PANAMA Three new newspapers have been launched in Panama: EI Diario, already in circulation; Hoy, soon to appear, and EI Peri6dico, which is publishing sporadically. The situation of the Editora Panama America publishing company remains a concern. The Supreme Court ruled the dictatorship's seizure of of the company from its rightful owners had been unconstitutional, but a labor dispute, during which the company's assets remain in official receivership, continues. The controversy over the newspaper Ya, Impresora Ideal publishing company and the daily EI Siglo also continues. The government canceled nine radio franchises under terms of a 1960 decree authorizing such a step to prevent concentration of ownership. The license can be withdrawn if a station is off the air for more than 240 days. So far the government has not re-assigned the franchises, but has said it will consider applications from the previous licensees. Channel 2 Television was purchased by a private group from Carlos Duque, a prominent member of the Noriega government. The government Bureau of State Property ordered its sequester while it investigates whether he used state funds to run it. The channel is being operated under management of its purchasers meanwhile. Formerly owned by successive presidents, ChannelS has been taken over jointly by COFINA, the state industrial bank, and its employees. The channel is off the air and is expected to be handed over to the Catholic Church. More than 40 libel suits have been filed, many of them by government officials, including the president. These suits are being handled under the previous regime's criminal code, which remains in force and provides for imprisonment of offenders in such cases. The press laws of the previous regime also remain in force and the government is considering a possible new law,that would limit the practice of journalism to "suitable" university journalism school graduates. Bills have been introduced to repeal laws 67, 68 and 11 of 1978 by a government coalition congressman, but it is not clear whether the government will support them. Just one media person is still in jail. He is Escolastico Calvo, a former director of ERSA, the newspaper publishing group linked to the Noriega regime. He is accused of theft of public funds while he was consul in Antwerp, Belgium.