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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 11                          Email us
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Plenty of questions remain in case of murdered teens
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators of the double murder of teens in Paraíso are trying to piece together what happened, and they now have the help of a 21-year-old who admits being the murderer.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said robbery might have been a motive, although the case also seems to be a sex crime.

Agents also said when friends discovered the two bodies Tuesday afternoon that it appeared more than one person was involved in the killings. They have to discard, too, the possibility that the man who surrendered is protecting other persons.

The tragedy has shaken the country, in part because the boy, 16, and the girl, 15, were budding musicians.

No identification of the principal suspect has been given, although judicial agents said that he was accompanied by a parent when he surrendered Wednesday afternoon. They showed up at the judicial investigation offices in Cartago.

The dead youngsters are Sebastián Condorí, 16. who played the flute, and Valeria Cortés, 15, who was a violinist.

The Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical  provided information early Tuesday about their work in the Orquesta Sinfónica Manuel María Gutiérrez. The pair had great futures as musicians, said Miguel Peña, director of the state musical system. They were described as girlfriend and boyfriend.

Investigators reported that the boy was shot once in the head. The girl must have struggled. She had been stripped naked. She suffered two bullet wounds in the head but she also suffered knife wounds on the back and in the neck. Medical test results are pending.

The suspect lives about 100 meters from the presumed scene of the crime in a mountainous area of Valle Verde de Paraíso. He is an agricultural worker, the judicial agency said.

After the man surrendered, agents obtained a judicial order and conducted a search of his living unit. They reported finding a . 22-caliber revolver containing three spent bullets and a pick and
dead teens
Sebastián Condorí, 16, and Valeria Cortés, 15.

shovel that may have been used to dig the makeshift graves.

Agents also said that they recovered a camera that was the property of the boy and bloodstained clothing.

Searchers found their bodies because they were seeking the couple in areas that they were known to frequent. The pair were reported missing Monday.

Before the suspect surrendered, the judicial agency said that more than one person was being sought because the graves were prepared well and whoever dug them had to chop through roots from nearby trees.

The killing brought back memories of a series of murders of couples two decades ago in the same area, some residents said.

Miguel Peña, director of the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical, described both victims as respectful, friendly and anxious to live a full life with music as their major passion. He noted that one of the reasons for creating the state-run music system was to confront criminality and violence in the country.

Both youngsters also were undergoing basic music training at the Universidad de Costa Rica, he added.








Simon and Teo were victims of poisoning last August in  Pinares de Curridabat.

two dog victims
Photo provided by Asociación Animales de Asís

Case of poisoned dogs makes its way to court hearing
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An unusual hearing takes place today in the Juzgado Contravencional del 2nd Circuito in Goicochea. A woman is facing an allegation of poisoning two dogs in Pinares de Curridabat last August.

Members of organizations that help animals are ecstatic because such cases only infrequently come to court. And when they do, the allegation is a contravención, basically a misdemeanor. The penalty is a fine or perhaps public services, said Marianelly Cabibbo of the Asociación Animales de Asís. 
 
Ilonka Dorado, the aunt of the woman who owned Simon and Teo said Wednesday that the unusual case developed because the main suspect, a neighbor, was caught on a surveillance camera. The dogs were fed poisoned meat, she said. Although A.M. Costa Rica has a name of the suspect, there has been no confirmation from official sources.

Lawmakers still are considering a measure, No. 18.298, that would stipulate stiffer penalties for those who mistreat, molest or cause the death 
unnecessarily of an animal.  Some sections of a 2002 update have been annulled by a Sala IV ruling. The summary that introduces the text of the new bill said that the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal does not have the legal instruments to act effectively and to protect animals.

A commission approved the bill, but it remains on the legislative agenda waiting for lawmakers to return from a long holiday vacation.

"This is a sad case as are many others that happen in our country, but the good thing that we can get out of this situation is that the owners had the courage and intention to file a complaint of the killing of their pets and that the responsible persons have been called before justice," said  Ms. Cabibbo.

Her views were quoted in an email distributed by her organization.

The purposes of a conciliation hearing is to settle a case before trial. If the neighbor admits her role, she may agree to make a payment to the dog owner or otherwise satisfy them and eliminate a formal trial.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 11

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Colinas photo

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U.S. launching new program
for 100,000 overseas students


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. State Department is launching a program today in Washington that is designed to promote, expand, and support study abroad programs between the United States and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The project involves challenge grants to institutions of high education, the State Department said in Washington.  The educational institutions are expected to use the money to strengthen their capacity to both send and host student exchange participants, the department said.

The initial U.S. investment will be $1 million, the department said. Additional money comes from corporate donors, such as  ExxonMobil and Santander Universities, a division of Santander Bank, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Freeport-McMoRan Cooper & Gold Foundation and the Ford Foundation, said the department.

The program is being called the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. It is called that because the goal is to have 100,000 Latin American and Caribbean students studying in the United States and a similar number of U.S. students studying overseas.


Two firms increase presence
here with new facilities


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Kimberly-Clark is scheduled to announce a new plant today in Coris de Cartago.

Meanwhile, the Results Companies are beginning operations in the country with plans to hire 500 persons at facilities in the Zona Franca América in Heredia.

President Laura Chinchilla will be in Cartago today to inaugurate the Kimberly-Clark new facility. Kimberly-Clark Costa Rica now has three specialized plants with a main office in San Antonio de Belén, producing personal care and home, the firm says on its Web site. The other two locations in Coris-Cartago specialize in the production of child and female protection, with about 1,300 employees, it said.

The Results Companies inaugurated the Heredia operation Wednesday. The location will handle the customer service for three foreign firms, according to the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior. The companies already have two customer service centers in México.


Temperature remains moderate,
but wind warning continues


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There has been no major change in temperature by early today due to an expected cold front.

The forecast from the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional spoke of temperatures as low as 11 degrees C (about 52 F). But Central Valley temperatures continued to range from 18 to 20 ( 64 to 68 degrees F.) at 1:30 a.m. For a chill residents would have to go near the top of the Turriabla or Irazú volcanoes where the temperature was 7 C, according to the automatic stations there. That's about 45 degrees F.

The biggest danger, according to the forecast, will be the high winds, expected to range up to 100 kph (62 mph) in the Central Valley and on the Pacific coast.

Caribbean residents and those in the northern zone are facing the chance of rain of up to two inches over 24 hours. The weather service issued a cautionary warning mostly for those in the Sarapiquí basin.


Press advocate group sending
study mission to Guatemala

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association announced Wednesday that it will send an international delegation to Guatemala next month to take an on-site look into the situation involving senior officials of the Central American country and the editor of the newspaper elPeriódico, José Rubén Zamora, against whom several lawsuits have been filed in apparent reprisal for his publication of complaints of wrongdoing in the public administration.

Friday Guatemala’s president, Otto Pérez Molina, announced that he had dropped a criminal lawsuit against Zamora on charges of  “coercion, extortion, violation of the constitution and contempt of the chairmen of government entities,” although he said that he will continue legal action in the civil ambit. He will do so by adhering to what is covered by the law on transmission of thought, which orders the establishment of special courts to hear conflicts with journalists.

President Pérez Molina’s decision leaves without effect an arrest order that could have been enforced against Zamora, to whom a judge imposed a ruling restricting his ability to leave the country. The civil action planned by the president would be adopted by Guatemalan vice president, Ingrid Roxana Baldetti Elías, who managed to have a court issue a physical protection order against Zamora, prohibiting him from “disturbing or intimidating the claimant and any member of her family.”

The legal actions against Zamora caused surprise given the country’s constitution, which indicates that “publications that contain denunciations, criticisms or imputations against public officials or employees for acts carried out in the exercise of their posts do not constitute a crime or an offense.”

Since last year, following the publication in elPeriódico of investigations into alleged wrongdoing in the public administration, Zamora has been complaining of governmental persecution for his editorial stance and his coverage of corruption in the government. He says that in addition to the legal action this has been reflected in online attacks on his Web site, the withdrawal of official advertising, promotion of a boycott by private sector advertisers and discrediting campaigns to remove credibility in his denunciations.
.

Strength training for women
said to cut Type II diabetes risks


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New research suggests muscle-strengthening exercises and conditioning activities like yoga can help reduce the risk of  Type 2 diabetes in women.

Scientists have found that one way to reduce the risk of diabetes is with aerobic exercise, workouts like running or brisk walking that work up a sweat and increase the heart rate.

In a new study, researchers at Harvard University and other institutions studied the effects of other kinds of exercise on diabetes risk.

A previous study found that men who lifted weights were less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, so in this study, researchers wanted to find out if the same holds true for women.

Some 100,000 have joined the long-running Nurses’ Health Study. They regularly fill out questionnaires on their health and lifestyle, which scientists use in studies like this.

First author Anders Grontved says they saw better results among women who did regular muscle-strengthening exercise or conditioning activities such as yoga, compared with more sedentary women.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 11
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Election or no election, Superbowl will be wet one in San José
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Election day in Costa Rica and the U.S. football Superbowl always end up sharing the first Sunday in February.

For many years, election day was supposed to be dry in Costa Rica, something that runs counter to the concept of lounging in an easy chair watching the football championship with a can of beer in the hand.

Although that may have been acceptable in the home, football fans seek out bars where they also can find food, cheer and perhaps lay down a bet or two.

When Costa Rican legislators passed a new alcohol law, they put the decision on election day in the hands of the
municipalities. They did the same thing with the period before Easter that was supposed to be dry, too.

Marcelo Solano Ortiz, director of the Policía Municipal of San José, said Wednesday that there definitely will not be a ley seca or dry law in the central canton for election day.

Since each canton can make its own decision, there may be some that opt for a dry election day. Montes de Oca has done so in the past. So expats bar owners need to check with their own local politicians before ordering in large quantities of Imperial for the Superbowl.

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones frequently orders a halt to alcohol sales in areas where political demonstrations will be held. That may still take place, but the ban is only a few hours.


Canadian peace advocate seeks to do good things in Costa Rica
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

It is his first morning in Costa Rica, and Mahmood Jafari sits at the end of a small table in the courtyard of Hotel Casa Antigua in Alajuela mapping out any changes he can bring to the country. Whether they be as specific as making more areas wheelchair accessible or as widespread as caring for the poor, Jafari wants to come up with plans for social aid in Costa Rica and beyond.

The outspoken Iranian freedom advocate visiting via Canada said he sees this nation as a beacon of peace that can project a message promoting community and tolerance across the world. A nation that has survived without an army for 65 years and is home to the University for Peace in Ciudad Colón sounded encouraging enough for Jafari to make the 3,000-mile trek from his home in Calgary.

“We can pass this message to other governments,” Jafari says. “There is no need for a military. There is no need to make new weapons to kill each other.”

These pacifistic words come from a former Iranian soldier who was hardened by the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Years after fighting in the war, Jafari was shot in the back while walking down the street. That left his legs paralyzed. However, he doesn't see his wheelchair as a confinement. Instead he views it as just another way to move.

Five years ago Jafari began a program in Iran to help others with disabilities, hoping to change the universal phrasing from “disability” to “people with different ability.” That's only one of the world's problems he's hoping to change.

Now he is touring Costa Rica for two weeks to get a feel for what the population may need, making his first stop in Atenas to talk with Ticos and become familiar with their struggles. He said he believes he can help in the same way he helped people in Chile, by sending large containers of new and used sanitary medical equipment to those in need of care.

Or he can ally with the Red Cross, as he did in Calgary, to support those who cannot do so themselves.

“We can use Costa Rica as a model to other countries,” Jafari says. “You don't need to destroy your army, but at least spend some money on your people. Feed the people to make your country stronger.”
peace visitor
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz 
Mahmood Jafari discusses his plans.

In the past he has raised awareness and donations through grueling solo handcycle rides across Canada. In taking a
400-km hand-bike ride from Calgary to Edmonton, Jafari received endorsement from both cities' Canadian Football League teams as well as the Ability Society of Alberta.

Though he had so much success raising funds back home, he says he doesn't want to intrude on a country that might not need his help. He is aware that Costa Rica is better off in some ways than neighbors Nicaragua and Panamá, but still thinks the nation sandwiched between them can become a central hub in providing any necessary medical supplies or food.

“First the community has to accept me.  I want to learn from this community,” Jafari says. “They might not need that much, but for sure this community can teach many people around the world.”

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 11
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Two highways advance
in the northern zone


President Laura Chinchilla toured road work in San Carlos and the northern zone Wednesday.

The new San Carlos –Sifón–La Abundancia road is 75 percent finished, and the Bajos de Chilamate – Vuelta Kopper has advanced 35 percent, the president was told. Both are major efforts, and the San Carlos roadway has been in planning for 30 years.

The Bajos de Chilamate stretch will be a major transport link across the northern zone that will allow truckers in Guanacaste to reach the ports of Limón without going through the metro area.

HIghway cut
Casa Presidencial photo

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.
Lundquist
                        patio
Exotic gardens next to one
of our patios



Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money.  Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk
Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com
8158-3/1/13

Here's reasonable medical care
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Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone  line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at  night with
coffee retreat
 the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact jogya345@yahoo.com
8214-2/11/14

You must see this!
We are renting our two-story townhouse in San Rafael, Escazú, near the Paco Center. Three bedrooms with a large TV area, 2.5 baths. Bathtub in the master.  Well furnished even down to the computer desks and flat screen TVs. Fully equipped kitchen, including pots and pans,  plus laundry room with washer and dryer. Parking for two vehicles. Basic cable included. Guarded entrance and 24-hour security. Call from the U.S.: 954-716-5219 English or Spanish. Local in Costa Rica call: 8638-7440 but Spanish only or email tlyn2003@yahoo.com for questions/more information. Photos can be seen HERE!
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Belen
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Test Drive Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details: rafa@rafacr.com.
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prime properties
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We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
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  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
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Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80
stations, water, washer and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8204-1/23/14

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
tropical
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8054-2/16/14






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Cafetales



More revelations about spying
involve malicious software


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As President Barack Obama prepares to unveil reforms to the U.S. National Security Agency's intelligence gathering programs, there is renewed attention on how the NSA actually hacks into computers.
 
Some of the NSA's techniques were described in a New York Times article Wednesday, detailing how the agency implanted malicious software in nearly 100,000 computers worldwide. 

According to the article, the agency made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet.

These techniques are far different than the way the NSA used to gather information, says James Andrew Lewis a cyber security expert in Washington

“The NSA had a problem about 15 years ago: the way they collected intelligence changed almost overnight. It went from being a microwave, long distance phone calls and very old, telecom-based approach to the Internet," said Lewis.

The Internet, he says, has never been secure. 

“There are some programs that take advantage of the fact that the Internet is not secured and may not be secured in our lifetimes.  So a lot of places, including the U.S., have decided the way to make yourself secure is not to connect your most vital networks, your most vital processes," he said.

Lewis says the NSA has developed such complex techniques to hack into targets that are off the grid. They sound like they were ripped from the pages of a science-fiction novel.

“When you type on a keyboard, it emits a little electronic signal; very faint. It’s possible to collect that signal. We do it, the Russians do it. Lots of countries can do this. One of the things that is surprising is that you don’t have to be that close. I know, for example, in the Russian case, they at one point were collecting the radiation of the keyboard off of the windows of the American embassy," he said.

“A lot of people are familiar with the fake rock they keep their house-key in. For decades, intelligence agencies have been using fake rocks. Suppose you could build a really sensitive receptor, it would be about this big, suppose you put it in a fake rock, and you threw it in front of, say, an Iranian nuclear weapons facility that was not connected to the Internet. Guess what! You’re in.”

This spy game, Lewis says, has been going on for more than a hundred years, and it’s not just the United States doing it.

“One of the solutions people came up with when they found out they were being listened to was to encrypt their messages," he said. "Then you get into a race: can I break the encryption? Can I make the encryption stronger? This has been going on for a century. This is just too important for nations - not just the U.S. - it’s too important for any major power to say, 'I will give up on signals intelligence.'"

As the technology gets more and more advanced, Lewis says he does not expect the spy game to stop.

The report in The New York Times says the United States used radio transmitters embedded in cords and drives that are attached to a computer to successfully implant software into Russian military networks, systems used by Mexican police and drug cartels and European Union trade groups.  The newspaper says the technology also was used to target computers in Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan.

The White House is defending the spy agency, saying it "operates under heavy oversight and is focused on discovering and developing intelligence about valid and foreign intelligence targets such as terrorists, human traffickers and drug smugglers."

Already, the report has sparked criticism from China, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying Washington is "endangering the sovereignty, security and public privacy of other countries.''

Despite the criticism, former U.S. National Security Council member Raymond Tanter says he expects the U.S. to remain active and vigilant.

"The U.S. government is in position to correct for any national security implications with respect to countries like China.  China is doing as much as it can do.  Russia is doing as much as it can do.  Iran is doing as much as it can do," said Tanter.

Former congresswoman Jane Harman, who is now president of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, made this plea to lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday:

"We need to have an effective system that can spot bad guys and prevent and disrupt plots against us."


Obama is on the spot to decide
future of controversial pipeline


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama must soon decide the fate of a controversial pipeline that has been stalled by environmental concerns.

The TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline is an extention to a pipeline that would carry over 800,000 barrels of heavy tar sands oil 3,000 kilometers from Canada through the American midwest to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

The pipeline is finished except for the leg that crosses the U.S.-Canada border, which requires the president's signature.  

The pipeline was originally planned to run across a major aquifer, putting the water supply for millions at risk. Now TransCanada is back with a new route.

“Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest," Obama said in a speech last June. "And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."
 
The president made those remarks at the launch of his Climate Action Plan, a move to reduce America's contribution to increased carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

“The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward," Obama said. "It’s relevant.”

The pipeline would carry over 800,000 barrels of heavy tar sands oil a day. Opponents say mining tar sands uses vast amounts of energy and water and produces much more pollution than conventional oil.

Anthony Swift is an energy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which opposes the pipeline. He says oil from tar sands would generate 240 million metric tons of carbon -- the equivalent of putting five million more cars on the road.

“The whole point of Keystone XL is to get tar sands through the U.S. to the Gulf coast where it can be refined and exported internationally," Swift said. "So, you’re left with increased carbon emissions, risk to our farms and our water sources along the route for very little benefit because it really is an export pipeline.”

But others, like Sabrina Fang at the American Petroleum Institute, disagree. She points to recent polls that show the majority of Americans support the project. She says the pipeline makes good economic sense and won’t put the environment at risk.

“We don’t know why it has been complicated and politicized," she said. "But we are hoping that with this New Year, the president will look at all the facts of this project and see that it will be safe to build.  It will be safe to operate and it will create jobs.  And, his own State Department has already said that it is safe to build in four previous environmental reviews. And we don’t expect anything different from this fifth one.”

A draft environmental impact statement released by the State Department last March concluded the pipeline would not significantly harm the environment.

However, Swift says 1.2 million people registered their opposition to those findings.

“We know that the impacts of tar sands spills are far more significant than conventional crude spills," he said. "We found that in Mayflower, Arkansas, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, where a tar sands spill of 800,000 gallons [3 million liters] cost over a billion dollar to clean. In fact the Kalamazoo River, over three years after that spill, is still contaminated with tar sands.”

Oil industry executives are confident that safeguards will minimize such spills. Ms. Fang predicts Obama will approve it.

“I think the president, when he looks at this final review, which we expect will mirror the last four reviews saying this is safe to build, I don’t see how he can say that this is not in the nation’s interest to get this pipeline built,” she said. 

That worries Anthony Swift.

“What's at stake here is our climate future," he said. "In a large degree, the Keystone XL is a decision on whether we continue pushing increasingly dirty energy sources or move toward clean alternatives.”

Obama will make his decision after a final State Department review.


Missing U.S. solider turns up
in a new video in Afghanistan


 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The family of a U.S. soldier who went missing in Afghanistan nearly five years ago says U.S. officials have obtained a new video showing their son is still alive.

U.S. officials confirmed the video Wednesday, saying it was obtained in recent days and shows a frail army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in what appears to be declining health.  However, they said he did not appear to be seriously ill.  NBC television quotes unnamed U.S. officials as saying the 27-year-old captive is seen making a reference to the December death of South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Bergdahl disappeared in eastern Paktika province under unclear circumstances in June 2009.  Authorities believe he is being held by Taliban militants in nearby Pakistan.  It was not clear late Wednesday how the video — the first of Bergdahl in nearly three years — was obtained or where it was viewed.

Taliban militants have previously offered to free Bergdahl in exchange for several senior militants currently in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  But no deal has yet been announced.


Whales of California coast
are in increasing numbers now

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tourists are flocking to the southern California coast for whale-watching tours.  In the last month, a record number of the huge marine mammals have been seen off the coast of Long Beach, just south of Los Angeles.  Marine biologists are trying to figure out why.

Near two of the busiest ports in the United States, ships are not the only giants moving through the ocean.  Captain Dan Salas of Harbor Breeze Cruises has been seeing sprays of water coming out of the ocean, followed by splashes from giant tails.

“In the last month or so we have seen so many whales that it’s been just absolutely incredible,” he said.

Salas runs whale watching cruises off the coast of Long Beach seven days a week throughout the year.  He said typically visitors had a 75 to 80 percent chance of seeing a whale.

“We have been 100 percent of the time seeing whales in the last month.  Not typical,” said Salas.

Marine biologist Kera Mathes is trying to solve this mystery.

“I’ve been out there for a few years and I’ve never had anything like that before, nor have I ever heard of anything like that before.  I think a traffic jam is a good way to talk about it,” she said.

Ms. Mathes said it’s been recording-breaking.  She’s seen more than double the number of grey whales last month than in previous Decembers.  In that same period, she’s also seen many different species in these waters.

“We’ve also had orca sightings here, killer whales.  We’ve seen sperm whales.  We’ve had a humpback whale in the area; the second largest animal - the fin whale, as well - all within a very short period of time,” Ms. Mathes said.

Ms. Mathes said the reason for the increased sightings could be that more people are out here looking for whales.  The animals could also be swimming closer to shore.  Or an increased food supply in these waters could be attracting more whales.  Where is that food coming from?

Captain Salas said one theory was that the water in this area was much cleaner these days, bringing in more marine life.

“The water was very polluted back 20 years ago.  We’d rarely see a dolphin or sea lion.  Now today, the waters here off of Los Angeles are so clean that we almost every day we’ll see dolphins and sea lions before we even leave the harbor,” he said.

Ms. Mathes said global climate change could be bringing more food to the area.  Climate change could also be causing the whales to shift their migration routes.

Regardless of why the whales are congregating here, tourist Kathy Burton said she was just enjoying nature’s show.

“That was a surprise.  I thought that was going to be it, just the one whale, and then the dolphins at the beginning and thought we were going to be heading back,” she said.

But 11 kilometers off shore, the ship came near a pod of whales traveling together, ending another extraordinary trip for the tourists, the boat captain and the scientists on board.


Moon landing by China raises
question of lunar ownership


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Last month, China successfully landed an unmanned probe on the Moon.  The mission renewed a debate about the potential exploitation of the Moon’s resources and who exactly owns the Earth’s only natural satellite. 

China’s Chang’e 3 mission was the first so-called soft lunar landing in 37 years.  The spacecraft carried a solar-powered buggy called Jade Rabbit, which is digging the Moon’s surface and conducting geological surveys.

Deputy Chief Designer of the probe, Jia Yang, is excited about what lies ahead.
 
He explained that Jade Rabbit is now heading to the west, towards a pyramid-like rock which has a different shape from others.  It could be part of a meteorite, he adds.
 
Prior to the mission, Chinese scientists described the Moon as being a potential source of minerals.  Currently, no one can claim ownership of the Moon, says Planetary Science Professor Ian Crawford, of Birkbeck College University of London.
 
“The legal status of the Moon is governed by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, Article 2 of which specifically prohibits nation states from appropriating the Moon," said Crawford.
 
Back in 1967, the treaty envisaged that only nation states would have the capacity to launch such missions.  Professor Crawford says it is time the treaty was updated.
 
“Within the next few decades the economic exploitation of the Moon will be technically feasible," said Crawford. "Even if there are not minerals to be extracted, the space tourism industry is gathering a lot of momentum so one might imagine interest in sending people to the Moon as just fare-paying passengers.  None of this is currently covered by the 1967 Treaty.”

Almost 22 kilometers (71,000 feet) above the Mojave desert in California, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo made its third powered supersonic test flight last week.  The company plans to take its first fare-paying passengers into space this summer.

As interest in space exploration heats up, a provocative London exhibition titled ‘Republic of the Moon’ explores the concept of lunar ownership.
 
One of the pieces, by artist Katie Paterson, involves the classical composition "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven being translated into Morse code.  The signal is bounced off the surface of the Moon back to Earth -- where it is performed on a self-playing grand piano.  The Moon’s craters absorb and disrupt the signal.
 
“We had this idea that the Republic of the Moon would be in a sense an imaginary country," said curator of the exhibition Rob La Frenais. "But all the artists in Republic of the Moon have got their own individual reflections on what the Moon means to them.”
 
The Chinese lunar landing may have sparked a debate over the future exploitation of the Moon, but scientists agree the mission marks an exciting new chapter in the exploration of space.

 
Growth is too slow and uneven,
Monetary Fund director says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Monetary Fund says that the global economy should strengthen in 2014, but that growth is "too low, too fragile and too uneven."

The Fund managing director, Christine Lagarde, said Wednesday in Washington that the effects of the 2008 world economic downturn are still lingering, but that optimism is in the air. She said the global economy advanced in the latter half of 2013 and is likely to improve even further this year.

But she said that global growth is still stuck in low gear. Ms. Lagarde noted that even as the world's largest economies lead the advance, several emerging markets are slowing down.

She said the overall economic gains will not be enough to create new jobs for the 200 million unemployed workers around the world.

Ms. Lagarde said that world leaders need to avoid making the wrong decisions on key economic issues. She said the Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank, needs to avoid ending its direct economic support of the world's largest economy too quickly and that Congress needs to again increase the country's borrowing limit.

Ms. Lagarde said European leaders could advance the fortunes of the 18-nation euro currency bloc with targeted lending to support job growth. She said policy makers in emerging markets have to be wary of financial excess.

The Fund chief said economic fortunes in low-income countries are generally good, but that these nations need to raise more money to avoid shocks from larger economies.


Study of senses concludes
that ESP does not exist


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There are people who claim to have a sixth sense or extrasensory perception, the ability to acquire or see information about the future through means other than normal human senses.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have looked into the matter and say their findings help debunk the belief that a sixth sense actually exists.

The Aussie researchers outlined their research and findings in a study published recently in PLOS ONE. Their findings show that while people could sense when a change took place, without the benefit of the other senses, they could not specifically identify that change.

They found that a person might be able to pick up a change in a person’s appearance, but not, for example, be able to precisely pinpoint that the exact change in appearance was something such as getting a new hairstyle or wearing jewelry.

“There is a common belief that observers can experience changes directly with their mind, without needing to rely on the traditional physical senses such as vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch to identify it,” said Piers Howe from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.

Howe said the research conducted by his team showed that while people could consistently sense changes that they could not see, their ability to do so had nothing to do with a sixth sense or extrasensory perception.”

To reach their findings, the researchers gathered volunteer observers who were shown pairs of color photos of the same female. In some of the photos, the woman’s appearance could be different, such as a new hairstyle, from the other in the pair.

Each of the photos was shown to the observer for about 1.5 seconds and then a 1 second pause before showing the next photo. After looking at the second photo, the researchers asked the observer whether or not a change had taken place between the first and second picture. Then they were asked to specifically identify that change in appearance from a list of nine different changes.

The researchers found that their volunteer observers were able to pick-up on a change in appearance even when they couldn’t pinpoint what that specific change was.

While they might notice one of the two photos had more of one color than the other, they weren’t able to translate that information into specifics such as the change in color was due to the woman wearing different clothing.

This resulted in the observer feeling or sensing that a change had occurred without being able to visually identify the change. Thus, the result that observers can reliably feel or sense when a change has occurred without being able to visually identify the change could be explained without invoking an extrasensory mechanism.


New pharaoh found in Egypt
in heavily damaged tomb

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Archaeologists in Egypt believe they have discovered the remains of a previously unknown pharaoh who reigned more than 3,600 years ago.
 
The skeleton of King Senebkay were uncovered at South Abydos in Sohag province, about 500 kilometers south of Cairo, by a University of Pennsylvania expedition working with the government, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said.
 
Never before heard of in ancient Egyptian history, King Senebkay's name was found inscribed in hieroglyphics written inside a royal cartouche, an oval with a horizontal line at one end signaling a royal name, the ministry said in a statement.
 
Photographs released with the statement showed what appeared to be a heavily damaged sarcophagus in a burial chamber with no roof. Its stone walls were decorated with painted images.
 
The photos also showed the pharaoh's skeleton laid out on a white sheet.

“He was originally mummified but his body was pulled apart by ancient tomb robbers,” said the caption.
 
“No funerary furniture was found in the tomb, confirming it had been robbed in the ancient pharaonic ages,” the statement said, quoting Ali al-Asfar, an antiquities ministry official.
 
In the statement written in Arabic, Joseph Wegner, head of the expedition, added: “The modesty of the size of the tomb points to the decline of economic conditions in this period”.
 
The statement dates King Senebkay's rule to 1650 BC during a time known as the second intermediate period when central authority collapsed and small kingdoms sprung up between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom.


Man detained at Bieber home
after deputies see cocaine


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A police search of teen pop star Justin Bieber's California home Tuesday in a vandalism case linked to the singer resulted in the arrest of a man after drugs were found in the house, the Los Angeles County sheriff said.

Detectives raided Bieber's home at about 8 a.m. after the "Boyfriend" singer was accused of pelting his neighbor's home with eggs in an incident Jan. 9. Bieber, 19, was detained at his Calabasas home, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles, while a dozen deputies searched for evidence.

"He has not been arrested nor has been exonerated," Sheriff's Lt. David Thompson said at a news conference in nearby Malibu following the search. "We were looking at things that would put him or anything else at the scene," Thompson said, adding that Bieber's attorneys were not present during the search and the singer was not questioned.

It was the latest in a string of incidents that have overshadowed Bieber's music career in the last year as the Canadian star who shot to fame at age 15 transitions to adulthood.

Bieber's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The sheriff's department said the investigation sought to collect any evidence in the alleged egg attack on the singer's home video surveillance and other possible leads.

An unnamed person in Bieber's home at the time of the search was arrested for narcotics possession when deputies found cocaine in plain view, Thompson said.

Celebrity news website TMZ.com identified the man as aspiring 20-year-old rapper Lil Za, who is often photographed with Bieber. The Web site published photos and video of Lil Za, whose real name is Xavier Smith, handcuffed and being led to a deputy's car.

The rapper is being held on $20,000 bond, according to country records.

The vandalism case is being treated as a felony because it caused $20,000 in damages according to the homeowner, the sheriff's department said.

"We didn't do this search warrant to send a message, that's not what we do," Thompson said. "This has nothing to do with him being a celebrity. This is a felony crime."

Thompson said the cost of damages was high because the exterior of Bieber's neighbor's home was made of imported wood and brick.

It is not known what triggered the alleged incident between Bieber and his neighbor, but the Canadian-born pop star has had several publicized run-ins with neighbors.

Last year, Bieber was accused of speeding through the neighborhood in a Ferrari sports car and also spitting on his neighbor during a confrontation over parties at the singer's home. Prosecutors did not bring charges against Bieber in either case.
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This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8119-4/16/14



Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8142-2/11/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Gorgeous beachfront two-story home, of roughly 2,000 square feet, set on a half acre oceanfront lot that is full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco. This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units in all rooms, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is perfectly situated between Jacó and Quepos and is only minutes away from five-star dining such as El Clandestino.  We have reduced the price from $150,000 to $125,000 firm for a fast sale in the new year! This is a must see property! Owner financing is available. This truly is a once in a lifetime offer and it will go fast! Please call 8816-2478 or email bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!
8218-2/17/14

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high \[speed internet.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14

Cahuita estate
Beach house in Cahuita for sale
2,000-sq. ft. house, 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. With incredible view of sea.  House has beautiful hardwood open upstairs deck. Teakwood floor upstairs. CB and ceramic downstairs, Very well built with beautiful hardwoods upstairs.  Oval bathtub, hand painted ceramic sinks  The view is through 240 meters of jungle and coconut trees to the beach. The beach in front is perfect and quiet. Very secure area. Property located adjacent to our wildlife sanctuary and botanical gardens. Great group of neighbors from U.S.A.,  Italy, Holland, Sweden, etc. This very private property is owned by Todd Scottland for more then  35 years. Taxes are paid up to date. This is a gem of a house. Must see!  Price  $205,000.00.  Email to:
scottlandtodd@live.com. Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.
8207-3/8/14

Esparza home
Esparza, Puntarenas
Stunning open concept contemporary home 1800 square feet, high end finishing set in tranquil rural 1.3 acres of fruit trees and tropical flowers. Separate guest suite, artist studio, workshop, carport, electric gate.  Close to two international airports, surfing, fishing, golfing and shopping. More photos here:  http://www.rainforestnaturals.ca/songbird/cr/photogallery.htm
Sale for $239.000 Contact:  sjwiens@gmail.com
8196-2/6/14

Ojochal montage
Ojochal Paradise
Tropical paradise of 6.5 acres in Ojochal.  Cabin with one sleeping loft, all services, mountain and distant ocean views.  Several building sites available for main house or rental units. Close to surfing, fishing, golfing. Sale for $129.000  Contact:  sjwiens@gmail.com  for more photos/information or go here:
www.rainforestnaturals.ca/songbird/cr/land/photogallery.htm
8197-2/6/14

complex
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email: wolfganghilbich@yahoo.com  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.
8200-4/3/14

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region
RichCoastRealty.com

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!

     www.RichCoastRealty.com
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
   Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
8191-4/30/13


Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8186-3/13/14

forest
Gorgeous Survival Farm located between San Ramón and Arenal Volcano bordering the huge Arenal Monteverde Nature Reserve. 30 acres of virgin rain forest with no neighbors, river, spring waters, rich soil, giant trees, homesite, no electricity, year-round 4WD access. 59,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com.
8182-1/13/14


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8162-1/11/14

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances. 
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
8157-2/22/13

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

condors

HIGH SECURITY Condo
ULatina, UCR, & U Fidelitas San Pedro, San Jose. $185,000.
Quietly located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada, 500 meters north of Iglesia Lourdes, San Pedro. ULatina, UCR, U. Fidelitas, bus & new train station are within five minutes Four-bedroom, three and half-bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with secure entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. Security fencing with electric wire, and a CCTV recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house.  For additional peace of mind, this residence equipped with an independently wired security system, iron bars on windows and patio doors, a telephone communication system to contact the guard house and secure parking at your front door.   Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. A green park area inside the complex for your children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Cable TV/Internet lines and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Water storage tank with pump maintains high pressure to bathrooms on all three floors. American style washer and electric dryer, refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. Other furniture items may be available. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987   or  U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458  or   (305) 848-5577. C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
6141-2/11/14

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.com.
8213-2/13/14

71
Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at:  http://youtu.be/iDXurhJ4fCk Asking price  $3.9 million. Email costaricapropertysales@gmail.com or call: 8899-9870.
8153-112/22/13

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 11
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News from the BBC up to the minute
















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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Colombian rebels say truce
for holiday has been ended


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A unilateral ceasefire declared by Colombia's Marxist rebels over the holidays ended Wednesday, the organization said at peace talks in Havana, and it accused the Colombian government of mercilessly pursuing the war during its truce.
 
The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, declared a one-month ceasefire Dec. 15 and said in a statement issued Wednesday, “we lived up to our word... despite permanent aggressions and provocations by the government's armed forces and police units.”
 
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos rejected the ceasefire from the beginning, saying the government would maintain the military pressure to keep rebels at the negotiating table, a position it has held since talks began more than a year ago.
 
The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias statement said the fighting it was involved in over the last month was in self defense.
 
Government forces continued to attack and kill rebels in their remote strongholds in the jungles and mountains of Colombia over the holidays.
 
“It is a shame  there is no extension of the ceasefire. It ended today,”  Andres Paris, one of the rebel negotiators, said on the sidelines of the talks.
 
The rebels are considered a terrorist organization by the Colombian government and its main ally, the United States.
 
The rebels have been fighting the government in a jungle and urban conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people in the five decades since it began as a peasant movement seeking land reform.
 
The war is the last major guerrilla conflict in the region.
 
The talks in 2013 resulted in a general agreement on agrarian reform and rebel participation in politics once they lay down their arms, boosting Santos's standing in the polls as he seeks re-election in May.
 
Negotiations are currently centered on drug trafficking, with the issues of reparations for war victims and the process of disarmament still to be worked out, along with the thorny issue of what happens to rebel commanders and military personnel accused of various crimes, human rights violations and killing civilians.
 
The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, the larger of two guerrilla groups, with some 8,000 troops, has repeatedly stated that an agreement cannot include prison time for any of its leaders.
 
The government has been working toward negotiations with the second group, the Colombian National Liberation Army, with about 3,000 members.
 
The talks are being facilitated by Cuba and Norway and hosted in Havana.

 
OAS chief lends support
to anti-violence measure


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the Organization of American States visited Costa Rica's Ministerio de Justicia y Paz Wednesday to sign a cooperative agreement stating future goals for violence prevention and social inclusion.

Joined by Ana Isabel Garita, the minister, they stressed the importance of improving local public schools and providing additional police force in areas deemed critical. Much of the treaty focuses on supporting women and youth who are most at risk of violence.

According to the document, the Organization of American States agrees to send pertinent information and research to the ministry of justice, as well as overseeing any additional technical training to its employees.

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Froim Page 7: 


List of new wages finally available online

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The labor ministry finally has published a list of minimal salaries that contain the wage increases specified for the first half of 2014.

The list of wages obtained from the site of the Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social is HERE! The document is on the A.M. Costa Rica server in .pdf format

Representatives of labor and those of management met with the Consejo Nacional de Salarios in October and decided on a 3.788 percent increase in the minimum wages starting Jan.1

Nearly 1.3 million employees are in the private sector, and many work for the minimum wage. The wages are specified as daily for some categories. Others are monthly wages.

The long list contains a minimum wage for a variety of job categories. However, professionals, such as physicians, teachers and lawyers, are not included. Strangely, journalists are with a minimum wage in the first half of 2014 of 718,802 colons or about $1,437.