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(506) 2223-1327                            Published Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 164                     Email us
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Solís will give his own evaluation of first 100 days
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Academics are quick to point out that Franklin Roosevelt was not the one who coined the term 100 days. Instead that was used for years to address Napoleon's escape from Elba and the period that led to his final defeat at Waterloo.

Even when Roosevelt first talked about the 100-day period he was referring to the special congressional term that he called to pass some urgent bills, not his own administration.

What Roosevelt faced was a nation just short of collapse amid the Great Depression. Luis Guillermo Solís does not have a problem anywhere near that magnitude in the first 100 days of his presidency.

Yet he is committed to summarize his actions. At first he wanted to address the legislature. He sent a letter to lawmakers asking for 70 minutes before the assembly body Thursday. He also wanted nearly two hours for responses from the lawmakers and 30 minutes for a closing statement.

For a number of reasons, lawmakers turned him down. Some said they felt Solís had not accomplished enough in his first hundred days to warrant that much time.

Roosevelt had it better. He had a controlling majority in each of the two house of Congress. Yet it still took him 100 days to get through bills he wanted. One of them cut federal government spending 31 percent, according to a 2007 book by Jonathan Alter: "The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days And the Triumph of Hope."

Solís has been having a tough time making any cuts, and changes in the sales taxes and pensions have generated anger among those affected.

Still, he plans to give his report to the people in a three-hour presentation Aug. 28 at the Teatro Melico Salazar downtown.
solis
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
In the shadow of Roosevelt

Although the term 100 days has become synonymous with the first part of a presidential term everywhere, usually it is not the president involved who does the evaluation. That is the job of political pundits, columnists and other politicians.

Solís is planning a show of force in which he plans to address the state of the nation when he took office. The target is Partido Liberación Nacional and former president Laura Chinchilla Miranda.

Of course, pundits here will use the president's speech as a base for their own criticisms.

Roosevelt was successful because he immediately established a new, infectious atmosphere of optimism, according to White House reporter Ken Walsh who wrote about the former U.S. president in U.S. News Weekly. Despite his own charm, Solís probably cannot claim to have done that.


Lawyer wins case against newspaper for calumny
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Costa Rican lawyer has won a criminal case in which he accused two reporters and the newspaper Al Día of damaging his reputation.

The lawyer is Arcelio Hernández Mussio, who was called a fake lawyer in a Sept. 28, 2011, news story.  The story was headlined in the Spanish equivalent of "False attorney sought in millionaire fraud."

Hernández has been a member of the Colegio de Abogados for years, and the headline appears to have been based on incorrect information. Membership information of those in the lawyer's professional association is available online.

Hernández reported Monday night that the Penal Court of Goicochea convicted reporter Nicolas Aguilar and Edgar Fonseca, the newspaper director, Monday morning.

"They were sentenced to 100 days in prison,
exchangeable for 100 days fine (up to 50 percent of their salary), and they were ordered to pay 3 million colons in damages, for moral damage to me, plus the costs of the process," said Hernández.

Ronald Moya, who wrote a separate news story about the same case for La Nación was not convicted because the court found the article did not contain a direct attack, according to Hernández.

The lawyer did not bring an action against another English-language news site in Jacó that appears to have copied the false information in the Al Día news story. That newspaper printed an apology. Subsequently,

Al Día changed its emphasis to mostly sports.

"I am considering an appeal," said Hernández in an email, "because the amount awarded for moral damage is not representative of the suffering these people made me go through with their gross disregard for my honor."


 
 

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 164

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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.


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Campaign proposed against sex trafficking

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A campaign to improve Central America's network in preventing human trafficking crimes has hit Costa Rica. Tuesday Gerardo Bravo, an investigator with Nicaragua's Instituto de Estudios Estratégicos y Políticas Públicas, presented a campaign and a subsequent study on trafficking in the region and a series of recommendations to better confront the mistreatment of those moved for forced labor or for prostitution.

The public policy institute conducted the study that said nearly 1,500 cases of human sex trafficking occurred last year, although many go uncovered. One of the campaign's principal objectives is to visualize patterns of illegal trafficking that occur from the border and goes into the tourist areas of Costa Rica.

The country is currently investigating five cases of illegal sex trafficking, according to Kathya Rodríguez, the director of immigration. “It's hard to say that we're losing the battle,” Ms. Rodríguez said. “Many of these activities are not done out in the open.”

In general, the plan that is directed at both Costa Rica and Nicaragua seeks out women and girls aged 12 to 35 who live in high-risk areas marked as susceptible to sex trafficking operations. The $70,000 campaign titled “Strengthening bonds to prevent trafficking in Central America” will set up protection plans for victims that involve reparation payments compensating them based on the damage done to them. It also involves plans to prosecute criminals potentially involved in trafficking with a specialized prosecution unit and system designed to harshly punish repeat offenders.

In late June, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on human trafficking and concluded that Costa Rica is a high volume zone for sex and forced labor trafficking. It said that women and young girls from mostly Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic have been identified as victims of sex trafficking in the country. This was the first year it brought up issues of transgender Costa Ricans in the sex industry.



Central Valley pair held
as Sámara suspects


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators have detained a man and a woman in the murder of a bar patron in Sámara. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the pair, a man of 32 and a woman of 35 surrendered themselves at judicial offices in San José because they learned they were being sought.

The dead man has the last name of Gómez. He died early Sunday.

Police said at the time that the victim was in a bar about 4:30 a.m. when he saw that the purse of a woman nearby was being taken. He chased the thief outside the bar, but he was shot in the chest.

Sámara is on the far Pacific coast. The suspects live in San José said the judicial agency.
detained woman
Female suspect in handcuffs


Marketing strategies are topic of talk

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Stacey Auch, owner of Barrio Bird Walking Tours and Downtown Yoga, will be the main speaker when the  Professional Women's Group of  The Women's Club of Costa Rica meets Saturday at Tin Jo Restaurant at 9:30 a.m.

Ms. Auch, a marketing strategist over 10 years, will share her profound experience and knowledge about marketing for small business utilizing the internet, the organization said.

Reservations are requested at reservations.pwg.wccr@gmail.com. Part of the entry fee goes to the organization's scholarship fund. It may be paid at the door, the organization said.


Tourism chamber to fight sale taxes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national tourism chamber is expected to announce today that it will take legal action to prevent the imposition of sales tax on some activities.

The chamber, the Cámera Nacional de Turismo said that the industry is seriously threatened by a ruling by the nation's tax collectors that the chamber calls illegal.

The tax agency, the Dirección General de Tributación, has ruled that a 2006 law gives it the right to tax activities at centers of recreation or similar. The agency has not done so in the past.'

In fact, the agency has expanded the interpretation to cover any paid tourism activity where the vendor maintains a fixed location. That is done based on the word similar in the law.

The chamber says this jeopardizes the finances of many tourism operations.

The chamber has scheduled a press conference today to outline its legal strategy.


ExpoCasa begins today in Belén

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

ExpoCasa, the annual show for potential homebuyers, begins today at the Petregal events center in Belén.  The show runs through Sunday.

This is a major event for real estate brokers, bankers, insurance agents and contractors. Hundreds of home sales take place at ExpoCasa and there are bankers standing by to provide financing.

Also at the show are interior decorators and many other firms that provide services for the home.

Vendors promise special deals for those who do business at the expo. This includes banks that have special rates in some cases.


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 164
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Government takes over and will investigate development agency
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Finance ministry officials say the government is acting to help boost stagnant social development in the country's southern zone, much of which is entrenched in poverty. Officials say the committee designed to support growth in this area, the Junta de Desarrollo Regional de la Zona Sur, known as Judesur, did not spend a large amount of its 70 billion colon budget from 2007 to 2013. 

Along with the Ministerio de Presidencia and the Ministerio de Planificación Nacional, the Ministerio de Hacienda began the takeover Tuesday through the introduction of executive decree No. 38575. They say more than 30 billion colons, or more than $55 million, is unaccounted for. The decree calls for a team to conduct studies into the organization and economic accountability of the development agency.

Hacienda Vice Minister José Francisco Pacheco outlined the government's objectives Tuesday, saying they will analyze paperwork problems that may be getting in the way of effectively placing this money at its intended destinations. He said the government will also improve its monitoring of the financial administration at the agency to make sure the budget money is being allocated towards developing social programs.

“We see an opportunity to be able to generate announcements, signs, and anything else we can do to create development in this area,” Pacheco said.

Of the 15 poorest cantons in Costa Rica, five of them belong in Zona Sur de Puntarenas, according to a Planificación index. Those
counties are Golfito, Osa, Corredores, Coto Brus, and Buenos Aires. The country's census institute says 35 of every 100 people in the Zona Sur are considered to be living below the poverty line.

“For 30 billion colons, you have to be able to do something with this investment,” Pacheco said.

He added that it's obvious the money is not getting to where its supposed to go and that this new decree aims to support these communities with a temporary board provided by the central government. However, the current junta officials will not be removed from their positions.

The Junta de Desarrollo Regional de la Zona Sur was established in 1997 as an agency made to prevent poverty in Costa Rica's south, but ever since its creation it has been the subject of financial complaints. Lawmaker Jorge Angulo Mora was accused of extorting money from the agency and demanding money from the building contractors of a school in San Vito de Coto Brus, as the contractors claimed he told them he would block the construction if they did not pay him. In 2011, prosecutors accused him of committing seven offenses, including four for extortion. He has not yet come to trial.

Vice Minister Ana Gabriela Zúñiga said that the finance ministry and other governmental bodies would look into investigating the problems and taking up possible judicial action in the next few years.

The Depósito Libre Comercial in Golfito, a tax-free commercial operation under the junta that was meant to stimulate the region's economy, has been receiving far less visitors since the committee's creation. According to a Hacienda report, the visitation numbers dipped from 239,000 people in 1997 to 173,000 expected in all of 2014.


Osa man gets 50 years in 2009 double murder of Austrian expats
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A former employee has received 50 years in prison in the murder of two Austrian expats on the Osa peninsula. That is the maximum number of years possible under Costa Rican law. The man is Gabriel Rojas Santamaría who had long been a suspect when the two men turned up missing.

The dead men are Horst Hauser, 68 at the time of his death, and Herbert Langmeier, 66, who owned property in Dos Brazos de Río Tigre near Puerto Jiménez. The case attracted international attention because they were missing for more than a year and agents could not move ahead on the case without bodies.

The remains of the men turned up on Playa Ciénaga March 16, 2011, and the discovery helped the investigation to advance.

Rojas was seen driving a vehicle that belonged to one of the men shortly after they were considered missing after Christmas 2009.
 
The man was acquitted in a first trial on the murder allegation in June 2013. But prosecutors appealed that verdict and won a new
trial. In addition to being convicted on the double murder charge, the man also was convicted of theft because he took a tractor belonging to the men.

The Poder Judicial said there was strong evidence against the man. Rojas made 28 transactions at an automatic teller in Puerto Jiménez with credit cards belonging to the dead men and took more than $5,000 according to the Poder Judicial.

The victims died Christmas Day 2009 when their heads were bashed in by a blunt object. There was blood found in the home, but investigators needed a body.

Hauser and Langmeier were long-time residents who were involved in gold panning in the tributaries leading from the Parque Nacional Corcovado on the peninsula.

Hauser was identified from dental records supported by DNA tests after flooding uncovered his resting place.

Agents had trouble locating Rojas because he fled into the wilderness and lived there for a time. He finally was detained in September 2011.


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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 164
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Scientist seeks to explain why global warming stalled for the last 16 years
By the ETH Zurich news staff

The average temperature on Earth has barely risen over the past 16 years. ETH Zurich researchers have now found out why. And they believe that global warming is likely to continue again soon.

Global warming is currently taking a break. Whereas global temperatures rose drastically into the late 1990s, the global average temperature has risen only slightly since 1998 – surprising, considering scientific climate models predicted considerable warming due to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate skeptics used this apparent contradiction to question climate change per se or at least the harm potential caused by greenhouse gases as well as the validity of the climate models.

Meanwhile, the majority of climate researchers continued to emphasize that the short-term warming hiatus could largely be explained on the basis of current scientific understanding and did not contradict longer-term warming.

Researchers have been looking into the possible causes of the warming hiatus over the past few years. For the first time, Reto Knutti, professor of climate physics at ETH Zurich, has systematically examined all current hypotheses together with a colleague. In a study published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers conclude that two important factors are equally responsible for the hiatus.

One of the important reasons is natural climate fluctuations, of which the weather phenomena El Niño and La Niña in the Pacific are the most important and well known. "1998 was a strong El Niño year,  which is why it was so warm that year," says Knutti. In contrast, the
counter-phenomenon La Niña has made the past few years cooler than they would otherwise have been.

Although climate models generally take such fluctuations into account, it is impossible to predict the year in which these phenomena will emerge, says the climate physicist. To clarify, he uses the stock market as an analogy: "When pension funds invest the pension capital in shares, they expect to generate a profit in the long term." At the same time, they are aware that their investments are exposed to price fluctuations and that performance can also be negative in the short term. However, what finance specialists and climate scientists and their models are not able to predict is when exactly a short-term economic downturn or a La Niña year will occur.

According to the study, the second important reason for the warming hiatus is that solar irradiance has been weaker than predicted in the past few years. This is because the identified fluctuations in the intensity of solar irradiance are unusual at present: whereas the so-called sunspot cycles each lasted eleven years in the past, for unknown reasons the last period of weak solar irradiance lasted 13 years. Furthermore, several volcanic eruptions, such as Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in 2010, have increased the concentration of floating particles in the atmosphere, which has further weakened the solar irradiance arriving at the Earth's surface.

Despite the warming hiatus, Knutti is convinced there is no reason to doubt either the existing calculations for the climate activity of greenhouse gases or the latest climate models. "Short-term climate fluctuations can easily be explained. They do not alter the fact that the climate will become considerably warmer in the long term as a result of greenhouse gas emissions," says Knutti. He said he believes that global warming will recommence as soon as solar activity, aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere and weather phenomena such as El Niño naturally start returning to the values of previous decades.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
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wanted
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, elecricity and Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia,  Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.
laurelfanderson@gmail.com
8449-9/4/14

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
tropical
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8441-2/17/15

eredia home
Beautiful house for rent in Heredia
On a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden and on bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms, plus extra room for office.  Security, electric gate,  Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $500 monthly.  Call Leda (506) 2267-6306   Email bonillaleda@yahoo.com
8442-9/8/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8423-9/15/14

HP Cattle rentals
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.
Contact:  HPCattleCR@aol.com
8425-8/17/14

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8431-10/4/14

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8431-7/30/14




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cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 164
Sports
Calendar
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Lifestyle
Food
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U.S. officials seek to confirm
if beheading video is real

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Obama administration says it is trying to confirm the authenticity of a video that purports to show the killing of an American photojournalist by Islamic State militants.

The militant group Islamic State on Tuesday released a video it claims shows the beheading of James Wright Foley as a message to the United States to stop intervening in Iraq.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said "if genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and express our deepest condolences to his family and friends." Ms. Hayden said the U.S. intelligence community is working quickly to determine the video's authenticity.
 
Foley was covering the civil war in Syria when he went missing in November 2012.

The video on YouTube was entitled "A Message to #America (from the #IslamicState)."   It identified a man on his knees as Foley and showed his beheading.

A post on the Free James Foley Facebook page addressed the reports Tuesday, saying, "We know that many of you are looking for confirmation or answers. Please be patient until we all have more information, and keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers."

Islamic State militants also claimed in the video to be holding another U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and said his life depended on President Barack Obama's next move.

Sotloff went missing in northern Syria in July 2013.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a senior member of the Intelligence Committee and chairman of the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press, released the following statement in the wake of the reported beheading of  Foley:

"The apparent beheading of photojournalist James Wright Foley adds to the appalling parade of horrors perpetrated by ISIL. Seldom is the descriptor 'evil' applied with perfect accuracy as it is with this monstrous group that glories in death. They know no human decency - murdering journalists, beheading religious minorities refusing to convert, victimizing women and children, and starving entire communities.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of James Foley in this painful time. Journalists on the front lines are true heroes, and James' work like that of Daniel Pearl before him will inspire others to carry on in spite of the dangers."


Ferguson again sees violence
as police make many arrests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The town of Ferguson, Missouri, has again turned chaotic after relatively peaceful protests linked to the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

Following non-violent demonstrations, turmoil surfaced early today after water bottles were apparently thrown in the direction of police.

Police moved in to calm the situation and ordered the protesters to immediately disperse. Television footage showed two men being led away in handcuffs.

The developments follow a night of violent protests during which police arrested 78 people, including several journalists.

Ferguson, a community populated mainly by blacks, has been hit by street protests punctuated by looting and clashes with police every night since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed Aug. 9.

A grand jury is expected to begin hearing evidence in the case today.

Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised the people of Ferguson a "full, fair and independent investigation into the shooting of Brown. Holder will be in the St. Louis suburb today to meet with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal civil rights officials.

In a videotaped message Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.  He called for justice for Brown's family.

At the time of his death, Brown was suspected of shoplifting and roughing up a storekeeper.  Authorities, however, say the officer, Darren Wilson, did not know that Brown was a robbery suspect.

An autopsy shows Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head.

A Brown family attorney says the unarmed teen was trying to surrender to police when he was shot.

Also Tuesday, police in St. Louis, near Ferguson, shot dead a black man armed with a knife.  Police say the suspect stole merchandise from a food store.  He apparently challenged officers to shoot him and approached them with a knife.  Police fired when he refused to drop it.


North Korea is major threat
to power grid, expert says


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The electric grid in the United States remains largely unprotected, according to a longtime adviser to Congress on national security issues.

Peter Vincent Pry said he believes North Korea is ready to attempt a strike on the U.S. electric grid using an electromagnetic pulse. Pry said North Korea practiced a pulse strike against the U.S. last year when it orbited a satellite at the optimal altitude and trajectory to carry out such an attack.

Pry is in the northern city of Minneapolis to brief the National Council of State Legislatures this week on the threat. He said that three U.S. states, Arizona, Maine and Virginia, have passed legislation trying to guard against a lengthy power outage following a pulse strike.

Pry was a member of the former Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack in 2001 to 2008. He also is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board dedicated to achieving protection of the United States from electromagnetic pulse and other threats.

An electromagnetic pulse or disturbance is a short burst of electromagnetic energy that can be natural or man-made. Electromagnetic interference generated by lightning, for example, can damage electronic equipment. At very high energy levels, a pulse can damage physical objects such as trees, buildings and aircraft.

Pry said the North Korea test last year took place over the South Pole, which he called a strategic move.

“We are blind from the south. We don’t have the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System or interceptors to protect us from the south,” said Pry.

The congressional analyst said this was done after North Korea’s third illegal nuclear test in February 2013 and after the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, threatened to strike the United States and its allies with a nuclear missile.

Rep. Yvette Clark, a New york Democrat, said, “I cannot speak to the motives of the North Korean satellite experiment, but... we need to move with all deliberate speed to shore up our infrastructure.”

A couple months later, a North Korean freighter, the Chong Chon Gang, was caught attempting to move through the Panama Canal with a cargo of nuclear capable missiles on their launchers. They were hidden under thousands of bags of sugar.

This was no mistake on the part of the North Koreans, Pry said. He said he believes Pyongyang was testing the United States to find out if it could traffic nuclear weapons through the Gulf of Mexico and the Panama Canal without detection. He said had the North Koreans gone the long way around South America, the U.S. never would have known what North Korea was shipping.

He said it was just by chance they were caught because no one was looking for nuclear missiles.

“We inspected the freighter not because anyone thought there were nuclear capable missiles onboard, but because this freighter is notorious for doing trade with drug cartels and terrorists, and so we were looking for illicit drugs that the freighter might be smuggling, and they found the nuclear capable missiles," said Pry.

Ms. Clark, who is the ranking member on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology, said “again, I cannot say whether it is a deliberate attempt by the North Koreans to test out or test run the capabilities of approaching the U.S." with nuclear capable missiles, but “they are looking for ways to approach the United States, and I am sure it is not for the sake of friendly trade, but to do our nation harm.”

Clark, together with Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican, tried to address the electromagnetic threat in June 2013 when they introduced the Shield Act, which has stalled in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

According to Pry, near the end of the Cold War, the Russians developed the technology for a super pulse. This is a class of nuclear weapon with a special design to produce a particularly powerful electromagnetic field.  He says that in 2004 a delegation of Russian generals, including two of their top electromagnetic experts, met with the electromagnetic commission.

“They told us proactively, ‘we have bad news. We developed this super EMP weapon, and during the post-Cold War brain drain, some of our scientists went to North Korea,'" he said.

At the time, Pry said, the Russian generals thought that within a few years, North Korea could develop a super electromagnetic weapon.


Three of pope's relatives
die in car-truck collision


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Three relatives of Pope Francis have been killed in a car crash in Argentina.

The pope's nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, was driving in the central province of Cordoba when his small car struck a truck Tuesday and lodged beneath the rear of the vehicle.

His sons, ages 8 months and 2 years, and their mother, the driver's wife, died in the crash.

The 38-year-old Bergoglio remains hospitalized. He is the son of the pope's late brother.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the pope knew of the accident and had asked all those who share in his pain to join him in prayer.


Some ebola patients better
after getting new drugs


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Without specific drugs or a vaccine for ebola, the only thing doctors can do for those suffering from this disease is treat their symptoms and hope their bodies can fight the virus.  Ebola is killing at least half of those who get it.  So far, it has claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people.

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for ebola patients in West Africa.  Zmapp, one of those drugs, have been given to six people: three Westerners and now, three African doctors.  One of the Westerners, a Catholic priest who was working in Liberia, has died.  Reports say the other five are improving.  It's still not known if the drug has helped.

Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the company that produced the drug, says all the available supplies are now exhausted.

Also available are about 1,000 doses of an experimental vaccine, which may be used in West Africa.  Neither of these treatments has been tested on human beings.

In a Skype interview, Robert Klitzman, one of the co-founders of the Center for Bioethics at Columbia University in New York, said using these drugs raises ethical issues.  "Does it work? What should we tell people?  What if it makes people worse?  We want to make sure people understand that there are risks involved.  If we have a limited supply, we need to decide who should get the vaccine or medication and who should not."

Klitzman said in some sub-Saharan African languages, there's a word for cure, but nothing that translates the word experimental.  He says anyone who receives an experimental drug has to be told it might not cure them, and if it might make the situation worse.

Chandrakant Ruparelia is an infectious disease prevention expert at Jhpiego, an organization that trains health care workers in Liberia.  He said even if there were a large supply of these treatments, an untested drug has to be monitored. “That’s an experimental medication still," he said and that "It cannot be used on a large scale for every patient."

Klitzman says he agrees.  "We need to give it in a controlled way where we can see who got it, what happened, does it work, does it make them worse?"

Other vaccines and treatments are being developed, but are not likely to be used to treat ebola patients, even in an experimental form, at least not for this unprecedented outbreak.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8451-12/13/14

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
8366-12/2/14

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8448-2/21/15




Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com


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

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
 
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: info@greciarealestate.com
8446-11/14/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Farm montage

Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available 9 hectares (24 acres). Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes. Contact: marinakuperman@gmail.com
8459-9/20/14

Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es  and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8458-3/2/15

mansion
New 5,000-sq. ft. home in the middle of coffee plantation
Superb mountain views and privacy. 3.3-acre property on top of mountain. 15 minutes from local shopping. One hour from all San José has to offer. Two hours from the beaches and attractions at Quepos. Balconies for each bedroom, two large decks with stunning mountain views, octagonal gazebo, extensive rock walls and landscaping. Surrounded by trees. New home never lived in. Very quiet mountain location in exclusive coffee farm area. Two-story open dining and living room with guest bath. Spiral staircase leads to common area for parties, etc. Has room with bar and another spiral staircase leads to the skydeck. This is a balcony high up above the house that has extensive mountain views. All ceilings are wood accented with large beams. Balconies are tile and the decks are stained teak. Decks have balustrades. The second floor balcony and common area have custom wrought iron. All services available from satellite Sky TV, to high-speed Internet. All block and steel construction. Many hiking trails and rainforest zone a few miles away. If nature, quiet life and privacy is your thing, this could be for you. Juan Santamaria SJO Airport 1 hour 15 minutes away. $470,000. Picture gallery emailed on request to serious inquiries. Contact Jim Alfaro, jimalfaro@gmail.com   Cell 8714-8274.
8457-9/18/14

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: www.costaricapremierproperty.com.
8440-8/31/14

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: costaricapremierproperty.com
8439-8/31/14

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.
8438-8/313/14


NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES
TURNKEY

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8422-9/15/14

Finca
A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special price: $200,000 for a quick sale.. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write lindafinca@hotmail.com.
8420-8/11/14


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

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

Castillo
Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

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

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consignment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

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

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

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

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

Lundquist photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/14

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

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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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 164
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
hurricanes
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The latest predictions

 New forecast sees fewer hurricanes

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Forecasters with the U.S. Climate Prediction Center raised the likelihood for a below-normal season in the most recent update to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook. The update predicts a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 5 percent chance of an above-normal season. The probabilities in the initial outlook issued on May 22 were 50 percent, 40 percent and 10 percent.

“We are more confident that a below-normal season will occur because atmospheric and oceanic conditions that suppress cyclone formation have developed and will persist through the season,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “Nonetheless, tropical storms and hurricanes can strike the U.S. during below-normal seasons, as we have already seen this year when Arthur made landfall in North Carolina as a category-2 hurricane. We urge everyone to remain prepared and be on alert throughout the season.”

The primary factors influencing the increased chance of a below-normal season are:

• Overall atmospheric conditions are not favorable for storm development. This includes strong vertical wind shear, a weaker West African monsoon, and the combination of increased atmospheric stability and sinking motion. These conditions mean fewer tropical systems are spawned off the African coast, and those that do form are less likely to become hurricanes. These conditions are stronger than originally predicted in May and are expected to last mid-August through October, the peak months of the hurricane season;

• Overall oceanic conditions are not favorable for storm development. This includes below-average temperatures across the tropical Atlantic, which are exceptionally cool relative to the remainder of the global tropics. This cooling is even stronger than models predicted in May and is expected to persist through the hurricane season; and

• El Niño is still likely to develop and to suppress storm development by increasing vertical wind shear, stability and sinking motion in the atmosphere.

The updated hurricane season outlook, which includes the activity to-date of hurricanes Arthur and Bertha, predicts a 70 percent chance of the following ranges: 7 to 12 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which 0 to 2 could become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, 5; winds of at least 111 mph).

These ranges are centered below the 30-year seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The initial outlook in May predicted 8 to 13 named storms, 3 to 6 hurricanes and 1 to 2 major hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane region comprises the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast. It does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The Climate Prediction Center also continued the El Niño watch in its scheduled monthly El Niño/Southern Oscillation Diagnostic Discussion. Forecasters note that although sea surface temperatures across the central equatorial Pacific have recently returned to near average, this cooling is expected to be temporary. El Niño is now favored to emerge during August-October, and to peak at weak strength during the late fall and early winter. The likelihood of El Niño during August-October has decreased to 55 percent (from 75 percent in May), and its likelihood during the fall and winter has decreased to about 65 percent (from near 80 percent).

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From Page 7:

Promotora general manager resigns

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jorge Sequeira has resigned as general manager of Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica, the export promotions organization. He has served four years.

Sequeira is best known recently to expats as the creator of the esencial COSTA RICA trademark that received mixed reviews.

He also is credited with simplifying many of the procedures that exporters must fulfill. He will serve until Sept. 12.

Promotora del Comercio Exterior is a non-state public entity that promotes exports and investments in Costa Rica.