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Panamanian Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela dismissed the possibility of negotiations between the government and groups of Colombian irregulars who may be active in Panama. “We’re not going to engage in dialogue with irregular groups dedicated to drug trafficking, and still less with groups that are trying to recruit young people from the Emberá ethnic group, Panamanian young people from modest backgrounds in that area (of El Darién, on the border with Colombia), in the attempt to get them to join their ranks in order to commit illicit acts,” Varela told reporters. The foreign minister spoke after the existence of an alleged note by the FARC Colombian guerrilla group became public, in which note the group is believed to request a “dialogue” with the Panamanian police, in exchange for not acting against them in Panamanian territory. According to Varela, this is all part of psychological warfare by the FARC, “sending a message to our police that they are co-existing with them in the area and that we should establish a dialogue.” “Our only message here is that they withdraw from Panamanian territory. We’re going to defend Panamanian territory to the last square meter, and what they should do is just take their conflict elsewhere,” Varela said. Previously, the National Border Service discovered and put out of operation a camp in Darién where the Evert Ortega Company of Front 57 of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was operating. By Dialogo January 24, 2011
The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) nosedived to a level unseen since March 2017 on Thursday afternoon amid fears over the spread of COVID-19, extending losses recorded by Asian stocks.The main gauge of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) plunged 2.63 percent to 5,539.38 before lunch break. The figure was the lowest since March 10, 2017 when the index stood at 5,390, Bloomberg data showed.“Market players now are still responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which is spreading faster,” Pilarmas Investindo Sekuritas researchers wrote in a note. Topics : IDX trading director Laksono Widodo told The Jakarta Post that the bourse would continue trading after lunch break despite the sharp drop.“We’ll monitor the situation closely,” he said over text message. “We’ve prepared a crisis protocol if it falls 5 percent.”The steep decline was in line with Asian markets.Japan’s Nikkei dropped more than 2 percent, South Korea’s Kospi fell almost 1 percent, the Hong Kong Stock Index slipped 0.84 percent while Shanghai’s index managed to gained 0.41 percent as of Thursday afternoon.“The rising infection cases beyond Chinese shores has certainly raised the pandemic risk,” said Desh Peramunetilleke, head of microstrategy at Jefferies in Hong Kong, as quoted by Reuters. “The current earnings estimates do not yet factor in such risk and are therefore vulnerable to further downgrades.”More than 82,000 people have contracted COVID-19 around the globe as of Thursday afternoon with 2,801 deaths, mostly in China, the world’s second-largest economy.
The publisher will bring back about 30% of the furloughed employees who chose not to take buyouts, Bankoff said, adding that it will reinstate full salaries of the remaining employees.”The only exceptions are me and my executive team, who will continue our reductions,” the CEO wrote in the letter.Vox Media, which also owns technology news websites including the Verge and Recode, had in April said it would furlough 9% of its employees and the decision would impact about 100 of them from May through July.Topics : Vox Media, the owner of New York magazine, is laying off 6% of its staff, as it does not expect a rebound in publishing business to pre-COVID forecasts in the second half of 2020, according to an internal email seen by Reuters.Media companies are hard-pressed with cash flow concerns as they see a drop in advertising revenue since the coronavirus outbreak, forcing many to cut expenses.Vox Media Chief Executive Officer Jim Bankoff said in the email a majority of those impacted by the layoff were employees furloughed in May and would receive health insurance and severance packages.
Image courtesy of OMVAustria’s OMV signed a basic sale agreement with Russia’s Gazprom to purchase interest in the Achimov IV and V phase development in the Urengoy gas and condensate field. According to OMV’s statement, the stake would be 24.98 percent with the price left to be negotiated.With the new agreement, Gazprom has given up on swapping assets with OMV that would have given it 38.5 percent interest in OMV (NORGE).The agreement signed in December 2016 raised a few questions in Norway, Platts reports, with the government voicing its concerns over Gazprom’s involvement in exploration off Norway. It was seen as a risk to Europe’s energy security given Gazprom’s already dominant role in the market.OMV added that the execution and implementation of the potential transaction depends on agreeing on the final transaction documents.The signing of the final transaction documents is expected at the beginning of the year 2019.