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(506) 2223-1327                             Published Friday, March 4, 2016, inVol. 17, No. 45                             Email us
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Revised animals rights bill OK'd by committee
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislative commission has come to a compromise text of a bill protecting animals, and the draft gives private organizations the right to enforce the law. The bill also requires animal owners to pick up fecal matter produced by their charges.

The bill is likely to pass. Already it has the support of 30 legislators and also is backed by the administration. The Comisión de Ambiente reported out the revised bill Thursday.

The bill provides fines and in some cases between six and three years of prison for persons who mistreat animals. Specifically excepted from the bill are activities like fishing, fish farming, animal production and veterinarian services. Also excepted are activities against animals for sanitary reasons, such as getting rid of rats.

Lawmakers sidestepped Costa Rican bull baiting and bull riding. The bill continues these public events, such as the tope horse parades, under the control of the ministries of Salud and Agricultura y Gandería.

Some lawmakers had raised concerns that a new law would prohibit castration of farm animals, the use of spurs by horseback riders and other traditional animal control methods.

dumping cats
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Dumping kitten also is prohibited.

Animal fights already are illegal, but the new draft clarifies penalties.

Lawmakers were quick to point out that penalties would not be levied on persons who accidentally kill an animal. The text would penalize those who intentionally do harm to an animal.

Those who dump animals to fend for themselves would be subject to fines, as would those who do not pick up after their pets in public places. Fine money would go to the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal. Owners of animals also are obligated to give them shelter and food.

Some animal rights activist wanted bans on the popular bull baiting events that sometimes become television shows and some rodeo events.

The bill says that recognized organizations can represent the rights of the animal.

Constitutional challenge mounted against incineration
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has admitted for study an appeal against a government decree that permits the construction of trash incinerators.

Environmental sources said the appeal was presented by the Asociación de Desarrollo Residencial Ciudad Cariari and individuals.

The decree being appealed came out last June 15. As is typical, the Sala IV suspends the decree until a decision is reached.

Firms have plans to install incinerators in
Carrilo, el Coyol, La Uruca, Tilarán, Bagaces,  Parrita, Atenas, Pavas, Mora and La Carpio.

In addition to reducing garbage to ash, some of the designs would use the heat to generate electricity.

Many who oppose incineration prefer that the public recycle and reduce consumption.

The appeal states that incineration would generate greenhouse gases and reduces the need for an integral handling of trash, meaning recycling. There also are challenges to technical aspects of the decree, including the establishment of buffer zones.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 45
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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
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Real estate agents and services


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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Anti-drug agent views collection of young plants

Four detained as marijuana producers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Organized crime prosecutors and anti-drug police conducted four raids Thursday and detained four men, including two identified as U.S. citizens.

The detentions were the result of other arrests last year and last month of marijuana vendors.

The police agencies said that their agents located two hydroponic marijuana-growing operations, one in Heredia and one in Rohrmoser. They also found a stable that appears to be used as a storage place for marijuana.

The allegations also said that the men were distributing hashish, cocaine and LSD.

According to the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, those detained were a Colombian, 28, with the last name of Mendoza; the two U.S. citizens, one with the last name of  Kjar who is 31 and one with the last name of  Zev, who is 44, and a Costa Rican with the last name of Sormani. He is 39.

Mendoza was detained at his apartment on Paseo Colón, said agents.  The 44-year-old U.S. citizen was detained in Escazú, and the other U.S. citizen was detained in Los Ángeles de San Rafael de Heredia.

In June anti-drug agents said they began investigating a man who lived in Barrio Manuel de Jesús Jiménez, Cartago. He was detained in December. From there agents began to detain others involved in marijuana sales. That eventually led to the men detained Thursday who were identified as producers, they said.

Our readers' opinions
Firearms protect us form the state

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It's almost like watching some kind of twisted history channel. Propaganda is passed down from high government positions to their friends in the media. Suddenly food chains are responsible for fat people, inflation is caused by foolish spending habits of the people, and guns have minds of their own.

John Moses Browning finally made us equal in a fight by designing a handgun even your mother could use to save her life. Before that, might was right. Now, with training, a peaceful man or woman may defend themselves and their families. Whats wrong with that?

This may not be a popular subject, but in the last 100 years, governments took the guns of its citizens in order to save them. These same governments, over that same 100 years, proceeded to murder 179 million of its own unarmed citizens. This is why free countries allow its citizens to keep and carry firearms for self protection--and--protection from a state gone mad with power!

Cases like this should always make the papers. Thank you for keeping a level playing field
Paul Furlong

Editor's note: Furlong is referring to a news story Monday about a motorist who shot and killed an armed robber who confronted him during a traffic jam.

He questions GMO research report

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Today's article on genetically modified crops is highly suspect as to its impartiality and hidden agenda. I have read on the internet of many different studies that GMO crops are failing to produce increased yields, sometimes less, increased cost due to patented seeds and chemicals, many suicides in India due to loss of self esteem when farmers can’t make a living with the GMO system, the development of super weeds that roundup can’t kill, the additional very dangerous herbicide 2,4-D has to be added to roundup to control weeds, Roundup is being found to be dangerous to humans and wildlife, the soil is being contaminated, food plant varieties are being lost rapidly, and so on.

I believe you need to follow the money trail all the way back to the original source to find out who really paid for the studies and how that entity stands to benefit from those conclusions. I urge you to research the whole matter to its beginning and report to us the whole truth.
Joseph Lassiter
Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste

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Tilarán residents are experiencing the downside of wind turbines
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Wind generators appear to be gentle ways of producing electricity without the greenhouse gases of thermal projects and the river blockage of hydro systems.

But what is not widely known is the downside caused by the vibrations generated by the devices.

Ask Roberta Ward Smiley who is the subject of what amounts to a press release sent out on her behalf this week reporting that she has been forced from her home due to the vibrations from four turbines at a project called Vientos del Este. They are in Tejona de Tilarán. The turbines are operated by AeroEnergia, S.A. and went into operation in November

Ms. Ward’s property is a private forest reserve, and her case is being taken up by Sandra Shaw Homer, co-founding board member of the La Reserva Forest Foundation.

The vibrations are so bad that Ms. Shaw reports neighbors have seen reptiles leaving the forest in such numbers that they had to put material to block the thresholds to keep snakes out.

Some of these neighbors also are affected. Ms. Shaw said in her press statement that the people involved are seeking answers and documents from the Municipalidad de Tilarán.

The neighbors are not without support. Ms. Ward lists distance requirements from the World Health Organization and other countries that are greatly in excess of the 250 meters between Ms. Ward's home and a turbine.

Science backs them up, too. One online source from Italy says
A.M. Costa Rica archive photo
A typical wind turbine rotor.

 that seismologists registered ground vibration up to 6.8 miles from a wind farm.

An authority on the subject is Nina Pierpont of Malone, New York, who holds a medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a doctoral degree in behavioral ecology from Princeton University. She coined the phrase wind turbine syndrome, which also is the title of her book. Her Web site reports on how such vibration can resonate with human organs.

Meanwhile back at the forest reserve visitors report that they can see trees vibrating in tune with the wind turbines, said Ms. Shaw. She also said that harmonic vibrations and noises have been shown in international studies to be harmful to human health, causing inner ear disturbances, stress, nausea and difficulty sleeping.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 45
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Daily aspirin use related to lower incidences of some types of cancers
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Aspirin therapy has long been recommended for some suffering from heart disease, but a new study indicates it could also help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Writing in the journal JAMA Oncology, researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital say aspirin therapy “significantly reduces the overall risk of cancer, a reduction that primarily reflects a lower risk of colorectal cancer and other tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.”

The findings, they say, could serve to complement types of cancer screening such as a colonoscopy.

"We now can recommend that many individuals consider taking aspirin to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer, particularly those with other reasons for regular use, such as heart disease prevention. but we are not at a point where we can make a general recommendation for overall cancer prevention," said Andrew Chan, chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit in Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the the senior author of the report.

"Our findings imply that aspirin use would be expected to prevent a significant number of colorectal cancers above and beyond those that would be prevented by screening and may have even greater benefit in settings in which the resources to devote to cancer screening are lacking," he said.

The researchers said other studies have pointed to a link between aspirin use and lowered risk for colorectal cancer, but that aspirin’s effect on other types of cancer is not fully understood.

For the study, the researchers looked at 32 years of data collected from nearly 136,000 participants in the Nurse’s Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

They found that those who reported regular use of aspirin, taking a low or normal dose at least three times a week, lowered their chance of developing any type of cancer by 3 percent compared to those who did not take aspirin regularly.

A.M. Costa Rica photo

Those who took regular doses of aspirin had a 19 percent lower chance of developing colorectal cancer as well as a 15

percent reduction in chances of getting any gastrointestinal cancer.

This, researchers said, could lead to up to 30,000 fewer cases of gastrointestinal tumors in the U.S. and 7,500 fewer cases of colorectal cancer.

"At this point, it would be very reasonable for individuals to discuss with their physicians the advisability of taking aspirin to prevent gastrointestinal cancer, particularly if they have risk factors such as a family history," said Chan, adding:

"But this should be done with the caveat that patients be well informed about the potential side effects of regular aspirin treatment and continue their regular screening tests. Furthermore, aspirin should not be viewed as a substitute for a colonoscopy or other cancer-screening tests."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (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.

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!

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.


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Real Estate
About us
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 45
Real Estate
About us

Axiom 890 pixels

Republican debate brawl
is full of personal attacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Dismissing his rivals as lying Ted and little Marco, Donald Trump fended off intense attacks from his fellow presidential hopefuls at a debate Thursday that comes amid deeps signs of divisions within the Republican Party.

During the debate, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich took turns taking swipes at the New York businessman, who appears to be marching toward the party's nomination.

The debate, being held in the northern city of Detroit, was filled with the same yelling, personal insults and off-color remarks that have featured prominently in the 2016 Republican race for president.

Within five minutes of the debate's opening, Trump had seemingly bragged about the size of his genitals.

Trump said that Rubio said “if my hands were small, then something else is small. I guarantee there's no problem."

Trump was referencing a comment last week made by Rubio that was widely seen as a reference to the businessman's sexual prowess.

Over the past week, Rubio has tried to knock Trump off his pedestal by matching him insult for insult. At the debate, Rubio said he would like to discuss policy issues, but he also defended his aggressive strategy.

"For the last year, Donald Trump has basically mocked everybody with personal attacks," Rubio said. "If there's anyone who's ever deserved to be attacked that way, it's Donald Trump."

Cruz, who had a stronger than expected performance during this week's crucial Super Tuesday nominating contests, took aim at Trump's record, suggesting he had in the past supported Democratic Party candidates over Republican ones.

"Donald Trump supported Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump supported John Kerry over George W. Bush," said Cruz.

Trump's bombastic style and often extreme positions have alienated many within the Republican Party, even as he continues to march toward the nomination.

Many Republican lawmakers and leading party figures have said they will never support Trump, even if he is the nominee, while others have begun to coalesce behind him.

It is increasingly unclear what party leaders can do to stop Trump, who has a commanding lead both in national polls and in the count of delegates needed to win the nomination.

Heading into Thursday's debate, Trump is the only Republican candidate on track to win the necessary 1,237 delegates, according to the well-respected Cook Political Report.

Romney claims a Trump win
would endanger the country

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney eviscerated current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in a remarkable speech, casting him as unfit to be the president of the United States. Romney appealed to Republican voters to consider the consequences of a vote for Trump in caucuses and primaries across the country saying: "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are diminished."

Later Thursday, Trump lashed back, calling Romney's remarks nasty.

Romney made clear that he, himself, is not planning to run and called on voters to consider any of the four remaining Republican candidates, cautioning that: "A person so untrustworthy and dishonest as Hillary Clinton must not become president." But the former Massachusetts governor said Trump has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.

Romney blasted Trump for his many failed businesses and for his foreign policy statements. He summed up Trump’s views on Syria and the Islamic State terrorist group like this: "‘Let ISIS take out Assad,' he said, 'and we can pick up the remnants.’"

Romney continued, “Now think about that. Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over an entire country? This recklessness is recklessness in the extreme.”

Denouncing Trump as a phony and a fraud, Romney said Trump's "promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University,'' a reference to a Trump business enterprise that is under investigation for fraud in New York.

Romney, who ran unsuccessfully against President Barack Obama four years ago, spoke Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics Forum.

His increasing jabs at Trump in recent days include sharp criticism of the party front-runner's refusal to release his tax returns and his initial reluctance to disavow an endorsement from a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group.

Romney's attacks on Trump contrast markedly with the two men's relationship in 2012, when Trump championed Romney, who in turn praised Trump's business expertise.

Speaking in Maine, Trump slammed Romney, calling him irrelevant and a failed candidate who let the Republican Party down when running against Obama.

During a rambling, 45-minute speech at a campaign rally in Portland, Trump called Romney's remarks nasty and said he thought Romney was a better person. He said Romney had begged him for his endorsement in 2012. Trump cited some of his buildings across the world to counter charges by Romney that Trump is not as successful a businessman as he claims. But Trump did not counter the substance of any of the other scathing critiques of his knowledge, judgment and temperament.

Trump said his wife, Melania, called him and asked him to act presidential during Thursday night's televised Republican debate.  Trump said he would, but that he would also hit back harder if anyone hits him.

Romney joins an increasing number of party leaders and influential donors who strongly oppose Trump's candidacy.

They are critical of the one-time television reality show host's controversial policies on trade, immigration and other issues, including Trump's vow to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, temporarily bar Muslims from entering the United States and force Mexico to pay for and build a wall along its entire U.S. border.

Another former Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, tweeted that he agreed with Romney and was especially concerned about national security under a possible Trump presidency.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that as speaker, he could not interfere in the nominating process. But he added that, when someone disfigures conservatism, he would speak out, as he has twice on Trump. Ryan said he does not know Trump personally, but would get to know him and would work with him if Trump becomes the nominee.

After word of Romney's speech was disclosed Wednesday, Trump mocked the former Massachusetts governor on social media, calling him "Failed Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney."

Separately, a group of 60 Republican foreign policy veterans signed a joint letter opposing Trump, saying he would "act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world." Signatories included former U.S. Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, former World Bank president and deputy secretary of State Robert Zoellick and former top Pentagon official Dov Zakheim.

Mexican official vetoes idea
of paying for Trump's wall

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Mexican government said it would not pay for the terrible border wall proposed by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In a televised interview, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray gave the first direct government response to the proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to curb illegal immigration, and have Mexico pay for it.

"Under no circumstances will Mexico pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing," Videgaray said late Wednesday.  He said the idea was "based on ignorance and has no foundation in the reality of North American integration."

The Republican Party front-runner's comments about immigration in Mexico and the border wall have sparked a number of controversies.

Trump has repeatedly said Mexican leaders take advantage of the United States, "by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country" over the border.

Trump estimates the wall will cost about $8 billion to build and says the Mexican government must assume responsibility for the cost.  Trump says he will impound remittances derived from illegal wages and increase fees on some temporary visas and border crossing cards until Mexico agrees.  Trump often says the cost of the wall is a tiny fraction of the money the United States loses to Mexico in trade deficits.

Former Mexican president Felipe Calderón responded to Trump's plan, saying "Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall."

Pope Francis also commented on the controversy in February, saying, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian." Trump said Mexican government officials had misled the pope about the nature of the border wall plan, adding that Francis had an awfully big wall around the Vatican.

A February 2016 Rasmussen poll found 70 percent of Republican voters and 51 percent of voters overall support Trump's border wall plan.

Aide to Mrs. Clinton accepts
immunity from prosecution

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A one-time aide to former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now the leading 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, has been granted immunity as prosecutors question him about the possible mishandling of classified information on her private email server when she was the country's top diplomat.

The aide, Bryan Pagliano, worked on Clinton's unsuccessful 2008 run for the Democratic presidential nomination and later set up the email server in her New York home she used while she headed the State Department from 2009 to 2013. For months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been conducting a review of the more than 30,000 work-related emails she received or sent during those four years. The State Department has found that 22 of them contained top secret information, 65 secret information and another 2,028 classified material.

Mrs. Clinton has said that none of the emails was marked with any national security classification at the time she received or sent the information. She said she used the home-based server as a matter of convenience, but now says it was an error.

“Yes, I should have used two email addresses, one for personal matters and one for my work at the State Department," Mrs. Clinton has said. "Not doing so was a mistake. I’m sorry about it, and I take full responsibility.”

Pagliano refused to testify before a congressional panel last September about the Clinton email server, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination. But U.S. authorities now say he is cooperating with the probe, which is ongoing even as Mrs. Clinton is surging in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination leading up to the November national election to pick the successor to President Barack Obama, who leaves office in January 2017.

The Clinton campaign said it is pleased Pagliano is cooperating with investigators looking to see whether there was any criminal wrongdoing in the handling of the emails that ran through Mrs. Clinton's server.

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said, “As we have said since last summer, secretary Clinton has been cooperating with the Department of Justice’s security inquiry, including offering in August to meet with them to assist their efforts if needed.”

The FBI probe of the emails is not expected to be completed yet for months, placing its outcome in the midst of the presidential campaign.

Other major tech companies
join in giving Apple support

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Several U.S. technology giants have formally backed Apple in its high-profile legal battle with the FBI over whether the company must weaken the security features of an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino terrorist attackers.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo were among the companies that filed a joint legal brief Thursday in support of their competitor, the California-based Apple.

"If the government arguments prevail, the Internet ecosystem will be weakened, leaving Internet users more vulnerable to hackers and other bad actors," the statement said.

The FBI has asked Apple to write new software that would help unlock the iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the persons who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last December.

Apple refused the request, saying it cannot be asked to hack one of its own devices. The company says the creation of a backdoor could endanger a wide array of devices while raising privacy concerns.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Wednesday he opposes a single technical approach as a solution to the complex legal battle.

"I don't think we ought to let one case drive a general conclusion or solution," Carter said in remarks at a San Francisco tech event. "We have to work together to work our way out through this problem."

Carter also warned that legislation written by Congress to deal with the issue may be written in an atmosphere of anger and grief and it may not contain the necessary understanding of current security technology to create an effective law.

Apple filed a formal objection to a federal order to assist the FBI March 2.

Australian cardinal admits
he failed to protect children

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A top Vatican official vowed Thursday to work to better protect children in his Australian hometown  acknowledging he failed to act on an allegation of clergy sexual abuse decades ago.

Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, Cardinal George Pell, met with victims of abuse who traveled from Australia to Rome to witness his four days of testimony delivered to Australia’s Royal Commission via satellite.

The commission is investigating how the Catholic Church, as well as other institutions, handled cases of sex abuse of children over a span of decades.

Pell was called to testify each night from around 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. about his time as a priest in Ballarat and an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne. The 74-year-old cardinal said that he was a junior priest at the time that an unnamed student at St. Patrick’s College reported that Christian Brothers teacher Edward Dowlan was misbehaving with boys.

Testimony to the Royal Commission revealed that members of the Christian Brothers religious order preyed on dozens of children who attended its schools, which operated from the 1960s into the 1980s.

When asked by the commission chairman, Peter McClellan, how he responded to the 1974 allegation, Pell admitted: “I didn’t do anything about it.” He acknowledged that evil was done and that he should have done more.

Pell added that he eventually raised concerns over the allegation to the school chaplain. Dowlan was later removed from the school but went on to abuse schoolchildren elsewhere until 1985.

The cardinal denied that he angrily dismissed another schoolboy’s accusations against the same cleric and that he tried to bribe one victim to keep quiet.

After meeting with nearly a dozen survivors at a Rome hotel, Pell in a statement pledged to help his hometown of Ballarat, a heavily Catholic city of 100,000, in Victoria, to recover from the string of suicides among sex abuse victims, noting that even one suicide is too many.

Astronaut Kelly returned
taller than his twin brother

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Astronaut Scott Kelly, who returned March 1 from nearly a year aboard the International Space Station, is now just over 5 centimeters taller than his identical twin brother Mark.

That was a preliminary finding of the effects of long-term exposure to zero gravity on the human body.

“Our studies will provide important data on how the space environment impacts the human body at the molecular level so that NASA can identify risk factors and countermeasures for possible health issues induced by prolonged space travel, such as a mission to Mars,” said a psychiatry professor, Brinda Rana, principal investigator on the University of California San Diego School of Medicine team which will participate in the study of the Kelly twins.

Astronauts often get taller in space because the discs in the human spine get slightly compressed due to gravity on earth.

Kelly’s mission was, in part, a chance for NASA to see how astronauts would fare on a mission to Mars, which would probably last about a year.

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Mountain home for sale
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puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

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Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 45
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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
Key bridge lanes to be closed

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

If the weekend is coming, highway officials must be closing another bridge or key road. This weekend, the work will be on the Juan Pablo II bridge in La Uruca.

To put it gently, the concrete bridge deck is falling apart, and the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad is going to apply more patches.

The westbound lane on the bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Monday.

Traffic will be a mess even though the detour is short and via the traffic circle under the bridge.

The bridge was closed last month for a time because a piece of the  concrete deck simply fell out and left a gaping hole in one of the lanes.

The highway is Ruta 1, the Interamericana, the main route to Juan Santamaría airport and points west.

President will host U.S. astronauts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Franklin Chang Díaz and the crew of the Columbia space shuttle will be at Casa Presidencial today to meet with President Luis Guillermo Solís.

Chang, now an inventor of space propulsion devices, is Costa Rica's only astronaut.

The other astronauts include William Nelson, who is now a U.S. Senator from Florida, Robert L. Gibson, who was the 1986 mission commander, and Charles F. Bolden, who is now administrator of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Bolden also is a retired major general in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The men are here to plan and participate in a workshop on space technology with a human dimension that runs from Monday through March 11 at the hotel Crown Plaza.

Efficient vehicles promoted at show

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials are promoting the purchase of efficient vehicles in conjunction with Expomóvil, a car show, that will run until March 13 at the Centro de Eventos Pedregal.

Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía originated the program last year and has tightened the requirements this year.

The designated vehicles weight up to 1,800 kilograms, a bit less than 4,000 pounds. They also should emit 180 grams of carbon dioxide or less per kilometer and attain at least 15 kilometers per liter of fuel. That is about 35 miles per gallon.

Fire damages home in Goicoechea

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fire heavily damaged a home in Los Ángeles de Ipís de Goicoechea Thursday morning. The blaze was blamed on a frayed extension cord that was stretched over a bed on the first floor of the two-story home, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos.

Five adults and four children were living in the home.

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From Page 7:

Some analysts say oil is starting to move higher

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The up-and-down prices of oil and gold mirror the unsettled world situation, and both reflect the economic squeeze most nations currently face. 

Analysts are talking about the oil crash being over, with prices stabilizing in the mid-$30-a-barrel range from a recent low of $26, despite record supply levels. That's a 30 percent increase in the past two weeks.

The jump in the price per barrel has given rise to predictions that oil has bottomed out. Meanwhile, 413 oil rigs have been shut down in the United States because of an oil glut with thousands of jobs lost.

"The supply and demand picture for oil is such that there's such a big glut over supply on a daily basis from the production side that, even if the demand side picks up marginally, we're still not going to eat up that for quite some time,” said commodities trader Eric Zuccarelli.

And gold, according to Zuccarelli, has inched up because of interest rates in the United States and around the world.

Interest rates and gold have an inverse relationship. Generally, rising interest rates are bad for gold prices, while decreasing rates are good. In a zero-to-negative interest rate environment, gold prices usually benefit. The Japanese and European Central banks currently have negative interest rates.