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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Friday, April 11, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 72                         Email us
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Bancrédito finally outlines exit tax procedures
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Since the enforcement of the land exit tax at the beginning of this month, authorities have set up electronic kiosks for travelers to pay the $7 fee at each border office.

As the borders gear up for a busy Semana Santa, the machines affiliated with Bancrédito are meant to speed up the departure process for anyone who has waited to pay the obligatory tax. Reports from the border tell of another nightmare of travelers who did not know about the tax.

Gerardo Porras, the general manager of Bancrédito, said the bank's straightforward technology is directly wired to border officials' computers.

"The system that the bank uses allows people to
electronically send the tax's proof of payment to the Migración worker at the border once it's been authorized by Bancrédito," he said.

The specialized kiosks are set up at the border posts in Peñas Blancas, Paso Canoas, Rio Sereno in Sabalito, and Sixaola.

They only accept credit and debit cards from MasterCard and Visa, an announcement said. The bank issued a statement today after the crush at the northern border became known in the metro area.

Porras said that although the kiosks will be a helpful tool, travelers should not count on them.
He advised they should come prepared to the border with the exit tax already paid so as to prevent long lines. The bank maintains a list in Spanish of authorized agencies that will accept the tax money HERE!

El Niño appears to be a good bet for end of year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A better than 50 percent chance exists that the El Niño condition will return this year, and some forecasters fear the weather phenomenon might be among the strongest on record.

The result is a mixed bag for Costa Rica. El Niño is associated with fewer Atlantic hurricanes and  perhaps an increase in Pacific storms.

The weather usually is wetter on the Caribbean coast and in the northern zone while drought is likely in Guanacaste, the Pacific coast and the Central Valley.

The strongest El Niño on record was from 1997 to 1998. In the Atlantic there were a below-average seven named storms that year, and only three that rose to the status of hurricane. But the strongest storm was the notorious Hurricane Mitch that killed more than 19,000 persons and did $6.2 billion.

Costa Rica was lucky with just seven dead and damages estimated at about $92 million, much of it in infrastructure and agriculture.

The U.N. Office of Disaster Risk Reduction noted that forecast details were lacking. Ranchers in Guanacaste were urged to move cattle because of the correctly anticipated drought, but they moved the animals into an area that also ended up being hit by lack of rain.

This created an intensified crises, the agency said.

Honduras was devastated by Hurricane Mitch. In Costa Rica the storm's long-distance effect generated flash flooding and landslides in the northeast. Some 126 bridges and 1,300 kilometers of roadway were affected. The  Instituto Meteorológico Nacional in Costa Rica notes that Hurricane Mitch also had a damaging effect on the south Pacific area.

Although El Niño is best known for affecting fishing off the coast of Perú, the impact covers the entire globe.

El Niño occurs every few years, when tropical waters off the Pacific coast of South America turn warmer than normal. Warm air rises off those waters and changes the path of the major wind currents that blow around the planet.

It can weaken monsoons in South and Southeast Asia.  Rainy seasons in southern Africa can turn dry. Meanwhile, east Africa and South America can get soaked.

The latest official forecasts give about two-thirds odds that El Niño will develop by the end of the year. But what has really attracted attention is
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
El Niño effects vary widely.

the huge body of warm water building up below the surface of the tropical Pacific.

Meteorologists say there is more energy stored up underwater now than at this point in 1997, just before the strongest El Niño on record developed.

The 1997-98 El Niño led to catastrophic floods in Peru, forest fires in Indonesia and Malaysia and record-high global temperatures. If those warm waters in the eastern Pacific make their way to the surface and stay there, it could mean a major El Niño event, weather havoc worldwide and possibly new high-temperature records.

However, Tony Barnston notes, “Just having a lot of warm water below the surface now is not enough to guarantee that we’re going to have a strong El Niño.” He is chief forecaster at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

The warm water could dissipate. It could come to the surface but not linger. Barnston said El Niño is notoriously difficult to predict at this time of year.

Plus, the atmosphere has been in a cooler cycle for the past several years, which many say does not favor a strong El Niño.

Forecasters should have a better picture of what El Niño has in store by August.

What the more distant future holds in a changing climate is even less clear.

“El Niño goes back hundreds of thousands of years, so clearly, El Niño is not related to climate change,” said Mike Halpert, head of the Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Now, the question is, does climate change have an impact? And that’s still an open question.”

The Climate Center issued an El Niño alert Thursday. While a neutral condition is favored for the Northern Hemisphere spring, the chances of El Niño increasing during the remainder of the year exceeds 50 percent by summer, it said.

Pacific yields more than a thousand kilos of coke
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Coast guard officers found 1,140 more kilograms of cocaine in the Pacific Ocean after four men threw packages of the drug from their boat  Tuesday to avoid being caught. At the time of the  arrest officers still found 100 kilograms aboard the Colombian boat.

Félix Villalobos, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacoastas director in Golfito, said two patrol boats found the discarded drugs early Thursday  just a few miles from Cabo Matapalo. He said officials found 57 packages, and each contain roughly 20 kilograms of cocaine.

The large shipment of confiscated drugs has been taken to Golfito and given to drug control agents. Coast guard officials said despite the already large haul they are still patrolling the area in case any more packages appear.
coast guard
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo

Coast guard crew members fish a package of cocaine from the Pacific.

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Another strong quake hits
central Nicaragua today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Posted Friday at 5:20 p.m. Friday

Nicaragua suffered another major earthquake today. The magnitude was 6.6, according to the U.S. National Earthquake Center.

The quake at 2:29 p.m. followed by less than a day a 6.1 magnitude quake in the same general area.

The quake today was felt in the Central Valley and on the Pacific coast all the way to Puerto Jiménez to the south on the Gulfo Dulce. The sensation was a bit stronger at the lower part of the Nicoya Peninsula and along the peninsula's west coast, said the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica at Universidad de Costa Rica.

The epicenter was about 75 kilometers (about 47 miles) north of La Cruz and the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan border. said the Laboratorio. That location is about 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of Granada, Nicaragua, said the earthquake center.

The Thursday quake at 5:27 p.m. was about 168 kilometers north of the Costa Rican border. There was some damage to homes in Nicaragua. So far there were no reports of damage from today's quake.

Administration in Turrialba
under investigation for trips

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Municipal officials in Turrialba are suspects in an investigation or misuse of public funds, according to the Ministerio Público.

The ministry's investigators said that between February 2011 and June 2012 they believe officials charged the local government for travel payments on trips where no official work was conducted. The Contraloría General de la República, which is the government's accountability office, estimates that the Turrialba officials took about 20 trips in all.

A Ministerio Público press representative said the four suspects include Turrialba's mayor, María Montoya Piedra, and its municipal president, Arturo Rodríguez Morales.

The state prosecutor in Turrialba conducted a raid on the municipality office up until 12:30 p.m. on Thursday to find any pertinent evidence like checkbooks or general registers. No charges have been made, and the case is pending in the Juzgado Penal de Hacienda.

$43.5 million road contract
rejected by budget watchdog

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's budget watchdog, the Contraloría de la República, has rejected a contract between the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad and the Constructura Sánchez Carvajal, which has been selected to build the San Carlos, Sección Sifón-Ciudad Quesada roadway.

The budget agency said that the state road agency does not have the budget funds available to pay the $43.5 million price tag.

The budget agency called the project important and referred the contract back to the road agency for adjustments.

The Ccntraloría evaluates every major state contract.

Six bridges to be installed
on controversial Ruta 1856

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bailey bridges are coming to the rescue once again.

Most expats remember those collapsing bridges on Ruta 1856 that parallels the Río San Juan at the northern border of the country.

The contracts hired locally to build the highway using shipping containers, logs and just about anything they could find to make bridges over various streams, rivers and ditches. The badly engineered bridges began to fail quickly.

The construction was a scandal, and criminal investigations are going on.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, which has taken over the job, said Thursday that six metal bridges will be installed along the route at a cost of 2.5 billion colons, about $4.6 million. The supplier was identified as the Waarner Biro Bridge Systems.

Constructora Meco, S.A. will install the concrete footings for the bridges.

The highway was a hurry-up job after Nicaraguan troops invaded a portion of Costa Rica. Without the road the only method of transportation in the northern zone is by river, and Nicaragua owns that.

Four other bridges have been designed by the ministry workers and will be developed as prototypes, the ministry said.

The highway is designated 1856 because that is the year Costa Rica went to war to fight U.S. filibusters William Walker who had taken over Nicaragua. The name was designed to mock Nicaraguan officials because of the invasions.

World Cup could spread
invasive chikungunya

By the American Society for Microbiology news staff

A team of French and Brazilian researchers warn that chikungunya virus is poised to invade and become epidemic in the Americas according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

The risk of a catastrophic epidemic in the Americas is boosted by the soccer World Cup, to be held in Brazil next month, what with people coming in from near and from far, says corresponding author Ricardo Lourenco-de-Oliveira. He is with the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil annually reports the highest incidence of dengue, a virus that is transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, the same mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya, he says.

The basis of his worries is the study, in which he and his collaborators compared the ability of 35 populations of the two Aedes species to transmit three different genotypes of chikungunya. These populations ranged all over the Americas from Buenos Aires to Tyson, Missouri, near St. Louis.

Chikungunya can cause severe joint pain, which can sometimes lead to permanent disability, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mortality has been known to reach one in a thousand. The virus’ name reflects the condition of many of the stricken, bent down or become contorted, in the Tanzanian Makonda language.

Transmission of chikungunya was first reported in the Americas in December of last year, on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. By Feb. 5, the disease had spread to nine additional Caribbean countries. “The danger of chikungunya virus spreading all over the tropical, subtropical, and even temperate regions of the Americas is a risk greater than ever,” says Lourenco-de-Oliveira.

Ancient asteroid collision
was a real shocker to Earth

By the American Geophysical Union news staff

A massive asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island and about three to five times larger than the rock thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs is believed to have slammed into Earth. The collision punched a crater into the planet’s crust that’s nearly 500 kilometers (about 300 miles) across: greater than the distance from Washington, D.C. to New York City, and up to two and a half times larger in diameter than the hole formed by the dinosaur-killing asteroid.

Seismic waves bigger than any recorded earthquakes shake the planet for about half an hour at any one location  –  about six times longer than the huge earthquake that struck Japan three years ago. The impact also sets off tsunamis many times deeper than the one that followed the Japanese quake.

Although scientists had previously hypothesized enormous ancient impacts, much greater than the one that may have eliminated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, now a new study reveals the power and scale of a cataclysmic event some 3.26 billion years ago which is thought to have created geological features found in a South African region known as the Barberton greenstone belt.  The research has been accepted for publication in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

The huge impactor – between 37 and 58 kilometers (23 to 36 miles) wide – collided with the planet at 20 kilometers per second (12 miles per second). The jolt, bigger than a 10.8 magnitude earthquake, propelled seismic waves hundreds of kilometers through the Earth, breaking rocks and setting off other large earthquakes. Tsunamis thousands of meters deep.

“We knew it was big, but we didn’t know how big,” Donald Lowe, a geologist at Stanford University and a co-author of the study, said of the asteroid.

Lowe, who discovered telltale rock formations in the Barberton greenstone a decade ago, thought their structure smacked of an asteroid impact.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 72
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                  Tax and
dancers et al
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Some of the Grupo Merecumbé San Ramón
Francisco García del Águila demonstrates his skills      
Festival de las Artes will host a large turnout this weekend
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Only a few days remain before bands pack up their instruments and painters take down their works at the international Festival de las Artes. But before the citywide art festival can shut down Sunday, another large turnout of locals came out to support the artists on Thursday.

The afternoon lineup featured talents in puppetry, dance, and storytelling that were set up from the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud to Parque Sabana and some public spaces in between.

At Plaza de la Cultura a crowd of about 100 people surrounded the Always Drinking Marching Band as they played. The brass-heavy group from Barcelona has been together for 15 years, touring the world and entertaining walk-up crowds from Hong Kong to Norwich, England. The award-winning band is known for playing energetic gigs on the street.

Just as they were finishing, the waving crowd demanded for an encore, chanting otra until the group obliged with another dance-prompting tune. Always Drinking Marching Band is scheduled to play again today for the last show at 4 p.m. on the main stage in Parque la Sabana.

Thursday the stage was colored over with the brilliant red dresses and long legs of the dancers from Grupo Merecumbé San Ramón. 
The local merengue group displayed talented and deep dimensions of choreography during its well-attended performance.

Doubling as students and performers, the group is part of a nationwide dance institute with locations spotted throughout Costa Rica.

On top of their performances. Grupo Merecumbé also offers private classes, workshops, and conferences.

At the Galería 1887, puppet master Francisco García del Águila showed off a few of his creations to a group of schoolchildren on a field trip. The Spaniard's exhibit, “El desván de las ilusiones mágicas” displayed 24 of his puppets that were made with an impressive range of form and color. The collection included glove puppets, finger puppets, and Muppet-style puppets best known from Jim Henson's iconic characters like Kermit the Frog.

The weekend schedule provides a host of opportunities for locals to see something brand new or that they may have missed earlier. As always the festival's hub of Parque la Sabana will still host an international sampling of artisan vendors, interactive games, mazes, and concerts.

There are flamenco shows on Saturday and Sunday from both Spanish and Costa Rican acts. Saturday also includes the much anticipated performance by Coro Pyatnitsky, the folk group representing the festival's honor country of Russia.

About that deep, torturing guilt at having done something wrong
There is buyer’s remorse and buyer’s fury.  The other day I bought another little bottle of Manzanilla Sofia, eye drops for my dry eyes, a condition many of us older people seem to be experiencing of late.  The tiny container was neatly packed in a pretty little lime-colored box with daisies on it. The box contained a folded piece of paper (also with daisies), explaining all the things the eye drops can do.  So far, so good. 

I then tried to open the small vial of restorative eye drops. The top wouldn’t turn, at least not for my fingers. That was odd. I had bought the product before with no problem.  I examined it carefully. No instructions like how to squeeze it or cut the top like one does a wine bottle.  I finally went to bed, dry-eyed and wondering why they were making products not only difficult for a child to open but impossible for those of us who need them.  I thought about the plastic bottle of miel de tapa that took me three days to wrench off its top, and the glass bottle of chunky salt with the handy grinder top that sits on my pantry shelf in fear of my dashing it to the floor.

For some reason that made me think of the phrase, “Buyer’s remorse.”  It is foolish to have buyer’s remorse about a small thing like eye drops, buyer’s fury, perhaps and a desire to stomp on the damn thing you are trying to open, but remorse is something else.  It is not just regretting having bought the wrong thing. 

According to my trusty dictionary, at the bottom of remorse is a “deep, torturing guilt about having done something wrong.”

Buyer’s remorse is a pretty common occurrence when you move to a new country. I have been a first-time buyer of a number of new and used things since I moved to Costa Rica.  When you rent an unfurnished apartment here, it really is unfurnished. The kitchen is as bare as are the empty living room and bedroom. If you are new to a country, you probably don’t even know where the furniture stores are, and if you are trying to furnish a kitchen with a stove and refrigerator, what brands are considered trustworthy?  There are many opportunities to experience buyer’s remorse.

The most familiar is house buyer’s remorse.  “Do I really need five bathrooms and a swimming pool just because my last house had only one bathroom?  I’ll go broke buying toilet paper!”
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

There is trip remorse:  “Why did I choose to visit this country where I can’t understand the people and I don’t like the food?”  And expat remorse:  “Why did I choose to live in this country where I can’t understand the people and I still don’t like the food?”

Bride’s remorse?  “What have I done?  I’m supposed to be looking for a super sperm donor.  I don’t want bald children!” And there must be plenty of bridegroom remorse, too.  “What have I got myself into?  I am supposed to be spreading my sperm around.  I’m not wired to be monogamous!”  (I think I am getting carried away into Woody Allen territory.)

One thing I enjoy and seldom regret buying are books. I don’t remember ever having had buyer’s remorse with books, except one or two expensive textbooks that seemed pretty useless.  I do regret ordering the sequel of the Kindle edition of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” finding it impossible to finish the first.

But usually there is little to regret about buying a book.  For the price of a book you can experience what it is like to visit another country or even live in one or learn about the life of a real live person whom you’d never have the opportunity to meet.  You can be scared out of your wits, held in suspense, or laugh yourself silly just reading a book.  Or even learn how to operate something you’ve just bought.  With that thought, I opened my dry eyes and turned on the light.  The pretty little mini pamphlet that came with it had no instructions on how to open that little dispenser. 

I wonder if buyer’s remorse is just another form of culture shock, and buyer’s fury is another side effect of entering what Jane Fonda smilingly calls the “third act of life.”

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 72
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First two coastal radar stations are part of an eventual 13 setups
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Radar stations in Caldera and Isla del Coco are the first of some 13 stations that will cover all of the Pacific and Caribbean coast, Casa Presidencial said Thursday.

President Laura Chinchilla visited the Caldera station Thursday morning and then went to the distant island.

The $25,000 radar setup at the Estación Guardacostas Caldera-Puntarenas was financed by the U.S. Southern Command.

President Chinchilla noted that there is more to the network of radar stations than just catching drug smugglers. The radar will keep an eye on all of Costa Rica's waters to prevent any incursions by other countries. The country is now involved in an international dispute with Nicaragua over conflicting borders in the oceans

The radar will be linked to an automatic identification network, similar to those used by airplanes so that any ship can be tracked. Casa Presidencial also noted that the radar network also will be much more effective than the patrolling by coast guard boats.

The Caldera station has a range of some 50 miles and can cover all of the gulf of Nicoya.

The radar station in Isla del Coco cost $3.6 million and has been financed by donations by Conservation International, the Asociación Costa Rica por Siempre and government agencies.  It has a reach of some 35 nautical miles.

The area around the island is a protected zone but there are many cases of illegal fishing there because the ocean is populated densely by marine life.
Ministerio de Gobernación. Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo
The radar dish or antenna at the Caldera station is on a tall tower.

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* The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to
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* The 545-page “Official Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica”
* Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa
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* Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal
              System for Tontos (dumbbells)”
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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)

oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

Rohrmoser/Pavas, 1-bedroom apartment, fully furnished, including kitchen utensils. Washer/dryer. Good security, private.
Tico Cable included, $500. Contact, Wayne Winstead, 8820-1501. Casa 2291-6371. Just need your clothes to move in.

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:

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact

Guanacaste rental
Long Term Rental. Villa Jardin
Gated Community in desirable North Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste.
Hear the waves, walk to the beach. Only 100 meters from the ocean. Two-bedrooms, two-bath home, large terrace with ocean view.  Hear the waves.   A/C, satellite TV, high-speed Internet available, fully furnished.  Carport, washer/dryer,  barbeque grill. Surrounded by gardens, palm trees and tropical trees frequented by monkeys.   Possible to include a one-bedroom apartment. with separate entrance, below villa. Long term:  main house — $1,250 per month and with the separate apartment. $1,600/month.  Owner Linda Gray; 8347-4705,

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

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 of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: or

prime properties
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 72
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Hepatitis C guidelines seek
to reduce deaths worldwide

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization is issuing its first-ever global guidelines on treating hepatitis C, a liver disease that kills between 350,000 and 500,000 people every year.  The agency said the guidelines will reduce deaths from hepatitis C by helping countries improve treatment and care.

The World Health Organization said between 130 and 150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection.  The most affected regions are Central and East Asia and North Africa. 

The hepatitis C virus is mainly spread through exposure to contaminated blood.  This can happen through unsafe health care practices involving the re-use of needles and syringes.  A significant number of people who are chronically infected with hepatitis C will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

World Health is publishing its guidelines as more effective and safer oral hepatitis medicines become more readily available on the market.

Stefan Wiktor, head of World Health’s Global Hepatitis Program, said hepatitis C can be treated and cured and, he said, treatments are getting better all the time.

“Up until recently, to treat someone with hepatitis C required approximately 48 weeks of weekly injections of a medicine called interferon, which was very toxic, very difficult to take.  It really discouraged people from taking the medicine," he said. "Now, the newer treatments are much shorter, 12 weeks.  Some of them are treated without any injections at all and result in more than 90 percent cure rates.” 

Unfortunately, Wiktor said, most people in the world do not receive treatment for this illness.  This is largely due to the lack of awareness of the problem and the lack of health care workers trained to recognize and deal with the disease.

However, he noted, the biggest problem is that most people do not have any symptoms.  Therefore, they do not know they may be at risk and should be tested.  He said the infection too often remains undiagnosed until serious liver damage has developed.

Another major problem is hepatitis C treatment is unaffordable for most patients.  Wiktor said the newer drugs can cost as much as $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment.  He acknowledged price is a huge challenge to overcome.

The new guidelines provide recommendations on screening for hepatitis C infection, on medical care to slow the progress of the disease and on safe and effective treatments to cure chronic hepatitis C infection.

They also suggest measures that can be taken to prevent the transmission of the hepatitis C virus.  These include instructions on safe medical procedures regarding injections in a health care setting and among people who inject drugs.

World Health officials said they are sure the price of treatment will come down dramatically as more people use and benefit from the new drugs.  They note that treatment for HIV/AIDS used to cost $10,000 when it was first introduced.  They said the same and better drugs now cost $100.

World Health said competition from generic HIV drug manufacturers, mainly in India, and the huge expansion of the market for these drugs has driven down prices, making it much cheaper for governments to scale up treatment.  It said it expects a similar downward spiral in the price of hepatitis C drugs to occur.

New app eliminates jet lag
with reliance on mathematics

By the University of Michigan news service

A different kind of jet-lag mobile app, released Thursday by University of Michigan mathematicians, reveals previously unknown shortcuts that can help travelers snap their internal clocks to new time zones as efficiently as possible.

"Overcoming jet lag is fundamentally a math problem, and we've calculated the optimal way of doing it," said Danny Forger, a professor of mathematics. "We're certainly not the first people to offer advice about this, but our predictions show the best and quickest ways to adjust across time zones."

The new iPhone app, called Entrain, is believed to be the first to take a numbers-based approach to entrainment, the scientific term for synchronizing circadian rhythms with the outside hour. It's based on new findings by Forger and Kirill Serkh, a doctoral student at Yale University who worked on the project while an undergraduate at Michigan.

Entrain is built around the premise that light, particularly from the sun and in wavelengths that appear to human eyes as the color blue, is the strongest signal to regulate circadian rhythms. These fluctuations in behaviors and bodily functions, tied to the planet's 24-hour day, do more than guide individuals to eat and sleep. They govern processes in each one of the body's cells.

Short disruptions such as jet lag and its symptoms of fatigue and insomnia can affect mood and performance. And scientists have linked regular disturbances and disorders of the system to depression, certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Pilots, flight attendants and shift workers, which make up more than 10 percent of the American workforce, are particularly susceptible.

The shortcuts the app offers are custom schedules of light and darkness depending on the itinerary. The schedules boil down to one block of time each day when a traveler should seek the brightest light possible and another when he or she should be  in the dark, or at least in dim light.

If travelers must go outside, they can wear pink-tinted glasses to block blue wavelength light, the researchers say. And if the app prescribes bright outdoor light in the middle of the night, a therapeutic lightbox can do the job.

The study, published in Public Library of Science Computational Biology, relies on two leading mathematical models, or sets of equations, that have been shown to accurately describe human circadian rhythms. The researchers used these equations and a technique called optimal control theory to calculate ideal adjustment schedules for more than 1,000 possible trips.

The app gives users access to these schedules. They start by entering typical hours of light and darkness in the current time zone, then choosing the time zone to which they are traveling and when, as well as the brightest light they expect to spend the most time in during the trip (indoor or outdoor.) The app offers a specialized plan and predicts how long it will take to adjust.

Say someone traveling from Detroit to London, five hours ahead. The flight leaves at 10 p.m. eastern time and arrives at 11:05 a.m. London time the next day. It's a work trip and the person has to spend most of the time in indoor lighting. Under those circumstances, the app says it can adjust the individual in about three days. That's less than the rule-of-thumb one day per hour outside the starting time zone.

The entrainment clock for any trip starts at the beginning of the first light cycle in the new time zone. So for the London trip, on the day after arrival, the user want to get light from 7:40 a.m until around 9 p.m., and not after. The user rises earlier on the second day, at 6:20 a.m. Lights out at 7:40 p.m.

On the third day, it's get up before sunrise, around 5 a.m. The user must stay in light until 7:20 p.m. The body will be synched the following morning. If the user veers from the schedule, the app will recalculate.

To show how this new method is different, the researchers illustrate circadian rhythms as a clock with a point at the hour when  body temperature is lowest. This usually occurs about two hours before wake up. If the point is usually at 5 a.m. and someone travels overseas, it could abruptly swing over to, say, 3 p.m. at the destination. The traveler is  likely to experience jet lag until the system adjusts and the body is once again at its lowest temperature just a few hours before your alarm goes off.

"The way other approaches get these points to line up again is by inching along on the outside of the circle, sometimes pushing you towards and sometimes pulling you away from the target. But our schedules can just cut through the middle," said Olivia Watch, a mathematics doctoral student who built the app. "This is almost like a body hack to get yourself entrained faster."

Kathleen Sebelius quits post
after bum Obamacare debut

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after overseeing the botched rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

Ms. Sebelius' resignation comes just a week after enrollment closed for the first year of what is commonly known as Obamacare.

The opening weeks of the enrollment period were marred by widespread Web site woes, limiting access for millions of people.

Republicans called for Secretary Sebelius' resignation, but Obama publicly supported her.

However, she was conspicuously absent last week when the president announced the enrollment period was ultimately successful. It surpassed the 7 million figure the Obama administration had predicted.

President Obama is expected Friday to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Ms. Sebelius.

Ms. Sebelius, 65, is a former governor of Kansas. She has served as head of Health and Human Services for five years.

Affordable Care still appears
to be unaffordable for some

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Now that more than seven million Americans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the number of uninsured in the United States has dropped. But there are still millions of low-income people who don’t qualify for help, who can’t afford even the subsided health care coverage offered or are just overwhelmed by this new complex system.

There has been no drop off of patients who come to the Mission of Mercy mobile clinic when it comes to the city of Frederick, Maryland, near Washington, DC.  Mission of Mercy is a volunteer medical service provider funded by private donations.  The group travels throughout the region and treats anyone in need.
Michael Sullivan says they serve the poor that Obamacare is not reaching. 

“For areas that do not have entities, some organizations that are doing what we’re doing, trying to pick up all of these people that are falling through numerous cracks. I don’t know what they do other than end up in an emergency room for, you know, a quick fix," said Sullivan.

The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to make health care coverage less expensive and more accessible. For the poor, it provides either free government coverage under a program called Medicaid or income-based subsides to purchase private health insurance. 

But for many of the patients that Mission of Mercy sees, insurance through the Affordable Care Act is just not affordable.  Stevatte Bryant lost her job and insurance, but since her husband receives government disability benefits she does not qualify for Medicaid. The cheapest insurance she could get would cost $300 a month, which she cannot afford.

“I’ve had insurance all my life. I’ve worked good jobs. I’ve just had some not so good luck here recently.  And you know I have to humble myself to come here, and it’s because I don’t have money," said Ms. Bryant.

Sullivan, a physician, says even with insurance, a hospital emergency room visit to treat Bryant’s back pain would likely cost close to $1,000.

“They get an X-ray that they probably don’t need. And they probably get told we don’t inject things in the ER. Go see this orthopedic doctor. But then when they go to try to see the orthopedic doctor, they can’t get in unless they pay some cash up front," he said.

Other patients here are undocumented immigrants who don’t qualify for any government help. Bianca Aleman from El Salvador is a legal resident but she missed the sign-up deadline for Obamacare because she says the process seemed too intimidating.

“Because I didn’t have too much information. So that’s why I didn’t apply. But now I came here. They give me more information . . . . So I’m going to try to apply for next year," said Ms. Aleman.

Mission of Mercy officials say they are expanding services to treat the millions of people who still cannot afford the high cost of health care in America.

NASA chief says his agency
is on track for Mars landing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. space agency’s head of human space exploration has outlined broad brush plans to put humans on Mars in the 2030s.
William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations, likened the steps the agency is taking to the Mercury and Gemini programs, both of which were building blocks toward putting men on the Moon with the Apollo missions.
Wednesday, before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee, Gerstenmaier said NASA is taking steps to “that will allow us to make sustained progress toward a human presence on the surface of Mars.”
"There is real hardware in manufacture for the path to Mars," Gerstenmaier told senators.
In 2017, for example, the agency plans an unmanned test of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle, which will be used to take astronauts to Mars.
These initial steps toward Mars are comprised of Earth-reliant missions, such as the International Space Station, landing on an asteroid in lunar orbit, and finally, a “Mars-ready” mission.
During the first stage, NASA, along with international partners and private entities, will conduct research on how to keep space crews safe and productive on long duration space flights.
The joint effort will also explore how to transport cargo and crew affordably into low Earth orbit.
The second major stepping stone was approved by House subcommittee.
That mission calls for NASA to redirect an asteroid into lunar orbit, land astronauts on the asteroid, and return them safely to Earth.
“We're going to grab a piece of the solar system, we're going to deflect it around the moon and insert it into a distant retrograde orbit around the moon where our crews can go visit," said Gerstenmaier.
The mission he said would develop skills and techniques needed to push the human presence into the solar system.

European privacy decision
is at odds with U.S. view

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A major European court ruling regarding electronic privacy this week has the potential to shake up trans-Atlantic commerce and maybe impact the privacy debates in the United States over government snooping, analysts say,.

Tuesday, the European Union's highest court struck down a controversial directive that encouraged telecommunication and mobile phone companies to retain users' private data records for up to two years.

The EU's European Court of Justice invalidated the 2006 EU Data Retention Directive on privacy grounds, noting in its opinion that "the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data."

The court seemed particularly concerned by the directive's breadth of data collection.

"The directive covers, in a generalized manner, all individuals, all means of electronic communication and all traffic data without any differentiation, limitation or exception being made in the light of the objective of fighting against serious crime," according to an ECJ press release.
By invalidating the directive, phone companies and mobile data providers will no longer record user's locations, calls and social contacts without the user's knowledge or consent. The ruling comes in the wake of a nearly year-long series of revelations about U.S. data collection activities leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, now living in temporary asylum in Russia.

In what some observers consider a nod to the Snowden leaks, the court said the directive could lead to Europeans feeling they have become the subject of constant surveillance.

"This was the single most controversial surveillance directive ever adopted by the E.U.," said Axel Arnbak, a researcher at the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam.

"This really was the first time the EU court in Luxembourg was asked about its interpretation of privacy since the adoption of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in 2009," he said.

While EU member nations could now begin debating electronic surveillance programs specific to their borders, the court's firm rejection of the 2006 directive means that any new programs could also be challenged in court.

"Mandated government surveillance," Arnbak said, "strikes at the heart of democracy."

The ruling leaves new questions in its wake. Among them, what conflicting EU and U.S. laws on data collections will mean for commerce, and concerns for the future of President Barack Obama's proposed NSA reforms on surveillance and data collection.

"Law is culture," said Bennet Kelley, founder of the Los Angeles-based Internet Law Center. "What you do in law speaks about who you are as a people. The EU has a different viewpoint about privacy than the U.S.."

Data commerce across the Atlantic, said Kelley, is governed by something called the "European Safe Harbor."

Before any data can leave an EU member nation, U.S. telecommunications firms must certify they follow privacy policies and programs similar to the more stringent EU protections, creating a safe harbor for data privacy.

However, Kelley said, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have long known that many U.S. safe harbor certifications are actually false, creating a serious potential problem for U.S. companies doing business in the EU.

This week's court ruling, he said, will only make commerce more difficult.

"Even before Snowden, there were concerns about the EU Safe Harbor," Kelley said. "There's already skepticism in Europe because of that, and then you throw in Snowden, it creates more distrust. Having one more element of differentiation between the U.S. and EU is just not helpful."

The ruling also comes just a few weeks after President Obama proposed allowing U.S. telecommunications companies to engage in exactly the sort of data collection the ECJ just rejected.

As part of his overhaul of U.S. electronic surveillance efforts, President Obama wants to remove what's known as the bulk metadata collection program from the NSA and make mobile phone and data companies responsible for electronic record-keeping.

"Now it seems like it'd be a hard ask," Kelley said.

Researcher Arnbak agreed.

"Not only its courts, but the EU Parliament and Commission have quite strongly responded to the Snowden revelations and this data retention ruling," Ambak said. "Those in the U.S. that seek to preserve privacy and freedom in the digital age have an extra tool in their kit."

The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to hear a challenge to the NSA bulk metadata collection program.

Could voters in 2016 witness
Bush-Clinton election race?

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Could it really happen?  What are the odds?  Will voters really want to sign up for either a second Clinton presidency or a third Bush White House?  A quick glance at the latest public opinion polls suggests it is theoretically possible at the very least. 

Hillary Clinton is far and away the favorite for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.  The sitting vice president, Joe Biden, is not even close in the polls.  The only question seems to be, will she run?  It’s not likely the answer to that question will be known until late this year or early next.
As for possible Republican contenders for 2016, there has been a lot of talk and speculation of late about former Florida governor Jeb Bush.  Like Mrs. Clinton, Bush says he will make a decision later this year.  But unlike Mrs. Clinton, his path to the Republican Party’s presidential nomination is far less clear.
Bush has said he will only run for the presidency if he can do so joyfully.  But you have to wonder how much joy could there be in running the gauntlet of Republican primaries and debates if the last few primary campaigns are any guide.  Bush is a favorite of mainstream, establishment Republicans who worry that Tea Party conservatives have done serious damage to the Republican brand, especially in presidential election years when candidates need to appeal beyond the party base.
Jeb Bush would bring formidable political skills to a presidential run.  As a former two-term governor of the swing state of Florida, Bush has experience in winning votes from beyond his own party and in the art of compromise once in office.  He also has a track record of success in winning Hispanic votes probably unmatched by any other potential Republican contender not named Marco Rubio.  Bush won 61 percent of the Hispanic vote when he was first elected governor in 1998 and suffered only a small drop off in his re-election victory in 2002.
On the other hand, the Republican Party has changed since he last ran for office 12 years ago.  The rise of the Tea Party movement and the need for national candidates to be cautious about offending that group was on display in the Republican presidential primaries in 2012.  Mitt Romney finally emerged victorious but only after fending off a number of challengers who seemed suspicious that he was a core conservative.  Jeb Bush is already getting a taste of that following his recent comments about immigration reform that have sparked a conservative backlash within the party.
Bush spoke at George H.W. Bush’s presidential library and said many undocumented immigrants come to the U.S. out of what he called “an act of love” for their families.  He went on to say that many of those who came into the country illegally broke the law but have not, in his view, committed a felony.  “There should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.”
He didn’t have to wait long for a conservative response.  Syndicated conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer called his comments “kind of bizarre.”  Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a likely White House contender in 2016, told CNN that it’s fine to celebrate the U.S. as a nation of immigrants, but rule of law matters.  Even Karl Rove, who President George W. Bush referred to as the architect of his two presidential victories, said Jeb Bush’s comments were inartful. “If he becomes a candidate, this is going to be tossed back at him,” he said on Fox News.
This could portend a clash between Bush and the Tea Party should he run in 2016, something many mainstream Republicans would welcome.  They have been more aggressive of late in taking on the Tea Party since last October’s government shutdown, which was inspired by Tea Party favorites like Cruz but wound up hurting the Republican brand nationally.  For those in the Republican Party establishment who want to push back on the Tea Party, a presidential run by Jeb Bush might give them the opportunity to make the case that the party can still appeal to moderate voters who wield big influence in presidential elections.
Beyond Bush’s potential problem with conservatives is another issue — the family name.  The public approval ratings for his brother, former President George W. Bush, have only recently started to inch up.  Some Republican strategists worry that Bush fatigue remains a real issue for many voters and could hurt their chances in 2016.
Hillary Clinton has been busy of late, giving paid speeches around the country and trying to duck the question of whether or not she’s running in 2016.  During a recent appearance in San Francisco, Mrs. Clinton said the hard question was not “Do you want to be president?” but rather “Why would you want to do this?” and “What could you offer that could make a difference?”
Despite her attempts to keep a low profile there are fresh signs that Mrs. Clinton would be a formidable contender if she ran.  A recent poll in Iowa by Suffolk University found her winning the support of 63 percent of self-described Iowa Caucus goers.  Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was a distant second with 12 percent followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 10 percent.
In addition, the independent political action committee known as Ready for Hillary announced it has raised $1.7 million in the first three months of this year, another sign that Democrats would seem to be in a giving mood if Mrs. Clinton decided to take the White House plunge.  Ready for Hillary is not officially sanctioned by the Clinton camp but has already raised a total of $5.75 million in hopes of luring her into the race.
The media scrutiny will only intensify in the months ahead.  Mrs. Clinton’s new book on her time as President Obama’s secretary of State will be released on June 10 and publisher Simon and Schuster says it will include candid reflections about key moments during her tenure at the State Department and some thoughts about how to navigate the challenges of the 21st Century.  Presuming the usual round of network TV interviews and media hype, it will vault Hillary Clinton back into the public spotlight and keep alive that favorite political parlor game known as, ‘Will she or won’t she?’
So what are the odds of a Clinton-Bush matchup in 2016?  Mrs. Clinton would seem to have an easier path to her party’s nomination than Jeb Bush.  But don’t forget that Mrs. Clinton was the clear favorite to be the party’s standard-bearer in 2008, only to be upset by a rookie senator from Illinois who captured the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and then went on to win a convincing victory that November over Republican John McCain.

California highway crash
kills mostly high schoolers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Officials in northern California on the U.S. west coast say a FedEx truck crossed a highway divider Thursday and collided with a bus carrying high school students, killing nine people and injuring about 35 others.

The tour bus burst into flames after colliding with the large truck near Orland, about 250 kilometers north of San Francisco. California Highway Patrol officials say a third vehicle was also involved in the accident.

The Associated Press reports that the drivers of both the truck and bus were killed, along with seven other people on the bus.

The students were headed to Humboldt State University in northern California.

A statement on the university's Web site says the charter bus was filled with prospective students scheduled to visit the campus for an April 11 event.

Irish rebel put in custody
to face bombing allegation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Northern Ireland has charged an Irish Republican Army veteran with 29 counts of murder for the 1998 car bombing in Omagh -- the deadliest single attack in the 30-year Northern Ireland conflict.

Seamus Daly, who lives in the Republic of Ireland, was arrested Wednesday in the border town of Newry, when he crossed into Northern Ireland.

Police have long suspected Daly in the bombing, which was claimed by a breakaway faction called the Real IRA. No new details of the probe were released Wednesday, but authorities say Daly will be arraigned Friday at a court in Dungannon, west of Belfast.

The Aug. 15, 1998, bomb blast ripped through a crowd of civilians who authorities had sought to evacuate after a series of telephoned bomb warnings. Most of those killed were women and children, including a woman pregnant with twins. More than 200 others were wounded.

The blast occurred four months after the so-called Good Friday Agreement, which formally ended decades of conflict between mainly-Catholic Irish nationalists and Protestant Unionists who wanted to remain part of Britain. The fighting, which first erupted in 1969, claimed more than 3,600 lives.

The breakaway Real IRA opposed the Good Friday accords.

Authorities in both parts of Ireland have sought for 16 years to successfully prosecute anyone for the bombing. Two men previously charged in connection with the blast were acquitted, including an electrician charged with making the bomb. A court ruled in 2007 that forensic evidence was flawed and that police had supplied misleading testimony. The conviction of a second suspect was overturned on appeal after a court found police had altered notes taken during an interrogation.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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 home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Beautiful Survival Farm with panoramic Pacific views
In the heartland of one of the world's five blue zones, Nicoya. 12 acres with ample space for planting, natural forest, own perennial waters, public road yet hidden access, electricity. Fire sale 59,000 USD

Pursical home
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$173,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$499,500 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Atenas mansion
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact

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 its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Belen home
Comfortable in 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 at 8309-2000 for details or email

beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Also looking for full-time housekeeper!
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 back yards, 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 for more information!

We are also currently looking for an English-speaking, full-time housekeeper. The housekeeper will be required to pay utilities but not rent. We are offering the chance to live rent free in this beautiful beach home at the small cost of keeping the property in good shape and keeping it safe while we are looking for a new owner! If you are interested, please e-mail for more information!!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: and

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $170,000. USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additional bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

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  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

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.

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:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

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!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

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 Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

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.

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:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

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,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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 for more information ¡y se habla español!

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact for an appointment. For a preview

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

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,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 72
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Airline association tries
to prevent Malaysian repeat

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Global airlines are studying how to prevent a repeat of last month's disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane, one of more than 80 aircraft to vanish in flight since the mid-20th century.
The International Air Transport Association, which represents 240 airlines, said last week it is creating a panel to examine how to improve real-time aircraft tracking. The association plans to make recommendations by the end of this year.
In an interview, Washington-based association spokesman Perry Flint said the trade group is consulting experts from airlines, aircraft manufacturers and systems makers, search and rescue organizations, and the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization.
"This sort of task force may be unique," Flint said. "But, the air transport industry also has organized international meetings in the past to address specific challenges."
Flint said the new panel will focus on real-time tracking of aircraft, rather than streaming of flight performance data for aircraft systems. He said any proposed improvements would not be likely to involve installing entirely new systems on planes.
Flint also said there is no guarantee about what will happen to the association's recommendations. As an industry group, it can appeal for action but cannot mandate any steps by national or international authorities.
"Our main goal is to never be in a situation where we don't know where an airplane is," Flint said. "There are about 100,000 flights a day, and almost every day, every one of them ends on a runway somewhere. In situations where a flight does not end on a runway, we want to know where it is."
Such situations have arisen before.
A Netherlands-based aviation accident database has recorded 88 cases of missing planes since World War II.
The Aviation Safety Network said 62 of them involve aircraft vanishing over water, as happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 8.
Lead database manager Hare Ranter said most disappearances at sea appear to have involved aircraft running out of fuel or suffering engine problems.
He said most of the other planes went missing over mountainous terrain, leading authorities to assume they were flying too low or caught in poor weather.
Ranter, who also serves as an adviser to the Dutch government, said the disappearance of MH370 stands out from the other cases in several ways.
He said first and foremost, the case involves the highest number of people ever to be lost on a missing aircraft. The Malaysia Airlines plane was carrying 239 passengers and crew on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The previous record for people lost on a missing plane was set on March 16, 1962, when a U.S. military charter flight carrying 107 people, mostly soldiers, vanished over the Pacific Ocean on a flight from Guam to the Philippines.
Ranter also said most of the 88 missing plane cases happened in the 1960s and 1970s.
"In those days, navigation equipment and satellite coverage were nonexistent or not as advanced as they are today," he said. "The Boeing 777 involved in MH370 had a very high safety standard, was considered very reliable, and was operated by an airline also considered very safe and reliable."
Ranter said almost all of the disappearances in more recent decades involve cargo aircraft and relatively small private planes, rather than commercial passenger flights.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Eight startup proposals win grant money

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Eight projects that are potential startups under the incubator programs of the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio have been chosen to receive money under the seed capital program.

The eight are Add2Beer, DiDi, Hullihealth (Hullisearch), Morpho: Azulejos Tridimensionales, Toemaster, Leaf,  Polydiesel and Reutopiña.

The projects were selected from 62 that applied for the contest. The winners will share 470 million colons or about $870,000 for development. The winners were from Naranjo, Guápiles, San Carlos and San Jose.

Sponsors said that the winners have the capacity to develop more than 700 jobs, both direct and indirect.

Originators of six other projects were given more time to develop their proposal for possible funding later, said the ministry.