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(506) 2223-1327                            Published Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 152                       Email us
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Ship Team Costa Rica

Training course showcases properties internationally
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Costa Rican real estate got a boost last week when 17 real estate professionals representing the United States, England, Canada, Korea, Brazil, and Costa Rica attended a week-long event in Tamarindo.

This was a training event sponsored by the Costa Rica Global Association of Realtors. The program also included tours of available property to give visitors an idea of availability and price range.

Such special gatherings help put the country back on the map and in the minds of those who sell property to buyers in the United States and other parts of the world. “I had no idea Costa Rica was such a powerful destination. I’m coming back, and soon,” one broker from Austin, Texas, said,

The course, called Certified Independent Property Specialist, covered an in-depth look at the real estate markets in the United States, Europe, Asia and Central and South America. It also included the transaction tools necessary to work in an international world: The metric system, currency exchange, taxes, visas, and how to use these numbers for profitable decision-making.

David and Patsy Wyant, an experienced instructional team from Ormond Beach, Florida, worked to provide students with a first-class learning experience.

The association combined a yearly fundraiser for local community projects like Sardinal’s Elder Care Center and Surf for Youth and the other groups it supports with the training courses.

The Global Association of Realtors has as part of its mission trying to professionalize the business here. Costa Rica has no licensing, and many who claim to be real estate brokers are not even residents. So they might not even be around when their customers need them.

In addition, there are many sad tales of property thefts, the sale of unbuildable lots via the Internet and even straight-out theft by lawyers and real estate operators. Among other problems, Costa Rica does not have a law that creates and regulates escrow accounts.

There is nothing worse for Costa Rica’s reputation than having honest people hoodwinked out of their life savings by unscrupulous, unlicensed, and otherwise nasty individuals calling themselves real estate agents. That is why the Global Association of Realtors seeks to promote standards.

A lawyer announced a major step Friday in Tamarindo. It was bad news for real estate
Global Association of Realtors photo
Most of these are visitors exposed to Costa Rican property

people using the association's name and logo without permission.

Allen Lungo, who helped organize the training, said association volunteers will monitor the Internet very closely and when they find a violator, someone saying they are part of the organization when they are not, a nice request would be made to terminate the violation. 

“This could include making an application for membership for qualified applicants. However, if nice doesn’t work, the association’s legal team will take over,”  he said.

Linda Gray, vice president of Coldwell Banker, had a dream some 12 years ago. She believed Costa Rica needed more global real estate exposure and strong emphases on ethics and professionalism. Ms. Gray was responsible for obtaining an alliance with the National Association of Realtors in the United States. Lungo, the current board president, is doing his best to further her vision.

The battle has been uphill, mostly because there are two associations for real estate brokers in Costa Rica. The other is the Camara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices.

Most people in real estate in Costa Rica agree, the market bottomed in 2012 and started to turn around in 2013 and looks positive for the future. The sizzling market of 2005 is long gone, and it did go kaboom as expected but is now improving quickly.

Garland M. Baker is a 44-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at, a complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2014, use without permission prohibited.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 152

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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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Goalkeeper Navas heads to Real Madrid

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Following a spectacular World Cup performance, Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas is being rewarded with a contract from one of the top clubs in Europe. Real Madrid's official Web site confirmed the long-awaited hiring of the 27-year-old Navas on Sunday, as he signed a six-year contract. Although no dollar figures have been released on the deal, his transfer fee from Levante was reported by Spanish press to be upwards of 10 million euros, or $13.4 million.

After spending time with family in his hometown of Pérez Zeledón, Navas is now headed to Madrid where he will be presented to fans and media in Madrid at the famed Santiago Bernabéu stadium Tuesday.

“He is quick, has great reflexes, always positions himself well and is one of the best in one-to-ones,” read the club's press release. “Keylor Navas has everything it takes to be an exceptional keeper.”

Arguably the best goalkeeper of the 2014 World Cup, Navas led Costa Rica to the quarterfinals for the first time in its history. And in terms of history, local pundits and sports media are calling Navas' transfer to Real Madrid as the most important ever for a Costa Rican-born player.

The reigning champions of the European Champions League have figured to be in the market for a goalkeeper with the sudden fall of current starting goalie Iker Casillas, whose struggles from last season carried over into the World Cup for Spain where La Roja and Casillas were humiliated by Holland in a 5-1 blowout.

For comparison's sakes, Navas and Costa Rica held the Dutch scoreless before bowing out in penalty kicks. Throughout the tournament, Navas only allowed two goals in 510 minutes of play, making him the least scored upon keeper in the cup. Even more impressively, those two goals came on a penalty kick against Uruguay and with a man down when facing Greece.

Navas also has experience in Spain's La Liga after having played three seasons for Levante and was named the league's top goalie last season. He made more saves than any other goalie in the league with 160, according to Real Madrid's release statement.

Previously, he donned the red and white of Sarprissa from 2005 to 2010, where he won six Costa Rican national championships.

With a value of $3.44 billion, Real Madrid is the most valuable soccer team on the planet, according to Forbes.

Tourism chamber says it might go to court

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national tourism chamber says it will take all the legal measures in its reach, including a case against the finance ministry in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, to reverse a new sales tax ruling.

The chamber, the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, also said it would seek legislation to overturn the new interpretation.

The chamber said it had tried every possible informal avenue in discussions with public officials but got no action.

At issue is a new interpretation of a 2006 law that levies tax on admissions and tourism activities to national parks and other protected areas. Not only was the interpretation issued arbitrarily by the Ministerio de Hacienda, officials seek retroactive payments back to 2006.

The chamber said that continued enforcement of the tax, which went into effect Thursday, would affect the financial structure of tourism agencies and cost the country its competitivity in the tourism market by increasing prices.

The chamber notes that many tourism contracts are made two years in advance, and adjustments for sales tax have not been made.

The chamber also noted that by enforcing the tax, which was part of a decree, admissions to national parks will decrease.

Wildlife Conservation Society/R.L. Pitman.      
This is a photo of what is now a new species.

Fourth dolphin species identified at last

By the Wildlife Conservation Society news staff

Scientists examining a taxonomically confused group of marine mammals have officially named a species new to science: the Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and Clymene Enterprises.

The study describing the newly named species is the culmination of a 17-year long systematic examination of all available historical records, physical descriptions, and genetic data of humpback dolphins — a widespread group of coastal cetaceans ranging from the coast of West Africa to the northern coast of Australia. The Australian humpback dolphin becomes the fourth recognized humpback dolphin species.

The study appears online in the journal Marine Mammal Science, and will appear in the journal’s October edition. The authors are: Thomas A. Jefferson of Clymene Enterprises and Howard C. Rosenbaum of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“We’ve finally managed to settle many long-standing questions about humpback dolphins — particularly how many species actually exist — using a huge body of data collected over two centuries and analyzed with the latest scientific tools,” said  Jefferson.

“The formal recognition and naming of a new species brings with it a need to formulate or update plans for protection of these dolphins,” said Rosenbaum, director of the society's Ocean Giants Program. “Humpback dolphins throughout their range are threatened with fisheries interactions, vessel impacts, and development in their coastal habitats. Efforts to protect humpback dolphins and other coastal dolphins, and their most important habitats are essential for the survival of these species.”

The process of describing a species new to science requires a systematic analysis of all species most closely related to the animal in question. The humpback dolphins in particular have vexed researchers and taxonomists for decades until researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and a number of other institutions provided the most definitive results in late 2013.

Noteworthy naturalists such as Richard Owen (who coined the word “Dinosaur”), Georges Cuvier, and Richard Lydekker have added to the literature on humpback dolphins over the centuries. In recent years, scientists have disagreed with one another about the number of species, with some considering all humpback dolphins the same species and others postulating as many as nine different ones.

The new study contains detailed reviews and descriptions of the currently recognized four humpback dolphin species, using external and skeletal measurements, coloration, molecular genetics, and geographic distribution. The study is the next step building upon recent studies that first detected the existence of a unique humpback dolphin species inhabiting the waters of northern Australia and the island of New Guinea, using genetics and morphological characters.

The Australian humpback dolphin species joins the current assemblage of three other closely related species: the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii), the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis), and the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea). The new dolphin’s scientific name, Sousa sahulensis, is derived from the Sahul Shelf, an underwater shelf stretching between northern Australia and southern New Guinea, where the Australian humpback dolphin occurs.

Aside from slight differences in overall length, number of teeth and vertebrae, and geographic distribution, the Australian humpback dolphin differs in appearance from the other three humpback species. Its dorsal fin is lower and more wide-based than the dorsal fins of Sousa teuszii and S. plumbea, and its coloration is dark gray, as opposed to the distinctly white (often with a pink tinge) coloration of its closest humpback neighbor, Sousa chinensis. The Australian humpback dolphin also possesses a distinctive dark dorsal cape.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 152
Real Estate
About us
There were aches and strains but no criminality at annual pilgrimage
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Medical workers treated more than 3,500 of those who walked the romería, the annual pilgrimage to the Basilica de Los Ángeles in Cartago, this weekend. A Cruz Roja report said that 49 of those walkers had to be taken to local hospitals.

The vast majority of cases were for standard medical situations, while nearly 400 people were treated for muscle aches, and another 161 were assisted for trauma, according to Cruz Roja numbers.

About 60 percent of those who received Red Cross aid were women. The report was last updated at 5 p.m. Saturday.

In preparation for the romería, the organization enlisted 1,000 workers and volunteers across major routes on Friday.
Fuerza Pública officers also provided security for the event. Director Juan José Andrade said police found two girls believed to be missing thanks to a prompt response and constant communication with emergency aid organizations like the Red Cross.

The police agency reported no arrests and no reports of crime during the religious event.

Estimates say that some 2.5 million persons walked to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles during the last two weeks with the bulk doing so Friday.

The event was covered heavily by local television stations, and one feed went international. An estimate by a local Catholic television station staffer said that the potential international audience was about 400 million.

passion flower
Museo Nacional photo
A bloom of the new species and the inside view that has been used as a religious symbol.
Another species of the tropical passion flower found in Osa
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Plant specialists, the Museo Nacional, have discovered yet another species of passion flowers in rain forests around rivers and streams in the Cantón de Osa.

The new species is Passiflora soliana which is similar to a species that grows at a higher elevation. But the new species has slightly smaller flowers, according to an academic report by the museum.

The discoverer is Armando Estrada, who works at the museum's Herbarium, and Gerardo Rivera, identified by the museum as an independent researcher.

Other species of passion flower are well known to expats for their beauty in the garden or for the tropical fruit they produce. In Costa
 Rica, the principal fruit is called maracuyá in Spanish or grandilla in both Spanish and English. In Costa Rica the golden maracuyá is eaten out of hand or in drinks. The seeds are edible.

The museum said that with the new discovery, the number of passion flower species in Costa Rica amounted to 52. There are 10 times that number identified in the world with some 97 percent being in the New World.

The museum announcement noted that the name passion flower is not related to romantic passion. Instead, the Christian missionaries of the 15th and 16th centuries used the flower as a representation of the death of Christ on the cross. Each piece of the flower was equated to items involved in the Crucifixion. They include the three nails that are said to have been used to crucify Christ and the five wounds that he received, according to Christian doctrine.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 152
Real Estate
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Less testosterone stimulated humans to be nice and creative, study says
By the Duke University news staff

Modern humans appear in the fossil record about 200,000 years ago, but it was only about 50,000 years ago that making art and advanced tools became widespread.

A new study appearing in the journal Current Anthropology finds that human skulls changed in ways that indicate a lowering of testosterone levels at around the same time that culture was blossoming.

"The modern human behaviors of technological innovation, making art and rapid cultural exchange probably came at the same time that we developed a more cooperative temperament," said lead author Robert Cieri, a biology graduate student at the University of Utah who began this work as a senior at Duke University.

The study, which is based on measurements of more than 1,400 ancient and modern skulls, makes the argument that human society advanced when people started being nicer to each other, which entails having a little less testosterone in action.

Heavy brows were out, rounder heads were in, and those changes can be traced directly to testosterone levels acting on the skeleton, according to Duke anthropologist Steven Churchill, who supervised Cieri's work on a senior honors thesis that grew to become this 24-page journal article three years later.

What they can't tell from the bones is whether these humans had less testosterone in circulation, or fewer receptors for the hormone.

The research team also included Duke animal cognition researchers Brian Hare and Jingzhi Tan, who say this argument is in line with what has been established in non-human species.

In a classic study of Siberian foxes, animals that were less wary and less aggressive toward humans took on a different, more juvenile appearance and behavior after several generations of selective breeding.

"If we're seeing a process that leads to these changes in other animals, it might help explain who we are and how we got to be this way," said Hare, who also studies differences between humans' closest ape relatives -- aggressive chimpanzees and mellow, free-loving bonobos.

Those two apes develop differently, Hare said, and they respond to social stress differently. Chimpanzee males experience a strong rise in testosterone during puberty, but bonobos do not. When stressed, the bonobos don't produce more testosterone, as chimps do, but they do produce more cortisol, the stress hormone.

Their social interactions are profoundly different and, relevant to this finding, their faces are different, too. "It's very hard to find a brow-ridge in a bonobo," Hare said.

Cieri compared the brow ridge, facial shape and interior volume of 13 modern human skulls older than 80,000 years, 41 skulls from 10,000 to 38,000 years ago, and a global sample of 1,367 20th century skulls from 30 different ethnic populations.

The trend that emerged was toward a reduction in the brow ridge
composite skull
University of Utah/ Robert Cieri
A composite image shows the facial differences between an ancient modern human with heavy brows and a large upper face and the more recent modern human who has rounder features and a much less prominent brow.

and a shortening of the upper face, traits which generally reflect a reduction in the action of testosterone.

There are a lot of theories about why, after 150,000 years of existence, humans suddenly leapt forward in technology. Around 50,000 years ago, there is widespread evidence of producing bone and antler tools, heat-treated and flaked flint, projectile weapons, grindstones, fishing and birding equipment and a command of fire. Was this driven by a brain mutation, cooked foods, the advent of language or just population density?

The Duke study argues that living together and cooperating put a premium on agreeableness and lowered aggression and that, in turn, led to changed faces and more cultural exchange.

"If prehistoric people began living closer together and passing down new technologies, they'd have to be tolerant of each other," Cieri said. "The key to our success is the ability to cooperate and get along and learn from one another."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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.


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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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Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
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

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 152
Real Estate
About us

Congress leaves unresolved
status of illegal children

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress has begun a five-week recess without addressing the arrival of tens of thousands of undocumented Central American youths along America’s border with Mexico. Attention is now focused on executive actions President Barack Obama may take on his own.

The border crisis continues but lawmakers left town with no immigration legislation for a frustrated President Obama to sign.

“Without additional resources and help from Congress, we are just not going to have the resources we need to fully solve the problem.  That means while they are out on vacation, I'm going to have to make some tough choices to meet the challenge -- with or without Congress,” said Obama.

Friday, the House of Representatives approved a bill to tighten border security and speed deportations. The bill is unacceptable to Senate Democrats and President Obama.

Separately, House Republicans voted to sue the president over past executive actions. Speaker John Boehner warned Obama against further unilateral orders on immigration.

“The crisis on the border is one of the president’s own making. But he still has not learned his lesson. Now he has threatened to rewrite law and take more unilateral action on immigration in the coming months. Let me be clear: such action would create an ever greater incentive for more illegal crossings and make the crisis on our border even worse,” said Boehner.

Obama has asked Attorney General Eric Holder and others for recommendations. Nothing has been decided yet, according to White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer.

Bold congressional action on immigration or other divisive issues is seen as unlikely when lawmakers return in September, just two months before midterm elections.

Loud noise gets blame
for damaging the brain

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New research suggests exposure to loud sounds like emergency vehicle sirens, even high volume from an mp3 player, may be damaging the brain as well as the ears.

15 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have some problem with noise induced hearing loss. And scientists know that loud noises can physically damage the hair cells in the ear that receive sound.

This new research suggests that hearing damage also could affect the brain's ability to process sounds into speech and conversation.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas exposed rats to loud noises causing moderate and severe hearing loss.

Afterwards the scientists tested the parts of the rats brains that process sound, an area called the auditory cortex.

In the severely damaged rats, less than one third of the cortex responded to stimulation. And the areas that did, reacted slower.

The moderately damaged rats' brains also changed, reacting more slowly, and needing more stimulation than rats with normal hearing function.

This is important because, as the researchers point out in the journal Ear and Hearing, hearing is a complex process. They say the physical act of hearing is just the first step in a neural process the brain uses to turn sounds into understandable speech.

They also point out that once the hair cells of the ear are damaged, they don't grow back, so the damage is irreversible.

Traditional burial practices
hamper fight against ebola

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

World Health Organization officials say traditional burial practices are among the obstacles that are making it difficult to control the worst ebola outbreak in West Africa's history.

Spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said health and relief workers have been trying to educate families in the affected region about how to bury their loved ones without exposing themselves to the virus.

He said people who touch the dead could be putting themselves at risk.

"At the moment when a person died from ebola, this is the moment when the person is the most infectious and when the viral load is the highest," he said.

Jasarevic has been working with local officials in Guinea and Sierra Leone. In many cultures, he said, families wash the bodies of their loved ones before burial, but this practice is dangerous for Ebola victims because of the presence of bodily fluids.

"Usually there is the point just before the death, there is bleeding," he said.

Jasarevic also said there could be vomit or diarrhea.

Peter Schleicher, a Red Cross operations manager in Liberia, said another obstacle for relief workers in affected communities is fear, explaining that people in some communities have prevented trained health professionals from safely burying ebola victims.

"We got a report back from one of our teams in the field that they have now been blocked by the angry community and they have been denied access," he said.

Schleicher said the team members were told to turn back to keep from putting themselves at risk.

He said relief workers have been trying to alleviate fears and inform communities that ebola victims can be safely buried by trained specialists, who take extra precautions.

"The body will be disinfected and then be put into one body bag and disinfected again," he said.

"And this body bag will be put into the outer body bag. So actually, one body will be using two body bags," said Schleicher.

He said relief workers are sensitive to fears and burial traditions. But they have been trying to persuade communities to heed their advice, and allow trained specialists to handle the bodies of ebola victims.

World Breast Feeding Week
promotes saving infants

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Friday marked the beginning of World Breast Feeding Week, celebrated in more than 170 countries every year from Aug. 1 to 7 to encourage breast feeding and improve the health of babies.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breast feeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is six months old. The organization says nutritious complementary foods should then be added to the baby's diet while continuing breast feeding for up to two years or beyond. 

Less than half of the world's newborns benefit from breast feeding and even fewer are exclusively breast fed for the first six months. 

Anthony Lake says giving children the best start in life begins with breast feeding.  He says it is one of the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective ways of supporting healthier children and stronger families. He is executive director of the U.N. Children's Fund.

Over 40 percent of the nearly seven million young children who die every year are newborns. Lake said breast feeding within the first hour of birth could prevent one in five of those unnecessary deaths,  saving more than half a million children every year.

The U.N. executive described breast feeding as the foundation of good nutrition that reduces the risk of malnourishment in early childhood and the risk of obesity later in life.

Lake said breast feeding should be a "global priority."

Dust blamed for explosion
in Chinese auto parts plant

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Officials in China are blaming poor safety measures for a blast that killed 71 people at an auto parts factory near Shanghai Saturday.

The official Xinhua News Agency quotes officials in eastern Kushan City as saying the explosion was probably triggered when dust in an enclosed room was exposed to a spark or flame. Nearly 180 others were injured in the blast, many with severe burns.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has demanded a full investigation of the accident and harsh punishment for those found responsible. State Councilor Wang Yong visited Zhongrong factory late Saturday and promised a timely and transparent disclosure of information according to Xinhua.

At least two senior executives of the Taiwan-owned factory have been taken into police custody as part of the investigation.

French and German leaders
meet to mark World War

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

French and German presidents evoked the bloody lessons of World War I and hailed the emergence of a largely peaceful Europe Sunday, as they marked the centenary of Germany's declaration of war on France.

French President Francois Hollande and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck met in France's eastern Alsace region to lay the first stone of a memorial for French and German soldiers killed during what is called the Great War. Their meeting took place in Vieil Armand, known in German as Hartmannswillerkopf, where roughly 30,000 soldiers were killed during World War I. Today, memories of those bloody battles linger; one of the mountains is known as the Eater of Men.

As he paid tribute to those fallen in the 1914-1918 war, Hollande evoked current conflicts in Ukraine, the Central African Republic and Gaza, in an appeal for peace.

Germany declared war on France exactly 100 years ago, as part of the fast-paced events that unleashed the greater European war that is being marked in ceremonies across the region this year. Today European leaders gather in Belgium for the centenary of Britain's declaration of war on Germany.

Today, France and Germany are the powerhouses of the 28-member European Union. But while praising the peace, democracy and unity that emerged from the ashes of two World Wars, President Hollande also dwelt on the EU's shortcomings.

He said the EU appeared diminished during the recent economic crisis. It has failed to bring prosperity and live up to the ideals of many. He said Europe must open new perspectives for growth, employment, solidarity, but also for culture, education and knowledge.

The French and German presidents met a year ago in the French village of Ouradour-sur-Glane, where Nazi troops massacred nearly 650 people during World War II.

Earthquake in China kills
hundreds, hurts thousands

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Chinese officials say a powerful earthquake in a remote mountainous region of the country's southwest has killed at least 381 people and collapsed thousands of buildings.

They say more than 1,800 people were injured in Sunday's quake. Rescue workers are searching for many people still missing.

The 6.1 magnitude quake's epicenter was in southwestern Yunnan province.  The official Xinhua news agency says the quake destroyed 12,000 homes and damaged another 30,000.

Relief efforts are under way, with Beijing sending tents, water, food and other needed supplies to the region, where rain is forecast for the coming days.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the earthquake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years.

Southwestern China is frequently struck by earthquakes.  In 2012 an earthquake in the Yunnan region killed at least 80 people.  

Proposed anti-pollution rules
generate debate in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate in the United States.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 comments.  The agency opened its doors for public testimony this week, and 1,600 people are expected to show up in Washington, D.C., Denver, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

West Virginia native Regina Hendricks told the government panel in Washington that she has seen mountaintops removed, waterways polluted and air fouled because of coal operations.

“These sites belch out mercury, selenium and poison, some of them in perpetuity," she said. 

Ms. Hendricks is fed up. So are West Virginia chemist Pamela Ellis and her twin daughters, Anya and Zipporah, who joined ranks outside EPA headquarters to support the government's proposals to cut carbon emissions.  Pamela Ellis wants to hold the polluters accountable, as do her daughters who suffer from asthma linked to the pollution.

“So it’s hard knowing that I can’t go to some places due to the emissions that are destroying our environment," Anya said.

Her sister nodded in agreement.

“Like Anya, I also have asthma and a lot of allergies. So I know personally that it’s really hard," she said. "I don’t want other kids to suffer with this in the future because we’re not taking care of our planet."

Coal-fired power plants supply nearly 40 percent of the nation’s electricity.  These plants are also the largest source of carbon pollution.  The EPA plan mandates a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions below 2005 levels through a broad array of actions from energy efficiency to renewable energy options. 

Like the others who filed into EPA headquarters throughout the day, Jeff Holmstead waited patiently in a packed hearing room for his turn to testify. The former EPA official represents the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a trade group that opposes the proposed rule on the grounds that it would shut plants, eliminate jobs and raise electric rates.  He told the panel that while he thinks it’s important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it’s important to be honest about what that means.

“There is no free lunch and it will increase the cost of power," he said. "We just need to decide as a society how much we want to pay for that.”

But it’s not just about money.  Holmstead said Americans would end up sacrificing an electric system they depend on. He added that the plan would also seriously delay efforts to curb climate-changing emissions.

“So people will spend an enormous amount of time and effort trying to figure out and comment on this proposal, and at the end of the day, it is highly unlikely that it will ever be implemented," Holmstead said.

Nine states have already joined in a lawsuit to oppose the measure.

John Coequyt is a policy expert with the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest environmental group.  He has heard the same arguments from industry before, only to see them proven wrong.

“Every single time that EPA proposes a pollution-reducing standard, industry comes out saying that it is going to be a problem for jobs, it’s going to be a problem for the economy," he said.  "And every single time, EPA and the states find a way to implement these standards in a common sense manner that doesn’t adversely impact the economy, that cleans up the air and saves lives.  There is no reason they won’t be able to do it again this time.”

Coequyt does agree that no single rule can fix the climate problem, but suggests this plan offers the chance to take a large step in that direction.

“It also results in a fairly substantial reduction in carbon pollution that will become the centerpiece of the U.S. pledge internationally and has already allowed the administration to work with China and other countries to get them on board," he noted.

Meanwhile, for those who could not testify in person, there was another option outside EPA headquarters, where a food truck was handing out free ice cream. Strategically located beside the truck, environmental activists with iPads in hand were helping people make the most of the wait by encouraging them to send their comments to EPA electronically.

The new rules are expected to be finalized by next June.
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
house 865
Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
House 868
Beautiful house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 810 m2 of land, Price $178.000. Click HERE!
House 866
Beautiful large house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather,1.006 m2 of land, Price $290.000.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Escazú condo
Spectacular furnished luxury 3-bedroom condo in Escazú
Turnkey unit has 2.5 baths, 2 balconies, 2 parking spaces, 1 bodega. A STEAL @ $250,000. Community Amenities include pool, jacuzzi, gym, sauna, racquetball, 24/7 security, concierge. No car needed: walk to supermarkets, banks, restaurants, shopping. INVESTORS: Possible long-term tenant For photos and how to contact us, go to:

Jaco condo
JACÓ BEACH - House in gated beachfront community
Titled, fully furnished turnkey single home, security 24/7. REDUCED TO $325,000. Casa Mariposa is 2100 SF with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1-car garage Private back yard, central A/C, kid friendly, pet friendly community This is the ONLY gated beachfront development of houses on Jacó Beach. For photos & contact information, go to:

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.


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

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

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

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact  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

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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

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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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 152
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Searchers take break seeking Alaskan

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

No sign remains of missing American Cody Roman Dial in Parque Nacional Corcovado, searchers say. After having covered about 70 percent of the park on foot, authorities took a day off Friday to rest, said Carlos Herrera, who is in charge of the search for the Cruz Roja.

“Still we have not come across any trail of evidence left behind,” said Herrera, adding that authorities are considering the possibility Dial never entered the park.

In an email to his father, the last contact Dial had with relatives, he said he was about to enter the park. Searchers determined that Dial was last seen July 22, and members of the Cruz Roja and the Fuerza Pública began search efforts July 24.

Herrera said patrols had to take a collective rest this weekend because of the grueling nature of the search, as some have been camping out overnight in the park. He added that parts of the dense jungle are inaccessible because they are covered with so much vegetation that it bars searchers from entering.

As Costa Rica's largest national park, Corcovado covers nearly a third of the Osa Peninsula. The 27-year-old Dial, an Alaskan native familiar with exploration of the outdoors, is believed to have entered the park from the Río Conte on the northeast side. Officials from the nearby Los Patos station say he never checked in as is mandatory for all travelers entering the protected land.

Public employers get 4-5.14% raises

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Public employees will get pay raises of from 4 to 5.14 percent with the higher percentage going to those lower on the pay scale.

Víctor Morales, the minister of Trabajo outlined the raises in the ministry's news feed. The increase is significantly higher than that given private employees by the Consejo Nacional de Salarios.

The increases are retroactive to July 1.

China offers rewards for terrorists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Officials in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region have established a fund of nearly $50 million to offer as rewards for information leading to the capture or killing of suspected terrorists.

Authorities have given more than $16,000 each to six people who gave key tips leading to the location of 10 suspected terrorists who were hunted down in Hotan province last week.

China's official Xinhua news agency said police, with the aid of 30,000 volunteers, tracked the suspects to a farm where police killed nine in a gun battle and captured one.

Around 200 people have died in unrest over the past year in Xinjiang, home to Muslim minority Uighurs. The violence has led Beijing to launch a year-long crackdown on what it calls terrorism in the region. Hundreds have been detained in the crackdown so far.

Many Uighurs say they are the victims of state-sanctioned discrimination and repression, including restrictions on Muslim religious practices and favoritism toward the Han majority. Beijing denies that it discriminates against the Uighurs.

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From Page 7:

U.S. jobs continue to increase with reservations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The latest employment report shows the U.S. economy growing at a steady pace, adding 209,000 jobs in July. While the gains were not as strong as the previous three months, the July jobs report marks the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000.

That’s the number of jobs economists believe U.S. employers need to create each month to reduce the unemployment rate. And yet, despite another solid month of hiring, the unemployment rate rose slightly.

The U.S. economy extended its winning streak, bouncing back with another solid month of job gains after a weak start this year. The Obama administration says that's no surprise. Speaking at the White House on Friday, President Barack Obama said tough decisions he made early on are paying off.
“Over the past year, we've added more jobs than any year since 2006. And all told our businesses have created 9.9 million new jobs over the past 53 months. That's the longest streak of private sector job creation in our history," he said.

But it wasn't enough to lower the unemployment rate, which rose one tenth of a percent in July to 6.2 percent. Economist Sean Snaith at the Institute for Economic Competitiveness said that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  

"People see businesses are hiring at a faster pace, they feel more confident they’re going to be able to find a job so they get back into the job search, which boosts up the labor force and pushes up those unemployment numbers,” said Snaith.

Americans who are not actively seeking work are not counted as unemployed.

That’s driven the so-called job participation rate to a 35-year low. That means millions of unemployed Americans who have stopped looking for work remain hidden in the shadows. That’s especially true for 3.2 million Americans who have been unemployed 27 months or longer, according to Cornell University Professor Sharon Poczter.

“And the percentage of unemployed that is long-term unemployed is the largest that it’s been since the Great Depression,” she said.

While the job participation rate has risen slightly, the job gains have yet to translate into bigger paychecks for most Americans. Still, key indicators suggest the U.S. recovery is finally gaining momentum five years after the financial crisis.