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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 149                     Email us
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Palestine conflict follows Ban to his vacation here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

Ban Ki-moon may be coming to Costa Rica today, but he cannot leave the world's troubles behind.

Supporters of Palestine said they would protest this morning starting at the Fuente de Hispanidad in San Pedro to make Ban, the secretary general of the United Nations, know that "Costa Rica repudiates the massacre that Israel brought against the people of Gaza Palestine."

The announcement came in the name of the Red de Solidaridad con Palestina, described as comprised of different organizations.

Afterwards the protesters will go east to the Interamerican Court of Human Rights where Ban is expected to meet with judges.

The group also said it would protest outside the state dinner tonight that is being offered in Ban's honor by the central government. Organizations involved include Juvenil Socialista CR and the Partido Obrero Socialista, according to the announcement, which went out via the email system of the Centro Amigos para la Paz.

In the past, protests by the various socialist factions have not mustered many participants.

This does seem an unusual time for Ban and his wife to vacation in Costa Rica. His exact agenda here after today is not known.

The U.N. Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

In New York Tuesday, Ban was quoted by the international press as deploring what he said was a lack of resolve among all parties.

“It's a matter of their political will. They have to show their humanity as leaders, both Israeli and Palestinian,” he told reporters, the news services said.

Israel's military stepped up its bombardment of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country should be
prepared for a long conflict in the Palestinian enclave, quashing any hopes of a swift end to the conflict.

Palestinian health officials say Israeli warplanes and tanks killed at least 100 people Tuesday in the most widespread attacks since fighting began three weeks ago. The Palestinian death toll has climbed to more than 1,100, mainly civilians.

Israel has lost 53 soldiers, two Israeli civilians and a Thai worker since launching its offensive July 8 in response to continued rocket attacks from Hamas and its allies.

Israeli tank fire hit the fuel depot of the Gaza Strip's only power plant Tuesday, witnesses said, cutting electricity to Gaza City and many other parts of the Palestinian enclave of 1.8 million people. Electricity already had been limited to several hours a day.

Ominously, the reclusive Hamas military commander, Mohammad Deif appeared on Palestinian media Tuesday to reject any cease-fire with Israel until the group's demands are met. Hamas wants Israel to end its blockade of Gaza.

The pro-Tel Aviv Israel Project was more descriptive. It said the pre-recorded segment, broadcast over Hamas's official television station, had Deif bragging that Hamas had defeated the Israeli Defense Forces, and more specifically that "the balance of power has changed. We have beaten the military. It is defeated." Deif also boasted that fighters organized by Hamas were ready to continue attacking Israeli positions, boasting that "the IDF stands before united factions and soldiers who yearn for death."

The Israelis for their part have emphasized that they will continue operating inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip until they have successfully neutralized the organization's offensive tunnels, which snake from Gaza Strip civilian infrastructure to within a few dozen meters of Israeli border communities, the Israel Project said.

Israel also is targeting the Hamas rocket arsenal. Any effort to erode those assets will be complicated by the degree to which Hamas has embedded them in civilian infrastructure, including schools, it said.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 149

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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.

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
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Search continues round the clock in Osa 

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Authorities continue the 24-hour search for the lost American, 27-year-old Roman Dial Jr., who they say has not been seen since July 22. He is presumed to be in the lush jungle of Parque Nacional Corcovado because he emailed his father, a National Geographic explorer, that he would be entering the park to kayak.

Marlon Guitiérrez Matarrita, the chief of police in Puerto Jiménez, said Tuesday afternoon that his search team worked through the early morning and would be on break until resuming its efforts again today. Another group of officers and Cruz Roja workers were taking the night shift to continue the search.

Guitiérrez said a team of officers continues to camp out in the rugged mountains of Corcovado and overhead helicopter searches are planned again for today. He added that the missing man's father, Roman Dial, Sr., is still in Costa Rica helping officers and that he has been their biggest source of information up to this point.

No scraps of evidence that could point searchers towards the younger Dial's location have yet been found, Guitiérrez said.

Over the weekend Red Cross confirmed that Dial was in the El Tigre sector near the park on July 22, after a local taxi driver claimed to have recognized his picture. They also found out that he had checked out of a Puerto Jiménez hotel July 18, according to search organizer Gilberth Dondi.

The park is on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica. The Dials are from Anchorage, Alaska.

President prepares his 100-day report

By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Luis Guillermo Solís' presidency will hit the 100 day mark in mid-August, and Costa Rica's head of state will make a report on his administration's progress.

At his weekly press conference Tuesday, Solís said the review is about 95 percent complete and that he has asked to present it to legislators at the Asamblea Legislativa as early as Aug. 18. The report consists of individual updates from each Costa Rican ministry and public institution.

In terms of immediate improvements left to be made, Solís mentioned that he wants to shut down the country's roadway agency, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, but that he must first meet with officials from the parent Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

Tuesday Solís, alongside the minister of Presidencia, Melvin Jiménez, also announced a long agenda planned for the Asamblea Legislativa. According to the nation's Constitution, the president can set the agenda for certain periods when the assembly is called to meet.

Topics that the president plans to discuss with legislators include social security, poverty reduction, agriculture, energy usage, education, and the environment, among others.

“These projects reflect a viewpoint shared with other political forces and sectors that understand the urgency of moving forward with a shared agenda that fulfills the needs of Costa Ricans,” Solís said.

Jiménez said that after hearing citizens' perspectives, the government considers these projects to be of extreme importance. He and the president are pressing these documented issues on to policy makers for immediate legal action and reform. He said the president decided to call a special session into effect after hearing complaints and suggestions from a range of citizens in a recent meeting.

“The call for the special session was made after meeting with legislators and with social representatives, business people, producers, and academics,” Jiménez said.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Center photo            
Snorkel-perfect coral reefs in calm, mangrove-fringed waters of Bocas.

Coral in Bocas expected to be hard hit

By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center news staff

Snorkel-perfect coral reefs in the calm, mangrove-fringed waters of the Bocas Del Toro Archipelago are expected to be among the hardest hit by warmer temperatures that lead to coral bleaching and mortality, a new study finds. These shallows in Panama’s Caribbean are characterized by low water flow, allowing water to reach precariously high sea surface temperature when compared to areas with greater water movement.

Angang Li and Matthew Reidenbach of the University of Virginia tapped into a wealth of long-term monitoring data collected by Smithsonian Tropical Research Center scientists around the Bocas Del Toro Research Station, including coral bleaching records. Their models were published in the journal Coral Reefs.

“By 2084, almost all coral reefs are susceptible to bleaching-induced mortality, except for a region of relatively lower thermal stress along the outer boundary of the archipelago,” they write. “By 2084, only corals exposed to open ocean currents are predicted to survive.”

There are some caveats. The key to heat-induced coral bleaching is not a single blast of hot water, rather long-term exposure to above-threshold temperatures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts widespread bleaching and significant mortality under conditions determined in the study.

Some coral species may adapt to higher temperatures. The study’s models predict that areas flushed by cooler water will have a higher chance at surviving well into the future.

Li and Reidenbach studied modern water-flow patterns, simulated heating scenarios for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s, and quantified local thermal stress on coral reefs. While previous studies have looked at impact on corals at a large scale, the researchers focused on a much smaller spatial scale, which is less common. The fine scale of their work better lends itself to the creation of mitigation strategies for marine protected areas in Bocas.

“Our findings are also likely applicable to many coral reef regions worldwide, and in particular reefs that are found in shallow and partially enclosed coastal regions with long water retention times,” they conclude.

Limón students get their manatee wish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Students at the  Escuela de Limoncito, de Limón finally got their wish Tuesday. Lawmakers declared the manateeee (Trichechus Manatus) or sea cow  to be the maritime symbol of Costa Rica.

Fro several years students from the school have been visiting lawmakers encouraging the designation.

The manatee is found at the  Refugio de Vida Silvestre Barra del Colorado and in the Parque Nacional Tortuguero, They also can be found along the Caribbean coast. The animals can weight up to 1,200 pounds. They are susceptible to injury from boats and their propellors.

The decree is supposed to give the animals absolute protection and regulate access to where they live.

The legislative vote Tuesday was the second and final one.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 149
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Survey provides good look at those who make the Cartago pilgrimage
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Academics in Cartago wanted to find out exactly who participated in the annual pilgrimage to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles.

So last year they designed a statistical approach to do so. Surveyors stationed themselves at one of six specific points around the basilica and set out to question every fifth person from July 31 to Aug. 2.

The result was data from 600 pilgrims that the researchers are 95 percent confident represents the estimated 2.5 million people who make the pilgrimage every year. The effort was by the Centro de Investigación en Administración, Economía y Gestión Tecnológica of Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the local university.

There were not a lot of surprises.  More than 97 percent said they were Catholic, and 54 percent said they attend Mass every Sunday.

Some 62 percent said that they prayed to the Virgen de los Ángeles every day, and half of these said they knew someone who had received a miracle through her intercession with God.

Less than 10 percent said they participated in the pilgrimage or romería, as it is called, for other than religious reasons. These other reasons were not specified but some participate in the pilgrimage to accompany significant others or boy or girl friends.

Only about 12 percent of those questioned said they walked to Cartago alone. Some 5 percent said they walked for more than 10 hours to reach the basilica. The majority said they walked from two to six hours. The highest percentages came from San José, Cartago Centro and La Unión, said the survey report.

One person who will not be walking this year is President Luis Guilermo Solís. The president said Tuesday that he will go to the basilica in Cartago Saturday for Mass but will not be taking part of the pilgrimage. Though he recalled his father and grandparents actively
basilica at night
Telefides photo
Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles at night.

worshipping the Virgen de los Ángeles, he told reporters he has never taken part in the popular pilgrimage but that he respects the worshippers who do.

“I didn't go on the pilgrimage as a citizen, and I won't be going as president,” Solís said.

By contrast, former president Laura Chinchilla made highly visible pilgrimages every year she was in office.

The pilgrimage will get good international coverage. The local Catholic television station Telefides said that it will feed the event Friday and Saturday by satellite to the Catholic network EWTN. The transmission begins at 9 p.m. Friday and ends with a firework show at the basilica. The coverage continues at 9 a.m. Saturday and ends when Solís finishes his speech. The local station representatives estimated viewers at about 400 million worldwide.

Tourist police are quick to rescue an injured sloth at Dominical
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An injured sloth was found near Dominical with an apparent broken left arm. When driving along a public road Tuesday afternoon tourist police officers said they saw a foreigner trying to help the injured animal, which required immediate medical care.
A Fuerza Pública spokeswoman said authorities do not know the sloth's current condition, as it had since been taken to a veterinary clinic.

The foreigner, who wanted police to only refer to him as “Mike,” paid all medical costs for the sloth's hospitalization, according to a police report.

Such animals are prone to injuries because they are unaccustomed to being on the ground.  They spend much of their life in the trees where they feed on leaves. There are sloth recovery centers on both coasts where the animal may end up.
relaxing sloth
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo
Injured animal is on the way to the vet.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 149
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Many misconceptions abound over gluten-free food, study shows
By the University of Florida news staff

While necessary for some, many people eat gluten-free diets because they believe they’ll gain certain health benefits, but these beliefs are not all supported by research, a University of Florida nutrition expert says.

Those with celiac disease, or about 1 percent of the U.S. population, must follow a gluten-free diet because it’s the only treatment for their condition, said Karla Shelnutt, a University of Florida  assistant professor. But gluten-free diets can lack essential nutrients if a person does not eat a balanced diet and or take a multivitamin supplement.

Unlike their conventional counterparts, refined gluten-free foods, for the most part, are not enriched or fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.

“If I’m a college student, and I want to lose weight, and I read on the Internet that a gluten-free diet is the way to go, I may start avoiding products that contain essential nutrients such as those found in cereal grains fortified with folic acid,” Ms. Shelnutt said. “The problem is you have a lot of healthy women who choose a gluten-free diet because they believe it is healthier for them and can help them lose weight and give them healthier skin.”

The $10.5-billion gluten-free food and beverage industry has grown 44 percent from 2011 to 13 as the rate of celiac disease diagnoses increases along with awareness of gluten-free foods, according to Mintel, a market research company. Mintel estimates sales will top $15 billion in 2016.

One of Ms. Shelnutt’s doctoral students, Caroline Dunn, wanted to know if gluten-free labeling has any impact on how consumers perceive the foods’ taste and nutrition.

In a one-day experiment on the university campus in Gainesville in February, 97 people ate cookies and chips, all gluten-free. Half were labeled gluten-free. The other half labeled conventional.

Participants then rated each food on a nine-point scale for how much they liked the flavor and texture. They also filled out a questionnaire, said Ms. Shelnutt.

About a third of the participants said they believed gluten-free foods to be healthier than those labeled conventional, a figure Ms. Shelnutt
University of Florida/Tyler L. Jones
Supermarket shelves are full of gluten-free products.

said she thought would be much lower. While avoiding gluten-containing foods can reduce carbohydrate intake, thus helping some lose weight, many health experts say a gluten-free diet is no healthier than a conventional diet except for those with celiac disease.

Although such a small sample cannot be generalized to the public, Ms. Shelnutt said the experiment gives researchers insight into how the public views gluten-free foods.

For example, 57 percent of participants believed gluten-free diets can be used to alleviate medical conditions, and 32 percent said doctors prescribe them for weight loss. Thirty-one percent said they believed gluten-free diets improve overall health, 35 percent said they believed them to improve digestive health and 32 percent said they felt that eating them would improve their diet.

Gluten, a protein, is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale, a cross between wheat and rye. A gluten-free diet is prescribed for those with celiac disease, a condition that can damage the lining of the small intestine.

The experiment’s results are published in the current edition of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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
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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:   
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.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (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!

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.


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

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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 of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
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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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
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We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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.

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.

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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 149
Real Estate
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Business consultants in China
face informational barriers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Next week a court in China will hear a high-profile case against two foreign business consultants, each charged with illegally obtaining personal information on Chinese citizens.

Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court said on Tuesday Briton Peter Humphrey and his American wife and business partner, Yu Yingzeng, would go to trial Aug. 8.

The couple is charged with having illegally obtained private information on Chinese citizens through their risk consultancy firm, ChinaWhys.

The case highlights how Chinese authorities are increasing enforcement of the country’s privacy protections, making it difficult for companies to research potential business partners and investments.

According to its Web site, ChinaWhys helped foreign companies avoid land mines in the Chinese market. That included background checks on business partners and employees, as well as anti-fraud investigations.

Prosecutors allege that a lot of the information the firm gathered over the years was illegally obtained: bought from Chinese investigators or through secret photography, infiltration or tailing after someone.

But there is also speculation that their prosecution has political undertones.

One of ChinaWhys' most recent clients, pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, had hired the couple to investigate a former employee, someone rumored to have powerful political connections.

The British pharmaceutical giant wanted to know whether the employee had reported to senior management - and to Chinese authorities - evidence of widespread corruption at the firm.

In an interview broadcast on state TV, Humphrey confessed to the charges and referenced the GSK job.

"They requested me to investigate the background of their suspected informer and make an assessment of the informer. I offered to investigate GSK China's internal businesses to determine if the alleged corruption did exist, but they turned me down,” Humphrey said.

Chinese authorities started investigating the pharmaceutical company’s practices in China last year, around the time Humphrey agreed to investigate the company’s concerns over the alleged leak.

In May, GlaxoSmithKline China executive Mark Reilly was formally accused of overseeing a network that bribed doctors to boost sales of the company’s products.

Instead of focusing only on the GSK job, Chinese prosecutors have charged Humphrey and Yu for information breaches that span many years.

The charges include illegally obtaining and re-selling phone, bank and real estate records, business and vehicle registrations, and other private documents.

Attorney Steve Dickinson, an attorney at law firm Harris Moure in Tianjin and co-author of the China Law Blog, advises foreign companies about the Chinese market.

“Various people in China they want to know things about their potential business partners, they want to know things about their commercial opponents. They want to know things about government officials," Dickinson said.

"Well, great, but it is illegal to obtain that information. Should it be illegal? That is a different question," he added.

In recent years, authorities have updated provisions on privacy protections in an effort to avoid serious information breaches, said Liu Deliang, professor of law at Beijing Normal University.

“In December 2012 there has been a decision by the National People's Congress which showed the importance that the new government in China put on information safety online,” Liu said. “Obviously there has also been more awareness on the part of the public about the protection of their rights. I believe that in the future there will be more cases like this being discovered and prosecuted.”

But the breadth of some provisions have raised concerns the laws might be used arbitrarily and could curb due diligence investigations, such as the ones ChinaWhys worked on.

In an article Humphrey wrote months before he was detained last year, Humphrey described a U-turn in his field.

Companies' filings at local business bureaus were no longer accessible, and authorities had started arresting hundreds of investigators and their sources.

“I find this a very dark day for due diligence and forensics work,” he wrote.

Some analysts, including Humphrey, connected the clamp down on public records with foreign media investigations detailing the wealth of some of China's top leaders.

Dickinson said five foreign consulting firms he was familiar with got out of the business because of the apparent danger.
“They saw all their contacts going to prison. They said 'We are next if we don't stop,' so they stopped,” he said.

Daniel Roules, a mergers and acquisition lawyer at the law firm Squire Sanders in Shanghai, said that for years he advised potential foreign buyers to buy detailed reports on Chinese companies from a local firm.
"It was a tremendous wealth of information available at a quite reasonable price, that company today is still in service but it provides only the minimum information that is provided by the company registered, the kind of information that any of us could get,” Roules said.

That, Roules said, is an example of how the playing field has been changing in China.

If found guilty, Humphrey and Yu face up to three years in prison.

Former top security chief
under investigation in China

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China has announced it is investigating a man who used to be one of the country's most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.  The investigation is likely to boost already growing public support for Chinese President Xi Jinping's widening anti-corruption drive. 

A brief announcement of the decision came late Tuesday from China's Xinhua news agency.  In its report, Xinhua said the party's top investigating body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, had begun an investigation into Zhou Yongkang's suspected serious disciplinary violations.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology political scientist David Zweig says the decision to go after Zhou is perhaps the biggest investigation since the Gang of Four at the end of the Cultural Revolution.
"This is a big deal and many, many people would worry that if you can go after people, you know members of the politburo standing committee after they stepped down, than many many people would be vulnerable," Zweig said.

For months, China has been anticipating the announcement of an investigation into Zhou Yongkang.
Since late last year there have been numerous unconfirmed reports in foreign media that Zhou was the focus of a corruption probe.  But when an official announcement did not come in March when the Communist Party held top-level meetings in Beijing, some began to question Chinese President Xi Jinping's commitment to stamping out corruption.
The Communist Party says it is in a life or death struggle against corruption, a problem that not only threatens the party and state, but also prospects for much needed reform.

Zweig says that while Xi most likely needed to get a lot of people to agree with the decision to go forward with the investigation, it is easy to understand why it is necessary.  Zhou is a classic example of someone who had too much power, he says.
"He had so much political and legal power being the head of the legal affairs leadership group of the Communist Party, he just was an enormous powerful position to be able to do what he wanted, when you got that kind of power over police courts, who gets shot, who gets executed that is just an enormous amount of power in a totally un-transparent system," he said.

Although the announcement of the party's investigation into Zhou marks a big step forward, it is not necessarily a guarantee that he could face criminal charges, says Hong Kong Baptist University political scientist Jean-Pierre Cabestan.

"In China it is up to the party whether a case should be transferred to the judiciary or should be dealt with within the party apparatus," Cabestan explained. "  If there are serious crimes suspected to having been committed by Zhou Yongkang, which is likely, the case will probably be transferred to the judiciary, if not this will be dealt with within the party."

Since taking over as China's leader, President Xi has carried out a highly publicized crackdown on government corruption.  Zhou is a close ally of former rising political star Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life in jail last year.

The anti-corruption drive has won Xi much praise, but some are also concerned it is just political infighting.

"I think there is a lot of cynicism around, so a lot of Chinese know it very well, it is also a political case and it is not going to accelerate reform or let alone political change in China," Cabestan said. "What they see is that Xi Jinping is getting more and more powerful and is centralizing power in his own hands, for the better or maybe for the worse."
Zhou rose up within China's ranks serving in several key posts that contributed to his power and influence and that are also likely to be key focuses of the corruption investigation.  He previously served as the head of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. and as a Sichuan provincial party secretary.  Sichuan province and the petroleum corporation have already been shaken by corruption investigations, many into individuals closely linked to Zhou.

While Zhou served as China's security chief, overseeing domestic intelligence, paramilitary police, judges and prosecutors, the country's domestic security budget began outpacing spending for national defense.

NCAA allocates $70 million
for athletes' head injuries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The National Collegiate Athletic Association — better known as the NCAA — will establish a $70 million fund to test college athletes for brain injuries.

The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a brain injury class action lawsuit against it by creating the fund and implementing procedures for how athletes may be returned to the field after a blow to the head.

If approved, the deal will pay for medical testing for thousands of college athletes who believe they sustained brain injuries on the field.

The terms of the settlement provide testing for NCAA team members past, present and for those 50 years into the future — who believe they have brain trauma resulting from an incident during a game or practice.

The agreement also commits the NCAA to prevent student athletes from returning to the field the same day as they have received a blow to the head.

The NCAA has faced tough questions over compensating amateur athletes who receive scholarships, but who are otherwise not paid for their roles in college athletics.

Stowaway died in flight
from Africa to Germany

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. military officials say the body of a young male stowaway was found in the wheel well of an Air Force cargo jet that had landed in Germany after a routine mission in Africa.

The Pentagon press secretary, Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, told reporters Tuesday that the boy's body was found Sunday during a routine post-flight inspection of the aircraft when it landed at Ramstein Air Base. Kirby said the stowaway was a black male who may have been of African origin.

The plane was on a routine mission in Africa and had made stops in Senegal, Mali, Chad, Tunisia and Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, before arriving at Ramstein.

As concerns swell over an outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in several African countries, the military also confirmed that the body was tested for communicable diseases. Those tests came up negative.

“The cause of death, as well as the other circumstances surrounding this incident, remains under investigation,” Kirby said, adding the body had been taken to a German facility for an autopsy.

A stowaway aboard a military plane is a significant security breach, but Kirby said he had no information about how well-guarded the plane was during the Africa stops or how the boy managed to get into the compartment.

Kirby said the cause of death has not yet been determined.

In April, a Somali immigrant survived a flight from San Jose International Airport, California to Hawaii, while stowed away in the wheel well of a Boeing 767 commercial airliner.

Skin cancer is declared
major U.S. health menace

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak has declared skin cancer a major public health problem in the United States and has called on federal and local officials to step up prevention.

A new report says the number of deadly melanoma cases has skyrocketed 200 percent since 1973. The report blames what it says is a generation of sun worshippers who associate a suntan with good health.

Lushniak is urging authorities to provide more shade at public parks, encourage schools to have children wear hats and sunscreen, and call on colleges to ban tanning beds on campuses.

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, killing about 9,000 people in the U.S. each year.

But skin cancer is easily preventable and treatable if caught early.

Excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial light used in tanning beds are the major causes of skin cancer.

Partly effective vaccine
developed against malaria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A pretty good malaria vaccine is on track to be the first to market.

It only prevents infection about one-quarter to one-half the time, so it’s not as good as most vaccines. But for a disease like malaria, which kills 600,000 people a year, “pretty good” may be good enough.

GlaxoSmithKline has applied for regulatory approval for its RTS,S vaccine.

A new 18-month study in the journal PLoS Medicine shows the vaccine prevented 46 percent of malaria illnesses in children 5 to 17 months old and 34 percent of severe cases, the kind most likely to kill.

“It’s a pretty good vaccine,” said medical epidemiologist Mary Hamel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one of the authors of the new study. “We were looking for 30 percent or higher.”

Most vaccines against childhood illnesses are 80-90 percent effective or better. But, she said, “the burden of malaria is so high across sub-Saharan Africa that even with modest efficacy numbers like these, you can get a pretty high impact.”

For example, Hamel says children contracted malaria an average of five times per year each at the western Kenyan study site where she worked. At that location, for every 1,000 children who got the shots, the vaccine prevented about 2,400 cases of malaria, and 40 severe cases.

The study found the vaccine was less effective in infants 6 to 12 weeks old. It prevented 27 percent of illnesses but had no impact on severe cases.

And the vaccine lost much of its punch more rapidly than one would hope over the course of the 18-month study, Hamel said. One of the next steps is to see if a booster shot can improve long-term efficacy.

Still, many experts say it is an important step forward. “We don’t really have a silver bullet,” said Chris Plowe at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“This is a first-generation vaccine,” he added. “We’d all like to see a vaccine that has 100 percent protective efficacy, but in the context of other tools and how we expect to do with a really tough disease like malaria, this is actually pretty good and reason for some celebration, I would say.”

“There’s not a single licensed, efficacious vaccine for any human parasitic infection on the planet,” noted  Jonathan Kurtis at Brown University.

But he said there will be questions about whether a vaccine that prevents relatively few deaths will be worth the cost.

“Who is going to pay to deliver this vaccine, which is not a cheap vaccine to manufacture?” he asked. “Will they pay to stop 20 cases per 1000 participants per year and a half? I can’t answer that.”

Tulane University vaccine expert Nirbhay Kumar worries the vaccine will raise hopes beyond what it can deliver.

“While we expect there will be some benefit from deploying this vaccine, I think having high expectations and not fulfilling those expectations might do more damage than the benefit that we could see,” he said.

GlaxoSmithKline has not disclosed what the price of the vaccine will be, but it says it will cover the cost of manufacturing plus 5 percent, which will be re-invested in vaccine research.

The company has submitted the vaccine to European regulators for approval, which could come by the end of next year.

The goal set by the health nonprofit organization PATH and other major international donors calls for a vaccine that is 50 percent effective against severe disease and death in the first 12 months. The GlaxoSmithKline vaccine met that goal for older children but not infants in an earlier study.

There is “still a lot to learn before we decide exactly how it’s going to be introduced,” according to PATH vice president for product development David Kaslow. And, he added, those decisions will ultimately be up to the affected countries themselves.

PATH is also supporting other research efforts, but none is as close to approval as this one.

“For the foreseeable future, this is what we have,” Kaslow said. “Is it perfect? No. But is it a good start? Yes.”
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: and then email or call (506) 2261-0287 or (506) 8383-3104.   

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
“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”

Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

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

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.

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.

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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)


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  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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 price: $200,000 for a quick sale.. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

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.


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:  and

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   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)

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

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 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

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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 or email 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

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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  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.

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, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.

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:  Email inquires to:

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  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

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

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.

Real estate services
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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  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: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 149
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Smithsonian Tropical Research Center/Kevan Mantell.
Gigantic creature now has some protection

Eight countries will protect whale shark

By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center

Representatives from Panamá, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic have signed a binding agreement protecting whale sharks in Eastern Pacific and Caribbean waters that took effect on July 1. This conservation plan was drafted based on research by Smithsonian staff scientist Hector M. Guzman.

The largest fishes in the world, whale sharks grow to 40 feet (12.65 meters) and weigh up to 47,000 pounds (21.5 metric tons). The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists these gentle giants as vulnerable. According to a study by Guzman’s research team in which they tagged nearly 50 sharks with satellite tracking devices, whale sharks travel oceanic and coastal routes through waters under the jurisdiction of several countries in the region.

Recognizing that the most effective solution would involve integrative conservation efforts, the Regional Unit for Fish and Aquaculture of the Sistema de la Integracion Centroamericana drafted the international accord. Mario González Recinos, regional coordinator of the Sistema, said that the legislation “is binding and the result of the interaction between civil society, the scientific sector, fishermen, national authorities and regional authorities, and a new fructiferous example of the process of Central American integration.”

In addition, Panama’s environmental authority created a whale shark sanctuary in Coiba national park based on Guzman’s evaluation of habitat range for the species in the Gulf of Chiriqui and established strict guidelines for tourist and scientific whale shark watching. Israel Tejada, the person in charge of the department of biodiversity and wildlife, emphasized “this legal tool will be key to regulating activities and the operators that organize groups to watch this species.” He also noted that “this initiative is a result of the way the scientific sector advises and orients Coiba national park’s executive committee for the management and conservation of biodiversity in this protected area.”

“The whale-shark watching chaos in Panama prompted us to contribute information to this urgently needed policy to handle visitors and tourists as well as operators. In only three months, in 2014, two operators working between Santa Catalina on the mainland and Coiba Island have hit animals 27 times,” said Guzmán.

Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are slow-moving filter-feeders that eat algae, plankton, krill and crab larvae.

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From Page 7:

Salary list finally ready for employers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The increase in minimum wages for the second half of 2014 is more complex than previous years. Instead of decreeing a single percentage for all salaries, the Consejo Nacional de Salarios decided to give higher percentages of wages to those making less money.

The percentages range from 4 percent to 4.09 percent to 4.22 percent. Other job categories got just a 2.35 percent raise.

So employers need to get a copy of the list produced by the Ministerio de Trabajo.

That list is HERE!

The ministry finally came out with the list after mid-month salaries had to be figured. So some employers are going to have to make adjustments with their salaries.

Meanwhile, government officials negotiation wage hikes for public employees seem prepared to accept more than 4 per cent.