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A.M. Costa Rica
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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 189                 Email us
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Cascata del Bosco




Toxic agricultural pesticides: It's what for dinner
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two separate news stories emerged Monday that suggested the Costa Rican environment has an unexpectedly high level of toxic chemicals.

The first was a report by a researcher at a South African university who said that the caiman in the Tortuguero area have accumulated pesticides in their body that appear to come from banana plantations upstream.

The second report is from a former expat now in Minnesota who said he nearly died last month from what he said he believes was pesticide poisoning by chicken from a pollo a la leña outlet in Tibás,

The researcher is Paul Grant from Stellenbosch University. He took blood samples from  14 adult caiman from March to June 2006. In a report made public Monday, there was a  litany of pesticides that showed up in the reptiles' blood.

"Banana plantations are big business in Costa Rica, which exports an estimated 1.8 million tons per year; 10 percent of the global total," said Grant in a summary released by the publisher of the research article. "The climate of the country's northeast is ideal for bananas. However, the Rio Suerte, which flows through this major banana producing area, drains into the Tortuguero Conservation Area."

Tortuguero is home to the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus), one of the most common species of crocodilian in Central America, the report noted. This freshwater predator is known to be highly adaptive, feeding on fish, crustaceans and in the case of larger specimens, wild pigs, it said. The abstract of his research article in  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry says that he and his colleagues are not sure if the chemicals affected the caiman directly or by reducing the availability of their prey.

The summary of the report by the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., also said that due to the increased global demand for fruit, pesticide use has more than doubled across Central America in the past 20 years. In Costa Rica, which ranks second in the world for intensity of pesticide use, the problem of contamination is compounded by environmental conditions and lax enforcement of regulations, it said.

"Frequent heavy rains can wash pesticides from plantation areas, leading to contamination and the reapplication of sprays to the crops," Grant was quoted as saying. "Without adequate enforcement of regulations dangerous practices such as aerial spraying close to streams or washing application equipment in rivers also contributes to contamination downstream."

The team analyzed caiman blood samples for traces of 70 types of pesticide. Caiman within the high intensity banana crop watershed of Rio Suerte had higher pesticide burdens relative to other more remote locations, the report said.

The nine pesticides detected in the caiman blood were identified as insecticides. Of these seven were listed as persistent organic pollutants banned under the 2011 Stockholm Convention, the summary said.

"Caiman near banana plantations had higher pesticide

caiman
Photo by Paul Grant
Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus).
Mirez
Mirex
Heptachlor
Heptachlor
Endosulfan
Graphics from Wikimedia Commons
Endosulfan

burdens and lower body condition," Grant was quoted
 as saying. "This suggests that either pesticides pose a health risk to caiman, or that pesticides harm the habitat and food supply of caiman, thereby reducing the health of this predator."

The pesticides found in the blood with high-resolution mass spectrometry were dieldrin,  permethrin, mirex, 4,4-DDE ,  alpha-endosulfan, heptachlor epoxide, oxychlordane,  heptachlor and cypermethrin.

Endosulfan is the major player in the next report, which is as unscientific as Grant's work is professional. For Gary Franzen, 70, blaming endosulfan for his health woes is based on gut feeling. Literally.

After spending three weeks getting sicker and sicker and the loss of 32 pounds, Franzen, 70, spent considerable time researching chemicals on the Internet.  He said he was so sick that he feared trying to travel to Juan Santamaría airport and a plane ride north.

He said he believes he was poisoned in Tibás when he went on a high protein diet of chicken to lose weight. He ate a total of about three and half chickens in a couple of days. The food came from a local soda, a small food outlet.

He was deathly ill for three weeks and he blamed endosulfan.  He said coffee growers use the pesticide and then the residue remains on the branches that are used to fuel the fires in the chicken places.

In fact, coffee producers do use endosulfan to fight the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, The beetle, which bores into the coffee berries and ruins them is call la broca del café in Spanish. And symptoms of  endosulfan exposure match what Franzen said he had, including disorientation and internal bleeding.

Franzen does not have a medical opinion because he is not fond of physicians. But he said he thinks that he became ill from eating so much contaminated chicken over a short period. Coffee wood is highly valued for the pollo a la leña Costa Rica rotisserie system, although many chicken vendors now use gas. Flames could transfer some of the toxin from the wood to the chickens.

"Costa Rica is using chemical warfare on insects, and the humans are getting the worst of it," said Franzen by telephone. He said he is much better and has gained back 22 pounds after his body seems to have eliminated the toxins. He spent 10 years in Costa Rica and was a familiar figure at Central Valley poker tables. But he said he is not returning because of the fear of chemical poisoning.


Sala IV expands rulings on arsenic in drinking water
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV issued another decision on arsenic in the nation's water Monday.

The Poder Judicial issued a short summary that appears to say that the high court has amplified its ruling involving Guanacaste and has told the Ministerio de Salud to monitor all the public water systems in the country.

The health ministry has five days to comply and issue instructions so that in nine months every water system will be checked for arsenic, which is
naturally occurring in Costa Rica. A standard that resulted in monitoring of water systems serving 50,000 or more persons was discarded, and the court extended this protection to every water system, according to the summary.

The decision was based on the right of citizens to a healthy environment, according to the summary.

Earlier, the Sala IV constitutional court ordered various ministries to take steps to eliminate arsenic in domestic water in the Cañas area and other locations in Guanacaste and the northern zone. It appears that bids are being accepted for filters.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 189

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


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Real estate agents and services

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Legal services

FULLY BILINGUAL ATTORNEY
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Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
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Visit the website at:  CRTitle.com
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Fake English certificates
at center of investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In order to obtain a taxi concession at Juan Santamaría airport, a driver has to be able to speak English.

So judicial agents conducted a sweep Monday in an investigation began after information came that a language school was providing English competency certificates for a fee.

The certificates are among the documents that would-be concession holders have to turn in to the Consejo de Transporte Público.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that two individuals associated with the Alajuela language school and 10 individuals who are seeking concessions have been detained. The allegation is using false documents in a legal procedure.

Agents were told that the certificates were for sale at prices from 45.000 to 150,000 colons. That is from about $90 to $300.

The Consejo de Transporte Público is in the process of awarding 100 concessions for airport taxis.

 
Evaluators will be trained
to award new trademark

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Firms that wish to display the new country trademark esencial COSTA RICA have to do a little more than signing up.

Promotora del Comercio Exterior and the Instituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica are combining to set up training courses and to require a test for evaluators who will examine the qualifications of firms.

The two entities said that the requirement is to safeguard the reputation of the country.

The training is by Promotora del Comercio Exterior, and then the  Instituto de Normas Técnicas will give a test based on the five elements of the new trademark: excellence, sustainability, social progress, innovation and Costa Rican origin, the two entities said.

Firms that wish to use the trademark will be evaluated by those who complete training, said the entities.

There is one exception. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo is setting up its own procedures for evaluation, said the announcement.

Evaluators are expected to be ready to check out firms at the end of the year. There was no information released on the cost of evaluation.


Residential electrical rates
cut in seasonal change


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With rains reducing the reliance of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad on expensive petroleum fired generators, the nation's regulating agency has cut electric prices to distributors and consumers.

The average cut is 13.6 percent, but average residential customers of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz will see a 19.48 reduction, said the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos. Cartago residents will see a 14.08 percent reduction with their local providers, and Heredia residents will see an 18.42 reduction. The reductions are based on a 200 kilowatt monthly usage.


Moderate quake rattles
southern part of country


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 4.7 magnitude earthquake took place at 9:41 p.m. about 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles) south of Laurel de Corredores Monday night. The quake was felt moderately in Ciudad Neily, Puerto Jiménez and Talamanca, said the Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

There was a lesser quake, 2.5 magnitude, seven minutes later about 2.5 kilometers southwest of Hatillo in San José. Despite the small magnitude, the quake was felt moderately in San Pedro, Paseo Colón and Aserrí, said the Laboratorio.


Diplomatic relations OK'd
between Costa Rica, Kosovo


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Costa Rica and Kosovo have established diplomatic relations. Foreign minister Enrique Castillo and Enver Hoxhaj, the Kosovo foreign minister, signed the appropriate papers and said ambassadors would be appointed shortly. Both were in New York at the United Nations for the 68th inauguration of the General Assembly.


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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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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 189
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art workd
Judicial Investigating Organization photos
These are some of the art works that were taken in the San Pedro burglary
Crooks get a little culture taking paintings, sculptures, jewelry
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There are art thieves at large today looking for some place to put their stolen goods. And the same goes for crooks who tied up a guard and robbed a Puriscal jewelry store Sunday night.

The art theft was in San Pedro at the home of a relative of painter Rafa Fernández. Taken were six of his paintings. Also taken were three sculptures done by Ólger Villegas. Both men are famous in Costa Rican art circles.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the value of
 the stolen art works was 150 million colons or about $300,000.

Agents said the crooks deactivated an alarm and opened up an outside gate and then broke through a door Saturday night.

The judicial agency released photos in case some citizen might be offered a great deal on art.

In Puriscal, crooks made off with jewelry worth about 30 million colons, about $60,000, from a store in the center of that community. The location is within a commercial center where the guard was confronted and tied up.


Police, other agencies give hotel residents an early wake-up call
doggie helper
Ministerio de Gobernación, Polícia y Seguridad Pública photo
This dog helped with the early morning wakeup calls
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An array of police agencies descended on 17 low-price hotels along Calle 8 in San José early Monday and questioned 192 persons there. Officers ended up locating eight foreigners who were in the country illegally.

One was an unidentified U.S. citizen, said security ministry workers.

Confiscated were three firearms, including one that was homemade. Two persons were the subject of arrest warrants and three persons were minors, one with a baby.  The Fuerza Pública also said that they located a 15 year old in the company of an older man.

In addition to the Fuerza Pública, participating agencies were the Policía Profesional de Migración, the Policía Municipal de San José and Patronato Nacional de la Infancia.

Dogs and their handlers also participated. The visits lasted from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. The area along Calle 8 is full of bars and centers of adult entertainment.


Internet failure causes hour delay in posting newspaper
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This newspaper was about an hour late today because of a failure in part of the Tigo Internet network.

The extent of the failure is not known, but support personnel for the company said that technicians were going home at 2:30 a.m. to resume work this morning. At least part of the west side of San José was knocked out. Typically this happens when someone steals part of the main internet cable or there is
damage from a vehicle accident.

Tigo, which used to be Amnet, has been troubled lately because it seems that the exponential growth in Internet use is taxing the company's computers.

More and more Costa Ricans and expats are using Internet television, YouTube, iTunes, Netflix and other services that require a lot of bandwidth particularly in the evenings and during times of major soccer games.

Del Rey HOtel

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 189
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Ancient collapse of reefs caused major decline of inhabitants, study reports
By the University of Florida news staff

Many ancient crustaceans went extinct following a massive collapse of reefs across the planet, and new University of Florida research suggests modern species living in rapidly declining reef habitats may now be at risk.

Available online and scheduled to appear in the November issue of Geology, the study shows a direct correlation between the amount of prehistoric reefs and the number of decapod crustaceans, a group that includes shrimp, crab and lobster. The decline of modern reefs due to natural and human-influenced changes also could be detrimental, causing a probable decrease in the biodiversity of crustaceans, which serve as a vital food source for humans and marine animals such as fish, said lead author Adiël Klompmaker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

“We estimate that earth’s decapod crustacean species biodiversity plummeted by more than 50 percent during a sharp decline of reefs nearly 150 million years ago, which was marked by the extinction of 80 percent of crabs,” the researcher said. “If reefs continue to decline at the current rate during this century, then a few thousand species of decapods are in real danger. They may adapt to a new environment without reefs, migrate to entirely new environments or, more likely, go extinct.”

Some scientists predict as much as 20 percent of the world’s reefs may collapse within 40 years, with a much higher percentage affected by the end

 of the century due to natural and human-influenced changes such as ocean acidification, diseases and coral bleaching.

The study is the first comprehensive examination of the rise of decapod crustaceans in the fossil record. Researchers created a database of fossils from the Mesozoic Era, 252 million to 66 million years ago, from literature records based on museum specimens worldwide. The data included 110 families, 378 genera and 1,298 species. They examined the patterns of diversity and found an increase in the number of decapod species was influenced by the abundance of reefs, largely due to the role of reefs as a provider of shelter and foraging. Researchers call this period the “Mesozoic decapod revolution” because of the 300-fold increase in species diversity compared with the previous period and the appearance and rapid evolution of crabs.

Compiling information about crustaceans on this scale has historically been a challenge for researchers because most decapods possess a fragile and weakly calcified exoskeleton that does not fossilize well.

“Only a scant fraction of decapod crustaceans is preserved in rocks, so their fossil record is limited,” said study co-author Michal Kowalewski, curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum. “But, thanks to efforts of paleontologists many of those rare fossils have been documented all around the world, finally giving us a chance to look at their evolutionary history in a more rigorous, quantitative way.”

 
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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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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
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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.
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prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
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Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
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house for rent
House for rent on a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden on a bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms plus extra room for office, security, electric gate, Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $475 monthly. Call 2267-6306  Or email: bonillaleda@yahoo.com.
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Cute rental house
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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 
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8054-2/16/14

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!
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COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
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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
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Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
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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, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 189
Sports
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Opinion
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Lifestyle
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Xi Jinping moves to left
to exert control over party


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With ousted senior politician Bo Xilai jailed for life, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stamped his authority on the Communist Party by effectively warning he will not tolerate dissent as he seeks to push through tough economic reforms.

Bo was sentenced Sunday after being found guilty on charges of corruption, taking bribes and abuse of power. Since all courts are controlled by the party, the verdict was likely pre-ordained although a source with direct knowledge of the case said Monday that Bo had filed an appeal.

“It's killing one to warn a hundred,” a source with ties to the leadership said.

The ideological fractures exposed last year by Bo's fall from grace had hobbled Xi, forcing him to row back on an ambitious plan to rebalance the world's second largest economy, sources close to China's leadership have said.

The party's fear had been that Bo's supporters, who lauded him for the old-school leftist social welfare policies he championed as boss of the city of Chongqing, could remain a brake on reforms that favor private businesses and a greater reliance on market forces.

Xi needed the Bo affair settled because the next few weeks are critical for his government, which took office in March.

At a closed-door party plenum in November, Xi will push for more economic reforms and he needs unstinting support from the party's elite 200-member Central Committee.

The reforms Xi wants include opening up the banking sector to let in private players and enact interest rate reform, and introducing more competition in key industries dominated by state-owned giants, such as in the energy and telecommunications sectors, sources say.

Leftists are deeply suspicious of private enterprise and market reforms, believing they have led to the income inequality and the anything-goes economic growth that China grapples with today.

“For other senior officials, I think this is intimidating because the plenum is coming up,” said Zhang Lifan, a Beijing-based political commentator and historian.

Bo had been expected to rise to the top of the party until his career unraveled last year following a murder scandal in which his wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of poisoning a British businessman, Neil Heywood, who had been a family friend. She was given a suspended death sentence.

After his appointment as Chongqing party boss in 2007, the charismatic Bo, a princeling son of a late vice premier, turned the southwestern metropolis into a showcase of Mao-inspired red culture, as well as state-led economic growth. The leftists in the party flocked to his side.

Xi has been mindful of Bo's constituency and courted neo-leftists ahead of the trial at the expense of reform-minded liberals.

Shortly before the trial, Xi paid his respects at a villa once used by Mao Zedong, and then gave a widely publicized speech calling Marxism a must-study subject for party members.

Xi, in a sense, already has sought to assume Bo's mantle as the hero of the left.

“Ideologically speaking, Xi's shift to the left has been quite dramatic,” said Li Weidong, a writer and former editor who has followed Bo's case closely. “Bo has been kicked to the side but his policies have remained.”

That is a path that may not be sustainable, Li added.

“It will create an effect of left-wing politics but right-wing economics, which will become a problem long-term.”

Still, Bo's verdict is unlikely to be a real deterrent to the rampant corruption Xi has sought to tackle, despite the party and state media playing up the angle that all are equal before the law.

“This case had little to do with corruption. It's a political case,” said Zhang Ming, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing.


Most of Colorado's missing
have turned up still alive


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Search teams in flood-ravaged areas of Colorado have accounted for all but a half dozen people, down from hundreds initially reported missing in the disaster nearly two weeks ago. Authorities said on Monday the body of an eighth victim has been recovered.
 
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden surveyed the devastated region by helicopter and pledged that disaster relief would continue even if there were a government shutdown stemming from a congressional budget clash over President Barack Obama's healthcare program.
 
“They will not shut down if Congress does not fund the government,” Biden said or recovery operations during a brief appearance at a Federal Emergency Management Agency center in Greeley, Colorado, north of Denver. “The help is going to remain.”
 
President Barack Obama has declared nine of Colorado's hardest-hit counties a major disaster area, making residents there eligible for direct federal grants to repair their flood-damaged homes, replace personal property and provide rental assistance.
 
The declaration also provides unemployment payments of up to 26 weeks to workers left temporarily jobless by the disaster and makes special low-interest loans available to farmers and small businesses to help cover their uninsured flood losses.
 
Authorities were winding down search-and-rescue efforts even as more heavy rain prompted a renewed flood warning for some areas. Biden was accompanied on his hour-long aerial tour by Emergency Management Agency chief Craig Fugate, Gov. John Hickenlooper and several members of Colorado's congressional delegation.
 
After evacuating thousands of survivors left stranded in washed-out areas of Larimer and Boulder counties, northwest of Denver, emergency management authorities said their focus has shifted to recovery initiatives and thorough damage assessments.
 
A new burst of heavy rains overnight prompted the National Weather Service to post a flood warning for the town of Kersey along the engorged South Platte River, just east of Greeley. The river was expected to crest about a foot above flood stage late Monday or early Tuesday.
 
Additional flooding was also possible in saturated fields and creeks farther east in low-lying stretches of Logan, Washington and Morgan counties, weather forecasters said.
 
The worst flooding to strike Colorado in about four decades swept the eastern slopes of the Rockies and prairie farmlands downstream the week before last, causing property losses across 17 counties estimated at $2 billion, including the destruction of at least 1,800 homes.
 
The confirmed death toll from the flooding rose to eight when Larimer County officials reported the body of a 79-year-old flood victim Evelyn Starner had been found on Saturday.
 
Six more Larimer County residents remained listed as unaccounted for, down from 82 on Friday. Search teams reached the last remote, isolated pockets of the flood zone over the weekend, county sheriff's spokesman John Schulz said.
 
Unless they surface in the next few days, those six are likely to be added to the list of missing and presumed dead, he said.
 
Ms. Starner was one of three Larimer County residents who had been listed as missing and presumed dead after their homes were washed away more than a week ago along the Big Thompson River. A 1976 flood disaster in the same vicinity claimed more than 140 lives.
 
Ms. Starner's remains were discovered near a ranch on the banks of the river. The bodies of two others believed swept away in Larimer County have yet to be recovered.
 
Compared with the estimated 1,200 people statewide whose whereabouts were unknown in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the unaccounted-for roster has fallen sharply as families reunite, evacuees register at shelters and survivors turn up in areas initially cut off by the floods.
 
Schulz said the last 16 people still awaiting evacuation in Larimer County were rescued Saturday, but nearly 370 others have opted to stay put even after losing sewage, fresh running water and other utility services.
 
The widespread flooding along the so-called Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, a region encompassing the state's most highly populated areas, was unleashed by heavy rains that started Sept. 9 and continued almost unabated for a week.
 
Days after the deluge began, floodwaters roared off rain-soaked mountainsides through canyons that carried torrents of runoff into communities below, sweeping homes from their foundations, crumbling roads and bridges and initially leaving some 12,000 people stranded.
 
Floodwaters spread out onto the plains east of the Rockies, swamping farmland along South Platte River and oil and gas production sites in the region, creating a toxic stew of industrial contaminants and wastewater.
 
Farmers in the northeastern corner of the state were particularly worried about their top cash crop, corn, which could be lost if water that has inundated low-lying prairie fields fails to drain away before the October harvest.


As U.S. moves to shutdown,
politicians solidify positions


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As accusations fly between the two major political parties, Congress and the White House are headed to the latest in a series of showdowns that have nearly resulted in the partial shut down of the government.  This time it might happen, as two ideologies collide just as spending authorization runs out.

Analysts say such repetitive brinkmanship would be unlikely in other democracies around the world.

House Republicans celebrated Friday their government spending measure crippling the president's health care law.

Furious House Democrats are now accusing Republicans of threatening to close down the government rather than give in.

"This place is a mess.  Let's get our house in order," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

At the heart of the battle is a clash over the role of government. The Tea Party, an anti-big government faction of the Republican Party,  emerged four years ago to oppose the president's signature reform of the health care system.

After Barack Obama pushed through health insurance reform to provide health coverage to millions, 

Republicans took back the U.S. House with a core of about 30 Tea Party-oriented members who say they are willing to take risks for their convictions.  

 "This is in many ways a takeover of the Republican Party by an extreme faction that did not really exist 10 years ago," said budget expert Stan Collender. 

Tea Party members are carrying out the wishes of voters in their districts by taking Congress to the brink, says Steve Bittle of George Washington University.

"Many of the more rebellious members, these Tea Party members, come from districts that have very solid Republican majorities," he said.  "They are really not worried about a challenge from the Democrats. They are worried about a challenge from the right-wing of their party."

At a luncheon for conservatives, Republican Raul Labrador blamed the threat of a shutdown on Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama.

"And if Harry Reid and the president want to shut down the government because all we are asking for is a simple delay of Obamacare, then I hope you write the story that way, and not in the way that we are the ones who are at fault," he said.

Republican Reps. Mark Meadows says Americans shouldn't worry.

"We have had 17, 17 government shutdowns, in our history.  And all of those were partial shutdowns," he said. "The longest one was 21 days.  No one ever didn't get paid ..."

Asked if other democracies could have showdowns on routine funding bills, analysts say it's hard to imagine.

"In parliamentary systems, a situation like this probably would have ended up in a call for new elections, maybe a vote of no confidence in the prime minister," Collender said.

"The next act in the drama will be in the Senate, where all eyes are focused on Majority Leader Harry Reid to see what he does with the House bill.  He has already said the Senate will not pass a bill that defunds the health care law.

 
Physicians see gun violence
from mental illness perspective


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After yet another mass shooting in the U.S., when a gunman killed 12 people at a military facility in Washington last week, members of Congress are again talking about gun safety. Deep divisions on the issue kept Congress from passing new laws on gun control earlier this year even after 20 children were killed in a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last December. But doctors are now adding their voices to the debate.

Across the nation, doctors are speaking out against gun violence.

At Medstar Washington Hospital where victims of the Navy Yard shooting were treated, Janis Orlowski said there is an "evil" in U.S. society.

"I may be the chief medical officer of a very large trauma center, but there's something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries, there's something wrong," she said.

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine indicates that gun ownership does not make a country safer. The report also found another factor in the level of gun violence: mental illness.

Those who committed mass shootings in the past few years in Colorado, Arizona, Texas and Virginia were all men who had serious mental illnesses and access to guns.

"Mentally ill people who are not in treatment, are more violent than the rest of the population," said Eliot Sorel, who is a psychiatrist at The George Washington University School of Public Health.

According to The National Institute of Mental Health, those with a serious mental illness are more likely to be violent if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or during an extreme state when they are out of touch with reality. But the institute also reports that most people with a serious mental illness are not violent.

However, statistics show that in the U.S., almost half of adults with a serious mental illness are not in treatment.

"Mental health is somewhat relegated and still is, kind of like an orphan as part of health system. So the access to those services are very limited," said Sorel.

Sorel also points to cultural aspects of American society, the value of individual rights and the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

He says to reduce the incidents of gun violence, it must be treated as a public health issue.

"We have the tools in public health to do a disciplined review of what is going on and to come up with some recommendations," he said.

Polls show most Americans agree that those with serious mental illnesses should not have access to firearms, but they wonder if the current mental health system is comprehensive enough to prevent mass shootings.


German hackers reporting
they broke Apple security


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A group of German hackers claimed to have cracked the iPhone fingerprint scanner Sunday, just two days after Apple launched the technology that it promises will better protect devices from criminals and snoopers seeking access.
 
If the claim is verified, it will be embarrassing for Apple, which is betting on the scanner to set its smartphone apart from new models by Samsung and others running Google’s Android operating system.
 
Two prominent iPhone security experts said that they believed the German group, known as the Chaos Computing Club, or CCC, had succeeded in defeating Apple's Touch ID, though they had not personally replicated the work.
 
One of them, Charlie Miller, co-author of the iOS Hacker's Handbook, described the work as a complete break of Touch ID security. “It certainly opens up a new possibility for attackers.”
 
Apple representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
 
CCC, one the world's largest and most respected hacking groups, posted a video on its Web site that appeared to show somebody accessing an iPhone 5S with a fabricated print. The site described how members of its biometrics team had cracked the new fingerprint reader, one of the few major high-tech features added to the latest version of the iPhone.
 
The group said they targeted Touch ID to knock down reports about its marvels, which suggested it would be difficult to crack.
 
“Fingerprints should not be used to secure anything. You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints,” a hacker named Starbug was quoted as saying on the CCC's site.
 
The group said it defeated Touch ID by photographing the fingerprint of an iPhone's user, then printing it on to a transparent sheet, which it used to create a mold for a fake finger.
 
CCC said similar processes have been used to crack the vast majority of fingerprint sensors on the market.
 
“I think it's legit,” said Dino Dai Zovi, another co-author of the iOS Hacker's Handbook. “The CCC doesn't fool around or over-hype, especially when they are trying to make a political point.”
 
Touch ID, which was only introduced on the top-of-the-line iPhone 5S, lets users unlock their devices or make purchases on iTunes by simply pressing their finger on the home button. It uses a sapphire crystal sensor embedded in the button.
 
Data used for verification is encrypted and stored in a secure enclave of the phone's A7 processor chip.
 
Two security experts who sponsored an impromptu competition offering cash and other prizes to the first hackers who cracked the iPhone said they had reviewed the information posted on the CCC Web site, but wanted more documentation.
 
“We are simply awaiting a full video documentation and walk through of the process that they have claimed,” said mobile security researcher Nick DePetrillo, who started the contest with another security expert, Robert Graham. “When they deliver that video we will review it.”
 
The two of them each put up $100 toward a prize for the contest winner, then set up a Web site inviting others to contribute. While the booty now includes more than $13,000 in cash, it was not clear that the CCC would receive the full payout, even if DePetrillo and Graham declared them winners.
 
A micro venture capital firm known as I/O Capital, which had offered to pay $10,000 in prize money, issued a press release late on Sunday saying that it would make its own determination about who won the contest.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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Visit our Web Site:
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English:  (Luis Arce)
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 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
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5,000 square meters of land and 175 square-meters of construction. HERE!
Grecia
2,000 square meters of land and 200 square-meters of construction.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8068-11/9/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


sunset view
FREE FULL-DAY TOUR and property viewing – San Ramón! 
Come visit us in San Ramón and not only will we show you some great properties but we’ll also give you a FREE day-long tour of this terrific town with a relocation expert who has lived here for many years. Since 2006, CRC has been the area’s leading creator of socially-responsible communities for foreign retirees/investors and locals. “Easy access” to San Ramón does not mean living many miles outside of town, but less than 2 miles from everything you’ll need. Live near town but in an area that only feels a world away. None of our competitors have built a school, donated a water well and completed numerous projects for the community. A few stunning, direct ocean-view home sites of 1.25 acres to nearly 4 acres from only $55,000 remain in one of San Ramón’s most desirable residential communities. Please visit us at www.crcommunities.com or email us at CRCInformation@gmail.com to request a property showing AND your free full-day tour. Overnight accommodations can be arranged. Limited availability so please contact us today referencing “Free Tour” in your email: CRCInformation@gmail.com
8080-10/6/13

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!
8087-10/18/13

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8082-10/9/13

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11
A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose,  Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas.  And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive ground-work that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to  even greater success.  Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.com
8081-10/9/13

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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 189
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Scientist predict hike
in U.S. severe weather


By the Stanford University news service

Severe thunderstorms, often exhibiting destructive rainfall, hail and tornadoes, are one of the primary causes of catastrophic losses in the United States. New climate models suggest a robust increase in these types of storms across the country.

In 2012, 11 weather disasters in the United States crossed the billion-dollar threshold in economic losses. Seven of those events were related to severe thunderstorms.

New climate analyses led by Stanford scientists indicate that global warming is likely to cause a robust increase in the conditions that produce these types of storms across much of the country over the next century.

Severe thunderstorms are one of the primary causes of catastrophic losses in the United States and often exhibit the conditions that generate heavy rainfall, damaging winds, hail and tornadoes.

Sparse historical data describing the atmospheric conditions that cause severe thunderstorms has limited scientists' ability to project the long-term effects of global warming on storm frequency. But, using a complex ensemble of physics-based climate models, researchers led by Noah Diffenbaugh, an associate professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford, have produced the most comprehensive projections of severe storm conditions for the next century.

Scientists have identified two main ingredients involved in generating a severe thunderstorm. The first is that the atmosphere must contain a significant amount of what scientists call convective available potential energy, created as the air in the low atmosphere warms. The warm air rises, carrying with it moisture to higher altitudes.

To transform into a severe thunderstorm, convection must also interact with strong vertical wind shear – essentially a moving wind current that organizes the atmospheric energy and moisture such that it can sustain a storm.

Climate researchers have previously hypothesized that global warming will increase convection and cause an overall decrease in wind shear, which created uncertainty about the net effect.

The new climate model experiment that Diffenbaugh and his co-authors analyzed, called the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, confirms these competing effects, but in a different way than previously believed.

Although the climate model experiment does indicate an overall decrease in the average amount of wind shear, the researchers found that the bulk of that decrease occurs on days that produce levels of convection that are much lower than is normally seen during severe storms.

The net effect is that the increases in convection on other days drive increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments.

The analysis carved the United States into boxes that were roughly 60 miles on a side and assessed the climate conditions that could emerge over the next century. The analysis showed the biggest changes occurring in the spring season, with each box in the central United States experiencing about two-and-a-half additional storm days per spring by the late 21st century.

The researchers also reported that sustained global warming is likely to cause robust increases in storm days over large areas of the eastern United States not only in spring but also in winter and autumn. While the summer season also showed increases over the region as a whole, those increases were the least robust within the region and across the different climate models.

An additional few days of severe storm conditions might not seem like a large change, but Diffenbaugh emphasized that the projected increases are in fact substantial compared to the frequency of occurrence in the current climate.

"We are looking at the conditions that produce severe events, which are relatively rare at present," Diffenbaugh said. "For example, the changes during spring represent an increase of about 40 percent over the eastern U.S. by the late 21st century."

Diffenbaugh also emphasized even a single severe storm can cause very high levels of damage.

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From Page 7:

More tax payments going electronic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tax agency is going electronic with payments for property transfers and for vehicle sales.

The Dirección General de Tributación said that as of Tuesday, the use of the online EDDI-7 to produce forms will be obligatory with one exception. The paper forms that have been used in the past can be submitted until the supply is exhausted or until April 15, which ever comes first, said the agency. The forms are D-120 and D-121 either in paper or on the computer.

The EEDI-7 system is the same one being used to report monthly sales tax and annual income tax. With property transfers and vehicle sales, the form output by the system will go to the bank with the appropriate fee, the agency said. A copy, of course, also goes to Tributación.

Some notaries who handle property transfers and vehicle transfers already are online with the Banco de Costa Rica in a system when they pay all the fees electronically. That will not change, said Tributación.