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AMOACSS, El fracaso del Gobierno Nacional

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unions speak

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Editorial, Back to school — and back to work

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Froon and Kremers
A selfie of two young Dutchwomen who died in a national park a few years ago, one of the proximate causes being that there was no cell phone connection when they tried to call for help. It was a blow to national tourism and there was a tiny bit of improvement to bring telecommunications to some parts of Panama’s protected wilderness areas. And things slid along until another scandal, a weird cult torturing people to death in an indigenous village out of cell phone range. But all along our cell phone concessions called for full national coverage, which Panama has never received.

Stride forward, not backward, as schools reopen

The government is pondering sending the kids back to school in July, at first “a distancia,” which can mean many things but usually means online.

A cursory first glance, though, finds nearly one-third of Panama’s school kids without an Internet connection at their homes. There are those beyond any Internet signal. There are those living without electricity, some in places not served by power lines. There are those households without a suitable computer for the students to use, or more students than computers that would be needed. Many of our teachers are not properly trained or equipped to teach online, and may not have Internet connections themselves.

The people to whom the president is listening don’t personally know any of those kids and are advising the government to abandon the public schools in favor of the private schools where they send their kids. It’s a wonderful formula to provoke widespread social disturbances.

However, meeting the immense challenge of going back to school would allow us to address other urgent issues facing a country with a plague-shattered economy.

The most militantly selfish of the rich would object in principle, the hustlers would see opportunities and the “no se puede” bureaucrats would get their eternal pessimism fed. And then an administration that has flubbed many of the economic details would have its chance for long-lasting greatness.

We don’t have nationwide telecommunications? The companies have breached their contracts and should not be heard to object. Build those towers, install those electronics, put the potentially troublesome unemployed back to work doing that.

We have places with no electricity even if there is a signal, and students without computers? Provide those families with photovoltaic cells and batteries sufficient to run a laptop and a light bulb. Give those kids laptops.

We have teachers who don’t have the computer skills to teach, and students who don’t have the computer skills to learn? Sounds like we need to hire a bunch of tutors, and give them the protective clothing they will need to go out in an environment where the COVID-19 virus is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

And when the “mostly clear” signal comes and kids can go back in their masks to classrooms? It looks like we will have more than the usual number with health problems that should keep them at home. We have long had to make provisions for those receiving chemotherapy or with otherwise compromised immune systems. That part of public education would have to be expanded and enriched.

And when the pandemic is history? Then Panama will be a better connected, more modern, more highly developed, better educated and more prosperous country.

  

Sid keeps his cool

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha

  

Bear in mind…

 

Like the mind-set that places men above women, whites above blacks, and rich above poor, the mentality that places humans above nature is a dysfunctional delusion.

Petra Kelly

 

Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.

Demosthenes

 

Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.

Alice Walker

 

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Vuelos de repatriación en Copa / COPA repatriation flights

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Miami

Vuelos de repatriación a Miami y México en Copa
COPA repatriation flights to Miami and Mexico City

Pending government approval, this flight from Panama to Miami leaves on Saturday, May 30 at 2 a.m. You need to have all of your immigration papers (passport, visa if applicable) in order. It’s a one-way flight.

For information and if necessary reservations, call COPA Airlines at 217-2672. You also may want to call the US Embassy / Consulate if you have to travel into the city from the Interior to ask for advice or help about that.

  

These flights leave Panama for Mexico City on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29, at 5 a.m. You need all of the documents necessary for travel to Mexico.

For more information or reservations if needed, call 217-2672. It’s all subject to government approval. You may want to check with the Mexican Embassy or Consulate for help with any difficulties or advice about details.

 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

Para defendernos de los piratas informáticos, los trolls organizados y otros actos de vandalismo en línea, la función de comentarios de nuestro sitio web está desactivada. En cambio, ven a nuestra página de Facebook para unirte a la discusión.  

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Kermit’s Birds / Las aves de Kermit

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choip
Plain Xenops ~ Xenops Bayo ~ Xenops minutus, también conocido en español como el Picolezna menudo.
©Kermit Nourse, encocontrado en Cerro Azul

Plain Xenops / Xenops Bayo

The Plain Xenops is a small 4.5 inch bird found in most of Panama except for the higher altitudes. Personally, I have not seen many of them even though they can readily be identified by its upturned lower bill and acrobatic behavior. – Kermit Nourse

El Picolezna menudo (Xemops Bayo) es un pequeño pájaro de 4.5 pulgadas que se encuentra en la mayor parte de Panamá, excepto en las altitudes más altas. Personalmente, no he visto muchos de ellos a pesar de que pueden identificarse fácilmente por su pico más bajo y su comportamiento acrobático. – Kermit Nourse

 



 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

Para defendernos de los piratas informáticos, los trolls organizados y otros actos de vandalismo en línea, la función de comentarios de nuestro sitio web está desactivada. En cambio, ven a nuestra página de Facebook para unirte a la discusión.  

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US labor leaders: Save the US Postal Service

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APWU
American Postal Workers Union graphic.

Labor leaders’ letter to Congressional leaders

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Naffi, Davidson & Jahwar: Help stop the “infodemic”

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BG
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has been one of the targets of misinformation during the pandemic and was falsely accused of helping spread the COVID-19 virus to sell a vaccine. Wikimedia photo.

Five ways to help stop misinformation about coronavirus

by Nadia Naffi, Université Laval; Ann-Louise Davidson, Concordia University, and Houda Jawhar, Concordia University

Everyone is responsible for slowing the spread of the disease. Every action counts. This is also the case in the fight against misinformation, which intrudes on the overabundance of news, mixing facts, rumours and fake news. The World Health Organization (WHO) has described this phenomenon as an infodemic.

Our research on social media propaganda shows that bystander inaction can encourage the proliferation of fake news. Anyone with access to the internet can contribute to the war on misinformation; for example, many are already doing so by creating videos or songs with prevention messages.

A viral rant against Bill Gates.

As dangerous as the virus

According to the WHO, the COVID-19-related infodemic is just as dangerous as the virus itself. False preventive measures, such as traditional African treatments and fake remedies, like eating garlic, drinking warm water with lemon slices or adulterated alcohol, hinder the fight against the illness.

Similarly, conspiracy theories accusing China of manufacturing the virus, blaming 5G cell towers for spreading the disease or falsely accusing business magnate Bill Gates of causing the epidemic to sell us a vaccine may have consequences that go beyond public health.

Such rumours, myths and exaggerated facts fuel new forms of xenophobia online and offline. Many people of Chinese or East Asian origin are being insulted, assaulted or denied services. Religious, minority and elite groups are being blamed online for its spread.

Feeding confusion

Internet users who share memes, videos or photos that make fun of the virus, even without any harmful intent, also risk spreading misinformation. There is a danger of fuelling panic and confusion in the population. People no longer know who to trust and become more vulnerable to manipulation and cybercrime.

Another source of confusion is Beijing’s attitude. Western governments, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have questioned the Chinese government about the origins of the virus and the real extent of the pandemic in China. Despite Beijing’s denials of hiding anything, the disappearance of Chinese whistleblowers is fuelling speculation, whether it is true or not.

Countering misinformation

Several measures have been put in place to curb the circulation of fake news.

Asian countries did not hesitate to enforce criminal prosecutions related to the COVID-19 infodemic.

In Québec, fact-checking services such as the Rumour Detector are available to the public. The WHO uses its existing network called EPI-WIN to track down misinformation in several languages. It also asks technology giants to filter out false news and promote information from credible sources.

Google removes misleading information about COVID-19 from YouTube, Google Maps, its development platforms such as Play, and in advertisements. Twitter checks, among other things, accounts that are credible sources of information about COVID-19 and monitors conversations to ensure that the keywords searched for on the virus provide access to reliable information.

The WHO has also launched a health alert on WhatsApp and a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to provide accurate information about the virus.

The United Nations is sparing no effort either in tackling misinformation and cyber-frauders who exploit the crisis. The United Nations Development Program supports the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which brings together more than 100 fact-checkers from over 45 countries in the International Fact-Checking Network.

Protect yourself

The infodemic is as real as COVID-19. As with the virus, we must take every precaution to protect ourselves and our loved ones. If it is not stopped quickly, fake news shared on social media quickly becomes viral and can influence a large number of users.

An invisible virus, which sometimes causes no symptoms, is difficult to control. While physical distancing, hygienic measures and the wearing of masks currently seem to be the best means of limiting the spread of COVID-19, vigilance is also one of the best ways of eradicating false and fake news.

First of all, it only takes a few clicks to detect false information. Second, to obtain credible information, several resources exist. The COVID-19 Poynter resources, the COVID-19 Alert on Google, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Québec website offered by the Government of Québec and the WHO online information platform are examples of sites to consult as needed.

Remaining critical when overwhelmed by an immeasurable amount of information from thousands of sources is a great challenge. People may wonder how they can play a meaningful role when even multinational corporations and governments are unable to mitigate the scope of the infodemic.

Reducing the spread

Fact-checking and rational debate are essential to combat the COVID-19-related infodemic, but these strategies can have adverse effects.

A study on the Zika virus showed that attempts to flush out misinformation did not reduce misconceptions about the virus, but rather reduced people’s confidence in the accuracy of WHO’s epidemic information. One of the reasons given is that some people cling to simplistic explanations rather than deciphering complex information in a chaotic environment, where little factual information is available on the sources of the new threat and how to protect against it.

But acting against misinformation in the infodemic is everyone’s responsibility. Without trying to demystify every piece of false news, we can always reduce its scope. Here are five measures to prevent the spread of misinformation:

(Nadia Naffi), CC BY

  1. Be critical when you look at social media.
  2. Don’t leave false information in your online networks. You can politely ask the person who shared it to remove it.
  3. Report the false information to the platform administrators.
  4. When in doubt, take the time to verify the shared information.
  5. Make more noise than people who share false information.

With these simple gestures, and by often sharing credible information, you and your network will be less exposed to the dangers of the infodemic.

Social media users are spending more time online than ever before. It is imperative that they do their part to stop the spread of false and fake news, which will likely continue to proliferate even beyond the end of this containment.The Conversation

Nadia Naffi, Assistant Professor, Educational Technology, Holds the Chair in Educational Leadership in the Innovative Pedagogical Practices in Digital Contexts, Université Laval; Ann-Louise Davidson, Concordia University Research Chair, Maker culture; Associate Professor, Educational Technology, Concordia University, and Houda Jawhar, Research assistant, Educational Technology, Concordia University
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
 

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What Democrats are saying

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Dem voices






During this quarantine Claro has increased the cost of Internet service for The Panama News by at least six-fold. To help with that, there are two things you might do:

1.  Send money to the The Panama News Internet number, which is 62757611, via Ding at https://www.ding.com/

2. Buy Claro prepaid phone cards, scratch off the covering on the code numbers and email those numbers to fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

Contact us by email at fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

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What Republicans are saying

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GOP voices






During this quarantine Claro has increased the cost of Internet service for The Panama News by at least six-fold. To help with that, there are two things you might do:

1: Send money to the The Panama News Internet number, which is 62757611, via Ding at https://www.ding.com/

2. Buy Claro prepaid phone cards, scratch off the covering on the code numbers and email those numbers to fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

Contact us by email at fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

 

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Varios medios digitales, La propaganda gubernamental

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R1

La vaina opaca

R2

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¿Wappin? Interfaith / Interreligioso

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interfaith
Pixabay graphic by MoteOo.

One love

Mahalia Jackson — Lord Don’t Move The Mountain
https://youtu.be/jusAnLIFE3k

Luis Arteaga – El Jarrito
https://youtu.be/G8gcESTdmT8

George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
https://youtu.be/A8sgSQeQdRg

Yusuf Islam – The Beloved
https://youtu.be/N0c3Y1JsF90

Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq – You Got To Run
https://youtu.be/o5zb0WTSLsY

Peter Gabriel – Blood of Eden
https://youtu.be/3XhDGkg8SpQ

Elijah Emanuel – La Conciencia Indigena
https://youtu.be/qMF66DAdIKo

Víctor Jara – Preguntitas sobre Dios
https://youtu.be/G87jJT_qkrM

Joan Baez – Sacco and Vanzetti
https://youtu.be/wbFn1gKldWA

Mad Professor & Aisha – Jah Protect I
https://youtu.be/HjQn0hjudfo

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
https://youtu.be/bFIPlUQDPzo

Judy Garland: – Battle Hymn of the Republic
https://youtu.be/e4Xz7WV_qJs

Peter Tosh – Mystic Man
https://youtu.be/yNPoRSwQdmE

Rómulo Castro & Yomira John – Como Bien de Amor
https://youtu.be/sT8CkZy4qCA

John Lennon – God
https://youtu.be/WNLUn3dDrhk

 

 

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