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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 175                 Email us
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Cascata del Bosco




How about five bucks more to leave the country?
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers are considering another dedicated tax on those who leave the country by air. This one is $5 for support of the  Universidad Técnica Nacional and for technical studies in general.

The original proposal to also tax those leaving the country by land and by boat was shelved Tuesday during a meeting of the Comisión Permanente de Ciencia y Tecnología.

The idea for the tax came from the university's council in April. The rector of the university,  Marcelo Prieto Jiménez, was at the Tuesday meeting to discuss the measure, No. 18.624.

Based on figures in the proposed law, the new tax would raise about $10.1 million at the international airports. That total is based in 2011 departures of 2,008,211. So the actual amount would be higher.

There already is a $29 departure tax, so if this measure is passed, the tax will be $34. That means those leaving the country would pay in excess of $68 million each year.
Lawmakers created the university in 2008. There are now branches in Atenas, San Carlos, Cañas, Liberia and Puntarenas Centro with the central headquarters in Alajuela.

The university has plans to erect new buildings in Alajuela and Atenas. In Cañas an entire new campus is planned. In Puntarenas construction will be completed, and in San Carlos there are plans to build laboratories and buy land for expansion, the bill said.

The university noted that all the other public higher educational institutions have dedicated taxes to support them.

The Universidad Técnica Nacional needs a similar tax to sustain it and develop it, the original bill said.

Four dollars of the proposed tax will go directly to the university.

The additional dollar would be distributed among the various professional technical schools in the country to strengthen their programs, said  Elibeth Venegas Villalobos, a lawmaker, as quoted in a summary Tuesday.


Country gets new trademark/slogan for promotion
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials have announced a new trademark for the country that is supposed to promote tourism, increase exports and attract foreign investment.

After five years in the works, the government agencies and their professional experts picked a word that is spelled differently in Spanish and English.

The trademark announced Tuesday is  Esencial Costa Rica spelled correctly in Spanish. However, the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica, known as PROCOMER, has registered essentialcostarica.com, presumably for a Web site in English. The Spanish language Web site now contains an attractive video of the country.

The public agencies involved are the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. Private organizations include the Cámera Nacional de Turismo and the non-profit Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo, known as CINDE.

An announcement said that the trademark had been in the works since 2008.  That was when the international firm of Burson Masteller interviewed some 2,000 person in 79 countries about their perceptions of Costa Rica. FutureBrand, a brand strategy and design consultancy of the McCann-Erickson World Group, was in charge of developing the trademark.

Testing was done in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Madrid, Santiago, London, Paris, Berlin and Rome, said the announcement.

No figures were given on the cost of the project.

Despite the effort, the chosen logo or slogan comes very close to the copyrighted name of a Costa Rican professional services firm, Essentials that has the Web site  essentialscr.com.

The tourism agency has been promoting Costa 
new logo oor slogan
The new logo and slogan.

Rica for years with the slogan No Artificial Ingredients.

The agencies say that the Esencial Costa Rica trademark or slogan will be used in commercial promotional activities in the United States, China and India and during a business meeting of executives in November. The tourism institute will phase in the trademark next year.

There also are plans to license the trademark to private firms, perhaps for use on export carton, and to tourism operators.

The adjective essential in English means important, necessary, fundamental or  completely realized, according to the Collins Concise English Dictionary online. But the word also refers to a vital amino acid and something derived from the extract of a plant.

The word also refers to a disease that has no obvious external cause, said the dictionary.

The announcement said that Costa Rica seeks to position itself as a destination of natural beauty, a concentration of high tech and innovative industries and high quality exports.

The trademark also is supposed to promote the talent and entrepreneurism of the country' s people.

This type of trademark is not unusual. The U.S. State of Washington has its apples, several French regions market wine with distinctive geographical names, and Costa Rica is in a trade tussle with Italy over the use of regional names on exported cheese, like parmesan.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 175

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Spprts,em's Lodge

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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Architects

Organe headline
Architecture-Real Estate-Development

At Architect Orange we are inspired by the visions of each of our clients, and have worked diligently to embody those visions in our work.

We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
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Real estate agents and services

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Legal services

FULLY BILINGUAL ATTORNEY
& NOTARY PUBLIC

Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
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With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
Family law, criminal & constitutional law, civil & commercial law

Visit the website at:  CRTitle.com
Email: lawyer@crtitle.com
Cell: 8710-9827
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 Phone: (506) 2232-1014
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Accountants

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E mail: papahound@comcast.net
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US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
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Uncle Sam's
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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
7410-4/1/13


Agents say woman ran
auction scam on acquaintances

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents picked up a woman in Sabanilla Tuesday and said she engineered a series of frauds that netted 22 million colons or about $44,000.

But the way in which she did it was an invitation to be arrested. The woman, 54, contacted persons who knew her and said she was a lawyer and had inside information of motor vehicles that were going to be auctioned.

Agents claimed she led them on by asking for a small amount of money and then refunding it when the supposed auction did not take place. They called this the hook.

But the next time the bite was much bigger.  Agents attribute nine different cases of this type of fraud to the women


Collection of discarded tires
nets 250 in a single day


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bridgestone de Costa Rica working with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social managed to collect 250 discarded tires in just one day, the Caja reported. The collections were in Puntarenas and Guanacaste.

Discarded tires are prime breeding places for the mosquitoes that carry dengue.

The Caja said that already this year 118.2 tons of old tires have been collected in the Central valley.

The incidents of dengue are greater this year.


Two more temporary bridges
readied for Circunvalación


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, as expected, says it will erect two more bailey bridges at the site of the washout on the Circunvalación.

Two such bridges are in store for the westbound lanes. The two new bridges each will carry a lane of eastbound traffic.

The support is needed for the roadway because workers will be excavating underneath to replace a drainage system that failed.


Water company gets a hike
of 25 percent for hydrants


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Water rates are going up three colons a cubic meter, the nation's regulatory agency said Tuesday.

The beneficiary is the Instituto Nacional de  Acueductos y Alcantarillados. But the costs will be passed down to customers of the small community water companies, too.

This is a 25 percent increase in water rates. The current cost is 12 colons a cubic meter.

The fixed rate for customers who do not have a meter is going up, too. The  Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos approved a monthly increase of 40 colons. The current rate now is 280 colons.

The water company asked for more than a doubling of the rates.

The three-colon increase will help pay for the installation of some 5,000 fire hydrants over the next 10 years, said the regulating agency.


Fortunate San Carlos will get  taste of Orff's 'Carmina Burana'

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Coro Sinfónico Nacional and the percussion group  Costa Rica-UNED will present "Carmina Burana" by  Carl Orff Saturday at 7 p.m. in the the gym in Ciudad Quesada.

The chorus is associated with the  Centro Nacional de la Música, which is part of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud,

The chorus also has upcoming dates in Limón and LIberia.


Masons from Latin America
are meeting in San José


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Masons from Central America and Latin America are meeting in Costa Rica starting today for three days. The location is the Grand Lodge of Costa Rica that is near the legislative complex.

The sessions are designed to discuss the organizations philanthropy and philosophy, said a spokesman.


Our reader's opinion
Festival in Limón avoided
due to fear of street crime

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Being a photographer I suggested to my Tica wife that we go to Limón for the festival this past weekend.  Her response was a firm "no."  While I was willing to take the risk, she was not.  I find this sad for a number of reasons.
 
I enjoy the Caribbean culture and the music, but I too, fear being mugged and expensive camera equipment stolen.
 
Limón has an opportunity to increase revenues from tourism but what cruise line or, for that matter, tourist would want to wager their life on the streets?
 
Recently, a family member, was working on the coast in an effort to count panthers in the area.  He was beaten and robbed. His bike was stolen.  He was lucky.
 
I am a permanent resident, and my wife is a native.  It seems like everyday we talk about the deteriorating conditions in our country.  It's sad.
 
In the upcoming election, there will be promises made but few kept.  If Costa Rica does not control and improve situations with the next few years, we will become another Mexico . . . a beautiful country where everyone lives in constant fear.
 
Ken Beedle
Cartago 

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Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

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Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.


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Del
                Rey

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 175
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Kids get a full month of performances at Melico Salazar
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Monday may be the Día de los Niños, but the Teatro Popular Melico Salazar has a series of activities during the entire month that will attract thousands of school kids, many of them from low-income areas.

The theater promises drama, dance and music. Among the performers are the Orchestra Sinfónica Nacional, the Banda Sinfónica Juvenil and the Banda de Conciertos de Limón.

School children will be coming from as far way as Atenas and Palmares, although most will be from the central canton.

Tuesday is the first event with the Banda de Conciertos de Limón putting into music a well-known Costa Rican children's book. That show is at 10 a.m.

The same band will play Wednesday at 10 a.m., but this time the program will be another story set to music.

Friday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m. is presentation of "Alice in Wonderland" in Spanish. The Lewis Carroll tale has been adapted for the stage.

The following Thursday and Friday, Sept. 26 and 27, at 10 a.m., the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional plays. The Thursday performance is of music from video games, which are presumed to be known by children. the theater said.

Saturday the Banda Sinfónica Juvenil  will perform with .
alice
Teatro Popular Melico Salazar photo 
Grupo Espressivo provides the cast for 'Alice'

Fred Sautter, a trumpet player from the United States

The final show is Sunday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. The play is a dream sequence by a professional group.

There is admission ranging from 2,000 colons for children and seniors to 4,000 colons for general admission.

Sunday the Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar plans a show for children at 10:30 a.m. in north San José.


U.S. soccer team likely to get a really frigid reception Friday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is little chance of snow Friday at the Estadio Nacional, and that's just fine with the Costa Rican national soccer team.

These are the players who found out about winter the hard way last March 22 when they played the U.S. team in typical Colorado weather at  Commerce City near Denver.

Unlike American football, the Costa Rican team wanted to stop the action when flakes began littering the Dick's
Sporting Goods Park field. Fans and sports commentators in Costa Rica were outraged that the officials continued the play, particularly since Costa Rica lost.

The weather was not exactly that found frequently in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The television cameras could still view the field. But snow is alien to Costa Ricans.
So Costa Ricans are looking for revenge for what they see as some kind of cheating.

Costa Rican women frequently can be heard sympathizing with the players because they had to wear light clothing and play in the snow.

Some Costa Ricans have threatened some kind of action Friday, perhaps slowing the arrival of the U.S. team to the stadium.   The Fuerza Pública said that it plans tighter controls this Friday than normal. 

The stadium crowd should be at least rowdy. The teams are in the homestretch now in trying to win a berth for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. team is first in the region. Costa Rica is second. Three teams are sure to go. The fourth place team will have to compete with a team from another region in order to get a berth.

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 175
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Storms and other climate shocks may be good medicine for degraded coral
By the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies.

Shocks caused by climate and seasonal change could be used to aid recovery of some of the world’s badly-degraded coral reefs, an international team of scientists has proposed.

A new report by Australian and Swedish marine scientists in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment suggests that it may be possible to restore living coral cover to a badly-degraded reef system – though not easy.

"With 70 per cent or more of the world’s coral reefs now assessed as degraded, adopting a business-as-usual approach to how we use and manage reefs is no longer an option," said lead author of the report Nick Graham.

“We are unlikely to be able to keep many of the world’s reefs in a pristine state, but with good management we may be able to maintain them in a coral-dominated condition and in some cases we may be able to bring back reefs from a degraded state,” he explained.

The researchers have taken heart from examples on land in desertified landscapes; exceptional falls of rain, in combination with controls on grazing pressure, can result in widespread regrowth of natural vegetation.

They argue that coral reef managers may be able to take advantage of shocks like tropical storms, periods of cloudy weather or even strong seasonal


effects on abundance to restore coral cover on degraded reefs.

“Normally we think of these shocks as damaging to coral reefs  –  but research suggests they are just as damaging to the organisms that can replace coral. In other words, they may act as a circuit-breaker that allows corals to regain control of a reef,” said  Graham.

The key to the new thinking is resilience: healthy corals reefs are naturally resilient to shocks  –  but damaged ones may become overgrown with sea weeds, and the corals vanish.

“Weed-dominated systems are pretty resilient too and, once established, it is very hard to restore the corals,” Graham explained.

“However a weed-dominated reef can be damaged by big storms too. Cloudy weather and seasonal changes in water temperature can also cause the weeds to die back.

“This dieback of weeds opens a window through which corals can re-establish.”

The key to bringing back corals is exactly the same as preventing coral cover being lost in the first place, Graham said, specifying reducing human impacts through regulation of fisheries and water quality. If reefs are prepared in this way, they may bounce back when a window for recovery opens, he said.


 
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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. george@glundquist.com
7897-9/1/13

Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Steve and Debbie Legg
Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. www.leavesandlizards.com or e-mail us at leavesandlizards@gmail.com.
7862-8/1/13

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
VacationsCostaRica.com offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: VacationToPanama.com. Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!
7697-12/24/1

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
VacationsCostaRica.com offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: VacationToPanama.com. Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!
7699-3/4/143

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and 
Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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Howard Spanish cover

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    * The 545-page “Official Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica”
    * Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish”
    * Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos
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Purchase through Pay Pal at: www.costaricabooks.com
7964-6/9/13

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
VacationsCostaRica.com offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: VacationToPanama.com. Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!
7699-3/4/14

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


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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
8071-9/19/13

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
tropical
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8054-2/16/14

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8072-9/19/13

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
8026-7/17/13

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542, celigar53@gmail.com.
8018-8/24/13

1 bedroom with private bath. Rooms in large, 3.000 sq ft. historical mansion in heart of Barrio Amón.  Prices starting at $350. for long-term. Smoking ok in common areas. Includes electricity, water, commercial kitchen use, laundry, high-speed internet. 7078-6985. More info HERE!
8006-7/14/13

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
8024-8/18/13

prime
                                    properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8025-8/18/13

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

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
7968-7/17/13

Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
Available now and please see the video!
http://youtu.be/7N5BThdct8s
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The sale price is $72,000 which is negotiable and includes the property lot of 26,000 sq, ft, for more houses. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at berosyyourlife@hotmail.com for more details. Thank you.
7954-6/8/13
7875-4/11/13



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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 175
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Lifestyle
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About us







U.S. has a long list of actions
in many foreign countries


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

If the United States launches missile attacks on Syria in retaliation for its suspected use of the nerve agent sarin against anti-government rebels, it will be just the latest in a long series of U.S. foreign military operations. What would be unusual is that
President Barack Obama is seeking congressional approval ahead of the attack.
 
Previous presidents have gone to Congress for declarations of war after the country was directly attacked, such as by Japan at the start of World War II.  But more often, American presidents have acted on their own, using their authority as the country's constitutionally designated commander in chief. In that capacity, they have acted without congressional approval to send troops abroad, engage in bombing attacks, or dispatch U.S. military personnel to work with international allies.
 
By some counts, the U.S. has been involved in more than 50 significant military actions in the last half century,-an average of more than one a year, ranging from significant fighting in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan to lesser incursions in such far-flung countries as Kuwait, Bosnia, Pakistan, Libya, Grenada, Haiti and Panamá.
 
That total does not count more limited U.S. actions, such as drone strikes it now is carrying out against suspected Taliban insurgents in the Middle East.
 
In its 237-year history, the U.S. has often deployed its troops. History has recorded the U.S. as the victor in two world wars, but its overseas military ventures have not always been as successful.
 
U.S. forces fighting under the U.N. flag in Korea in the early 1950s left with the peninsula split into a Communist North and a democratic Korea, a tense outcome that endures to this day. In Vietnam, the U.S. withdrew its last troops in 1975 after more than a decade of military involvement, allowing a Communist government to seize control.
 
History has yet to cast a verdict on this century's U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
U.S. troops ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the Iraq War from 2003 to 2011, but allied forces never found the weapons of mass destruction they believed he was harboring. U.S. and allied forces are still fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, but Obama plans to withdraw American military personnel by the end of 2014 even as the country remains in turmoil.
 
Various studies show that U.S. military and security spending dwarfs that of other countries, but has fluctuated in recent decades depending on the priorities of individual presidents and the extent of U.S. fighting overseas.
 
Defense spending rose during the Vietnam War, during the administration of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and in the last decade as the U.S. initiated its global war on terror in the aftermath of the 2001 al-Qaida attacks on the U.S. that killed nearly 3,000 people. At other times, U.S. defense spending has been curtailed.
 
Here are some of the significant U.S. military operations since the 1960s:
 
1961 to 1975 -- The Vietnam War, a conflict that resulted in more than 58,000 U.S. battle deaths and let Communists in control of the country.
 
1961 - A U.S. Central Intelligence Agency-led invasion of Cuba failed to overthrow Fidel Castro. He ruled the country for decades, with his brother Raúl Castro taking over in 2008.
 
1962 - In the Cuban missile crisis, the U.S. deployed a military blockade in the waters around Cuba to keep the Soviet Union from installing missiles on the island nation, prompting fears of nuclear warfare.
 
1973 - A CIA-backed coup ousted the democratically elected Marxist president in Chile, Salvador Allende.
 
1980 - A U.S. commando raid inside Iran failed to rescue 52 American hostages being held by Tehran, although they were subsequently freed as Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency in early 1981.
 
1981 to 1990 - The CIA directed exile invasions in Nicaragua in an unsuccessful effort to undermine the Sandinista government.
 
1990 to 1991 - The U.S. confronted Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in a fight over oil riches.  American troops forced Iraq to withdraw after a short ground war.
 
1992 to 1995 - U.S. troops joined NATO forces in fighting in the Balkans, a lengthy battle that resulted from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and widespread ethnic confrontations.
 
2001 - U.S. launched war in Afghanistan to fight Islamic insurgents in response to the al-Qaida attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11 that year.
 
2003 - U.S. invaded Iraq on the premise that it had weapons of mass destruction that could be used against the U.S.

 

One in four deaths are said
to be preventable with care

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

About one in four U.S. deaths from heart disease could be avoided with better prevention efforts and treatment, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
 
The first-of-its-kind report estimated that preventable deaths from heart disease in 2010 amounted to as many as 200,000 individuals who might have been spared an early death from a heart attack or stroke.
 
Centers officials said that the launch of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law in 2014, which is expected to provide better access to treatment for millions of uninsured Americans and routine coverage of preventive screenings, could help bring those numbers down.
 
“Beginning in October, the health insurance marketplaces will provide a new way for people to get health insurance so more patients have access to quality health insurance and coverage beginning as early as January 2014,” Centers Director Tom Frieden said in a conference call with reporters.
 
Overall, the rate of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke, those that could have been avoided by treating high blood pressure and cholesterol and by discouraging smoking, fell nearly 30 percent between 2001 and 2010.
 
But there were widespread differences in rates by age, location, race and gender.
 
“While those who are age 65 to 74 still have the greatest rate of heart attack and stroke, more than half of the preventable deaths, about 6 in 10, happen in people under the age of 65,” Frieden said.
 
Frieden said preventable deaths declined much faster in people aged 65 to 74, which “may well be because they have access to health insurance through their Medicare coverage,” the U.S. health insurance program for the elderly.
 
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 800,000 deaths a year, or about 30 percent of all U.S. deaths.
 
The report looked at preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke defined as those that occurred in people under age 75 that could have been prevented by more effective public health measures, lifestyle changes or medical care.
 
It found that the state in which a person lives plays a major role in the rate of avoidable deaths from heart disease. This rate ranged from 36.3 deaths per 100,000 population in Minnesota to 99.6 deaths per 100,000 in the District of Columbia.
 
By U.S. county, the highest rates of avoidable deaths in 2010 were mostly in southern Appalachian region and much of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
 
The lowest rates of such deaths were in the West, Midwest, and Northeastern regions of the United States.
 
Men were more than twice as likely as women to die from heart disease and strokes that could have been prevented by treating high blood pressure and cholesterol and through smoking prevention efforts. The rate of such deaths for U.S. men in 2010 was 83.7 per 100,000 in 2010 compared with 39.6 per 100,000 for  women.
 
The report found blacks were twice as likely as whites to die from preventable heart disease and strokes. In 2010, the rate of avoidable deaths from heart disease and stroke in black men was about 80 percent higher than that of white males and black females.


Nokia turns over its phones
to U.S. giant Microsoft


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft's Windows Phone software, Nokia collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant Tuesday, agreeing to sell its main handset business for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion).

Nokia, once the world's dominant handset maker, has failed to close a yawning lead opened up by Apple and Samsung in the highly competitive market for smartphones and will now concentrate on its networking equipment unit, navigation business and technology patents.

Nokia's Canadian boss, Stephen Elop, who ran Microsoft's business software division before jumping to Nokia in 2010, will return to the U.S. firm as head of its mobile devices business, a Trojan horse, according to disgruntled Finnish media.

He is being discussed as a possible replacement for Microsoft's retiring CEO Steve Ballmer, who is trying to remake the U.S. firm into a gadget and services company like Apple before he departs, though it has fallen short so far in its attempts to compete in mobile devices.

“It's very clear to me that rationally this is the right step going forward,” Elop told reporters, though he added he also felt “a great deal of sadness” over the outcome.

“I feel sadness because inevitably we are changing Nokia and what it stands for,” he said.

In three years under Elop, Nokia saw its market share collapse and its share price shrivel.

In 2011, after writing a memo that said Nokia lacked the in-house technology and needed to jump off a burning platform, Elop made the controversial decision to use Microsoft's Windows Phone for smartphones, rather than Nokia's own software or Google's ubiquitous Android operating system.

Nokia, which had 40 percent of the handset market in 2007, now has just 15 percent, and only 3 percent in smartphones.

Shares in Nokia surged 39 percent to 4.10 euros on Tuesday. While up from their decade-low of 1.33 euros hit last year, they are still only a fraction of their 2000 peak of 65 euros.

After today's gains the whole company is worth about 15 billion euros, a far cry from its glory days when it peaked at over 200 billion euros.

Tuesday's deal includes an agreement to license Nokia's patent portfolio for 10 years. Without it, Nokia's devices and services business would have been worth about 3.7 billion euros, the companies said.

Microsoft shares in Frankfurt were down about 5 percent.


Eastman Kodak emerges
from bankruptcy leaner


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Eastman Kodak Co, the photography pioneer which invented the digital camera, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, with plans to continue as a smaller digital imaging company.
 
The new Kodak will focus on commercial products such as high-speed digital printing technology and printing on flexible packaging for consumer goods.
 
“You can't imagine how much I have been waiting for this moment . . .  This is a totally new company,” Chief Executive Antonio Perez told reporters.
 
Kodak, founded in 1880 by George Eastman, was for years synonymous with household cameras and family snapshots. It filed a $6.75 billion bankruptcy in January 2012, weighed down by high pension costs and a years-long delay in embracing digital camera technology.
 
The new company expects to have $2.5 billion in revenue this year, Perez said.
 
Kodak once employed more than 60,000 people and was one of the largest employers in Rochester, New York, where it is based. Perez told reporters his most difficult task at the helm of the bankrupt company was dealing with hefty pension costs.
 
“I would not recommend anyone to file for Chapter 11, but if you have to deal with legacy costs, in my opinion, that's the only way you can do it,” Perez said.
 
The company in April resolved a crucial dispute with its British pension fund, which dropped a $2.8 billion claim against Kodak. The fund also bought the company's personalized imaging and document imaging businesses, to be named Kodak Alaris, for $650 million.
 
The company said it has repaid its debtor-in-possession lenders and will receive about $406 million in new financing.
 
Perez, in charge since 2005, had been trying to steer the company towards consumer and commercial printers but was unable to stem the cash drain. The company has not posted an annual profit since 2007.
 
Chief executives are commonly ousted through the bankruptcy process, but Perez remains top boss at Kodak, a result he attributed to his ability to do “what I needed to do” during the restructuring.
 
“When I came here, the previous board ... gave me three tasks - restructure the film business, create a completely new company that would have a future, and ... eliminate or settle the very large legacy costs that we had from the old company,” Perez said.
 
Kodak had hoped to fetch more than $2 billion through its bankruptcy process for about 1,100 patents related to digital imaging, but drew only $525 million for the portfolio, which experts said was a crucial reason it had to sell core businesses and reinvent itself.
 
“We're not the largest competitor in the market, but we're offering the biggest differentiation in the market,” Perez said.


Man who abducted women
found dead in his prison cell


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Prison officials in the midwestern U.S. state of Ohio say the man who held three women captive for over a decade in his home has been found dead.

Ariel Castro was found hanging in his prison cell late Tuesday night. Officials say the 53-year-old Castro was taken to nearby hospital for emergency treatment, where he was pronounced dead.

The former school bus driver was arrested in May after one of his female captives escaped from his Cleveland home and ran to neighbors for help. Authorities say he kidnapped the women separately between 2002 and 2004, and raped them repeatedly during their captivity. One of the women, Amanda Berry, gave birth to Castro's daughter.

Castro pleaded guilty last month to over 900 criminal charges, including kidnapping and rape. The charges also included murder of an unborn child one of the women was carrying. He had severely beat the woman.

Castro was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 1,000 years, in exchange for prosecutors dropping the threat of a death sentence.
Real estate-related services (paid category)


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
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Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
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Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
7922-10/15/13

The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica real estate
Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email: info@costaricarealestate.com
7721-4/29/13



Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia estate
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
Sarchi home
Modern three-bedroon home in San Rafael de Sarchí. Cick HERE!
 Great deals for you!
SEE OUR OFFERS HERE
Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com
 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8309-0173
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8068-11/9/13
Bargain

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Nicoya views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD, axelspecial@gmail.com    Cell 8916-5550.
8061-xxxxx

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
88059-xxxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Liberia farm
Must Sell - Immediately
Guanacaste - Liberia Farm

9 hectares (24 acres)
$ 0.66 cents per square meter
Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes
10 minutes from Liberia center
$59,500 plus all legal fees
marinakuperman@gmail.com
347-535-4516
8057-9/14/13

Naranjo views

NARANJO VIEW PROPERTY READY TO BUILD: ALL PERMISSIONS

4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone
Email monicacal@mac.com
8034-8/19/13

Playa Palo Seco - Gorgeous beachfront 2-story home of roughly 2,000 square feet set on a half acre ocean front full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco.
Playa Paol Seco
This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is only minutes from  the tourist hot spot Jacó but far enough away to be quiet and tranquil. This is an incredible opportunity at $150,000! Owner financing is available! Visit Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8033-8/19/13

El Castillo - Up to 60-acre tract with breathtaking views of Volcán Arenal and Lake
Catillo
Arenal are available. Multiple GORGEOUS home building sites are scattered throughout this area. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of land that cannot be replicated. Perfectly suited for either real estate investment, homebuilding, or even a resort. Owner financing  is available! Please visit us at Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8032-8/19/13

San Ramon - Beautiful tracts of land of all shapes and sizes for sale in the San Ramón
San Ramon
area. Vista Rica Realty has been in the business for over 20 years which allows us to outcompete in not only selection, but also price. Oceanview homesites from only $30,000 with easy access to San Ramón. Up to 90-hectare fincas perfect for raising cattle or an off-the-grid project. Owner financing is available! Please visit us at Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8031-8/19/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8010-7/28/13

Flamingo
                            view
Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.
7986-8/6/13

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website WendyLovesCostaRica.com. All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email Wendy@WendyLovesCostaRica.com.
7971-6/23/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7967-7/17/13

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

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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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 175
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hand axes
University of Liverpool photo
Three hand axes produced by participants in the experiment. Front, back and side views are shown

Tool making and language
seem related in human brain

By the University of Liverpool news service

Researchers have found that the same brain activity is used for language production and making complex tools, supporting the theory that they evolved at the same time.

Researchers from the University tested the brain activity of 10 expert stone tool makers or flint knappers as they undertook a stone tool-making task and a standard language test.

They measured the brain blood flow activity of the participants as they performed both tasks using functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound, commonly used in clinical settings to test patients’  language functions after brain damage or before surgery.

The researchers found that brain patterns for both tasks correlated, suggesting that they both use the same area of the brain.  Language and stone tool-making are considered to be unique features of humankind that evolved over millions of years.

Darwin was the first to suggest  that tool-use and language may have co-evolved, because they both depend on complex planning and the coordination of actions but until now there has been little evidence to support this.

Georg Meyer, from Liverpool University's Department of Experimental Psychology, said:  “This is the first study of the brain to compare complex stone tool-making directly with language.

“Our study found correlated blood-flow patterns in the first 10 seconds of undertaking both tasks.  This suggests that both tasks depend on common brain areas and is consistent with theories that tool-use and language co-evolved and share common processing networks in the brain.”

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From Page 7:



Costa Rica improves in competitivity

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

Costa Rica rose three places to 54th in the rankings of the the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.

Although the competitiveness profile of the country remains fairly stable, slight improvements in its innovation capacity have driven this progress, said a summary of the index, placing Costa Rica in (37th) place in this subcategory. The data became public Tuesday.

The country was put in 44th place for what was called a fairly open economy and in 50th place for its strong institutions. But rising concerns about wasteful government spending dropped the country in this category to 114th place, said the index. There were 149 countries surveyed.

Crime and violence gave Costa Rica another black mark and put it in 106th place, according to the index.

The country got high marks and 20th place for its educational system, 36th place for its high rate of technological adoption. and 31st place for business sophistication.

"Notwithstanding these strengths, Costa Rica still suffers from poor transport infrastructure (110th); difficulty in accessing finance, either through equity (118th) or loans (106th), and from an only moderate capacity to innovate (37th), which will be crucial for the country’s economy to move up toward higher-value-added activities, the index said.

After three years of sharp rises in the competitiveness rankings, Panamá consolidates its position at 40tth place as the most competitive economy
in Central America, and second in Latin America, behind Chile, the index said.

For the fifth year in a row, Switzerland ranks as the most competitive country in the world. It is followed by Singapore, Finland, Germany and the United States, which this year reverses a four-year downward trend. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index finds three sub-Saharan African countries, Burundi, Guinea, and Chad, holding up the bottom of 148 countries surveyed. 

The study provides grounds for optimism that the global economy may finally be stabilizing following the freefall of recent years.  The Global Competitiveness Index notes some of the southern European countries, in particular Greece and Spain, are moving up in the rankings after several years of decline.

The World Economic Forum chief economist, Jennifer Blanke, says this might indicate the reform process, which has been under way for the past couple of years, is starting to bear fruit. 

She says a number of things that were of great concern a year ago have not come to pass. She notes, for example, the predicted breakup of the eurozone did not happen and the United States did not hit the debt ceiling.