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Published Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 191
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Tourism and rescue agencies urge action on lifeguards
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite daily rains, the calendar shows that the tourism high season is not far away.

Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists will again dot the beaches of Costa Rica, but some of them will become victims of the nation’s infamous rip tides.

A legislative proposal notes that between the year 2000 and 2014 some 840 persons, an average of 60 a year, died here from drowning. Some 37 percent were foreigners, mainly tourists.

Many more escaped death by somehow managing to defeat the strong rip tides. Some were saved by the few lifeguards that work along the nation’s coasts. The legislature estimates that less than 1 percent of  the country’s beaches have that protection. There are about 600 beaches suitable for bathing.

A bill in the legislature, No. 20043, seeks to create a national structure for lifeguard training and certification. The bill also orders municipalities that have beaches designated as dangerous to use money received from beach concessions to hire and train lifeguards.

Representatives of the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, Universidad Nacional, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas, the Cruz Roja and Cámara Costarricenses de Hoteleros have urged lawmakers to support and pass the bill.  The measure still is in the Comisión Permanente Especial de Turismo and there is little chance that the actions outlined by the bill will go into effect this year, if ever.

Unlike in a lot of legislative bills, the money to do the job already exists, but probably is being put to other uses by municipalities.

Municipalities receive 40 percent of the beach concession fees for local use, according to the maritime zone law. In some areas this is a large sum of money each year, In fact, the annual payment, the so-called canon, has increased in many areas to the extent that residents have complained. The canon is like rent that individuals and firms pay to place

beach scene
A.M. Costa Rica archives/Municipalidad de Nicoya
This beach at Tamarindo will be a likely destination for many vacationers. There is a lifeguard corps there.

homes, businesses and even giant hotels on the beachfront that has been declared public property.

However, in most places this windfall is not being used to safeguard bathers. The bill seeks to create a professional corps that is trained and compensated. Some lifeguards now are volunteers.

The measure also orders municipalities to erect warning signs, something that is not universal.

The law also creates a Comisión Nacional de Salvavidas, but the money that would be needed to run this supervisory unit with the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica appears to be modest. Mostly, the commission would set up certification requirements and support itself thorough annual fees and donations.

The Asociacion Nacional de Guardavidas de Costa Rica already offers professional level training and certification courses.

The rip tides are blamed for the rate of water deaths that is higher than the United States or even Australia, said the summary of the bill.

Still, the measure is likely to face opposition from municipalities and their associations.

Naranjo-Puntarenas ferry is out of service today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The ferry dock at Playa Naranjo on the upper Gulf of Nicoya will be out of service today for more repairs.  High winds destroyed the dock in March 2015, and now more work is needed on the new ramp, said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

This is one of two ferry routes on the gulf from Puntarenas Centro. The other is to Paquera in the lower gulf. Both are tourism draws.

Naranjo ferry
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
No trip today for the Naranjo ferry

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 191
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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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Our reader’s opinion
U.N. walkout by Solís wins praise

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

President Solis has been severely criticized by some members of the Costa Rican political elite for walking out of a speech at the U.N. by faux Brazilian president Michel Temer, whose cabal overthrew the former president Dilma Rousseff in a parliamentary coup d'etat, most likely with the support of the United States government. 

According to teleSUR, the pan-Latin American satellite TV network, Temer confirmed, at a luncheon hosted by the free market advocate Council of the Americas in New York last Wednesday, that the coup had nothing to do with president Rousseff's budgeting practices, practices which were also widely exercised by previous presidents. 

Instead, Temer told the audience of business leaders that the coup was carried out in response to Rouseff's opposition to a neoliberal economic program defended by Temer's political party.  Since the coup, the new government proposes to freeze spending in social areas for 20 years and plans to auction off to private corporate interests 32 major government resource and infrastructure projects. 

This is the familiar neoliberal pattern of privatization, deregulation and deep cuts to social spending endorsed by the followers of the monstrous Milton Friedman at the Chicago School of Economics and which led most notably to the murderous and dictatorial regime of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, one of Friedman's most ardent followers. 

Wherever these policies have been implemented, often through military force, the result has been severe repression of the population and the rise of a corporate oligarchy in control of the government, not unlike the process currently ongoing in the United States.

Rousseff was elected in 2014 on an anti-neoliberal agenda which, apparently, the multinational corporations found unacceptable.  The new Brazilian cabinet under Temer includes many of Rousseff's former political opponents including José Serra whom Rousseff had previously defeated in the 2010 presidential election.  The imposition by force of an unpopular economic system on behalf of corporate elites is pervasive and is destructive to all but the oligarchs.

President Solis should be commended for the courage to stand up to these malignant forces and expose their anti-democratic agenda.  The Costa Rican people should be wary of those politicians who criticize him for embracing the values of the people over those of the corporations.  If Solis' critics were to gain power, they may well try to implement a similar neoliberal agenda which would destroy decades of Costa Rica's peaceful social democracy and replace it with corporate rule.  Bravo, Don Luis.
Steven A. Roman
San Antonio de Belén

Editor’s Note: A legislative committee has asked the Costa Rican foreign minister to appear Thursday to discuss the walkout in which he also participated.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
The four suspects are lined up by police.

Three suspects in tourist crime detained

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two Dutch tourists were the target when a gang of car thieves followed them until they stopped for a meal.

The Fuerza Pública reported, however, that they were able to pick up the four at a nearby highway checkpoint.

The Dutch couple lost luggage from their rented vehicle, a typical crime against tourists in Costa Rica. This happened in Lourdes de Abangares, Guanacaste.

The suspects were a Colombian, a Mexican and a Costa Rican man and a Costa Rican woman. The three men received immediate detention from a flagrancy court, said police.

Time to register to vote

The U.S. Federal government’s overseas voting agency has issued a reminder that Nov. 8 is the presidential election.

“It is time for Americans living, working or traveling abroad to take steps to vote,” said the agency,” the Federal Overseas Voting Program.

Helping overseas Americans is difficult because each state has its own rule, and expats are supposed to vote in the U.S. state where they last were a resident.

Many overseas voters will receive absentee ballots from their registered county of residency. Others may elect to file a federal absentee ballot just for federal offices.

In addition to the federal program, the Overseas Voting Foundation can assist voters. The Web site gives deadlines for each state, plus other information.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 191
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Small turtle rescue project struggles to save eggs on beach at Matapalo
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is on the forefront of sea turtle protection. And while places such as Tortuguero and Ostional and Playa Grande in Guanacaste receive substantial attention and funding for conservation programs, there are many lesser known beaches in Costa Rica where endangered sea turtles come to lay their eggs and which are vital for the species’ survival.

As the world’s sea turtles decline at an alarming rate, programs on these forgotten beaches, like the sea turtle conservation project at Matapalo Beach, south of Manuel Antonio, are critical.

North of Dominical, the long, palm tree-lined beach of Matapalo stretches along the coast for 12 kilometers. There is nothing but empty dark sand, blue Pacific Ocean, and a very small community. It is to this lost coast that hundreds of Pacific Black sea turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizi), Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), and Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) come every year between July and December to lay their eggs; and where thousands of baby turtles begin their lives and return to the sea.

The grassroots organization Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation Project is working only on the kindness of volunteers and donations.

The program began in the 1990s, and for the past 10 years, the non-profit Association of Volunteers for Service in Protected Areas in Costa Rica used its large volunteer base of national and international students to work the project. However, earlier this year, the volunteer association pulled its support.

The program has been continuing under the guidance of Costa Rican biologist Roberto Solano, who has worked with the sea turtles in Matapalo since 2009. But there are no funds.

Operating 100 percent on donations, Solano and local community members, along with visiting volunteers, do their best to patrol the beach to protect female sea turtles as they arrive at night to lay their eggs, collect the eggs and safeguard them in a hatchery with 24-hour care, and release the baby turtles back to the sea when they are born.

Poachers stealing the turtle eggs to sell are an ever-present problem. In addition to humans, Solano said that dogs, raccoons and even crabs are a threat to the fragile eggs. When a nest is found, volunteers carefully recover the eggs using medical gloves and biodegradable plastic bags to bring them to

little turtles
Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation Project  photo
Turtle hatchlings celebrate birthday by heading to the sea.

the hatchery where they are guarded with fences and by volunteers.

Solano said that between 180 and 250 turtles nest at Matapalo every year; each female depositing on average from 80 to 120 eggs. He said the program so far has been able to save about 17,000 eggs in a season. With a birth rate between 88 and 93 percent, that’s a lot of turtles.

Eco-community Portasol Living, in the nearby village of Portalón, is coordinating donations and volunteers for the unfunded program to continue its work. So far, Portasol has helped raise more than $5,000 for the turtle project from sponsors in Costa Rica and the United States. The funds were used for supplies, and for materials and labor needed to rebuild the hatchery, create nests, and construct a perimeter fence to protect the area.

The peak arrival time for nesting sea turtles is now through the end of October; turtle babies will be hatching until January, and volunteers are needed until then. Training will be provided to volunteers, and there are rustic cabins available at Matapalo Beach for people to stay, a sea turtle project spokesperson said. Or, volunteers can stay in vacation rentals at Portasol Living.

The Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation Project needs donations to buy flashlights for patrols, biodegradable bags to collect turtle eggs, gloves for volunteers to not contaminate the eggs, materials for the nests, and to help offset the costs of food and lodging for volunteers. Expenses are estimated at $2,000 per month. Potential donors or those who hope to volunteer can contact Portasol Living at (506) 2787-5020; WhatsApp +506 8507-9393  or

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Vista Ballena
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Palermo Hotel




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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 191
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Ice core research shows a big drop in atmospheric acidity from humans
By the University of Copenhagen news staff

New research shows that human pollution of the atmosphere with acid is now almost back to the level that it was before the pollution started with industrialization in the 1930s. The results come from studies of the Greenland ice sheet and are published in the scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology.

The Greenland ice sheet is a unique archive of the climate and atmospheric composition far back in time. The ice sheet is made up of snow that falls and never melts, but rather remains year after year and is gradually compressed into ice. By drilling ice cores down through the kilometer-thick ice sheet, the researchers can analyze every single annual layer, which can tell about past climate change and concentration of greenhouse gases and pollutants in the atmosphere. 

Acid in the atmosphere can come from large volcanic eruptions and manmade emissions from industry. You can measure acidity in the ice by simply passing an instrument that can measure conductivity over the ice core. If there is a high level of acidity, the measurement turns out and it works great for measuring the climate of the past all the way back to the last interglacial period 125,000 years ago.

But if a scientist want to measure atmospheric acidity for the last 100 years, it is more difficult as the annual layers are located in the uppermost 60 meters and there the ice is more porous as it has not yet been compressed.

But the last 100 years are interesting for climate researchers as it is the period where we have had massive pollution of the atmosphere from industrialization, vehicle use and people’s energy consuming lifestyles.

“We have therefore developed a new method that can directly measure the acidity of the ice using a spectrometer,” said Helle Astrid Kjær. “We have an ice rod that is cut along the length of the ice core. This ice core rod is slowly melted and the meltwater runs into a laboratory where they take a lot of chemical measurements. With our new method you can also measure the acidity, that is to say, we measure the pH value and this is seen when the water changes color after the addition of a pH dye. We can directly see the fluctuations from
year to year.” The researcher is a postdoc in the Centre for
atmospheric acid
Niels Bohr Institute/Helle Astrid Kjær
The graph shows atmospheric acid content from the 1950s to the right and most recently to the left.

Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen.

For many years, there has been a quest to solve the problem of measuring acidity in the porous annual layers of the ice and now scientists from the Niels Bohr Institute have succeeded. The method is a continuous flow analyses method, and it was originally invented in Switzerland.

In addition to being able to measure the pH value more accurately using the new method, the system can also distinguish whether the emissions come from volcanic eruptions, large forest fires or industry. The researchers can therefore filter out both volcanic eruptions and forest fires in the assessment of industrial pollution and the new results are revolutionary.

“We can see that the acid pollution in the atmosphere from industry has fallen dramatically since manmade acid pollution took off in the 1930s and peaked in the 1960s and 70s. In the 1970s, both Europe and the United States adopted the clean air act amendments, which required filters in factories, thus reducing acid emissions and this is what we can now see the results of. The pollution of acid in the atmosphere is now almost down to the level it was before the pollution really took off in the 1930s,” explains researcher Kjær. 

The new pH method has already been used on ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica by research teams from New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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.

George Lundquist

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 191
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Donald Trump, Mrs. Clinton
face-to-face at last in debate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton put their contrasting plans on the economy and America's role overseas in front of potential voters Monday night as they squared off in the first of three head-to-head debates.

Trump repeated his assertion that Mrs. Clinton lacks the stamina to be president, and said her policies have led to a range of problems facing the country, including the threat posed by the Islamic State group.

Mrs. Clinton portrayed Trump's economic plans as favoring the rich over the middle class and suggested he does not want to make his tax returns public because he is not as rich as he says or is hiding something that would be a conflict of interest if he were elected.

The debate was the first of three they will have before Americans vote Nov. 8.

Mrs. Clinton touted her experience traveling to more than 100 countries and negotiating peace deals and cease-fires while secretary of State during President Barack Obama's first term.

Trump responded that while she has experience, it is bad experience. He sharply criticized the nuclear deal the United States and five other powers struck with Iran to limit the country's nuclear program, while Mrs. Clinton cited it as an example of effective diplomacy that cut off Iran's path to a nuclear bomb.

The two candidates did agree that nuclear weapons are the biggest threat facing the world, and that anybody who appears on a terror watch list should not be allowed to buy a gun.

Mrs. Clinton called for criminal justice reforms to restore trust between communities and police and to make sure that officers only use force when necessary.

Trump emphasized the need to bring back law and order and promoted his plan to bring back controversial stop-and-frisk policing.

"We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African Americans, Hispanics, are living in hell because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot," Trump said.

Clinton rejected that view of black communities, calling it dire.

"There's a lot that we should be proud of and that we should be supporting and lifting up."

Both candidates also noted the threat posed by cyber attacks from abroad, saying the U.S. needs to do more to fight back.

On the war in Iraq, Trump strongly asserted that he never supported the war, despite interviews he gave at the time suggesting he did. He criticized the Obama administration's handling of withdrawing U.S. forces, saying at least 10,000 troops should have stayed behind and that coupled with taking the oil would have prevented the rise of the Islamic State group.

Mrs. Clinton pointed to the Iraqi government's unwillingness to agree to a status of forces agreement that would give legal protections to American troops as a key in the decision to pull out.

The next debate will be Oct. 9. Trump's running mate Mike Pence and Mrs. Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine will have their only debate Oct. 4.

Colombia rebel leader says
ideology won't be surrendered

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A final peace agreement between Colombia’s government and a national guerrilla movement was signed Monday, bringing an end to the longest-running insurgency in the Western Hemisphere.

“Nobody has given up their ideology,” said Rodrigo Londono, the leader of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia. He is better known by his alias of Timochenko. He spoke in a speech after signing the peace pact with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

The rebel leader asked for forgiveness for all the harm his movement had caused over the decades.

Rebel funding was primarily derived from the country’s illicit cocaine industry, and its armed movement was the last full-blown one inspired originally by Cuban and Soviet ideology against democratic institutions in the Americas.

“No more war,” declared Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in his remarks following Timochenko. “I welcome you to democracy, change weapons for votes and weapons for ideas.”

The conflict since the mid-1960s displaced millions of people and left more than 250,000 dead.

The front page of Monday’s El Tiempo newspaper put it more precisely: "La paz luego de 267,162 muertos. (Peace after 267,162 dead)."

Numerous heads of state and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the signing ceremony at the convention center in Cartagena.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Monday in the Caribbean port city, founded in the 16th century, that depending on the implementation of the peace pact, the United States could remove the rebels from its terrorism list.

“The announcement is an idea,” Kerry said. “The implementation are facts, so let’s see how it proceeds, but we clearly are prepared to review and make judgments about that as the facts come in.”

Rebels also have agreed to cooperate with de-mining, an effort being led by the United States and Norway.

Colombia has the second highest number of land mines in the world after Afghanistan, and the explosives have killed an estimated 11,500 people since 1990.

The United States is taking some of the credit for bringing about the peace pact, which diplomats in Washington describe as a transformational event for Colombia and the region and one that President Barack Obama has described as one of the most important achievements during his presidency.

Colombian President Santos, who has staked his reputation on ending the war, had asked the United States to increase its engagement in the four-year negotiating process, which mostly took place in Cuba. A special envoy, Bernard Aronson, was named to participate in the talks.

“This war is all about real people and real suffering, and seeing that come to an end is very, very gratifying,” Arsonson said before the ceremony.

The U.S. government, in fiscal 2017, plans to spend $450 million to help Colombia bring government services, security, police, education, health, roads and economic development to the vast stretches of the interior that have been left out of national life during the decades of conflict.

Proponents of the deal also note the commitment to work with farmers to get land titles as well as access to transportation networks for their harvests of legal crops, rather than coca leaf production. It includes transitional justice efforts that proponents hope will lead to reconciliation in the countryside.

They also predict it will be the catalyst for Colombia’s economy to grow at twice its current pace and triple foreign investment following years of negative growth and capital flight.

“It’s very hard to beat the economics of coca but it comes with coercion and violence,” said Marcela Escobari, assistant administrator for the Latin America bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Not everyone supports the deal on which Colombians will render a verdict in a nationwide binding referendum set for Oct. 2.

U.S. violent crime increases,
Justice Department reports

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Violent crime increased by 3.9 percent in the United States last year, but officials say the number of offenses remains far below the peaks of the 1990s.

After two years of decline in the number of violent crimes, the figure rose to nearly 1.2 million last year, including a nearly 11 percent jump in the number of murders to 15,696, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday the figures show "we still have so much work to do," but noted the total number of violent crimes is the third lowest in the past two decades. She said crime is down or stable in many U.S. communities.

The number of rapes in the United States increased by 6.3 percent last year, while aggravated assaults rose 4.6 percent and robberies 1.4 percent.

But the FBI said the number of property crimes fell 2.6 percent to about eight million, the 13th straight year the figure dropped. The agency said burglaries were down 7.8 percent and larceny thefts by 1.8 percent, even as the number of stolen auto cases rose 3.1 percent.

Chickens carried superbug
that sickened 10 in Denmark

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An international team of scientists has identified a new strain of superbug that has made people sick, and it apparently came from chickens.

The new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus sickened 10 people in Denmark. Researchers traced the staph bacteria, which is resistant to several antibiotics, and can be fatal, to contaminated poultry people handled or ate.

Most people don’t acquire the bacteria from chickens or other food animals. It’s usually spread in hospitals, through person-to-person contact, where people live and gather in close quarters in the community. While farm workers are at higher risk of becoming ill with staph infections, the new strain was acquired by city dwellers.

The latest findings, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, demonstrate that the bacteria, which is known to exist in pork, beef and dairy products, can be spread to people through contact with infected animal products.

In the study, researchers used genetic analysis to compare the strains of staph bacteria found in the 10 Danes to infection in other people and in livestock. The analysis showed it was exactly the same strain found in contaminated poultry. The chicken meat was imported from other countries, including France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Last week, the United Nations hosted a high level meeting of hundreds of experts on antibiotic resistance to discuss how it will become a global crisis if nothing is done.

The participants called for a number of collaborative measures by public and private sectors to ensure the smart use of antibiotics.

One of those in attendance was Laura MacCleery, vice president for consumer policy and mobilization at Consumers Union based in Washington, D.C.

One of the group’s main concerns is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in livestock, which can make the drugs ineffective and create superbugs.

“Animals are routinely given sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics because the conditions in which they live are unsanitary,” said MacCleery.

While the drugs are designed to keep the food animals healthy and promote their growth, the antibiotics, and the bacteria resistant to them, can be passed along the food chain to humans.

Implant can give notice
of breast cancer spreading

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New research is showing promise for patients with metastatic breast cancer, according to scientists at the University of Michigan.

Early detection of the primary malignant breast tumor offers encouraging prospects for stopping the disease, but once it starts to spread, survival rates diminish. However, early metastasis is hard to detect.

Using biodegradable material commonly found in sutures and wound dressings, scientists created a scaffold that can be implanted under the skin and easily observed with non-invasive imaging.

The scaffold attracts the body's immune cells, which in turn attract cancer cells away from their usual targets, the lungs, liver and brain. The colonization of the scaffolding by cancer cells can be immediately detected, enabling the earliest possible start of treatment.

Studies have shown that the method increases survivability in mice with breast cancer. Next, scientists are developing clinical trials for humans.

SpaceX explosion is linked
to liquid oxygen tank leak

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A SpaceX rocket that burst into flames on its launch pad at the beginning of this month likely suffered a large breach in its upper-stage helium system, the company said on Friday.

SpaceX, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, was fueling a Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad in Florida Sept. 1 in preparation for a routine test-firing when a bright fireball suddenly emerged around the rocket's upper stage.

"At this stage of the investigation, preliminary review of the data and debris suggests that a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank took place," SpaceX said in a statement posted on its website.

SpaceX spokesman Dex Torricke-Barton declined to speculate on what triggered the breach of the helium system, saying the company was still investigating a range of possible causes.

No one was hurt in the explosion, which could be heard 30 miles (48 km) away from SpaceX's launch pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

SpaceX said it had learned enough to conclude that whatever triggered the fireball was not related to a June 2015 accident that occurred about two minutes after liftoff. That accident destroyed a load of cargo heading for the International Space Station.

The company traced that problem to a faulty bracket that was holding a bottle of helium in the oxygen tank of the rocket's upper stage. SpaceX replaced thousands of brackets throughout its fleet and resumed flying six months later.

"We have exonerated any connection with last year's mishap," SpaceX said in a statement.

The Sept. 1 launch pad fire damaged substantial areas of SpaceX's primary launch site but key areas were unaffected. The company did not provide an estimate of what repairing the damage would cost, nor how long it would be out of service.

Pad 40 would be repaired, Torricke-Barton said, adding it was too early to say when it would be completed.

The California-based firm said it would shift some missions to a new launch site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, adjacent to the Air Force base. SpaceX also operates a launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, which it uses for high-inclination and polar-orbiting missions.

The company is aiming to resume flights in November.

SpaceX has more than 70 missions on its manifest, worth more than $10 billion, for commercial and government customers.
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 191
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Bill would change adoption age range

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Partido Acción Ciudadana has proposed a change in the nation’s adoption laws that would allow easier adoption of adults by adults.

In current law there must be a 15-year difference between the person doing the adoption and the person being adopted.

The lawmaker, Emilia Molina, said that sometimes this difference makes forming a family difficult. She proposed to cut the age difference to 10 years.

The bill is No. 20108, and the text would retain the 15-year difference when the person being adopted is a minor.

‘Firebird’ ballet debuts Friday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Compañía Nacional de Danza will present the ballet “The Firebird,” with 14 dancers, starting Friday.

The ballet makes heavy use of the Igor Stravinski music. The famous Russian composer wrote the score, and the ballet was debuted in 1910. The work is “El Pájaro de Fuego” in Spanish.

The story, a Russian folk tale, involves a Prince Ivan in search of a magical bird in the forest.

The first performance is Friday at 8 p.m. in the Teatro Nacional. Subsequent performances will be Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m. and Tuesday at 12:10 p.m.

Two murder victims suffered beatings

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 37-year-old woman and an 85-year-old man were beaten and murdered, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The man died in his home, and his body was located about 8 p.m. Sunday in La Central Campesina en Corredores. He had been strangled as well as beaten, agents said. His last name was Gracia, they added.

The woman died in her home in Guayabo de Mora. She was found about 7 a.m. Monday, said agents. They said the woman’s male companion left the home Monday morning and told the woman’s parents who live nearby that their daughter was dead inside the house.

She was identified by the last name of  Bustamante.

Extra cargo drum contained cocaine

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Ocean-going freighters sometimes have parasites but not the insect kind.

The parasites are steel drums that smugglers weld onto parts of the boat below sea level. The drums are loaded with cocaine.

Such was the case at the Moín dock Sunday night and Monday morning when divers surveyed the hull of a boat that had just arrived from Colombia. The drum contained 250 kilos of cocaine.

The technique is well-known, and most police forces have the services of divers available to spot such drums. The Policía de Fronteras and anti-drug agents were involved in confiscating the drug.

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From Page 7:

Country opens a trade office in Israel

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica promotional officials have opened an office in Tel Aviv, Israel, to market the nation’s product.

Alexander Mora, the minister of Comercio Exterior has been visiting the country for that purpose. He was accompanied by Esteban Penrod, the Costa Rican ambassador there.

Mora visited the economic landmarks in Israel and also made a presentation to business leaders there who are interested in doing business with Costa Rica. The ministry said it had detailed information on the requirements for exports here to reach the Israeli market. Among other points, the ministry said the language of commerce is English.

The trade office will be operated by the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica.