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Published Thursday, April 21, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 78
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Axiom o42116

illegal weed

What does an apple have to do with marijuana?

Gerald Murray, director of Movimiento Cannábis Medicinal, uses this apple as a holder to obtain the last puffs from a marijuana cigarette. He was the leader of a pro-marijuana demonstration at the legislative complex Wednesday.

Police were there, too.

Our story is HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica/Rommel Téllez

Panamá Canal job created a window on prehistory
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Excavations to widen the Panamá Canal have been a boon to researchers who have discovered much about the isthmus and, by extension, Costa Rica.

The latest revelation is that there were monkeys in North America 21 million years ago. The researchers located fossilized monkey teeth when they were revealed by canal construction.

The  Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has been leading the research, as has been the Florida Museum of Natural History and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. They have been partners in the
Panamá Partnership for International Research and Education.

Not every day do contractors dig deep into the earth and open up areas for researchers to explore. The findings in
Panamá are relevant to Costa Rica and its natural history. In fact, researchers think that until 3.5 million or fewer years ago what today is Panamá was just a peninsula south of today’s Costa Rica.

The North American and South American continents only joined at that time.

Fossils uncovered so far also include those of bats, horses, squirrels, small camelids, crocodiles, turtles and ferocious bear dogs, according to information from the  Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

A staff scientist there, Carlos Jaramillo, led the team that announced the latest discovery.

The team named the new monkey species Panamacebus transitus in honor of Panamá and the monkey’s movement across the ancient seaway that divided North and South America.

Species migrations across the Isthmus of Panamá began about 20 million years ago, some six times earlier than commonly assumed, a study reported last year. That date dovetails with the estimated age of the monkey teeth.

Geological movements uplifted Panamá so that the land bridge between the two Americans formed. But for millions of years today’s high spots in Panama were islands.

“We suggest that Panamacebus was related to the capuchin and squirrel monkeys that are

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute graphic
Sketch of how ancient monkey appeared.

found in Central and South America today,” said Jonathan Bloch, curator of vertebrate
paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus and lead author on the study published in Nature this week. “Prior to this discovery, New World monkeys were thought to have evolved in isolation on South America, cut-off from North America by a wide seaway.” He was quoted in a news release.

Many of the fossils uncovered by the researchers have North American origins, they have reported.

In February 2012, the scientists announced the discovery of two new extinct camel species that they said shed new light on the history of the tropics.

In March 2013, the scientists reported the discovery of  remarkably well-preserved fossils of two crocodilians and a mammal previously unknown to science.

Before the monkey teeth were discovered, the oldest evidence of movement of a mammal from South to North America are 8.5 to 9 million-year-old fossil remains of giant sloths, the Smithsonian said.

The authors of the new report suggest two explanations, according to the news release:

* that mammals from South America were more adapted to life in the South American derived forests still found in Panama and Costa Rica than to other forest types characteristic of northern Central America or

* that the lack of exposed fossil deposits throughout Central America means that evidence of these dispersals has yet to be revealed.

The $5.6 billion new, wider third lane of the Panamá Canal will open for business June 26, the report noted.

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A.M. Costa Rica/Rommel Téllez
Demonstrators really want more than medical marijuana.

Pro-pot supporters show their preference

By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

About 40 supporters for the legalization of medical marijuana rallied Wednesday in front of the Asamblea Legislativa building.  They seek the approval of bill No. 19.256, which would allow citizens to grow cannabis for medical, personal, and industrial purposes.

So far, the bill has been obstructed from reaching the legislative floor by a group of evangelical lawmakers who filed 325 appeals last week at a committee in the Asamblea Legislativa.

The gathering also heard brief speeches from lawmakers Alberto Alfaro of Movimiento Libertario and Ligia Fallas of Frente Amplio. They both guaranteed total support of the bill.

Gerald Murray, director of Movimiento Cannábis Medicinal de Costa Rica and main organizer of the event, addressed both the attendees and police officers deployed by Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

“Let God illuminate the ignorance of the evangelical lawmakers. This country is not a small farm anymore. Cannabis supporters are lawyers, doctors, professionals who want to benefit from the medical qualities of the plant.” he said.

Members of the police, thank you for protecting us since that’s your duty. Remember that real criminals might be wearing a suit and a tie. I’m going to light up my joint and expect the rest of you to do the same.” Murray added.

The activity remained peaceful, even though police officers conducted personal searches on attendees who were smoking pot.

In the United States where some states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, Wednesday was National Weed Day in which marijuana users gathered and smoked in some areas.

Ownership of native lands to be studied
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Instituto de Desarrollo Rural said Wednesday that it would begin a study of the native reserves in the country to determine how many properties are in the hands of non-natives.

Ownership by non-natives has provoked violence in some areas. There also are continual invasions of traditional native lands by those who are not natives.

But there also are some who had property long before the area was designated a reserve by the central government.

The first areas to be studied will be Salitre and Cabagra where there is a long history of conflict.

The institute said it plans to spend about $950,000 for salaries of team members to do this.

Access to information will be topic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Embassy is among the sponsors of a 10:30 a.m. seminar on access to information that will be held May 3 at the Corte Suprema de Justicia building in San José. Participating will be Fernando Cruz, a supreme court magistrate, and Lynn Carrillo, a lawyer who is vice president of media law for NBCUniversal and is also employed by Telemundo and NBC. She has been a reporter at the Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald, both in Florida.

The event commemorates the World Press Freedom Day, a designation made by the United Nations.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 21, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 78
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Harriet Tubman will become the face of the new U.S. $20 bill, although U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew did not say Wednesday exactly when this would happen. Ms. Tubman is known for smuggling slaves to freedom in the U.S. North before the U.S. Civil War when she became a Union spy.
Twenty dollars

Historic women will be honored in news series of U.S. currency
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

Women are going to be dominating U.S. currency, at least as far as the graphics are concerned.

The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday that African-American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom, will replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill.

The new $5 will honor historic events that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial and will feature Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt. The face of the new $5 will retain the portrait of President Lincoln.

The new $10 will celebrate the history of the women’s suffrage movement, and feature images of Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul, alongside the Treasury building. The front of the new $10 will retain the portrait of Alexander Hamilton.

The reverse of the new $20 will depict the White House and an image of President Andrew Jackson.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew confirmed Wednesday that Ms. Tubman will be the first African-American featured on U.S. currency, and the first woman on paper currency in more than 100 years.

He did not indicate when the new bill would be in circulation.

Lew originally announced his intention to put a woman on the $10 bill last June, but has since faced pressure from various groups and individuals to rethink the $20.

Andrew Jackson, the former president featured on the $20 bill, was responsible for the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which started what was known as the Trail of Tears, a forced migration on which thousands of Native Americans died.

Ms. Tubman grew up a slave in Maryland. Born Araminta Ross in 1822, most historians believe she was taken from her parents and put to work when she was barely 6 years old. A brutal beating at the age of 12 caused her to suffer from seizures the rest of her life. She was a devout Christian and experienced visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God.

As a young woman, she married John Tubman. She escaped with the help of a white neighbor, who gave her the names of people who would hide her during her travels north.

Harriet Tubman returned to Maryland for members of her family and other slaves, making the trip about 20 times to lead more people to freedom. They traveled at night along backroads and waterways, and historians say Ms. Tubman would pull a gun on anyone who threatened to back out.

The new bills will present a challenge to those in the tourism business.  The U.S. Treasury is expected to embark on a public relations campaign with posters to alert those in business, particularly those overseas, about the changes in the bills.

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Climate report shows that U.S. weather is actually getting better
By the New York University news staff

The vast majority of Americans have experienced more favorable weather conditions over the past 40 years, researchers from New York University and Duke University have found. The trend is projected to reverse over the course of the coming century.

The analysis, published in the journal Nature, found that 80 percent of Americans live in counties where the weather is more pleasant than four decades ago. Winter temperatures have risen substantially throughout the United States since the 1970s, but summers have not become markedly more uncomfortable.

The result is that weather has shifted toward a temperate year-round climate that Americans have been demonstrated to prefer.

"Rising temperatures are ominous symptoms of global climate change, but Americans are experiencing them at times of the year when warmer days are welcomed," explains Patrick J. Egan, an associate professor at New York University who authored the study with Duke's Megan Mullin.

However, he and Ms. Mullin, an associate professor, discovered a looming shift in these patterns when they used long-term projections of temperature changes to evaluate future weather Americans are likely to experience. According to these estimates, nearly 90 percent of the U.S. public may experience weather at the end of the 21st century that is less preferable than weather in the recent past.

"Weather patterns in recent decades have been a poor source of motivation for Americans to demand policies to combat the climate change problem," observes Ms. Mullin. "But without serious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, year-round climates ultimately will become much less pleasant."

In a 2012 study, the duo found that local weather temporarily influences people's beliefs about evidence for global warming. That research, which appeared in the Journal of Politics, found that those living in places experiencing warmer-than-normal temperatures at the time they were surveyed were significantly more likely than others to say there is evidence for global warming.

In the Nature study, Egan and Ms. Mullin took a broader approach to understanding weather patterns and how Americans experience them. The researchers analyzed 40 years of daily weather data from 1974 through 2013 on a county-by-county basis to evaluate how the population's experience with weather changed during this period, which is when climate change first emerged as a public issue.

They found that Americans on average have experienced a rise in January maximum temperatures, an increase of 1.04 degrees F per decade (0.58 °C). By contrast, daily maximum temperatures in July rose by only 0.13 of a degree F per decade (0.07 °C). Moreover, humidity in the summer has declined somewhat since the mid-1990s. In other words, winter temperatures have become warmer for virtually all Americans while summer conditions have remained relatively constant.

To quantify how Americans are evaluating these changes, Egan and Ms. Mullin drew upon research by economists examining weather's role in growth of the Sun Belt and population declines in the Northeast and Midwest. Using these findings, they developed a metric of the average American's preferences about weather. This weather preference index reflects the U.S. public's preferences for places with warmer temperatures in winter and cooler temperatures and lower humidity in summer. The index also takes into account preferences about precipitation. Egan and Ms. Mullin found that index scores have risen in counties accounting for 80 percent of the U.S. population since the 1970s.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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A.M. Costa Rica's  
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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 21, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 78
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Axiom 890 pixels

U.S. prosecutor in New York
to begin an offshore probe

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. says it has opened a criminal investigation into the massive cache of information leaked from a Panamanian law firm revealing alleged tax avoidance schemes across the world.

A prominent U.S. prosecutor, Preet Bharara in New York, disclosed the investigation to a group of Washington-based investigative journalists who wrote stories earlier this month about the more than 11 million documents leaked from the Mossack Fonseca law firm that detailed the firm's creation of hundreds of offshore companies owned by the wealthy, powerful and famous.

Bharara said he wanted to meet with representatives of the journalists' group, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, about what it called the Panamá Papers. The journalists' group confirmed that it had received Bharara's letter, but had no comment on it.

U.S. authorities say their first priority in the investigation is to look for wrongdoing by U.S. individuals and corporations. Investigations have been opened in other countries as well.

When the information about the offshore accounts was disclosed in early April, President Barack Obama described global tax avoidance as a huge problem. He added that "the problem is that a lot of this stuff is legal, not illegal."

Obama said, "A lot of these loopholes come at the expense of middle class families, because that lost revenue has to be made up somewhere."

Tax avoidance is not illegal. It means structuring financial activities to pay as little taxes as possible. Tax evasion is a crime.

So far the disclosures from the law firm confirmed what already had been known: A lot of wealthy people use oversea corporations to lighten or postpone their tax load.

Prosecutors could only use the disclosures as leads because the information was not obtained legally.

Some voters in New York
angry over problems at polls

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York’s primary results came in loud and clear Tuesday evening, bringing decisive victories for hometown favorites Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But many voters who showed up at polling locations throughout the day claim their voices were never heard. 

More than 125,000 Democratic voters in New York’s most populous county, Kings, home to Brooklyn, were removed from the state Board of Elections’ voting registry during a five-month span, November 2015 through April 2016, more than double the initial statistics reported as of April 1.

The result: a lot of confusion and frustration. 

Nick Benson, spokesman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said their office received more than 700 hotline complaints from voters across the state by late afternoon Tuesday.

In addition to issues with voter registration lists, city voters reported delays in polling site openings, broken machines and instances of incorrect party affiliations, a set of allegations that moved New York Comptroller Scott Stringer to conduct an audit of the Board of Elections.

In a written statement directed to Michael Ryan, city board of elections executive director, Stringer expressed deep concern about the reports.

“Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, all New Yorkers deserve an electoral system that is free, fair and efficient - not one riddled with chaos and confusion.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, an open supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, said he supports the audit, and urged its completion before voters return to the polls for a congressional primary in June.

“We will hold the BOE commissioners responsible for ensuring that the board and its borough officers properly conduct the election process to assure that voters are not disenfranchised,” de Blasio said. “The perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed.”

Board of Elections Executive Director Ryan responded to the allegations in an interview with CNN.

“We’re not finding that there were issues throughout the city that are any different than what we experience in other elections,” he said.

Of those taken off King County’s voting rolls, he said, a combined 114,000 were marked inactive, while an additional 12,000 were no longer residents.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who trails Mrs. Clinton in the Democratic Party presidential race, lamented the voting irregularities during a rally in Pennsylvania, a reality he called absurd.  In addition, he criticized New York’s closed primary system, which prevents independent voters, those not registered as either Democrat or Republican, to cast a ballot in the state’s primary.

"I would hope that in future primary elections in New York State, the officials there make some fundamental changes about how they do business,” said Sanders.

Of New York’s 10.7 million active state voters, roughly 3 million are impacted by the restrictions in place.

El Salvador launches unit
to track down gang leaders

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

El Salvador has deployed a heavily armed special police force to hunt down gang leaders who have made the Central American nation one of the world's most violent and deadly places to live, the government said Wednesday.

The force includes 600 army commandos and 400 specially trained elite police officers using assault rifles, helicopters and armored trucks.

Vice President Óscar Ortiz said no effort will be spared to capture gang leaders who have caused so much bloodshed and grief.

"We are going to go after them in the countryside and in the city. We are going to hit those who try to create disorder," Ortiz said. He called the force a new hope for El Salvador.

The president's office says the mission has three major objectives: neutralize organized crime gangs, arrest the top 100 leaders and stop those members responsible for murder.

"Our success is not based on how many bullets are fired," force commander Howard Cotto said Wednesday. "Our success will be based on the trust our citizens feel when you see police in the territories at night, in the rain, in the worst conditions so our people can say, 'Here's our police and our armed forces to defend us.’ "

The new force is part of a general crackdown in El Salvador against gangs.

Experts who study gangs say the reason young men hook up with such violent groups may be less about drugs and weapons trafficking, and more about poverty and a lack of education and job opportunities.

El Salvador is said to be the world's most dangerous country that is not at war. The murder rate is 104 for every 100,000 people, 22 murders a day, in a population of 6.3 million.

Supreme Court case brings
focus on illegals in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Supreme Court case that could impact millions of people in the United States and set boundaries for presidential authority has rekindled debate on immigration reform in Congress.

Monday the high court heard arguments on whether President Barack Obama's executive order shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation is permitted under the Constitution. Texas and more than 20 other Republican-led states argued against the order. The administration defended its action.

Across the street from the Supreme Court, debate has continued at the Capitol.

"The Supreme Court must do the right thing and recognize President Obama's authority," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, countered that Democrats are "telling the American people we have to choose between being a nation of immigrants or a nation of laws. And the fact is, we don't have to make that choice. We can be both."

After years of prodding Congress to enact immigration reform, Obama took matters into his own hands in 2014, issuing directives protecting two types of illegal immigrants: those brought to the United States as children and those who are parents to U.S.-born citizens.

"About 3.5 million people could claim the benefits of the president's unlawful executive action, receiving work permits, driver's licenses, Social Security numbers," Cornyn said. "That is not the kind of decision the Constitution gives to a single political actor, even if he is the president of the United States."

Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, personalized the issue.

"I just wish some of the haters, some of the people who want to turn on these young people, would meet them," he said. "They don't view themselves as Mexicans or Koreans; they view themselves as Americans.

"And the question is: How do we view them? Do we view them as an asset to America? Or do we view them as a problem? A problem that should be thrown away and deported."

People from both sides of Obama's immigration orders illustrated their arguments with examples from their home states.

Durbin paid tribute to a young musical prodigy who was brought illegally to the United States as a child. Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, mourned a recent college graduate killed by an undocumented immigrant who was driving drunk and without a license.

"This tragedy further underscores the administration's failed immigration enforcement priorities," Ernst said. "It is a privilege to live in this country, and anyone who comes here illegally and harms our citizens should, without question, constitute a priority for removal."

Democrats argue that there would be no need for executive orders if Congress passed a long-awaited overhaul of America's oft-lambasted immigration system.

"Instead of litigating the president's actions, Republicans should work to fix our immigration system here in Congress," Reid said. "By working with Democrats to pass immigration reform, they would render the president's executive actions unnecessary."

Republicans counter that legislative inaction does not constitute license for an executive power grab. Cornyn noted that Americans elected a Republican-led Congress knowing the party's disposition on myriad issues, including immigration.

Many court-watchers are predicting a 4-4 split decision vote by the Supreme Court on the immigration case, which would mean that an appellate decision against the administration would stand and the executive order would be voided.

The high court has been operating one justice short since the death of Antonin Scalia in February. Obama's nominee to fill the vacancy has been blocked by Senate Republicans, who say Obama's successor should make the selection in 2017.

Voice of America/G. Flakus   
When the rains stopped in the Houston area for several hours Tuesday, residents pulled water-damaged carpets, furniture and other belongings out of their apartment buildings, leaving piles of debris outside their doors.

Houston area residents face
major damage from flooding

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As thousands of people in flooded areas around Houston, Texas, struggle to deal with flood damage from Monday’s record rainfall, new storms are coming in off the Gulf of Mexico, swelling streams, rivers and bayous and adding to their misery.

At least eight people have died as a result of the flooding that followed heavy rains beginning late Sunday. Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for nine water-soaked Houston-area counties. The nation's fourth-largest city remains mostly closed for business.

Rescue crews have saved more than 1,200 people who were left stranded by floodwaters, and their work continues as the latest rainfall, combined with runoff from areas farther north, causes some rivers to overflow their banks and flood low-lying areas.

More than 1,000 homes have been damaged by the floods, and many areas have no electrical power or access to other services. The problem is even worse for people living on the first floors of large apartment buildings.

When the rains stopped for several hours Tuesday, residents pulled out water-damaged carpets, furniture and other belongings, leaving piles of debris outside their doors. In some places, there were piles of broken drywall outside apartment doors, as well as carpets and warped wood from floors and doorways. Landlords are faced with costly repairs, which they cannot even begin until the flooding stops. Many tenants are frustrated.

Mexican explosion kills
three, releases toxic cloud

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An explosion Wednesday at a chemical plant in southeastern México killed three people, sent dozens more to the hospital and released a toxic cloud into the sky.

The cause of the blast in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, was not immediately clear.  The site is jointly run by the national oil company Pemex and a company called Mexichem to make chemicals used in plastic pipes.

Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte said 105 people were injured, including 58 Pemex workers.

Pemex said a fire at the site was under control and that the toxic cloud from the plant rapidly dissipated.  Still, the company warned people to stay away from the site as a precaution.

A fire at the same facility killed a worker in February.  Weeks later, two people died and others were injured in a fire at a Pemex offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mother and TV crew freed
after deal made in Lebanon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An Australian television crew and mother accused of abducting her two children were released from jail in Lebanon Thursday after the children’s father agreed to drop charges against the group.

Sally Faulkner, an Australian national, and the four-person television crew were arrested and charged with abduction earlier this month after Faulkner hired a team of retrieval agents to kidnap her two children from their father, with whom they had been staying.

A Lebanese court charged nine people with kidnapping the children. Ms. Faulkner and the news team were among those arrested, along with two employees of the U.K.-based organization Child Abduction Recovery International and two Lebanese men.

Faulkner claims the children's father took them to Lebanon last year without permission and never returned them to Australia. The television crew was identified as members of a news team from Australia's Nine Network who accompanied Ms. Faulkner to highlight the issue of cross-border custody disputes.

Ali al-Amin, the children’s father, said he dropped the charges because he “didn’t want the kids to think I was keeping their mother in jail.”

As part of the deal, Ms. Faulkner agreed to surrender any claims of custody over the children, who will live with their father in Lebanon. The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that a multi-million dollar deal was struck between the Nine network and al-Amin, but lawyers and the judge involved in the case did not comment about any compensation.

Faulkner was released into the custody of the Australian Embassy and is expected to leave the country Thursday. The television crew has already returned to Australia.

Greenery appears to assist
women to live longer lives

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Living among plants could help women live longer, according to a new study.

Writing in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women “who live in homes surrounded by more vegetation appear to have significantly lower mortality rates than those who live in areas with less vegetation.”

Over the course of an eight-year study, the researchers found that the mortality rate among women who lived in the greenest surroundings was 12 percent lower than for those living in homes in the least green areas.

“We were surprised to observe such strong associations between increased exposure to greenness and lower mortality rates,” said Peter James, research associate in the Harvard Chan School's Department of Epidemiology. “We were even more surprised to find evidence that a large proportion of the apparent benefit from high levels of vegetation seems to be connected with improved mental health.”

The study suggests that greenery improved mental health by lowering levels of depression. Greenery, researchers say, also afforded more opportunity for social engagement, higher physical activity levels and perhaps less exposure to air pollution.

For the study, the researchers looked at data from 108,630 women enrolled in the Nurse’s Health Study from 2000-2008 and compared their mortality rates as well as the amount of greenery surrounding their homes. They viewed satellite images to determine how much vegetation surrounded the properties.

Risk factors such as age, economic status, race, ethnicity and smoking were accounted for as well.

One of the biggest effects of greenery appeared to be a lowered risk of respiratory disease and cancer. The study found that women living in areas with the most greenery had a 34 percent lower rate of respiratory disease-related mortality and a 13 percent lower rate of cancer-related deaths.

“We know that planting vegetation can help the environment by reducing wastewater loads, sequestering carbon, and mitigating the effects of climate change. Our new findings suggest a possible co-benefit, improving health, that presents planners, landscape architects, and policy makers with a potential tool to grow healthier places,” said James.

Much of Europe declared
to be free of local malaria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In 2015, for the first time, all the countries in the European region reported no original cases of malaria, the World Health Organization said in its annual report released Wednesday ahead of World Malaria Day 2016 on April 25.

From 1995 to 2015, the number of locally transmitted malaria cases dropped from 90,712 to zero in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, which constitute the organization’s European region.

In 2015, there were an estimated 438,000 malaria deaths worldwide, according to World Health, most of them in the African Region (90 percent), followed by the Southeast Asia Region (7 percent) and the Eastern Mediterranean Region (2 percent).

World Health said it recognizes however, that the European region remains prone to a reappearance of the disease due to importation of cases from areas of the world where malaria is endemic.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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or 506-8314-8090


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
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Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
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Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

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Rich Coast
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: For more photos and info click HERE!


Dorn Home
Beverly Hills Style House for Sale on Pacific Coast, Guanacaste

Lot of 2,866.33 square meters with three terraces, inside luxury house  property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000.   We have another extra large lot (next to the main property)  priced at $75,000.  For more information, please contact us: Emails:   or    Call Lia or Stanley phones:  (506) 2653-6417 /   (506) 7079-6577.

Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq. ft. of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out. The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the backyard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden. This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town. Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small. The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate. Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José. Just reduced to $199,000. Call Jeff: 8725-8176. Email:


San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. $50,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

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

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 21, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 78
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
traffic jam
Ministerio de Obras Públicos y Transportes photo
Officials promise improvements when the link to Heredia is wider.

Car pool, traffic director tells drivers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government’s proposal to reduce the gigantic traffic jams at the entrance to Heredia Centro is for motorists to car pool.

Construction on the route from the Jardines del Recuerdo and La Pozuelo has created jams of epic proportions. Even without construction, the route was a mess particularly in peak hours.

Mario Calderón, director of the Policía de Tránsito, is urging motorists to double or triple up. He said that no one really wants to sacrifice their comfort and travel in car pools or on buses.

Since 2012 motorists have been prohibited from bringing their vehicle into the heart of San José for one day every week. The day depends on the last number of the license plate.

Calderón said that those who have five or more passengers in a vehicle, including the driver, are not bound by this rule between 6 and 8 a.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m. He suggested this is an added incentive for forming a car pool.

Traffic is heavy all over the metro area at peak hours. Traffic police have yellow boxes painted at key intersections to avoid vehicles blocking intersections when they were caught in a jam. However, police seem to ignore these boxes now, and some of the principal violators are buses that block perpendicular avenues.

In addition, many motorists have complained of individuals parking their cars in traffic lanes while they shop or do errands. Delivery vehicles are main offenders, but so are motorists who have the need to duck into nearby automatic tellers on main avenues. So far there does not seem to be any enforcement of no parking zones marked by curbs painted yellow.

Earth Day recycling site announced

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Friday is being celebrated as Earth Day in Parque España when the Instituto Nacional de Seguros joins with the Municipalidad de  San José to collect non-traditional trash.

This includes old electronic parts and devices for recycling. The park is across the street from the main office of the state insurance company. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., said the state company.

The recyclers will also accept cardboard, glass, aluminum cans and other types of metal, said an announcement.

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From Page 7:

Mitsubishi admits tampering with fuel-use data

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors admitted that it falsified fuel-efficiency data on 625,000 vehicles.

Mitsubishi President Tetsuro Aikawa bowed in apology during a news conference Wednesday in Tokyo admitting to the irregularities.

The company said the false data goes back to 2013, involving its eK mini-wagon and eK Space light passenger cars, as well as its Dayz Roox vehicles it produces for rival carmaker Nissan Motors. The problem was uncovered after Nissan noticed the inconsistencies in the data, prompting Mitsubishi to conduct an internal probe.

Aikawa said the tire pressure tests on the vehicles were rigged to make the fuel mileage better than it actually was.

"The wrongdoing was intentional. It is clear the falsification was done to make the mileage look better. But why they would resort to fraud to do this is still unclear," he said.

The news sent shares in the world's sixth-largest automaker plunging 15 percent in Wednesday's trading session.

Aikawa told reporters the company will stop selling the vehicles, and will conduct an investigation to determine if fuel efficiency data was altered in vehicles sold internationally.

Mitsubishi is the second carmaker accused of falsifying environmental data over the past year. Germany's Volkswagen admitted late last year that it installed software on millions of its vehicles that activated bogus emissions controls to deceive testing officials.

The Japanese automaker is no stranger to scandal, nearly going out of business after admitting back in 2000 that it covered up major safety defects for several decades.