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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Sporsman
Costa Rican real estate
(506) 2223-1327                         Published Monday, May 19, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 97                        Email us
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Ship Team



Another July Fourth bash planned for this year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The American Colony Committee Plans another Fourth of July picnic this year. That the event would be held has been known for some months, but the committee has started updating its Web page with current information intermixed with details from previous years.

The private organization also is seeking donations.

As it has been the tradition, the picnic will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, July 4, in the Cervercería Costa Rica picnic grounds west of San José on the General Cañas autopista.

"The festivities include a wide variety of food and drinks including the ever-popular traditional hot dogs, great entertainers, games and other fun activities for all ages," the committee said. "Beyond the food and fun, the picnic also provides an opportunity to learn about many nonprofit organizations here in Costa Rica. Most importantly, you will participate in a quintessentially American tradition: the celebration of the Independence Day of the United States, complete with a special Flag Ceremony featuring members of the United States Marine Corps."

The  committee estimates that as many as 5,000 persons attended in past years. The early start and early afternoon finish is to defeat the likely rainy season storms.

Because the date falls on a Friday this year, serious drinkers will have the chance to adjourn in the afternoon to commercial establishments that also will be celebrating Independence Day. And the event also will kick off a weekend of Independence Day parties.

However, the serious drinkers should take public transportation or have a designated
July 4
The 238th birthday of the United States

driver. The traffic police have targeted those  leaving the picnic in the past because of the tradition of free beer for those who pay the admission. There are public bus stops within walking distance.

The committee also said that it is continuing the tradition of encouraging U.S. citizens to bring a Costa Rican friend to the picnic to share in the experience of a good old fashioned 4th of July celebration. For years, the picnic was restricted to U.S. citizens and family members. And for many years it was free. But more recently the committee has been charging a 5,000-colon admission for adults.

The goal of the picnic is to transport a bit of July Fourth celebration to Costa Rica, mainly for the benefit of expat children. More than 50 years ago when the U.S. Embassy staff began hosting a picnic on the grounds of the ambassadorial residence, there was a lot less contact with the United States. U.S. expats were few, and the Internet did not exist.

Expats founded the American Colony Committee and took over the picnic in the early 1960s, and the affair has been private since.

More details are available on the committee Web site.



President calls on teachers to return to classrooms
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís Sunday joined the chorus of officials asking teachers to return to work.

His plea followed a similar request from Sonia Marta Mora, minister of Educación Pública, who spoke at a Friday press conference.

The pleas seem not to have been heeded by teacher unions.

The central government has deposited 750 million colons (about $1.375 million) to cover deficiencies in pay to some 6.600 teachers for February and March as well as the first 15-day pay period of May, said the president.

But he said that the teacher union was demanding payment in advance for yet another pay period, which he called an impossible action.

Solís said to make the advance payment would jeopardize the government's capacity to meet the payroll for the entire public sector. He said the difference to teachers was just three days in the date of payment.
The president said it was not acceptable for the teachers to persist in maintaining the suspension of lessons and meals to 657,000 students.

He renewed the government's offer to take no action against the striking teachers and promised not to dock their pay. He noted that his government inherited the problem May 8.

The country demands that classes begin again, he said.

Teachers have been on strike over the lack of pay for two weeks. The government blames the problem on the process of switching over from one payroll system to another.

The problems caused irregularities in pay since January. The education minister ordered new oversight at the ministry's human resources department to find out the details of the problem.

The Asociación Nacional de Educadores, one of the principal unions, is calling on its Web site for another gathering of teachers at points all over the country for a demonstration today.

Desyfin

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Hotel
                Palermo
A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 97

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

Legal services

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Our services are aimed at both individuals and companies
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Architects

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Architecture-Real Estate-Development

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Uncle Sam's
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magistrate
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz                    
Zarela Villanueva discusses the case

Central drug courts proposed
in wake of judge's detention

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The head of the Corte Suprema de Justicia said she wants to create specialized courts in San José that would handle organized crime and drug trafficking cases from all over the country.

The proposal came on the same day that investigators took in to custody a judge in Limón on an allegation of rigging court cases in favor of drug traffickers.

"I'm very satisfied with the ways we are combating drug trafficking in our organization," said Zarela Villanueva. "But we believe that to act more rapidly we should create a national court for organized crime and drug trafficking in order to make a system that is independent and effective." She is the president of the supreme court.

The Limón judge suspected of rigging court cases in favor of drug traffickers is Rosa Elena Gamboa, She is under investigation for suspicious rulings relating to the freeing of  drug suspects with whom she may have had prior agreements, said a Judicial Investigating Organization  press representative.

The representative said that the 62-year-old judge of the Primer Circuito Judicial de la Zona Atlántica was specifically detained for suspected crimes listed under Ley 8204, which covers influence peddling.

Magistrate Villanueva, who ordered the initial investigation, said Friday that this raises an unfortunate cloud over the country's court system. The Judicial Investigating Organization has been working on this specific case for more than a year, according to the report.

"It's been enough time in which our institution has used the appropriate mechanisms to detect and investigate," Ms. Villanueva said. "This is not a product of acting overnight. This action has taken time to develop."

She confirmed that the Ministerio Público and the Judicial Investigating Organization are handling a joint investigation into Ms. Gamboa, who will pass through the normal judiciary process.

"This is a criminal process that continues until any subsequent consequences are deemed necessary or unnecessary," she said.

Ms. Villanueva said that this case is being treated as an isolated incident as of now and it should not cast doubt on other judges in Limón or throughout the country. She added that court officials are trying to improve individual responsibility profiles of judges that monitor their actions in trials.

Agents brought the judge to San José for questioning, but she was released later. Friday they confiscated a computer, tablet, and documents from her house and office, an judicial representative said.

U.S. and Texas university
seek to fight coffee rust


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Obama administration is joining forces with Texas A&M University in the fight against coffee rust, a fungus threatening to devastate the Latin American coffee crop.
 
The orange-colored fungus has already caused more than $1 billion in damage.  It is especially dangerous to Arabica beans used to brew gourmet coffees that are much in demand in U.S. coffee shops and elsewhere.
 
Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama have been especially hard-hit. The disease is known as roya de café in Costa Rica and the other Spanish-speaking countries.
 
U.S. officials say Latin bean production could drop as much as 40 percent in the coming years, putting about 500,000 farmers and others out of work and into poverty. The officials believe many would turn to the illegal drug trade to make a living.
 
Most so-called mass-produced coffee sold in supermarkets come from Asian beans.

  
Neighbor held in killing
and incinerating woman


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents have detained a 19-year-old neighbor in the robbery and murder of a 52-year-old woman in Las Palmiras de Siquirres. Agents said they recovered a bottle of alcohol and a DVD from the home of the suspect some 200 meters from where the woman and her vehicle were found destroyed by fire Saturday about 10:30 a.m.

The arrest came about 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The woman was the owner of property in the area and also the owner of the vehicle, which is how judicial agents managed to identify her by the last name of Fernández.


Cañas to embrace concept
of genetically modified crops


 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The canton of Cañas is infuriating opponents of Monsanto's genetically modified crops. The canton is about to declare itself  in favor of the genetic approach. If the municipal council does so Tuesday, it will be the first in Costa Rica to take that action.

Most of the country's municipalities, under prodding from Monsanto opponents, have declared themselves against the use of genetically modified seeds.

Monsanto opponents are expected to show up at the meeting.

The opponents also are lobbying for a national moratorium on genetically modified crops. Such a measure already has been introduced in the legislature.

For the most part, the modified crops are resistant to Monsanto's herbicides, so farmers have to do much less cultivation. The most recent protest was sparked by a Monsanto proposal to grow modified corn on a small tract. Opponents feared that the pollen from the crops would enter the national gene pool of corn.

Nearly all the corn products imported from the United States contain modified products.


Four detained for moving
valuable timber without permit

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers said they detained four men after they found that their truck contained 12 cocobolo logs.

The logs were being transported in an enclosed truck.  Cocobolo is a beautiful wood but on the way to extinction in Costa Rica, police officers said.

The men detained have records of illegal logging, officers said. The detention was in San Miguel de Cañas, Guanacaste.


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 97
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U.S.
                  Tax and
 
Caribbean fishermen will use traps to catch invasive lionfish
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fishermen on the Caribbean coast are considering the use of traps to catch lionfish, the predators that eat their weight in other species each day.

The Asociación de Pescadores Artesanales del Caribe Sur said it has created a model of a trap that will be duplicated and distributed along the coast.

The other alternative to getting rid of the lionfish is spearing by divers. The association notes that traps can operate at a depth where divers cannot go. And they operate 24 hours a day, the association said.

This is the same group that runs the fish spearing contest every year.

The association is expected to make a symbolic distribution of traps at the end of the month to some 70 fishermen.

The project has the support of the U.N. Priogramme for Development and the central government, the association said. The Municipalidad de Talamanca and the Universidad de Costa Rica also are involved, the association said.

The association said it still will run its annual sweep. This year it will be in Manzanillo Sept. 27. Prizes are awarded to the divers who bring in the most lionfish.

Traps have proved to be effective elsewhere. A lobster fisherman in Florida was reported to be complaining that his traps become full of lionfish instead of lobster.

The principal criticism is that the traps have to be maintained. However, the lionfish is edible and can be sold for human consumption.

The lionfish is a beautiful creature, and the invasive species in the Atlantic may have come from aquariums. There are 10 species of the fish, and two, including Pterois volitans, are in the Atlantic.

Invasive lionfish were first reported off Florida’s Atlantic coast in the mid-1980s, but did not become numerous in the region until 2000.  Since then, the lionfish population has rapidly spread north
diver
Oregon State University file photo
A University of Oregon researcher studies the colorful lionfish.

 through the Atlantic Ocean and south throughout most of the Caribbean.

The fish use their large fins to herd together mainly smaller fish so they can be eaten. Because they expand their fins they are vulnerable to traps because once they are inside, they cannot exit.


The first step in transparency is effective crisis management
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Perhaps one of the major failings of the Laura Chinchilla administration was the lack of crisis management.  That also seems to be the case with state agencies and private firms.

An example is the collapse of the Banco Nacional online banking Web site two weeks ago. There was no explanation from bank officials even after the problem was resolved. Customers were hung out to dry without any way to figure out if the Web site failure cost them any money.

A lot of firms and agencies adopt the it's-not-my-fault approach when faced with unexpected crisis.  The Banco Nacional fiasco is trivial when compared to the four years of the Chinchilla administration. The former president summed up her approach in her May 1 talk to legislators.

An analysis of the news

The president blamed nature, the world economic situation, climate change, the hostile administration in Nicaragua, lawmakers and even the news media for her failures. There was not a hint of the buck-stops-here policy made famous by U.S. ex-president Harry Truman.

Ms. Chinchilla faced a number of crises, many of her own making. She was not very forthcoming with the media, and when accused of taking rides in a plane owned by a suspicious character, she fired a minister and aides.

Even when the administration knew that Intel Corp. was about to move its manufacturing arm out of the country to Vietnam, officials stayed silent and allowed rumors to spread the news.

Luis Guillermo Solís promises transparency in his administration. And transparency gives a top manager an opportunity to define the situation.

The classic example is the rapid and candid response by Johnson & Johnson to the 1982 Tylenol poisonings in Chicago. The company embarked on a major publicity campaign that probably prevented others from taking acetaminophen capsules that some mass killer had laced with cyanide. The company received universal praise and managed to recapture its market share.

The contrast is the way Metropolitan Edison handled the 1979 accident at its nuclear power plant in Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. In addition to continually understating the problem, the firm failed to acknowledge the release of some radioactivity.

Both approaches can be found as examples in nearly any public relations text.

Presumably Ms. Chinchilla did not have a copy of such a text. Apparently neither does Barack Obama. When a U.S. ambassador and others became the victims of terrorists in Libya,  the U.S. administration tried to blame the deaths on a Benghazi crowd irate about an anti-Muslim video.
no
                my fault
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
'It's not my fault'

"Wag the Dog" is a 1997 movie in which an expensive political manipulator played by Robert De Niro fakes a U.S. military action in Albania to distract the American public from a president's indiscretions with a young girl in the Oval Office.

Unlike in the movie, such distractions have a short life. So the Obama administration just released a big report on global warming that some consider to be the second step in wagging the public.

According to the public relations texts, the first step in crisis management is personal involvement by the CEO or, in this case, the president. And absolute candor. With that approach the public and the voters generally are very understanding.

But lies, as Richard Nixon found out, are toxic.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 97
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Police confiscate thousands of pounds of cocaine at two locations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers in the Quepos area uncovered 965 kilos of cocaine hidden in beach vegetation. Meanwhile the anti-drug police conducted a raid in Guácimo to find more than 731 kilos of suspected cocaine.

The larger haul was at Playa Linda, Savegre de Aguirre. Police said a routine patrol turned up the hidden merchandise. Officers had to carry out the bales of cocaine. The merchandise was flown to San José.

The raid in Barrio El Hogar in Guácimo turned up 1,069 packages of cocaine badly hidden in a home. The suspected drugs were in barrels partly buried in the back yard of the home. Officers detained a 77 year old and a 43 year old in the home. Both are Colombians.

Also discovered in the home was a selection of firearms.

The confiscations were over Friday night and Saturday morning.

In another drug-related incident, Fuerza Pública officers and agents of the Policía de Control de Drogas detained two Canadians and a U.S. citizen after they stopped a car in the canton of Mora. The security ministry said that the officers found marijuana and 27 ampules of morphine.

The Canadians were identified by the last names of Garrity and Brishke. The U.S. citizen was identified by the last name of  Basset, said the ministry.

Officers also said they found more than 24 million colons, about $64,000. and  $54,920 in U.S. currency.
quepos drugs
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Police officers are hauling out cocaine from a beach hiding place.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


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Howard
                        rollover
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Hidden
                        Garden
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:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
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.
8199-4/6/14

diligence
Click photo for another video

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

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

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

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8300-9/1/14

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom


Payless Car Rental
Excellent prices

at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
in Liberia.

 Click the logo to check availability.



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Business
wanted
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)
houe rental
We are looking for a person with good manners, medical student, exchange program student or a foreigner, to share my house. We offer you: Two bedrooms, breakfast and dinner. You will have Internet and TV cable. We have laundering service and cleaning service. All of this only for $35 per night per person!!. Please call: (+506) 8313-3472 or 6116-3218. Or email: alvaradoleonor@gmail.com Thanks you!!!
8364-6/19/14

apartmetn building
Apartment is on second floor


Apartment for rent

2 bedrooms 2 full baths

Full furniture, AC, security, rooftop swimming pool, 2 parking space, good location: Escazú near district 4. Close to mall, hotels, restaurants and business centers (Grupo Roble). 8336-7762 or email NoushinRavery@yahoo.com.
8363-6/19/14

Tropical Paradise in downtown San José
$485 per month.

The apartments are located in the heart of San Pedro, just a few minutes from the capital, San José. We are close to everything: banks, food, supermarkets, transportation, many language schools, Humans’ Rights Court, United Nations, Oscar Arias Foundations, the Defense
apartments
of Children, the University of Costa Rica, VERITAS, U. Latina and other private universities. We provide a positive friendly and quiet atmosphere which includes gardens, parking, security, laundry/cleaning services, high speed (2 mega bytes) Wireless DSL Internet/active cable T.V. connections 
with 90 channels (TV not included). The apartments include the following: one bedroom, kitchen/dining/living room area, bathroom (with hot shower), refrigerator, coffee maker, toaster, stove top, basic kitchen supplies, basic furnishings and all linens. We also offer 100 percent free, unlimited phone calls to U.S.A., Canada,  and Puerto Rico. 3 MONTH MINIMUM CONTRACT.    Contact us at 506-8818-2004    or  506-8302-1499   villalakshmi@gmail.com  Check our Web site, www.villalakshmi.com, for more info.
8360-6/13/14

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.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8349-6/2/14


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. organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
8337-6/14/14

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8357-5/28/24

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
 4-
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 noelsusana@yahoo.com
8299-5/1/14

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
tropical
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8267-8/17/14

house
                                                photo
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: jlayne1933@aol.com or yo@nehemiascr.com
8325-5/21/14

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8327-4/26/14

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email  1000houses@ice.co.cr   Tel. 8383-6388.
8241-3/7/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
9229-3/3/14

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8222-2/21/14




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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 97
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Cafetales



Bus fire in Colombia kills
31 home-bound children


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Emergency officials in Colombia say at least 31 children were burned to death when their bus caught fire near the city of Fundación.
 
Officials said the bus burst into flames Sunday while transporting children home from a church service. At least 20 other people were seriously burned and taken to hospitals.
 
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, speaking at a campaign rally in Bogota, said he would immediately travel to Fundación to console families of the victims.
 
The accident is being investigated.
 
Unconfirmed reports say the bus driver was handling a fuel container inside the cabin in an attempt to get the bus restarted when the fire broke out and spread quickly.


New best seller highlights
gap between rich and poor


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It’s an unlikely best seller, catapulting a soft-spoken French economist into rock star status and possible Nobel Prize contention.

"Capital in the 21st Century" by Thomas Piketty examines the history of income inequality in the U.S. and Europe since the 18th century.

The book is number one in the non-fiction book category of The New York Times and sold out in its first week on Amazon. It presents a compelling case for something many have long suspected — that the rich are getting richer.

“You know, if two-thirds of this growth goes to the top 1 percent, it’s not clear that this is a good deal for the rest of the population, Piketty said.

Using charts and tax data going back to the start of the industrial age, Piketty’s grand theory is that, over time, capital or wealth grows faster than economic output. But the controversy centers on the author's policy solutions, among them a global tax on wealth.
 
Critics say such punitive measures would hurt everyone.

“I disagree with pretty much all of his policy recommendations, but, even beyond that, in the sort of purely analytical part, I think he exaggerates how much capital has grown over the last 100 years,” said Stan Veuger, a political economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Veuger argues much of the wealth accumulation in the U.S. has been due to the rise in home ownership; but, others say that does not account for the growing concentration of wealth among a privileged few.

“Perhaps there’s something more general about a problem where inequality in a democracy is going to lead to the rich prevailing despite the rules that we have on the books that should normally prevent that from being the case,” said New York University's David Stasavage.

And emerging economies are not immune. In China, Piketty says negative population growth will drive a wedge between rich and poor.

“Already, you know, inheritance of assets is becoming a big issue and access to real estate property in larger Chinese cities where you have some people inherit from the property of their parents. And, you know, some migrants will be completely unable to access property."

Piketty hopes the book sparks more discussion. That's a view shared by Yale professor Robert Shiller, who, after winning the Nobel prize for economics, said that rising income inequality is the biggest problem facing the world.

“We should think now about a contingency plan for the possibility of much worse inequality and how do we stop that? Well, it has to be some form of taxation of the rich.”

At nearly 700 pages, Piketty's book is not an easy read, but both fans and critics say it's bound to generate heated discussion in a U.S. election year likely to be dominated by economic issues.


Right to delete bad news
draws opposing reactions


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The so-called right to be forgotten is being debated after the European Court of Justice ruled that the Internet search engine Google must sometimes, on request, remove links to articles containing personal information.

It's a debate about which is more important: the right to privacy or the freedom of information.

According to Glenn Gabe, president of G-Squared Interactive, who has provided digital marketing services to executives and celebrities, many people have something in their past they would like to have removed from the Internet.

"They went to prison, right? And maybe ten years ago everything happened, and everything's still showing up in Google on page one, even though they've paid their dues," he said.

At the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, executive director Marc Rotenberg agrees with the court's ruling that privacy is a basic right.

"When you talk about free expression, you have to consider the ability of individuals to control the dissemination of information about themselves," he said. "That is, in many respects, the core of free expression — how we choose to express ourselves or not to say things or do things. That's, you know, what makes us human."

But a number of U.S. privacy advocates disagree with the European court's Google ruling.

For Jules Polonetsky, executive director of Washington's Future of Privacy Forum, the decision sets a legal precedent that is likely to limit the freedom of information in general — both in terms of individual privacy and, in some cases, the right to a free press.

"If someone can tell search engines, news aggregators or maybe bloggers, 'Sorry, that information tells us about some individual, that individual doesn't want to be found, you need to take it down,' the effects really could be dramatic," she said. "It breaks the Internet."

While the right to a free press is specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the right to privacy is merely implied.

"It's a real blow to transparency if legal, public information can be obscured simply because somebody decides that it's information that they would rather not be available," said Ms. Polonetsky.

But Rotenberg says the European judges did a good job of balancing privacy with press freedom in this particular case, in which they ordered Google to delete links containing personal information about a Spanish lawyer's 1998 tax problems at the lawyer's request, because the information, the court said, was no longer relevant.

"And what the European Court of Justice has done with this decision is to say, in effect, you know, search is an important service, but it has to be done in a way that protects privacy," he said.

The ruling will be costly for Google and other search engines in Europe, but is not expected to immediately affect their U.S. operations.


California's Brown blames
global warming for fire


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

California Gov. Jerry Brown says his state is getting ready for what could be its worst wildfire season to date, even as better weather has allowed firefighters to take control over several blazes that broke out in the southern part of the state last week.
 
Brown said Sunday that global warming is to blame for the worsening conditions. He also said people have to be more careful how they live, how they build their homes, and what kind of vegetation is allowed to grow.
 
Extreme drought, low humidity and high winds led to a number of fires in San Diego County last week. Those fires destroyed dozens of homes and forced tens of thousands of people to flee with little notice. At least one death was reported.
 
Damage is estimated at more than $20 million.


Kepler goes back in service
due to fix by engineers


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After being declared inoperable last year, NASA’s planet-hunting space telescope Kepler has been given a second life.

NASA said Friday that for the next two years, it will fund a mission for the telescope.  The new mission is known as K2 and will let the telescope continue to search for new exoplanets and active galaxies.

Last year, NASA said the telescope had been crippled by the failure of a second mechanical reaction wheel that helps keep it pointed.  The telescope was launched with four wheels and needs at least three of them to keep it aimed precisely at distant stars.

NASA engineers say they have found a way to use solar radiation pressure, together with the remaining functional wheels, to keep the spacecraft stable enough to continue observing distant stars.

Kepler was launched in March 2009 and positioned in an orbit around the sun with a mission to look for Earth-like planets in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra.  The $600 million spacecraft identified 130 planets with additional 2,740 candidates.

Since the stars are thousands of light years from Earth, the precise pointing of the Kepler’s instruments is of critical importance.  The planets cannot be seen, but their presence can be calculated from the dip in the light of their stars when other planets pass in front of them.

After analyzing previously collected data, NASA scientists announced in April that the telescope found the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the so-called habitable zone.

  
Virus therapy generates
good results against cancer


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study has, for the first time, demonstrated that a specific kind of virotherapy can infect and kill cancer in humans, leaving healthy cells unharmed.
 
The study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, involved just two patients, both of whom received a single intravenous dose of an engineered measles virus that is selectively toxic to myeloma plasma cells, researchers said.
 
Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells in the bone marrow and causes skeletal or soft tissue tumors. It is rarely cured.
 
The therapy brought about a complete remission in one of the patients, while only improving the second patient.
 
“This is the first study to establish the feasibility of systemic oncolytic virotherapy for disseminated cancer,” said Stephen Russell, a Mayo Clinic hematologist, and first author of the paper and co-developer of the therapy in a statement. “These patients were not responsive to other therapies and had experienced several recurrences of their disease.”
 
In an interview, Russell called viruses “the last untapped bioresource as destructive bioagents against cancer.”
 
The two patients in the trial were given enough measles virus to vaccinate 100 million people. In a video about the treatment, Mayo doctors say the modified measles virus makes cancer cells join together and essentially explode.
 
The therapy also may boost the patient’s immune system, allowing it to mop up any remaining cancer, they said.
 
Using re-engineered viruses to fight cancer, also known as oncolytic virotherapy, is nothing new, dating back to the 1950s, according to the Mayo Clinic. But, according to researchers, this study provides the “first well documented case of a patient with disseminated cancer having a complete remission at all disease sites after virus administration.”
 
Good results with this kind of therapy have been seen with rodents, but this is the first time success has been reported in a human being. However, remission was only achieved in one of the two patients.
 
The other patient did not respond as well. Nonetheless, by using a sophisticated imaging technique, doctors were able to tell that the virus had targeted cancerous cells.
 
Russell said he and his colleagues found the difference in reaction between the two patients puzzling, but had some theories about why.
 
He said the patient who’d gone into remission had less myeloma in her body and that the second patient’s cancer was in a very advanced state with“massive tumors in the legs and abdomen.
 
Another theory was that the second patient had more tumors in the muscles.
 
“If we’d treated her earlier, we’d have done better, Russell said, adding that they might also have seen better results at a higher dose.
 
There were negative side effects, he said, such as severe flu-like symptoms almost immediately upon dosing. Despite that, one patient called the side effects trivial, compared to other treatments they’d received, according to Russell.
 
William Phelps, director of the Preclinical and Translational Cancer Research Program at the American Cancer Society, said the study is exciting because it shows efficacy with humans.
 
“Viruses are very good at disseminating throughout the body,” he said, adding that they’re also adept at hunting, detecting and infecting metastatic tumors.
 
Another advantage of using viruses is that they’re mutable, said Phelps.
 
“We can make a lot of changes to change what cells they infect,” he said. “We can change their payloads to specifically kill cancer.”
 
According to an editorial accompanying the paper,  John C. Bell of the Centre for Innovative Cancer Research in Ottawa, Canada, described the findings as a “benchmark to strive for and improve upon.”
 
When asked if the study had implications for other types of cancer, Russell answered with an emphatic yes.
 
“There’s no real reason why it can’t work on other cancers,” said Bell, adding that cancer provides the perfect substrate for viruses because they’re metabolically active, fast growing and, don’t know how to turn off.
 
“Once the virus gets in there, it can just move,” he said. “There are a lot of reasons they’re happier growing in cancer.”
 
“We want to take this virus and test it much more efficiently in a larger group to determine how often it works,” said Russell.
 
According to the Mayo Clinic, more of the therapy is being manufactured for a larger, phase 2 clinical trial later this year.
 
Phelps said his one concern about the study was that the two patients did not have any antibodies for measles, making them very rare because most people have been vaccinated against or had the measles.
 
One possible next step is “trying to engineer the virus so that it wouldn’t be neutralized by your antibodies," said Phelps. “Intuitively, you should be able to do that."
 
Russell believes that what this study has proved is valuable and can be built upon.
 
“We recently have begun to think about the idea of a single shot cure for cancer, and that’s our goal with this therapy,” he said.


Colombia and rebels agree
on cocaine reduction


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Colombia's government and the rebel group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia say they have reached an agreement on ending the illegal drug trade.

The deal calls for the rebels known as the FARC to cooperate with the government in convincing farmers to grow crops other than coca, which is used to make cocaine.

The announcement was made Friday in Havana where the two sides have been negotiating an end to a 50-year-old insurgency.

Colombia was the world's leading producer of cocaine until Perú recently overtook it in cultivation of coca. The cocaine industry has been the major source of funds for the Marxist rebel group and a cause of crime and instability in the South American country.

With the agreement on ending the drug trade, the two sides have resolved three of the six points on their agenda. Previously FARC and the government had reached deals on agrarian reform and political participation.

FARC has also announced a unilateral cease-fire for a week around Colombia's presidential election, scheduled for May 25.


Scientists create matter
from beams of light


By the Imperial College London news service

Imperial College London physicists have discovered how to create matter from light, a feat thought impossible when the idea was first theorized 80 years ago.

In just one day over several cups of coffee in a tiny office in Imperial’s Blackett Physics Laboratory, three physicists worked out a relatively simple way to physically prove a theory first devised by scientists Breit and Wheeler in 1934.

Gregory Breit and John Archibald Wheeler suggested that it should be possible to turn light into matter by smashing together only two particles of light (photons), to create an electron and a positron, the simplest method of turning light into matter ever predicted. The calculation was found to be theoretically sound but Breit and Wheeler said that they never expected anybody to physically demonstrate their prediction. It has never been observed in the laboratory, and past experiments to test it have required the addition of massive high-energy particles.

The new research, published in Nature Photonics, shows for the first time how Breit and Wheeler’s theory could be proven in practice. This ‘photon-photon collider’, which would convert light directly into matter using technology that is already available, would be a new type of high-energy physics experiment. This experiment would recreate a process that was important in the first 100 seconds of the universe and that is also seen in gamma ray bursts, which are the biggest explosions in the universe and one of physics’ greatest unsolved mysteries.

The scientists had been investigating unrelated problems in fusion energy when they realized what they were working on could be applied to the Breit-Wheeler theory. The breakthrough was achieved in collaboration with a fellow theoretical physicist from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, who happened to be visiting Imperial.

Demonstrating the Breit-Wheeler theory would provide the final jigsaw piece of a physics puzzle which describes the simplest ways in which light and matter interact. The six other pieces in that puzzle, including Dirac’s 1930 theory on the annihilation of electrons and positrons and Einstein’s 1905 theory on the photoelectric effect, are all associated with Nobel Prize-winning research.

Steve Rose from the Department of Physics at Imperial College London said: “Despite all physicists accepting the theory to be true, when Breit and Wheeler first proposed the theory, they said that they never expected it to be shown in the laboratory. Today, nearly 80 years later, we prove them wrong. What was so surprising to us was the discovery of how we can create matter directly from light using the technology that we have today in the UK. As we are theorists we are now talking to others who can use our ideas to undertake this landmark experiment.”

The collider experiment that the scientists have proposed involves two key steps. First, the scientists would use an extremely powerful high-intensity laser to speed up electrons to just below the speed of light. They would then fire these electrons into a slab of gold to create a beam of photons a billion times more energetic than visible light.

The next stage of the experiment involves a tiny gold can called a hohlraum (German for ‘empty room’). Scientists would fire a high-energy laser at the inner surface of this gold can, to create a thermal radiation field, generating light similar to the light emitted by stars.

They would then direct the photon beam from the first stage of the experiment through the centre of the can, causing the photons from the two sources to collide and form electrons and positrons. It would then be possible to detect the formation of the electrons and positrons when they exited the can.


E-cigarettes need controls
scientific study suggests


By the University of California at San Francisco
news staff

In a major scientific review of research on e-cigarettes, scientists found that industry claims about the devices are unsupported by the evidence to date, including claims that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

The review marks the first comprehensive assessment of peer-reviewed published research into the relatively new phenomenon of electronic cigarettes.

The devices, which are rapidly gaining a foothold in popular culture particularly among youth, are marketed as a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking, as an effective tool to stop smoking, and as a way to circumvent smoke-free laws by allowing users to smoke anywhere. Often the ads stress that e-cigarettes produce only harmless water vapor.

But in their analysis of the marketing, health and behavioral effects of the products, which are unregulated, the University of California at San Francisco  scientists found that e-cigarette use is associated with significantly lower odds of quitting cigarettes. They also found that while the data are still limited, e-cigarette emissions “are not merely harmless water vapor, as is frequently claimed, and can be a source of indoor air pollution.

The long-term biological effects of use are still unknown, the authors said.

In tackling the question of whether e-cigarette use is helping or harming the nation’s tobacco control efforts, the authors analyzed 84 research studies on e-cigarettes and other related scientific materials.

They concluded that e-cigarettes should be prohibited wherever tobacco cigarettes are prohibited and should be subject to the same marketing restrictions as conventional cigarettes.

The paper is published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

E-cigarettes deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol popularly called vapor to users by heating a solution commonly consisting of glycerin, nicotine and flavoring agents. E-liquids are flavored, including tobacco, menthol, coffee, candy, fruit and alcohol flavorings.  

Despite many unanswered questions about e-cigarette safety, the impact on public health, and whether the products are effective at reducing tobacco smoking, e-cigarettes have swiftly penetrated the marketplace in the United States and abroad in both awareness and use. Sold by the major multinational tobacco and other companies, the devices are aggressively marketed in print, television and the Internet with messages similar to cigarette marketing in the 1950s and 1960s, even in the U.S. and other countries that have long banned advertising for cigarettes and other tobacco products.

In one indication of the swiftness by which the devices have been embraced, in the U.S. youth ever use of the devices rose from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent the following year; in Korea, youth ever use of e-cigarettes rose from .5 percent in 2008 to 9.4 percent in 2011. Ever use means whether one has smoked the product even just once.

Furthermore, most adults and youths who use e-cigarettes are engaging in dual use – smoking both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes.

While most youth using e-cigarettes are dual users, up to a third of adolescent e-cigarette users have never smoked a conventional cigarette, indicating that some youth are starting use of the addictive drug nicotine with e-cigarettes.

The report also tackles secondhand exposure.

“E-cigarettes do not burn or smolder the way conventional cigarettes do, so they do not emit side-stream smoke. However, bystanders are exposed to aerosol exhaled by the user,” said the authors. Toxins and nicotine have been measured in that aerosol, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetic acid and other toxins emitted into the air, though at lower levels compared to conventional cigarette emissions.

One study of e-cigarettes was conducted to resemble a smoky bar: the researchers found that markers of nicotine in nonsmokers who sat nearby was similar for both cigarette smoke and e-cigarette aerosol exposure. Short-term exposure studies of e-cigarette use show a negative impact on lung function and bystanders absorb nicotine from passive exposure to e-cigarette aerosol, the authors report.

While early research found that e-cigarettes resulted in lower levels of plasma nicotine than conventional cigarettes, more recent research demonstrated that experienced users can attain nicotine absorption similar to that with conventional cigarettes.

When scientists pooled the results of five population-based studies of smokers, they found that smokers who used e-cigarettes were about a third less likely to quit smoking than those who did not use e-cigarettes. Whether e-cigarette use prevents attempts to quit or whether people who choose to use e-cigarettes are more highly dependent and therefore have a harder time quitting remains to be determined.

The scientists said their research illustrates the need for product regulation.


Forest emissions are key
in formation of clouds


By the Carnegie Mellon University news service

Clouds play a critical role in Earth's climate. Clouds also are the largest source of uncertainty in present climate models, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Much of the uncertainty surrounding clouds' effect on climate stems from the complexity of cloud formation.

New research from scientists at the Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, including Carnegie Mellon University's Neil Donahue, sheds light on new-particle formation — the very first step of cloud formation and a critical component of climate models. The findings, published in the Friday issue of Science, closely match observations in the atmosphere and can help make climate prediction models more accurate.

Cloud droplets form when water vapor in the atmosphere condenses onto tiny particles. These particles are emitted directly from natural sources or human activity, or they form from precursors emitted originally as gaseous pollutants. The transformation of gas molecules into clusters and then into particles, a process called nucleation, produces more than half of the particles that seed cloud formation around the world today. But the mechanisms underlying nucleation remain unclear. Although scientists have observed that the nucleation process nearly always involves sulfuric acid, sulfuric acid concentrations aren't high enough to explain the rate of new particle formation that occurs in the atmosphere. This new study uncovers an indispensable ingredient to the long sought-after cloud formation recipe — highly oxidized organic compounds.

"Our measurements connect oxidized organics directly, and in detail, with the very first steps of new particle formation and growth," said Donahue, professor of chemistry, chemical engineering, engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. "We had no idea a year ago that this chemistry was happening. There's a whole branch of oxidation chemistry that we didn't really understand. It's an exciting time."

The air we breathe is chock-full of organic compounds, tiny liquid or solid particles that come from hundreds of sources including trees, volcanoes, cars, trucks and wood fires. Once they enter the atmosphere, these so-called organics start to change. In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012, Donahue and colleagues showed conclusively that organic molecules given off by pine trees, called alpha-pinene, are chemically transformed multiple times in the highly oxidizing environment of the atmosphere. Additionally, other research, including from Donahue's lab, has suggested that such oxidized organics might take part in nucleation — both in new particle formation and in their subsequent growth.

The project at the European center is a unique facility that allows scientists to reproduce a typical atmospheric setting inside of an essentially contaminant-free, stainless steel chamber. By performing experiments in the precisely controlled environment, the project's scientists can change the concentrations of chemicals involved in nucleation and then measure the rate at which new particles are created with extreme precision.

In the current work, the team filled the chamber with sulfur dioxide and pinnanediol (an oxidation product of alpha-pinene) and then generated hydroxyl radicals (the dominant oxidant in Earth's atmosphere). Then they watched the oxidation chemistry unfold. Using very high-resolution mass spectrometry, the scientists were able to observe particles growing from single, gaseous molecules to clusters of up to 10 molecules stuck together, as they grew molecule by molecule.

"It turns out that sulfuric acid and these oxidized organic compounds are unusually attracted to each other. This remarkably strong association may be a big part of why organics are really drawn to sulfuric acid under modern polluted conditions," Donahue said.

After confirming that oxidized organics are involved in the formation and growth of particles under atmospheric conditions, the scientists incorporated their findings into a global particle formation model. The fine-tuned model not only predicted nucleation rates more accurately but also predicted the increases and decreases of nucleation observed in field experiments over the course of a year, especially for measurements near forests. This latter test is a strong confirmation of the fundamental role of emissions from forests in the very first stage of cloud formation, and that the new work may have succeeded in modeling that influence.


Environmental study urges
protection of the deep ocean


By the University of Southampton news service

A University of Southampton oceanographer is working with experts from around the globe to warn against lasting damage to the deep-ocean, caused by fishing, oil and gas development, industrial-scale mining, waste disposal and land-based pollution.

The world's deep-ocean spans more than half the planet and holds vast quantities of untapped energy resources, precious metals and minerals. But as advancements in technology enable greater access to these treasures of the deep, experts are urging caution, highlighting the potentially irreversible damage that extracting such materials can cause.

Writing in the research journal Science, the University of Southampton's Maria Baker and co-authors call for a balance to be struck between the wise use of resources and maintenance of the deep ocean's delicate ecological balance.

The deep-ocean, below 200 meters, extends across national and international authorities and is managed separately by individual sectors. This means an area protected against trawler fishing, for example, could still be considered for mining operations and vice versa. The paper suggests this approach is not sufficient to ensure a balanced, sustainable use of resources and calls for further collaboration to manage the cumulative effects of these activities.

"Currently, governance of our deep-ocean is fragmented," Dr. Baker says, "We need to achieve integrated thinking and communication across all deep-sea stakeholders and across all jurisdictions. This is key to delivering the best possible solutions for future deep-ocean resource use and long-term environmental protection."

Long term and possibly irreversible damage has already been caused to the deep-ocean by human actions. One fifth of the continental slope (an area of 4.4 million km2) has been trawled at least once and often multiple times by the fishing industry, leading to habitat loss and removal of slow to reproduce species. According to the paper, the underwater environment has also served as an international dumping ground for radioactive waste, sewage and toxic chemicals.

Deep-ocean mining is an emerging industry and the International Seabed Authority has already developed regulations for mining exploration of the international seabed. In addition, many nations are in the process of leasing offshore mining.

Dr. Baker said: "We require transparency and flexibility within all areas of governance to make this work. Management should be a dynamic process whereby strategies will evolve as we learn more about our deep-ocean ecosystems and their response and resilience to exploitation. We should not hesitate - we need to move forward at once. Future generations depend upon our actions."


Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
logo
“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”

Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com

Rosa Monge
Rosa Monge


Real estate foreclosure specialist

Great deals available every week
Properties like this:

20.5 acres of pasture for as little as $2,400

Rosa Monge Alvarez
Please email for details
rosa_monge@racsa.co.cr
8339-5/23/14

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 4030-5480 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8294-6/12/14

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.
8206-5/18/14

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 www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8321-10/17/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 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: info@greciarealestate.com
8352-8/13/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Residential Del Monte (San Rafael de Heredia)
Close to Hotel Tirol and El Castillo Country Club. 1,804 m2 lot  (19,418 sq. ft.) 
replacement
It has two fronts to different roads in the neighborhood  Front 36 meters, back 33 meters. 95 percent flat All utilities available. Paved roads. Price: $135,000.  More information please call:  506 8853-0000 or email:  jpmata2000@yahoo.com
Video here: http://vimeo.com/93149638
8340-6/15/14

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on road or boat.  The large land has three hills with forest in which there are many trees and animals such as parrots, parakeets and monkeys.!!   It has a beautiful view
island one
of downtown Golfito , mountains and sea. It has three entry beach options. Your own beach,  large land with fruit trees, livestock grazing.Mangrove front with lots of fish, snapper, etc. Also access to your own part of sea with full of  seafood: pianguas, cambutes, chuchecas, clams, etc. .  Natural beauty is a paradise to live, walking, diving, fishing, horse riding, climbing to the mountains, swimming in the creek or the sea, exploring
the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.   The island gets an artificial canal.  It is Isla Grande - Segura, grazing
     diagonal to Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at  rakell.leon6@gmail.com, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.
8361-8/15/14

Casa Fiesta
Caribbean Beachfront Home and Apartment  Puerto Viejo
 Right on the Beach!

Ranch style home with detached garage and apartment Air-conditioned home sleeps 4, apartment sleeps 2 ,  3 baths, hot water showers  Fenced-in property with pool, screened in patio  Turnkey....Everything is included with the sale!   Washer/dryer, furniture, appliances, tools, household items and linens, bicycles, and even a vehicle! Great income potential also  259,000 US Please visit our Web site for many more photos go to: http://www.casafiestacostarica.com  Email inquires to:   suez2cats@hotmail.com
8358-8/8/14

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   $$165.000 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: sjogringo@yahoo.com
8354-8/13/14

Dragon montage
New amazing, modern, eco-friendly three-bedroom, three-bath executive modern home perched on your own small mountain.  270-degree ocean view with unbelievable teak-look concrete deck, to the RED 48-foot fiberglass infinity lap pool. Separate covered deck with pool table. Guest house with kitchen, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower. Exquisite entryway of 20-foot rock wall and electric gate, with video feed. Large work garage separated from house. Guardhouse. Hidden metal shutters to secure the property for weeks. Private registered well. Inside/outside kitchen. Propane fire pits. Several water features including a waterfall and a water bubble wall. Property can be purchased stand-alone with the house at $550K, or the whole mountain for further development at $950K.  Contact drako13@me.com
8344-5/23/14

Selva Rio
SELVA RIO ESTATES (SRE) www.selvarioestates.com is a 10-lot  development with lots starting at $65,000US. You know what they say "Location, Location, Location." Well SRE is  located only 10 kms. from Atenas (best climate in the entire world!),  only 3 kms. from Highway 27 access, only 3 kms. from grocery stores and restaurants, only 35 kms. (30 min) from SJO airport, only 50 kms. from  Pacific Ocean, only 42 kms. from Escazu, 0  kms. from gorgeous country living with nature!  Contact the developer at selvarioestates@hotmail.com or call 8704-6106. We can help you build your dream home now!
8341-6/22/14

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   axelspecial@gmail.com
8333-5/9/14

another house shot
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 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 www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/14

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!
8309-6/29/14

Atenas mansion
ATENAS!!
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  larry@atenasrealty.com
8306-4/26/14

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean.  This design allows for barrier-free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room 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   
 www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8305-6/26/14

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 rafa@rafacr.com.
9304-4/3/14

Esterillos

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: edumace64@yahoo.es and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8269-5/27/14

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  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

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 tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

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: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8230-3/13/14

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8223-2/21/14

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

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

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

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

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


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

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

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

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

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

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

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


Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
golf
Award  winning unique mini golf on the main road of La Fortuna. approximately 8,000 square foot structure permits you to do business 365 days a year. Seven years left on lease at $500 a month or $1,000 a month if you use the 9,000 square feet behind it. Space to build cabin, house or additional tourist attractions. Price includes all permits and patents. Property is offered for sale through local owner. Photos available at the following Web site: Renosminigolfcr.com. Email: renosminigolf@gmail.com  or call 506 6021 4569. In English! Great Price $25,000.
8345-4/24/14

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  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  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: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

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 galanses@hotmail.com for an appointment. For a preview www.facebook.com/FantasiaTropicalCR
8232-2/24/14

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 97
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
dog
A.M. Costa Rica/Xochilt Quesada
Meet one of the participants in a march Sunday in support of a bill that would punish mistreatment of animals. The bill is now in a legislative committee. Hundreds of dog owners walked on Avenida Segunda with their pets, and one man brought his snake. There were no cats to be seen.


Dengue threat in Brazil
evaluated by its regions


By the Lancet news service

For the first time, scientists have developed an early warning system to predict the risk of dengue infections for the 553 microregions of Brazil during the football World Cup. The estimates, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, show that the chance of a dengue outbreak is enough of a possibility to warrant a high-alert warning in the three northeastern venues of Natal, Fortaleza, and Recife but is likely to be generally low in all 12 host cities.

Dengue is a viral infection that is transmitted between humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. In some cases, it causes life-threatening illness. There are currently no licensed vaccines or treatments against dengue. So far this century, Brazil has recorded more cases of dengue fever than anywhere else in the world, with more than 7 million cases reported between 2000 and 2013.

“Recent concerns about dengue fever in Brazil during the World Cup have made dramatic headlines, but these estimates have been based solely on averages of past dengue cases. The possibility of a large dengue fever outbreak during the World Cup, capable of infecting visitors and spreading dengue back to their country of origin, depends on a combination of many factors, including large numbers of mosquitoes, a susceptible population, and a high rate of mosquito-human contact,” explained lead author Rachel Lowe from the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences in Barcelona, Spain.

The researchers estimate little risk of dengue outbreaks during the forthcoming World Cup period in the southern and central capitals of Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, and São Paulo. However, they predict that there is some chance of dengue risk exceeding medium levels in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Manaus. The three cities with the highest risk are Natal, Fortaleza, and Recife, although the risk still remains relatively low.




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From Page 7:

Swiss voters reject $25-an-hour minimum wage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Worried about upsetting Switzerland's strong economy or driving its high costs even higher, more than three-quarters of Swiss voters rejected a plan Sunday to create the world's highest minimum wage.

About 76 percent of voters in the wealthy nation dismissed the proposal made by Swiss union SGB and backed by the Socialist and Green parties for a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs ($25) per hour, final results showed.

The clear rejection of the proposed minimum wage brings relief to business leaders worried the measure would have hurt competitiveness and damaged the Swiss workplace.

"If the initiative had been accepted, without doubt that would have led to job cuts, particularly in remote and structurally weaker regions," Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said at a news conference. "The best remedy against poverty is work."

Sunday's vote is the latest in a slew of initiatives being put to voters to try to address the widening income gap in the generally egalitarian country.

Switzerland has some of the world's highest living costs and trade unions had sought in the balloting to require minimum salaries for workers that would total more than $53,000 annually.  The median salary in the Alpine nation is now about $77,000, but pay is set by individual employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements.

The minimum pay referendum was the third in Switzerland in the last 18 months to deal with the increasing gap between rich and poor people. Voters previously adopted restrictions on bonuses for corporate executives, but rejected controls that would have limited their salaries to no more 12 times that of the lowest paid workers.

Switzerland's ruling Federal Council welcomed the defeat of the minimum wage plan sought by trade unions.

Trade unions had proposed the higher minimum wage as a way of fighting poverty in a country that, by some measures, features the world's highest prices and most expensive cities.

But opinion polls had indicated that most voters sided with the council and business leaders, who argued it would cost jobs and erode economic competitiveness, driving Switzerland's high costs even higher.

The proposal would have eclipsed the existing highest minimum wages in force elsewhere in Europe. Switzerland has no minimum wage, but the median hourly wage is about 33 francs ($37) an hour.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which adjusts figures for spending power, lists the highest current minimum wage as Luxembourg's at $10.66 an hour, followed by France at $10.60, Australia at $10.21, Belgium at $9.97, and the Netherlands at $9.48.

The U.S. wage, an adjusted $7.11 down from the actual $7.25 rate, came 10th on the list.