Global recession leads to drop in Panama Canal tonnage

Global recession leads to drop in Panama Canal tonnage Panama City  - The Panama Canal Authority forecast a drop in cargo tonnage going through the waterway in the 2008-09 fiscal year as cargo transit was dragged down by the global recession.

In an analysis presented on Monday, the authority said this year's transit volume would be down 5 per cent to 294.1 million tons, 19.9 million tons less than in the previous fiscal year, which ended on September 20.

Panama signs loan deal for canal extension

Panama City  - The Panama Canal Authority signed a series of agreements Tuesday, securing loans totalling 2.3 billion dollars to finance the expansion of the the canal.

Canal Authority head Alberto Aleman Zubieta signed loan contracts with several development banks, including the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Bank of Japan, the International Finance Corporation and the Andean Development Corporation.

"Today we have reached a major milestone for both the canal and our country. The support of these major lenders for the largest infrastructure project in Latin America is truly encouraging and inspiring. Thank you for the trust and confidence you have demonstrated for Panama," Aleman Zubieta said.

First Russian naval ship since 1944 passes through Panama Canal

United States, RussiaPanama City  - Panamanian media reports Saturday said that a Russian naval vessel has passed through the Panal Canal for the first time since 1944.

The reports cited the Russian embassy in Panama City in disclosing that the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko had passed through the canal after having taken part in recent naval manoeuvres with Venezuela.

The Russian ship, commissioned in 1999, is 164 metres long and has a crew of about 300.

In 1944, during World War Two, four Soviet submarines had passed through the canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific after undergoing repairs.

Earthquake damages homes along Panama-Costa Rica border

Panama City  - A powerful earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale damaged homes along the border between Costa Rica and Panama on Wednesday, civil protection officials in Panama said.

Retired man killed in bee attack

Panama CityPanama City  - A swarm of suspected Africanized "killer bees" killed a 66-year-old ret

Panama City copter crash kills Chilean police boss

Panama City/Santiago - The head of Chile's militarized police corps Carabineros, Jose Alejandro Bernales, died Thursday in the fiery crash of a helicopter in the centre of Panama City, Chilean aut