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(506) 2223-1327                     Published Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 135                     Email us
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Consumer agency takes on tricky supermarkets
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's consumer protection agency seems to have added some muscle with the arrival of the new administration.

A new study takes on supermarkets and the traditional methods of tricking the consumer.

Anyone who has shopped for a while in Costa Rica has noticed anomalies. For example a package of two items of a product might be priced the same as the total of two single items despite promotions that suggest savings.

In fact, during the survey by the Dirección de Apoyo al Consumidor, inspectors actually found a cleaning product that was advertised as a two-pack special for 3,200 colons, or about $6. When the inspectors compared the price of two individual items that were not packaged together, they found that each sold for 1,540 colons. So by purchasing the two-pack the shopper actually would be paying 120 colons more, the report said.

The report was quick to call such promotions trickery.

The Dirección de Apoyo al Consumidor is part of the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio. For the first time the report contained a call for shoppers to report errors or incomplete 
information or even downright trickery to its complaint number 1-311 or 800 CONSUMO (800-2667866).

The minister, Welmer Ramos, noted in a summary that the shopper is at a disadvantage with incomplete information.  He underlined the need for the state to play a role in keeping store shelves honest.

The survey was from June 12 to June 17 in the province of San José. Eight locations surveyed were parts of chains and seven were independent.

The focus was on food, cleaning and personal hygiene products.

The survey report said that problems were found in every location. For example, a multiple pack of some product might be the only one on the shelf, so the shopper would not know if the price was lower than the sum of individual items.

The survey was skeptical of display promotions that advertised precio especial, precio super especial, oferta especial, rebarata, pack de ahorro.

The consumer is exposed to a great variety of offers, discounts, and gifts that not always represent a saving for their pocket," said Ramos. "For this reason, labors of  surveillance are important for the correct functioning of the market and to avoid inducing errors or tricks for the consumer."


basilica
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
It's not the national soccer team. This is the crowd at the Cartago basilica in 2012.
There are legal holidays and a hike yet to come
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Now that the World Cup is coming to its conclusion, the time has come to dig in and get some work done, right?

Wrong.

In two weeks there is another holiday, the Anexión de Nicoya a Costa Rica. This day commemorates the decision on July 25, 1824, by leading residents of what was then called the Partido de Nicoya to seek union with Costa Rica instead of Nicaragua. The colonial Partido de Nicoya was not just the peninsula that today bears that name. The land involved is basically what is the province of Guanacaste. Partido meant a legal territory in old Spanish, although today it stands mostly for party as in a political group or even a soccer game.

Traditionally the sitting president and leading politicians go to Nicoya that day to commemorate the decision. The day is a legal holiday.

The holiday marks the beginning of the massive display of faith that Costa Ricans produce each year. The last week in July and the first day of August is the time for the pilgrimages to Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. This is the Costa Rican version of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. She is represented by a small black rock that turned up in 1635. The Virgin of the Angeles is considered the patroness of the country.

The tradition evokes images of the Middle Ages. Half the country and some from other countries
find time to walk to Cartago and then enter the basilica there on their knees. On the afternoon of Aug. 1 the crush is so great that pedestrians would have a hard time walking west on the downtown mall.

Aug. 2 is the official feast day, and the majority of pilgrims overnight in the basilica plaza to be present for a morning Mass and sermon.

The ranking clergyman usually reads out the assembled politicians for not doing enough for the poor.

The pilgrimage is a personal effort, and no totals are kept, but the best guess is that 2.5 million persons make the hike each year.

Folks who live in Cartago have been known to take a bus to some distant location and walk back to demonstrate their faith and to seek heavenly favors.

The last few days of July and Aug. 1 are major challenges for traffic police who keep track of the crowd and divert vehicles. The Cruz Roja provides the medial attention, and Fuerza Pública officers are stationed along the major routes. As the blisters begin to heal from the pilgrimage, the time has come to find an appropriate present for Mother because Aug. 15 is the Día de la Madre here. This, too, is a national holiday.

The celebration of the Anexión de Nicoya and the Día de la Madre both fall on a Friday this year, so there is a three-day weekend for many workers. Aug. 2 is a Saturday.


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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 135

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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.


Accountants

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Culture minister asks that probe be hurried

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Elizabeth Fonseca, the culture minister, is urging the chief prosecutor's office to expedite a potential investigation into business deals made under the ministry during the previous administration from 2011 to 2014.

After local news reports surfaced that a majority of the ministry's contracts were given to one purveyor, Ms. Fonseca said last week's complaint presented before the Ministerio Público, the nation's prosecutorial office, needs to be immediately addressed. She first called for an investigation more than a week ago.

“For the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud it's important to make any necessary corrections, bring peace to our ministry and give transparency to the citizen,” she said.

Ms. Fonseca said that this move is not a political persecution of the past administration but, instead, a formal investigation meant to uphold a promise of anti-corruption. The complaint stems from a directive via President Luis Guillermo Solís following checks of all public entities made after he took office.

His investigators in the culture ministry reported questionable expenses that were charged for five major cultural events. Those in question are the Festival de las Artes, Enamorate de tu Ciudad, Colegio de Costa Rica, Festival Internacional, and the Feria Internacional del Libro.

Ms. Fonseca claims her ministry's investigation found that since 2011 spending on these programs had rocketed when compared to past years. The minister of Cultura y Juventud under the Laura Chinchilla administration was Manuel Obregón.

Ms. Fonseca added that people have complained about the ministry's function and an apparent lack of novel ideas, to which she rebutted that nothing was further from the truth. She said that plans can take time to carry out, but that her team has dedicated itself to a different approach in which action is taken for the citizen's interest. 

“We have to show there's a different path that we are going to take when it comes to leading the culture ministry,” she said. “This is only demonstrated through actions, and actions cannot be executed all in the same day.”

Penalties again decide a World Cup game

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Argentina positioned itself to win its first World Cup in nearly 30 years, beating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout, 4-2, after a scoreless draw.

The Argentines converted all four of their penalty shots against Dutch goalie Jasper Cillessen.  Maxi Rodriguez put away the winning kick.  Argentine goalie Sergio Romero saved penalty shots by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.

The result Wednesday at rainy Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo means Argentina plays Germany in Sunday's championship game at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. 

Argentina is seeking its third World Cup title, having won in 1978 and 1986.  Germany has won three titles: 1954, 1974 and 1990. 

"I'm very happy because we reached the final, and now we will see what we can do," Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella said.  "We will give everything as usual, with humility, work and 100 percent effort.  It means so many things.  A lot of people didn't think that Argentina would be in the final, but we know what a good team we have."

The Netherlands and Argentina engaged in a grind-it-out affair with limited scoring opportunities.  Cillessen saved a free kick by Argentine superstar Lionel Messi in the 20th minute, and a shot by Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain in the 75th narrowly missed the inside of the net.  One of the Netherlands' top scorers, Arjen Robben, fired a shot from the box in the 90th, but it was defended well.

For the Dutch, one of the highest-scoring teams in this year's World Cup, this was their second straight game decided by penalty kicks.  They beat Costa Rica in a quarterfinal penalty shootout, but Romero was there to stop them this time.  He did not start for his Monaco club most of last season, but has yielded only three goals in the World Cup. 

"Penalties are a question of luck, that is the reality," Romero said.  "I had confidence in myself and, fortunately, everything turned out well.  Hope has been intact since day one."

Wednesday's game marked the fifth time in World Cup history a semifinal went to penalty kicks.  Messi, a four-time World Player of the Year, converted the first shot for Argentina, followed by teammates Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Rodriguez.

For Messi, it is widely believed a World Cup championship will elevate him to the same mythical plane occupied by another Argentine football legend, Diego Maradona.  Maradona almost singlehandedly lifted his country to the World Cup title in 1986, in part with his famous hand of God goal in the quarterfinals against England.  He is considered by many to be the second greatest football player of all time behind Brazilian extraordinaire Pele.

Argentina has won all six of its World Cup matches this year.  The Dutch, who were denied a fourth trip to the World Cup finals, finished 5-1.

Argentina and Germany, two of the perennial world football powers, have met twice before in the World Cup championship game.  Argentina won in 1986, and the Germans won in 1990.

This time, the Argentine team, which depends heavily on the play of Messi, will be facing a well-rounded German squad with an array of offensive weapons such as attack man Thomas Mueller.  Germany is the highest-scoring team in the tournament with 17 goals.

In Tuesday's semifinal game, Germany gave one of the most breathtaking displays of offensive firepower in World Cup history in a 7-1 rout of host Brazil.  Germany scored five goals in the first 30 minutes, with four coming in a six-minute span.

Brazil and the Netherlands will play for third place on Saturday in Brasilia.



Two officials released in Cup ticket scandal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police in Brazil have released a top World Cup official who was arrested Monday in connection with an investigation into the illegal resale of tickets at the tournament.

Ray Whelan, the head of Match Services, was released Tuesday after being questioned in relation to an alleged ticket selling scheme involving the 2014 World Cup.
 
Whelan's lawyer denied the allegations, and the company issued a statement saying he did not violate any law.
 
A Match Services subsidiary provides hospitality services, including complimentary tickets to matches, to corporate clients at World Cup events.

A dozen arrests have been made in the case. More than 100 match tickets and large sums of money have also been seized.

Police Officer Fabio Baruque said the long-running case involves the sale of tickets, some of them complimentary, which had been provided to Fédération Internationale de Football Association officials, individual players and local World Cup committees.
 
"The crime being investigated is facilitating the distribution of tickets to touts, which is against the law," said Baruque. "The penalty for the crime is four years in prison."

The World Cup organizing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, has not commented on the charges, but a spokesperson told reporters it is following the matter.
 
"FIFA continues to fully collaborate with the local authorities and will provide any details requested to assist with this ongoing investigation," Delia Fischer said. "FIFA wants to reiterate our firm stance against any form of violation of criminal law and the ticketing regulation, and is fully supporting the security authorities in our joint efforts to clamp down on any unauthorized ticket sales."
 
Whelan was arrested Monday at the Copacabana Palace, a luxury hotel in Rio that is hosting senior Fédération Internationale de Football Association delegates.
 
Police say Whelan's telephone received some 900 calls and text messages from Lamine Fofana, the alleged ringleader of the group who was staying at the same hotel.
 
Authorities say the group might have been active during the past four tournaments, raking in anywhere from $90 million to $200 million per World Cup.
 
Brazil's World Cup will end Sunday. Many fans have complained of a lack of availability of tickets and high prices charged by scalpers outside match venues. Dozens of those resellers have been arrested during the month-long tournament.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 135
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Virus as well as fungus can cause amphibian extinctions, study says
By the National Institute for Mathematical
and Biological Synthesis news staff

Amphibian declines and extinctions around the world have been linked to an emerging fungal disease called chytridiomycosis, but new research from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis shows that another pathogen, ranavirus, may also contribute.

In a series of mathematical models, researchers showed that ranavirus, which causes severe hemorrhage of internal organs in frogs, could cause extinction of isolated populations of wood frogs if they are exposed to the virus every few years, a scenario that has been documented in wild populations.

The most widely distributed amphibian species in North America, wood frogs have been shown to be highly susceptible to ranavirus infection, particularly as tadpoles. But little research has been done into how ranavirus affects frogs at all stages of their life cycle — from egg to hatchling to tadpole to metamorph, the stage when they emerge as frogs. Little is also known about how the infection could hasten extinction in entire populations.

The study, published in the journal EcoHealth, investigates the effect of ranavirus on the entire life cycle of wood frogs in demographically isolated populations, where there is no movement of frogs into the population from surrounding areas.

The study used mathematical simulations based on long-term data sets from wild populations of wood frogs in eastern United States and laboratory data on the effects of ranavirus. It determined that the life stage during which a frog was exposed to ranavirus was one of the most important factors in determining extinction and declines.

Extinction was most likely to occur when the tadpole or metamorph was exposed to ranavirus at frequent intervals in small populations. Under the worst-case scenario, extinction could occur in as quickly as five years with exposure every year and 25 to 44 years with exposure every two years.

The egg stage had a 57 percent survival rate when exposed to ranavirus, which was high enough to prevent extinction. Scientists speculate that eggs have a greater survival rate than other stages because they are protected by a thick gelatinous membrane that may serve as a structural barrier or contain anti-viral properties.
woodfrog
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis/Thomas Brown
This North American wood frog is highly vulnerable to a Ranavirus infection.

"Just as the chytrid fungus has decimated frog populations, the results of our study suggest that ranavirus infection too could contribute to extinction of amphibian populations that are demographically isolated," said lead author Julia Earl.

Amphibians are already considered the most imperiled of vertebrates, and a third of amphibians are threatened or endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the main international body that assesses the conservation status of species.

Disease may be playing a role in amphibians' extinction. Since the 1990s, chytridiomycosis, which has been called the worst disease affecting vertebrate animals in recorded history, has caused massive die-offs and species extinctions across the world, particularly in Australia, the Caribbean, and North, Central, and South America.

Ranavirus infections in amphibians have been known since the 1960s, but it wasn't until the 1980s when they were associated with large-scale mortality and disease.

Once exposed to ranavirus, in susceptible species like wood frogs, mortality can be as quick as three days. Transmission can occur through water, direct contact and when tadpoles scavenge other dead and infected frogs. There is no cure or treatment for the disease.


The many styles of architecture in Guanacaste to be outlined Tuesday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One could argue that of all the provinces in Costa Rica, Guanacaste has the greatest variations in architecture. That will be the topic Tuesday in another of the talks by architect and historian  Andrés Fernández.  The talk will be in the  Alianza Francesa building in San José.

Fernández is well known for his walking tours of city churches and the various historic barrios. He also has featured Alajuela and Heredia on his tours. In an introduction to his talk,  Alianza Francesa lists a number of pre-Columbian, Colonial and more modern types of building construction.

The pre-Columbian natives, of course, used what they had and sometimes erected pole structures and straw buildings. There also is a strong influence of colonial Nicaragua in Guanacaste, said the summary. With the arrival a saw timber, the architecture changed considerably, it said.

Admission to the 6:30 p.m. discussion is 3,000 colons for the public and 1,000 for  Alianza members. Reservations are requested at 2257-1944,
Straw house
Alianza Francesa photo
This is Guanacaste architecture circa 1911 of a type used long ago.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 135
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Minister tells U.N. gathering that deadline for Millennium Goals nears
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican officials are looking to offer their help for global development. This week the minister of planning, Olga Marta Sánchez, represented the country in a United Nations political forum concerning the Millennium Development Goals, which were established in 2000 to improve lives around the world.

There are eight millennium goals in all, ranging from eradicating extreme global poverty rates to providing universal primary education. The initial goal was to reach each target by 2015, and a number of goals have been reached.

The meetings that lasted from Monday to Wednesday were carried out under the U.N.'s Economic and Social Council.

Ms. Sánchez explained that these obstacles the world has overcome – like supplying drinking water to 2..3 billion people and reduction in global hunger – are encouraging steps. However, she warned that only a few months remained until the project's end date and that countries have not met their goals in some areas.

“Despite the strengths and notable success in some areas, we shouldn't be satisfied,” she said. “The new agenda of development post-2015 needs to be transformative enough to allow for our strategic priorities to be carried out in the best possible way.”
Monday Ms. Sánchez pointed out that Costa Rica came before the United Nations as a regional representative for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, known as Celac. Some of those countries, especially the poorer Caribbean island nations, remain as straggling outliers in Latin American numbers overall.

The minister said practical adjustments need to be made for member countries, as focuses must shift on economic improvements that fit each nation's capabilities.

“We must turn all the objectives and targets of sustainable development into national-level politics, which should keep in mind each country's unique circumstances, abilities, development levels, and priorities,” she said.

Specifically within Costa Rican borders, Ms. Sánchez said this administration has emphasized plans to reduce inequality and poverty, stimulate economic growth by creating more jobs, and fight against political corruption to make for a more stable government.

The eight Millennium Development Goals are: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat hiv/aids, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop a global partnership development.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


Sibu
                        montge
At Sibu Hotel you will not only enjoy the relaxing Caribbean atmosphere, but you will do it in a beautiful, comfortable and cozy setting, complete with enchanting tropical flora and fauna. Sibu is located 4km from Puerto Viejo, in Playa Chiquita, just meters from the virgin beach. Playa Chiquita is a gorgeous coastal town on the stunning Caribbean coast of Costa Rica with many fun activities for all ages, including, but not limited to horse back riding, zip line tours, snorkeling and much more! Contact us HERE!
8350-6/7/14

Howard
                        rollover
Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
 
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at www.liveincostarica.com
8362-6/8/14

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
8278-3/14/14


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

8390-10/2/14

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

HERE!

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Real estate rentals
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)



oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia,  Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.
laurelfanderson@gmail.com
8414-8/2/14

challet
Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property, Two bedrooms, two bathrooms  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate  $500.00 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  bonillaleda@yahoo.com
8396-7/18/14

Palamres


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela
See our Web page: palmarescostarica.us
8375-7/2/14

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

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.
8386-6/29/14

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.
8393-8/3/14

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

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
Fifth news page
cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 135
Sports
Calendar
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Cafetales



Obama meets Perry in Texas
and says Congress should act


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says the U.S. Congress has the ability to fix the problem of the wave of unaccompanied minors coming across the border from Mexico into the United States.

Obama spoke to reporters Wednesday after meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other officials about the immigration crisis.

The president urged Congress to approve his request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds. Obama said he asked Perry to pressure congressional members from Texas to approve the funds.

Obama said Perry raised four areas of concern: the number of border patrol agents, the positioning of those agents, the different policies for immigrants from Mexico versus Central America and the functioning of the U.S. immigration judicial system.

The president said he told the governor that all those concerns could be addressed if Congress gave in to his request for additional funding.

Obama said the problem is fixable if Congress is more interested in solving it, rather than concentrating on politics.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner met with members of his Republican caucus to discuss the president's request.

Sources inside the closed meeting say Boehner told members the House needs to act on the request before leaving for a long recess in August.

Obama is seeking to deport more than 50,000 children back to their home countries, where many of them fled impoverished and crime-ridden communities but also were drawn to the U.S. by rumors that they could stay in the U.S. if they got into the country. The U.S. says they are unlikely to qualify for humanitarian relief to remain in the country.

The U.S. Justice Department says it plans to hire more judges to consider the children's cases, attempt to curb Central American violence and prosecute smugglers transporting the children to the U.S. 

Obama's trip to Texas comes a day after he asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the immigration surge.

The U.S. Senate a year ago approved comprehensive immigration reforms that would have allowed the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally to eventually obtain U.S. citizenship. But the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is opposed and says it will not vote on the issue this year.

Obama says that within weeks he will take what executive actions he can without congressional assent to change the country's immigration rules.


Amnesty expresses concern
about closing European door

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Rights group Amnesty International claims Europe is cracking down on illegal immigration, which is costly, and closing the doors to refugees fleeing conflict.

Issued Wednesday, a new report by Amnesty International claims measures adopted by European governments to staunch illegal immigration are not only costing taxpayers billions of dollars, but are creating new dangers for Syrians and others seeking refuge from conflict.

Jezerca Tigani, deputy director of Amnesty's Europe and Central Asia program, said, "The European Union is doing its utmost to protect its borders and is building a fortress Europe. But the cost of all of this is actually the human rights violations of migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe, and taking very dangerous journeys to reach the continent."

According to Amnesty, the European Union spent about $2.8 billion protecting its external borders between 2007 and 2013. Amnesty says the 28-member bloc spent less than a third of that amount to improve conditions for refugees and asylum seekers within its borders.
 
The report, Ms. Tigani said, aims to raise public awareness.

The organization is  "trying to make Europeans think about what is happening at their doorstep, what is happening at their borders and what their governments are doing — not to allow people who are in need of international protection," said Ms. Tigani.

New statistics show nearly half a million people applied for asylum in the European Union last year, the highest number recorded since the bloc began collecting data six years ago. Many refugees from the Middle East and North Africa make a perilous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe's doors.

Earlier this week, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom urged member nations to take in more Syrians and other asylum seekers.

"There is a strong emphasis on assisting Syrians at the moment, but there are also other countries that would need support and people do embark on vessels on vary dangerous travels because there are very few, if any, legal ways to get to Europe, and one way to achieve to Europe in a safe way would be through increased resettlement," she said.

At the same time, Ms. Malmostrom said new European laws will lead to fairer and better asylum decisions in Europe, and better protection and reception for asylum seekers. Amnesty says more needs to be done, however, to turn legislation into action.

France moves to freeze
flow of young Muslims


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

France's leftist government has introduced legislation to stop would-be jihadists from leaving the country and posing security threats when they return home.  The measures reflect mounting international concern about Westerners joining the fighting in countries like Syria and Iraq.

France's draft legislation includes an arsenal of measures aimed to toughen surveillance and detention of suspects with links to radical Islamist groups, including preventing them from leaving French territory.  The French government believes it has good reason to toughen its anti-terrorism laws.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve estimates roughly 800 young people have joined jihadist fighting overseas, mostly in Syria.  Roughly 100 are now heading home.

Interviewed on France Info radio just before introducing the bill, Interior Minister Cazeneuve says these young jihadists witness barbaric acts overseas.  They return destroyed and prepared to commit extremely violent acts back home, presenting a security threat for France and Europe.

France is no stranger to terrorist attacks.  Algerian Islamists bombed a Paris metro station in the 1990s.  Today, terrorists are home-grown, including Islamist Mohamed Merah who shot dead seven people in Toulouse in 2012. 

French-Algerian Mehdi Nemmouche has been charged with gunning down four people at a Brussels' Jewish museum in May.

​If passed, the measures will make it easier for authorities to hold and question suspects in France and track those traveling across Europe's border-free Schengen area.  It also takes aim at the surge of jihadist recruitment on the Web.

Minister Cazeneuve wants to block Internet sites that incite anti-Semitism, terrorism and hatred at the European and international levels.

The draft legislation comes amid heightened concern about Westerners joining jihadist movements.  The United States estimates there are about 7,000 foreign fighters in Syria alone. 

Tuesday, European Union ministers reportedly adopted an action plan to respond to security threats posed by returning jihadists that are confronting countries like Britain and Belgium, as well as France.  In Norway, Attorney General Eric Holder called for Europe to adopt tougher anti-terrorism laws. 

In France, the draft legislation has drawn a mixed reaction.  French Association for Victims of Terrorism spokesman Stephane Lacombe says the measures are only a partial response to home-grown radicalism.

"We have to deal with education, we have to deal with prevention in schools, on the ground," he said. "It is true that some of these young living in France have the kind of profile linked with delinquency, problems at schools.  But it is not the only reason."

Critics argue the draft legislation violates basic rights, and suggest efforts to pass European-wide anti-terrorism measures are unlikely to succeed. 


New Snowden disclosures
say taps targeted Muslims


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The emails of at least five prominent Muslim-Americans were targeted by the FBI and the National Security Agency, according to information in new documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The report, co-authored by journalist Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain, appeared on the online news site The Intercept and said the surveillance was authorized by a secret intelligence court under procedures intended to locate spies and terrorist suspects.

The report, which cited documents in an NSA spreadsheet leaked by former contractor Snowden, showed the emails of the individuals, but not their names, according to The Intercept report.

The Intercept said it identified at least five people, all American citizens, based on those email addresses. They include:

* Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

* Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

* Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

* Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

* Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.

According to the report by Greenwald and Hussain, the spreadsheet shows 7,485 email addresses listed as monitored between 2002 and 2008.

Many of the emails appeared to belong to foreigners suspected of being linked to al-Qaida, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American cleric killed in a 2011 drone strike.

But the journalists' investigation also found a number of U.S. citizens monitored in this manner, which requires an order from the secret intelligence court based on evidence linking them to espionage or terrorist activities.

However, during the three-month investigation by Greenwald and Hussain, which included interviews with more than a dozen current and former federal law enforcement officials involved in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process, they reported that they found the system for authorizing NSA surveillance affords the government wide latitude in spying on U.S. citizens.

A recent Washington Post report based on similar leaked files warned that such accidental sweeps pick up far more U.S. web traffic than officials have acknowledged and that the material can be held indefinitely by the government.

The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives.

All five denied any involvement in terrorism or espionage, The Intercept reported. Some have even climbed the ranks of the U.S. national security and foreign policy establishments.

All five raised questions in the account about why their emails would have been targeted by surveillance. The report said that several of the men had been subjected to previous government inquiries.

Civil rights groups criticized the revelations.

Responding to The Intercept report, a coalition of 44 civil liberties groups including the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter Wednesday to President Barack Obama urging a full public accounting about the alleged domestic surveillance.

The group also asked for a meeting with Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey.

The head of the Center for Constitutional Rights told The Hill that the targeting fits the same pattern as the FBI’s tracking of top civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X in previous decades.

“The government is targeting an organization for its lawful political activity and conflating peaceful support for Palestinians and equal treatment for Muslims in the U.S. with suspicious activity,” Vincent Warrant told The Hill.

“This report confirms the worst fears of American Muslims: the federal government has targeted Americans, even those who have served their country in the military and government, simply because of their faith or religious heritage,” the group Muslim Advocates said in a statement shortly after the story published, according to a report by the online site Wired

In a statement on Wednesday morning, the Obama administration denied that its activities were based on politics or religion.

U.S. officials, responding to the report, said communications are only monitored with a "legitimate foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose.”

"It is entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government, or for exercising constitutional rights," said a joint statement from the Justice Department and the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The statement added that a court order for any surveillance of this kind requires probable cause, based on specific facts, which indicate that the person is an agent of a foreign power, a terrorist, a spy, or someone who takes orders from a foreign power.

"No U.S. person can be the subject of surveillance based solely on First Amendment activities, such as staging public rallies, organizing campaigns, writing critical essays, or expressing personal beliefs," the statement added.


North Korea calls movie
terrorist and an act of war


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

North Korea has written a letter of complaint to the United Nations over an upcoming U.S. movie that depicts an attempted assassination of its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The North’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ja Song Nam, sent a letter voicing Pyongyang's objections to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon late last month.

Ambassador Ja wrote the production and distribution of the movie "The Interview" should be regarded as “the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war.”

He also urged the United States to take immediate appropriate actions to ban the production and distribution of the action comedy or be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism.

North Korea requested the ambassador's letter be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under U.N. provisions on eliminating international terrorism.

Pyongyang first made public complaints about the movie late last month after its official trailer was published online. "The Interview" is set to be released this October.

The plot centers around two celebrity journalists in the U.S. who land an interview with Kim Jong Un and are then ordered by the CIA to assassinate him.


whale bones
Voice of America/Craig Smith
When whales die, their bodies sink to the ocean floor and become habitats for many sea creatures.

Importance of great whales
emphasized in a new study

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Valued for their meat and oil, whales were once considered of little consequence to the ocean.

But a new study suggests great whales, Baleen, Sperm, Humpback, Blue and Gray, have a powerful and positive impact on how the ocean works.

“They can increase nutrients in areas where they are feeding," said University of Vermont conservation biologist Joe Roman, lead author of a study. "So whales dive deep to feed. They come to the surface and, as it turns out, they defecate or they release whale poop at the surface. That has lots of nitrogen and other nutrients so it can increase productivity in areas where whales are feeding."

Whales continue to service the ocean even when they die and sink to the deep sea.

“That also brings nutrients down there and lots of habitats for species that depend entirely on those whale falls,” Roman said.    

After centuries of decline, great whales are steadily repopulating their historic breeding and feeding grounds. And they have a healthy appetite. Some commercial fisheries argue the whales are eating too many other fish and taking a big bite from their profits.

But experts argue the opposite is true.     

“I think the classic view was ‘too many whales, not enough fish,’" Roman said. "But our study and several others are starting to show that it is far more complicated, more interesting than that, that is when whales are in a healthy ecosystem, we can have more fish and more whales at the same time.” 

Roman argues whales are being blamed for poor fishery management.

“If we can restore our waterways, if we can better manage our fisheries, we are going to find that we will have more whales for us to enjoy as well as more fish for commercial fisheries, for recreational fisheries,” he said.

But even as whales rebound, they are not immune to human threats in the ocean. They are run over by container ships, caught in fishing nets, and disturbed by noise from ocean traffic and sonar signals.

“Shipping is increasing in the Arctic, plans for offshore oil and gas are increasing," said Margaret Williams, who directs the World Wildlife Fund's Arctic program. "And so World Wildlife Fund is working with government and communities and industry and other conservation groups to identify those areas that are very, very important for whale species, for migration areas, for feeding areas, and we’re recommending those areas receive special management attention.”

Williams says whales deserve this protection.  They are, as the study underscores, more valuable than whalers ever imagined.

 

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Best Kitchen
Best Kitchen Depot is the leading kitchen and bath company in the Central American market. We represent the most fast-growing American solid wood cabinet manufacturers. All our products boast the three major industry certifications: Carb2, KCMA environment stewardship and KCMA
construction certifications. We also have state-of-the-art design
capabilities and our delivery lead time is the best in the country.
Please visit our Web site at: www.bestkitchendepot.com and then email  info@bestkitchendepot.com or call (506) 2261-0287 or (506) 8383-3104.   
8418-8/15/14


• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
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:
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
8409-6/25/14

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
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Remax logo
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.
8366-12/2/14

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 calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
 
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $1,100,000: 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 home
  1,900 square meters of land, 253 square meters of construction. Price $350.000. CLICK HERE
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8352-8/13/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Finca
A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special sale price $245,000. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write lindafinca@hotmail.com.
8430-8/11/14


ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site: costaricalandsales.com
email: kim@costaricalandsales.com

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.
8406-8/2/14

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.
8413-8/28/14

Castillo
Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
• Neighbors are $80/square meter  • Incredible view
Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info
mail@davidcollier.net   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)
8382-7/5/14

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, consignment 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/

organic
Stunning organic ocean view home site in San Ramón
2.93 acres, only $60,000

Gorgeous homesite on organic land available for quick sale! Only 10 minutes to downtown San Ramón and within a terrific private community. Close to town but away from it all! Features amazing views of the ocean, great sunsets every night and privacy. Multiple building spots. Comparable lots in the area are selling for $75,000 to over $100,000! At 11,864 square meters, or $5 per square meter, this is a great investment too! This lot is priced to move! Looking for a quick sale, so no tire kickers please! See Web site for additional information and photos. or email bizcr@hotmail.com
Tel: CR (506) 8350-7647
8369-6/26/14

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian  info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025    www.puntaplayavistas.com
8372-8/23/14

ad two grpahic
For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact www.puntaplayavistas.com or email info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025
8271-8/23/14

Ad one grpahics
For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.
8370-8/3/14

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/ $449,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email rafa@rafacr.com.
9368-6/4/14

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on 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.     It is Isla Grande - Segura, diagonal to grazing
 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

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

Lundquist photo
More photos HERE!
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

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

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

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

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

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  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

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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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 135
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Kerry bemoans Senate confirmation jam

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Barack Obama has designated a new ambassador for Costa Rica.  There may be some time before the man, Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, a New York investment firm executive, arrives.

Haney needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate. Secretary of State John Kerry said this week in a published column that 53 State Department nominees are pending in the Senate.

 "Thirty-seven of them have been approved by the Foreign Relations Committee and could be confirmed immediately with a simple vote," said Kerry. "The majority of the nominees, 35 in all, are apolitical career diplomats, and none of them are controversial."

"There is a solution staring us in the face — and that answer is the powerful example of how military nominees are traditionally treated by the Senate," he said. "The administration’s military nominees are confirmed quickly and en bloc, which is the proper way to handle them. For America to play a strong role in the world, we need equal treatment for diplomats. The Senate should carve out State’s career nominees and expedite their confirmation just as it does for military promotions."

Kerry accused the Senate, a body to which he recently belonged, with hobbling American diplomacy..

Speaking of terrorism in Africa, he said that "Boko Haram’s horrifying abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria ignited universal calls for help to 'bring back our girls.' President Barack Obama responded with urgency, but lost in the story is that one tool the United States would like to have at our disposal is hampered by the absence of  U.S. ambassadors in neighboring Cameroon and Niger."

Like Costa Rica, the embassies in those two African countries have been without an ambassador for at least eight months, he said.

Unlike most of the ambassador designates,  Haney is not a career diplomat but a political supporter of Obama and a contributor to Democratic causes. So senators are unlike to give him approval in a group.

Kerry wrote his opinion article for the Washington publication Politico and the text was released by the State Department Wednesday.


Times reports new Chinese hacker effort

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A report in The New York Times today says the newspaper has learned from U.S. government officials that Chinese computer hackers attempted to gain access to the personnel files of tens of thousands of federal employees who have applied for top secret security clearances.

The report says the hackers gained access back in March to some of the databases of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that oversees the federal workforce. The unnamed officials say authorities detected the threat and blocked it from the office's computer network.

The Times says it is not yet clear how far the hackers had penetrated the agency's systems, where applicants for security clearances list personal information such as foreign contacts and past drug use.

An official with the Department of Homeland Security confirmed the attack had occurred, but said neither Office of Personnel Management nor Homeland Security had identified any loss of personally identifiable information.

U.S. prosecutors last month indicted a group of Chinese hackers working for a unit of the People's Liberation Army and charged them with stealing corporate secrets. The same unit has been accused in the past of intrusions into U.S. government computer systems, including the office of the Defense secretary.

Computer intrusions have been a major source of contention between the United States and China. Evidence revealed by Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency, shows the NSA ran programs to intercept the conversations of Chinese leaders and the military.


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From Page 7:

U.S. Fed to stop its bond buying in October

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With the U.S. economy improving, policy makers at the country's central bank say they plan to end their direct economic support of the world's largest economy in October.

Since late 2012, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing up to $85 billion a month of Treasury bonds and securities. It is a program aimed at keeping long-term interest rates at a very low level in an effort to boost hiring and lending to help the economy recover from the depths of the 2008 recession.

The Federal Reserve has been steadily cutting the size of the monthly asset purchases and has said that if the country's economic fortunes continue to improve, it would end them altogether late this year, without setting a specific date.

But Wednesday, the policy makers released minutes of their mid-June meeting showing that the Federal Reserve intends to end securities purchases in October, "if the economy progresses" on its current path, as it expects.

More than nine million workers remain unemployed in the U.S.  But its labor market has been adding jobs at the fastest pace since 1999, and the jobless rate fell in June to 6.1 percent, its lowest level in nearly six years.