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  Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 204
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U.N. observations have an immediate impact here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For Costa Ricans, the Constitution is not the highest law of the land. That document is outranked by international agreement that have a continual impact on the social system here.

On such agreement is the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Periodically government officials have to show up in Geneva, Switzerland, to give a report on how the nation is doing in putting that pact into practice.

The  U.N. Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights just wrapped up a lengthy series of meetings in which Costa Rican officials were asked to explain the status of various matters of interest, including abortion, sex education, unemployment, housing and efforts to help the poor, to name a few.

The committee ended up producing a document with more than 50 recommendations. Nearly all addressed issues that have been hashed over repeatedly here.

The committee is made up of 18 persons designed as human rights experts. They include individuals from Russia, Algeria, Belarus, Egypt, Cameroon and Mauritius, nations that are not as well off in the human rights department as Costa Rica

The Defensoría de los Habitantes quickly noted the U.N. report card in its own statement
calling for all public institutions to distribute the document and take the steps necessary to comply with the observations.

Among other demands, the Defensoría noted the U.N. committee’s concern with long waiting lists for health services.

The Defensoría also noted the U.N. committee’s statements that efforts to fight poverty were not sufficient and that many disadvantaged individuals were outside the social protection network, such as the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

The committee also called for more discussions with native groups involving governmental decisions that would affect their rights.

Another factor cited was the low participation of women in the labor force. Although not in the report, Costa Rica’s representatives said that a current push for higher taxes was not just to reduce the national deficit but for purposes of redistributing wealth.

The committee did report positively on a change in the Costa Rican Constitution recognizing the multi ethnic population of Costa Rica that was done a year ago.

It also noted the country's adoption of a handful of other international agreements including those recognizing the rights of the handicapped, children’s rights and those subject to forced disappearance.

Weekend schedule includes cooking contest and rodeo
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Quitting time today means the beginning of another three-day weekend. Monday, a legal holiday, is the Día de las Culturas, celebrating the country’s racial and ethnic mixes.

Transit officials already are making plans for heavy traffic from the beaches Monday afternoon and evening. Ruta 27, the Caldera highway, will have three lanes east during that period for returning metro residents.

Those who do not go to the beach will find plenty to do at home.

Today history buffs can participate in a free seminar at the Archivo Nacional. The topic is the importance of the Pacific Ocean in the development of Spanish America. In addition to the Archive Nacional, sponsors include the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte de España, Acción Cultural Español, the Centro Cultural de España and the Spanish Embassy in Costa Rica.

A less academic event is tonight at 7 p.m. in the Catholic church in Liberia when the combined Bandas de Concertos de Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limón offer a concert. The 55-member combined band also plays Saturday in the Catholic church in Esparza and Sunday in the Catholic church in Guápiles, both at 4 p.m.

Saturday is a big day with a food event in Nicoya, a rodeo in Paraíso de Cartago and a science fair in the capital.

Nicoya will display its culinary traditions at the food event, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Mercado Nicoya.  The Ministerio de Cultura y
Juventud sets up these regional events to showcase local recipes. There will be sampling, food sales, discussions and presentations of  awards. The plan is to
produce a book with the recipes next year.

The university rodeo in Campo Ayala, Paraíso de Cartago, begins at 10 a.m. and ends with fireworks and a dance starting at 7 p.m.  Tecnológico de Costa Rica has invited participants from other Costa Rican universities and one in Nicaragua. There also is an exhibition of cows and other animals.

A riding clinic for the public is planned for 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are the usual rodeo fare, including barrel races and some traditional Costa Rica riding events. At 5 p.m. international professionals will give exhibitions.  Special events are promised for children.

The science fair,  BIOCIENCIA 2016, is expected to draw about 300 high school-level students and their projects. The sponsors are the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones and Ecology Project International. The location is the Colegio María Auxiliadora in Heredia with an opening at 9 a.m.

The Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo opened an exhibition Thursday night of 20 works provided by the French Museo del Fondo Regional para el Arte Contemporáneo de Champagne-Ardenne. The museum is open today and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is an admission.

The location is just east of Parque España on Avenida 7 in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura.

Of course, another great attraction for the weekend is Christmas shopping. Costa Ricans seem to put up Christmas displays earlier and earlier each year.

The season is in full bloom already at many stores offering a wide variety of decorations and gifts.

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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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U.S. Embassy photo
 This is the new Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas patrol boat

$624,000 patrol boat has arrived

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 45-foot patrol boat promised to Costa Rica has arrived, and officials staged a welcome ceremony Thursday.

The boat is valued at $549,000, and the U.S. government threw in $75,000 more in electronic gear. An additional $75,000 in similar electronic gear has been donated for another patrol boat.

The boat is part of the lengthy war on drugs. It carries six crew members and can also carry eight passengers. There are sleeping quarters, showers and air conditioning.

The boat will be used on the Caribbean side of the country. It is part of a donation of equipment from the United States that has been valued at $30 million. Included were tents now being used by Haitian migrants.

The United States said that yet a third boat is expected to arrive next year.

Light-fingered police are on video

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two policemen responding a crime at an Escazú electronics store decided to try a little larceny themselves, according to the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

The police officers appeared to not realize they were being taped by a security camera while they were alone in the Gollo in Guachipelín Wednesday morning. The video of their presumed crime made all the television news shows.

The pair are seen going to a storage closet and removing what appeared to be an electronic tablet and boxes that may have contained cell telephones.

Gustavo Mata, the security minister, said that steps are being taken to fire the police officers. They have 10 and seven years service in the police force.

Turrialba continues to put on a show

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano continues to emit ash, and scientists are detecting small earthquakes within the mountain caused by fluids, gas and magma passing through the rocks.

The volcano sent ash 1,000 meters into the air, about 4,340 feet above sea level, at 8:06 p.m., said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica at Universidad Nacional.

The wind was carrying the ash to the southeast toward Aquiares, Pacayas and Juan Viñas, where residents reported a sulfur smell. In the past most of the winds were to the west or southwest.

An eruption Thursday morning produced a column of ash about 500 meters high and was followed by yet another eruption that threw ash even higher, said the Observatorio.

During the daytime, the smell of sulfur was reported in Lagunilla de Heredia and Heredia, the Observatorio said.

Our reader’s opinion
Control the money, not term lengths

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

While I share the frustration expressed by David Rogers and Henry Kantrowitz about the roles played by big money and big corporate interests in U.S. politics at all levels, I disagree with their sentiment in favor of term limits.

Term limits are a simplistic approach to a complex problem. The issues that elected officials at all levels face are incredibly intricate and to think that a newcomer can grasp all those intricacies in a term or two is unrealistic. It takes a newly elected congressperson most of a first term just to learn his or her way around the Capitol and to find the restrooms. Expecting them to also become expert in complex policy matters on a worldwide stage just isn’t reasonable.

The effect of institutionalizing superficial knowledge of these complex issues would be to leave important policy making decisions to two parties we cannot always trust, lobbyists and bureaucrats.

What’s more, by limiting terms, the pool of available candidates is automatically limited to those who can afford to take a few years off from their careers to serve. Who can do that? Attorneys, corporate executives, and the independently wealthy can, but what of the the man in the street? How many of us have ever worked at a job we could walk away from for a few years and then expect to return to where we left off? How many self-employed people could do the same?

No, the answer to cleaning up the legislative branches at the federal and state levels is to restrict or eliminate the influence of big money. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United which opened the doors to unlimited political spending was based upon good legal scholarship, but the impact on the political system was devastating and must be remedied. If we remove the corrupting influence of these vast and unaccounted for monies, legislators will be less susceptible to undue influence and also able to become sufficiently knowledgeable about critical policy matters to make good decisions.
David C. Murray
Grecia, Alajuela

Time to register to vote

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

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

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

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

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

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 204
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Environmental group files to void two-year delay on evictions
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An environmental organization said it has presented a claim of unconstitutionality against a law designed to give residents in the maritime zone a two-year breathing space before their homes were destroyed.

The Federación Ecologista Costarricense said Thursday it had just presented the case to the Sala IV constitutional court. The government proposed the delay on evictions in order to give time to lawmakers to draft new regulations for the maritime zone.  This is the 200 meters of land that borders the oceans and some waterways in Costa Rica. Development there is restricted,

but many homes were built there before the original law was passed.
The Federación Ecologista Costarricense said that the law damages the nation’s holdings.

The law No. 8373 violates the constitutional protection of the public domain as well as the right to a safe and ecologically balanced environment, said the filing, according to Mauricio Álvarez, president of the federation.

The federation statement calls the occupants of the zone illegals and said the moratorium on eviction is equivalent to authorizing those on the property to violate the law for two years.

During that period the state and public entities are unable to intervene to defend and recover public property, said the federation, citing information in the legal filing.

A sure sign of the holidays: The big, fat Christmas lottery
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another sure sign of Christmas is the announcement expected next week of the Gordo Navideño 2016, the big Yule lottery.

Last year there were four top prizes, each of  1.4 billion colons tax free. That is about $2.6 million for each of the four top winners. And there are thousands of lesser prizes.

Winning is a super long-shot. The top ticket needs to show the correct three-digit series and the correct two-digit lottery number. That’s nearly a one in 100,000 possibility of winning.

Even those who do not play the lottery usually buy a ticket or a fraction of a ticket so they can sit in front of the television one Sunday night and watch the balls jump around in rotating cages.

The excitement generated by watching the drawing certainly can be worth the price of the ticket.

Last year, the full Christmas lottery ticket of 40 fractions sold for 70,000 colons, about $130 then. Even the holder of a single fraction of the winning ticket got 35 million colons or about $65,000.

This is a national ritual with some neighborhoods chipping in to buy full tickets. Sometimes they win, and the Spanish-language newspapers feature them.

Any U.S. expat who plays and wins the lottery is supposed to remit a chunk of the money to Uncle Sam because the country taxes global incomes.

Ironically a lottery win can ruin lives because most of the winners do not know how to handle large sums.

But the Junta de Protection Social, the lottery agency sure does. Typically the agency will get about a third of what the public pays for tickets after distributing prizes and salaries to vendors. The final beneficiaries are a host of charities that depend on the Junta for income.

Expats also should be wary of fake lottery tickets. They show up every Christmas season. And the vendor has been known to hike up the cost of the tickets as the drawing approaches.

The Junta stages a lottery drawing each Sunday. Usually the prizes and the price of the tickets are much smaller. A typical full sheet of 10 tickets can sell for 12,000 colons.

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 204
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Google and press advocate team up to protect news Web sites
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A press advocacy group and Google has created a partnership to prevent denial of service attacks on news media Web sites.

These attacks flood servers and put the display of Web site material out of service. The advocacy organization, the Inter American Press Association, said that these attacks are used as a tool of repressive censorship.

The organization is encouraging the adoption of Project Shield, a free service developed by Jigsaw that uses Google technology and Google's infrastructure to protect news sites and free expression from denial of service attacks throughout Latin America.

The objective of the partnership is to ensure that all Inter American Press Association member organizations are protected. The Project Shield service from Jigsaw is available to independent publishers of all sizes as well as human rights organizations and election monitoring groups, all of which are frequent targets of denial of service attacks, said the press group. The attacks are considered one of the most pernicious forms of digital censorship in the 21st century, and are increasing at an alarming rate, it added.

News publishers are especially at risk of being targeted by attacks to take down their sites for political, economic or personal reasons. Attacks have taken down publishers large and small, from TechCrunch and Página12 to the BBC. According to a Neustar report, the odds of getting attacked are 50 percent, and once a site has been attacked, there's an 80 percent chance it will be attacked again. It's estimated that 50 percent of media sites have already been hit.
"IAPA has been in the frontline of the defense of Freedom of Expression since it was created," said Pierre Manigault, president of the Inter American Press Association, during the organization's General Assembly in Mexico City. "As news consumption has gone increasingly digital, there is worrisome evidence that new ways of censorship are growing which could limit publishers' ability to deliver news, opinion and analysis to an ever growing number of news consumers in the Americas. Through this partnership, we hope to offer blanket protection from DDoS attacks to publishers large and small throughout the region."

Project Shield was created by Jigsaw, an incubator within Alphabet, Google's parent company. The free service was launched in early 2016 as a way to defend the world's news organizations from denial of service attacks, and it is part of Jigsaw's broader goal of ending repressive censorship online. Project Shield is free for qualified organizations.

"We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with IAPA as a way to protect news organizations throughout Latin America," said George Conard, the Jigsaw product manager who leads the Project Shield team. "Our goal is to end repressive online censorship, and defending publishers against DDoS attacks is a crucial step toward eliminating DDoS as a threat to free expression."

Project Shield uses a multi-layer defense system and is built on Google's sophisticated infrastructure to protect against the full range of attacks, large and small, multi-vector and single vector.

Put simply, Project Shield uses Google's own defenses and network capacity to protect news sites from attacks.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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

George Lundquist

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Tropical Homes

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

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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Charming Chalet for Rent
Mountain forest and fresh air. Charming two-bedroom and two-bath chalet style home. Near downtown Heredia away from the noise and traffic in the quiet mountain setting of Monte de la Cruz. Room for parking on a large manicured garden property. Fully furnished with loft and laundry room. Property is gated. No smokers, must have references, and no more than an occupancy of two.  $550 per month. One month deposit.  Please call Leda at:  2267-6306  to make an appointment to view.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 204
Real Estate
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Trump’s relation with media
basically said to be his fault

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

To say that Donald Trump has a rocky relationship with the media is a massive understatement.

For months, he's barred certain reporters and media outlets from his rallies. He's threatened to open up libel laws so that he could have an easier time suing news organizations he sees as dishonest. Emboldened by his fiery invectives against the media, his supporters regularly scream obscenities at journalists during his rallies, in one case even prompting the Secret Service to intervene to protect one reporter.

Trump's conflict with the media continued Thursday, with the Republican presidential nominee threatening to sue The New York Times over a story in which two women accused him of inappropriate physical contact. The story was one of several that came out this week accusing Trump of making unwanted sexual advances.

In a speech in Florida, Trump slammed the reports as a concerted, coordinated and vicious attack by the corporate media, which he said were controlled by his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"The corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism," Trump said. "They're a political special interest no different from any lobbyist or financial entity with a total political agenda.

"And their agenda is to elect crooked Hillary Clinton at any cost, at any price, no matter how many lives they destroy. For them, it's a war and for them, nothing at all is out of bounds," he said.

Though Trump denies the allegations of sexual misconduct, that hasn't kept them from receiving almost non-stop media coverage for much of the past week. That's in part because the accusations came just days after Trump was seen in a leaked 2005 video bragging about his ability to get away with sexual assault.

The groping allegations are far from the only Trump-related controversy to receive media attention recently.

In the past two-and-a-half weeks, news outlets have been filled with stories on Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, his public bickering with a former Miss Universe, possible violations of charity laws by his Trump Foundation, and his fallout with Republican Party lawmakers.

Viewed together, it constitutes a stunning barrage of negative news coverage aimed at a presidential candidate, just weeks before the November election.

There have been news cycles dominated by Clinton controversies. Most of that coverage has focused on Mrs. Clinton's use of a private email account, her alleged inaction during the deadly 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya, and inappropriate overlap between the Clinton Foundation and her former employers at the State Department.

But the coverage, at least on major news outlets, is seemingly unequal, and the disparity is making some media analysts uncomfortable, at least in particular instances.

"I think what's happening is that some journalists and news organizations think Trump is such an unusual and threatening candidate that they feel they have the right to bend or alter their ethical obligations," said John Watson, professor of journalism ethics at George Washington University.

In Watson's view, it's a mistake for journalists to view Trump as an existential threat to democracy, and therefore break the rules of even-handedness. But at the same time, he says Trump "warrants greater news coverage because what he says and does is very often more newsworthy."

In other words, whereas it may seem that the media are biased in favor of Mrs. Clinton, it only appears that way because she hasn't "said or done as much horrible stuff as Donald Trump has," according to Watson.

Robert Drechsel, the recently retired director of the University of Wisconsin's Center for Journalism Ethics, agrees that the negative coverage has much more to do with the unusual nature of Trump's candidacy than any left-wing media conspiracy.

"Anyone who has been involved in media work would very quickly realize that that is not the way things work," Drechsel said. "It's something largely of his own making. It's just that Donald Trump has done and said so many things that have invited so much scrutiny that they tend to dominate the news coverage."

And dominating the news coverage is a strategy that Trump himself has embraced, at times explicitly.

In his 1987 book “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” Trump acknowledged that he sometimes behaves in an outrageous or controversial manner in order to attract media attention.

"From a pure business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks," Trump says in the book.

That media strategy appears to have worked for Trump this election up to a point.

During the primary election, Trump was largely seen as having benefited from the extra media attention, in part because his unorthodox stances appealed to his hardcore base of supporters and helped him stand out among his 16 Republican rivals.

But during the general election, when Trump has faced just one major opponent and has needed to appeal to a larger and more diverse voter base, the extra scrutiny appears to have hurt him.

After the latest barrage of negative stories, Trump now finds himself down more than six points in a two-way race with Clinton, according to a polling average compiled by RealClearPolitics.

It could get worse. For instance, if more women come forward to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct or if, as rumored, additional tapes are released showing Trump making lewd comments.

If that happens, journalists will have the responsibility to report the facts, whether or not it is seen as fair, says Aly Colon, professor of media ethics at Washington and Lee University.

"The truth needs to be the priority in all these instances," he said. "They need to hold both of these candidates accountable for what they say, what they've said, and what they propose. And then the candidates have to answer that and deal with that themselves."

Bits of glass show meteorite
hit as a warm period began

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Droplets of glass dug up in New Jersey and from the Atlantic seabed indicate a comet or some other extraterrestrial object may have smacked Earth 56 million years ago, roughly 10 million years after the asteroid impact that doomed the dinosaurs.

Scientists said Thursday the collision may have triggered a particularly warm, ice-free period on Earth when important mammalian groups, including the primate lineage that led to humans, appeared for the first time.

The findings, published in the journal Science, marked the latest evidence of the profound influence that past impacts by celestial bodies have had on life on Earth.
The tiny spherical bits of dark glass, called microtektites, represent strong evidence of a collision with a comet or asteroid, the researchers said. They form when a space rock hits Earth's surface and vaporizes the spot where it lands, ejecting into the air bits of molten rock that solidify into glass.

The microtektites were excavated from a geological layer marking the start of the Eocene Epoch about 56 million years ago from three sites in southern New Jersey, Millville, Wilson Lake and Medford, and an underwater site east of Florida.

That coincided with the beginning of a warming event, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, associated with an accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide. It lasted more than 100,000 years and drove up global temperatures about 9 to 14 degrees F (5 to 8 degrees C).

The impact of an asteroid about six miles wide (10 km) off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula 10 million years earlier killed off many marine and terrestrial creatures including the dinosaurs, and enabled mammals to gain supremacy.

No such mass extinction was associated with the event 56 million years ago, although many single-celled ocean-bottom creatures disappeared. During the warming period, primates and two mammal groups, one that includes deer, antelope, sheep and goats and another that includes horses and rhinos, first appear in the fossil record.

The researchers said they have not found the location of an impact crater linked to the collision. They said geological evidence suggested the object was a comet.
"We can't really say where it was, or how big, at this point," said geochemist Morgan Schaller of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who led the study.

While the findings are not proof that the impact caused the warming period, they are a rather dramatic finding in support of an impact trigger for the climate changes, said planetary scientist Dennis Kent of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Rutgers University.

Calculations show universe
contains trillions of galaxies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It appears that scientists had underestimated the magnitude of the universe.
An international team of astronomers reported Thursday that the universe might be 10, or even 20, times larger than previously thought, containing as many as 1 trillion or even 2 trillion galaxies.

An astrophysics professor at the University of Nottingham in England led the team that came up with the mind-boggling estimate of 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. Professor Christopher Conselice said that represents a minimum tenfold increase.

The scientists based their updated galaxy count on deep-space surveys by the Hubble Space Telescope and ground observatories, which they turned into 3-D images and studied using new mathematical models.

“It boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied,” Conselice said in a statement. “Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we discover these galaxies with future generations of telescopes?'

Scientists have puzzled over how many galaxies the cosmos harbors at least since American astronomer Edwin Hubble showed in 1924 that Andromeda, a neighboring galaxy, was not part of our own Milky Way.

Nicole weakens after hitting
Bermuda as a full hurricane

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hurricane Nicole weakened late Thursday as it moved into the open ocean after making a direct hit on Bermuda.

Nicole slammed into the British territory as a Category 3 hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour (120 miles per hour), the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center said.

Nicole caused serious damage to the island’s infrastructure, causing walls and roads to collapse, tearing roofs off buildings, ripping up trees, smashing boats against rocks, and flooding numerous homes and roads, the Royal Gazette newspaper reported late Thursday.

More than 27,000 customers were without power. There were no reports of deaths or injuries.

By late afternoon, the storm was about 210 kilometers (130 miles) northeast of Bermuda.

In Nicole’s aftermath, government officials inspected bridges and other structures. The Royal Bermuda Regiment removed uprooted trees and other debris from roads.

Cleanup efforts were expected to continue until early today, and the island’s airport planned to reopen by then. Schools were scheduled to stay closed until Monday.

Bob Dylan is surprise winner
of Nobel Prize for literature

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Legendary American musician Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel prize in literature, the first songwriter to receive the prestigious award.

The Swedish Academy, which makes the annual decision on who will win the Nobel Literature Prize, said Dylan was honored "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Throngs of people who had gathered for the announcement in Stockholm, Sweden, reacted with a loud cheer when Dylan's name was read.

He had been mentioned as a possible Nobel prize winner in past years but was not seen as a serious contender.

Sara Danius, permanent secretary at the Swedish Academy said Dylan "is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition".

"His repertoire stretches from folk songs in the Appalachians, delta blues in the south, all the way to Rimbaud, of French modernism. And he handles this heritage in this absolutely original way. No one has ever done anything like him," she added.

Dylan is the first American to win the Nobel literature prize since Toni Morrison received the award in 1993.

The 75-year-old singer and songwriter, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, launched his music career in 1959 by performing in coffee houses in the midwestern state of Minnesota.

Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941 and raised in a Jewish middle-class family. He taught himself to play the guitar, harmonica and piano.

Dylan's best known works are from the 1960's, when songs like 'Blowin in the Wind' became anthems for the anti-Vietnam war and civil rights movements. He also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his contributions to music and American culture.

His 1965 classic "Like a Rolling Stone" was named the greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. "No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time, for all time," the magazine said.

Dylan will receive $906,000 in prize money for the literature award. There are a total six Nobel laureates, each of whom will receive a gold medal and a diploma at a formal ceremony in Stockholm Dec. 10.

Miami neighborhood reported
to harbor zika mosquitoes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Florida officials have identified a small neighborhood in Miami that contains mosquitoes that have spread the zika virus to humans. The area spans about 2.6 square kilometers in the northwestern part of the city.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday that two women and three men have been infected by the virus in the neighborhood.

Zika infections have been reported in more than 1,020 people in Florida. Most caught it while traveling outside the U.S., but 155 cases are not travel related.

This summer, Florida became the first state in the continental United States to report the local spread of zika when a cluster of cases was discovered in the arts district of Wynwood, north of downtown.

That area has since been declared clear of any mosquitoes that might be spreading zika, and health authorities have credited aerial insecticide spraying for eliminating the infected mosquitoes.

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
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For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning. Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available
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FOR SALE - $240,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email:
Jay Saba
paco two

Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a three-bedroom, ine-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach. Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc. Super fenced yard for dogs. Very low electric bill even with the AC. Very secure & private. Police chief next door. Very easy & inexpensive to expand this house as all neighbors have done. $149,900. Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:

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

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news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 204
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Santos extends Colombia ceasefire

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday he agreed to extend a cease-fire deal with a Marxist rebel group in the country in hopes of reviving a failed peace accord.

The original cease-fire agreement between the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia was due to expire at the end of October, but will now extend through the end of the year.

"I have made the decision to extend the bilateral cease-fire until Dec. 31. Let this be clear: This is not an ultimatum nor a deadline, but I hope that the entire process of obtaining a new agreement will be complete well before then," Santos said in a televised address.

The announcement of the cease-fire extension came shortly after Santos met with demonstrators who have been protesting in Bogotá demanding the government move forward with the peace accord despite its rejection by voters.

Voters narrowly rejected the deal with 50.2 against, or by a margin of just 54,000 votes. The result came as a shock to Colombian leaders as public opinion polls leading up to the vote forecast the referendum would pass by a two-to-one margin.

Many "no" voters were genuinely offended that nearly all rebels will avoid prison time for crimes allegedly committed during the uprising and get various financial support from the government.

Two tropical diseases being eliminated

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

By the year 2020, two neglected tropical diseases, lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, and trachoma, a blinding illness, may be eliminated in the world’s poorest countries, thanks to a partnership of governments, charitable foundations and pharmaceutical companies.

The U.S. provides the most funding for elimination of neglected tropical diseases, through the U.S. Agency for International Development. That funding, between 2006 and today, has provided 1.6 billion treatments in about 30 countries.

“In the areas that USAID has supported,” Emily Wainwright said, “there are going to be 400 million people who don’t have to worry about getting lymphatic filariasis again. We will have addressed that problem. And there will be about 184 million people who aren’t going to have to worry about getting trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness.” She is program coordinator for neglected tropical diseases.

According to the World Health Organization, neglected tropical diseases affect an estimated 1.5 billion people in the poorest countries.

Other diseases that are targeted for elimination include onchocerciasis, known as river blindness, schistosomiasis or snail fever, which causes intestinal and urogenital infections, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis, a systemic illness that causes diarrhea, fever, fatigue and malnutrition.

Children are disproportionately affected by the parasitic and bacterial illnesses, which stunt growth and affect brain development.

Recently, World Health released data showing that in 2015, 979 million people received preventive chemotherapy for neglected tropical diseases, an increase of 121 million from 2014.

USAID’s Neglected Tropical Disease Program and World Health have put a priority on eliminating 17 diseases in 149 countries, where one in six people suffer from at least one of the illnesses.

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From Page 7:

Trade office opened in Seoul for Tico exporters

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation’s promotional arm has opened a commercial office in Seoul, Korea. This is the 41st office worldwide for Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica.

The announcement coincides with a visit to the Asian country by President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The promotional agency also is trying to increase recognition of its Esencial Costa Rica trademark.

Alexander Mora, minister of Comercio Exterior, said the trade office would give Costa Rican exporters more opportunities in the sophisticated Korean marketplace. The country is negotiating a free-trade agreement with Korea.

San Pablo, Moravia face water cutoffs today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who live in Moravia and San Pablo de Heredia might lose water service today.

The state water company, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, said it would be maintaining one of its water plants in Moravia starting at 8 a.m. and this could affect the water supply. About 18,000 persons are involved, it said.

In San Pablo the interruption is expected to begin at 7 a.m. There electrical work at two well locations will last until 4 p.m., said the company, which estimated that 19,500 people will be affected.