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These stories were published Wednesday, June 26, 2002, in Vol. 2, No. 125
Jo Stuart
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National Museum gearing up for butterflies
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional de Costa Rica soon will be hosting many more butterflies.

A spokesman for the museum said that within a few months the museum will have its own butterfly farm as an addition to the many exhibits already at the downtown San José facility.

A quick tour through the area Tuesday revealed a quiet place on the lower level of the museum that has a number of native trees and

A.M. Costa Rica photo
Yanory Obando Silva of the museum staff checks out a butterfly.
 bushes for the benefit of the butterflies.

A contingent of butterflies from the monarch family flitted about within the shaded confines. The butterfly area is about 1,700 meters square well within the museum.

Actually the butterfly area has been envisioned for about two years. The trees, much loved by butterflies, have been planted. And a netting has been strung above the butterfly farm. But most visitors thought that the area was a nursery for plants.

The butterfly facility is visible from the main level of the museum from the city overlook.

There will be no additional charge for visiting the butterly area. Admission to the museum is 200 colons (56 cents), perhaps one of the best investments in downtown San José.

The insects within the enclosed area will be butterflies typical of the San José, area, according to a spokesperson.  More butterflies are needed, and the next few months will be spent obtaining additional species for the exhibit.

The butterfly area is a place of peace and contemplation. Signs identify different species of trees favorable to butterflies. The area is shaded with a few brillant exceptions. Butterflies can pick their own environment.

Because the area is associated with the museum, research wil be conducted among the butterflies.

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Romanian man was gunned down as he waited for a taxi
in Sabanilla about 7:40 p.m. Monday.

The event was an obvious hit because the two men who did the shooting drove by in a green-colored car, and there was no attempt at robbery.

The victim was identified by the Judicial Investigating Organization as Ovdiu Ciongiu. However, Costa Rica police have difficulty with foreign names.

The man suffered four wounds of the back. The shooting happened about 800 meters from Cristo de Sabanilla, according to police.

Sabanilla has been home to one other hit as two Colombian men were gunned down as they waiting in traffic on a main highway last month

Police do not seem to have a clue as to what has caused the shooting, although the deaths of the two Colombians were chalked up to a feud between people from that country.

The Romanian was recuperating in a hospital from his wounds.

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New York Bar moves
down the street

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The well-known New York Bar, a watering hole for North Americans for 28 years, is moving down the street.

The operation on Avenida 1, run by Richard Arthur of California, must move because the property on which it is located has been purchased by the nearby Hotel Del Rey.

Arthur has taken over the former Sharkey’s on Calle 9 about 25 meters south of the Hotel Del Rey. Sharkey’s closed Saturday night and will reopen  July 21 as the new New York Bar, a day after the lease expires on the present location.

Pat Dunn and Mike Yafarano have leased the New York from Arthur for the last five years. Yafarano will continue to run the bar under Arthur’s ownership, Dunn said.

Arthur noted that the former Sharkey’s is about four times the size of the present New York location. The new location is where the former Beatles Bar was located.

The New York is an institution in San José.

Study on Cuba shows
economic advantage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Lawmakers in the U.S. Congress are keeping up pressure on the Bush Administration to change its policy toward Cuba. Members of the Congressional Cuba working group have released results of a study showing the U.S. economy would benefit if American citizens could freely travel to Cuba. 

A repeal of the prohibition on travel to Cuba is one of nine policy changes recommended by the congressional Cuba group, comprising 44 Democratic and Republican lawmakers. 

The study was commissioned by the Cuba Policy Foundation, a lobby group supporting an end to the U.S. economic embargo. 

According to the study, an immediate lifting of the U.S. embargo would result in 12,000 new jobs and nearly $2 billion in additional income after five years. 

 Ed Sanders is one of the authors of the study and says ending the travel ban would result in a significant increase in American travel to Cuba. 

"2.8 million additional Americans would travel to Cuba by the fifth year," he said. "Half of those would be diverted from other destinations, so the net increase in travel to the Caribbean region because of elimination of the embargo would mean about 1.4 million more Americans traveling." 

Members of the Cuba working group point to opinion polls showing growing public support for lifting the travel ban and eventually the economic embargo. 

Democrat William Delahunt of Massachusetts says there is "a deep and profound revulsion" toward the travel ban among Americans in general, and Cuban-Americans in particular. 

 "Most Americans share the viewpoint that the right to travel is one of our core fundamental constitutional principles," he said. "And a restriction such as this, and there is incident, after incident, after incident, is repugnant to everything we proclaim to be about as a democracy." 

President Bush has said he has no intention of easing the U.S. embargo on Cuba. His statement in May followed a high profile visit to Havana by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. 

Congressional advocates of ending the travel ban say money the U.S. government spends trying to crack down on Americans visiting Cuba illegally could be better

G8 Summit begins
today near Calgary

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The two-day summit of eight world leaders in western Canada begins this morning in a mountain resort town near Calgary. 

While some Canadian officials worry that U.S. President George W. Bush's Mideast peace plan will pre-empt the summit agenda, Prime Minister Jean Chretien dismisses that possibility. He joked to reporters that the agenda that focuses heavily on African development will remain unchanged, because he will be chairing the meetings. 

The center piece of this 28th annual summit of major economic powers is an "Action Plan for Africa," a development initiative that will be unveiled on Thursday. The summit is being attended by the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia and four west European nations. African leaders from South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria and Algeria will join the meeting on Thursday. 

Prime Minister Chretien selected the village of Kananaskis in the Canadian Rocky Mountains as the summit venue because it is remote and easily sealed off from possible protests. The scenic resort and its two hotels are in the foothills of the Rockies, 80 kilometers west of Calgary. Last year's summit in Genoa, Italy was marred by violent anti-globalization protests. Some 2,000 protesters are said to be organizing here in Calgary. Police are out in force. 

The leaders began arriving in Calgary Tuesday. They are traveling individually to Kananaskis by helicopter. The leaders meet today as the Group of Seven to discuss economic issues and then are joined later in the day by Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

President Bush's just-announced proposal to settle the Israeli Palestinian dispute is expected to be discussed this evening. Besides the new aid and investment initiative for Africa, the summit will discuss other world trouble spots and trends in the Asian, North American and European economies. 

Argentinians plan
rescue in the ice

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A ship made to break through thick ice has left Argentina on a journey to what could be a daring rescue. The vessel is on its way to Antarctica to reach over a hundred men on a ship that is trapped by ice. 

Argentine Navy officials say the 5,000 mile journey through frozen waters could be as dangerous for the rescuers as for the 107 people they are trying to rescue. 

Early Tuesday morning the Almirante Irizar left Buenos Aires. It is on its way to the bottom of the world, where 79 Russian scientists and a crew of 28 sailors are stranded.

The ship carrying them left northeast Antarctica two weeks ago but could not make it through waters filled with drifting ice. 

The Argentine icebreaker sent to the rescue can break through ice as thick as 25 meters (19 feet). But the voyage will be a challenge. With hundreds of tons of fuel and supplies, the icebreaker could also become trapped. 

Body in river
finally identified

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A body found Thursday in a river in Uruca has been identified as that of Ronald Hernando Jiménez Castro, 28, a resident of the area. 
Kimberly García Gordon
Meanwhile, investigators say that yet another body has been found in Sabana Sur. The body of a man was found in the Río María Aguilar. He was about 30 years old and had been dead for about 48 hours, agents said.

They still are trying to locate a baker who vanished last week in Desamparados. But neither of the bodies found this week matched his, they said.

Meanwhile, police are seeking  15-year-old, Kimberly García 

Gordon of Moravia, to further a police investigation. They ask that anyone with knowledge as to her whereabouts contact the juvenile section of the Judicial Investigation Organization at 295-3575 or 295-3574.

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