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(506) 2223-1327                                 Published Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 168                                Email us
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stopped boat
Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas photo
Not all the passengers in this boat inspected near Tambor had life jackets
Tourists are risking their lives in some unsafe boats
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite three recent tragedies in the Gulf of Nicoya boat captains still are taking chances with the lives of tourists, according to the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas.

There is an economic motive because fishing for food species still is prohibited in the gulf as an environmental restriction.

The coast guard said it checked out eight boats this week and found two that were in violation. The agency said that many of these crafts are supposed to be for fishing and not to transport tourists.

One boat was overtaken in the bay off Tambor on the Nicoya peninsula.

Another boat was at anchor off Isla Tortuga when a patrol boat arrived. The coast guard said the only person on board, the captain,

threw himself into the sea to escape questioning. He fled onto the island. That
 boat, too, went to Caldera.

Some violations are technical, and some are life-threatening. Some boats travel distances much further than they are permitted. And there are life jackets either missing or in bad repair as well as inadequate radio communication devices, said the coast guard. Inspections for certificates of navigability are supposed to include looking over the equipment.

The coast guard reported that some boat captains remained in port over the weekend because they knew that patrol boats were seeking out violations.

Two small boats overturned in accidents that resulted in deaths near Golfito this year.

In addition, there was the sinking of a 90-foot tourist catamaran Jan. 8 in which three persons died and 106 were dumped into the sea. There were scrambles for life jackets when the catamaran began to sink, and there were insufficient life jackets in the two later mishaps

Canadian expats launch campaign for right to vote
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Other expats might be surprised to learn that Canadians living in Costa Rica can lose the right to vote in their country's elections.

Joan Ritchie Dewar, a local organizer of a crowd-sourcing campaign for a court appeal, say the situation affects thousands of Canadian expats here.

"The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives Canadian citizens the right to vote," said Mrs.
Dewar.  "There is no qualification regarding place of residence.  Prisoners and the mentally retarded have the right to vote.  Yet, if we've lived abroad more than five years, we don't!" 

Canadians living around the world have launched a Gofundme campaign to raise $50,000 to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to challenge the unjust law that strips 1.4 million Canadians living abroad of their right to vote, said a news release about the campaign.

Two Canadian citizens, Gillian Frank of Princeton, New Jersey, and Jamie Duong of Ithaca, New York, started the “Our Right to Vote” campaign. Gillian and Duong filed a
lawsuit against the Canadian government in 
Canadians vote
This is a graphic from the campaign.

 2012 after they were denied their right to vote in the 2011 federal election, the release said.

Expats here said that the legal battle was a see-saw situation since 1993.

"For a while, we could reset the five-year clock by returning on vacation,"
Mrs. Dewar said. "That ended in 2011.  In 2012 a lawsuit was filed by Canadians currently living and working in the U.S.A.  In 2014 they won, and now in 2015 it has been overruled, creating a backlash amongst expat Canadians around the world."

In a split decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a ruling July 21, said the press release.

The campaign said it is encouraging all Canadians, wherever their residence, to get involved by supporting the GoFundMe campaign. The campaign already has raised $5,500 as of early today.

Arrests made in attempted murder of Escazú expat
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Posted at 3:15 p.m.

Judicial agents today detained two men who are accused of trying to kill U.S. expat Jason  Feinman last March 18.

Feinman, the operator of a call center and other business activities, suffered multiple gunshot wounds when two men two men on a motorcycle approached him and one opened
fire in the Paco section of  San Rafael de Escazú.
The two suspects were the target of a raid about 5 a.m. today in La Sabana., according to the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The crime was not a robbery, and speculation at the time suggested a contract murder.

The pair face allegations of attempted murder.

Feinman was shot nine time with four of the bullets impacting the chest region, agents said at the time of the crime.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 168
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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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Insurance professionals

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Protestors plan to bring president garbage

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those opposed to incineration projects say they plan to carry trash to Casa Presidencial Sept. 8 as part of a protest.

The organizers said that they would also separate the garbage to protest the presidential decree that will permit the burning of garbage in Costa Rica.

Generally participants in this protest believe that a recycling program can substitute for the collection and burning of garbage.

The protest is believed supported by the Partido Acción Ciudadana, which also happens to be the political party of President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The incinerators, which would be installed in municipalities that request them by private firms, are supposed to generate electricity with the heat that is created.

Those announcing the protest see the incinerators as having grave environmental impact. They said they prefer less consumption and recycling.

police stop
Policía Municipal de Escazú photo               
    Escazú police said they intercepted this pickup load of suspicious
    merchandise Tuesday in San Rafael. Police turned the case over to
    tax authorities when the documentation for the goods, mostly car
    parts, did not match what was in the boxes.

Fumigation begun at international airports

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal said that it has begun fumigating the cargo area and the baggage of aircraft entering or leaving the country.

The agency had announced this in the past, but the announcement did not say that the fumigation would ignore the passenger compartment. Those passengers with respiratory conditions have complained elsewhere of fumigation.

In some countries and on some airlines, flight attendants spray an aerosol to kill insects before the plane reaches the ground. Less than 10 countries require this, according to online sources.

The animal health agency said it has its own crews at Juan Santamaría, Daniel Oduber and Tobías Bolaños airports to handle international flight. The agency said that airlines were being charged 10,000 to 20,000 colons for this service. It said the work takes just five minutes.

The agency said it was trying to prevent the export or introduction of harmful insects such as mosquitoes that carry yellow fever.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo             
This is the hose nozzle that doubled as a pistol.

Sometimes robbers have to be creative

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The crooks should get a high mark for improvisation.

The Fuerza Pública detained two men in downtown San José Monday after a woman reported she had been robbed.

Instead of a gun or a knife, officers said they found the nozzle of a garden hose. The robbery took place on Avenida 5 between calles 7 and 9. The two suspects were detained a few blocks to the east a short time later.

Police said that the men carried several cell telephones and the nozzle of a hose.

African sands are cutting visibility

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Visibility in the Central Valley and on the Caribbean coast is being hampered by sand being carried by the winds from the Sahara in Africa, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

Costa Rica frequently hosts material driven by the winds from Africa, but the amount now is enough to impede precipitation, said the weather institute. The sand and the wind makes the air dry and prevents the formation of rain clouds.

The condition is expected to diminish this morning.

Our reader's opinion
Who would plan a Sardinal megamarket?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Re: "$52 million farmers market is nearing final approval" published Tuesday.

Thanks for this truly hilarious article. My husband and I laughed out loud this morning when we read this.  I am assuming this is a spoof?  Or does the well known adage: "Logic does not apply" (here in Costa Rica) fit the occasion?

This looks to be a distribution station that would be more appropriate to a larger demographic, such as Mexico City, or Los Angeles, California. Has anyone considered the demographics of Sardinal?

Who in Costa Rican planning would ever think up such an unnecessary and overblown development?

Here in Guanacaste we could never fill this building if we rounded up all the cattle, horses, melons and sugar cane grown in the province. Nor would we need all those semi-truck trailers. Perhaps a little auto parking would be appropriate, just in case buyers were to show up once a week or so.

I cannot resist mentioning that just 15 minutes from here sits a similar facility: the Solarium.  About 90 percent empty since it was built in the early 2000s. Probably could be rented in its entirety yearly, for about 10 to 20 percent of the cost to service the debt on this Sardinal Farmer's Market endeavor.  A lot cheaper, already built, great location between Liberia and the beach communities. And it is empty, and available right now.

Thanks for the laughs!
Alana Shaffer
Playas del Coco

North Korea reported reducing readiness

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

North Korea has reduced its military readiness posture, South Korea said today, after the two sides reached a deal to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula. The North lifted its self-described quasi-state of war following the Tuesday agreement, the officials confirmed, adding Seoul reciprocated by relaxing its own defense stance.

Under the accord, North Korea expressed "regret" about a recent land mine explosion that injured two South Korean soldiers. In return, Seoul turned off its propaganda broadcasts into the North.

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From the Spanish-language press

Today, Wednesday, Aug. 26

Lower gas prices on the way

CR Hoy: A barrel of oil was trading at $40 this week, the lowest in six years. Costa Ricans should see lower prices at the pump beginning in October, according to the national regulatory authority.

Donation to help 600 patients

CR Hoy: San Jose’s national rehabilitation hospital now has a functional stimulation machine, thanks to Costa Rica’s Jewish Community.

Overcrowding feared in Alajuelita

Diario Extra: Due to concerns over increased traffic and not enough schools, residents oppose a subdivision that would bring 1,600 new families to the area.

Security officers threaten strike

Prensa Libre: Fifty-five security employees at the legislative assembly claim they are not receiving the full pay they are owed.


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

Don't miss our restaurant specials HERE!
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 168
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Manager of exiting Cartago firm unhappy with government regulations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fernando Altmann, the general manager of the Cartago firm  Florexpo, was at the legislature Tuesday to complain about plant health rules and government paperwork that were among the reason that the company is moving to Guatemala.

The firm has been in the news because 400 employees will lose their jobs. Florexpo says it is a global leader in the production of unrooted cuttings based in Paraiso.

The sale of the company to Dümmen Orange earlier this year is yet another reason that the business is moving.

Dümmen Orange already has facilities in Guatemala, and it is combining the business in Antigua. The transition of 
production of all Florexpo products will be finalized by April, the new owner said.  That firm has 6,000 employees worldwide.
Altmann spoke before the legislative Comisión Especial Investigadora de la provincia de Cartago. He told lawmakers that the firm's growth is based on the importation of new varieties of plants but that changes in legislation and in the interpretation of rules have made bringing in new species impossible.

He said that plant inspectors take 25 days to do their job and by that time 25 percent of the imported plants are lost.

Altmann is of the family that founded the company 27 years ago as a small operation. It has grown to be in the top 10 plant cutting producers in the world, according to Greenhouse Growers Magazine. He is lucky because he will continue to hold a position in the company.

The magazine also noted that the location of the plant production farm in Paraiso has become surrounded by residential areas and it makes sense for the family to sell off the land as lots.

As independence day approaches, education ministry plans a contest
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The drum beats that are filling the air come from school children practicing for the Día de la Independencia, which is Sept. 15. School children and their bands will be on the march that Tuesday with local parades and celebrations.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública has announced a contest that focuses more on the night of Sept. 14.  The story goes that leading Costa Rican citizens gathered in the streets under the light of their own lanterns to discuss the news of independence. So the farole or street lantern is part of the celebration.

Nearly every elementary student makes his or her own. That can be seen at independence gatherings in the various communities and on the evening of Sept. 14 in San José and Cartago, the former capital. Some are very elaborate.

The education ministry plans a farole contest in which students use recycled materials. This is the 194th anniversary of independence, and the contest is the first for primary grades. The contest has six categories based on the six grade levels Those interested in entering can find out more rules at the ministry Web site.

Students get to keep their creations. They just have to submit a photo with a brief description of how it was made to the ministry electronically by Sept. 7.

The celebration also includes a relay by students who carry

A.M. Costa Rica file photo
This church replica is perhaps the most elaborate farole or street lantern ever. A more typical one is lower down in the photo. Both were at the 2009 celebration in San José.

the torch of independence from the northern border to Cartago, which always arrives just in time for the official celebration on the night of Sept. 14.

Ministries will report on fake, unregistered products
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry, the consumer protection agency and the customs service are expected to blow the whistle today on fake products, others that are not register and also those without proper labeling.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, the Ministerio de Salud and the Ministerio de Hacienda have combined to

survey the metro area retail outlets.

The announcements come as lawmakers are about to vote for the second and final time on a bill that hikes penalties for smuggled goods.

The various government agencies have been waging a continual battle against products that have not been registered with the health ministry and also medicines and health products smuggled from Nicaragua.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 168
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Profound changes seen for marine species by largest study of its kind
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Warming oceans will cause profound changes in the biodiversity of marine life, according to the largest study ever of marine species. Some species will expand into new regions, while others, especially in the tropics and reef areas, will likely die out.

An international research team used a model that looked at sea surface temperature changes and then compared that information with data on heat tolerance of individual species and habitat preference. The findings describe the distribution for nearly 13,000 species worldwide.

The tropics will be hardest hit with species extinction because they are less likely to adapt. “This is especially worrying and highly germane to Australia’s coral reefs,” said the report's co-author, John Pandolfi of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the University of Queensland. “Complementary studies have shown high levels of extinction risk in tropical biotas where localized human impacts as well as climate change have resulted in substantial degradation.”

Although other species will move about more easily, Pandolfi says that, too, has a down side. “Instead of having discrete differentiation of different marine communities in different places, we found in our analysis that projected climate change is going to result in a lot more mixing of species and a lot more sameness of diversity throughout the world’s oceans.”

The study charts these changes out to the year 2100. That sameness in the ocean is especially problematic as new strategies are put into place to meet the food demands of a growing population.

“When one formally abundant species moves into a new ecosystem or geographic region they may not be able to reproduce as effectively as they used to,” Pandolfi said. “It comes down to understanding the dynamism that is going to be imposed from climate change and being able to have the tools to manage for those dynamics.” 

If the oceans heat up and unleash a series of impacts as predicted by the study, new combinations of resident and invader species will present unprecedented challenges for conservation planning.

“That’s something I think that it isn’t easy for people to get their heads around,” Pandolfi said. “Now if I’m going to set up a marine park, I want to make sure that organisms are preserved through decades or centuries. With climate change, those communities are going to be dynamic. They are not going to be static entities.”

In the warmer ocean, species will cross into new geographic areas beyond political boundaries. Pandolfi says the study, published in Nature Climate Change, underscores the importance of cooperation among nations to address climate change and the potential loss of biodiversity.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Click photo for another video

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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Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
Each of the five individual Villas  boasts its own unique charm with pleasant, moderately priced accommodations and all gives you the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle from your own private balcony which has views of the river bed and the ocean. If you’re up for an adventure  we can help you arrange it and choose from the many tour options available in our region. Ojochal has some of the most secluded and pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica, as well as some outstanding surfing opportunities. Enjoy our local attractions such as white water rafting, whale and dolphins tour, Corcovado national park tours, Osa canopy tour, San Buenas golf course, horseback ride to the beach and waterfalls,
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Mar de
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

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* FAMILY VACATIONS. Our travels take into account the different ages of your family enjoy the most from your Family vacations. Click HERE!

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* EDUCATIONAL TOURS. Tours for universities to schools to elementary schools. We have professionals to help you discover the secrets of Costa Rica in a fun way. Costa Rica Educational Tours. Click HERE!

* GUIDED TOURS. General holiday planning giving you the best value for your investment Costa Rica vacation Packages. Click HERE!

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
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   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Real estate for rent 
Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

Rental montage
 Unfurnished apartment with modern kitchen right on the beach
in Playa Junquillal. $500 month + electric. see to view a video or call 5004-3473. HERE's the video.

Playa del Coco
Hear the waves and walk to the beach
Villa with separate studio apartment in north Playas del Coco. Two bedrooms and two baths in the villa. Fully furnished.  Laundry facilities. Yard fenced in. Pets Ok. Large covered terrace with views. A/C, satellite TV. Surrounded by gardens, palms and other tropical trees frequented by monkeys. Rent villa for $1,300/month or both for $1,500. Contact owner Linda: 2670-0779 or 8347-4705.

montage of thre homes
Beautiful Cottages for rent
Cottages located in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens. 45 minutes from San José. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed.
    - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony, 1 ranch. $900 monthly
          + utilities.
    - 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. $450 monthly + utilities.
    - 1 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom, 1 balcony. $500 monthly
         + utilities.
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS.

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

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About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 168
Real Estate
About us

Intel's science fair winner
made fingerprint-specific gun

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States has the highest civilian firearm ownership rate in the world, and a recent study ranked it in the top tier of countries in public mass shooters per capita. In fact, in the first 204 days of this year, there were 204 mass shootings in the United States, attacks in which four or more people were killed or injured.

Only a handful of those attacks make national headlines. One of the most horrific was three years ago, when a gunman opened fire at a Colorado movie theater, killing 12 people, and injuring 70 others.

Kai Kloepfer was a 15-year-old high school sophomore in the nearby community of Boulder, Colorado, at the time of the shooting. He had a talent for technology, and had been taking apart video machines and teaching himself engineering since the age of 5. He decided to focus his engineering skills on preventing firearm tragedies.

"I kind of set out to improve the safety of firearms,” he recalled.

Kloepfer wanted to make a gun that wouldn't work in the hands of a killer.  While he believed he could design that gun, he also realized it would be impossible to keep dangerous people from buying guns.  So he changed his focus, recognizing there were other gun-related tragedies he could do something about, accidental shootings, when children get their hands on a family gun and kill a friend or themselves while playing with it.

“Every 30 minutes in the United States, a child dies or is injured by a firearm," Kloepfer said. "Add up a child every 30 minutes over even, say a week, and you have an astronomically larger number of people than has ever been injured in any type of mass shooting in the United States.”

Those numbers come from a study done by the Children's Defense Fund. A more recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that at least 10,000 kids or teens are killed or injured by guns every year.

Kloepfer decided the gun he would design would be a safer weapon. It would fire only when unlocked by the fingerprint of the owner or an authorized user, not for anyone else.

It took seven months and over 1,500 hours for Kloepfer to create a plastic, smart gun prototype. He entered his fingerprint handgun in the local science fair where he won and kept winning, all the way to the world’s top youth science competition.  At the age of 16, he won the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair.

“7.4 million people across the world compete at some level of that," he said. "But only 1,500 people each year get to attend the Intel Science Fair.  I was amazingly selected by the judges to attend the Intel Science Fair and actually ended up winning the first place grand award in engineering for that year.”

The INTEL award included a small cash prize.  Kloepfer applied for a grant from the SmartTech Challenges Foundation, whose mission is to foster innovation in firearm safety.  He received $50,000.

Now 18, Kloepfer has been using the grant money to further develop his technology and continue to refine his prototype.

“This doesn’t change the function of a firearm at all.  It just makes it safer,” he said. He is now integrating the fingerprint lock technology into a live metal gun, and expects to one day see his smart gun for sale side-by-side with regular firearms.

Constantly seeking feedback, Kloepfer showed the plastic prototype to Kye Javes, a deputy with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, who peppered the teenager with questions about its durability and reliability. He noted that a safer gun will never be a substitute for proper training, but could make a difference in a far too common situation.

“I know a lot of people leave a gun on a nightstand, because they want to have accessibility to it," he said. "To me, this is the answer to that.”

And Javes had a request for the young inventor: “When you get a working prototype, I would love to shoot it!”

Kloepfer plans to spend the next year focusing on refining his fingerprint handgun.  Then he’ll start classes at one of the world’s top science schools, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

World Health plans review
of response to ebola crisis

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization has begun the process of producing new guidelines for responding more quickly and effectively to ebola and other global epidemics and emerging diseases.

A special review committee is meeting for two days this week at World Health headquarters to produce recommendations to address outbreaks like ebola.

The panel is looking at how international health regulations were implemented during the crisis in West Africa and how to strengthen them. The regulations are an important legal instrument aimed at protecting populations by preventing and controlling the international spread of disease. 

The panel has set up three working groups to identify weaknesses with the ebola response and seek solutions, according to Didier Houssin, who chairs the committee. He said the first group will focus on the flow of information and communication among member states and World Health. He said the other groups will cover resources and compliance with policies.

“We have a second group within this committee, which is going to address the question of capacities. Of course, capacities, core capacities in term of epidemiology, surveillance, laboratories, points of entry, etcetera," said Houssin. "And, we have a third group, which will be addressing the question of compliance to rules and the question of the governance of international health regulations.” 

Houssin said one of the biggest problems is getting countries to comply with the regulations. He said there are many reasons, including the inability of poor states that have poor health systems and lack the financial means to follow through on the epidemiological or surveillance requirements.

He said the committee will look into this problem and consider how to help these states perform better. The panel says it aims to produce its recommendations in time for a meeting of World Health's decision-making body next May.

Californians, too, find homes
in useful shipping containers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers.  The effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.

Artist Heather Stewart is one of 20 people who live and work in shipping containers, or other types of tiny houses.  Most are standard containers six meters long.

She is installing plumbing and wiring in her unit.

“We all have enough tools that we can pass them around, so then everybody has the resources they need to build what they want," said Ms. Stewart.

Stewart and her friend Luke Iseman have been here since April, after city officials ordered them to remove their housing containers from a property they had bought with friends in an industrial section of Oakland.  They were told they were violating local zoning codes.

They relocated to a massive warehouse at an undisclosed location, where they and their friends have installed a dozen containers costing about $2,000 each. 

Iseman got the idea after he helped create a metal-working factory in a shipping container that was shipped intact to Kenya.  He says it made him realize how useful the structure can be.

“A roof that doesn’t leak and a floor that’s level.  So from there, it’s more or less esthetic modification," said Iseman.

The container houses are adapted for the artists and others who live here, like designer Camille MacRae.

“It’s really interesting to be in this space because there are other people doing similar things, and just to have this richness of ideas and exchanges happening," said Ms. MacRae.

People in other cities are experimenting with shipping container houses, and Iseman says there may well be others on San Francisco Bay that are hidden from view.

“People have been secretive about it because institutions impose large fines if you don’t comply with their rules," he said.

Iseman and his friends say the lack of affordable housing calls for creative solutions.

U.S. West ravaged by fires
burning parched forests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Wildfires have been raging in the western states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California forcing thousands of residents from their homes. Officials are hoping to contain the flames before they reach industrial sites and produce toxic fumes.  Three firefighters have died in the effort.

Planes and helicopters have been dropping water and flame retardants in efforts to stop the fires from spreading.

"It's incredible to see the air attack tankers come in like they do, especially the DC-10," said Mike Pruitt, a resident of Winthrop, Washington.

But heavy smoke above some areas makes flying to them impossible.

"It's a blessing and a curse, the smoke. It keeps a lid on things and kind of reduces fire behavior a little bit, but at the same time when it's so smoky we can't fly aircraft," said Todd Pechota, an incident commander in Okanogan, Washington.

Officials are warning residents to stay indoors until the smoke clears. The smoke and frequent evacuations also have been hard on the local farm animals. 

Nearly 29,000 firefighters are working to extinguish large fires across the drought-and-heat-stricken West. Many residents have joined the effort to contain the march of fires approaching their homes and to offer refuge to those who had to flee theirs.

"This is a very generous and very tightly-knit community.  And so as soon as the word got out people, you know folks that knew each other, opened up their homes to each other and even some of the lodges opened up and allowed people to stay at the lodge for the night," said Chon Bribiescas of the U.S. Forest Service.

There is fear that a coming storm could flare up the fires in some parts of Washington State. The good news is that fires were cleared in some places, enabling residents to return to their homes.

Spontaneous murderers said
to have similar mental profiles

By the Northwestern University news staff

Murderers who kill intimate partners and family members have a significantly different psychological and forensic profile from murderers who kill people they don't know, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study that examined the demographics, psychiatric history and neuropsychology of these individuals.

The new knowledge about murderers who commit what is called spontaneous domestic homicide,  emotionally driven crimes that are not premeditated, could enable early intervention to prevent the homicide, the authors said.

Domestic homicide is one of the most common and frequent types of murder in the U.S.

One-third of all women murdered in the U.S. are killed by their male partners including husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends and ex-boyfriends.

"The findings provide important information that may help prevent future domestic homicides, because they help identify individuals at risk of committing domestic murders," said lead author Robert Hanlon, director of the forensic psychology research lab at Northwestern University. "The killers in this group are very similar to each other and different from men who commit non-domestic murders, which are often premeditated."

The study on spontaneous domestic homicides found these killers have more severe mental illness (particularly psychotic disorders), few previous felony convictions, are less intelligent and have more cognitive impairment. The paper was published Aug. 21 in the early view online edition of the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

"These crimes are often preventable if family members are more informed about the potential danger from having someone who is severely mentally ill in the home and who may have shown violent tendencies in the past," Hanlon said. "Family members may lull themselves into a state of false beliefs thinking 'my son would never hurt me' or 'my husband may have a short fuse but he would never seriously harm me.'"

"The fact is the husband or son may very well harm the wife or mother," Hanlon said.

These murders are not a premeditated, strategic type of killing, noted Hanlon, who testified in the James Holmes Colorado theater mass murder trial in Denver in July.

"These murders are in the heat of passion and generally involve drugs or alcohol and often are driven by jealousy or revenge following a separation or a split," Hanlon said. "This is grabbing the kitchen knife out of the drawer in a fit of anger and stabbing her 42 times."

Another scenario is a murder committed by a mentally ill son or another family member who is psychotic and thinks the victim is plotting against him.

Intimate partners and family members need to notify the authorities that they are concerned about potential harm and remove themselves from the situation, Hanlon recommended. "You can stay with relatives, call domestic violence hotlines and say, 'I'm scared something is going to happen to me,'" Hanlon said. "Start the wheels turning and get assistance."

For the study, Hanlon interviewed and personally evaluated 153 murderers for more than 1,500 hours. Participants were men and women charged with and/or convicted of first-degree murder in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Colorado and Arizona.

"You learn a lot about them in that amount of time," Hanlon said. "I saw the same patterns and trends over and over again."

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
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Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
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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 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940 

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia one
Big house for sale.
Great opportunity !!!

If you know about house for sale prices,  you will realize that this is a real deal.  Original price of  $400,000 now is $320,000.
Due to its characteristics and location, it can also be used for commercial purposes (boutique hotel, offices, medical center).  Large house, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, one office, just 250 meters from Grecia downtown. High quality construction, built in 2009, high ceilings, balcony with beautiful views over central Grecia valley, elegant luxury furnitures included, network cabling 6 gigabits throughout the house, Giant TV flat projection system of 120 inches in the main room, sound system 7.1 channel. Air conditioning system, security system, and cameras, lighting system in open areas. 4-car parking space plus large garage, Recommended for large families.

Property Location: Central Grecia, Alajuela
Total area construction (two floors):
252 square meters
Total area: 250 square meters
Construction Type: Concrete
See more photos click HERE!

Grecias two
  Send us your request to our email:

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Escazu condo
Builders, Investors Opportunity
Escazú, San José

Unique opportunity, 6 units 80% finished luxury condo project. Best location in Escazú. Condos have amazing views and privacy.  There is option to build 5 more units in the same complex. Project located only 5 minutes away from Multiplaza, CIMA Hospital  and Escazú's best amenities. All permits in place.

Open to partial trades and small financing. Let's negotiate!


John Ordonez Broker / Owner
Cell: (506) 8811-5329 / Office: (506) 25660138
Toll free USA & CANADA 1-877-210-3639 /
SKYPE: jhongoc
More Luxury Listings:

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Coffee farm
Organic coffee farm for sale
34,000 meters square zoned ARC. 130 meters paved road frontage. City water and irrigation runes through property. Year round spring. Bananas and many fruit trees on property. Approx. 1.5K from Sarchí Center, 40K from airport. Plans and permits ready for 2-bedroom house. Proposed subdivision plans are also included. @$15US per meter for total $510,000. Email or

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $1,250,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $495,000. Click HERE!

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 168
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disbled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
No benefit to brain found with omega-3

By the National Institutes of Health news staff

While some research suggests that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can protect brain health, a large clinical trial by researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that omega-3 supplements did not slow cognitive decline in older persons. With 4,000 patients followed over a five-year period, the study is one of the largest and longest of its kind. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Contrary to popular belief, we didn’t see any benefit of omega-3 supplements for stopping cognitive decline,” said Emily Chew, deputy clinical director at the National Eye Institute.

Dr. Chew leads the age-related eye disease study, which was designed to investigate a combination of nutritional supplements for slowing age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss among older Americans. That study established that daily high doses of certain antioxidants and minerals can help slow the progression to advanced degeneration.

A later study tested the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the antioxidants and minerals. But the omega-3s made no difference. Omega-3 fatty acids are made by marine algae and are concentrated in fish oils. They are believed to be responsible for the health benefits associated with regularly eating fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Where studies have surveyed people on their dietary habits and health, they’ve found that regular consumption of fish is associated with lower rates of macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, and possibly dementia. “We’ve seen data that eating foods with omega-3 may have a benefit for eye, brain, and heart health,” Dr. Chew explained.

Omega-3 supplements are available over the counter and often labeled as supporting brain health. A large 2011 study found that omega-3 supplements did not improve the brain health of older patients with preexisting heart disease.

Dr. Chew and her team saw another opportunity to investigate the possible cognitive benefits of omega-3 supplements, she said. All participants had early or intermediate macular degeneration. They were 72 years old on average and 58 percent were female. They were randomly assigned to four groups.

Participants were given cognitive function tests at the beginning of the study to establish a baseline, then at two and four years later. The tests, all validated and used in previous cognitive function studies, included eight parts designed to test immediate and delayed recall, attention and memory, and processing speed. The cognition scores of each subgroup decreased to a similar extent over time, indicating that no combination of nutritional supplements made a difference.

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From Page 7:

Chinese stocks lower despite interest rate cut

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Markets in Asia swung wildly but were mostly lower today as China's move to cut interest rates failed to alleviate investors' concerns about the health of the world's second-largest economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index opened a volatile day of trading with slight gains. By around midday, the benchmark index was still see-sawing but had lost just over a percent. The Shenzhen Composite Index was down nearly 2 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, trading was mostly lower, including in Seoul, Sydney, and Taiwan. Stocks were slightly higher in Tokyo, and trading was flat in Hong Kong.

China's central bank on Tuesday cut interest rates a quarter of 1 percent, and told banks they could hold less money in reserve. The moves make it easier for consumers to buy products and companies to build factories and hire people.

The action reassured some investors who bid up European stocks which rose 3 percent in London, 4 percent in Paris and 5 percent in Germany.  U.S. stocks recovered, but then faltered with the Dow off by 1.3 percent at the close.

Chinese officials acted after several days of plunging stock prices around the world as investors worried that Chinese economic growth was slowing.

In New York, S&P Capital IQ's Sam Stovall says China's growth probably will fall to 6.6 percent next year, which is dramatically slower than in the past.  But in an interview, Stovall said that rate of expansion is still an enviable one.

An expert on China's economy from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Nick Lardy, says China's economic problems affect other nations because it is the second-largest economy in the world.

That means a slowdown in China cuts demand for manufactured products from industrial nations and reduces the need for commodities from developing countries.  Less demand slows economic growth in China's trading partners, which are numerous because the Middle Kingdom has become the manufacturing workshop for the world.

Lardy said investors watch China with great care in the hope of getting forward indicators of the direction and strength of an economy that affects demand for so many products in so many nations