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(506) 2223-1327                    Published Thursday, April 4 , 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 66                Email us
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U.S. tycoon had major role in defeating Walker
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

April 11 is the celebration of the Battle of Rivas that immortalized Juan Santamaría as a Costa Rican national hero.

That is why there is a statute of Juan Santamaría at the international airport that bears his name and in the central park of Alajuela, his hometown.

There ought to be a statute of U.S. businessman  Cornelius Vanderbilt, too, because if Juan Santamaria's brief and fatal action to torch an enemy stronghold is memorable so should the extensive support provided by Vanderbilt and his agents.

As is true with most of human history, the actions that resulted in the Costa Rican invasion of Nicaragua and the battle in 1856 are more complex than that which is taught to school children. In fact, much of the dispute was about money.

Walker from Tennessee wanted to run his own country. He tried to rule Baja California but was defeated. He lived in the age of U.S. expansion.

If Walker sought fame and an entry in history books, Vanderbilt wanted money. Rising from a young ferry boat operator in New York, he saw shipping and transportation as his cash cow.

That's why when gold turned up in California he pioneered routes that could carry the 49ers west. A principal route was through southern Nicaragua. Current President Daniel Ortega is trying to recreate the route Vanderbilt's Accessory Transit Co. had in the early 1850s. Travelers would go by steamer from the Caribbean west on the Río San Juan and eventually to Lake Nicaragua. Then after a brief land crossing at San Juan del Sur, they would board a California-bound steamer on the Pacific coast.

Walker accepted an invitation from Nicaraguan president Francisco Castellón to provide aid in that country's civil war in 1855. He became de facto leader of the country as the nation's military commander when he defeated the conservative forces opposing Castellón.

While Vanderbilt toured Europe on his yacht with his family, his employees in Nicaragua conspired with Walker to take over the transport concession.

That's when Vanderbilt threw his weight behind anyone opposed to Walker, including Costa Rica's president, Juan Rafael Mora.

With Vanderbilt's backing, Mora assembled an
Walekr
and Vanderbilt
         William Walker         Cornelius Vanderbilt

army and marched north. A Nicaraguan invasion at Santa Rosa, Costa Rica, in March ended in defeat for Walker's forces. When the Costa Rican units defeated Walker's men at the Battle of Rivas they were accompanied by mercenaries recruited by Vanderbilt as well as his material support.

Vanderbilt's agents also worked to cut off supplies to Walker's forces. At one point they captured the steamers on the Río San Juan. They also offered free trips to the United States for Walker mercenaries who deserted.

The British government also was no friend of Walker and applied military pressure.

Despite the Battle at Rivas, Walker, managed to have himself inaugurated as president of Nicaragua in July and worked to Americanize the country. He decreed that English would be the official language and welcomed settlers from the United States.

Much has been written about Walker's pro-slavery leanings. Stephen Dando-Collins credits practicality instead of philosophy in the 2008 "Tycoon's War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Invaded a Country to Overthrow America's Most Famous Military Adventurer." He said that Walker embraced slavery and threw out Nicaragua's emancipation edict because he needed support from U.S. Southerners.

Vanderbilt also was supporting anti-Walker efforts by  Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Eventually it was illness in the form of cholera that ravaged Walker's army, and he surrendered to a U.S. Navy officer who sent him home.

Walker tried again in 1860 but he was captured and shot in Honduras.

Next Thursday, the anniversary of the battle, also is called the Día de Juan Santamaría, It is a public holiday, which means most employees are off with pay.

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Broken teeth spark dispute
in play 'God of Carnage'


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Little Theatre Group of Costa Rica will present this month a production of  “God of Carnage.”

“God of Carnage” was an original French play written by Yasmina Reza.  The work has since been translated to English and received a Tony Award for best play in 2009.

A fight between two children that ends with one child hitting the other in the mouth with a stick, begins the story line.  The ensuing damage is two broken incisors and an exposed nerve, described a release. 

The parents of each child gather to discuss the incident resulting in a sequence of apologizing, blame naming and solution finding.

“The hell that breaks out is sleekly amusing partly because the two teams not only go at each other, they also sometimes switch sides,” the release said.  “It can be partner against partner, or boys against girls, without an ounce of introspection or admission of responsibility on any side.”

Under the direction of Noel Montagono, several Little Theatre Group actors will present the 90-minute production at the Teatro Laurence Olivier.

“Director Noel Montagano and an incredible cast, Susan Liang, Tom Humes, Lisa DeFuso and Chicago import Jim Kissane are sure to bring a high level of professionalism to this comedy, to the audience and to fill the evening with laughs,” said spokespersons.

“God of Carnage” will run April 26 to April 28 and May 3 to May 5.  Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sundays.

Teatro Laurence Olivier is located between Avenida 2 and Calle 28 next to Sala Garbo.  Persons who want to reserve tickets can call 8858-1446.


Night under the stars set
for Santa Ana this Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Scientific organizations are inviting families to enjoy a night under the stars Saturday through the event “Star Party” at the Conservación de Santa Ana.

The activity is organized by Fundación CIENTEC and the Fundación Pro Zoológicos.  Organizers said the event has been a success in the past years where visitors have learned about astronomy by viewing stars, planets such as Saturn, constellations, nebulas, clusters and galaxies.

Fundación CIENTEC provides technical equipment, optical instruments and teaching materials.

Patrons are asked to bring their cameras to photograph the sky and binoculars in order to see the nebulas and star clusters.  Those with telescopes can learn how to use them properly at the event, a release said.

Also, families can use the open space to grill and share time with each other.

Participants can enter the conservation center between 5:30 and 7 p.m. and can stay overnight until 5:30 a.m. Sunday.  They will be given a zodiac card and can participate in raffles and buy t-shirts with the moon phases depicted on the front.

Entrance fee is 5,000 colons for adults and 4,000 colons for children under 13.  Visitors can pay the fee at the conservation center box office located 300 meters to west and 200 meters north of the Cruz Roja in Santa Ana.

For more details you can contact the Centro de Conservación de Santa Ana at 2282-8434.

flute
Jean Louis Beaumadier on the piccolo.

Three international artists
will present flute concert

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The VIII Festival Internacional de Flauta will feature three international flutists in the Teatro Nacional foyer tonight.

Susan Milan of Britain, Sheryl Cohen of the United States and Jean Louis Beaumadier of France will give a recital at 5:10 p.m. as part of the theater's Música al Atardecer.

"It is a great honor to have musicians as renowned internationally as Jean Louis Beaumadier, who is considered the best in the world at the piccolo," said Gabriel Goñi, general producer of the festival, in a release.

The international flute festival was organized in 2005 as a way to promote the national development of the flute.

Cost of the event is 4,000 colons for general admissions and 2,000 colons for students and gold members.  Tickets can be purchased by telephone at 2010-1143 or at the box office.

The public can enjoy Música al Atardecer at sunset, every Thursday at 5:10 p.m.

For more information visit the Web site www.teatronacional.go.cr.

 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
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Central government readies another package of fiscal reforms
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Laura Chinchilla administration is making an effort to create new taxes and increase government income before the president leaves office in May next year.

Édgar Ayales Esna, the minister of Hacienda, promises an open and consultive effort in three steps.

The effort will be designed to include input for presidential candidates. The election is in February 2014.

The project is seen by some as a way to institute a value-added tax and other taxes that failed to pass the legislature earlier in the president's term.

The feisty Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados already has checked in with an opinion.  The government should do something about the more than 1,000 public employees who make more than 5 million colons a month, the union said. The amount is more than $10,000 or more than $120,000 a year. The union said Ayales was on another crusade.
In fact, the central government is proposing changes to public employee salaries, but the issue is controversial.

The government already has floated $1 billion in bonds at a 4.5 percent interest rate to reduce some of its expenditures. And, as Ayales notes, the central government has instituted a job freeze,

Still nearly half of the annual national budget is being financed by debt.

Ayales said that by June the first stage of designing a proposal will be completed and that it will be published for comments. Then the government will enter into more discussions on specifics with various sectors of the economy. The third stage will be to send proposed legislation to lawmakers with the hope that they can pass the measures by May 2014.

From a political perspective such a move will absolve an incoming president of responsibility for the proposals, which certainly will include more taxes.

Ayales said the goal would be to give the country a balanced and comprehensive solution to its financial problems.

Thin cloud cover linked to arctic ice melt and sea-level rise
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An analysis of the Greenland ice cap says that global sea levels would rise 24 feet if the entire sheet melted.

That number suggested by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers is very close to the sea level that actually existed during the last interglacial, according to earlier figures from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The most recent assessment said that researchers have been tracking increasing melt rates in Greenland since at least 1979. Last summer, however, the melt was so large that similar events show up in ice core records only once every 150 years or so over the last four millennia, the research team  said..

A paper scheduled for publication today said the unusual surface melting was triggered by an influx of unusually warm air, but that was only one factor, said Dave Turner, physical scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory. "In our paper we show that low-level clouds were instrumental in pushing temperatures up above freezing."

Low-level clouds typically reflect solar energy back into space, and snow cover also tends to bounce energy from the sun back from the Earth's surface.

Under particular temperature conditions, however, clouds can be both thin enough to allow solar energy to pass through to the
surface and thick enough to trap some of that heat even if it is
 turned back by snow and ice on the ground.

While low, thin cloud cover is just one element within a complex interaction of wind speed, turbulence and humidity, the extra heat energy trapped close to the surface can push temperatures above freezing, the paper said.

Many scientists expect the sea level to rise about a foot per century due to the increase in global temperature. Some think that this rate can be reduced by human efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

Still, the rate presents serious problems for island nations and coastal areas of Costa Rica where higher sea levels can cause more inundations. An example is the sandy peninsula on which Puntarenas Centro sits. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional already had calculated the loss of dry land that would accompany sea level rises of varying degrees.

However, there have been no calculations that take into account a sea level rise of 24 feet. Three million cubic kilometers of Greenland ice won't wash into the ocean overnight, the University of Wisconsin researchers said. But evidence of sea-level oscillations during a warm period that started about 125,000 years ago raises the possibility of a similar scenario if the planet continues its more recent warming trend, says the research team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

They suggested the possibility of sea-level changes that are more dynamic than current observations of ice sheets suggest.

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Costa Rica-backed arms treaty will face a tough time in the U.S. Senate
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The new global arms trade treaty was overwhelmingly approved by the United Nations, with U.S. backing, but it was clear Wednesday it faces a tough fight for ratification by U.S. senators who contend it could affect Americans' gun rights.

The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly approved the pact by a vote of 154-3 on Tuesday, with 23 abstentions, many by major weapons exporters. Costa Rican diplomats had worked seven years to get the treaty approved.

Washington was one of the yes votes, but to go into effect for the United States it must win at least 67 votes, a two-thirds majority, in the 100-member Senate. Last month, the Senate supported a measure calling for the treaty's rejection even before U.N. negotiations on its text were completed.

The powerful National Rifle Association gun industry lobby promised to fight against ratification. Several senators, mostly Republicans, quickly issued statements opposing the pact.

The United States is the world's largest gun exporter, accounting for 30 percent of global volume. Russia, No. 2, accounts for 26 percent. Moscow, which along with China abstained from the U.N. vote, said it would take a hard look at the treaty before deciding whether to sign it.

The treaty, the first of its kind, seeks to regulate the $70 billion business in conventional arms and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.

A U.S. commitment to the treaty is important to get China, Russia and other big arms producers on board, diplomats and activists say.

The United States is already in compliance with the treaty's terms because of its weapons export and import laws, they said, but U.S. approval could put pressure on other nations to adopt similar limits.

The White House said Wednesday it had not yet been decided if President Barack Obama would sign the pact and gave no timeline for doing so. Such a signing seems likely, however, given White House support for the pact at the United Nations.

If Obama signs, government agencies would review the treaty before the administration decides whether to seek ratification by the Senate.

"Timelines for the treaty review process vary and given that we're just beginning the review, I wouldn't want to speculate about when we'll make a decision," said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council.
The Senate voted 53-46 March 23 for a non-binding amendment to its budget resolution calling for the treaty's rejection. Supporters said they were worried it would infringe on U.S. gun rights.

Winning 67 votes for ratification would require the support of all Democrats, including eight who voted for the amendment, as well as at least 12 Republicans, or a quarter of the entire Republican caucus, which strongly opposes almost any limits on gun sales.

"Don't expect a cakewalk," one Democratic Senate aide said.

The U.S. Senate has often been skeptical of international treaties, seeing them as limiting U.S. power. Among the unratified pacts signed by a U.S. president is the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear explosions. As with some other unratified treaties, however, Washington has implemented that treaty's terms, refraining from nuclear testing. 

Several senators issued statements after the U.N. vote reiterating their opposition.

"The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty . . . would require the United States to implement gun-control legislation as required by the treaty, which could supersede the laws our elected officials have already put into place," said Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who sponsored the budget amendment.

He, fellow Republican Jerry Moran and Democratic Sen. Max Baucus issued a press release objecting to the treaty after the U.N. vote. It also included a statement from Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action.

"We have always been clear that any treaty which does not expressly exclude civilian firearms ownership from its scope will be met with the NRA's greatest force of opposition," Cox said in the statement.

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would decide whether to take up the treaty if it were sent to the Senate. He applauded the U.N. vote and promised a vigorous and fair review, if the treaty is eventually submitted to the Senate.

Menendez echoed Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House in insisting that the treaty would not affect Americans' gun rights.

"I commend the U.S. negotiating team for crafting what appears to be a strong, effective and implementable treaty that would in no way infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution to bear arms," Menendez said in a statement.

 
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Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. www.leavesandlizards.com or e-mail us at leavesandlizards@gmail.com.
7862-8/1/13

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Real estate for rent (paid category)
Perez  Zeledon:   Large studio home overlooking river with deck.  Elegant, ceramic floors, nice cabinets, walk-in closet.  Beautiful gardens and grounds.  Secure. Private. Only  10 minutes
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to San Isidro de El General. Mountain town with everything!  Then, 40 minutes to Playa Dominical, 40 minutes to Chirripó National Park, and also near many other attractions, yet very private and secluded.  Listen to river sounds and sleep like a baby.   
Rare birds in abundance. Includes,  One  double bed and refrigerator, stove, juicer, sofa, tables,  dishes, pans, etc.  Plus, electric, (hot) water   Phone, TV connected, Internet cable connected, garbage and gardener. All included for $425. /month.  Looking for one good person, reliable, long-term.    Non-smoker. jjpepman@hotmail.com
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Manuel Antonio long term apartment for rent
This modern two-bedroom apartment with a breathtaking view of the Quepos town and the Pacific Ocean is situated near Manuel Antonio National Park and beaches. The location offers a unique experience in the edge of the jungle, where you can observe wildlife. The apartment has two separate bedrooms and sleeps three guests maximum. The bathroom has a walk-in shower and a toilette. The living room is furnished with very comfortable furniture. The kitchen is fully equipped. Public transports like taxis, bus station, port as well as shops, groceries, restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightlife are within a very short distance. Fully furnished, all bills included (water, electricity, cable tv, wireless internet), $575 per month, 6-month minimum. Contact us now!!! 8853-8245. or see our
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7901-4/25/13

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
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7881-4/13/13

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Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at HPCattleCR@aol.com, or or for more information HERE! $850 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.
7875-4/11/13

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 
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Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
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balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet 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, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
7907-4/12/13

Palmares
rental properties
Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

Visit our Web page for more information.
www.palmarescostarica.us
7819-4/29/13

prime
properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
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7894-4/13/13

Palacio condo
Beautiful 2-bedroom, 2-bath modern condo for rent.
(Only 6 years old).
Great Secure Area, Next to 5-Star Hotel Palacio (La Uruca). Gated community, 24-hour security, 5 minutes to San José. Swimming Pool, washer/dryer, covered parking, high-speed Internet, cable TV, home phone! $900 per month, fully furnished, 6-Month minimum! Please Call: 001-954-782-0200 or email jas21358@comcast.net
7780-2/21/13

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING – MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200
Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

7857-5/4/13





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Happy Birthday, cell phone,
as it reaches 40 years of age


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Forty years ago today the cell phone era began on the streets of New York City. The historic first cell phone call was made by Martin Cooper, director of systems operations for the communications division of the Motorola Co., to his main rival at Bell Labs.

Martin described his call to Bell’s Joel S. Engel on April 3, 1973 in an article called "The History of the Cell Phone" by Gareth Marples.

“As I walked down the street while talking on the phone, sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call,” Martin wrote. “Remember that in 1973, there weren't cordless telephones or cellular phones. I made numerous calls, including one where I crossed the street while talking to a New York radio reporter, probably one of the more dangerous things I have ever done in my life.”

A 1973 press release, Motorola touted its new Dyna-Tac portable radio telephone, saying it would operate over radio frequencies and talk to any conventional landline telephone in the world.

“What this means, said John F. Mitchell, manager of Motorola’s communications division, is that in a city where the Dyna-Tac system is installed, it will be possible to make telephone calls while riding in a taxi, walking down the city’s streets, sitting in a restaurant or anywhere else a radio signal can reach.”

The new Motorola mobile phone was nicknamed the brick since it was about the size of a brick used in building houses.  It weighed about one kilogram.  The talk time of the phone was fairly short since its batteries only provided a charge for about 35 minutes and took about 10 hours to recharge.

Motorola had been perfecting its new invention for about 10 years when it commercially introduced a slimmer Dyna-Tac 8000X “brick” in 1983.  Motorola trimmed the weight down to less than half a kilogram and sold for $3,995.

​​Technology for the mobile phone has advanced quite rapidly since then, with bigger and more sophisticated cellular networks being developed and built, and the phones themselves evolving into multifunctional smartphones that provide Internet access, along with other features such as built-in cameras, portable music players and video playback.
 
The number of mobile phone subscribers has skyrocketed over the years, with about 340,213 in 1985, according to the trade organization CTIA, the Wireless Association, to more than six billion today, according to a telecom report released by the United Nations last October.

Today increasing numbers of people are getting rid of their traditional landline phone service in favor of using their mobile phones as their sole form of telephone communications.  In a number of developing countries that didn’t have much of a landline infrastructure to begin with, communications companies skipped over installing cumbersome and expensive landline system and instead invested in and developed their own massive mobile phone/cellular phone systems.


Swiss banking scandal hits
French president's cabinet


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

French President Francois Hollande has promised sweeping new anti-corruption measures, a day after his former budget minister admitted having had a secret foreign bank account containing hundreds of thousands of euros.

In a taped television address Wednesday, Hollande said he would introduce legislation requiring government ministers and members of parliament to declare and publish details of their personal wealth, and would take steps to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

He also said that public officials convicted of fraud or corruption would be permanently banned from holding public office.

Tuesday, Jerome Cahuzac, who resigned as budget minister two weeks ago, was formally charged with laundering the proceeds of tax fraud after admitting he had held an undisclosed Swiss bank account containing some 600,000 euros ($770,000).

Cahuzac, who had previously denied the charges, said he had the account for around 20 years.

France is not the only European country currently embroiled in a high-level corruption scandal.

Spain's Princess Cristina was named Wednesday as a suspect in a corruption case against her husband, who is accused of involvement in the embezzlement of millions of euros in public funds through a charity he headed.


U.S. TV personality joins
debate over Egypt's satirist

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An American TV humor show was at the center of a diplomatic dust-up between the United States and Egypt this week.

It all started when Egyptian authorities arrested Bassem Youssef, a TV political satirist known as “Jon Stewart of Egypt” last week. He was questioned on suspicion of insulting Islam and belittling Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

So Youssef’s American role model, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, came to his defense and lambasted Egyptian President Morsi over the arrest during the program Monday night.

Stewart talked about problems in Egypt following the Arab Spring uprisings that began two years ago, problems such as attacks on women, high unemployment, and crumbling infrastructure. Then the American comedian asked if Youssef had been sabotaging Egypt's infrastructure, or harassing Egyptian women on the streets, or causing Egypt’s unemployment.

After the program, someone at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo linked to the Stewart show on the embassy’s official Twitter feed.

Within hours, the Egyptian president’s office tweeted back to the Embassy, “It is inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda.”

The questioning of Youssef, along with arrest warrants issued days earlier against five anti-government activists on charges of inciting unrest, raised concerns among the opposition in Egypt that Morsi had begun a campaign to intimidate them.

Morsi's supporters say there is no such campaign and the president’s office issued a statement late Tuesday denying that it was behind the arrest warrants. "The presidency underlines its complete respect for freedom of the expression and the press," the statement said.

Youssef is now free on $2,200 bail after being interrogated for five hours.

He tweeted on Monday: “A new complaint against me has been referred to state security prosecution, for spreading rumors and false news, and disturbing public tranquility after the last episode.”

The problems between U.S. and Egyptian diplomats began even before the Jon Stewart show Monday night. Earlier that day, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described Youssef’s questioning as “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression” in Egypt.

"There does not seem to be an evenhanded application of justice here," Ms. Nuland said, adding that the Egyptian government had been slow to investigate other cases of suspected police brutality and attacks on anti-Morsi protesters and journalists.

Morsi’s conservative Islamic Freedom and Justice Party denounced Nuland’s comments as "blatant interference" in Egypt's internal affairs. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood then joined in by saying in its Twitter account on Tuesday that the U.S. government “is welcoming and condoning defamation of religion.”

Ms. Nuland answered back saying her comments reflected the U.S. government's position.

"Our point was to say that rule of law needs to be applied appropriately in all circumstances. It's the same point that we make with regard to countries around the world. So, we reject the notion that we were interfering," she said.


Obama stresses gun control
in visit to Colorado


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Concerned about eroding momentum for stronger gun control laws, President Barack Obama used remarks in a state shaken by mass shootings to press his call for congressional action.

Coloradans live with the memory of two of the nation's worst mass shootings:  The 12 people killed last year when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in the town of Aurora and 13 killed in 1999 at Columbine High School.

​​The state's Democratic-controlled legislature passed strong gun laws, requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the capacity of ammunition clips.

At the Denver Police Academy, Obama met with police and local leaders, and families of victims in the Aurora and Columbine massacres.

Obama also mentioned the massacre of 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut, last December.  He said Congress should follow Colorado's example in passing stronger gun control laws.

"Every day that we wait to do something about it, even more are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. The good news is that Colorado has already chosen to do something about it," Obama said.

Obama wants Congress to approve universal background checks for gun purchases, reinstate a ban on military-style assault weapons, and limit the size of ammunition clips.

He urged Republicans in the U.S. Senate not to block consideration of Democrat-crafted legislation.  Debate could come as early as next week.

The White House and gun control advocates are concerned that political momentum has slowed.

Obama urged an end to rhetoric he said is blocking honest discussion about gun violence, and addressed the notion he said some Americans have that he is attacking their constitutional right to gun ownership.

"There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights," Obama said.

Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer says Obama is on the right side of the gun control issue, while Republicans risk political damage if they block legislation.

"Deciding that you are going to block common sense gun legislation supported by 90 percent of the country, and large numbers and majorities of gun owners, is not going to help your situation," Pfeiffer said.

President Obama continues his efforts to generate more public pressure for stronger gun control laws with a visit next Monday to Hartford, Connecticut.

Wednesday, Connecticut's legislature was poised to join Colorado and New York state in passing strong gun control legislation.


Secret of Mayan pigment
may be close to recapture


By the Plataforma SINC

The recipe and process for preparing Maya blue, a highly-resistant pigment used for centuries in Mesoamerica, were lost. Scientists know that the ingredients are a plant dye, indigo, and a type of clay known as palygorskite, but they do not know how they were cooked and combined together. Now, a team of chemists from the University of Valencia and the Polythecnic University of Valencia, Spain, have come up with a new hypothesis about how it was prepared.

Palace walls, sculptures, codices and pieces of pottery produced by the ancient Maya incorporate the enigmatic Maya blue. This pigment, which was also used by other Mesoamerican cultures, is characterized by its intense blue color but, above all, by the fact that it is highly resistant to chemical and biological deterioration. Indeed, it was used centuries ago and when it is analyzed now it appears virtually unchangeable.

There is no document that verifies how this paint was prepared, and so it remains a mystery. Archaeologists and scientists have sought to uncover the mystery in recent years but it seems that researchers cannot come to an agreement.

The dominant theory proposes that there is a single type of Maya Blue that was also prepared in a unique way and that a specific type of bond binds the two components: one organic component, indigo, the dye used for denim that is obtained from the Indigofera suffruticosa plant in Mesoamerica, and another inorganic component, palygorskite, a type of clay characterized by its crystal structure full of internal channels.

But the work of a team from the University of Valencia and the Polytechnic University of Valencia seem to contradict this  version. "We detected a second pigment in the samples, dehydroindigo, which must have formed through oxidation of the indigo when it underwent exposure to the heat that is required to prepare Maya blue," stated Antonio Doménech, a University of Valencia researcher.

"Indigo is blue and dehydroindigo is yellow," the expert explained, "therefore the presence of both pigments in variable proportions would justify the more or less greenish tone of Maya Blue. It is possible that the Maya knew how to obtain the desired hue by varying the preparation temperature, for example heating the mixture for more or less time or adding more or less wood to the fire."

Another of the unsolved questions is how the dye molecules are distributed in palygorskite's crystal network. According to some scientists, the indigo adheres to the exterior of the clay structure, although it could also form a sort of cover on the entrance to the channels.

Other researchers believe that the indigo penetrates into the channels. This is the theory supported by the team from Valencia that has just published a study in the "Microporous and Mesoporous Materials" journal on the reactions that could be behind the formation of the blue pigment.

The results reveal that two stages occur when both components are heated to temperatures between 120 and 180 ºC. In the first and fastest of the two stages, water evaporates from the palygorskite and the indigo bonds to the clay, although a part oxidises and forms dehydroindigo.

In the second stage it would appear that the dye disperses through the channels in the clay. "The process is similar to what happens when we pour a drop of ink into a glass of water," Doménech said, drawing a comparison, although he acknowledges that "this is a hypothesis" at present.

The researcher's team, like other groups in other parts of the world, is also investigating the secret of the unknown chemical bonds that bind the organic to the inorganic component. These bonds are the reason behind Maya blue's resistance.

In addition to palaces and buildings of the Maya nobility, this pigment is traditionally associated with ritual ceremonies conducted by priests, and may even have been used during human sacrifices. Containers holding traces of the pigment found at the bottom of some natural and man-made wells on the Yucatán peninsula point to this ceremonial use.

Studies such as the one published by U.S. anthropologists in 2008 on a bowl found in the Sacred Cenote of Chichén Itzá led some media outlets to state that the mystery of Maya blue had been solved. "The bowl contained Maya blue mixed with copal incense so the simplified conclusion was that it was only prepared by warming incense," stated Doménech.

The researcher believes that the composition and function of Maya blue could have varied down through the centuries: "Although quite a few samples would be required, it could be possible to establish the evolution in its properties and preparation throughout the Maya culture from approximately 150 B.C. to 800 A.D., in such a way that we could establish a chronology based on analysing the pigment. This provides a far more 'flexible' view of this culture, breaking with that traditional monolithic view of inflexible ritualism."

In support of this view, the team also recently found other pigments that are different from Maya blue but follow the same pattern of a plant dye combined with clay. They found small greenish balls with this material in the ancient Maya city of La Blanca, modern day Guatemala, and it is assumed they were used to plaster and decorate the walls of palatial buildings.

"These materials were certainly not within the reach of the common people but they signal a more everyday use of the pigments that would not have had to be restricted to ritual or ceremonial activities," Doménech pointed out and said by way of conclusion: "Maya blue can be considered a polyfunctional material as it can combine different organic components with an inorganic carrier, which, in addition, can be distributed and react differently, thereby producing functions that are also different."

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Real estate for sale (paid category)


Casa de Eden
For sale by owner Playa Conchal home. Reduced $329,000

Casa de Eden is an ocean view three-bedroom, 2.5-bath, with outdoor shower, private pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure community surrounded by nature but still only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport. There is 2,600 square feet under the roof, which includes a large outdoor terrace and has phone, Internet & satellite TV. The home boasts luxury finishings: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile.  Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
7905-4/27/13

Pirate beach
For sale by owner: Ocean view condominium. Reduced $175,000

Gorgeous two- bedroom, two-bath with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built-in energy efficiently. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white sandy Pirates Beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double panel windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, porcelain tile. Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
7904-4/27/13

Condo
FIRE SALE ON THIS SPACIOUS CONDO
WITH GREAT OCEAN VIEWS $205,000 USD
This is a well distributed condo, very spacious and meticulously maintained. It sells furnished with quality furnishings and appliances. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and lots of storage place. It's a 2,200-sq. foot condo with double garage. Ideally located 20 minutes south of Jacó. It comes with a free beach club membership at Monterey Hotel in Esterillos. Call 2778-8408 or 8707-1037. Email marietta234@yahoo.es or www.beachfrontcentralpacific.com
7900-4/22/13
Las Escadas
Welcome to our Paradise
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San Juan del Sur – Nicaragua

1 and 2 bedroom condos from $ 39,900.
Las Escadas Condominiums & Club is the best Investment opportunity for those who want to live surrounded on all sides with nature and very closes to many beautiful beaches, amazing places with rich history and culture.
Security entrance – Administrative office – Swimming pool – Children's playground – Reserved parking available – Basketball court – pathways – Underground utilities.
Only $ 99 to reserve your Unit. Limited time offer
Contact: info@lasescadas.com    www.lasescadas.com
Cell English +505 8588-9827 – Cell Spanish/English 8551-4391
7895-4/20/13
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Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

View from Orosi home

Majestically situated overlooking the Orosi Valley and the tropical rain forest, this 2-bedroom, 2½-bath home with a separate office is offered at $550,000.  From the extensive use of glass windows visitors are easily captivated by the unbelievably 7 acres of pure, natural Costa Rican landscape.   The property is located 15 minutes from the Cartago metropolitan area, an hour from San José, 1¼ hours to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, 2 hours to the beaches of the Pacific West Coast, or 3 ½  hours to the beaches of the southern Caribbean coast.
http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com
USA 678-799-8803
CR Cell 011-506-8-910-2904
Margo@ackermanrealtyinternational.com


FOR SALE BY OWNER
You can purchase property in Costa Rica legally without paying Land Transfer Tax; this plus the usual real estate commission of 5% will reduce your purchase price by approximately 11%. Save over $50,000.00 on the purchase of this $465,000.00 property. Large 5000+ sq.ft. House. Ideal for business executive, B & B or large family. E-mail for photos and more information to landofpalms@hotmail.com.
7869-4/6/13

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:
7856-5/4/13

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.
7845-8/18/13

Montemar montage
Gated community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $20k with financing available.
Deep discounts for cash sales!
Reserve today with just $5,000 down
Great retirement, vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers house.
Water and power on site.
http://www.haciendamontemar.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
7830-5/8/13

Rich Coast Montage
RichCoastRealty.com
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2-bedroom house in gated community, $92,500.
- Lots in gated community from $20k w/financing available.
- 3-bedroom house in gated community, furnished, walk to the beach, $125k
- 3-bedroom oceanview house on 5 acres subdividable, $270k
- 58-acre oceanview property subdividable, $169k
Oceanfront residential Lot $58k
and much more....
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
7829-5/8/13

Ocean view home
Georgeous House For Sale In Costa Rica
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE OCEAN VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must see. Ocean view Only $345 000.00 US More details: http://www.monalbum.fr/Album=E3GLBJQX
Jack 506-2778-8172    Email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
7789-2/14/13

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1060.html
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891
7766-6/17/13

montage ofr photos
ALAZAN Eco-Friendly Community

- Ocean, mountain, and river views, built in harmony with nature
- 70% sold out, 1.25 acre + lots available from $75,000
- All lots held in separate corporations
- Functioning HOA with 24-hour security and gated front entrance
- 100% custom homes, turnkey construction
- Community homes have been featured in Su Casa Architectural Magazine
- Abundant wildlife on the property, access to 45-acre nature preserve
- Organic Permaculture farm coming soon
- Build your custom dream home and join our community of friends in paradise!
Brokers Welcome
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1011.html
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 (506) 8718-9891
7725-xxxx

Costa Azul view
costa azul ocean
Properties in Osa near the ocean.
50% discount from the valuation price, starting at $30.000.
Financing available. Contact us at +506 2233-7778 or +506 8815-6476.
Grupo Costa Azul – A property waiting for you!
www.grupocostaazulcr.com
7484-9/11/12

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

Papitos
Would you like to start a chain of pizzerias  in Costa Rica?
If you have the money,   I have the ideas and the basis to start. Buy the place,
and I'll work for you! Only serious inquiries. Money or property in C.R.
Call  Mike  (506) 8375 4287 or after 1 p.m. Call to  (506) 2241 1068.
7868-4/6/13

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.

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Electrical rates going up
due to higher fuel costs


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Not only motorists are heavy users of petroleum products. Plenty of the imported petroleum is used to fire thermal generators of electricity.

That is why the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos Wednesday approved an increase of from one colon to four colons per kilowatt hour for electrical users. The rate depends on the company servicing the customers.

The charge is passed up to the principal generating agency, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.  The company says it has to use more fuel oil in the dry season when the levels of lakes used for hydro generating are low.

The rate per kilowatt hour that will be charged customers ranges from 70 colons in Cartago to 91 colons in San Carlos, said the price regulating agency.

Costa Rica has declined to allow exploration for petroleum on the national territory, so all such fuel is imported.


U.S. intake of red meats
has declined for four years


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For the first time on record, U.S. per-capita meat consumption has declined for four consecutive years, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The 6 percent drop between 2006 and 2010 is the largest sustained decline since record keeping began in 1970.

Reasons for the decline are at least partly economic: rising prices and a bad U.S. economy have made meat less affordable for American consumers. But there are intriguing signs that a cultural shift may be underway, as well.

Joe Yonan grew up in the ranching town of San Angelo, Texas, where beef steaks are a staple food. Now, he’s a vegetarian.

This certified judge of barbecued meat started noticing his tastes shifting while digging in to some Texas brisket a couple years ago.

“It tasted really great,” he said, “But I didn’t find it satisfying on a primal level the way I used to. And that was surprising to me. And I thought, ‘Wow! Something definitely is changing.’”

Something also is changing in the food landscape. This year, for the first time, chefs named vegetarian entrees as a top-10 hot trend in an annual survey by the National Restaurant Association.

Yonan, the award-winning food editor of The Washington Post, noticed the trend at work. His column explaining his conversion to vegetarianism drew mostly positive responses, and not just from vegetarians.

"I got a lot of e-mails from people saying, ‘I’m not a vegetarian but I’m trying to do more of that at home,’” he said.

While about 7 percent of Americans identify themselves as vegetarians, it's the “flexitarians,” people who eat occasional meatless meals, that market research firms have just begun to explore.

One such firm, Packaged Facts, found that eating along the meatless spectrum is popular among college students, who will carry those eating habits into their adult years.

“Young people today are just not so meat-and-potatoes oriented as earlier generations were,” said environmental researcher Lester Brown at the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute.

Health concerns are one reason. Many studies link heavy consumption of red meat to higher risks of heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

A nationwide “Meatless Monday” campaign encourages people to eat vegetarian at least once a week.

But while meatless meals are catching on in the U.S., the demand for meat in emerging economies has grown along with rising prosperity.

Brazil ate 43 percent more meat in 2009 than two decades earlier, and China consumes 58 percent more, according to the most recent U.N. figures.


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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details