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Hotel and Casino     Playa Vista
Eco Realtors
(506) 2223-1327                        Published July 19, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 142                  Email us
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Jo Stuart
 
Casacada
                del bosque



The mother of all potholes!
big pothole
Photo by Bictoria Torley
Residents of Nuevo Arenal stare and wonder what the creeping hole will do next
Giant washout blocks highway at Nuevo Arenal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Heavy rains are being blamed for a gigantic washout of the highway in Nuevo Arenal. The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said that the highway, Ruta 142 that goes along the east side of Lake Arenal, has been closed.

Residents attributed the washout to work being done alongside the highway. Photographs taken Wednesday show a deep pit big enough to hold heavy equipment alongside the still-intact road.

Victoria Torley of nearby Aguacate said that the work was on Ruta 127, the  Fortuno Road, that intersects there. She said the problem became known about 4 a.m. Thursday when visitors staying at the adjacent hotel were awakened by the sound of the road collapsing in front of the facility.  The business is the Gingerbread Fine Restaurant & Boutique Hotel.
Visitors and residents went out to redirect traffic away from the hole, and a backhoe was  swallowed by the collapse, and a second piece of road equipment was stranded, she said.

By 9 a.m. the road was completely eroded, she said, estimating the canyon to be  about 35 meters (115 feet) wide, 20 meters (66 feet) deep and extending about 100 meters (328 feet) downhill from the restaurant.

A real estate firm was evacuated, and another resident predicted that the expanding hole would damage some buildings even though road workers were digging a ditch to divert water.

The Consejo de Vialidad said that motorists could use a gravel road, Ruta 734, instead of the closed highway, but the agency added that only four wheel-drive vehicles could make that trip.



It's umbrella time today, but weekend may be better
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today is expected to be a damp one in many parts of the country, but the weather prediction for Saturday and Sunday suggests there might be time for a picnic or a soccer game.

Unstable weather was moving into the country from Panamá Thursday night.  The weather station at Sierpe on the Osa peninsula reported showers after lunch and a real downpour between 6 and 9 p.m. There was a total of  64.5 millimeters of rain or about 2.5 inches.

Storms hit Guanacaste, too. Bagaces reported 51.7 millimeters between 4 and 7 p.m.,  a bit more than 2 inches.

There was a string of thunderstorms in the northern zone after dinner, but the accumulation of rain was not great.  The weather station at Upala registered  just 6.8 millimeter, about a third of an inch, between 8 and 10 p.m.
The unstable air was predicted to move north into the central Pacific by early today with the Caribbean and the northern zone getting some of the storms in the morning.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the instability might extend into the Central Valley.

The weather institute issued a special 8 p.m. bulletin warning of the dangers the storms can bring. The bulletin emphasized fog and slippery roads as well as possible flooding.

Still, the outlook for the weekend is better, according to the weather institute.

The prediction is for a decrease in the humidity resulting in isolated showers.

Both days are expected to follow the usual pattern of sunny or partly cloudy skies in the mornings followed by a cloud cover and possible rain in the afternoons or early evenings.

Alto de
                        Antigua

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COSTARICAREALESTATE.COM
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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 142

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Sportsmen's Lodge

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.


Dentistry

Dr. Vargas

Dental implants in Costa Rica

Call us: Within C.R.  2225-1189
From USA    1-866-7060-248
Please visit:
 www.dentalimplantsti.com

Or email;
 implantesdentales@ice.co.cr

7989-8/13/13
Dr. Vargas
Dr. Vargas
989-8/13/13

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: marcomunozcavallini.com
7969-5/9/14


Psychotherapy

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
25 years experience
Dr. KLycinda
                                                  Gray
Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
   •  Transformational  
           Psychotherapy

   • Depression

   • Anxiety

   • Relationship Issues

   • Fast-Track Meditation

   • Focusing Training


Phone : 2203-4954

www.DrLucindaGray.com
7795-7/15/13

Real estate agents and services

Clinas del
                                                      Sol
COLINAS DEL SOL
Jim Day, retirement specialist Representing Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A
A fenced and gated project with the ex-pat hortaculturalist in mind. There are 88 clear-title hobby farms with water and electricity.  The layout is designed to provide ample space for your vegetable gardening ands fruit tree projects.
You can see more on our Web site: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
 Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa
and 20 minutes to Liberia airport.
Please contact Jim Day at JimDay50@aol.com   or    Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
7858-8/26/13

Grecia logo
Grecia Real Estate
Here in Costa Rica, Central America , the most beautiful houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate and safe communities.
Great deals for you!
SEE OUR OFFERS HERE!
Visit our Web site: www.greciarealestate.com
Contact Christian Arce in English:
Cell phone (506) 8538-6186
Contact Luis Arce in English: 
Cell phone (506) 7100 8489
Contact Luis G. Jiménez in Spanish:
Cell phone (506) 8707-4016
Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
7827-5/4/13


CR Beach

CR Beach Investment Real Estate
reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
Our agents have been here a minimum of 10 years:
 Colin Miller, Frances,  Junior and Owner-Broker Jeff Fisher enjoy helping clients like you find their dream properties.
Let CR Beach show you why we know this is the best area for you to  invest-retire-enjoy!
Special Offer this Week: Best Condo deal in Jacó
Best Home deal in Hermosa: HERE!
Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
www.CRbeach.com    info@crbeach.com
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 
Office: 2643-4334, 2643-3672
Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Jacó, Costa Rica
8017-10/27/13

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
7999-9/11/13

Insurance

Project completion specialists

Pacifica
                                                logo
Pacifica living
                                                room
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:

  • Building completion services
  • Interior design & decoration
  • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

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. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
7834-8/13/13

Legal services

FULLY BILINGUAL ATTORNEY
& NOTARY PUBLIC

Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
Lic. Arcelio Hernandez Mussio, Jr.
With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
Family law, criminal & constitutional law, civil & commercial law

Visit the website at:  CRTitle.com
Email: lawyer@crtitle.com
Cell: 8710-9827
Skype:  hernandez.mussio
Serving the Great Metropolitan Area, Central and South Pacific
scales
Member of the Colegio de Abogados de Costa Rica
Lawyer ID number: 12.358
7923-10/15/13

KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
 
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
  Phone:  7157-7092
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014
7920-10/11/13

RE&B Attorneys S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
Tels: 2201-8012/2637-7640
USA phone number: (305) 748-4340
Email: info@rebattorneys.com
Web: www.rebattorneys.com
REB Abogadso logo
Our law firm offers services
in many areas such as:
 
Immigration Law✔
Real Estate Investment✔
Corporate Law✔   
Intellectual Property✔
Litigation✔    Franchise Law✔
Hotel/Resort Development✔
Customs and International 
     Trade✔
Our offices are located in Costa Rica:
San José, Plaza Roble.
Playa Herradura, CC. Ocean Plaza.
7899-6/22/13

ONE STOP LAW OFFICES OF
MARIO VALVERDE BRENES
Attorney At Law – CPA

Mario Valverde
Everything you need to do and stay in business in Costa Rica. We'll incorporate you, take care of your immigration status, get your legal permits and licenses, keep your books and taxes and represent you in any legal process, either civil, commercial, criminal, tax, labor, family and torts.
 
We've been helping people like you since 1986.
 
Contact us at: (506) 2215-0001; (506) 8312-3087
Email: mario.valverde@ice.co.cr
7841-8/11/13



Accountants

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
8000-9/5/13

U.S. Income Tax
David G. Housman Attorney & C.P.A
.
in Costa Rica 32 years.
Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad, including all new passport and other
Goliath
I.R.S.  filling requirements foreign income tax exclusion (to $95,100 per year) for all back years. Taxpayers filling past-due tax returns before I.R.S. notice do not face criminal sanctions
• Associate of James Brohl
Phone: (506) 2239-2005 Fax 2239-2437

E mail: papahound@comcast.net
7667-10/17/12

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

Uncle Sam's
                                            hat
• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
95,100 in 2012}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting
• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
7410-4/1/13


missing men
These are the four men from Nepal

Canadian, four men from Nepal
sought for welfare checks

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Canadian mother is worried about her son, and judicial agents are
seeking four tourists from Nepal.

The Canadian is Kyle Scott Parker who planned on moving permanently to Costa Rica, according to a private investigator, Seth Derish, who is working on behalf of the family. 

Derish said that Parker last made an automatic teller withdrawal June 21.

"Have him call his mother or my local agent, John Spagnolo, at 8939-4589 to let us know he is okay," said Derish in an email Thursday. Parker was graduated as a heavy duty machine operator and mechanic at Fleming College in  Peterborough, Ontario,
Missing Canadian
Kyle Scott Parker
 according to the investigator, who is known to A.M. Costa Rica.

The Judicial Investigating Organization issued the bulletin on the four men from Nepal. They were identified by the agency as Devendrak Alise Devi Prasad Chamlagai, Narendra Kumar Dangi, Subas Karki and Feroz Chauhan. They were last seen at a hotel in San Jose's downtown, said the agency, which said information could be telephoned to 800-8000645 or emailed to cicooij@poder-judicial.go.cr. Both are confidential contacts.

cows
Ministerio de Gobernación. Policía y Seguridad Pública photo    
Fuerza Pública officer views his new charges, some of 44 cows and two horses, that were confiscated from men who are accused of bringing them into the country illegally from Nicaragua. The arrests were in San Vicente de Santa Cecilia, La Cruz.


Ministry pilots to bestow
honor on Virgin of the Angels


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Pilots from the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea and others in the security ministry will confer pilot's wings on the  Virgen de Los Ángeles July 31 at the basilica in Cartago, the ministry said Thursday. The presentation will take place at a special 6 p.m. Mass for police and related occupations.

With the heavenly connections maintained by the Virgin, the wings, a symbol of being a pilot, are totally symbolic. but some of the missions made by ministry pilots bring them in close contact with God, too. These are the pilots that perform hundreds of mercy missions every year, sometimes braving heavy rains and other dangerous conditions to pluck an injured or ailing child from the high Talamancas.

Pilots and other members of the ministry also have agreed to perform security duty at the basilica in Cartago during the various ceremonies Aug. 2, the last day of the annual pilgrimage.


Five persons detained
in  Sarapiquí home robbery


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers Thursday disclosed another series of arrests involving a violent home invasion. Three minors and two adults were the suspects.

The arrests took place at a police roadblock Sunday night in La Guaria, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. The target was the home of a local businessman. The bandits appear to have left the home in a hurry without taking items. Electronic equipment and other items were piled up in a hall. The Policía de Fronteras. was involved in the case.


Retired CIA official sought
by Italy reported arrested


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A retired CIA station chief, wanted in Italy for the forced abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect, has been detained in Panamá near the Costa Rican border.

The man is  Robert Seldon Lady, who was reported detained in a statement from the Italian justice ministry. Officials in Panamá said they had no informaiton.

The location of the arrest suggests that Lady may have been living in the area. He has been on the wanted list for nine years. He was the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Milan who was convicted in absentia for the 2003 kidnapping.

Italian news agencies quote police in Panama as saying Lady was taken into custody near the Panama-Costa Rica border. Italy has two months to request his extradition.
 
The U.S. government had not responded to the reports by late Thursday, and Panama security minister José Raúl Molino said in Panama City that he was not aware of the detention.
 
Lady and 22 other CIA agents were convicted in absentia in 2009 for the kidnapping of radical cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, better known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street. The cleric was later transferred to Egypt, where he was interrogated and allegedly tortured for information on his alleged links to terrorist organizations.
 
Abu Omar, suspected of recruiting militants to fight in Iraq, was released from Egyptian detention in 2007 without having been charged.
 
The trials of Lady and two other U.S. agents were the first convictions of U.S. intelligence operatives involved in a procedure known as extraordinary rendition. Under the procedure, U.S. agents secretly detained terrorism suspects abroad and transferred them to third countries for intensive interrogation.
 
Three other Americans indicted in the case were granted diplomatic immunity and acquitted in 2009. But earlier this year, a Milan court vacated the acquittals, convicted them in absentia and then sentenced two of them to six-year prison terms and the third to a seven-year term.
 
An Italian court found Italy's secret services also were complicit in the rendition, and a former Italian intelligence chief was sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this year.  A former deputy received a nine-year sentence, and three other officials got six years each.
 
Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper says the Italian government authorized an international arrest warrant for Lady in December. But it says warrants were not issued for other CIA operatives convicted in the case because their prison sentences did not meet the minimum for an extradition request.


Our readers' opinions
Prices of vacation lodgings
are the principal problem


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In the July 18 edition you tell your readers that the national tourism chamber was concerned about a 12 percent drop in occupancy and that the chamber "blamed the economy for the poor showing and said that fewer families can afford to take vacations." I contend that the chamber and its members better review their pricing policies.
 
A quick review of Bookings.com and Hotels.com as well as advertisements in La Nación show that a typical hotel night for two people is more than $100 with some (but very few) available for $60 to $80. A review of the newest figures for minimum wage shows that a university graduate, typical of the call center employee and indicative of the middle class in Costa Rica, must earn 468,630 colons or about $900 per month. Your unskilled laborer (say your gardener) only earns 8,618 colons or $16 per day. The university grad will spend more than 20 percent of the salary for a two-night stay at the beach plus all the other obvious costs while the unskilled laborer would pay seven days of earnings in the least expensive option for a bed for two nights.
 
Which national tourists can afford to stay in a hotel at these prices? If the real cost and reasonable profit expectations of these hotels merit their prices than all these owners need to abandon any hope for the local dollar.
K. Noel Montagano
San Pedro de Poas,


Coins and stamps sought
for his great grandson


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

My name is George Phillips, and I am an 84 year-old resident of Manitoba, Canada. As a young boy I had the privilege of collecting stamps and coins from around the world.

There was no Internet or mass media back then, and this was one of the ways that one discovered the world around them.

I would like to pass this down to my great-grandson Tristan Phillips, so he, too, may enjoy a hobby that was once popular but fading. Even at the age of 4, Tristan has shown interest in stamps and coins.

With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate it if you, the reader of this request, may find time to send Tristan some stamps and coins from your country so that I may assist him in the start of what may be a lifetime passion:

    Tristan Phillips
    c/o Great-Grandfather George Phillips
    Box 106
    Grosse Isle Manitoba
    ROC IGO Canada

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 142
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Despite short-term slowdown, economy here is on the upswing
By Mark Benson*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Earlier this month financial giant HSBC issued a raft of economic downgrades across Latin America. While these downgrades were perhaps unsurprising, considering the international situation, they are now starting to play out in countries such as Costa Rica which saw a reduction in the rate of economic growth between the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.

While it is too early to panic, there is a growing suspicion that outside forces may well have a short- to medium-term impact upon the overall Latin American economy.

An analysis of the news

Despite all the doom and gloom with regard to economic growth across Latin America, the Costa Rican economy still grew by 2.43 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.

When one looks at the performance of European and North American economies, growth of 2.43 percent in the first quarter is something which many governments can only dream about. So why are experts concerned?

The growth of 2.43 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compares with growth of 3.05 percent in the final quarter of 2012. Indeed the growth in the first quarter of 2013 is the lowest since the country emerged from recession in 2009, and some are concerned that this is the start of a worrying trend.

The recent HSBC review of Latin America suggests that regional growth will fall from 2.8 percent in 2012 to around 2.7 percent in 2013. This is primarily because of a slowdown in China, issues with commodity prices and a general opinion that domestic demand may be slowing somewhat across the region. It is more likely that there will be further downward revisions than any upward revision in the short- to medium-term, especially until problems within Europe and North America are resolved.

The two major barometers of the region, Brazil and Mexico, suffered from the HSBC downgrade to different extents. 
Brazilian growth is expected to come in at 2.4 percent for 2013 against earlier forecasts of 2.6 percent while Mexico is expected to be hit a little harder, falling from 3.2 percent to around 2.9 percent economic growth. In many ways the direction of these two economies is indicative of the region as a whole and perhaps offers the best insight into the short- to medium-term outlook.

While short-term economic expectations are falling in the region, the fact is that the long-term prospects are still very positive. It is easy to forget that controlled growth in these economies is still relatively new to the region, a region which has suffered from sky high inflation in the past. The ongoing economic boom is also putting money in the pockets of workers, and experts predict a large increase in the middle classes in the short, medium and longer term.

As more disposable income becomes available to the masses, this will feed into local demand which will encourage international investment and lead to further growth in employment, placing more money in the pockets of the masses. There are some experts who believe that only the surface of economic growth has been scratched across Latin America and while Costa Rica is under some pressure, the president still believes that growth in the region of 4 percent is still possible during 2013.

In many ways the gravity defying growth in economies across Latin America lasted far longer than many people expected when set against European and North American economic turmoil. A short-term reduction in economic growth was not wholly unexpected, and, indeed, once the European and North American issues are resolved, Latin America will be in a very strong position.

Costa Rica in its own right has enjoyed a strong economy since 2009, and while it is disappointing to see expectations of a short-term slowdown, the long-term position still looks very positive. This is also reflected in the ever-growing number of expats moving to Costa Rica, and Latin America on the whole, as they look to benefit from employment opportunities, financial stability, political stability and long-term economic growth.


* Provided by the Latin American Forum.


Despite all the electronic goodies, conversation is the key
At the meeting of my book club this week I gave a report on “The Life of Pi.”  I mentioned that there was a survivor’s manual in the lifeboat that had some valuable information for anyone caught in that situation or where survival was paramount.  One particular comment I found interesting and useful for all times. “Your body can be a hero in battle.”  I don’t much like the word battle, but then one can think in terms of the battle for life, for health for whatever.

Arriving at my apartment building after the meeting, I stepped out of the elevator on my floor right into a puddle of water I didn’t see until too late and my foot slipped out from under me.  My arms were crooked carrying things and both elbows were facing the floor.  I knew if I fell (which I was in the process of doing) I would land on my back and my left elbow.  That would be bad.  At that point, every muscle in my body seemed to come together to keep me upright, and instead pitched me against the wall to the left where I could regain my footing.  I got away, shaken and with two gashes in my arm, but no broken elbow or hurt back..  My body, my hero.

When my son was growing up, like some boys his growth came in a sudden burst when he was around 12.  Once in a conversation, probably about getting into fights, he told me not to worry because his legs were his secret weapon.  I asked for an explanation, thinking he must have learned some oriental fighting mode that I did not know. He said, “They’re long and fast, and I can outrun the other kids.”  I was relieved.

Assuming one is fit and not foolhardy, you should not underestimate the resources of your body.   Of course, that is not necessary in some places in the world -- you don’t have to rely on your wits or your body, you simply carry a gun and, if things get tough, you use it.

This has become a controversial issue, the resolution of which, will probably take years, if there is a resolution.

Meanwhile, there are other things in life – important things, like friends, and the gathering of friends enjoying good conversation around good food. (As an aside, I think the proliferation of talk shows on U.S. television is the result of the lack of meaningful conversation among people in person.  After all, how in depth can you get in 140-odd letter tweet or in a text message?)  I don’t know how to do either because there is something very special about actually seeing the person who is talking or even who is listening.  Add to that an absolutely delicious five-course dinner that includes fresh asparagus and it doesn’t get much better for me.

That happened one day this week, and on another day, I had dinner at a restaurant with two dear women friends.  We arrived at 12:30 and decided, sometime after 3, that we should
Butterfly in the City
 
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

Jo Stuart


dinner is served
A.M. Costa Rica/Jo Sturt           
Five courses that include fresh asparagus

leave because it was obvious the restaurant was closing for a breather for the workers between lunch and dinner.

My son recently said that he has read and heard that women talk more than men.  He lives in an apartment and the apartment next to his is occupied by two women.  He said he could not hear what they were saying, but he could hear that they were talking and they talked constantly when they were home from work, CONSTANTLY.  How could they possibly have that much to talk about to never stop!  I just laughed and assured him that finding what to talk about was not a problem for women.

Every woman I have told this to, also laughs.  Maybe that is what we all need is more talking to one another, not in a threatening way but because we are sincerely interested in what the other person is saying or because we have something to say.  Our voice boxes, after all, are part of our bodies.

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 142
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Heredia trio accused of cloning international credit cards for use here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial police say two men and a woman in Heredia are suspected of cloning credits cards of persons who live in Perú and Spain. The trio is suspected of using the cards here to run up some 30 million colons (about $60,000) in charges.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that technical information about the credit cards came from accomplices in those two countries. But the cards were created here.

There were three raids Thursday morning to make arrests. The two men are 29 and 40. the woman is 30. The arrests were in Santo Domingo and San Pablo de Heredia.

There are at least six complaints, and agents have been working on the case since February, the agency said.
The victims in such cases usually are the merchants who have stores where the cloned cards are used. Many credit card companies will absolve cardholders of payments when there is an obvious crime. Then they reverse the billing and leave the local merchant holding the bag.

A credit card can be cloned easily with small electronic devices. There have been arrests in the Central Valley of restaurant workers who would scan the cards of diners for later cloning.

Sometime the accomplices are workers in various store who run up hefty charges without worrying about identification.

There are networks in which the information from stolen credit cards is channeled to many crooks at the same time. Usually the cloning doe not become apparent to the cardholder until the monthly statement arrives, although card companies maintain fraud departments to spot unusually purchases.

 
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
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Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542, celigar53@gmail.com.
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1 bedroom with private bath. Rooms in large, 3.000 sq ft. historical mansion in heart of Barrio Amón.  Prices starting at $350. for long-term. Smoking ok in common areas. Includes electricity, water, commercial kitchen use, laundry, high-speed internet. 7078-6985. More info HERE!
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COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
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prime
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ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
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Attn: Bikers-Swimmers..House to Rent or to Share
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Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
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Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
Available now and please see the video!
http://youtu.be/7N5BThdct8s
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The sale price is $72,000 which is negotiable and includes the property lot of 26,000 sq, ft, for more houses. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at berosyyourlife@hotmail.com for more details. Thank you.
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Available now $650 a month
This small but new and clean American-built house is settled on an organic farm a 10-minute walk from the center of town in Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Taxis are $1 to town and buses run to
Organic farm
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completely furnished. Large windows overlook the valley and the gardens, There are large trees. Surrounded by fruit trees and vegetable gardens, it has a beautiful view of the valley. The kitchen comes fully equipped, with large refrigerator, gas stove and oven, all accessories. The bathroom has a large shower; both kitchen and bath have hot water. A brand new extra firm queen-size bed is included. A breakfast bar separates the living area and kitchen and a porch overlooks the farm and valley. This house is for one or two people only. $300 deposit required to be returned when renters leave house. Email for photos and questions. laurelfanderson@gmail.com
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Heredia rental
Beautiful mountain chalet  for rent
Beautiful mountain chalet surrounded by nature, built with tropical hardwoods and  located on a  5,000 m2  (54,000 sq feet) lot  with two other cottages.  House has basic furniture and  kitchen  appliances.  Ground floor:  Very large living/ dinning room, kitchen, office (or guest bedroom), and 1 bathroom . Upstairs:  2 bedrooms (one with a balcony), and 1 bathroom. 140 m2 approximately  Great BBQ rancho outside. Plenty space for visitor parking. Pets are welcome.  Quiet place, rural, restaurants close by. Near El Castillo Country Club, Tirol and La Condesa mountain hotels.  Only 45 minutes by car from San José.  All public services available  More information call Liseth.  Phone: (506) 7158-1548. Or send me a email:  licortes@hotmail.com
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COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
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Perez  Zeledon:   Large studio home overlooking river with deck.  Elegant, ceramic floors, nice cabinets, walk-in closet.  Beautiful gardens and grounds.  Secure. Private. Only  10 minutes
River view home
to San Isidro de El General. Mountain town with everything!  Then, 40 minutes to Playa Dominical, 40 minutes to Chirripó National Park, and also near many other attractions, yet very private and secluded.  Listen to river sounds and sleep like a baby.   
Rare birds in abundance. Includes,  One  double bed and refrigerator, stove, juicer, sofa, tables,  dishes, pans, etc.  Plus, electric, (hot) water   Phone, TV connected, Internet cable connected, garbage and gardener. All included for $425. /month.  Looking for one good person, reliable, long-term.    Non-smoker. jjpepman@hotmail.com
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Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at HPCattleCR@aol.com, or or for more information HERE! $850 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.
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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 
tropical
                                    homes
of Costa Rica. 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.
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Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.
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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 142
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Cafetales



Discovery of possible delta
may mean ancient seas on Mars


 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found evidence of an ancient delta where a Martian river may have once emptied into the ocean.

"Scientists have long hypothesized that the northern lowlands of Mars are a dried-up ocean bottom, but no one yet has found the smoking gun," says Mike Lamb, an assistant professor of geology and a coauthor of the paper describing the results. The paper was published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Scientists say the evidence is not extensive enough to prove the ocean existed, but note that most of Mars’ northern hemisphere is flat and at a lower elevation than the southern hemisphere. It is similar to ocean basins found on Earth.

Using images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Caltech scientists studied a 100-square-kilometer area on what might have been the former coastline. This area is located in a larger zone known as Aeolis Dorsa, which is covered in ridge-like features called inverted channels.

On Earth, inverted channels are the remnants of rivers or streams. After the river dries, silt and other finer materials erode away, leaving the larger rocks behind.

In the images analyzed by Caltech scientists, the inverted channels on Mars appear to fan out, which the scientists say could have been caused by three things: The channels could have been a drainage system down a mountain where they converged and created a larger river; it could have been caused by an alluvial water drainage fan; or the channels could be part of a river delta.

To determine which scenario they were looking at on Mars, scientists took pictures of the area from different points in the satellite’s orbit, creating stereo images. The camera on the orbiter can distinguish changes in elevation at a resolution of one meter.

They determined that the water that once flowed through the channels was spreading out rather than converging, meaning they were part of an alluvial fan or delta. Researchers also noticed an “an abrupt increase in slope of the sedimentary beds near the downstream end of the channels,” which is commonly seen when a stream empties into a large body of water.

Deltas have been observed on Mars before, but most are inside a geological boundary like a crater. The newly discovered delta showed no confining boundary.

"This is probably one of the most convincing pieces of evidence of a delta in an unconfined region — and a delta points to the existence of a large body of water in the northern hemisphere of Mars," said Roman DiBiase, a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech and lead author of the paper.

But scientists are quick to point out that there could be other explanations. For example, there could have been a confining boundary that later disappeared due to geological activity, but that would lead to the conclusion that the Martian surface was more geologically active than previously thought.

Further analysis of the hypothetical coastline will be needed before determining if there was a large ocean.

"In our work and that of others — including the Curiosity rover — scientists are finding a rich sedimentary record on Mars that is revealing its past environments, which include rain, flowing water, rivers, deltas, and potentially oceans," Lamb said. "Both the ancient environments on Mars and the planet's sedimentary archive of these environments are turning out to be surprisingly Earth-like."

 
Detroit, home of motor car,
opts for bankruptcy court


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Detroit, Michigan filed for bankruptcy in U.S. federal court Thursday, making it the largest municipality in U.S. history to seek Chapter 9 protection. The filing is the latest move that comes after years of population decline and decreasing tax revenues in a city plagued by corruption and financial mismanagement.
 
The decision to seek bankruptcy protection comes as Detroit finds itself under the direction of a state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.  He is trying to address an annual budget deficit of more than $300 million, and long-term debt that has soared to $20 billion.
 
But Michigan State University professor Eric Scorsone says Detroit’s path to bankruptcy did not occur overnight.
 
“It was a one-industry city. Unlike Chicago, New York and other cities that had economic diversity, Detroit really didn’t.  It had the auto industry. It had suppliers to the auto industry, and so as those went away, the city began a very long decline that’s really occurred over 50 years essentially,” says Scorsone.
 
At Detroit’s peak in the early 1950s, the population was at 1.8 million residents.  By 2010, it was down to around 700,000, with people fleeing the city amid racial tensions and declining job opportunities.
 
Wayne State University urban planning professor Robin Boyle says most of Detroit’s residents moved to the suburbs, or left the state altogether.
 
“They have so little disposable income to reinvest in their communities, that if they have money they leave, they go to the suburbs or they go to find work elsewhere, putting us into this vicious cycle that drives us further and further down. How you break that is the challenge in Detroit,” says Boyle.
 
In just the last decade, a bad situation in Detroit worsened as the industry that gave it the nickname “The Motor City” found itself in the worst financial shape since the Great Depression. The problem was triggered by slowing auto sales, amid declining home values and stricter lending practices, something Scorsone says hit Michigan harder than most places.
 
“I think what really happened in the last 10 years though, Michigan went through a very significant 10-year recession, really unlike the country as a whole, and that’s when elected officials should have been responding and really didn’t,” says Scorsone.
 
Detroit’s elected mayor at that time, Kwame Kilpatrick, became embroiled in a corruption scandal that forced him from office and ultimately landed him in jail, a distraction that added to Detroit’s mounting financial woes.
 
But Scorsone says Kilpatrick is not solely to blame for the city’s current financial issues.
 
“Any city in this situation, no matter how good the elected officials and the managers were, would have had a very difficult time. So to be fair, I think it’s both. I think it’s a combination of both mismanagement and economic decline. It’s hard to say what proportion of each, but they’re both there,” says Scorsone.
 
Wayne State University’s Robin Boyle says amid Detroit’s economic mess are signs of hope in a downtown area now known more for its urban blight than thriving city life.
 
“General Motors moved down there. The downtown is beginning to see revitalization through the activities of one or two property investors, so that has strength,” says Boyle.
 
Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing begins a one- to three-month period of review by a federal judge. If the process moves forward, it could be several years before Detroit officially emerges from bankruptcy.


North Korea continues rhetoric
as Panamå seeks U.N. help


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

North Korea is demanding Panamá return its ship and release the crew it detained after concealed weapons from Cuba were found on board. Pyongyang and Havana claim the weapons are for repair and return to Cuba but experts are investigating whether the two violated United Nations sanctions against North Korea weapons deals. 
 
North Korea's official Korea Central News Agency accuses Panamá of rashly attacking the captain and crew of its ship, the "Chong Chon Gang."
 
Panamanian authorities say they seized the vessel this week on suspicions it was smuggling narcotics after leaving Havana.  But, when they searched the ship, they found what appeared to be Soviet-era military weapons hidden under hundreds of bags of sugar.
 
KCNA quoted an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman late Wednesday admitting the ship carried a cargo of what he called aging weapons.  But the spokesman said it was part of a legitimate contract for overhauling weapons, for return to Cuba, and accused Panamanian investigators of taking issue with the shipment to justify what he called their violent action.
 
Panama authorities, however, say it was the 35-man North Korean crew that rioted to try and stop investigation of the ship. They say the captain attempted to commit suicide. Authorities have said the crew remains uncooperative with investigators and could face criminal charges.
 
Shin In-kyun, head of the Korea Defense Network, a private research group in Seoul, says Cuba argues the weapons were for repair but, if they are for repair, it did not need to hide the container underneath the cargo and cover it with sugar.  It looks like the weapons were hidden.  In this situation, he says, it appears that Cuba illegally exported weapons to North Korea, but it is up to the United States and United Nations to provide evidence.
 
United Nations sanctions outlaw any country from trading weapons with North Korea except light arms.
 
Panamá has called in U.S., European and U.N. investigators to inspect the seized cargo.
 
Panamanian authorities say regardless of any contract between North Korea and Cuba, the weapons were undeclared and therefore illegal.
 
Cuba's Foreign Ministry issued an earlier, detailed statement admitting the ship carried 240 metric tons of weaponry. 
 
It said the cargo included anti-aircraft missile systems, nine missiles “in parts and spares,” two Mig-21 airplanes and 15 spare plane engines.
 
Defense analyst Shin In-kyun says if investigators conclude North Korea was actually buying weapons from Cuba, stronger action may be called for and not only against Pyongyang.
 
He says the U.N. sanctions are against any country that exports weapons to North Korea.  The United States and other leading countries in Europe support this regulation.  He says if Cuba is found to have exported missile parts to North Korea, then sanctions could also be imposed against Cuba.
 
The U.N. sanctions were imposed on North Korea for its illicit nuclear weapons programs.  In February Pyongyang tested its third, and largest, nuclear device.
 
Shin In-kyun says along with Cuba, North Korea also trades with some countries in the Middle East, such as Syria and Iran for military hardware. 
 
This latest case, he says, will only strengthen the inspection of North Korean ships.


Texas governor signs bill
restricting abortion in state


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed new abortion restrictions that could shutter most of the clinics in the state.
 
The new law bans abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy and dictates when abortion-inducing drugs can be taken. But it also requires abortion clinic doctors to have hospital admitting privileges and restricts abortions to surgical centers. Only five of 42 abortion clinics in the state currently meet the new requirements.

The law will take effect in October and clinics will have a year to upgrade their facilities.
 
As he signed the law Thursday, Perry said it would improve the quality of care women receive, ensuring procedures are performed in clean, sanitary and safe conditions, by capable personnel." He said it "builds upon our commitment to protecting life.''

Critics view the law as over-regulation intended to make abortions harder to obtain. Federal judges have blocked enforcement of similar measures in other states, questioning their constitutionality. Opponents are expected to file similar suits in Texas.
 
A small band of protesters dressed in black and holding a sign that read, "Shame'' marched outside the governor's office. The legislation had sparked weeks of protests at the Texas State Capitol.


McCain says immigration bill
faces a difficult, uphill fight


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Sen. John McCain admitted Thursday that he and other backers of immigration reform are not winning, and must boost efforts to get the House of Representatives to pass such a bill.
 
McCain said proponents, who include businesses, churches and labor, will wage an aggressive campaign in selective congressional districts next month to make the case for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.
 
“Here is a fact: We are not winning,” the Arizona Republican told reporters. “So we have to wage a campaign. That doesn't mean a negative campaign. It means a positive campaign.”
 
“You need to respond to things that are said. You need to build support. You need to network,” McCain said.
 
The Democratic-led Senate last month overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill crafted by McCain and seven of his colleagues, but it was declared dead on arrival in the Republican-led House.
 
Most of the opposition to the White House-backed bill is over a provision that would provide a pathway to citizenship for up to 11 million illegal immigrants now in the United States.
 
Backers say the pathway would draw undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and make them productive and tax-paying members of the American way of life, improving the U.S. economy.
 
Critics argue that the pathway would amount to amnesty, and attract more illegal immigrants into the country.

McCain and two fellow co-authors of the Senate bill, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, recently met with tech giants, including Google, Intel and Microsoft, to discuss the campaign for immigration reform, aides said.
 
They plan to target more than 100 House Republicans who are seen as at least open to the possibility of voting for immigration reform, which would help provide business with needed high- and low-skilled workers, aides said.
 
“There are many members of the House who don't want to take up any bill at all,” said McCain.
 
McCain and others initially predicted that if the Senate passed an immigration bill with strong bipartisan support, it would pressure the House to consider it.

The comprehensive bill passed 68-32, but House Republican leaders have refused to even bring it up. Backers are now hoping that the House simply passes a limited bill.
 
That would trigger a House-Senate conference where negotiators could try to combine the two measures into a single new piece of legislation.
 
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, another co-author of the Senate bill, said, “I wouldn't say we are losing. But when you have a battle, you are constantly engaged.”
 
Menendez said even though Congress will be on recess in August, it will be a pivotal month for immigration reform.
 
“We need the entire universe of people who care about immigration reform to be active next month,” Menendez said. “If we do that, we will be well positioned for the fall in the House. If we don't, we will run a risk.”
 
Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, a leading foe of the Senate bill, dismissed the effort as an act of desperation.
 
“The problems with the Senate bill can't be fixed with new TV ads,” he said.

Thursday, more than 90 Catholic college presidents sent letters to all Catholic House members, including Speaker John Boehner, urging them to support a comprehensive immigration bill.
 
“We hope that as you face intense political pressure from powerful interest groups, you will draw wisdom and moral courage from our shared faith tradition. Catholic teaching values the human dignity and worth of all immigrants, regardless of legal status. We remind you that no human being made in the image of God is illegal,” they wrote.
 
In a telephone conference with reporters, University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins was asked about other actions the university presidents would take to get House members to pass an immigration bill.
 
“We thought about revoking their degrees,” Jenkins joked before admitting, “We don't have a lot of authority over them.”
 
Catholic organizations are planning radio ads, telephone town halls with local Catholic leaders, newspaper op-eds and other events to rally support.
 
Boehner, at his weekly news conference, stood firm on his position that the House would pass common-sense legislation.
 
“Americans expect, as a nation of laws, that we'll enforce them starting at the border,” Boehner said. “They expect that no one who broke our laws will get special treatment.

 
Currency restrictions hamper
Argentine youths' papal trips

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Not even an Argentine pope's planned return to South America has inspired the government to loosen strict currency controls for prospective pilgrims trying to see Pope Francis in neighboring Brazil next week.
 
Thousands of young people, many of modest economic means, plan to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Catholic Church's World Day of Youth to greet the Argentine native on his first trip abroad as head of the church when he arrives on Monday.
 
But restrictions on exchanging pesos for Brazilian reais have complicated their plans and many here say the rules should have been eased for the occasion.
 
"The government isn't being reasonable," Buenos Aires-based Bishop Raúl Martín said. "Obviously many Argentines were going to go to Brazil for this."
 
Martin said some 18,000 youth have officially registered for the event in Rio, where many will sleep in schools sponsored by religious organizations and do mission work. He reported receiving daily phone calls from people with problems changing money.
 
Local media estimates some 42,000 Argentines will attend.
 
Before traveling abroad, Argentines must apply for permission to exchange pesos with tax regulators. They are asked details of their travel plans and must present documents, including details of their salaries, to authorities.
 
The problem is that many traveling to the World Day of Youth are too young to work, said Martin, and are being denied reais because they have no proof of salary. Taking money out of an ATM machine with a credit card, previously the option of last resort, is no longer feasible in Brazil as Argentine withdrawals are restricted in countries that share a border with Argentina.
 
Argentina's leftist President Cristina Fernández slapped new controls on foreign currency purchases just after winning re-election in October 2011, to try to stop capital outflows.
 
Difficulty exchanging money has pushed many Argentines to the black market in search of dollars, and currency venders line the streets of major cities whispering change to passing pedestrians.
 
Church leaders, however, do not want to encourage illegal activity and are simply requesting information from the government on how young people can legally obtain a limited amount of Brazilian currency, Martin said.
 
A spokesman for Argentina's central bank said existing regulations allow religious institutions to exchange money directly with the bank, though individuals traveling to see the pope on their own must apply with tax regulators as usual.
 
Martin shunned the option of involving churches in currency exchanges.
 
"It seems ridiculous to require young people to go to a priest in order to exchange a small amount of money to go to a brother nation for a youth fair," he said.


U.S. stock markets hit records
over earnings and joblessness


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Dow and the S&P 500 hit record highs during Thursday's trading day and at the close. Investors were cheered by some strong corporate earnings reports, encouraging data on the job market, and reassurances from the head of the U.S. central bank.
 
A Labor Department report showed the number of Americans signing up for unemployment assistance dropped to its lowest level in two months. Jobless claims fell 24,000 to a nationwide total of 334,000.
 
Economists use unemployment insurance claims to track layoffs, and they say declining claims mean a strengthening job market.
 
Wednesday and Thursday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that efforts to stimulate the economy will continue until improved growth shows they are no longer needed. That may mean that the Fed's program of buying billions of dollars in securities each month will not be cut back until later this year, and very low short-term interest rates could stay in place until sometime next yea


New king in Belgium facing
dividing, unhappy country

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The monarchy, along with soccer and beer, is viewed as one of the rare things that unify linguistically divided Belgium and when Prince Philippe becomes its new king Sunday he will try to prove this is still so.

The early signs are that he has work to do. In a poll conducted by the private TV stations VTM and RTL, just under half of all Flemish respondents believed Philippe would be a good king, compared to two-thirds of respondents in Wallonia.

The political bickering between French-speaking Wallonia in the south and Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north extended into the debate about the future monarch even before King Albert II announced his plan to abdicate two weeks ago.

Far-right Flemish separatists Vlaams Belang will not attend Sunday's coronation ceremony. The more moderate Flemish separatist party N-VA will be represented, but not by its figurehead Bart De Wever, the mayor of Antwerp.

“The idea that we need a fundamentally undemocratic institution such as the monarch to ensure political stability in this country, which I doubt, tells you more about this country than about the monarchy,” De Wever wrote in an open letter to the prince in May.

In the neighboring Netherlands, the monarch no longer has a role in politics.

In Belgium, although the institution is largely ceremonial, laws need the king's signature to come into force and, after an election, he appoints mediators to aid the formation of a  governing coalition, typically a protracted process.

Philippe drew criticism when he entered the political debate in 2004, accusing Vlaams Belang of trying to rip Belgium apart.

“I can assure you that such people will have me to deal with,” he told Story magazine in an interview at the time.

N-VA calls for the monarch's role to be purely ceremonial, while the French-speaking parties, including the Socialists of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, oppose this.

“It's not always clear whether it is a fundamental debate about a republic versus a monarchy or whether it's about Flanders versus Belgium. I think it's the latter,” said Dave Sinardet, politics lecturer at the universities of Antwerp and Brussels.

Flemish critics view the 53-year-old Philippe as a French-speaking outsider. He is far less comfortable speaking Dutch than French, although he went to a Dutch-language secondary school after primary education in French.

Winning hearts and minds of the people, as newly crowned Willem Alexander has done in the Netherlands, may also depend on whether Philippe can soften his reserved image.

His wife Mathilde, who is often seen at public events involving children and appears more outgoing than her husband, proved more popular in the opinion poll by VTM and RTL.







 
Real estate-related services (paid category)


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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8016-9/10/13

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.
7949-11/15/13

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
7922-10/15/13

The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica real estate
Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email: info@costaricarealestate.com
7721-4/29/13



Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia estate
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
Sarchi home
Modern three-bedroon home in San Rafael de Sarchí. Cick HERE!
 Great deals for you!
SEE OUR OFFERS HERE
Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com
 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8538-6186
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
7685-2/7/12
Bargain

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Naranjo views

NARANJO VIEW PROPERTY READY TO BUILD: ALL PERMISSIONS

4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone
Email monicacal@mac.com
8034-8/19/13

Playa Palo Seco - Gorgeous beachfront 2-story home of roughly 2,000 square feet set on a half acre ocean front full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco.
Playa Paol Seco
This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is only minutes from  the tourist hot spot Jacó but far enough away to be quiet and tranquil. This is an incredible opportunity at $150,000! Owner financing is available! Visit Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8033-8/19/13

El Castillo - Up to 60-acre tract with breathtaking views of Volcán Arenal and Lake
Catillo
Arenal are available. Multiple GORGEOUS home building sites are scattered throughout this area. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of land that cannot be replicated. Perfectly suited for either real estate investment, homebuilding, or even a resort. Owner financing  is available! Please visit us at Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8032-8/19/13

San Ramon - Beautiful tracts of land of all shapes and sizes for sale in the San Ramón
San Ramon
area. Vista Rica Realty has been in the business for over 20 years which allows us to outcompete in not only selection, but also price. Oceanview homesites from only $30,000 with easy access to San Ramón. Up to 90-hectare fincas perfect for raising cattle or an off-the-grid project. Owner financing is available! Please visit us at Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8031-8/19/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Monte Mar
Hacienda Monte Mar
Gated Community near the beach
located halfway between Jaco and Quepos/Manuel Antonio
 BEST DEAL in Costa Rica!!! Lots starting at just $18,500 with financing available.
 Lot/ House packages from around $60,000
Great Retirement, Vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers on site,
security and lawn maintenance, no time limit to build. Absentee Owner Friendly.
Water and power on site.
http://www.haciendamontemar.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
7928-8/9/13


Puriscal home
$71,000 SUPER Central Valley view home for you to finish
2 bedrooms, 2 baths, on 2,200 M2 lot with creek on one side. This is another "live in the view" home ready to finish out including appliances, solar water heater, PEX water distribution, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, radiant energy barrier, and tempered, bronzed, reflective windows for an additional $59,000. So total for lot and beautifully finished home is under $130,000. This home is within 7 minutes of Santiago de Puriscal at elevation of 3,200 feet on new concrete public road.
Please contact: email
george@glundquist.com  or call 2417-1041 or 8888-4543.
8012-8/8/13

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....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8010-7/28/13

Heredia land
San Rafael, Heredia, great opportunity, 17,000m2 land for development,
US$600,000 or best offer.  email: celigar53@gmail.com or call 8385-2542.
8008-7/24/13

music studio
Musicians dream!!!
Two-story house, 2,400 sq. ft. (223 sq. mt.) total with covered porches, 2-car covered parking, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, open kitchen/living room, bodega, laundry room, upstairs sala. Separate 320-sq. ft. (29 sq. mt.) music studio that could be used as an art studio, workshop, or additional bedroom. Studio has a patio on top, partially covered with ozonated hot tub. Mature citrus trees, avocado, mango, pineapples, bananas, and many colorful flowers. Completely fenced, security system, Internet, cable TV, automatic gates, one-car additional secured gravel parking. Double lot, 7,320 sq ft (680 sq mt). Backs up to a large cafetal and looks up to Natural Reserve Madre Verde. Located in La Granja, Residencia Palma Real, Palmares, Alajuela. Walking distance to town, 5 minutes to pista, 35 minutes to airport, and close to bus service. Comes with kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, bed set in master bedroom, shoe cabinet just inside front door. Other furnishings negotiable. More pictures available upon request. House and property are in a corporation. $208,000. terrycr2007@gmail.com
7998-74/13

Grecaiproperty
Private Gated Paradise in Grecia 3/2 home with guest apartment, 5000m2 land. $99k-/best cash offer! River access, costaricariver@yahoo.com, Phone: (506)2495-0487.
7953-7/10/13

Flamingo
                            view
Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.
7986-8/6/13

Casa de Eden
For sale by owner Playa Conchal home. Reduced $329,000

Casa de Eden is an ocean view three-bedroom, 2.5-bath, with outdoor shower, private pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure community surrounded by nature but still only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport. There is 2,600 square feet under the roof, which includes a large outdoor terrace and has phone, Internet & satellite TV. The home boasts luxury finishings: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile.  Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
www.puntaplayavistas.com
7982-6/30/13

San Pedro condo
Condo for Sale in Flor del Este
Lourdes, Montes de Oca San Jose

Located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada 500 meters north of Inglesia Lourdes. U Latina, UCR, and U Fieditas are located within 5 minutes.  Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. Condo is a 3-story. Three/four-bedroom, three and half bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with only one entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. In addition, to security fencing, and electric wire, a recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house. Residence has a telephone communication system to contact the guard house. In addition there is a green park area inside the complex for children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Equipped with an independent wired security system in addition to iron bars on windows and patio doors. Equipped with circuit breaker box and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Also has water storage tank under parking area and water pump to maintain high pressure on all three floors. American-style washer and electric dryer, Refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. $185,000. Other furniture items may be available for purchase.
Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987
U.S. Phone:  6630-886-4458  or   (305) 848- 5577
Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799 4041
Email:  sjogringo@yahoo.com
7973-8/23/13

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website WendyLovesCostaRica.com. All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email Wendy@WendyLovesCostaRica.com.
7971-6/23/13

Rich Coast Montage
RichCoastRealty.com
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate, from Jaco to Quepos/Manuel Antonio
- 2 Bedroom House in Gated Community near the beach, $89,000!!
 - Beachfront Residential Lots from $58,000
- Coffee Shop/ Bakery, Coastal Town, Great Location, Real Estate Office Upstairs, Turnkey $85,000 Great ROI
- Lots in Gated Community near the beach from $18,500,
with Financing Available!!
- 3 Bedroom House in Gated Community, furnished, walk to the beach, $120k
 1.25 acre + lots in ECO Development $39,000
- 58-acre Oceanview Property subdividable, $169k
and much more....
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
7972-8/9/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
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:
7967-7/17/13

Playa Octal home
Playa Ocotal Beach Home
This home is located in a residential resort complex made up of 40 luxurious, fully furnished beachfront villas, plus a clubhouse complete with poolside bar and restaurant. Bahía Pez Vela is located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, one kilometer from Playa Ocotal on the North Pacific coast and just 30 minutes drive from Liberia International Airport and three miles to downtown Playas Del Coco. From this home you can hear and see the waves crashing on the rocks of this pristine beach. See it HERE! This is the best priced beach home in Costa Rica! Price $225,000   Contact: Bruce Hummel Bruce@bh-cr.com, www.bh-cr.com - Cell Phone: 011 (506) 8819-2119, From US/Canada: (816) 987-7166.
7965-6/16/13

hree peanel montage
This dream Costa Rica beach house overlooking Carara National Park and the Pacific has been rented continuously for two years. D.C. owners are on site at the house in May and prepping for June 1 Move in and/or vacation rentals and have an unbelievable offer. Already listed way under value, $150,000 Cash or $199,500 with owner financing through May 30th. Note: This was the owner's (14 year residents of Costa Rica) dream home before their relocation to Washington, D.C., Your own salt water Infinity pool, expansive sala and balcony, views from every room. Each room is individually air-conditioned, ceramic tiles, cathedral ceiling; three bedrooms in an international community. Scarlet macaws fly by your veranda each evening.
zen/natural contemporary design ideal for your location overlooking Costa Rica's biological corridor. 50 minutes from San José, minutes from beaches/20 minutes from Jacó Beach. Tour this property online first at www.dreamincostarica.com and if interested contact Barry in Costa Rica through May 30th for a tour. In Costa Rica: 8701-5639 or call Rosemary in the U.S. 239-910-3354. Note: On June 1 the price of this property will increase to over $200,000 after equipping, painting and acceptance of rental income. Don't wait!
7958-6/2/13

La Garita
                                  home
This home was built by a California contractor with all the amenities expected in a 3,000-square foot home.  There is a little less than one acre of land.  There is an 800-square foot shop easily converted to a rental unit or studio.  Located in La Garita de Atenas, 15 minutes to the international airport and 30 minutes to San José.  $225,000. 2487-4500.
xxxx-xxxxx

Arenal Colonial
Property for sale, great potential income
Turnkey business $350K. Rental $1,250/month This luxury home (4,000 square feet and two story private home) is a botanical paradise overlooking beautiful Lake Arenal. Only one block from the lake park and boat ramp. Close to Tabacón hot springs and Monteverde cloud forest. Caño Negro national park and many beautiful beaches along the Pacific are only a short drive away. Costa Rica bird watching, wind surfing, fishing, water sports, ecotourism adventures, hiking, tennis and mountain biking are out your front door. Also has a wonderful view of the Arenal Volcano, a safe 25 miles away. Electric gated entrance. Safe private home and entire property. To see more pictures and info, click here: http://www.intertica.com/homes/roy.htm
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=wKaNmrNyyZtXGg
7933-7/22/13

Jacó compound
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 bath 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment. one bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom,  gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500 square-meter garden with aviary for Guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4 meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2 meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture, included even a car. Owner financing available. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. More photos on request. http://www.intertica.com/ocean/wolfgang.htm
7929-7/18/13

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1060.html
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891
7766-6/17/13

Real estate services
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11


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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Singing reported to be best
in learning a new language


By the  Springer Science news staff

Singing in a foreign language can significantly improve learning how to speak it, according to a new study published in Springer's journal Memory & Cognition. Adults who listened to short Hungarian phrases and then sang them back performed better than those who spoke the phrases, researchers at the University of Edinburgh's Reid School of Music found. People who sang the phrases back also fared better than those who repeated the phrases by speaking them rhythmically.

Three randomly assigned groups of 20 adults took part in a series of five tests. The singing group performed the best in four of the five tests.

In one test, participants who learned through singing performed twice as well as participants who learned by speaking the phrases. Those who learned by singing were also able to recall the Hungarian phrases with greater accuracy in the longer term.

Hungarian was chosen because it is unfamiliar to most English speakers and a difficult language to master, with a completely different structure and sound system to the Germanic or Romance languages, such as Spanish and French.

Karen M. Ludke, who conducted the research as part of her doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, said: "This study provides the first experimental evidence that a listen-and-repeat singing method can support foreign language learning, and opens the door for future research in this area. One question is whether melody could provide an extra cue to jog people's memory, helping them recall foreign words and phrases more easily."


Six colombians are detained
in  murder of DEA agent


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department says six Colombian nationals have been indicted by a federal grand jury for the kidnapping and murder of an American drug enforcement agent last month in Bogota.
 
James Watson died after being stabbed in a taxi in Bogota June 20.
 
U.S. prosecutors say the defendants, who all are under arrest in Colombia, ran an organized robbery gang that used taxis to lure victims they thought were wealthy.
 
The six were charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to kidnap. A seventh Colombian was charged with trying to destroy evidence associated with the murder.
 
A Justice Department official declined comment on the question of extraditing the seven defendants to the U.S.

 
Caribbean Forun provides informayion on energy

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Worldwatch Institute is assisting the Caribbean Community in developing a Caribbean sustainable energy roadmap and Strategy to provide a more strategic approach to implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in the region.

The overall goals are to address the inadequate energy security of most Caribbean Community member states and to establish them as climate-compatible economies through greater diversification of the energy supply away from heavy dependence on imported petroleum products and toward smarter, more-sustainable energy technologies, Worldwatch said.

 Thursday, Caribbean officials hosted a forum, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank and the government of Germany, in Christ Church, Barbados. The aim of the forum, which included participation from Worldwatch, was to share information and to garner funding support, technical assistance, and commitments toward further development of identified initiatives, programs, and projects, the organization said.

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From Page 7


Aegis says it will hire 650 persons here

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Aegis Limited, a global outsourcing and technology services company, said Thursday that it will be creating more than 5,000 jobs over the next four months and that 650 of them will be in San José.

The jobs here are called customer service representatives and technical support analysts, said the firm.

Hiring will take place over the next four months in support of health care clients, the firm said. Responsibilities of these positions will include presenting the options available to consumers so that they can make informed decisions regarding their health care, it added. Bilingual English and Spanish speakers as well as individuals fluent in Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean are encouraged to apply, the company said, adding that these are temporary as well as permanent positions. Applications are being accepted via the company’s Web site www.aegiscareersusa.com or directly at tcompany offices.

The company has its American headquarters in Irving, Texas. The firm operates as Aegis Communications Group, Inc., here with offices in the  Aegis Free Zone Tower, Rohrmoser.

The company said it plans to hire 5,000 persons over the next four months. Hiring also will be at seven location sin the United States.

"When we joined the Jobs4america Coalition two years ago, we pledged to hire more than 4,000 workers in the U.S. over the next two years, and we are proud to report that we have accomplished that goal and more," said Sandip Sen, Global CEO of Aegis. "In addition to creating these jobs, we are creating opportunities at many levels in our organization.”

Aegis is part of the $39 billion Essar Group.