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(506) 2223-1327           Published Tuesday, June 7, 2011, in Vol. 11, No. 111             E-mail us
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Scientists predict tropical temperatures will soar
By the Stanford University news service

The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists.

In the study, the Stanford team concluded that many tropical regions in Africa, Asia and South America could see the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer heat in the next two decades. Middle latitudes of Europe, China and North America – including the United States – are likely to undergo extreme summer temperature shifts within 60 years, the researchers found.

"According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years," said the study's lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh, an assistant professor.

"When scientists talk about global warming causing more heat waves, people often ask if that means that the hottest temperatures will become 'the new normal,'" Diffenbaugh said. "That got us thinking – at what point can we expect the coolest seasonal temperatures to always be hotter than the historically highest temperatures for that season?"
To determine the seasonal impact of global warming in coming decades, Diffenbaugh and an associate analyzed more than 50 climate model experiments – including computer simulations of the 21st century when global greenhouse gas concentrations are expected to increase, and simulations of the 20th century that accurately reported the climate during the last 50 years.

The analysis revealed that many parts of the planet could experience a permanent spike in seasonal temperatures within 60 years.

According to both the climate model analysis and the historical weather data, the tropics are heating up the fastest.

"We find that the most immediate increase in extreme seasonal heat occurs in the tropics, with up to 70 percent of seasons in the early 21st century (2010-2039) exceeding the late-20th century maximum," the authors wrote.

Tropical regions may see the most dramatic changes first, but wide swaths of North America, China and Mediterranean Europe are also likely to enter into a new heat regime by 2070, according to the study.

This dramatic shift in seasonal temperatures could have severe consequences for human health, agricultural production and ecosystem productivity, Diffenbaugh said.


Assault suspect faces his 56th judicial encounter
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police detained a man with an incredible record of 55 serious encounters with the judicial system. This happened Monday in Barrio Cristo Rey when Fuerza Pública officers responded to a call about an attack with a knife.

They detained a 48-year-old man with the last names of Bonilla Arley. They said he had been accused 55 times for attempted murder, murder, aggravated robbery, assault with a weapon, theft, family violence and carrying a weapon illegally, among others.

The victim of the assault was a 36-year-old man with the last names of Astúa Alpízar. He was wounded and hospitalized. The incident happened on Avenida 26 between calles 10 and 8. Officers detained Bonilla as he tried to flee, they said.

Police officials gave no explanation why Bonilla still was on the street with such an extensive history of judicial appearances.

In another Cristo Rey incident, a man with the last name of Rodríguez died there about 2 p.m.
Cristo Rey
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública/Ingrid Luna
Police have the stabbing suspect in custody.

Monday when he was shot three times while
walking on the public street, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. He was 28.

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Bridge work
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos 
y Atención de Emergencias photo.
 This is the former rail bridge that now connects Matina
 with Estrada.


Emergency commission
outlines its work in Limón

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission says it has or will invest 5.9 billion colons in the province of Limón. That is about $11.7 million.

Some 31 percent of the money goes to Matina where, among other improvements, the commission has provided some 40 homes to persons who lived in places in danger of repeated flooding.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias also said it invested to rebuild a connection between Ruta 36 and Bananito Sur and San Clemente.

The commission also said that shortly a new water treatment plant will come online in Limón for the benefit of some 18,000 persons. The plant is designed to purify the water of those living in the area around the site of a major chemical fire several years ago. The plant uses an innovative carbon filtering system, the emergency commission said.

The commission is preparing for the height of the rainy season, and Limón, both the community and the province, always receives damage. To avoid some of the problems, the commission said it is cleaning the drainage canals in Pococí, Matina, Siquirres and Talamanca.

The commission also noted that it has installed a former railroad bridge between the communities of Matina and Estrada. The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles helped in moving the steel structure some 15 kilometers.

Several other projects still are at the bidding stage, the commission said.


Women's Club plans sale
of remaining book inventory


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Women's Club of Costa Rica is having a clear-the- inventory book sale June 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at the souvenir store parking lot in Cariari. The organization said that the site is 100 meters west of the Doubletree Hilton.

All proceeds from this event will benefit the club’s Scholarship and Reading is Fun Projects, said the club.

The books are those that were not sold at the club's sale earlier in the year. The organization also said that it is not accepting more donations of books at this time and suggested that those with extra books wait until the major sale early next year.

The Women’s Club of Costa Rica is a philanthropic organization supporting education, primarily through scholarships and development of school libraries for children in Costa Rica. Its Web site is HERE!


 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

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

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

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

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him HERE!

From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 111
Latigo K-9

Searchers found all sorts of metal objects, including a stapler and several pairs of scissors, during a sweep of the prison in Cartago.

haul from prison
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Paul Gamboa

Cartago prison yields a minor junkyard of metal objects
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A surprise shakedown of the Centro Penitenciario Cocorí in Cartago produced a large quantity of weapons, including a piece of rebar several feet long honed to a sharp point.

The Fuerza Pública, the Policía Penitenciaria, the Unidad Especial de Apoyo and the Unidad Canina, the dog unit, conducted the surprise weekend search. They also found 40 doses of crack cocaine and a charger for a cell telephone battery.

The haul is similar to what searchers found at a prison in Puntarenas last month. That raid followed the death of an inmate from an improvised dagger.

The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública said there were no disturbances from inmates during the search.
Shakedowns of prisons have become more common since the May 11 attempted breakout at the La Reforma maximum security facility in San Rafael de Alajuela.

Hernando París, minister of Justicia y Paz, visited the prison wing Monday after some 49 million colons (about $97,100) were invested to repair the damage caused during the breakout attempt.

Three persons, including a prison guard, died.

The high security alert that has been in force has been lifted after the repairs were done, said officials. Still the prison is being investigated for alleged mistreatment by guards.

One of the ring leaders of the breakout attempt died in his cell several days after the failed attempt, and that has prompted a change in guards and a close look by the Judicial Investigating Organization.


Funeral for slain traffic officer will be today in Moravia
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Traffic officer Danny Sandoval Mora will be buried today with honors in Moravia. The wake at the headquarters of the Policía de Tránsito was Monday with traffic officials and other officers in attendance and with an honor guard around the casket.

Sandoval died Sunday when a motorist interrupted him as he was confiscating the vehicle of a suspected drunk driver. The Poder Judicial said Monday that the assailant struggled with the 30-year-old officer and managed to take his gun and shoot him. Reports Sunday said the assailant had his own gun.

Traffic officers are beginning to lobby for protective vests. Only a few in the department now have these.
The incident happened in Cinco Esquinas de Tibás.  Sandoval worked as a traffic officer for three years, the department said. His wife, who is six months pregnant, attended the wake.

The Fuerza Pública two hours later detained a man identified by the last names of Román Ovares. He has a criminal record, said the Dirección General de la Policía de Tránsito. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the weapon has not been found, but informal reports say that it is in the vehicle that had been driven by Román. The vehicle is sealed for later inspection.

Prosecutors sought a year's preventative detention for Román in the II Circuito Judicial de San José.

The judge's decision was not known Monday night.


Legislators to investigate water company chief and his trip
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislative commission has decided to investigate the former head of the national water company who took a female employee to México last August.

The man is Oscar Núñez Calvo, who is executive president of the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados.

The Partido Acción Ciudadana already has called upon
President Laura Chinchilla to fire Núñez, who is a former legislative deputy and a high-ranking member of her Partido Liberación Nacional.

Núñez said that the woman accompanied him to México for training purposes.

The Comisión Permanente Especial de Ingreso y Gasto Público said it seeks to see if there was abuse of authority or misappropriation of public funds.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 111


CR home


Another tour of city's musuem, cultural sites is Wednesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another nocturnal tour of the San José museums and cultural attractions is scheduled for Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m.

The event is free, and transportation by bus is being provided. But those who participate can travel on their own, including by bicycle, said the Museo de Arte Costarricense in La Sabana, one of the departure points.

The museum is one of four opening its doors to visitors. The others are the Museo de Arte y Diseño  
Contemporáneo, the Museo Nacional, and the Museo de Jade. Buses leave and return to each.

The event is called the Art City Tour, and other organizations and galleries are joining in. Alliance Française in Barrio Amón said it is opening its doors, too, to inaugurate an exposition called “Homenaje a Frida Kahlo,” The exposition contains the jewelry work of six artists of a style appropriate for the Mexican painter and wife of Diego Rivera. Ms. Kahlo did frequent self-portraits that featured her wearing jewelry.

More information on the tours is HERE!



Supersensitive ear in Panamá hears cars, earth's hum

Special to the A.M. Costa Rica

An unusual signal detected by the seismic monitoring station at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s research facility on Barro Colorado Island results from waves in Lake Gatun, the reservoir that forms the Panamá Canal channel, scientists report.

Understanding seismic background signals leads to improved earthquake and tsunami detection in the Caribbean region where 100 tsunamis have been reported in the past 500 years, they said.

As part of a $37.5 million U.S. presidential initiative to improve earthquake monitoring following the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, a seismic sensor was installed on Barro Colorado Island in 2006.

The sensor is one of more than 150 sensors that comprise the U.S. Geological Survey’s Global Seismographic Network.

Barro Colorado Island is a hilltop that was isolated by the waters of the reservoir created when the Chagres River was dammed to form Lake Gatun, a critical part of the Panama Canal. The Barro Colorado seismic monitoring station is a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Panama and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Ultra-sensitive devices at the station pick up a large range of ground motion from felt earthquakes to nanometer-scale seismic background noise. The instruments at the station include very sensitive broadband seismometers used to detect distant earthquakes and low-gain accelerometers that measure
sensor device
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute/J. McMillan
This equipment designed to detect tsunamis and earthquakes also detects background sounds including cars and the hum of the earth.

ground movement and withstand violent local earthquakes and explosions.

The sensors detect signals from many different sources that include cars, boats and machinery operating up to several kilometers away. They also pick up the background hum of the Earth caused by ocean waves breaking on continental shelves around the world.

Scientists noticed that sensors on Barro Colorado recorded an intriguing wave pattern at an intermediate frequency. They suspected that this pattern could be caused by standing waves in Lake Gatun. Standing waves are common in enclosed bodies of water like lakes and harbors where waves moving in opposite directions interact. By installing a water-level detection meter along the shoreline, researchers confirmed that changes in the water level of the lake correspond to the unusual seismic signal.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 111

Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Ms. Fujimori concedes
defeat to Ollanta Humala


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The daughter of imprisoned former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori has conceded defeat following a closely-fought runoff against former leftist army officer Ollanta Humala.

Keiko Fujimori Monday said she recognized Humala's triumph in Sunday's election and she salutes his victory.  Fujimori also said she wished Humala luck. 

With about 90 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Humala had a lead of about 2.7 percent over Ms. Fujimori.

The latest presidential campaign focused largely on continuing Peru's rapid economic growth of recent years, while ensuring that the poor also see some of that increased prosperity. 

Peru's stock market plunged nearly 9 percent Monday, prompting authorities to halt trading.

In the first round of balloting in April, Humala won 32 percent of the vote, falling short of the majority needed for an outright win.  Ms. Fujimori, a conservative candidate, took 24 percent.

Participating in elections is mandatory for Peru's nearly 20 million eligible voters.

Some voters expressed concern that if Ms. Fujimori won, she would try to free her father, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for his role in death squad killings in the 1990s.  Ms. Fujimori has apologized for mistakes and crimes committed while her father was president from 1990 to 2000.

Humala led an uprising against Alberto Fujimori in 2000.  Humala also lost a runoff election to current President Alan Garcia in 2006.  Humala was outspoken during that campaign about his admiration for Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, but has since distanced himself from the leftist leader.

U.S. economy slowing,
indexes appear to show


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. economy is showing signs of slowing down, adding only 54,000 jobs in May - the smallest increase in eight months. The nation's unemployment rate inched higher last month to 9.1 percent, raising fears the U.S. recovery already may have peaked.

Hiring in May fell far short of the 150,000 jobs that Wall Street was expecting, sending stock prices sharply lower on Friday.

The big question among investors is whether the anemic job numbers are temporary or evidence of deeper economic problems. Economist Mark Vitner at Wells Fargo takes the more optimistic view.

"What this report reflects is a kind of the peak run-up in gasoline prices, the peak of the disruption in the Japanese supply shortages, so I don't think this necessarily should be carried forward all the way through the summer, although we probably will have another weak month or two," he said.

The White House downplayed the lower job numbers as just a bump in the road. On a tour of a Chrysler car plant in Ohio, President Barack Obama said the economy continues to recover from the worst recession in decades. He credited his administration's decision to bail out the auto industry for saving more than a million jobs.

"What's most important is that all three automakers are now adding shifts and creating jobs at the strongest rate since the 1990s," the president said.

The president's critics pounced on the jobs report as a sign the U.S. economy is on the wrong track.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, "You talk to job creators around the country like we have, they'll tell you that the over taxing, over regulating and overspending that's going on here in Washington is creating uncertainty and holding them back."

The weakness in hiring last month was widespread. Manufacturers cut 5,000 jobs, retailers slashed more than 8,000 positions, and the service and hospitality trades reduced payrolls by 6,000. 

The White House says the U.S. economy has added more than two million jobs in the past 15 months. But the latest job numbers show nearly 14 million Americans still are looking for work.
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 111

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Germany still cannot find
source of deadly bacteria


By the A.M. Costa Rica wires services

German officials say initial tests show that sprouts from an organic farm in the country's north are not the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has left 22 people dead and infected more than 2,200 others.

Lower Saxony state's agriculture ministry said Monday that 23 of 40 samples taken from the suspected farm have tested negative for the bacteria. Except for one woman who died in Sweden after a visit to Germany, all of the fatalities have been within German borders.

Health authorities say the majority of those infected are in Germany. Eleven other European nations and the United States have reported 90 infected people, nearly all of whom have recently been in northern Germany.

European Union agriculture ministers will meet today in Luxembourg to discuss the crisis and its economic impact, which includes a ban by Russia on all vegetables from the EU. The ministers at the emergency meeting will discuss how to compensate farmers affected by the E. coli outbreak.

E. coli is an abbreviation for Escherichia, which is a large and diverse group of bacteria. Most strains are harmless, others can cause illness. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. The major source is cattle, but other animals, foods and liquids may spread contamination to people.

German officials had initially blamed the cause of the outbreak on lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers from Spain.

The outbreak is the deadliest in modern history to involve E. coli, and appears to be the second- or third-largest in terms of the number of people who have become ill. Scientists say the bacteria is a previously unknown genetic recombination of two different E. coli strains.




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