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  1. Grupo Unidos por el Canal claims $3.5 billion in cost overruns The consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) delivered the completed third set of locks to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on June 25. But it also submitted something else, a $3.5 billion bill for additional costs. The claims exceed the value of the original contract, which was awarded to the consortium in 2009 for $3.1 billion. There are $569 million in claims pending before a conflict resolution board and $527 million pending before an international arbitration panel, the final step in the claims process. The ACP so far has paid the consortium the original $3.1 billion, plus an additional $364 million in additional costs it has recognized as valid. The rest of the claims are yet to be submitted to the conflict resolution board or they are still being considered by the ACP. http://www.prensa.com/in_english/ruta-reclamos-Canal_21_4535006455.html
  2. http://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-4/record-transit-price-canal-crossing
  3. https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/slow-down-for-ships-transiting-canal-protects-whales-and-environment
  4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/23/chiles-police-thwarted-nazi-plot-destroy-panama-canal-second/
  5. Are You Interested in a Special Tour of the New Panama Canal and a Shopping Spree at the Duty Free Zone (DFZ) in Colon? The Asociación de Caridad de la Comunidad de Boquete* (ACCB) is scheduling a bus trip to see the new locks at the Panama Canal, and for a shopping spree at the Duty Free Zone (DFZ) at Colon. Not only are purchases at the DFZ duty free (i.e., no customs fees, no taxes), but they are also very low prices for just about anything you can imagine. The Colon DFZ is the largest duty free area in the Western Hemisphere, occupying more than 800 acres and having approximately 2,000 stores. This is a 2-day, 1-night round-trip excursion by chartered bus, departing promptly on Wednesday, July 19th at 7:00AM from Parque Central in Boquete. The bus is modern, well-maintained and well-equipped with two bathrooms, CD sound system, and individual movies, etc. The bus will stop in Santiago on the outbound leg (at Westland Mall in Vista Alegre, near Chorrera on the return leg) for food, drinks, leg stretching, etc. The fee for the round-trip chartered bus (and access to a merchandise van at the DFZ) is $110.00 cash per person, which is discounted for ACCB members to $100.00 cash per person. Meals, tips, lodging, tours, personal purchases, and incidentals are not included in the chartered bus fee. A non-refundable $60.00 per person reservation deposit must be paid by July 7th. The balance in cash is due upon boarding the bus in Boquete. The following estimated costs are with jubilado discounts: (a) admission to the Canal museum is $1.50, (b) Hotel Milan, maximum of two persons per room, is $40.00 with cédula and cash payment. Upon arrival in Panama City, the bus will take the tour group directly to the Panama Canal to view the new Miraflores Canal Observation Overlook and Museum during the late afternoon hours. Upon completion of sightseeing at the new Panama Canal, you will re-board the bus for transfer to Hotel Milan. The hotel has an attached cafeteria/bar. There are several restaurants, shops, and Veneto Casino within walking distance of Hotel Milan. Close by is a station to ride the PC Metro (the new subway). The evening is open for you to explore Panama City, go to a casino, dinner or whatever you want to do. On Thursday morning we will board the same charter bus and depart Hotel Milan at 7:00AM, stopping for breakfast at Nico's Cafe, which is just 30 minutes from the hotel. After breakfast, board the bus for the trip to Colon. Chartered buses are not allowed inside the DFZ, therefore a small merchandise van has been arranged for the tour group while inside the DFZ (cost is included in the tour fee) to drop off smaller purchases and continue shopping. Smaller merchandise will accompany the tour group back to Boquete on the chartered bus; large items (e.g., appliances, televisions, etc.) will require that you arrange for separate transportation to Boquete using commercial freight companies (e.g., Fletes Chevales, etc.). After several hours of shopping in the DFZ, you will then board the chartered bus for the return trip to Boquete. The return trip will include a food and shopping stop at the Westland Mall in Vista Alegre, near Chorrera. Expect to arrive back at Parque Central in Boquete about 9:00PM on Thursday, July 20th. Ask your friends and neighbors to join you on this special 2-day excursion. This chartered bus event is not a fundraiser for ACCB, but rather a not-for-profit community service event. ACCB is distributing this notice to determine how much interest there is in this trip. Minimum tour size is 25 people There is limited space so respond quickly. You will need a copy of your cédula or passport at the time of the deposit. Reservation deposits and final payments are to be in cash only. The DEADLINE for making a reservation is July 7th. Personal identity documentation needed during this trip are your cédula and passport. We understand the DFZ stores accept most major credit cards, and some may accept bank drafts on Panamanian banks. If interested, please email ACCB at accb-dfz@runbox.com indicating your name, email, telephone number, number of people in your party, along with their names (and emails if different). If you have questions please be specific in your email and we will get back to you. ____________________________ *The ACCB is presently completing the filing process for legal status as a Panamanian Association. The goal of ACCB is to provide assistance to first responders and the general community wherever needed.
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