By Dialogo September 15, 2009 More than 4,500 personnel from 20 countries began a 12-day exercise here Friday to train in a joint, multinational effort to ensure the security of the Panama Canal. U.S. and Panamanian officials held a formal opening ceremony Fuerzas Aliadas (Allied Forces) PANAMAX 2009, co-sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and the Government of Panama, in Panama City, Panama. Representatives of the 20 participating nations joined Jose Raul Mulino, Panama’s Minister of Government and Justice, and U.S. Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Gerald W. Ketchum, Director of Stability for U.S. Southern Command, at the ceremony. FA PANAMAX 2009 is one of the largest multinational training exercises in the world, and is taking place in the waters off the coasts of Panama from Sept. 11-22 with the participation of civil and military forces. More than 20 vessels and a dozen aircraft are involved in the exercises. Participants are focusing on a variety of responses to any request from the Government of Panama to protect and guarantee safe passage of traffic through the Panama Canal, ensure its neutrality, and respect national sovereignty. Simulated ground forces are also participating at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. “This year’s exercise will continue the tradition of strengthening partnerships and building real operational capability,” said Ketchum. “It is important to all participants, that this unique engine of regional and world economic activity remain safe, secure and prosperous. “In 2009, we will collectively exercise maritime interdiction, security operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Ketchum added. Minister Mulino also emphasized the importance of creating the legal, institutional and operational framework necessary to ensure the safeguarding of the Panama Canal. The multinational forces protecting the canal approaches will be organized under Multi-National Force-South and commanded by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Keith M. Huber, commander of U.S. Army South. The FA PANAMAX 2009 exercise scenario includes sea-based training devoted to maritime interdiction operations, including visit, boarding, search and seizure. Virtual land-based training in San Antonio, Texas, will focus on command and control, stability operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations. FA PANAMAX 2009 participating nations include: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States and Uruguay. France and Mexico are scheduled to participate as observers. The Conference of Central American Armies, the Organization of American States and the United Nations will also participate. Honduras withdrew from the exercise Aug. 10. PANAMAX began in 2003 with three countries: Panama, Chile and the United States. Exercise participation has greatly expanded every year since. In 2004, nine nations took part; in 2005, 15 nations were involved; in 2006, 18 nations participated; in 2007, 19 nations took part and last year 20 nations were a part of PANAMAX 2008.
Chelsea have appointed former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow as their new head of global commercial activities. Press Association Purslow joined Liverpool in June 2009, succeeding Rick Parry, with the aim of bringing more revenue to the club although his role changed when then owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks decided to sell the club The businessman then helped the sale process to the group led by current Reds owner John W Henry before stepping down from his role in October the following year. He remained as a non-executive director and special adviser until February 2011. The 50-year-old will lead the Blues’ attempt to expand their brand around the world as they seek to become a growing force on and off the field. “The club believes Mr Purslow has the vision and the leadership qualities to help us achieve these plans,” said a short statement on Chelsea’s website.
LONDON – European film and TV writers demonstrated Wednesday in support of their striking U.S. colleagues. Several dozen writers rallied in front of the headquarters of Britain’s main union federation holding red-and-black placards saying: “We Support the Writers Guild of America.” Mark Burton, a British writer whose credits include “Madagascar” and “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” said the issue at stake was “how you pay creative artists in the digital world. Producers see an opportunity to seize more territory for themselves,” said Burton, a WGA member whose American projects are on hold. The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since Nov. 5, halting production on many TV shows and movies. The main issue: payment for work broadcast on the Internet and mobile phones. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsPlaywright David Edgar, president of the 2,000-strong Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, said that without payment for Internet use, writers’ relationship to their work was like “the widget-maker’s relationship to the widget once it is made – that is, none at all.” In Paris, a few dozen screenwriters and others joined a march from the Opera Garnier to the Trocadero Plaza across from the Eiffel Tower in support of their American counterparts. They held up signs saying “French Screenwriters Are Angry” and “Our Creative Work is Under Threat.” In Berlin, about 30 scriptwriters and actors gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate. “We have a different situation, but we are all banding together and standing together,” said German scriptwriter Anne Mueller. Australian scriptwriters also supported their U.S. counterparts, with Australian Writers Guild members rallying in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!