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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 186                         Email us
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Cruz Roja photo
Rescue crews work to extract motorists and passengers from the slide area
1,200 persons freed from Ruta 32 landslide zone
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
posted at 2:10 p.m.

Highway officials now say that there were three major slides and 11 smaller ones that blocked Ruta 32 north of San José Thursday evening.

The Cruz Roja said it evacuated 1,200 motorists and their passengers who were trapped on the highway.

Crews have been working since daybreak to open up the highway, but the work probably will not be finished today especially if the expected afternoon rains materialize, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.

Crews have been working form the north and from the south in the vicinity of the Zurquí tunnel, and the consejo said early in the afternoon that all the vehicles had been freed.

The Instituto Meterológico Nacional said that the atmosphere is unstable and that evaporation from a week of rain is adding moisture to the air. More heavy rains are expected to last into the night. That makes the work sites on Ruta 32 dangerous because rains could provoke more slides.

The weather institute predicted as much as 60 millimeters of rain, more than two inches.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte
and the Policía de Tránsito have been on the job since early evening Thursday. The  Cruz Roja said it brought in workers from Heredia, San José and Guápiles to set up two command centers.

The slides contains mature trees, rocks and other debris.

So far no serious injuries have been reported. Ruta 32  is the main road to the northern zone and eventually to Limón.

Thursday saw another series of heavy storms in the Central Valley. The Caribbean coast and parched Guanacaste saw little.

More than an inch of rain fell in San José, according to the automatic stations maintained by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. Escazú got 37.8 millimeters or about 1.49 inches. La Fortuna in the northern zone saw 55.4 millimeters by 10 p.m. That is 2.18 inches.

There was flooding, heavy runoffs and flooded storm sewers all over the metro area. Officials are keeping an eye on Ruta 27, the Caldera highway, too where slides are possible.

The weather institute said that the same conditions were likely for today: Hot mornings resulting in heavy afternoon downpours.  The prediction said that there would be rain in some sections of the Pacific coast, too.

There seems to be an up tick in head cold sufferers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There does not seem to be a close association of head colds and rainy weather, but many sufferers associate the two.

The wettest part of the year approaches, and at the same time colds and upper respiratory infections proliferate.

Those who are sick can bet that what they have is a simple cold caused by a virus. Influenza is the cause in probably less than 10 percent of the illnesses, according to Costa Rican health statistics.

That cold probably is the product of a sneeze by someone else or a bug picked up from an infected surface. Health authorities universally recommend hand washing as a protection.

Since children generally have more head colds a year than adults, school time is also infection time, and the youngsters bring home the bug.

The University of Pennsylvania estimated that there are a billion head colds in the United States each year, and travelers seem to be more vulnerable, perhaps due to association with foreign viruses. There are about 200 viruses associated with the common cold, with rhinoviruses the most common.
drug store

This is the time of year, too, when companies that sell over-the-counter medications ramp up with advertising.

Still, many rely on Grandma's remedy, steaming chicken soup.

The average cold lasts from seven to 10 days, but new expats frequently experience illnesses of longer duration, perhaps because their bodies are not used to the particular strain of Costa Rican virus.


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

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
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Legal services

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Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services

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Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
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See why Jeff and Colin Miller (12 years here), Frances Winborne (more than 23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jacó born & bred) chose the Central Pacific!

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risky location
Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo photo          
This home site clearly is at risk from a possible slide.

Subdivision of 64 lots frozen

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's environmental tribunal froze activity on 64 lots because it said the development endangers the Zona Protectora Cerros de La Carpintera.

The Municipalidad de la Unión was ordered to withhold permits for construction until the issues are resolved.

The lots belong to 47 owners, and they range from 103 to 1,000 square meters, well below the 5,000-square meter minimum for properties near protected areas, officials said.

The agency, the Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo, noted homes being built in risky areas, excessive terracing of the land for homes and a number of other environmental faults. The properties are in the Distrito San Diego.

The development, itself, is on just seven hectares, a bit more than 17 acres.

The tribunal said it would investigate the legality of the entire subdivision. It also is seeking hydrology studies because the suspicion is that there are springs and water recharging areas there.

Landowners at border getting titles

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers approved on first reading Thursday a measure that would provide titles to landowners along the border with Panamá.

The measure lifts a restriction that has been in force since 1988. Some of the affected landowners witnessed the vote.

Gaining full title will allow them to mortgage properties and exercise other rights. A second vote is required for passage

Girl, 7, dies in blaze at family home

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 7-year-old girl died Wednesday night in Corralillo, Cartago, when the family's small home caught fire and burned to the ground. The child's body was in a bedroom.

A 4 year old suffered burns to the face, and an 8 year old suffered breathing problems, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos. An adult, 30, also suffered burns.

Firefighters said that the cause was electrical involving a refrigerator that was adjacent to the room in which the dead girl slept.

Guanacaste veterans meet Saturday in Playas del Coco

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Guanacaste Veterans Association meets Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Hotel Casa Palmas on Lizard Lounge Road, Playas del Coco. All military veterans, families and friends of the military are welcome to attend.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 186
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Lawmakers shelve plan to reform presidential police organization
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers Thursday shelved a bill that would have reorganized the  Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad del Estado, which is generally regarded as the secret police of the Presidencia.

President Luis Guillermo Solís made the agency a point in his campaign and promised to close it down. Instead, he appointed a trusted confident, Mariano Figueres Olsen, to run it.

The Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad reports directly to the minister of the Presidencia outside the system that controls other police agencies. The agency has been accused of being a political police force that has invaded the rights of citizens.

After the collapse of the high interest Villalobos Brothers investment scheme, the organization investigated a number of expats because some had made empty threats against the government for closing down what later was characterized as a ponzi scheme.

The Comisión de Seguridad y Narcotráfico has struggled with proposals to reform the agency for several months. The decision to withdraw the bill was unanimous. Lawmakers generally agreed that the country needs an organization that can generate valuable intelligence, particularly since Costa Rica has no armed forces.

After he took office, Solís said that the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad was the appropriate agency to maintain contact with similar agencies in other countries.

At one time the Dirección de Inteligencia was the local representative of the International Police Agency. But now that relationship is handled by the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Researchers catch Rincón de la Vieja volcano making noises at night
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Volcán Rincón de la Vieja cleared its throat Wednesday night, and scientists know that because the event registered for three minutes on seismic recordings.

The eruption began at 8:48 p.m. The monitoring station is about five kilometers away from the mountain.

There may have been an earlier eruption, said researchers at the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica. There was a smaller seismic signal about 12:48 p.m., they said.

The researchers said that neighbors reported they did not hear or see anything, so the speculation is that all the material ejected fell back into the crater, which contains a lake just as does Volcán Poás.

The volcano was last active between September 2011 and January 2012. At that time, material was thrown from the volcano and polluted a local river.
rincon de la vieja
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico photo
Federico Chavarría Kopper took this photo in August.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 186
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Tourism organization seeking mandatory membership in colegio
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Proponents of a proposed colegio of professionals in tourism presented their case for creation of the entity to lawmakers Thursday.

Under the proposed law, membership in the colegio would be obligatory for anyone in the tourism business, according to the text of the bill, No. 18.390. That is in Chapter 2, Article 39. Membership also would be obligatory for anyone holding a public job related to tourism. Appearing Thursday were Erasmo Rojas, legal adviser to the Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo, and Massi Devoto, president of the association.

The bill, if approved, would convert the association into the colegio which would then receive money from members. Despite the name that sounds like college in English, a colegio is an organization of professionals, such as lawyers or physicians.

The bill would grandfather into the new colegio current members of the association. New members would have to have degrees in some field of tourism.  The summary of the bill said that the tourism industry has matured sufficiently to qualify for a colegio.

Rojas told the legislative committee on tourism that the most important need is that professionals in tourism enter the colegio arrangement for protection of their income and to seek excellence for one of the biggest moneymakers for the country.

The committee was told that there are plenty of tourism university graduates now and they do not have a colegio to join.The Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo is the organization that puts on ExpoTur each May to attract tourism buyers to the country.

The current bill does not fully describe what job titles would obligate membership in the proposed colegio. Nor does it specify a penalty for not belonging to the colegio. Others who try to practice restricted occupations here, such as dentistry or medicine, face criminal charges.
White House photo
President Barack Obama and Román Macaya Hayes, the new Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, pose for a traditional photo in the Oval Office.  Macaya presented his ambassadorial credential Thursday.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Organic farm home
$800 plus utilities.
Two-bedroom, two-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara 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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Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 186
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Belgian researchers claim
they stopped metastasis

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process.

Metastasis occurs as primary tumor cells leave the tumor, get into the blood stream, pass through the circulatory system, and then find new tissue to colonize.

Belgian scientists at a research institute of the Université Catholique de Louvain say they have discovered a way to prevent the metastasis of primary tumors from breast and melanomic cancer cells in mice.

"When you have few metastases, this is still manageable for therapy. But when you have a lot of metastases all around your body, you are good for palliative care, it's sad to say so. So what we've found is a treatment able to prevent metastases. Of course, this offers a high hope for patients which are at risk for metastases," said Pierre Sonveaux at the university.

Cancer specialists say metastasis is a complicated process about which much is still unknown.

"For instance, cells have to change their shapes in order to metastasize, and we don't understand basic questions about how cells can change their shape," said the Institute of Cancer Research’s Chris Bakal.

The Belgian team led by Sonveaux has found the mechanism by which cells can control changes caused at least in part by free radicals. The free radical involved in the metastacism of tumor cells is superoxide. Tests in mice on melanoma and breast cancer cells showed that administering an antioxidant stopped the production of superoxide. That, in turn, prevented cell changes that would lead to metastasis.

"In some of these models, we found 100 percent response. It means that we prevented by 100 percent the dissemination of metastases. When you are a scientist and when you find this, you just fall on the ground. This is a very nice result," said Sonveaux.

The research, published in the journal Cell Reports, has drawn praise from other scientists. Bakal said the findings could lead to the development of a therapy to prevent the spread of metastatic cancer cells by blocking pathways to free radicals.

"What it suggests is that by targeting these pathways, these free radical pathways, it could represent a way, a therapeutic avenue, by which to inhibit metastasis, which we weren't necessarily clear of before. So if we lower the amount of free radicals in metastatic cells, it suggests we could prevent metastasis," said Bakal.

Belgian researchers say they now want to find out if this strategy can be applied to prevent metastasis of other tumors, such as colon cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer. The next step would be developing the necessary drugs and starting clinical trials on cancer patients.

Scotland's voters decide
to stick with the British

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scottish voters have voted in favor of keeping the country's 307-year union with Britain intact in a historic independence referendum

Results from 31 out of 32 election councils show that 55 percent of votes were in favor of remaining part of Britain, compared to 45 percent who voted for independence.

In Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, 61 percent of voters chose independence, with 39 percent voting against it. However, voters in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen, the country's third largest city, rejected independence by wide margins.

“Scotland has by a majority decided not at this stage to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people,” Scottish Nationalist leader Alex Salmond told independence supporters in the Scottish capital.

Leaders of Britain's three main parties, shocked by the strong showing of the independence campaign in recent weeks, scrambled to offer Scots more devolved powers if they remained part of the United Kingdom.

“Scotland will expect these to be honored in rapid course,” Salmond said.

Nearly all of Scotland's 4 million eligible voters - 97 percent - registered to cast their ballot in the referendum.

Whaling commission backs
court ruling against Japan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Whaling Commission has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean.  Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. 

Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986.  Since then, Japan has still hunted whales under what it calls a scientific whaling program.  Conservation groups say this program is nothing more than a poor disguise for commercial whaling.

In a surprise move in March, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled Japan must halt its whaling program in the Southern Ocean.

Delegates at the International Whaling Commission summit in Slovenia voted by a 35 to 20 majority Thursday, to adopt a resolution backing the International Court of Justice ruling.

Patrick Ramage from conservationist group the International Fund for Animal Welfare says it is a major blow to Japan’s hopes of resuming whaling next year.

“It is almost as though Japan's commissioner is saying: ‘Pay no attention to the world court judgment behind the curtain - we are going back to whaling in a sanctuary around Antarctica.’  Ultimately, Japan needs to reconcile itself to the emerging global consensus for whale conservation and the court order of the ICJ," said Ramage.

Because the resolution was not passed by consensus, it is not binding on all commission members.  After the vote, Japan’s commissioner, Joji Morishita, said Tokyo would submit a new plan to resume so-called scientific whaling off Antarctica.

“We will be providing, we will be submitting a new research plan in [the] Antarctic ocean so that we will implement that research activities starting from 2015.  And all these activities are, as we have been arguing, perfectly in line with international law, [based upon] scientific bases, as well as ICJ judgment language," said Morishita.

New Zealand, which sponsored the resolution, insisted the commission must respect the vote and reject Japan’s attempts to resume the hunt.  Its commissioner is Gerard Van Bohemen.

“There is no issue of discretion here, the commission has made a clear recommendation and instruction to the scientific committee, and as a subsidiary body, of course, it must comply," said Van Bohemen.

A bid by Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Uruguay to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic failed to get enough votes.

Activists have frequently clashed with Japanese whaling vessels in the Southern Ocean.
A smaller whale hunt in the Pacific Ocean began earlier this month.  Japan, Iceland and Norway are the only countries that hunt whales.

U.S. Senate votes to aid
moderate Syrian rebels

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Senate has voted 73 to 22 to authorize equipping and training moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants. The measure passed the House of Representatives Wednesday and constitutes the only authorization Congress is likely to approve ahead of U.S. midterm elections in November.

In a moment of rare bipartisanship, a politically-polarized Senate approved one component of President Barack Obama’s plan to defeat the Islamic State, which has seized large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said Congress should vote on a broad authorization, but for now, approving action in Syria is a step forward.

“When it comes to Syria, and that is where the head of the ISIS snake is, if you are going to kill the snake, you have to go to where the head is and chop it off," said Nelson.

The measure was attached to a spending bill that will keep the U.S. government funded into December. But even among senators who voted yes, many have reservations about President Obama’s plan, Congress’ reaction to it, or both. Among them is Republican Senator John McCain.

“The administration says U.S. forces will not have a combat role," said  McCain. "Why does the president insist on continuing to tell the enemy what he will not do? Why does the president keep telling the people that are slaughtering thousands, ‘Don’t worry, we will not commit ground troops'?”

All week long, top administration officials testified on Capitol Hill about the president’s plan, including Secretary of State John Kerry, who explained Obama’s rationale for ruling out U.S. ground troops in combat in Iraq and Syria.

“From the last decade, we know that the sustainable strategy is not U.S. ground forces. It is enabling local forces to do what they have to do for themselves and for their country," said Kerry.

Just as in the House, Senate backing for training moderate Syrian forces was not unanimous. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders noted that America has its own needs at home.

“ISIS is not the only major problem facing our country. There are crises here at home we have ignored too long. Real unemployment today is 12 percent. Youth unemployment is 20 percent," said Sanders.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Rand Paul argued that U.S. intervention in the Middle East is part of the problem, not the solution.

“From Hussein to Assad to Gadhafi, it is the same history. Intervention topples the secular dictator. Chaos ensues and radical jihadists emerge. The pattern has been repeated time and time again. And yet what we have here is a failure to understand, a failure to reflect on the outcome of our involvement in Arab civil wars," said Paul.

Administration officials say that while President Obama does not need Congress’s permission to battle the Islamic State, a broad authorization for military action would be welcome. The threat Sunni radicals pose to the United States - and the administration’s response to it - are likely to surface as campaign issues in congressional races, and a topic of debate when lawmakers reconvene after the November elections. 

Obama says the congressional approval of his plan for arming and training moderate Syrian rebels shows the world that Americans are united in combating the Islamic State militant group.

Obama said Americans don't "give in to fear," but rather pull together and stand together.

The president's remarks Thursday came shortly after the Senate voted.

The president praised an earlier announcement by French President Francois Hollande that his country is ready to launch air strikes against the militants inside Iraq, saying that "France is a strong partner in our efforts against terrorism." France rejected extending the aerial bombardment to Syria.

The United States already has launched more than 170 air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq.   The strikes in Syria are expected to start within days.

Dehydration is the killer
in the Arizona desert

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The border separating the United States and Mexico spans 3,200 kilometers from the Gulf of Mexico to Baja California. Yet for the countless undocumented immigrants who attempt to cross each year, the journey is difficult and often deadly. In southern Arizona dehydration among migrants is the number one cause of death.

Welcome to the southern border of Arizona, home of the Sonoran Desert. Unlike the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, which receives the largest influx of undocumented immigrants in the nation, there is no river here. Instead, there are barren mountains, cacti, and poisonous snakes that bask on its burnt soil.

U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Pete Bidegain said, “Temperatures are really extreme. It gets cold at night, it's extremely hot in the daytime, and it's a really dangerous area - and this is one of the areas where we see the majority of deaths that occur with people illegally crossing.”

Here, the most common cause of death is dehydration.

“Within a day, they can physically not carry enough water to make the journey. So within a day they are usually out of water, and some of these people, if they're dehydrated before they start their journey, it can take just a matter of hours before life-threatening lack of water,” according to Larry Steily, a helicopter pilot with the U.S. Border Patrol.

The U.S. Border Patrol's search and rescue unit, “BORSTAR,” has taken matters into its own hands to reduce the number of immigrant deaths. This year, they initiated what they call the “blue blinking light of life program,” a series of 7.5 meter [25-foot] emergency call poles strategically placed throughout the desert on U.S. territory, that emit a high-intensity blue light and reflect the sun's rays during the day.

Raleigh Leonard, Tucson division chief for the U.S. Border patrol, said, “We looked at the tools that we had at our disposal, and began using statistical information and empirical information, and began plotting on maps: where best that we could deploy our rescue beacons, that they would be the most beneficial to the people that were finding themselves in distress in the desert."

The Tucson Border Patrol Sector says its team has rescued 459 people this year, 142 of them as a direct result of the 32 rescue beacons in operation today.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

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

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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances negotiable. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 $279,000, negotiable. Must see to appreciate,  Contact: Wayne Winstead,, 8820-1501/8379-7947

Farm montage

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


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

New 5,000-sq. ft. home in the middle of coffee plantation
Four bedrooms and five baths. 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.


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:

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

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

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

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

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Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 186
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
World population predicts at 11 billion

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study says the global population is growing faster than expected and projects the number of people globally will rise to just under 11 billion people by 2100.

The study, which is an extension of a 2013 United Nations report, says growth is unlikely to stabilize this century.

About seven billion people currently inhabit the planet. For the past 20 years, population experts have predicted the population would grow to nine billion before it begins to level off and possibly decline.

But the new projections that estimate 11 billion people by 2100 factor in government data and expert forecasts of mortality rates, fertility trends and international migration.

The new study also says Africa is likely to see the largest increase in population — from about 3.5 billion to 5.1 billion people — during the next 85 years.

United Nations Population Division Director John Wilmoth, one of the study's authors, says researchers previously anticipated population trends in Africa would follow patterns in other countries, increasing at a slower rate as birth control use became more widespread. But that has not turned out to be the case.

“The level of contraceptive use has continued to increase but slowly — more slowly than expected — and fertility therefore has been falling less rapidly than expected, and the population therefore continues to grow more rapidly than we expected,” he said.

Research conducted jointly by the United Nations and the University of Washington anticipates the population of Asia will peak at five billion people by 2050, up from 4.4 billion people today.

Wilmoth says the strain of feeding the rising global population is likely to be less than might be expected. 

“The relatively good news is that the world has been winning the race between population growth and food production," he said. "If you look back historically over the last 50 years, certainly for the world as a whole and for most individual countries and regions, the increase in food production has outpaced the increase of population.”

The latest global population estimates, contained in a report published in Science, flesh out the most recent U.N. population projections released in July.

Columbian admits role in DEA  killing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Department of Justice says a second Colombian national has pleaded guilty to involvement in the killing of U.S. Drug Enforcement Agent James "Terry" Watson during a robbery in Bogota, Colombia, last year.

The Columbian, Andres Garcia, entered a plea of guilty at a district court in the southeastern state of Virginia. The 22-year-old Garcia, who was extradited to the U.S., was charged with aiding and abetting the murder of an internationally protected person and conspiracy to kidnap.

Watson, a 13-year veteran of the DEA, was killed after catching a taxi outside a restaurant in Bogota in June 2013. Police said the taxi was intercepted by another cab a short distance away, and two men pulled Watson out of the car and stabbed him four times.

Six other Colombian nationals were charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap. A seventh Colombian was charged with trying to destroy evidence associated with the murder.

Another defendant, 31-year-old Julio Ramirez entered a guilty plea for similar charges earlier this month.

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From Page 7:

New RACSA chief to seek new markets

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Francisco Calvo, the new general manager of Radiográfica Costarricense, S.A., met with employees Thursday and said that the state firm needs to find new markets and stabilize its finances.

Calvo was accompanied by Carlos Obregón Quesada, president of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, who also was optimistic that the subsidiary, known as RACSA, would continue.

Calvo said that both firms should move ahead without competing for the same customers. Also at the session was Jaime Palermo, manager of telecom business for the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.