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(506) 2223-1327                       Published Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, in Vol. 12, No. 204                          Email us
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A.M. Costa Rica photos/Kayla Pearson
Modern versions of 16th century vihula de mano, classic violins and Renaissance and Baroque lute.
Next week will be filled with sounds of ancient music
By Kayla Pearson
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

“To know our history is to know our culture. To know our culture is to know ourselves.”

Musicologist Tania Vicente León spoke these words to advocate for her passion, antique music.  The instruments and notes of music are vessels that hold and transport the history of many cultures, she explained.

Ms. Vicente along with her husband Juan Carlos Soto Marín and María Clara Vargas are organizers of Festival de Música Antigua de Costa Rica that begins Tuesday.  Each have an intensive background in the field and have studied overseas.  Both Ms. Vicente and Ms. Vargas teach at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

The antique music festival seeks to revive historical Renaissance, Baroque and Medieval music in the country.  The music is one that brings instruments like the first piano or harpsichord and stringed finger-plucked instruments such as the Baroque guitar and lute back to life.

It is also a genre that Ms. Vicente as a Spanish lute player describes as creating a feeling of peace.  

“The music is very tranquil and it connects me with my spirit.  I can't describe it more,” she said.

This connection with a persons inner soul and wordless interpretation of emotion is what makes the ancient music pleasurable, she added.

“In academic music today it doesn't matter if you like it.  It's about intellect.  But in the period of this music, you had to be emotional and intellectual,” Ms. Vicente said. 

The idea of the festival began with composer Otto Castro.  The organizers shared his vision of promoting this type of music.

Since its start in 2006, the international festival has brought the country Renaissance, Baroque and Medieval music as a way to promote this genre and allow patrons to experience hearing live 16th century music with replica instruments true to the original form, said Ms. Vicente.

Everything about the concert from the custom-made instruments to the choice of the venue is designed to enhance listener's experience.  Patrons will be directed to Teatro Nacional's foyer, an area that was initially created as a social gathering place before and during concerts in the main hall.

Now the old second-floor snack and meeting room has been converted into a small hall with seating for up to 100 persons.  The environment is personal and creates an atmosphere where partakers can really hear the sound and be intimate with the music, the couple explained.

“This festival offers us the opportunity to repurpose the sound less known to this country,” said Soto.  “This is why we prefer to offer our concerts in the foyer of Teatro Nacional.  It is fine with our sound of music.”

Unfortunately, the sound is something that modern humans may never be able to fully appreciate, noted Ms. Vicente.  The daily noise pollution has destroyed some auditory perception. 

“If you could bring in a time machine and get one instrument from the past and compare it with an instrument from today, it is possible that our music is more profound because we are more deaf,” said Soto.

As musicologist and historians, the group has tried their best to keep the music as authentic as possible.  They study iconography, or antique
Ms.
                        Vicente
 Ms. Vicente with the lute she will play in the
 concert Oct. 20.



soto
 Carlos Soto is playing the charango. Usually he
 focuses on replicating antique instruments.


prints of the instruments, books once written from aristocrats on how to play the instruments and original music made from reprinted microfilms from the era.

“To make a good performance in this music, you must know the history well.” stressed Soto.  “You also must have the original music. It's the difference if you are serious or not.”

Being serious also requires builders of instruments like Soto to visit museums, see original instruments and buy the plans.  If no plan is available, the person may have to get the museum to x-ray the instrument and make their own blueprint.

However, both Soto and Ms. Vicente say that the output is worth it because they are restoring art.  This desire to keep knowledge of this music alive is also what led to the group creating this festival, something sponsored solely by the organizers.

Syntagma Musicum, a Costa Rica antique music group, will open the show Tuesday.  The group is composed of six different artists. These instruments are the recorder, vihula de mano, harpsichord, lute and percussion.  The final member is a singer.

The final group which will conclude the series Oct. 20 is Ganassi of Costa Rica.  Ganassi has a transverse flute player, two Baroque violinists, a harpsichord player, singer, percussionists and lute player. 

This group received the Premio Nacional de Música 2009 from Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud, an achievement that was important because it signified the acknowledgement that historical music was important to the government, said Ms. Vicente.

Baroque guitarists Hugo Peñaloza from México, transverse flutists Concilio Sonoro from México, and harpsichord player Sonia Lee from Canada will play as invited guests throughout the week.

For more information visit http://www.musicaantigua.net/.


Opposition surfaces to mandatory tourism colegio
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The first opposition to a proposed colegio de  profesionales en turismo emerged at the legislature Thursday.

The concerns about the proposal were voiced by representatives of the relatively new Asociación para la Protección del Turismo. Earlier in the week, the proposal received support from the Cámera Nacional de Turismo.

The proposal for a legally binding colegio has been advanced by the Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo. Basically the bill would turn that private organization into the colegio and specify that those involved in the tourism business must have a university education.

The discussion Thursday was before the  Comisión Permanente Especial de Turismo, which is considering the bill.

Boris Marchegiani, president of the Asociación para la Protección del Turismo and another member, Hernán Quirós, voiced reservations.

Quiros noted that the bill would bar colegio membership by anyone who did not have a professional diploma. Many tourism employees obtain their training through agencies like the
Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje. Many employees in tourism operations have not finished secondary school, he noted.

A.M. Costa Rica pointed out a week ago that one deficiency in the bill is that it does not define what job levels would require colegio membership.

The legal minimum salary for a university grad is set by law at 441,531 colons a month until Jan. 1 when the amount is likely to be increased. That is about $896.50 a month.

A colegio is a professional organization created by law that sets up a system of self-governance for the persons who work in the field. There are colegios here for physicians and surgeons, nurses, lawyers, librarians, dentists, accountants, engineers, biologists, journalists and many others.

The current bill is unusual in that it would automatically incorporate members of the association into the colegio and give them exclusivity for public and private tourism jobs. Tourism colegio members would be covered by the same general laws that prohibit and penalize working as a lawyer or a physician without being a member of a colegio.

A summary of the testimony before the committee said that the two men were seeking changes in a number of the articles of the proposal.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 204
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5.0 quake takes place offshore

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Posted at 1:45 p.m. Friday

An earthquake with an estimated intensity of 5.0 took place Friday afternoon just southwest of Palo Seco in the Pacific  Ocean.

The quake as felt in the southern Nicoya peninsula, and most of central Costa Rica. Palo Seco is on the central Pacific coast.

The  Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica said the quake was felt strongest that area around Quepos. The quake took place at 1:24 p.m. and some Central Valley communications were disrupted temporarily. The Laboratorio said the epicenter was about 23 kilometers (about 14 miles) west of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

Our reader's opinion
Please vote for Mitt Romney
to safeguard Costa Rica

Dear A.M. Costa Rica,

Politics is sometimes defined as a contest over who gets what from whom.  The corollary is that voting is an attempt to get what you want for yourself, not for the other guy.

With this in mind, I urge my fellow U.S. expats to cast their votes for Mitt Romney in the upcoming presidential election.

No, Romney would not be good for the vast majority of Americans.  His promise to cut $5 trillion in taxes for the wealthy without raising taxes on the middle class is for example premised upon forecasts of economic growth that no serious economist believes.

If these are the rules of the game, Obama could promise a $6 trillion tax cut simply by fudging his economic forecast.

Neither would Romney be good for the world.  A “hawk” on the Vietnam war (even supporting it after his father turned against it) Romney spent his draft-eligible years as a Mormon missionary in France.

Uncle Sam gave him deferments for this dangerous but public-spirited work.

Yet as president he wants to increase military spending by $2 trillion, even though the Pentagon isn’t asking for it.
.
Yeah, Romney was a pretty good governor of Massachusetts, but Massachusetts hasn’t gone to war against anyone since the British in 1776.  We don’t know what Romney would do if given command of the United States armed forces, but to judge from his background and campaign promises, we don’t want to know.

Plus, in Massachusetts Romney’s economic pipe dreaming was kept in check by a legislature that was 87 percent Democrat. They even persuaded him to pass Obamacare before it was Obamacare.  God only knows what he will do with a U.S. Congress chock-full of like-minded rich Republicans (who hate Obamacare).

But these are the concerns of Americans who have to live in the U.S. For those of us in Costa Rica, the concerns are different.

According to Linda Gray, president of the Costa Rican Global Association of Realtors, “No matter who gets elected, there might be a mass exit from those who don’t have economic faith in the government.”

In other words, if Obama wins, Romney supporters will flock to Costa Rica.  Heck, even Rush Limbaugh threatened to move here.

Gosh, who wants more of these types here?  It’s long been a puzzle why so many pro-military economic conservatives move to a pacifist social democracy in the first place.  Certainly we don’t want to encourage more of them to show up.

So let’s vote for Romney and keep the right-wing malcontents home.  A Romney victory, after all, gets us what we want.

Ken Morris
San Pedro

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sunday is the last day that this newspaper will accept endorsements of presidential candidates from readers. If any are emailed, they will be published in the Monday edition. Then this newspaper will give its opinion sometime next week.

 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
 HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
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Festival goers will hear an unusual theory about stone spheres
By Aaron Knapp
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica's unique stone spheres have puzzled archaeologists, anthropologists and just about everyone else for 70 years.

While the mainstream theory accepted by most archaeologists is that these spheres were made as status symbols sometime between 200 B.C. and 1600 A.D., other researchers have posed theories as unorthodox as attributing the spheres to ancient astronauts.

For one researcher, Ivar Zapp, these spheres are the key to unveiling the mysteries behind an ancient seafaring civilization that Plato knew as Atlantis.

But more than that, he believes that Costa Rica's spheres could reveal where humanity learned some of its most basic skills such as celestial navigation, transoceanic sailing, the planet's shape, and most importantly, language.

“The features that I have observed in the legacy of Costa Rica and the stone spheres prove to me that we're talking about an unknown civilization with maritime interests that reached all of the old civilizations of the world,” the Santa Ana resident said.

“Nobody knew what was the mother tongue, but now I do,” he said, adding that it is a Mayan language still used today.

Next week, Zapp will present his latest research on how the spheres show the existence of a maritime civilization that thrived for thousands of years before even the Greeks, the Egyptians and the Sumerians. He said that this civilization introduced the world to seafaring and star constellations, but it also created the world's first spoken language.

This will be the focus of his next book “Babel Deciphered,” which he has completed, but he is searching for a publisher to get it on book shelves.

Zapp will present his research at a five-day conference in the canton of Osa hosted by Proyecto Esferas, which is attempting to build up tourism in the area and bring greater awareness to the spheres. That conference starts Monday and ends Oct. 20 with a concert called Osastock, featuring numerous national and international music acts, such as Boy George. That Web site is HERE!

Experts agree that the spheres that liter some areas of southwestern Costa Rica have at least been around for centuries before Europeans arrived. However, the spheres are very difficult to date because traditional dating techniques rely on organic matter or just simply guessing based on what cultures used artifacts found nearby.

Soon after the spheres began getting attention from researchers in the 1940s, Costa Ricans began taking them from their original locations and making them into personal lawn ornaments.

By removing them from their original locations, they have been removed from their archaeological contexts making it almost impossible to prove what they were for, according to John Hoopes, a researcher from the University of Kansas and widely seen as the chief expert on the spheres.

But Zapp said that the spheres start to make sense when perceived from a wider perspective than just archaeological.

“If we become aware of the techniques used by ancient navigators to orient their ships towards important destinations because of commerce or relatives, then the stone spheres of


Zapp
A.M. Costa Rica/Aaron Knapp
 Ivar Zapp and a large stone sphere that has been placed at
 the Universidad de Costa Rica.


Costa Rica and the legacy of gold and jade and ceramics become intelligible,” said Zapp. “In a sense they become tools to orient their ships. The spheres are teaching aids to teach directional astronomy.”

Zapp, 70, has been living in Costa Rica for more then 40 years teaching industrial design at Tecnologico de Costa Rica and the Universidad de Costa Rica. Some of his most fundamental research he has done alongside students in his classes.

He coauthored his first book, “Atlantis in America: Navigators of the Ancient World,” with George Erikson, and it was published in 1998. In that book, he lays out evidence that the balls were the sites of learning centers, ancient universities where people were taught how to navigate with the stars. That Web site is HERE!

He said that one cluster of spheres which was recorded by the first researchers indicates a northern meridian, and another follows almost a straight line from Costa Rica to Cocos Islands, the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island. Some spheres from that cluster have since been removed making this theory difficult for archaeologists to prove or disprove

In his latest book, Zapp says the Costa Rican sphere was not only the first star map, but also the first language. He related points on the sphere with letters and said that as he looked further he found that the letters of particular meridians corresponded to words in the Mayan language Qajichiquel or Kaqchikel, which is still spoken by an ethnic group living in southern Mexico and Guatemala. He said that this was humankind's first language.

As for the fall of Atlantis described by Plato, Zapp said that was not the literal collapse of a continent into the ocean, but the collapse of knowledge that plunged the world into a dark age where people forgot the language and navigation techniques pioneered by a civilization in the Americas.

While Zapp admitted that most archaeologists discard his theories with disdain, he defiantly invited them to prove him wrong, confident that they will eventually prove him right.


Diamonds abound among the poor if you search for them
A friend of mine told me a story about a man she found herself sitting next to at an elegant party in an elegant home in the vicinity of San José.  The gentleman was probably in his 30s and (my friend noted) had beautiful brown eyes.  She asked him about himself. She is a very good listener.

He started by saying, “I love Costa Rica.”  He went on to say that he had grown up on the west coast in a poor family.  His father picked fruit for a large fruit company, but one day just disappeared, so he and his siblings were raised by his mother.  However, he had access to an education, and being bright, he managed to secure becas (scholarships) to further schooling in San José and then to a university in Costa Rica. The university he attended, he said, may not have been the best in the world, but a student can learn as much as he wants and attempts to learn. (I am reminded of my thoughts the other day that much to my surprise some of the happiest times I remember were spent in the stacks in the library at San Jose State in California.  I came across so many fascinating books when I was researching a subject I neither needed or wanted for the latest assignment.)

He said when he was young he never dreamed of owning a car. He dreamt of having enough money to ride the bus to visit his family.  He worked hard, then went on to study law, graduated, and is now a successful lawyer.  That, he said, can still happen in Costa Rica. Social mobility is a reality here. 

Most democratic countries strive for this mobility.  What is needed from the individual is intelligence, (and there are different kinds of intelligence), a talent, or useful skill, imagination and drive to be the best they can be at what they want to do. What is needed from the community (in most cases, the government and private sectors working together) is the opportunity to get an education that will hone or expand that talent or skill.

Unfortunately, in many countries, the money necessary to make this possible is often aimed at helping the poor just stay alive, not prosper, and talent and skills are wasted.  Dreams are lost or frustrated and turned into antisocial goals.  
Butterfly in the City
 
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

Jo Stuart


Both of the major parties in the United States are fighting over who cares most about the middle class and helping them prosper.  By definition, the middle class is doing quite well, is comfortable, if you will, and maintaining their values.  Probably, however, both parties are talking about what I once labeled, “the nouveau poor.” Those in the middle class who have fallen on hard times. It seems easier to help them regain their position in society than to start from scratch, so to speak.

I suggest that both parties (and all countries) take a second and careful look at the poor and look for the diamonds there.  There are so many to find.
 
Nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to helping the poor in the countries where there are so many have found that  clean water, better living conditions medical services, and educational opportunities have not just helped them stay alive but uncovered the talented and skillful gems among them who can realize their dreams and help their families prosper. And, if I do say so myself, (as we say when we say so ourselves), women seem to be the most precious of the diamonds in the rough because as has been discovered, giving a helping hand to a woman, especially a mother, helps not just her, but her family and her community.

This last statement makes it even more unbelievable that a group of men who adhere to some skewed fundamental religion should be so fearful of women that they would shoot a 14-year-old girl who just wants an education.  Freedom is, after all, the springboard for everyone’s dream, isn’t it?

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Scammers pretending to be from the IRS seek data from Ticos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some Costa Rican professionals have reported that they have been targeted by scammers who pretend to be from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The Costa Ricans have received emails titled  "Request for Recertification of Foreign Status." The goal of the scammers is to obtain personal data including bank account information from their victims. Says the email:

"Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America tax reporting and withholdings, on interest paid you on your  account and other financial dealing to protect your exemption
 from tax on your account and other financial benefit in rectifying your exemption status. Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing form W-8BEN, and return to us as soon as possible . . . "

The victim is asked to fax the completed form to a U.S. telephone number. The emails received this week also seem to have originated in the States. With all the data, the scammer could easily impersonate those who respond and perhaps open bank accounts or credit card account in their names.

The scam in this form has been around since at least 2008, a check of the Internet shows. The email relies on the general fear individuals have of the IRS, the U.S. tax agency, even though that agency does not send such emails.


Two events planned to celebrate the Encuentro de Culturas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Mexican, Korean, Chinese, Nicaraguan, Russian and Bolivian embassies along with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social will join together today at the immigration agency to share their various cultures with the public.

The event, “Feria de Encuentro de Culturas,” is sponsored by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería and is a way to celebrate the national holiday Dia de las Culturas.

Each participatory group will provide artistic and cultural presentations with information and taste testing of food typical to their regions, the immigration agency said. “Feria de Encuentro de Culturas” will begin at 8:15 a.m. today and end at 2 p.m at the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería in La Uruca.

Also in conjunction of the holiday, the culture ministry will sponsor a cultural festival Sunday as a tribute to immigrants. 

The festival, “Homenaje a los migrantes,” has a full schedule of events that start with a free yoga class by Downtown Yoga Costa Rica and continues with Tai Chi, Arabic dance, Chinese dance and capeoeira dance demonstrations.
To coincide with the performances, Nicaraguan, Chilean, Salvadoran and Costa Rican food and crafts will be available for sale.

Participants will be able to draw a symbol representative of their country on a clay model and put a saying on a wall that will later be on display.

Furthermore, there will be a wall sayings to be built with each of the contributions of people who visit the Centro Nacional de la Cultura.

Closing the festival will be Ballet Xolotlan of Nicaragua. The group will showcase Nicaraguan folklore, distinguished by its sounds of marimba, music as well as colorful clothing and accessories.

“Homenaje a los migrantes” lasts from 9:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Centro Nacional de la Cultura, also known as the Antigua Fabrica Nacional de Licores located east of Parque España.

Today, Oct. 12, is the traditional Día de las Culturas, which is called Columbus Day in the United States. However, the holiday has been moved to Monday when many Costa Ricans will be off.


Formal complaints filed against protesters who behaved badly
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even the police have to go to the judiciary to report a crime.

That is why the security ministry said Thursday that officials there had filed complaints with the Judicial Investigating Organization over the bad behavior of protesters at the Asamblea Legislativa Tuesday. The protesters, many from the Universidad de Costa Rica, were unhappy because President Laura Chinchilla vetoed a bill that would have removed serious penalties for photocopying copyrighted materials.

Judicial investigators should have no trouble finding the suspects. That entire episode was taped by security cameras and others there for that purpose.

At its heart, the protest was not about photocopying but an
extension of the unhappiness among some groups of students and teachers at the universities over the 5-year-old Central American Free Trade Treaty.  The treaty demanded more protection for copyrighted material and was directly responsible for the law that provides prison for illegal photocopying.

Protesters threw rocks and baggies filled with urine at Fuerza Pública officers and legislative security guards.

Some lawmakers were present and agitating the students and others in the crowd, including some who identified themselves as anarchists.

Even though the rowdy activities were publicized widely, judicial investigators still need a formal complaint signed by security ministry officials.

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Crackdown targets gang
known as especially violent


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government has stepped up its crackdown on Mara Salvatrucha, a violent gang with roots in El Salvador that has been increasing its presence in the United States.

The Treasury Department announced Thursday it had branded the group as a transnational criminal organization, a designation that allows the government to block any assets the gang has in the United States and prohibit U.S. citizens from conducting business with the group.

Treasury officials say the gang, known as MS-13, has about 30,000 members, including 8,000 in the United States.  In addition to El Salvador, the group has a significant presence in Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

In a statement, Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen said MS-13 has been linked to murders, racketeering, drug and human trafficking in the U.S., and that its violent attacks on rival gang members often injure innocent bystanders.

Marymount University criminal justice professor Cynthia O'Donnell has published research on MS-13.  She said the group is intentionally violent. 

"One of the reasons that they are violent has to do with what they are trying to accomplish, and that is simply the reputation for that," said Ms. O'Donnell. "They want to be known as the biggest, the baddest, the meanest.  And so they, of course, commit the acts that endorse that." 

The Treasury Department says MS-13 now operates in more than 40 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The U.S. has taken similar action against other violent groups, including the Yakuza, a Japanese organized crime group, and the Mexico-based Zetas drug cartel.


U.N. asks nations to end
marriages of young girls


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United Nations is warning the rate of girls under the age of 18 who are married off by their parents will rise dramatically if current trends are not reversed.  Little progress in ending child marriage has been made during the past decade.

Although child marriages happen virtually everywhere, U.N. Population Fund head Babatunde Osotimehin says it happens most often in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, exposing millions of girls to grave consequences.

“It jeopardizes their right to education, including comprehensive sexuality education, health, survival and the development to their fullest.  It excludes a girl from decisions, such as the timing of marriage and the choice of a spouse, and also timing of children and the spacing between those children,” said Osotimehin.

Despite efforts to end the practice, the United Nations warns that if current trends continue, the number of young girls married off before the age of 18 will more than double - to 142 million - during the coming decade.

The study's authors urge governments on national and local levels to raise the marriage age to 18 and enforce it.  They also say education is key to ending the practice.


U.S. freeze over Palestine
cripples U.N. agency


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Washington's suspension of dues to the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization after Palestine became a formal member last year has left the agency grappling with a funding crisis, and the United States risks losing its membership.
 
Secretary General Irina Bokova describes the 2011 funding freeze by the agency's largest contributor as crippling, leaving it with a $152-million budget gap.
 
"And because the U.S. always pays at the end of the year, always, we have already spent this money in the expectation that the U.S. was going to pay," she said. "So it was very unexpected, drastic, and that is why I dare say it was the worst-ever financial situation for the organization."
 
Washington suspended payments last October, after the Paris-based U.N. agency voted to admit Palestine as its newest member. The event marked a watershed for Palestinian statehood efforts. The U.S. government is legally required to cut funds to any U.N. agency that recognizes a Palestinian state.
 
Ms. Bokova describes UNESCO as the victim of politics.
 
"I think UNESCO was caught in the middle of this political turmoil of Middle Eastern conflict, and I think this is unfair because this is not the way some of the solutions of the Middle Eastern conflict could be found," she said.
 
Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Norway and many other member states have since boosted their contributions to help fill the hole, but Ms. Bokova called the funding situation unsustainable, as Washington's dues normally account for about 20 percent of the agency's budget.

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robbery suspect
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One of two robbery suspects is taken into custody.

Agents attribute 7 robberies
to pair they detained Thursday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police captured two men Wednesday whom they suspect of  being involved in at least seven violent robberies, according to a judicial bulletin.

The bulletin lists four cases in which two men are suspects of either robbing and physically attacking pedestrians and the driver and passengers of a taxi. They also are accused of simply firing shots at passing cars.

The spokesperson for the Judicial Investigating Organization confirmed that the two men in custody are Kevin Bosco Soto Aviles, 18, and Jonathan Santa Maria Sánchez, 26.

The report says that police have been investigating this case for five months, but the first incident occurred in March of this year.

The bulletin lists five incidents in which investigators believe these two men participated. In two cases two men of similar description on foot robbed other people walking on the street, in one case stealing a 9-mm. pistol. In another case, the two men pulled over an informal taxi and robbed the driver and passengers of phones and other belongings. In two other cases, the men simply shot at passing cars but did not injure any of the occupants.

Witnesses in all of these cases report the men using a white Jeep Cherokee.

In the raids on the two men's homes, police found two pistols and a white Jeep Cherokee.


Limón Carnaval gets a queen

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

After a week postponement and a scurry to finalize last festival events, the commission of Carnavales del Caribe 2012 has crowned a queen.

A panel of judges selected Puerto Limón's Cicely Norman Brown, who was sponsored by Seguridad Mocana. The event was Thursday night in Parque Vargas. 

Eight girls sought the title through a series of beauty pageant rounds that included African dress, evening gowns and questions about how to better the Limón providence. 








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