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(506) 2223-1327                            Published Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 174                             Email us
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Tourism officials are miffed at being stood up
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourism leaders are steaming because the central government canceled at the last minute a meeting Tuesday.

As a result, the possibility of legal action becomes more likely.

The tourism chambers and associations had one meeting last week with central government officials to discuss four body blows to the industry.  Now they say that the abrupt cancelation of the scheduled meeting is a bad sign.

The Cámara Nacional de Turismo was joined by the Asociación Costarricense de Operadores Turísticos, the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles and the Asociacion Para la Proteccion del Turismo en Costa Rica.

In a statement the organizations said that tourism was being hit at the worst time of year. After the meeting last week, most tourism operators were optimistic. The meeting Tuesday was supposed to be a roundtable for discussion.

There are four complaints. The first is the effort by the tax collectors to exact a 13 percent sales levy for the first time on a number of tourism activities, based on an April decree by then-president Laura Chinchilla. Although the decree was issued in the waning days of her
tenure, the administration of Luis Guillermo Solís had embraced it and even is pushing for back payments of taxes from 2006.

The tax is being levied on any tourism activity by any firm that has a fixed office, based on unusual working in the general sales tax law.

The law says that centros de recreo y similares are subject to the sales tax, but it does not give definitions. The new administration interprets "recreational centers and similar" very broadly.

Tourism officials also are irked because a presidential decree placed the industry in a secondary position within the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio. The exact impact of that reorganization is yet to be determined.

The tourism leaders also are seeking help for the sector and changes in other legislation such as one that assesses high fees for selling alcohol.
They also oppose a decision by the tax agency, the Dirección General de Tributación, to order banks to withhold 2 percent from every credit card transaction as an advance payment of income tax liability.

Pablo Heriberto Abarca, president of the Cámera Nacional, said that his organization has called a general meeting of tourism operators and legal action by a top law firm against the 13 percent sales tax is anticipated.

Municipal services entity proposed for Guanacaste
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A lawmaker said Tuesday he will try to set up a public company to handle services in all of Guanacaste.

The lawmaker is Juan Marín Quiros, who met with six mayors from the province Tuesday.

The idea would be to have an entity in charge of water, electricity, communications and waste disposal, he said. The model would be the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia.

Water is now a major issue in the province which is in the middle of a drought. The location for the  headquarters of this new company would be
 Santa Cruz, the lawmaker said. There would be agencies all over the province.

A big problem is that the lawmaker sees the new companies taking over the operations of the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. These two giants are unlikely  to surrender operations easily. If created, the new company would start by taking over municipal operations such as sewer service.

Marín said he also is seeking facilities such as an asphalt plant that now is operated by the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes.  He said he would introduce legislation to do this in two weeks.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 174

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

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Day for children will be Tuesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Next Tuesday is the Día de los Niños y las Niñas in Costa Rica, and nearly every child is aware of this.

Some parents will celebrate the day Sunday with a gift and perhaps an outing.

The Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar in North San José already announced a special Sunday program with performances by  Circo Moving, acrobats, jugglers and other performers. The show starts at 11 a.m. There is an admission.

The Museo de los Niños has a program from Thursday through Sunday promoting protection of the sea. It is called El Misterio del Gran Pez, "The Mystery of the big Fish." It is described as a 30-minute show featuring the museum characters Museito and Museita as well as the Isla del Coco.

Municipalities embark on trash programs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two municipalities are embarking on programs to handle waste.

In the Municipalidad de Montes de Oca plans to promote alternative handling of waste grease from restaurants.  Mayor Fernando Trejos B. said the project was an alliance with the Universidad Nacional Estatal a Distancia. The plan is to keep the waste grease out of the sewer system and convert it into biodiesel, he said.

The central canton of Heredia also will be participating in the Gestión Integral de Residuos Sólidos, inspired by a new law. Municipal officials will begin this month with a campaign to encourage residents to generate less trash. Each person now generates an average of a kilo a day, the municipality said. That's 40,000 tons a year, said an announcement.

The first event is the showing of a U.S. environmental film, "Trashed: No place for waste." That will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Centro Cultural Omar Dengom, the former Escuela República Argentina.

coral activity
Massachusetts Institute of Technology graphic          
Color-coded waves demonstrate that the coral surface is driving the flow.

Coral far more active than thought

By the Massachusetts Institute of Technology news service

Conventional wisdom has long held that corals whose calcium-carbonate skeletons form the foundation of coral reefs are passive organisms that rely entirely on ocean currents to deliver dissolved substances, such as nutrients and oxygen. But now scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have found that they are far from passive, engineering their environment to sweep water into turbulent patterns that greatly enhance their ability to exchange nutrients and dissolved gases with their environment.

“These microenvironmental processes are not only important, but also unexpected,” says Roman Stocker, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and senior author of a paper describing the results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When the team set up their experiment with living coral in tanks in the lab, “I was expecting that this would be a smooth microworld, there would be not much action except the external flow,” Stocker says. Instead, what the researchers found, by zooming in on the coral surface with powerful microscopes and high-speed video cameras, was the opposite: Within the millimeter closest to the coral surface, “it’s very violent,” he says.

It’s long been known that corals have cilia, small threadlike appendages that can push water along the coral surface. However, these currents were previously assumed to move parallel to the coral surface, in a conveyor-belt fashion. Such smooth motion may help corals remove sediments, but would have little effect on the exchange of dissolved nutrients. Now Stocker and his colleagues show that the cilia on the coral’s surface are arranged in such a way as to produce strong swirls of water that draw nutrients toward the coral, while driving away potentially toxic waste products, such as excess oxygen.

“The general thinking has been that corals are completely dependent upon ambient flow, from tides and turbulence, to enable them to overcome diffusion limitation and facilitate the efficient supply of nutrients and the disposal of dissolved waste products,” said Orr Shapiro at the Weizmann Institute, who spent a year in Stocker’s lab making these observations

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 174
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Anti-pregnancy campaign shows that the problem is home-grown
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Time was when government officials and child protection agency workers saw the arrival of single male tourists as the major threat to underage Costa Rican women.

There were campaigns by such organizations as the non-profit Fundación Paniamor and the government"s Patronato Nacional de la Infancia. The U.S. government coughed up funds and still does to offset the national guilt over the bad behaviors of its male citizens here. The airports were draped with warnings.

In the United States even the Federal Bureau of Investigation set up fake sex tourism Web sites offering introductions with children, even though some lawyers considered this entrapment.

In a couple of key court cases, expats received long prison terms for corrupting or attempting to corrupt the morals of minors in both Costa Rica and the United States.

A lot of time passed before the agencies, organizations and bureaucrats realized that their problem was home-grown. Now they are trying to do something about it.

An example is the campaign by the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia that says there are age limits for intimate relations between youngsters and adults. The agency points out that 88 percent of the underaged pregnant women got that way as a result of a relationship with an adult male.

The campaign is Para el amor si hay edad, translated as "For love there is an age."

The agency hired an ad firm to create a television commercial. The video features an adult man talking by cell telephone to his schoolgirl sweetheart, encouraging her to ditch classes and join him on a drinking spree to celebrate his birthday.

Of course the man is speaking loudly in public, and those around
pani video
Patronato Nacional de la Infancia video
Man with cell phone is confronted by someone who overheard.

him cannot help but to understand what is going on. Some challenge him. The video is HERE!

What would you do if you heard an adult seducing a minor, the Patronato asks. The answer, of course, is to dial 911.  The agency notes that such relationships frequently involve an abuse of power and authority.

The agency also is in the process of setting up a special Web site for young mothers. It is The goal is to encourage interaction and to urge the young women to continue with their studies.

Most expat tourists realize by now that there are severe penalties for being involved with a minor.  And the most recent arrests involve Costa Ricans running prostitution setups in rural areas.

Insurance institute loaning Caja's Hospital México operating rooms
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros is loaning staffers at Hospital México in its Hospital del Trauma. That means physicians will have two more operating rooms for high priority patients.

The 17 operating rooms at Hospital México are being redone as an emergency because the electrical system failed. Operations have taken place at other local hospitals, and one woman had to petition the Sala IV constitutional court for a cancer operation.

The trauma hospital is close to Hospital Mexico. Many expats do not know that the state insurance agency operates its own medical facilities for those injured on the job.  Those who are covered by the
institute's workman's compensation policies are supposed to take their injuries to its hospital whenever possible.

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros also is loaning recovery bed space.
The institute said that the priority operations would include those for cancer, brain injuries, spinal injuries and similar. Hospital México officials will provide the staffing.

Some expats who have obligatory medical coverage with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social have complained that they were unable to obtain needed surgical procedures.

The operating rooms at Hospital México have been in a deteriorating state for years, and there is an effort to refurbish them fully.

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, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 174
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Bilingual infants demonstrate better thinking than monolinguals in study
By the A*Star Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
news staff

A team of investigators and clinician-scientists in Singapore and internationally have found that there are advantages associated with exposure to two languages in infancy. As part of a long-term birth cohort study of Singaporean mothers and their offspring called GUSTO, 6-month old bilingual infants recognized familiar images faster than those brought up in monolingual homes. They also paid more attention to novel images compared to monolingual infants. The findings reveal a generalized cognitive advantage that emerges early in bilingual infants, and is not specific to a particular language. The findings were published online in the  scientific journal, Child Development.

The research involved A*STAR’s Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the National University Hospital.

Infants were shown a colored image of either a bear or a wolf. For half the group, the bear was made to become the familiar image while the wolf was the novel one, and vice versa for the rest of the group. The study showed that bilingual babies got bored of familiar images faster than monolingual babies.

Several previous studies in the field have shown that the rate at which an infant becomes bored of a familiar image and subsequent preference for novelty is a common predictor of better pre-school developmental outcomes, such as advanced performance in concept formation, non-verbal cognition, expressive and receptive language, and IQ tests. The past studies showed that babies who looked at the image and then rapidly get bored, demonstrated higher performance in various domains of cognition and language later on as children.

Bilingual babies also stared for longer periods of time at the novel image than their monolingual counterparts, demonstrating novelty preference. Other studies in the field have shown this is linked with
 improved performance in later IQ and vocabulary tests during pre-school and school-going years.

Associate Professor Leher Singh, who is from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and lead author of this study said, “One of the biggest challenges of infant research is data collection. Visual habituation works wonderfully because it only takes a few minutes and capitalizes on what babies do so naturally, which is to rapidly become interested in something new and then rapidly move on to something else. Even though it is quite a simple task, visual habituation is one of the few tasks in infancy that has been shown to predict later cognitive development.”

A bilingual infant encounters more novel linguistic information than its monolingual peers. A 6-month old infant in a bilingual home is not just learning another language; it is learning two languages while learning to discern between the two languages it is hearing. It is possible that since learning two languages at once requires more information-processing efficiency, the infants have a chance to rise to this challenge by developing skills to cope with it.

“As adults, learning a second language can be painstaking and laborious," said Singh. "We sometimes project that difficulty onto our young babies, imagining a state of enormous confusion as two languages jostle for space in their little heads. However, a large number of studies have shown us that babies are uniquely well positioned to take on the challenges of bilingual acquisition and in fact, may benefit from this journey.”

In comparison to many other countries, a large proportion of Singaporean children are born into bilingual environments. This finding that bilingual input to babies is associated with cognitive enhancement, suggests a potentially strong neurocognitive advantage for Singaporean children outside the domain of language, in processing new information and recognizing familiar objects with greater accuracy.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

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

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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

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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.
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eredia home
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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

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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

cat trees
 San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 174
Real Estate
About us

Ban condemns beheading
of newsman by Islamic State

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the apparent beheading of a second U.S. hostage by Islamic State militants.

During a speech today in New Zealand, Ban called attention to the group's brutal killings of civilians.

"This is totally unacceptable, such kind of inhuman, brutal crimes, which is a crime against humanity. Those perpetrators must be brought to justice.  And this is the firm policy of the United Nations," said Ban.

The extremists released the video Tuesday showing what appears to be the beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff.

A masked figure in the video also issue a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off  "this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State," the SITE monitoring service reported.

The purported killer addresses President Barack Obama, saying Sotloff's death was in retaliation for U.S. air strikes against the militants.

The militant says, "Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said officials are checking into the video's authenticity. If it's genuine, Ms. Psaki said, "we are sickened."

The images follow last month's video release of the gruesome beheading of U.S. freelance journalist Jim Foley.

A source familiar with the matter said that while U.S. officials have yet to formally confirm the validity of the video, it appeared to be authentic.

Iraq's outgoing foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari, condemned what he called "this savage example of savagery and evil," and he said this was evidence of the need for Iraq and the West to defeat the Islamic State.

"We have a common enemy and the whole world is moving in the right direction to stop this savagery and brutality," said Zebari. "The whole world is standing united against IS. They must be defeated so these horrid scenes will not be repeated."

Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim politician Sami Askari, who is close to outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said, "They are trying to scare the Americans not to intervene. I don't think Washington will be scared and stop. This is evil. Every human being has to fight this phenomenon. Like cancer, there is no cure. You have to fight it."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest could not confirm the execution, but told reporters "our thoughts and prayers" are with Sotloff's family.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Sotloff's murder disgusting and despicable.

Sotloff was taken captive in Syria in August 2013, roughly a year after Foley was taken hostage. He worked for Time and Foreign Policy magazines.

The video has clear echoes of Foley's murder. As with Foley, Sotloff appears in an orange jumpsuit; his killer is dressed in black, his face hidden.

Like Foley, Sotloff is forced to kneel in what appears to be a strip of desert before being beheaded.

It was unclear when the video was shot.

The Islamic State group has seized a large swath of land across eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq, declaring the area a caliphate.

The United States has been conducting air strikes in coordination with Iraq's government against the group since early August.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said Tuesday the U.S. would continue air strikes to disrupt the Islamic State group's ability to harm U.S. personnel and facilities. The raids also support further humanitarian aid to those persecuted by the extremist group. 

Amnesty International on Tuesday said it had evidence Islamic State militants are conducting a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq, carrying out war crimes that include mass summary killings and abductions.

U.S. Reps. Ed Royce and Eliot Engel condemned the killing and called for the formation of an international coalition to defeat the extremist group.

"If we don't disrupt and defeat it," Engel warned, its members "will attack homelands all over the world." The U.S. lawmaker is the ranking Democrat of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Royce, the committee's chairman, issued a statement saying he was "disgusted by what appears to be another horrendous killing of an American journalist at the hands of ISIS." He used that acronym for the group, adding his sympathies to Sotloff's family.

"Sadly, ISIS is bringing this barbarity across the region — beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their dark ideology," said Royce. "The threat from this group seems to grow by the day. Working with key allies, the United States needs to be acting urgently to arm the Kurds on the ground who are fighting them, and targeting ISIS from the air with drone strikes.”

Royce said his committee will hold a hearing on the threat posed by the Islamic State after Congress returns next week. Engel said that after the 60 days allotted in the War Powers Act is over, President Obama should come to Congress to ask for the authorization of more air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq.

A Sotloff family spokesman said it is aware of the video and is grieving privately.

Aug. 27, Sotloff's mother, Shirley Sotloff, issued a video plea to Islamic leader during which she described her son as an honorable man who should not be punished for U.S. government actions.

"I've learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others," she said on the video posted on YouTube. "Steven has no control over the actions of the U.S. government. He is an innocent journalist. I've also learned that you, the Caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you to please release my child."

Obama sends more troops
to Baghdad for security

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama is ordering another 350 U.S. military personnel to Iraq to protect American diplomats and facilities in Baghdad.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf says the additional forces will not take on a combat role, but because diplomatic officials made the request for more security.

The United States has been targeting Islamic State militants in Iraq with air strikes. Obama has said U.S. forces will continue such action to protect American interests in Iraq from the militants.

The Islamic State group has seized large parts of northern Iraq and Syria, and has threatened to overrun the Iraqi capital.

President Obama was on his way to a NATO summit in Wales. He will consult with U.S. allies on an international coalition to implement a strategy in the fight against Islamic State.

Earlier Tuesday in Baghdad, angry relatives of Iraqi soldiers abducted by Islamic State militants in June stormed parliament, demanding information.

Many of the relatives plan to attend a special session of parliament Wednesday when lawmakers will discuss the matter.

Amnesty International accuses the Islamic State of "ethnic cleansing on a historic scale," in a bid to wipe out non-Arabs and non-Sunni Muslims.

The report says the systematic campaign includes hundreds of mass killings and perhaps thousands of abductions that have terrorized all of northern Iraq, and fueled sectarian tensions in the region.

Survivors quoted in the report say some people severely wounded in the massacres were left where they were shot, doomed to suffer a slow and agonizing death. The report said the militants have been shooting men to death but are also kidnapping hundreds of women and children.

The United Nations has issued a similar warning about minority persecution at the hands of the Islamic State group.

Islamic State grew for years
even while U.S. was in Iraq

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group, which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq, has been rebuilding for years.

Even before U.S. forces left Iraq in 2011, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) was forging a professional military force, stoking Sunni unrest, mounting brutal bombing campaigns and barbaric killings. It boasts of 50,000 fighters in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq while recruiting 6,000 more last month alone.

This is a group whose cruelty alarmed even al-Qaida, but is successfully exploiting the Syrian civil war and sectarian rule in Iraq to assemble arms, wealth and influence at great speed, says David Kilcullen, the architect of the Iraq War troop surge in 2006.

Kilcullen currently heads CAERUS, a security and intelligence strategy firm in Washington. He says the Islamic State has overshadowed al-Qaida.

“It is much more capable militarily, it’s much richer, it controls territory, it controls key infrastructure and it is really a much more dramatic threat than we have seen from al-Qaida," Kilcullen said.

"They have literally made millions of dollars by kidnapping and ransom. They are now the richest terror group in the world, north of $500 billion worth of resources,” he said.

Both in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State is creating embryos of governance following the path of Hezbollah, which operates as a state-like entity in Lebanon.

“We are even seeing them now in the towns and the cities that they are occupying, both in Iraq and in Syria, actually taking on a lot of the functions of the state," said Jorge Benitez, a senior fellow at the influential Washington-based Atlantic Council.  "They are actually engaging in what we would call hearts and minds strategies.”

“They are levying taxes, they’re running bakeries and they are allowing people to go to school," said David Kilcullen. "They’re running a court system, and they are also running hospitals and public works.”

Many experts claim it is the military success of the Islamic State that draws other groups to it. But others argue that the Islamic State has not been truly battle-tested.

Brian Jenkins, a senior advisor at the global policy think tank, RAND Corp., says Iraq’s predominantly Sunni area was easy prey.

“It wasn’t so much that ISIS was this formidable fighting force and defeated the Iraqi military; it’s that simply the Iraqi military folded and left a vacuum that ISIS was able to fill,” he said.

“The big news was that they were defeated and lost control over the Mosul dam," Benitez said. "That was their first serious setback. That’s a good sign. Now, if the publics in these countries can see that they are losing militarily, a lot of their support will start to wither away.”

Jenkins cautions that the sands have permanently shifted in the Middle East.  He says Iraq and Syria have irreversibly ceased to exist. 

“Syria now is a mosaic of government-held territory; territory held by this group, by that group, by another group," he said. "That will continue in a kaledoscopic fashion. Iraq has been de facto partitioned into Sunni areas, Shi’a areas, Kurdish areas.“

Many experts see the rise of the Islamic State as the most significant development in international jihadism since  Sept. 11, 2001.  Observers note that the Islamic State has taken over the mantle of leadership of global jihadist terrorist networks against the West. Major radical movements - from Abu Sayyaf and Jamaat Islamiyya in East Asia to Boko Haram in Africa - have switched their allegiance from al-Qaida to this new ruthless terrorist organization.

Ebola epidemic is called
losing battle without help

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says the world is losing the battle against ebola and warns the deadly virus will not be stopped unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams to West Africa.

The organization's president, Joanne Liu, said Tuesday that her group, which has treated more than 1,000 ebola patients in West Africa since March, is completely overwhelmed by the disease. 

"In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets. Rather than building a new ebola care center in Liberia, we are forced to build crematoria," said Ms. Liu.
Her warnings were echoed Tuesday by the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, who said the situation is now the world's first ebola epidemic, given how widely it's spreading.  He cautioned that while there is a window of opportunity to fight the disease, the window is closing.

Meanwhile in Liberia, a missionary organization announced that another American doctor has become infected.  Serving in Mission said the obstetrician was not treating ebola patients at the hospital in Monrovia. It did not elaborate how he contracted the virus.

Also Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama joined the fight against ebola, recording a message for West Africans on how to avoid and treat the deadly disease.

In a video released by the White House,  Obama warns people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone not to touch the blood, sweat or other body fluids of ebola patients, and to avoid contaminated items such as used needles.

He warned that those killed by the disease remain contagious.

"When burying someone who has died from this terrible disease, it’s important to not directly touch their body.  You can respect your traditions and honor your loved ones without risking the lives of the living," said Obama.

The West African ebola outbreak, which has now spread to Senegal as well, has killed more than 1,500 people this year.

The United Nations says the West Africa outbreak has put harvests at risk and sent regional food prices soaring.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization issued the warning Tuesday in a special alert for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries most affected by the outbreak.

The agency said that in those three countries, quarantine zones and restrictions on people's movement aimed at combating the virus have seriously curtailed the movement and marketing of food.

The agency said this has led to panic buying, food shortages and major price increases for some commodities.  The agency also warned that labor shortages on farms due to movement restrictions and workers leaving for other areas will seriously impact farm production and jeopardize the food security of many people. 
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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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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!
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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!

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

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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.

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The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
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•  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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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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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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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.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 174
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Rumor of second wave of illegals aired

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Methodist pastor Jaser Davila said if the Central American migrants he meets daily in this border city are right, more travelers are on their way to the U.S from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Davila's humanitarian relief group is anticipating another influx like the one that has brought tens of thousands of unaccompanied children to the U.S. since last October, twice the number as the previous year.

At the makeshift migrant shelter Davila helps to run, the migrants tell him theyknow people who are en route, or that they hope their families will be able to join them as soon as possible. He’s heard the information so often, he's taking it seriously.

“Basically, it’s gone down a lot,” Davila said. “But the people we’re in touch with said more people are coming, more families, etc. So maybe for now it’s gone down a little, but the expectation for them is that the number of people en route to here will increase again.”

The number of Central Americans apprehended at the border peaked in June. Detention centers were so full, a steady stream of undocumented adults and unaccompanied minors who were arrested by border patrol or turned themselves in were given an immigration court date and released.

Despite a drop in apprehensions in July, farther south on the border, in McAllen, Texas, Sister Norma Pimentel has been busy for months dealing with the Central American influx. The relief center she runs for Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley saw 70 migrants arrive in one day last week.

But Sister Pimentel said that unlike what Pastor Davila is hearing on the Mexican border, there has been no word from the travelers she meets that more migrants are on their way.

"They don't know when people are coming and we don't know either. It could very well be that in October or later on we might have a great number of people. I think Border Patrol expects numbers to increase in the near future, but we have no clue as to what's going to happen," said Sister Pimentel.

Shelter and humanitarian workers speculate about the variables that drive crossings at certain times of the year. They trade anecdotes and theories. Weather. School schedules. Gang recruitment cycles. Still, none of them anticipated this year's wave.

Sara Melendez, a spokeswoman with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol whose work district includes Laredo, said her office isn't aware of an imminent second wave similar to this year.

"That's not to say things won't change," Melendez said. "Right now it's just business as usual."

Officials will try to stem tax exodus

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The White House says it has no timeline for executive action on so-called corporate inversion deals in which companies are essentially renouncing their U.S. headquarters to avoid paying taxes.

However, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that if Congress refuses to act, the Obama administration is looking at possible options to respond to the problem of corporate deserters.

Some American companies are buying foreign companies to reincorporate abroad, which the White House believes is not fair to their American competitors or the American taxpayer. The practice is legal and brings added income for not just the companies, but bankers and others involved in the structure.

The White House's comments on inversion deals come ahead of Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew’s speech next Monday on the topic.

Some experts suggest the administration and Treasury could slow the current pace of corporate inversion deals by counting a company’s U.S.-issued debt as equity. The change would make it harder for companies to achieve the necessary majority foreign equity ownership required for reincorporation abroad in an inversion deal.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, has also said companies that do inversion deals should not be allowed to compete for federal contracts.

Some Republicans and former U.S. President Bill Clinton say the inversion deals are a symptom of the larger problem, which requires comprehensive tax reform to resolve, and President Barack Obama has agreed to discuss major tax reform.

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From Page 7:

Industrial chamber urges use of solar

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cámara de Industrias is encouraging its members to use solar to lower their electrical costs.

The chamber noted that electrical rates have increased 19 percent just this year, and chamber members are big users.

The chamber put on an expo for members Tuesday in which it urged solar as an alternative.

The chamber also noted that in April the national rate setting agency issued a decree that gave electrical users a way to generate power and even sell some back to the utilities.

The chamber received technical advice from the Universidad Técnica de Munich and from the Asociación Costarricense de Energía Solar.