Panama, U.S. Sign Security Agreement
By Dialogo June 21, 2010 The United States and Panama signed a security agreement to reduce and prevent the crime in Darien province, bordering with Colombia. The agreement called the “Darien Initiative” was signed by Panamanian Economy and Finance Minister Alberto Vallarino and U.S. ambassadress to Panama Barbara Stephenson. Vallarino said he was optimistic about the achievements on implementing the agreement, which is mainly centered on the cooperation of the local authorities in order to create “safer communities,” to face the external threats against the civilians. According to Vallarino, the Darien is a vulnerable zone for illegal actions such as weapons trafficking, smuggling and drug trafficking. “The cooperation will be centered on creating better life conditions for the people, mainly for the younger,” added Stephenson. “The goal is to protect vulnerable young people and change their lives with scholarships and create safer communities.” Darien is considered the zone of higher risk for its proximity to Colombia, where there has been armed conflicts since more than 40 years before, including, guerilla, paramilitaries and drug traffickers.
One Championship could return to ring next month: CEO
He said the job cuts in “non-essential” areas were necessary to insulate the company against an expected economic downturn, despite the $70 million cash injection.”Extraordinary times require very unusual prudence to protect the company and the longevity of many years to come,” Chatri said.”Our operating assumption is that the global economy will continue to suffer over the next 24 months, and potentially enter the worst global recession in history,” he added. “And so we want to be prepared, under all scenarios, with a lean organization with a big war chest.” With coronavirus laying waste to professional sports worldwide, One’s last event was in Singapore in late February, and it had to cancel a series of events in April and May.”Of course, this environment has made it trickier to operate but I’m always an optimist, and I believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way,” Chatri said by phone from Singapore.”We are looking at next month already. Nothing has been announced formally, but I can tell you that we are working very hard to come back,” he added.Chatri did not disclose the size of One’s now-reduced global workforce, but the company’s LinkedIn profile put the headcount at between 201-500 employees. Asia’s largest mixed martial arts promotion, One Championship, could resume putting on fights as early as next month, its CEO told AFP on Monday, as he warned of rocky operating conditions ahead after the coronavirus.Chatri Sityodtong was speaking as the Singapore-based company slashed 20 percent of its workforce but also announced a $70 million funding boost from institutional investors.He said One, which promotes cards across Asia in mixed martial arts, Muay Thai and kickboxing, was planning fight nights next month in China, Thailand and Singapore, depending on lockdown measures. ‘Big vote of confidence’ Chatri said the extra funding had come from existing backers as well as a new institutional investor — a “$20 billion fund” from the United States whose identity will be revealed in the coming weeks.The cash boost brings One’s total capital to $346 million and helps “future-proof” the organization, Chatri said.”I’m very grateful for this big vote of confidence, you know, in the middle of the worst global economic crisis in 100 years,” he said.”I’m just very, very excited and inspired to return back with live events this summer, and start doing what we always do.”Chatri said One was “in talks with every major Asian government to bring back our events online”. One Hero fights, feeder events for the main championship, will also be held in Shanghai on June 20 and 21, he said.The US-based Ultimate Fighting Championship on May 10 became one of the first sports to restart post-coronavirus.UFC has so far successfully put on six shows in tightly controlled environments under COVID-19 testing protocols in Jacksonville, Florida, and Las Vegas.One Championship also has eSports and reality TV interests, Chatri said, as well as its “crown jewel” of stadium fights. Topics :
Bolt says going out with 9.7s would be good
…targets lightning fast 2017WORLD’S fastest man Usain Bolt is hopeful of turning in a lighting fast final season on the track after being encouraged by an early season clean bill of health.Bolt, the highly decorated Olympic and World Champion, is expected to call it quits this year, with the World Championships in London earmarked as his final meet.The world 100m and 200m world record holder will, however, only compete over the shorter distance where he hopes to clock a few fast times. Bolt is the holder of three of the five sub-9.7 second clockings in history and believes it could be possible to add to that mark.“Normally (in February) I’m injured, so I’m in Europe at the doctor or in Jamaica trying to find ways to get back into shape,’’ he said.“I can’t remember when last I ran in February. I don’t know, probably four years ago, maybe.“I think to be able to run early in the season is always good. The fact that I have no injuries is ¬always good. Most of the time in February, January, I have niggles so the fact that I have no problem is always a good sign.“If everything goes smoothly and I continue to train as I think I can, at the level that I want to, it definitely will help me to get as close as possible to where I want to be (in August).“It would be great to go out running 9.7, 9.6, it would look good.’’Bolt has suffered several injury-plagued seasons over the past few years, in part due to the effects of scoliosis. (SPORTS Max)