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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 171                        Email us
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Solís blames Liberación for reign of corruption
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Reciting a long list of corruption and negligence from past governments, President Luis Guillermo Solís said Thursday that a recent history of irresponsible governing has held back Costa Rica's development. Solís delivered his 100-day report of his presidency that not only included a peek into his plans for reform but also gave a scathing critique of the previous administrations' perceived illegalities and failures.

In the first-ever report of its kind in Costa Rica, the president announced that his administration found that illegal acts happened every day under the various public ministries and institutions from 2006 to 2013 while Partido Liberación Nacional occupied much of the power structure.

“In the majority of public offices the chaos is unimaginable,” Solís said. “There has been corruption, corruption, and more corruption.”

In Costa Rica there's corruption but it would never seem there's corrupted people, Solís said, pointing to what he said was the irresponsibility of past leaders and their ability to remain unpunished. Among the most notable offenses that Solís listed were the labor ministry paying pensions to people who were already dead and the former administrations in Casa Presidencial inexplicably losing 117 state-owned cars that still cannot be found.

He admitted that the country's bureaucratic-heavy system has lead to Costa Rica being a country known for having processes that are slow, costly, and lacking in quality. Being one of the most inefficient countries in the region, he said, is a shameful label that the country they call the happiest in the world needs to shed before it can enjoy greater levels of wealth.

“This population is the most educated, most accepting, and most politically free in our history,” Solís said. “The people want change and serious, doable commitments.”

Though lawmakers and some in the general public openly questioned the report's necessity leading up to Thursday, Solís insisted that he wants his government to be more transparent and have a constant line of communication with the public. He said Thursday that divided parties, like Liberación Nacional, need to let him govern and that his administration will not be defined by the ruins left behind by previous ruling factions.
Casa Presdiencial photo
Luis Guillermo Solís

When discussing changes that he hopes to conduct over the remaining three years and nine months of his presidency, he mentioned needed improvements within the Caja Costarricense de Seguridad Social that included paying pensions to the 40,000 dependent retirees not receiving them. He also said more attention should be given to effective spending among public schools and universities to help young students succeed with more scholarship opportunities and better funding. According to the president, the government has more than 21 billion colons, or $39 million, saved up to spend on all public works.

Solís's speech lasted for a little more than an hour and was followed by questions from a selection of invited guests, including questions from the minister of Mujeres and a representative of a native group about possible reform for marginalized groups. In response to a question from a representative of the foreign trade sector, Solís said the country needs more quality jobs that come from attracting foreign investment and exporting products.

A tourism representative asked Solís if the government was going to offer a hand in keeping the sector afloat following the implementation of a potentially crippling sales tax. The president responded that his administration is trying to give the necessary support to tourism leaders for the industry to be competitive on a regional scale and that there was open dialogue involving the controversial 13 percent tax recently added to certain tours that businesses depend on.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 171

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
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Remodelling and Construction


Are you looking to buy property in Costa Rica. I am a professional builder with over 30 years experience in the remodel and construction business in the U.S. and C.R. I can inspect any building new or old meticulously and fix, remodel, do additions, whatever it needs or you want to add. I am very knowledgeable of all phases of construction and my rates are competitive.  Fully bilingual. Rainy season discounts. Contact:  Rodolfo Jimenez, Phone (506) 7129-3622  or (506) 8802-2176  Email :  
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Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
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Jeff Fisher invites you to see why this 20-year resident of Costa Rica believes the Central Pacific areas of Jacó Beach-Playa Hermosa-Los Suenos Marina & Golf and Esterillos-Bejuco Beaches are the best place to live and invest.
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
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Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area. There are 88 clear titled lots, some in mountain areas with great views and the rest on gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards, or just a quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.  All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each lot, and all lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $35,000, and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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and 20 minutes to Liberia airport.
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Album spotlights Costa Rican identity theft

By Bryan Kay
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A former rocker with British bands Manfred Mann and Thin Lizzy who had his identity stolen by an impostor in Costa Rica has released a solo album chronicling
album cover
Cover of new album

Dave Flett at work
the episode.

Scotsman Dave Flett, 63, fell prey to the aspiring star in 2003 amid the fallout from the Villalobos investment scheme collapse. The man masquerading as Flett claimed he had lost $80,000 in the reputed $1 billion venture later dubbed a ponzi scheme. To illustrate his story of demise, he identified himself as one of the brains behind Manfred Mann’s 1976 British No. 1 hit “Blinded by the Light” and a recent cancer survivor.

But the real Flett, who had played lead guitar on the track, was living quietly in Florida. Worse, he later told A.M. Costa Rica in an interview during which he produced incontrovertible evidence of his identity, he had never been to Costa Rica. And it was another year after the fake Flett’s claims before the real Flett realized he had become a victim of identity theft.

Now, more than 10 years on, Flett has released his first solo album, "Flying Blind." One of the songs, titled “Identity Theft,” tells the story of his experience dealing with the affair.

“I wrote the ‘Stolen Identity’ track when I found out someone was trying to pass himself off as me,” he explained.  “When
that guy impersonated me, I had to do some to make sure that all those good people who’ve loyally appreciated my past work know who is actually playing what.”

From there, more song ideas were formed, eventually leading to the 11-track album.

These days, Flett operates as an addictions counselor near Orlando, Florida. Another of the album tracks, “Forget You,” details the ravages of addiction.

Meanwhile, attempts over the years to track down the man behind the identity ruse failed. Since he vanished from Costa Rica sometime between 2002 and 2003, there have been no reported sightings of the would-be celebrity.

"Flying Blind" is available HERE!

Democrats to hear about global warming

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Global warming will be the topic Saturday morning when Democrats Abroad meets at the Holiday Inn Aurola  in downtown San José. 

Matthew Cook, a member of the organization's executive committee will give the presentation, titled “Global Warming: Everything you didn’t want to know about Climate Change because you were afraid to ask.”  He holds a master's degree from the University of California Riverside in environmental and developmental economics.

The purpose of the talk is to succinctly explain why climate change is a clear and present danger to human lives and livelihoods as well as to explore how Democrats Abroad-Costa Rica can use the issue to help get out the vote in November, the organization said.

Charge sought for permits to carry firearms

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Solís administration wants to charge each person who obtains a permit to carry a weapon $50. Now the government is bearing the cost of issuing the permit, said the security minister, Celso Gamboa Sánchez, who appeared before lawmakers Thursday.

Gamboa asked the Comisión Permanente Especial de Seguridad y Narcotráfico to throw out a bill members had been studying. The measure regulates security companies. Gamboa said that the administration has just come forth with a new bill that would be more of what he called integral. The current measure, if adopted, would cause problems within the industry, he said.

The new bill is No. 19.281.

Parade of saints in San Ramón

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The San Ramón festival committee has scheduled the Entrada de Santos for Saturday at 10 a.m. as part of the Festejos Patronales de San Ramón 2014. Organizers said that some 62 images of various saints would be in the procession carried by the faithful. Some 65,000 pilgrims are expected, they said.

The figures, some life-size and some smaller, come from nearby communities and from churches as far away as San José and Guanacaste.

The festival continues through Monday with other activities, local food and entertainment. The event is organized by members of the San Ramón Nonato Catholic Church.

Animal adoption opportunity Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Asociación Animales de Asís will hold a dog and cat adoption expo Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Walmart store in Heredia.

The animals have been castrated and vaccinated, said the association. A donation is sought for each animal to support the association.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 171
Real Estate
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Tax agency plans to skim 2 percent from credit card transactions
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The finance ministry has come up with a new way to collect more taxes.

Via what amounts to a hidden resolution, the Dirección General de Tributación has told banks and processors to skim 2 percent for nearly every credit card transaction starting Oct. 1. The money is supposed to be held for eventual payment of income taxes.

The resolution was tucked away in a nearly inaccessible part of the Web page of the Ministerio de Hacienda, purportedly for public comment. There was no general announcement, although the tax agency contends the proposal was available for public comment since June.

Two resolutions published in the La Gaceta official newspaper Monday described the procedure. The money that is retained is supposed to be applied to future income tax payments. If the amount is in excess of what the taxpayer owes at the end of the year, the balance is supposed to be returned. There is no indication in either resolution about interest being paid, although that is a possibility.

The measure is expected to affect directly expats in the restaurant and tourism business who accept payments by credit cards. Credit payments that are handled outside the country and outside the local banking system would not be affected.
The measure almost certainly will generate litigation, although there is precedence because some sales taxes are collected the same way.

Businesses that are on the so-called simplified system, as are many bars, have been excluded from the requirement, according to the resolution. They pay sales taxes ahead of time when products are delivered.

The resolutions also include professionals, such as physicians and lawyers who are notorious for ducking taxes. The tax agency has been pushing for more use of credit cards so the investigators there can keep track of payments to professionals. This resolution would seem to favor cash payments.

Some merchants might be inclined to impose a 2 percent surcharge on credit card payments.

There does not seem to be any adjustments outlined for cases where a major credit card payment is canceled. This might take place, for example, when a tourist cancels reservations for whatever reason.

News of the policy was published first Thursday by La Nación.  There have been no formal responses from merchants who might be affected and their trade organizations.  The resolutions were signed by Carlos Vargas Durán, director general of Tributación. They are  DGT-R-035-2014 and  DGT-R-036-2014.

The European prince among is subject of a U.S. writer's biography
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A direct descendant of European royalty, Prince Alfred of Prussia, arrived in Costa Rica in 1927 when he was 3 years old and remained living in the country until his death in 2013. The royal Costa Rican
Marie Stravlo
Marie Stravlo
is now the subject of a new book that details his life and his lineage that traces back to Queen Victoria and numerous other notable European royals.

American author Marie Stravlo wrote the 300-page biography on the prince titled, “Mi amigo el Príncipe. La biografía de Alfredo de Prusia.” In addition to insights into Alfred's life, Ms. Stravlo also claims to give new clues into one of history's biggest unknowns, the disappearance of the House of Romanov, known as the last Russian imperial family. The family was strongly linked to Alfred's lineage, as both his mother and father were distant cousins
of Nicholas II, the Russian czar who was abdicated just after World War I.

Historians and Russian officials are still divided over Nicholas II and the Romanovs' fate, though many believe they were executed by Communists in 1919. But Ms. Stravlo claims that after 15 years of having compiled documents and evidence from Costa Rica and other parts of the world, the century-long case may not be how the majority perceives it.

While adding this puzzling history to the backdrop, the book describes how Alfred's parents, Prince Sigismund of Prussia and Princess Charlotte Agnes of Saxe-Altenburg, escaped the country amid the chaos of the war. In Costa Rica they settled upon Barranca, Puntarenas, on a farm called San Miguel.

Ms. Stravlo says that both Sigismund and Charlotte Agnes were the grandnephew and grandniece of German emperor and king of Prussia Wilhelm II. The couple also had a daughter, Princess Barbara, before they moved to Central America and gave birth to Alfred in Guatemala.

The author, who has also worked as a journalist and on television production, says she was friends with Prince Alfred and was able to collect intimate stories from his perspective over the years. One of those anecdotes involves a young Alfred sitting and eating with workers from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad during their construction of the hydroelectric plant in Cachí.

The book goes on to reveal the prince's love for the arts, nature, and genealogy, a study for which he could have been subject and the
the prince

teacher. He was the founder of the Costa Rican society of genealogical studies in San José. Before Alfred's death at age 88, the author was able to spend extensive time with the prince as she had set out on the project to profile him in 1998. For the past six years Ms. Stravlo says she has dedicated all of her time to researching Alfred and the royal families with which he shared his bloodlines.

Ms. Stravlo will discuss her book Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Espacio Cultural Carmen Naranjo for the 15th International Book Fair that concludes this weekend. The book will be available at local bookstores like Librería Lehmann, as well as Amazon.

Ms. Stravlo shares nationality from both Costa Rica and the United States and lives in Dallas, Texas. She also co-authored “The Lost Romanov Icon and the Enigma of Anastasia,” which is a historical novel that adds to the speculation over the Romanov dynasty and the possible survival of Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Nicholas II. This latest book was first  published in Spanish under REA Ediciones.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 171
Real Estate
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Florida researchers are not optimistic about halting orange tree disease
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

An entomologist in Florida estimates that it may take five more years to find a way to keep orange trees free of  a bacteria carried by an Asian insect.

Citrus ranchers in Florida are burning orange trees damaged by a spotted brown bug called psyllid. It is a native of Asia and carries what the Chinese call the yellow dragon disease. Florida ranchers call it greening.

The Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería has declared an agricultural emergency over the problem,

While feeding on citrus leaves, the bug infests them with bacteria that clog the tree’s capillary system, slowly choking it to death. The fruit borne by the diseased plant is small, it falls off and the tree eventually dies. The Asian citrus psyllid is Diaphorina citri.

No citrus-growing countries have developed a cure, although California researches have discovered a tiny wasp that can attack the bug's young.

In Florida, farmer Ellis Hunt is extremely frustrated. “When you spend the money to raise it, and get it almost there, and it turns loose and hits the ground, that's ... a disaster. That's heartbreaking,” he said.

To make matters worse, Florida’s $9-billion citrus growing industry, second only to Brazil, is fighting growing foreign competition and declining sales due to U.S. consumers' growing aversion to sugar and carbohydrates.

The industry's 75,000 jobs depend on finding a cure to the disease.

At the University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center, some of the world’s best botanists and entomologists are trying to save the existing trees, grow new ones resistant to the bacterium, 
Voice of America photo
Oranges are not supposed to fall to the ground like this.

and make the insect incapable of transmitting the disease.

Entomologist Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski said the problem is keeping her awake at night.

“It's something I think about every day. I think about it at night when I'm supposed to be sleeping. It's a huge problem, and we need to come up with as many tools as we can,” she said.

Ms. Pelz-Stelinski said it may take as long as five years to come up with a way to make the psyllid bug free of the dangerous bacteria. In the meantime, botanists are experimenting with grafting as a way to keep the existing trees alive, while citrus farmers try to control the disease by spraying the trees and feeding them with nutrients -- added expenses that further shrink their income.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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.

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.


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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

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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.

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

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

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
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.

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 171
Real Estate
About us

Testing of ebola vaccine
due to begin in the U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. health officials announced Thursday the launch of the first human testing of a vaccine to prevent ebola. The vaccine candidate was co-developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

Anthony Fauci says vaccine research has accelerated since the ebola epidemic was first reported in West Africa last March.

"We are announcing the opening of a small human safety study of an investigational ebola vaccine candidate that will be tested here at the NIH," he said. "This is the first of several Phase One clinical trials of ebola vaccine candidates that we are set to launch."

Fauci is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. He describes the West Africa ebola outbreak as a “public health emergency that demands an all hands on deck response.”

"We have accelerated the time line for testing experimental ebola vaccines that we have been developing for several years," he said. "And after an expedited review of the candidate product and clinical trial design by the United States Food and Drug Administration we have the green light to begin."

He says the trials will be based on three earlier versions of ebola vaccine candidates. Those trials led to the vaccine that is now being studied. Next week, the first three volunteers will be enrolled in a study known as VRC207.

"The trial aims to enroll 20 healthy adults, ages 18 to 50 years, at the NIH Clinical Research Center here in Bethesda, Maryland," he said. "The study will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and whether it generates an immune response in healthy adults that, based on our animal studies, could predict effectiveness in preventing the acquisition of ebola infection."

Fauci says earlier studies of the experimental vaccine performed extremely well in protecting primates from ebola infection.  The current vaccine candidate uses a chimpanzee cold virus. The virus carries a gene related to the surface protein of the Zaire and Sudan strains of the ebola virus. The Zaire strain is blamed for the West Africa epidemic.

"It is important to know that the ebola gene contained in the investigational vaccine cannot cause a vaccinated individual to become infected with ebola," he said. "The volunteers in the VRC207 trial will be divided into two groups to test first a lower and then a higher dose of the vaccine.

The vaccine will be administered through an injection in the arm. The trial is scheduled to last 48 weeks, but initial findings could be available by the end of this year. 

In October, a second trial will begin in the U.S., Britain, Mali and The Gambia to test a vaccine candidate that contains genetic material from only one of the Ebola strains.

Fauci says despite the vaccine research, precaution and prevention are the best defense right now against the disease.

World Health says climate
may spread more diseases

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization warned Wednesday that major killer diseases will spread and health problems will worsen with climate change.

World Health, which is holding the first global conference on health and climate in Geneva, urged nations to act quickly to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, which lead to climate change.

Some countries could see localized benefits from global warming. Cold countries, for example, could experience fewer winter deaths due to more temperate weather as well as increased food production. But World Health says overall health effects are likely to be overwhelmingly negative.

Maria Neira, director of the public health, environmental and social determinants of health at World Health, says seven million people die prematurely every year because of air pollution, but that number can be cut.

“We can reduce dramatically non-communicable diseases, cardiovascular diseases, heart disease, respiratory diseases, by promoting, for instance a more sustainable, low-carbon society where instead of using very pollutant and solid fuels," Ms. Neira said, "we will move into a more sustainable energy consumption and, therefore, by doing so, we will obtain plenty of benefits for our health.”

The health community is working to improve surveillance to control infectious diseases and she says deadly diseases such as cholera, malaria and dengue are highly sensitive to weather and climate.

Recent World Health figures show that climate change already causes tens of thousands of deaths every year from shifting patterns of disease and extreme weather events, such as heat waves and floods, the agency claims.

Climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths every year between 2030 and 2050 due to heat exposure, diarrhea, malaria, and childhood under-nutrition, the agency said.

Alistair Woodward, the coordinating lead author of the health chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says there is opportunity for positive change.

“Transport systems, which produce maybe a quarter of the greenhouse emissions, are unhealthy and damaging to the environment in many ways," Woodward said. "If we could increase the use of active transport, our estimates are putting people on bikes, the benefit cost ratio is maybe 10 to one…Air pollution…If we put in practice what we know about ways of reducing black carbon emissions, diesel filters, plain cook stoves, for example, then we could probably save around two million premature deaths a year.”

The World Health notes that climate change also has serious economic consequences. The U.N. agency says the direct damage costs to health is predicted to be between $2 billion and $4 billion a year by 2030.

China becoming suspicious
of those with dual passports

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China's ministry of public security has announced a new policy to encourage reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but still keep their Chinese citizenship. The move has led to a sharp debate about dual citizenship and the impact of the crackdown on Chinese who live abroad.

Recently, the ministry published procedures for reporting those who hold foreign citizenship, but retain their Chinese identifications and benefits. Observers say the new policy is at least in part aimed at so-called naked officials, public servants who have family and assets overseas that could allow them to hide the gains of corruption. There are believed to be thousands of the so-called naked officials, but the exact figure is unknown.

Luo Bin, the president of Robinson Immigration Consultants in Canada, expressed support for the Chinese government’s strict enforcement of single citizenship.

“With China's economy developing, to a certain extent there has been a series of problems such as economic corruption. The Chinese government now is fully aware of the seriousness of those problems," said Luo. "Through the strict implementation of single citizenship, I think they are doing right to prevent corrupt officials or criminals from fleeing abroad or transferring assets."

Corrupt officials who evade legal sanctions by transferring assets abroad, however, are in the minority. Most of those who could be affected are people who have taken citizenship abroad for work or family matters that are not connected to corruption issues.

Luo thinks tighter enforcement could cause a loss of financial benefits for those who lose their Chinese identity cards because of having citizenship overseas.

“There are many restrictions. For example, we are not allowed to buy houses. Besides, many Chinese retired after 20 or 30 years of work. So their concern is, once they obtain foreign citizenship, whether such accumulated pensions and other benefits in China will be reserved," said Luo.

In recent years, demands for dual citizenship have become louder. But Professor Tong Zhiwei at the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, said the issue is complicated.

“On the one hand, dual citizenship is beneficial to individuals, namely, the many overseas Chinese who study and do business abroad. By keeping dual citizenship, they do not need to go through the whole visa application, and they can enjoy rights and benefits offered by both countries," said Tong.

He added, though, that the Chinese government has its own concerns about dual citizenship.

"For example, when a Chinese who holds an American passport commits a crime, or has confrontation with the Chinese government, in case he or she is detained or tried in China, the Chinese government will have to inform and work with the U.S. on his case. This is not only a cumbersome process, but also gives foreign countries excuses to interfere with China’s internal affairs,” said Tong.

Enacting legal dual citizenship does not appear to be a priority in the near term, so some are calling on Beijing to expand its green card program, which lets foreign citizens live and work inside China.

Obama says illegal arrivals
have declined at the border

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says arrests at the U.S. border with Mexico have dropped for the second straight month.

Obama told reporters in Washington Thursday that "the good news is, we've started to make some progress."

Although final figures for August have not been released, the president said that number is expected to be lower than the same period last year, despite tens of thousands of Central American children and families arriving through Mexico in recent months.

The decrease will relieve pressure from centers that are over-capacity since detentions skyrocketed between March and June.

"What that, I think, allows us to do is make sure those kids are being taken care of - properly, with due process. At the same time, it's allowed us to then engage in a broader conversation about what we need to do to get more resources down at the border," Obama said.

Last year, roughly 31,500 children traveling alone were detained at the southern U.S. border. That number is expected to more than double this year, despite decreases from June to July, and now August.

Obama on Thursday also repeated his pledge to take more executive actions if Congress does not agree to immigration reform by the end of the year.

"In the absence of congressional action, I'm going to do what I can to make sure the system works better," he said.

Earlier Thursday, authorities arrested 145 people for blocking a sidewalk in front of the White House during a rally for changes to the country's immigration system.

An aging world put pressure
on countries to face impact

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The world is getting older, fast.  And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them.  Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments, which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world.  But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. 

In Japan there are special playgrounds for the elderly.

In Italy  dance classes for seniors are part of the “good life.”

And in Germany the rapid pace of retirements has become a bigger issue than unemployment.

They are the world’s super aged nations, the term for countries where at least 20 percent of the population is 65 years or older.

“The demographic transition is upon us now and its progressing, by historical standards, quite rapidly," said Elena Duggar, head of Moody's Sovereign Risk Division.

In five years six more countries will join the ranks of the super-aged.  And by 2030  that number will rise to 34. 

“That will translate into reductions in labor supply," Ms. Duggar said. "At the same time aging means that the household savings rates will go down, which will negatively impact on investment.  Both trends put together would mean that aging will have a significant negative impact on global growth."

A business research group, the Conference Board, says aging could shave as much as 1 percent off global growth in the next 10 years.  Ignoring the coming changes is risky says economist Fariborz Ghadar, author of "Global Tectonics - What Every Business Needs to Know."

“Economic growth rates will slow down, jobs will not be available for the young, there is going to be conflict both internally in certain countries, externally.

There’ll be backlash against immigrants and that’s not the kind of world we really want," said Ghadar.

But the solution may be as close as a nation's borders.

"See - the largest addition to the U.S. population is by immigration, it is not by number of children," said an economics professor, Kishore Kulkarni.

In the U.S.  the average birth rate is 1.9 children for every woman, an average bolstered by higher birth rates in immigrant families.  Ghadar says the trend is obvious when one considers that the birth rate for Hispanic families in the U.S. is 2.3 children. 

“We are turning Hispanic.  And in fact, what I normally tell my audiences, if you want somebody to take care of you when you’re 90, you better speak Spanish," he said.

While consumer buying patterns will change as populations age, Kulkarni said he believes targeted career training and productivity gains through technology could offset the decline in workers.

"It is a misalignment of demand rather than a total and a drastic change in the demand.  And it is a challenge which we can easily accept and tackle as it comes to us," he said.

Kulkarni adds that aging will be less of a challenge in countries where elders are seen as assets rather than liabilities.  But nearly all the experts say young workers, in the future, will work longer and retire later than seniors today.
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The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
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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  
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
house 865
Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
House 868
Beautiful house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 810 m2 of land, Price $178.000. Click HERE!
House 866
Beautiful large house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather,1.006 m2 of land, Price $290.000.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Beautiful home and separate apartment
The land is 289 square meters with  329 square meters of construction. Three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 2 floors, covered parking, with room for  a second parking space. A first floor patio and a second floor balcony with view. Attached apartment rented for $500 per month. Live free. House valued, @ $330,000. asking price with agents is $295,000. With no agent, asking $280,000, negotiable. Must see to appreciate,  Contact: Wayne Winstead,, 8820-1501/8379-7947

Farm montage

Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available.
9 hectares (24 acres). Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes.


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

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,   Cell 8714-8274.

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


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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
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Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)

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

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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 
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For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
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Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact or email 
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For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

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

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

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

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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:

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A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
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A.M. Venezuela
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Real Estate
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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 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, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 171
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
small shark
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas says its officers saved the life of this small shark and 15 lobsters when officers encountered an illegal drag net at the Refugio Nacional  de Vida Silvestre Playa Hermosa-Punta Mala, The creatures were returned to the sea.

Grecia-Sarchí Web site makes changes

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

With eight months under its belt, Que Pasa (, the free-membership community information Web site serving the English-speaking residents of greater Grecia and Sarchi, announced two major changes for its subscribers.

First, Que Pasa has added a private-access, subscribers-only answer page on Facebook. “We felt that as a no-cost community information Web site serving English-speaking residents of greater Grecia and Sarchi, many of our subscribers could benefit from the local knowledge of other subscribers who have lived in the area a little longer,” said Debi Gedling, Que Pasa editor and co-founder.

“We hoped that newer members of our Que Pasa Web community would not have to re-invent the wheel anytime they encountered an obstacle that more-seasoned subscribers may have previously overcome.” Subscribers will now be able to post questions on the members-only Que Pasa Answer Page on Facebook. Other members can offer answers and solutions to the question and the “asker” will be notified by email when an answer to their question is posted.  

After eight months, Que Pasa also was able to learn how to better organize the site to make it more intuitive and easier for its subscribers to find the information contained on the site. Site content oriented to “things to do and see” (restaurants, entertainment, events, and tourism sights) can now be found in a single location; “activities and classes” (such as pet spay and neuter clinics, Zumba dance and yoga classes) in another; and “services and resources” in a third.

Other information on the Que Pasa site such as: real estate and items for sale; rentals; pet news; recipes; contributed articles, lost and found; and miscellaneous remains easily accessible as before.  Subscriptions to the site are free.

Beach theft suspects held

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourism police in the popular Pacific coastal area of Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, say they detained two men suspected of stealing from tourists on the beach at Playa Conchal. A report detailed that the pair of Nicaraguan men detained had been arrested before for similar complaints of theft against foreigners in Santa Cruz.

Police arrested the men Wednesday after receiving complaints of a crime on the beach located 12 miles north of Tamarindo. The pair was turned over to officials from Migración, the report said.

Terminal access in Moín 75% done

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

HIghway officials say that the road to the proposed site of APM Terminals in Moín is about 75 percent completed for now.

The work remaining is to erect two bridges over the Río Moín, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.  This is the access to the proposed $1 billion container handling facility that is being put in by a Dutch firm.

The roadway now is two lanes and is gravel. Eventually as the terminal facility is competed the roadway will be four lanes and paved.

The project was a delicate one because trees had to be cut and animals relocated, said the agency.

The terminal is opposed vigorously by workers who now have jobs on the public docks. The new facility is a concession. The Dutch firm will create an artificial island in the sea that will connect to the new road.

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From Page 7:

U.S. economy booming, federal report says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. economy, the world's largest, is growing even faster than first thought.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday the American economy advanced 4.2 percent in the April-to-June quarter, up from its earlier 4 percent estimate. The agency said the bigger expansion was fueled by more robust business investment in new buildings, machinery and research.

The report said the American economy also is advancing because of increased consumer spending, more exports and higher spending by state and local governments.

The second quarter growth came after the U.S. economy contracted at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, partly because of an unusually harsh winter. Economists are forecasting 3 percent growth throughout the second half of the year and into next year.

The U.S. labor market has been adding jobs at a rapid pace, with employers hiring an average of 244,000 new workers each month since February, the best six-month advance since 2006. Even so, the country's jobless rate is still at 6.2 percent, high by U.S. historical standards, and nearly 10 million workers remain unemployed.