on the Panama Canals Tours and Day Trips, Boquete Tourism, Panama Hotels and Hostels, Panama Nightlife, San Blas Vacation Hotels and Hostels, Bocas Del Toro Hotels and Hostels, Panama Casinos, Beach, Panama Sport Fishing, Whale Watching in Panama, Panama Canal Live Web-Cam, Maps of Panama, República de Panamá 

By Panama Jack


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The Panama Canal, Panama Hotels, Panama Nightlife, Panama Medical Tourism, Panama Sport Fishing.
Panama Whale Watching, Panama Low Cost Medical Insurance, San Blas Island Vacation Resorts.
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Bocas Del Toro Restaurants, Panama City Casinos, Panama Travel, Panama Beach Information and Vacations.
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The Last couple weeks has been good.  We did start to get a few nice tuna, but there still not here in full forcé.  The marlín bite was great for a couple weeks, but that slowed down a bit over the last week.  we have had very good luck around the islands and have caught plenty of big roosters and snapper along with many other types of fish.

I have made a bit of progress on expanding my marina,  my permission finally came out for me to build a gas station.  I hope to start building in the next month.  We will be selling Gas to Boats from the end of our dock and also cars and trucks that pass on the road.

Hope to see you here this year for the Best and the Biggest Fishing in Panama and all of Central America.

Small Goldfish

Fish Report Panama February 2014

Panama Charter Boats

Panama Party Boats

Charter Boats Panama

This Years Fish Report Panama

February 2014
January 2014
November 2013
June 2013
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April 2013
February 2013
August 2012
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May 2012
February 2012
November 2011
August 2011
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June 2011
May 2011
April 2011




Panama White Water Kayaking

Panama is a world-class whitewater mecca with steep creeks, big volume rivers and many opportunities for remote multi-day paddling. Kayaking just about anywhere in Panama’s Chiriqui Province is like paddling your all-time favorite run a midst the backdrop of tropical foliage teeming with howler monkeys and poison dart frogs, quetzals soaring above you and iguanas poking their heads out from the rocks strewn about, and wait…there are no eddies! The whitewater here is CONTINUOUS!

We do most of our whitewater kayaking in the Chiriqui province where the best water is located. With Volcan Baru towering some 11,347 feet over the valley of Boquete where over 100 inches of rain fall annually, Panamas Chiriqui Province is the ultimate paddlers paradise. In the Chiriqui province alone, we have more than 35 runs to choose from within no more than a couple of hours drive from Boquete.

Whether you want to practice the basics on some beautiful Class I & II, fine tune your skills on some hearty Class III and IV, or scare yourself silly on some Class V creeks that will make you want your mama, there is no paddling destination more extraordinary than Panama. And at Boquete Outdoor Adventures, we have all the logistics nailed down to get you out there.

We offer scheduled whitewater trips in addition to custom trips for private groups. Our typical whitewater trip is a week-long and we typically paddle each of those 7 days. But remember, we can always customize your trip to meet the unique goals of your group! And just let us know if your group would like to take a day off from paddling to indulge in an island excursion, a cloud forest hike, or a canopy tour. See our list of available day-trip activities for more info.


Panama has two seasons – rainy and dry. We do most of our paddling in the Chiriqui Province on the Pacific slope of Panama, where the rainy / dry seasons are very distinct and the river levels rise and fall accordingly.

The rainy season begins in May and generally runs through December. We typically enjoy blue skies in the morning and can generally set a watch by the afternoon rains. The wettest time of year is generally from July through early November with the river levels peaking in September and October.

The Rio Chiriqui Viejo, consisting of five distinct sections, maintains a nice Class III-IV level throughout the dry season and is a great teaching river. And if you are into really remote multi-day trips, the Caribbean side of Panama is home to many great rivers that run during the dry season. We’ll go exploring with you!


We provide kayaks on all our trips. Our guests provide their own PFD, skirt, helmet, paddle and any other personal gear. We encourage you to bring a throw rope and any other rescue gear you normally carry. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss gear rental, etc.

Trips starting at 7 days paddling, 8 days lodging – $1000-1800 per person. *Price varies based on group size, number of days, in-country airline, and lodging preferences.


Panama Canal Information and Tours


Live web-Cam of the Panama Canal

The history of the Panama Canal goes back to 16th century. After realizing the riches of Peru, Ecuador, and Asia, and counting the time it took the gold to reach the ports of Spain, it was suggested c.1524 to Charles V, that by cutting out a piece of land somewhere in Panama, the trips would be made shorter and the risk of taking the treasures through the isthmus would justify such an enterprise. A survey of the isthmus was ordered and subsequently a working plan for a canal was drawn up in 1529. The wars in Europe and the thirsts for the control of kingdoms in the Mediterranean Sea simply put the project on permanent hold.
The length of the Panama Canal is approximately 51 miles. A trip along the canal from its Atlantic entrance would take you through a 7 mile dredged channel in Limón Bay. The canal then proceeds for a distance of 11.5 miles to the Gatun Locks. This series of three locks raise ships 26 meters to Gatun Lake. It continues south through a channel in Gatun Lake for 32 miles to Gamboa, where the Culebra Cut begins. This channel through the cut is 8 miles long and 150 meters wide. At the end of this cut are the locks at Pedro Miguel. The Pedro Miguel locks lower ships 9.4 meters to a lake which then takes you to the Miraflores Locks which lower ships 16 meters to sea level at the canals Pacific terminus in the bay of Panama. A pictorial view of the canals route can be seen below. Panama Canal Tours by Panama Travel Unlimited

Panama Canal Transit Tour

Panama Canal
Panama Canal

Enjoy the ParadiseThe San Blas Day Tour
Don’t have the time to stay overnight in the San Blas islands, spend an unbeatable day in San Blas for $135pp, which includes everything apart from some San Blas taxes $10-12pp. The San Blas Day Tour can be arranged at short notice for any day of the week. We suggest you book at least a few days in advance to be assured a spot. Transport to the San Blas Islands leaves Panama City at 5 am every morning and you will usually be back in Panama City by 7pm.
Enjoy the ParadiseEmbera Village Tour
The best value Embera Indian village tour in Panama at $110pp. Visit the traditional Embera Indians in their village less than an hours drive from Panama City. Experience a whole new world you never knew existed as you learn about the Indigenous Embera Indian culture and enjoy the river cruise in traditional canoe and the traditional dances will bring a smile to your face. This is a spectacular insight into the rich Embera Indian culture and many peoples highlight in Panama.
Enjoy the ParadiseUltimate San Blas Tour
This has fast become the most popular tour in the San Blas islands standard tour length is 2 nights and 3 days, but alternative lengths available. It will include 4×4 to and from Panama city, accommodation and food as well as daily tours to one possibly 2 Islands and maybe visit a community. We include snorkel gear, Kayaks, volleyball, football and boogie boards.
Enjoy the ParadisePanama City Half Day Tour
Between 6-7 hours and visits Casco Viejo, Panama Viejo, the Amador Causeway and the Miraflores locks at the Panama Canal while passing the Panama Canal administration building. We’ll also stop for the opportunity to purchase local handicrafts at the market in Ancon. Our itinerary will vary as we try to make sure we’re at the canal to see a large ship passing through the locks. The Miraflores locks has a museum and visitors centre and is a great experience.
Enjoy the ParadiseShuttle Service
Our shuttle bus and driver will meet you at the Tocumen International airport and transfer you to your Panama City hotel for the best price of any private shuttle service in Panama City. Tocumen airport is approximately 30-45 minutes from Panama City and thus a safe air-conditioned shuttle is a welcome sight after a long flight. We also offer private shuttles to many other locations including Decameron Beach resort and other Pacific Resorts, Colon Port, Portobelo, Isla Grande as well as The Azuero Peninsula (Pedasi, Playa Venao). We cannot be beaten on price and service.

Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour
See for yourself how the Panama Canal works as you transit the Miraflores Locks, one of three locks used along the canal. The construction of the canal was one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken at the time, and it made an enormous impact on shipping in the region. This is an amazing sightseeing cruise not to be missed!*From $115pp

Info on legal foreign residency in selected countries

“Moose’s Corner” – Info on legal foreign residency in selected countries for single men looking for women. 

September 09,2014 12:53 PM By Moose

Minimum monthly income requirement: US$2,000
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$750
Minimum age to qualify: 45
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes, but you pay 12.5% sales tax
Minimum time required in the country every year: 30 days
Special discounts: No
Minimum monthly income requirement: Three times the monthly minimum wage; currently US$1,035
Additional income requirement for each dependent: None
Minimum age to qualify: 18
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: No
Minimum time required in the country every year: Must visit at least every six months
Special discounts: No
Minimum monthly income requirement: US$800
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$100
Minimum age to qualify: 18
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Vehicle tax is discounted
Minimum time required in the country every year: Can’t leave for more than 90 consecutive days in the first two years of pensionado residency
Special discounts: Yes
Minimum monthly income requirement: 10,000 ringgits (currently US$3,125) plus other minimum investment in a local CD
Additional income requirement for each dependent: None for unmarried children under 21
Minimum age to qualify: Over-50s have lower investment requirement
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes
Minimum time required in the country every year: None
Special discounts: No
Minimum monthly income requirement: US$600
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$150
Minimum age to qualify: 45
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: Up to US$20,000; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes (value up to US$25,000; if you sell the vehicle after five years, you pay no sales tax)
Minimum time required in the country every year: Six months
Special discounts: Yes
Minimum monthly income requirement: US$1,000
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$250
Minimum age to qualify: 18
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: Yes, but you still pay 7% sales tax
Minimum time required in the country every year: Must make at least one visit every two years
Special discounts: YesPhilippines

Minimum monthly income requirement: US$800 plus a deposit or investment of US$10,000 or more, depending on age, pension status, and number of dependents
Additional income requirement for each dependent: US$200
Minimum age to qualify: 50
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: No stated maximum; used goods only
Can you import a car duty-free: No
Minimum time required in the country every year: No requirement
Special discounts: No



Minimum monthly income requirement: 65,000 Thai baht (currently US$2,100)
Additional income requirement for each dependent: None
Minimum age to qualify: 50
Value of personal goods you can bring with you duty-free: None
Can you import a car duty-free: No
Minimum time required in the country every year: No requirement
Special discounts: No


Panama Canal Expansion Dredges Up Historical Treasures

Panama City (AFP) – Panama Canal expansion work has uncovered an unexpected trove of archaeological and paleontological treasures, scientists said, as the massive construction project winds down.

By María Isabel Sanchez AFP

Workers who have blasted through mountains and dug up thick vegetation, have also uncovered the fossils of some 3,000 invertebrates and 500 vertebrates, as well as of more than 250 plants — including the remains of a forest consumed by fire after a volcanic eruption.
The Panama Canal

Experts hired by the Panama Canal Authority have identified remains of camels, crocodiles, the teeth of a giant shark, as well as bones of other animals millions of years old. But the most surprising discovery, researchers said, was about the age of the very land beneath Panama, the southern end of the narrow isthmus that connects North and South America. Evidence uncovered during the canal excavation showed that the land started forming 20 million years ago and finished around 10 million years later. Cruise ships in transit by Miraflores Locks. Panama Canal “What we learned at school was that it formed three million years ago,” said paleontology specialist Hortensia Broce of the Panama Canal Authority. “But we have found organisms from other epochs, which show that the isthmus emerged little by little as the waters receded, and the formation occurred much earlier than we thought,” she said. Research will continue to study climate changes and the origins of the animals that migrated across the land bridge from one America to the other, said Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Carlos Jaramillo, who called the new discoveries “a revolution.”

Dredging work in Lake Gatun and the excavation of tons of earth also uncovered fragments from hundreds of years of human habitations — from pre-Colombian through colonial and provincial times, through independence, which began in 1903.

panama jacks girlfriend panama CanalTamara with Chinese Husband at Panama Canal

Artifacts include pottery shards, arrowheads and items buried during a pre-Colombian funeral. Also found was a dagger from the 16th century, a chimney from 1908, and a collection of bottles, wagons and buckets used to mix cement during the canal’s first wave of construction.

The canal, an engineering masterwork that transformed global commerce, opened on August 15, 1914, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and saving ships the long, dangerous trip around South America.

For the past seven years, Panama has been working to add a third set of locks to the canal, to nearly triple its capacity.

The expansion was initially scheduled to finish this year, in time for the anniversary, but has now been pushed back to January 2016.

Panama Canal Live Web Cam 1Panama Canal Live Web Cam

Costa Rica decided to make a business of the foreign retiree

Costa Rica decided to make a business of the foreign retiree

By Moose Wednesday August 27 2014


“About three decades ago, Costa Rica decided to make a business of the foreign retiree. The Costa Ricans invested in a formal and successful advertising campaign, targeting Americans primarily. Tens of thousands of would-be retirees from the States took up the invitation and relocated to this beautiful land of hills and rain forests.

The benefits Costa Rica offered retirees who became resident were terrific, including the original pensionado program against which others were measured for decades. In addition, way back when Costa Rica made a name for itself as a top retirement choice, the cost of everything from groceries and eating out to prime coastal property was super cheap. Fast forward a couple of decades, and, thanks to investors and speculators, Costa Rica wasn’t so cheap anymore, neither its cost of living nor its beachfront real estate. And, while prices had risen dramatically, the infrastructure hadn’t kept pace. Retirees were happy to overlook falling bridges and unpaved roads when prices were low. Harder to rationalize putting up with failing infrastructure in the face of appreciating costs.

Worse, after working so hard to woo American and European retirees, Costa Rica seemed to change its mind. The Costa Ricans didn’t eliminate their famous pensionado program; they simply eliminated most of the tax breaks it had promised, as part of a deficit-reduction austerity package. And they didn’t grandfather in existing pensionados. So those who’d chosen Costa Rica for the retiree benefits it offered were surprised and disappointed to find that those benefits existed no more. Now the Costa Rican government is considering a further pensionado program adjustment. They’re talking about increasing, maybe substantially, the minimum monthly income requirement to qualify. And, again, if the change is made, existing pensioandos won’t be grandfathered in. To renew your status, you’d have to qualify under the new requirements.”

The Best Beach in Panama

The Best Beach in Panama
Date: Tues, 26 Aug 2014 12:27:42 -0600

By Jenny Porter

Best Beach in Panama by Jenny Porter


The Best Beach in Panama – a Latin America Scouting Report
A long stretch of white-sand beach, blue ocean tempting you in for a refreshing dip. Afterward, an afternoon spent idling in a hammock with a good book…followed by a barbecue of fresh locally-caught fish or shrimp, and a cold beer.
A perfect day on Panama’s best beach–that I almost never got to enjoy.
I pass the turnoff for this beach, called Punta Chame, all the time, while I head out to Panama’s Pacific beach and interior to scout property. I’ve asked friends and business contacts in Panama about this peninsula, and I’m always told that there’s nothing going on at Punta Chame, no point in me taking a look.
One friend mentioned that he spent his weekends there, surfing and kicking back, in a property owned for many years by his family…but that I probably wouldn’t enjoy the beach.
I later discovered that this friend was hoping his quiet weekends spent in an undisturbed piece of Eden would last a little bit longer, if I did not get to see it…and write to you about it. So, to him, I must apologize for what I’m about to reveal.
Punta Chame is almost a secret place, known and loved as Panama’s best beach by a select few, who jealously guard it and keep it to themselves. Here’s how to find it.
It’s easy to reach on the Pan-American Highway. Fifty minutes driving from Panama City brings you to a turnoff. From here you pass through wooded, hilly terrain that gradually makes way for mangroves, coconut palms, and small lagoons…and 22 miles of beach, wrapped around the punta, or point.
Even the Taxi Drivers Don’t Know About the Best Beach in Panama
It is an area that our Panamanian taxi driver, Elias, had not heard of. He knew the rough location, and that there was a beach, but that was all. The first thing Elias did when he saw the beach at Punta Chame was to figure out how he could get out of work that weekend so he could come back; the second thing he did was to take photos–lots of photos–to show his friends. Panamanian born and bred, they also couldn’t believe that there was such a gorgeous beach so close to the city.
The first section of the road has been re-paved, and the remainder is being done, scheduled for completion next year. We crawled along this unpaved section in a low-slung saloon, while Elias tried to navigate the potholes (and some parts had more holes than road), wondering what we were letting ourselves in for, rattled, shaken, and uncomfortable.
But it is this terrible road that makes Punta Chame most interesting to me. It’s stopping lots of people (and potential beach home buyers) from seeing what an amazing beach this is for now…but that’s only short-term, as the roadworks are already underway.
And it just takes one look at the beach to forget the bumpy road. If you don’t want to stretch out and relax like I did, you could go kite-surfing, fishing, and wind-sailing. This is not the place for you if you favor nightclubs and partying. You would have to travel back to Panama City or farther down the coast to the big all-inclusive resorts for that. This is somewhere to relax, spend time with your family and friends, and forget the worries and strains of everyday life…to discover the joy of stepping back a pace, and savoring life.
Why the Best Beach in Panama Hasn’t Been Developed–Yet
Punta Chame was originally owned by a wealthy Panamanian family who were uninterested in opening it up for development. Comparisons with Coronado, the closest major beach development, are interesting. Coronado, too, was owned by a wealthy Panamanian family…who decided more than 50 years ago that the way forward was selling land parcels to both individuals and developers. As a result, Coronado is now equipped with a hotel, restaurants, medical facilities, a golf course, an equestrian center, and a mini-mall that includes a large supermarket, along with hundreds of homes (a melting-pot mix of condo towers, tiny local-style homes, and mega-mansions).
Punta Chame, on the other hand, did not start to sell land parcels until five years ago. That fact, combined with the appalling access road, has kept development under the radar here…so far. Plans are afoot for a high-end marina development, and a yacht club, with a major residential component announced this year. Larger tracts of land on the peninsula were bought by owners and operators of hotels elsewhere in Panama. Combined with the road being paved, it all spells one thing: more development, which will push prices up–and Punta Chame no longer being a secret known only to a few!

Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source

Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture, and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told

“Thwork.jpge Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”

According to the well-placed source, Wilson was coming off another case in the neighborhood on Aug. 9 when he ordered Michael Brown and his friend Dorain Johnson to stop walking in the middle of the road because they were obstructing traffic. However, the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence, the source said..

“They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car to tell them to move,” the source said. “They shoved him right back in, that’s when Michael Brown leans in and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face.

The source claims that there is “solid proof” that there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm, resulting in the gun going off – although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger. Brown started to walk away according to the account, prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze. Brown, the source said, raised his hands in the air, and turned around saying, “What, you’re going to shoot me?”

At that point, the source told, the 6 foot, 4 inch, 292-pound Brown charged Wilson, prompting the officer to fire at least six shots at him, including the fatal bullet that penetrated the top of Brown’s skull, according to an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Brown’s family.

Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket in the fracas, and was left dazed by the initial confrontation, the source said. He is now “traumatized, scared for his life and his family, injured and terrified” that a grand jury, which began hearing evidence on Wednesday, will “make some kind of example out of him,” the source said.

The source also said the dashboard and body cameras, which might have recorded crucial evidence, had been ordered by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, but had only recently arrived and had not yet been deployed.

St. Louis County police, who have taken over the investigation, did not return requests for comment about possible injuries suffered by Wilson.

Edward Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCullough, said the office will not disclose the nature of the evidence it will reveal to a grand jury.

“We’ll present every piece of evidence we have, witness statements, et cetera, to the grand jury, and we do not release any evidence or talk about evidence on the case.”

Nabil Khattar, CEO of 7Star Industries – which specializes in firearms training for law enforcement and special operations personnel – confirmed that police are typically instructed to use deadly force if in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury.

“You may engage a threat with enough force that is reasonably necessary to defend against that danger,” he said.

Wilson is a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police force department, and has no prior disciplinary infringements.

Massive protests have since taken over the St. Louis community, prompting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last Thursday to place Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson at the helm of security operations in an effort to calm ongoing tensions. The federal government is also investigating the death, and Attorney General Eric Holder has taken the lead – calling “the selective release of sensitive information” in the case “troubling.”

On Friday, Ferguson police released surveillance video showing Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store just before his death. Jackson came under intense criticism for disclosing the tape and a related police report as he also insisted that the alleged robbery and the encounter with Wilson were unrelated matters. Brown’s family, through their attorney, suggested the tape’s release was a strategic form of “character assassination.”

However,’s source insisted that there was absolutely no spin agenda behind the tape’s release and that there were a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) media requests filed by media outlets seeking it. Tom Jackson is said to have waited on publicly releasing it, and did not want it shown until Brown’s grieving mother first had the chance to see it.

“He defied the FOIAs as long as he could,” noted the insider. “A powerful, ugly spin has completely ruined public discourse on this whole situation.”

Panama Economy Growth 8.4 percent for 2013 Largest in the World

Panama Economy 8.4 percent foe 2013

Panama Economy 8.4 percent for 2013

Panama City (AFP) – Panama’s economy will grow by as much as seven percent this year, thanks in large part to revenue from its signature inter-oceanic canal, officials said Monday. The Central American nation’s coffers get an injection of about $1 billion every year from the canal, according to the Economy Ministry, which said that the revenue helps buoy the local economy.

Officials said they expect growth of between 6.5 percent and seven percent for 2014. Foreign investors also have been betting on Panama and its canal, investing $15 billion over the past five years alone, the ministry said. The small nation — population 3.8 million — chalked up 8.4 percent growth in 2013. Completing the widening of the waterway — a massive project which is a year behind schedule and has been mired in controversy — tops new President Juan Carlos Varela’s agenda.

The vast construction project was to have been completed this year, but delays and cost overruns have pushed back the schedule to early 2016. The 80-kilometer (50-mile) long canal was completed by US interests in 1914 to provide a much shorter, safer route between the Atlantic and Pacific.

Work to expand it was interrupted earlier this year over a dispute about who would pay for an estimated $1.6 billion in cost overruns. And Monday, workers walked out at one part of the widening work, seeking a raise, a union leader said. Construction workers’ union chief Abelardo Herrera said no progress had been made yet in negotiations. Stakes are high for the project, with five percent of the world’s maritime trade already passing through the canal. The expanded waterway will be able to process 12,000 container ships in its first year of use, triple the current capacity. The IMF is forecasting an average growth of 2.5 percent for Latin America and the Caribbean this year. Panama City

Republic of Panama Whale Watching Report 2014

The 2014 report July-October Humpback whale watching season has started off with some amazing, up close encounters with the whales. Beny Wilson, one of our very experienced guides said this about a recent tour: “I’ve been guiding whale watching tours for 4 seasons, but today’s show was beyond my memories! 16 whales on the way to Contadora island. 12 on the way back to Panama. Lot’s of breaching (jumping), tail lobbing, spy hopping, pec (pectoral fin) slapping, belly ups, flukes up and all the ethological array that the humpback whales are known for. Best part was to hear them call so clearly!(With our new hydrophone)” Panama Whale Watching Day Tours 1 day tours from Panama city to the Pearl islands 1 day tours from Panama city to the Isla Taboga area 1 day tours from Isla Contadora Sunrise Wildlife tours (from Contadora) Sunset  with the Whales tours (from Contadora) Kayak with the Whales tours (from Contadora) 2-4 day custom package tours in the Pearl islands 5 day Whale and Dolphin Wisdom Retreats Responsible and Sustainable Whale Watching is very important to us. ● All of our guides are professional, bi-lingual and friendly Biologists who are happy to share their passion for the whales with your clients. ● Whale Watching Panama is the only and first dedicated Whale Watching company in Panama. ● We work with the International Whaling Commission to promote responsible and sustainable whale watching all over the world. ● We are proud Ambassador members of Planet Whale Responsible Whale Watch Partnership ● We have a 99% success rate in seeing whales in the Pearl islands. Contact us now to receive details and prices for all of our tours. Click Here

Panama Fresh Fish Market Report 2014

These market research reports offer an in-depth perspective on the actual market situation, trends and future outlook for fish products in Panama. The analyses provide essential market information for decision-makers including:

Panama seafood report 2014

– Overall market value for fish products in Panama
– Overall market volume for fish products in Panama
– Market value and volume for fish products by type (Crustaceans, Dried, salted and smoked fish products, Fish fillets and other fish meat, Frozen fish (whole), Molluscs, Prepared and preserved crustaceans and molluscs, Prepared and preserved fish products, Other fish products)
– Product prices
– Forecasts and future outlook of the market
– Country overview, macroeconomic indicators and indicators of doing business

seafood panama 2014 repor

These market analyses answer to questions such as:

– What is the size of the fish products market in Panama?
– How is the market divided into different types of products? Which products are growing fast?
– How the market has been developing? How does the future look like?

panama fresh fish market
– What is the potential for the market?
– How the indicators of doing business look like? For example, how easily the contracts are being enforced, or what is the inflation rate and how is it developing?

Beer Report for Panama 2014

Beer of Panama

Product Synopsis
A detailed market research report on the Panama beer industry. Researched and published by Canadean.

Introduction and Landscape
Why was the report written?
This report comprises high level market research data on the Panama beer industry, published by Canadean. The report covers the total market (on- and off-premise) and includes valuable insight and analysis on beer market trends, brands, brewers, packaging, distribution channels, market valuation and pricing.

What is the current market landscape and what is changing?
Premium beers led the growth experienced during 2012, mainly due to the explosion of Miller Lite on to the market.

What are the key drivers behind recent market changes?
Draught beer has been losing share and is almost absent from the country. There is no culture for consumption of this type of product.

What makes this report unique and essential to read?
The Panama Beer Market Insight report is designed for clients needing a quality in-depth understanding of the dynamics and structure of the Beer market. The report provides a much more granular and detailed data set than our competitors. All data has been researched, brand upwards, by an experienced ’on-the-ground’ industry analyst who conducts face-to-face interviews with key producers, leading companies in allied industries, distributors and retailers.

Key Features and Benefits
This report provides readers with an excellent way of gaining a thorough understanding of the dynamics and structure of the Panama Beer industry. Data includes volumes from 2008 to 2012 plus forecasts for 2013, enabling historical and current trend analysis.

This report provides readers with in-depth market segmentation: mainstream, premium, super premium, discount, alcoholic strength, local segmentation, beer type.

This report provides data and analysis of the performance of both domestic and imported brands and reports on new product activity in 2012.

This report provides an analysis of industry structure, reports on company volumes and contains brewer profiles for major brewers

This report provides distribution channel data (on- vs off-premise) and discusses the latest trends in the key sub-channels. Packaging data includes consumption volumes by pack material, type, size, refillable vs non-refillable, multi-serve vs single serve. Market valuation data and pricing data, including beer consumption by price segment/distribution channel and selected consumer beer prices are also included.

Key Market Issues
Premium brands are the fastest growing, up by nearly 195% on last year. This was largely due to the improved management of brands such as Miller Lite.

The beer industry is expected to continue its positive growth trend, driven by premium brands and a shift to cheaper beers, as a result of a government tax on spirits.

Imports grew by 11% in 2012, driven by the popularity of premium brands Corona and Old Milwaukee.

Export growth of 33% was recorded in 2012, with Panama acted as a hub for the re-export of imported brands.

Key Highlights
Leading brand Atlas has lost market share in 2012, with SABMiller putting more support behind its other brand, including Balboa and Miller Lite.

Average prices increased by 17%, mainly due to the movement of certain brands from the discount to mainstream segments.

For the third year in a row, very little has changed across the on- and off-premise markets. Off-premise takes the majority of sales, with large modern leading the market.

Cerverceria Nacional (SABMiller) leads the beer market in Panama, currently holding a 66% market share. Its strategic focus is on maximising distribution strength and driving volume through strong promotional and marketing initiatives.

World Retirement In Central America, Why Panama is Doing Better than Costa Rica

Retirement In Central America, Why Panama is Doing Better than Costa Rica

By Garland Baker and News of the World by Panama Jack in Costa Rica

Is Costa Rica moving forward or backward for expats? Is the country killing the golden goose? Is it too late to turn things around for foreigners? Are taxes and the red tape getting to be too much for expats to live here?

Tico's Begging for money downtown San Jose Costa Rica

Tico’s Begging for money downtown San Jose Costa Rica

Even Ticos are tired. That is one reason the new president, Luis Guillermo Solís, received so many votes. The country was trying to send a message to the current powers to reflect their discontent. Does the new man have what it takes to turn things around or will he be inheriting such a mess he will be doomed to failure? One thing for sure, he will have to deal with Costa Rica’s out-of-control national debt and dwindling internationals interest in the country.

Ten years ago, the government started talking about taxing people more and more. Over that time, they have put new computers in place and hired additional personnel to do so. They have added a luxury tax, a tax on companies, and a land-travel exit tax to name a few.

Costa Ricans must shop at outside markets, where they can but produce for 1/3 the cost of a village market of Super Market like Wallmart

Costa Ricans must shop at outside markets, where they can but produce for 1/3 the cost of a village market of Super Market like Walmart I know that is where I shop every Saturday Morning.

On the new president’s agenda, there is a list of new tax proposals to raise more money for the country:

1.) Widening sales taxes to include services;

2.) Increasing sales taxes from 13 to 15 percent;

3.) Making a new scale to include more people who earn service fees;

4.) Capital gains taxes;

5.) Tax on world income; and the list goes on and on.

Last week the municipality of San José notified bar owners they would have to pay an additional assessment of 400,000 colons (about $740) per quarter to stay in business for bars over 60 square meters. For those under 60 they will have to pay 200,000.

Surprises like these never cease. And, they probably will not, because the country keeps on spending more and more like money is going out of style.

Where is Costa Rica in its development life cycle common to tourist destinations? The phases to the cycle are exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation and, decline and/or rejuvenation. Where does this country lie in this model? Does the life cycle model even apply to Costa Rica anymore?






Panama City has stepped into the future and looks like first world class city.

Panama City has stepped into the future and looks like first world class city. hats the welcome mat out for world Retirement and has doubled their visa stays to 180 days where as Costa Ricas are 90 and they can waite to kick tourist out if they stay any longer


Panamá on the other hand is burning up the metrics. The country’s growth last year was an astonishing 7.0 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP in English and PIB in Spanish). Costa Rica’s was only 3.4 percent, near the bottom of the list for Central America and the Caribbean. Panamá also has reduced poverty 12.6 percent in the past six years.

Costa Rica has added thousands of police officers to protect the tourists from bandits after their turist econmy fell apart from over taxing goods coming into the county

Costa Rica has added thousands of police officers to protect the tourists from bandits after their tourist economy fell apart from over taxing goods coming into the county one time at the Four Seasons Resort they charged me $13.00 for a quart of water, that just says loud and clear Fuck You Gringo

What is the difference? Panamá is working at attracting investors and retired people while Costa Rica seems to be shooing them away. Years ago, Costa Rica had great benefits, too, before the Hacienda ministry started taking them away one benefit at a time, until there were none left. International Living ranked Panamá the best retirement destination in the world not once or even twice, but seven times in a row.

The World Bank is not forecasting a very rosy future for the country over the next few year either. Annual GDP growth is projected to stagnate or decline while debt will continues to rise. This may change if the new administration is strong enough to do so.

For many years Costa Rican Familiies has chosen to sell their children into prostitution to make ends meet or to get ahead

For many years Costa Rican Families has chosen to sell their children into prostitution to make ends meet or to get ahead

There seems to be a fundamental difference in philosophies between Panamá and Costa Rica. Panamá seems to building itself up as a corporate inviting country as well as one for tourists and retired people. Costa Rica on the other hand does not seem to doing much to keep the latter.

Panamá invites retired residents who can show an income of $1,000 a month. Costa Rica requires much more and takes years in some cases to process the file.

Baby boomers retiring from the work force are looking outside the United States for a welcome place to hang their hats. What message is Costa Rica sending to them? Over the past five years expats who once where very happy in this country have sold cheap and left. One woman who had a beautiful house in Nosara sold it for one-third its value. She said at the closing, “I came here to live and not to be hassled. Living in Costa Rica is not fun anymore. I am moving back to the United States because it seems easier than living here now.”

Costa Rica is a beautiful country, unique in the world. However, politicians must believe it is so unique retired people will live here regardless of what they do. Here is a wake up call. There are other very nice places in the world. They need to learn that squeezing every nickel out expats and Ticos alike is not a good economic policy.

The Panama Canal 3 big economic trends that will hit home soon

Joel Naroff, founder and president of Naroff Economic Advisors, wants to change that. In his new book, Big Picture Economics, Naroff and his co-author Ron Scherer explain how faraway events that might seem arcane to ordinary Americans can end up having big consequences for them. More importantly, things can change in ways that require ordinary folks to change their thinking or behavior. “The standard view of things we may have had over 10 or 20 years may be different now,” Naroff tells me in the video above. “Every individual has to keep that in mind.”

Naroff sees three big changes taking place globally that could directly impact the U.S. job market and other facets of the domestic economy:

The expansion of the Panama Canal. The canal is being widened and deepened, to allow today’s huge cargo ships to pass through instead of taking the much longer route around the tip of South America. Once the work is completed in late 2015 or 2016, the expansion will significantly change the way goods are shipped to the United States and moved around once they’re here. There are already several big construction projects underway at ports along the U.S. East Coast as they prepare for a surge of new goods arriving. Naroff expects there will also be big changes at cargo distribution hubs in the Midwest. Will it create jobs? “I think it’s going to,” he says.

Panama Canal

Panama Canal

Related: China’s GDP slows: Time to panic?

Rising wages in China. “Ten or 15 years ago, it was a no-brainer to offshore manufacturing in China,” Naroff says. But the rapid growth of China’s economy has pushed wages there much closer to levels in the United States, erasing much of the cost advantage of producing in China. Other low-cost countries, such as Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia, are getting some of that business, but some of it is returning to the United States, as well. That doesn’t mean the textile or furniture mills of the 1970s and ‘80s will return. Instead, new U.S. factories are likely to be high-tech and highly efficient, with jobs available for people trained in using the latest assembly-line machinery.

Related: Fracking has made the U.S. “the envy of the world”: Russell Gold

The proliferation of natural gas. It’s no secret than new “fracking” technology has helped open up vast U.S. reserves of oil and natural gas to drilling. But the consequences of this momentous shift in energy production are barely being felt yet. There’s obviously a boom in places like Minot, N.D., which sits atop the Bakken shale formation. What may be coming next, Naroff says, is a huge build-out of energy infrastructure to take advantage of the newfound energy. Eventually, we may see more cars powered by natural gas and other big changes that capitalize on cheaper, cleaner energy.

The Panama Can Tours

The Panama Can Tours

As the United States becomes more energy-independent, it could dramatically alter the entire geopolitical order. Less reliance on energy from turbulent regions such as the Middle East could reorder national security priorities. It could also give the United States more leverage over Russia, which is currently causing mischief in Ukraine that is unnerving much of Europe. Eventually this revolution will show up in your front yard, in one form or another. The big picture matters to the little guy.

Rick Newman’s latest book is Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman.