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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 198                 Email us
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Cascata del Bosco




Fishing winners
A.M.. Costa Rica/Connie Foss
Environmental ministry worker displays the ailing turtle while brothers 
Augustine and Damon of Manzanillo show their winning fish.
Dead sea creatures creates new mystery in Caribbean
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and Connie Foss, correspondent

The southern Caribbean coast has another problem, and the source is a mystery.

The problem is dead fish and turtles, and even the experts are stumped until lab results are available.

Dead fish and even a few dead turtles and a dolphin have been turning up on the beaches around Puerto Viejo for three weeks.

The speculation runs to plausible and seemingly implausible theories.

Coincidentally, a number of experts showed up in Punta Uva over the weekend because there was the annual contest involving the invasive lionfish.

The Asociacion de Pescadores Artesanales del Caribe Sur has run the contest for several years. The group includes fishermen from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo and Punta Uva who are seeking to preserve their traditional lifestyle.

They have recognized the lion fish as a major threat because of its hunting tactics and appetite.

Researchers came from a number of institutions. They included the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro and its Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias del Mar y Limnoloqía, the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía and its Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación and the agricultural ministry's Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal.

The researchers were confronted with the problem of the dead fish and dead or dying turtles. During the fishing event, two fishermen hurried their boat to shore in order to bring a dying turtle to show experts who were already puzzled by news of other turtles found dead nearby,

The concern was strong enough in the area for sponsors to cancel a Saturday surfing event for fear of what might be in the water. Some of the theories suggest the deaths are the result of agricultural runoff. Another resident has reported a large, dark stain in the ocean.

Ironically, the lionfish do not seem to be affected. Fishing for these critters is done by spear in the clear ocean waters. Many fishermen and even researchers wear gloves to protect against the poisonous lion fish spines.

The ocean researchers use the data on catches to provide information on lion fish populations. That is why they attended the event.

As A.M. Costa Rica reported in July, harvesting by humans is considered the best way to reduce the
 researchers
A.M. Costa Rica/Connie Foss
Helena Molina-Urena and Aranzazu Saenz, both of the Universidad de Costa Rica, study parts of dead fish without firm results.

lion fish population. The article quoted researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The North Carolina team surveyed 71 reefs, in three different regions of the Caribbean, over three years. Their results indicate there is no relationship between the density of lionfish and that of native predators, suggesting that interactions with native predators do not influence the number of lionfish in those areas, the study said.

The spines seem to be an effective defense against larger predators. However, the lionfish makes a tasty meal for humans, as researchers, also in North Caroline, have concluded.

The lionfish is a beautify creature, and the invasive species in the Atlantic may have come from aquariums. There are 10 species of the fish, and two, including Pterois volitans, are in the Atlantic.

Invasive lionfish were first reported off Florida’s Atlantic coast in the mid-1980s, but did not become numerous in the region until 2000.  Since then, the lionfish population has rapidly spread north through the Atlantic Ocean and south throughout most of the Caribbean.

The fish use their large fins to herd together mainly smaller fish so they can be eaten.

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal is doing tests of dead turtles that were provided its laboratory technicians last week. The ill turtle brought ashore this weekend also is going there.


Hernández reconsiders despite his scathing letter
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Rodolfo Hernández, the presidential candidate who quit in a huff Thursday, has changed his mind.

The candidate for the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana demands as his return more control of the campaign and the removal of some key players.

Hernández was the highly respected head of the  Hospital Nacional de Niños before he was lured into politics. Polls showed he was in second place after
Johnny Araya Monge of the Partido Liberación  Nacional before he issued his scathing letter of resignation.

The letter spoke of betrayal, back stabbing, so much intrigue, so much envy, so much egotism and so much disloyalty. He said the political party was in intensive care.

The responses from other party members are yet to be heard, and how long Hernández will remain a candidate still is in question.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 7, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 198

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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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mineprotest
A.M. Costa Rica archives    
This 2010 protest was one of many against the mine project.

Period for negotiations ends
in case of Industrias Infinito

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Infinito Gold Ltd. served notice on Costa Rica last April 4. So the company issued a reminder over the weekend that the six-month period stipulated for conciliation in a trade treaty between Canada and Costa Rica has expired.

Apparently the central government has not responded at all to the issue raised by the Canadian firm that owns the local Industrias Infinito S.A.

This is the case that involved the proposed open pit gold mine at Crucitas in northern Costa Rica.

April 4 the company president, John Morgan, issued a statement noting that the company has served notice that it considers Costa Rica to be in breach of the trade treaty because a series of conflicting court rulings ended with the annulment of the concession to mine gold.

The case was the subject of lengthy protests by students and environmental activists.

Morgan's statement outlined the conflicting views of Costa Rica politicians and the courts. For example, then-president Óscar Arias Sánchez issued a decree saying that the open pit gold mining project was in the national interest. And the Sala IV constitutional court ruled in April 2010 that all the objections raised against the company were without merit.

But the following November, a lower court, the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, voted to annul the concession, and this was upheld by the Sala I of the same Corte Suprema de Justicia.

When it goes to the World Court's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the company has told government officials that it will seek slightly more than $1 billion.

This will be a problem for the new central government administration because President Laura Chinchilla Miranda leaves office May 8, as does Rene Castro, the environment minister. 


Woman suffers 10 bullets,
ex-boyfriend surrenders himself


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although she is listed in very delicate condition, a woman endured 10 bullet wounds believed administered by a .22-caliber pistol.

The 30-year-old woman has the last name of Cubero. She entered the Hospital Max Peralta in Cartago Sunday morning from a section known as Guadelupe. She had the bullet wounds all over her body, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

A former boyfriend is the primary suspect. That man surrendered himself to Fuerza Pública shortly after the 10 a.m. shooting, agents said. Police confiscated a .22-caliber pistol.

The judicial report said that the woman was walking to a supermarket when she was confronted by the gunman who fled in a car.

The woman was transferred to  Hospital Calderón Guardia later Sunday, agents said.


Robbery victim and guard
chase down suspected gunman

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A security guard took two non-fatal bullets to the head and he and a co-worker chased down a robber who stole a company payroll.

The Judicial Investigating Organization identified the victim as a 34-year-old man with the last name of Calderón. He went to Hospital Calderón Guardia Saturday afternoon with superficial head wounds, agents said, adding that this is what happened:

He was on duty at a storage facility for a construction company near Multiplaza del Este when an administrative worker at the same firm returned with cash to meet the weekly payroll. That was when a robber confronted the worker and took the payroll and fled.

Joined by the guard, the robbery victim hailed a taxi and chased the fleeing robber catching him in San Francisco de Dos Ríos. That was when the robber pulled a gun and started shooting as the two men struggled with him.

Despite the wound, the guard and the company worker managed to detain the suspect.

highway
                                                          mess
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo    
Machinery is clearing the slide at Ruta 142 between Tilarán
and Nuevo Arenal


Washout on key highway
repaired in record time

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite a rainy weekend, workers have managed to reopen Ruta 32 at the Río Parismina, the key highway connecting San José with the Caribbean coast.

Heavy machinery built up the section of the highway that was destroyed Wednesday, although permanent repairs will take longer. The repair was done in record time and much quicker than the Ministerio de Obras Pública y Transportes estimated.

Ruta 142 at Tilarán had 12 landslides prompted by the rains last week. They were expected to be all cleared by the weekend.

Road officials will be making an assessment today of any damage that might have resulted from the wet weekend on a ground already soaked.

Meanwhile, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that instruments have counted 167 lightning strikes in the metro area. The weather institute said that the rains were the result of high temperatures and humidity entering the country. The report came in a 2:50 p.m. bulletin Sunday.

The rains tapered off in the early evening.


Qatar diplomat to visit

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The foreign ministry said that Ali Bin Fahed Al Hajiri, the vice minister of foreign relations for the country of Qatar, will be visiting the country this week. The country on the Persian Gulf is an authoritarian state ruled by an absolute emir. The country is rich in petroleum.


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Two unions consider protest over changes in electrical rates
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Left-wing labor unions are considering a marching protest against changes in electrical rates, signaling that consumer spending may become a major political campaign issue.

They are seeking to confront the large business consumers and obtain a rebate for consumers. They oppose a petition presented to the national rate fixing agency.

The petition is from the  Asociación Costarricense de Grandes Consumidores de Energía.

The rate fixing agency is the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos which establishes a structure based on the estimated cost of producing electrical power. However, consumers pay a lower rate than commercial enterprises.

The petition by the group of big commercial users seeks to have the Autoridad charge households more.

A statement by the public employees union on its Web site 
said that the working class is being impoverished and that Costa Rica has the biggest financial gaps between various levels of society.

The public employee union also wants the minimum wages raised.

They called upon presidential candidates to address these issues, specifically Johnny Araya Monge of Partido Liberción Nacional, José María Villalta Florez-Estrada of Frente Amplio and Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera of Partido Acción Ciudadana.

The unions said that the big commercial electrical users represent the 1 percent of the richest people in Costa Rica and they want to batter once again the financial stability of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad as well as the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz.

These are some of the same organizations who protest the neoliberal economic policies and fought against the free trade treaty with the United States.


Costa Rica's glaciers vanished not very long ago, studies report
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the current discussion of global warming, visitors and residents of Costa Rica are not likely to know that the country  hosted glaciers perhaps less than 10,000 years ago.

Evidence of these masses of ice can be seen mainly on the west side of the Talamanca mountains. The glaciers left deposits of rock and rubble that provided dams for lakes that exist today.

Tropical glaciers are not big areas of scientific study these days with the emphasis on the impact of global warming.

Yet several studies point out the variability of climate that contributed to glaciation.

The most recent study appears to be that of Matthew S.  Lachniet of the University of Massachusetts.  He reported in 2003 on how the peaks of Costa Rica contained perpetual ice during the late Pleistocene. He estimated that the tongues of ice descended to about 3,000 meters, about 9,800 feet above sea level.

The Pleistocene epoch lasted until about 11,700 years ago, certainly at a time when modern humans lived in Costa Rica.

A 1990 study by Sally P. Horn of the University of
Tennessee studied lake sediment around Mount Chirripó and concluded that the glaciers retreated about 10,000 years ago. She used radiocarbon analyses  of the organic matter in lake cores to reach that conclusion.

A Costa Rica research report by Roberto Protti in 1996 concluded that glaciers descended as low as 1,000 meters or about 3,280 feet elevation. He based his conclusions on deposits of giant boulders that bore scratch marks from being pushed by the ice as well as the location of moraines, the rubble left by the retreating glacier. Most of his work was based in the  Valle del El General in south central Costa Rica.

Other scientists have concluded that the glaciers were contemporaries with the megafauna that inhabited the country up to 15,000 to 13,000 years ago.

These included creatures bigger than elephants with gigantic tusks, giant sloths, saber-tooth cats, cave bears, camels and hungry birds with 12-foot wingspans.

Earth scientists are not sure if the current warming trend will reverse itself and lead to another ice age, and the climate has done at least five times in the history of the world.

But a study of the glacial deposits are a sure sign that the earth undergoes great changes.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 7, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 198
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Scientist ponder how a weak Sun kept Earth warm enough for life to begin
By The University of Manchester news service

The mystery of why life on Earth evolved when it did has deepened with the publication of a new study in the journal Science.

The ancient air was trapped in old and well-preserved rocks in north Australia.

Scientists at the University of Lorraine, The University of Manchester and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris have ruled out a theory as to why the planet was warm enough to sustain the planet’s earliest life forms when the Sun’s energy was roughly three-quarters the strength it is today.

Life evolved on Earth during the Archean, between 3.8 and 2.4 billion years ago, but the weak Sun should have meant the planet was too cold for life to take hold at this time; scientists have therefore been trying to find an explanation for this conundrum, what is dubbed the faint, young Sun paradox.

“During the Archean the solar energy received at the surface of the Earth was about 20 to 25  percent lower than present,” said study author Ray Burgess, from Manchester’s School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. “If the greenhouse gas composition of the atmosphere was comparable to current levels then the Earth should have been permanently glaciated but geological evidence suggests there were no global glaciations before the end of the Archean and that liquid water was widespread.”

One explanation for the puzzle was that greenhouse gas levels – one of the regulators of the Earth’s climate – were significantly higher during the Archean than they are today.

“To counter the effect of the weaker Sun, carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere would need to have been 1,000 times higher than present,” said lead author Bernard Marty, from the University of Lorraine.
“However, ancient fossil soils – the best indicators of ancient carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere – suggest only modest levels during the Archean. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases were also present, in particular ammonia and methane, but these gases are fragile and easily destroyed by ultraviolet solar radiation, so are unlikely to have had any effect.”

But another climate-warming theory – one the team wanted to test – is that the amount of nitrogen could have been higher in the ancient atmosphere, which would amplify the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide and allow the Earth to remain ice-free.

The team analyzed tiny samples of air trapped in water bubbles in quartz from a region of northern Australia that has extremely old and exceptionally well-preserved rocks.

“We measured the amount and isotopic abundances of nitrogen and argon in the ancient air,” said Marty. “Argon is a noble gas which, being chemically inert, is an ideal element to monitor atmospheric change. Using the nitrogen and argon measurements we were able to reconstruct the amount and isotope composition of the nitrogen dissolved in the water and, from that, the atmosphere that was once in equilibrium with the water.”

The researchers found that the partial pressure of nitrogen in the Archean atmosphere was similar, possibly even slightly lower, than it is at present, ruling out nitrogen as one of the main contenders for solving the early climate puzzle.

Burgess added: “The amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere was too low to enhance the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide sufficiently to warm the planet. However, our results did give a higher than expected pressure reading for carbon dioxide – at odds with the estimates based on fossil soils – which could be high enough to counteract the effects of the faint young Sun and will require further investigation.”

 
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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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Howard Spanish cover

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Unfurnished 2-bedroom 2-bathroom house.. One large room for living room, dining room and kitchen. Separate bath.  2 bedrooms with bath on second floor. Washroom. Large 3-bay garage with bathroom, secure  for warehousing and storage. Located  approximately 6 miles east of San José and 1 mile west of Concepcion Tres Rios.  Map on request.  Telephone installed, cable and Internet available.  $250 a month plus utilities. 6 months minimum lease, deposit. Available after Oct. 15.  Tel. 2256-9426 bobbyruf@ice.co.cr 
8100-11/3/13

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José. 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.
8095-1020/13

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

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8094-10/20/13

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
8093-10/16/13

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.
8092-10/20/13

Cute rental house
Beautiful and cozy mountain cottages
in San Rafael de Heredia.
Surrounded by nature. Bus line service. Security.
One or two bedrooms, one or two baths.
$500 or $425, monthly with furniture.
$325 or $250 without furniture. No bills included.
MORE INFO:  lizrutbeth@gmail.com  (506) 8739-0638.
8083-10/10/13

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

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

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

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
7968-7/17/13
7875-4/11/13

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 7, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 198
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us







U.S. units go into action
in Libya and in Somalia


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. special forces have launched major anti-terror operations in Libya and Somalia.

Defense Department spokesman George Little, in a written statement, confirmed U.S. forces have captured Abu Anas el-Liby, an al-Qaida leader indicted in the United States for the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salam, Tanzania. 

The attacks 15 years ago killed more than 200 people and injured thousands.

Little said Abu Anas is currently detained by the U.S. military in what he described only as a secure location outside Libya.

News reports earlier quoted members of Abu Anas's family as saying foreign troops arrested him outside his home in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Saturday.

In a separate development, U.S. officials Saturday said U.S. Navy SEALs were involved in an operation in southern Somalia Friday that targeted a leader of al-Shabab, the group responsible for the recent attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping center.

The Pentagon did not release the name of the individual they were seeking, but a U.S. official described that person as a “high value al-Shabab terrorist leader.”

Reports say the U.S. commandos withdrew after coming under heavy gunfire. A U.S. official says no American personnel were killed or injured. The official says U.S. forces did inflict an undisclosed number of casualties among al-Shabab members.

It was not immediately clear if the individual the U.S. forces were targeting was among the dead or wounded.


Washington shutdown deal
seems to be very elusive

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With Washington mired in a partial government shutdown, the top Republican in congress is weighing in on another fiscal battle: raising America’s borrowing limit.  The speaker of the House of Representatives is insisting on negotiations to avert a U.S. debt default, but ruling out in advance a deal that would include a key priority sought by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.
 
America’s fiscal impasse is about to become far more grave and consequential. While a halt in federal operations has limited effects mostly felt in the United States, an inability to service the nation’s multi-trillion-dollar debt would send financial shockwaves across the globe.
 
The federal government will reach its borrowing limit next week.  Unless Congress raises the debt ceiling, the nation will face a debt default and a near-certain credit downgrade.
 
Sunday House Speaker John Boehner rejected a simple debt ceiling vote, just as he has rejected a condition free House vote to reopen the federal government. “There is no way we are going to pass one.  The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit.  We are not going down that path," he said.
 
Speaking on ABC's "This Week" program, the Ohio Republican repeatedly stressed he does not want a debt default.  But Boehner said one may well occur absent negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.
 
“It is the path we are on.  I am ready for a conversation.  I will take anybody on the Democrat side who wants to seriously sit down and begin to work out this problem," he said.
 
President Obama and congressional Democrats say they would welcome discussions, but not under threat of a continued government shutdown or an economic meltdown.  They say talks on a broad range of issues can begin once federal operations resume and the borrowing limit is raised.
 
Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat, also appeared on ABC. “We want to negotiate without a gun to our head.  If you go for this kind of hostage-taking once, it comes back worse and worse and worse," he said.
 
Republicans say conditions-free votes to fund the government and hike the debt ceiling would constitute a surrender of their leverage over America’s fiscal destiny.
 
If negotiations did take place, the two parties differ sharply on desired outcomes.  Republicans want to weaken President Obama’s signature health care law and to shrink the size of government.  Democrats defend the health care law and want additional tax revenue as part of a formula for improving the nation’s fiscal health.
 
But while insisting on negotiations, Speaker Boehner is already ruling out a primary Democratic objective as part of any deal that could emerge. “Very simple: we are not raising taxes," he said.
 
The speaker noted that additional revenues are already being collected on America’s top earners as part of a deal reached at the end of last year.
 
On one point, both parties agree: the government shutdown battle is merging with the fight over the debt ceiling.  A path to resolve either has yet to materialize.
 

Australian solar car race
is engineering experiment, too


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the most punishing races for solar-powered cars has started in northern Australia.  The World Solar Challenge is a 3,000 kilometer trek through Australia’s arid heart, from Darwin to Adelaide.  Thirty-nine cars made the finals, including teams from the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Iran.
 
The race through Australia’s central desert brings together the world's most efficient prototype solar cars.  The competition is, in effect, a giant research project to test the most modern technology in very harsh conditions.  The teams will have to negotiate the unrelenting desert heat in cramped cabins, often with limited ventilation.
 
The only British entry, from Cambridge University, crashed during testing.
 
Chris Selwood, the organizer of the World Solar Challenge, says it has become a highly competitive international event.
 
“Twenty-six countries are coming, lots of different cultures.  We’ve got people from Saudi Arabia; we’ve got people from Iran.  We transcend those political divides. It’s all about bright young people not only dreaming of a cleaner, greener future, but working hard to make those dreams a reality,” said Selwood.
 
A team from the University of New South Wales in Sydney is competing in what engineers say could eventually be Australia's first practical solar-powered car.  It looks like a regular vehicle and is a move away from previous designs that resembled a large table on three wheels.
 
The Australian vehicle is propelled by four square meters of silicon solar panels, which cover its roof and hood.  They convert energy from the sun into electricity that drives two in-hub rear wheel electric motors.  Power can also be stored in a bank of batteries, which gives the vehicle a range of 650 kilometers. 
 
Sam Paterson, the project’s director, says it is an exciting step forward.
 
“This car takes solar cars in a completely new direction, really turns heads.  It is something that is sleek and beautiful, and we’ve put a lot of design effort into it in terms of not just functionality but aesthetics and appeal to attract more attention, basically.  And build something that is beautiful yet efficient,” says Paterson.   
 
The race, which is held every two years, was first run in 1987.  It is scheduled to end in the southern Australian city of Adelaide Thursday.  Conditions for the start were good, with clear skies and temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius.  The defending champion is the Tokai team from Japan.



Oktoberfest becomes trendy
and expands to other nations


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A decade ago, waitresses and a few locals at Oktoberfest were the only ones in dirndls, the Bavarian peasant-inspired, corseted dresses featuring white blouses and colored aprons, and trendy Berliners wouldn't dream of dancing to oompah music in public.
 
Now, Munich's annual beer festival is a sea of traditionally-clad tourists, with revelers from as far away as Canada, Mexico and Iran donning dirndls or the equivalent outfits for men, lederhosen and checked shirts.
 
“I wanted to be part of the local atmosphere. Everyone was talking about it,” said Lindsey Zhang, a 20-year-old from New York who is studying in Paris. She came to Oktoberfest with her friend Marina Teixeira from Sao Paulo. Both women bought dirndls near the Oktoberfest tents for about 50 euros.
 
“Everybody told me it would be nicer if I wore it,” Teixeira said. “Otherwise you'll look like a tourist.”
 
Pippa Middleton, the sister of England's Duchess of Cambridge, wore a dirndl this week at a festival in Austria. Guests donned dirndls to the July wedding party in Vienna of star stylist Caroline Sieber, with English actress Emma Watson gaining praise from German Vogue for her red number.
 
This is not the first time that trachten, as the traditional clothes are called, have become trendy. But today's revival is the most pronounced, said Simone Egger, a professor in folklore and ethnology at Munich's Ludwig Maximilians University.
 
“It's taken on a whole new dimension,” Egger said. She said globalization had created a desire for people to seek out local specialities.
 
“What's old is cool now,” said Isabel Seidel, a 25-year-old student from Berlin at Oktoberfest.

From a horse race held as part of the 1810 wedding celebration of Bavarian King Ludwig I, Oktoberfest has grown into a 16-day event where millions descend on the Bavarian capital to down liters of beer, eat roast chicken, sausages and pretzels, and dance on benches to brass bands.
 
Copycat mini-Oktoberfests have sprung up in other German cities, European capitals like London and Dublin and across the United States from Seattle, Washington, to Columbus, Ohio. Web sites like mydirndl.com import clothes from Germany and Austria to help.
 
Bobbie Floerchinger, the site's manager, says more and more Americans are donning traditional outfits for events put on by German-American clubs and German restaurants.
 
“It's a community of people celebrating heritage, enjoying themselves and bringing culture and history into their lives,” said Floerchinger, an American with German roots.
 
Berlin-based brass band Die Wilden Buben (Wild Boys) is riding a wave of enthusiasm for all things Bavarian. They are booked solid for September and October.
 
“People are just really into the folk music and customs of Bavaria right now. They just can't get enough of the Oktoberfest stuff in Berlin,” said Markus Hoffmann, the band's manager.
 
Munich's traditional trachten specialists like Lodenfrey and Angermaier sell a range of dirndl styles, from around 60 euros for a basic version to 1,000 euros for a couture silk number. Fashion houses like Hugo Boss, Esprit and Escada have their own collections.
 
German retailer C&A carried 100 different styles this year, up from 80 last year.
 
“It's a clear trend, as a retailer we have to grasp that,” a spokesman said, adding that shorter skirts and lace-covered aprons were especially popular now.
 
Online fashion retailer Zalando offers 145 different dirndls, while Ebay Germany said it sold one every 43 seconds last week.
 
Underwear maker Triumph, whose corsets and bras are worn under the figure-flattering dirndls, says sales are improving as trachten are donned beyond Oktoberfest.
 
“Also it's being worn by people of all ages at other events like wine festivals,” a spokeswoman said.
 
Corporate Germany is on the bandwagon too.
 
Lufthansa international flight crews wear trachten on select flights from Munich in September and Adidas has even designed an away kit for the Bayern Munich soccer team based on the traditional dress.
 
“Everybody wants to take part,” professor Egger said. “It's a way of sharing a regional connection and it’s become a consumer event.”



Putin receives Olympic flame
and starts 40,000-mile relay


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Vladimir Putin hoisted the flame that will burn at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games high in Red Square Sunday, bringing his personal campaign to stage Russia's first post-Soviet Olympics within sight of completion.
 
Declaring that “our shared dream is becoming reality,” Putin signaled the start of a 123-day, 65,000-km (40,000-mile) torch relay that will take the Olympic flame to the North Pole and space before the games begin in the Black Sea resort Feb. 7.
 
The relay “will show the world Russia the way it is and the way we love it,” Putin told the crowd in an elaborate ceremony, calling it a country of diverse people united by common aims and by pride in their great homeland.

As expected, Putin made no mention of controversies clouding the Games, such as a law critics say discriminates against gays and concerns about a ban on most rallies in Sochi, or of the Islamist insurgency that persists not far away.

Protected by four small lanterns, the flame was flown in from Greece after being lit at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics and handed over to Russia on Saturday at the marble Athens stadium that hosted the first modern Games in 1896.
 
But from the jet's arrival to Putin's patriotic speech, the accent was on Russia and its president, who has staked his reputation on a safe, successful Sochi Olympics, the first Winter Games it has held.
 
Gingerly carrying a lantern, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak stepped off the Aeroflot jet as a military band played and an honor guard of rifle-toting soldiers in wooly Astrakhan collars stood by, chins jutting high.
 
“We, all Russians, have a right to be proud,” Kozak said.
 
Escorted part way by leather-jacketed bikers from a motorcycle club whose leader is a friend of Putin's, a convoy bore the flame into central Moscow and it was carried onto Red Square on a clear, crisp autumn afternoon.
 
The ceremony was shown live on state television, with a detailed, breathless narration echoing coverage of military parades and other patriotic events that Putin, who started a six-year third term in 2012, presides over.
 
Like the plane that brought the flame from Athens, Red Square was decorated with a Firebird-inspired design drawing on Russian folk patterns.
 
The dark stone mausoleum where the embalmed body of Bolshevik Revolution leader Vladimir Lenin still lies was hidden behind a stage and a mock-up of snow-white peaks representing the mountains above Sochi where alpine events will be held.
 
As images of rockets and ballerinas flashed across a giant screen, rap rhymes from dancers in white, red and blue of Russia's flag alternated with chants of “Russia! Russia!”
 
With the onion domes of St Basil's church behind him, Putin strode across the cobbles on a red carpet as a medley that included part of imperial-era anthem “God Save the Tsar” played.
 
“Today is a joyous and momentous day,” Putin said. “The Olympic flame, the symbol of the planet's main sports event, the symbol of peace and friendship, has arrived in Russia, and in a few minutes it will be on its way around our huge country.”
 
The longest torch relay before a Winter Olympics seems designed to celebrate a spirit of exploration and conquest as well as Russia's variety and most of all its sheer scale, taking the flame though all 83 regions spanning 10 time zones.
 
It will go to the North Pole on a nuclear-powered icebreaker, to Europe's highest peak, Mount Elbrus, to the depths of Siberia's Lake Baikal and to the International Space Station, whose crew will take the torch - unlit - on a spacewalk.
 
More than 90 percent of Russia's people will be within an hour of the flame, a way to encourage them to feel involved.
 
But six years after he secured the 2014 Games for Sochi with an impassioned pitch, it is Putin, who turns 61 on Monday, who is the most invested in making the only Olympics staged in an independent Russia a success.
 
Putin has faced international criticism over a law he signed this year prohibiting the spread of gay propaganda among minors, which activists and Western governments say is discriminatory and curtails basic human freedoms.
 
Critics have also questioned the $50 billion cost and the wisdom of holding the Winter Games in a subtropical locale, and have called a security decree Putin signed draconian because it restricts movement and bans rallies unrelated to the Olympics.



Swiss study shows religion
is barrier to cigarettes, drugs


By the Lausanne University Hospital news staff

Young Swiss men who say that they believe in God are less likely to smoke cigarettes or pot or take ecstasy pills than Swiss men of the same age group who describe themselves as atheists. Belief is a protective factor against addictive behavior. This is the conclusion reached by a study funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Karl Marx said that religion was the opium of the people. New figures now suggest that religion plays a role in preventing substance misuse. A research team led by Gerhard Gmel from Lausanne University Hospital has shown in the journal Substance use & misuse that, in Switzerland, fewer religious young men consume addictive substances than men of their age group who are agnostics or atheists.

For their study on substance use in Switzerland, Gmel and his colleagues interviewed 20-year-old men at army recruitment centers in Lausanne, Windisch and Mels between August 2010 and November 2011. The researchers have now evaluated the 5,387 questionnaires completed by the young men. Based on the responses, the scientists split the young men into five groups: the religious believe in God and attend church services, the spiritual believe in a higher power, but do not practice any religion, the unsure do not know what to believe about God, the agnostics assume that no one can know whether there is a God or not, and the atheists do not believe in God.

The researchers found that these groups deal differently with addictive substances. Among the 543 religious young men, 30 percent smoked cigarettes daily, 20 percent smoked pot more than once a week and less than 1 percent had consumed ecstasy or cocaine in the past year.

Among the 1,650 atheists, 51 percent smoked cigarettes, 36 percent smoked pot more than once a week, 6 percent had consumed ecstasy and 5 percent cocaine in the past year. The three groups that lay between these extremes were in the mid-range both regarding their religious beliefs and the consumption of addictive substances.

For Gmel, these figures indicate that research into addictive behavior should not only consider risk factors, but also protective factors. The results of his study show that belief is a protective factor when it comes to the consumption of addictive substances. Whether the differences between the groups can be attributed to the ethical values of the young men or to social control in the environments in which they live, remains unanswered.




Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
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Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
8070-2/14/13


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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

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

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



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 803
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)


montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramøon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

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

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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San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 7, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 198
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News from the BBC up to the minute











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dancing
Al Andalus  photo
A sample of the flamenco art

Noon presentation Tuesday
will feature flamenco art

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Members of the flamenco group Al Andalus will present their dancing art at the Teatro al Mediodía Tuesday in the Teatro Nacional.

In a unique presentation, the dancers will use their dancing skills to describe five different cooking recipes mixed with five tales of women.

The 22-year-old dance group will have 13 dancers at the popular noon program.

The dances also will touch on friendship, love, pain and happiness, said the dance group in a release.


 
Militants bomb polio clinic
and kill two in rural Pakistan


By the A.M.  Costa Rica wire services

Officials in northwest Pakistan say an explosion near a polio vaccination team has killed two people and wounded 13 others.

Earlier reports said six people were killed in the blast Monday in a village outside of the provincial capital of Peshawar.  The toll was revised after authorities received new information from a local hospital

Pakistan is one of three countries in the world where polio is still endemic.

The Global Eradication Initiative says eight new cases of polio were reported in northwest Pakistan last week.

One of the reasons polio remains prevalent is that militants who oppose the campaigns often target the workers and threaten people who want to have their children vaccinated.




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From Page 7:

Dollar rises slightly against world currencies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The dollar rose against a basket of major currencies Friday after five straight sessions of losses but remained within striking distance of an eight-month low hit the previous day, as the U.S. government closure continued.
 
The shutdown of the U.S. government appeared likely to drag on for another week and possibly longer as lawmakers consumed day three of the shutdown Thursday with a stalling game, and with no end in sight until the next crisis hits Washington around Oct. 17.
 
Oct. 17 is the date Congress must raise the nation's borrowing authority or risk default, and members of Congress now expect it to be the flashpoint for a larger clash over the U.S. budget as well as President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
 
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, last traded up 0.3 percent at 79.994, but not far from Thursday's eight-month low of 79.627. The euro, which traded weaker, dominates the composition of the index.
 
The greenback's gains were pronounced against the Swiss franc, rebounding from an 18-month low reached the previous day. The Swissie was weighed by news that Switzerland's financial markets regulator is investigating several Swiss banks in connection with the possible manipulation of foreign exchange rates.
 
“So far markets have mostly treated it as a U.S.-centric growth shock from fiscal confidence effects, rather than as a tail-risk shock to market risk,” said Dan Dorrow, foreign exchange strategist at Faros Trading of the shutdown.
 
“The present state of things is emerging market risk-positive as it keeps hyper-accommodative Federal Reserve stimulating flows into emerging markets,” he said.
 
The euro fell 0.3 percent to $1.3584, but not far from a peak of $1.3645 reached on Thursday, which marked its highest since February. It has risen nearly 0.5 percent on the dollar so far this week.