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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 204                      Email us
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Another info theft highlights lack of public access
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another judicial worker has been detained on the allegation that he illegally used confidential government records of at least one individual.

The Judicial Investigating Organization was not specific on what the illegal act alleged was, but as the courts tighten up previously open records, there is more opportunity for insiders to see material that is closed to outside eyes.

As a California private investigator said last month that prior to the 2012 arbitrary shutdown, anybody with Internet access could search the judiciary's public data base to see if a person or corporation had any civil or criminal cases on file. A new law changed that.

As the investigator, Seth Derish, pointed out, this is valuable commercial information that is vital to doing a  due diligence study for a potential commercial agreement. Closing records also leads
to corruption, which may be the case in the arrest today.

Derish said that "when these records were shut down in 2012, a staff attorney from my office was immediately approached by a functionary in the court offering to sell access to the system."  He said he declined.

The judicial investigators' report said that this new case involved using internal equipment to access confidential personal data that appears to have been used at least once for the benefit of the suspect. The information is believed to have been passed on to a third party, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The investigation is continuing to determine if there were other such cases, said investigators.

Derish said he is sending a translated copy of his Sept. 26 letter to the Spanish-language media as a start for a campaign to change the law.

Controversial guru plans pricey appearance here
By the A.M, Costa Rica staff

The alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra will be in Costa Rica Nov. 24, and he is sure to draw a crowd of food conspiracy theorists, followers of  homeopathy, and many who believe that there is more to life than just the material.

Chopra is a modern faith healer without the religious faith. He has been called a purveyor of  mumbo jumbo and a prince of woo woo. Still, he is extraordinarily successful as the author of more than 80 books with 22 New York Times bestsellers including "Super Brain," according to his Web site.

He is a frequent television personality and counts former secretary of State Hillary Clinton among his supporters.

Tickets for his 7 p.m. talk at the Centro de Eventos Pedregal are from 29,120 to 162,400 colons, some $53.50 to $298.

Chopra rejects naïve realism because he says it hasn’t been scientifically tenable for at least a century, ever since the quantum era began.

In a 2009 discussion with Richard Dawkins, hosted on YouTube, Chopra says he uses scientific words like quantum as metaphors.

Chopra is a physician who received his training in India and them moved to the United States where he served in traditional medical institutions. His specialty is endocrinology.

He has combined Eastern ideas such as meditation with his own theories of spirituality and subjectivity that he says is independent of objects.

Chopra got a big break with a 1992 appearance
Deepak Chopra

on the "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

His basic concept is mind over matter. The subtitle of the book "Super Brain" is "unleashing the explosive power of your mind to maximize health, happiness, and spiritual well-being." A summary says that "Super Brain" shows how to use your brain as a gateway for achieving health, happiness, and spiritual growth.

In addition to the Dawkins discussion above, a more recent 2012 discussion with skeptic Sam Harris illuminates Chopra's ideas.

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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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Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services

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Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
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See why Jeff and Colin Miller (12 years here), Frances Winborne (more than 23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jacó born & bred) chose the Central Pacific!

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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 OR  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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90 films schedule for Festival de Cine

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The 2014 Festival Internacional de Cine will show 90 national and international films during its run from Nov. 8 to 15. This is the third
annual edition.

The festival is sponsored by the  Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and its Centro de Producción Artística y
Cultural and the Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica.

Films will be shown at the  Magaly and Sala Garbo theaters as well as the Antigua Aduana. There also will be other activities in the local parks, said an announcement.

The international films come from 20 countries. Colombia is the invited country. That nation has a well-developed cinema tradition.

Don't forget the umbrella today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is more of the same predicted for today: Warm, cloudy morning feeding heavy downpours in the afternoon.

A low pressure area that may develop into a tropical storm is off the Nicaraguan coast, and that is driving moisture into the country and making the weather unstable.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said in the early evening Tuesday that the most intense rainfall was in the northern zone, the eastern part of the metro area and in the central mountains, the  Cordillera Volcánica Central. There was as much as 65 millimeters of rain that fell in just six hours. That is about 2.5 inches
The Pacific coast was expected to get a similar amount later in the evening.

Another death linked to animal protection

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 Environmentalists are attributing the murder this week of  Diego Armando Saborío to his efforts to defend animals on his family's property in  Chamorro de Cutris de San Carlo. They are equating the death to that of turtle protector  Jairo Mora in the Caribbean coast.

A release said that there have been 12 direct attacks on environmentalists, 10 houses or stores burned and 16 cases of death threats.

Environmentalists are considering a government proposal to become enrolled in the Fuerza Pública reserves so they can carry firearms.

Child sex ring broken up in Colombia

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scores of children have been rescued in a raid on a sex trafficking ring in Colombia, including an 11-year-old girl allegedly sold for $1,000.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced Tuesday that they found 55 minors and arrested 12 people Saturday in a joint undercover operation with Colombian police in three cities: Armenia, Cartagena, and Medellin.

Eleven Colombian men and women are accused of trafficking minors, pimping, and pandering. The nationality of the remaining suspect has not been released.

Colombian media said that among those arrested is a beauty pageant star who worked with a modeling agency, allegedly recruiting victims through casting calls and parties.

If convicted, the Colombian defendants face up to 20 years in prison.

The raids followed the arrest of a man in the United States who allegedly traveled to Medellin to have sex with minors.

Colombia's child protective service is caring for the victims, some of whom were allegedly drugged with cocaine and ecstasy, a drug that lowers sexual inhibitions.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 204
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Church speaker

Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica photos
This is a sequence of photos taken every 10 seconds by the Volcán Poás Webcam Oct. 13.
Eruptions at Volcán Poás reported to be more energetic recently
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When Volcán Poás cleared its throat two minutes before 8 a.m. Monday, ash from the eruption showered the pedestrian overlook and the visitor center, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico.

The eruption lasted just a minute and a half, but the  column of steam, water, mud and ash climbed to 250 meters, said the Observatorio.  That's over 800 feet.  That's the reason why the volcano park was closed to visitors for awhile.
Poás began the current cycle of eruptions in 2006, the Observatorio staff noted. Since 2009, the eruptions have become stronger and reached higher levels.

There was a slowdown with the volcano eruptions in August, September and this month, the volcano staffers noted, calling the ones that took place more energetic.

The activities at the volcano suggest that there is a body of magma that is not very deep below the lake, the Observatorio said.

Festival Gastronómico y del Cebiche
Various innovations of cerviche and other seafood dishes are promised
Quepos will be the site for a festival of ceviche next month
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Quepos will be the site of the Festival Gastronómico y del Cebiche Nov. 15 and 16. This is the first edition of the festival featuring raw fish basted in lemon juice.

Cebiche or ceviche is a traditional Latin American dish that probably originated in Perú long before the Spanish arrival. The lemon juice or other citrus juices transform the fish as if it were being cooked.
Costa Rican chefs prefer the juice of the  limón criollo.

They will have a chance to display their talent because as part of the festival there is a contest with the emphasis on innovation. Ceviche usually is mixed with certain chiles and  cilantro, The side dish can be yuca or potato.

The event is a the  Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. The Quepos Film Fest is talking place at the same time.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 204
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Tree-ring study helps isolate twin causes of the 1934 U.S. drought
By the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
news staff

A new study using a reconstruction of North American drought history over the last 1,000 years found that the drought of 1934 was the driest and most widespread of the last millennium.

Using a tree-ring-based drought record from the years 1000 to 2005 and modern records, scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found the 1934 drought was 30 percent more severe than the runner-up drought (in 1580) and extended across 71.6 percent of western North America. For comparison, the average extent of the 2012 drought was 59.7 percent.

"It was the worst by a large margin, falling pretty far outside the normal range of variability that we see in the record," said climate scientist Ben Cook at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Cook is lead author of the study, which will publish in Geophysical Research Letters.

Two sets of conditions led to the severity and extent of the 1934 drought. First, a high-pressure system in winter sat over the west coast of the United States and turned away wet weather – a pattern similar to that which occurred in the winter of 2013-14. Second, the spring of 1934 saw dust storms, caused by poor land management practices, suppress rainfall.

"In combination then, these two different phenomena managed to bring almost the entire nation into a drought at that time," said co-author Richard Seager, professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York. "The fact that it was the worst of the millennium was probably in part because of the human role."

According to the recent Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change is likely to make droughts in North America worse, and the Southwest in particular is expected to become significantly drier as are summers in the central plains. Looking back 1,000 years in time is one way to get a handle on the natural variability of droughts so that scientists can tease out anthropogenic effects – such as the dust storms of 1934.

“We want to understand droughts of the past to understand to what extent climate change might make it more or less likely that those events occur in the future," Cook said.

The abnormal high-pressure system is one lesson from the past that informs scientists' understanding of the current severe drought in California and the western United States.

"What you saw during this last winter and during 1934, because of this high pressure in the atmosphere, is that all the wintertime storms that would normally come into places like California instead got steered much, much farther north,” Cook said. “It's these wintertime storms that provide most of the moisture in California. So without getting that rainfall it led to a pretty severe drought."

This type of high-pressure system is part of normal variation in the atmosphere, and whether or not it will appear in a given year is difficult to predict in computer models of the climate. Models are more attuned to droughts caused by La Niña's colder sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which likely triggered the multi-year Dust Bowl drought throughout the 1930s. In a normal La Niña year, the Pacific Northwest receives more rain than usual and the southwestern states typically dry out.

But a comparison of weather data to models looking at La Niña effects showed that the rain-blocking high-pressure system in the
Photo by Arthur Rothstein, Farm Security Administration
This photo shows a farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, in 1936.

dust storm
Photo by the National Archives FDR Library
A black blizzard dust storm in South Dakota in 1934.

winter of 1933-34 overrode the effects of La Niña for the western states. This dried out areas from northern California to the Rockies that otherwise might have been wetter.

As winter ended, the high-pressure system shifted eastward, interfering with spring and summer rains that typically fall on the central plains. The dry conditions were exacerbated and spread even farther east by dust storms.

"We found that a lot of the drying that occurred in the spring time occurred downwind from where the dust storms originated," Cook said, "suggesting that it's actually the dust in the atmosphere that's driving at least some of the drying in the spring and really allowing this drought event to spread upwards into the central plains."

Dust clouds reflect sunlight and block solar energy from reaching the surface. That prevents evaporation that would otherwise help form rain clouds, meaning that the presence of the dust clouds themselves leads to less rain, Cook said.

"Previous work and this work offers some evidence that you need this dust feedback to explain the real anomalous nature of the Dust Bowl drought in 1934," Cook said.

Dust storms like the ones in the 1930s aren't a problem in North America today. The agricultural practices that gave rise to the Dust Bowl were replaced by those that minimize erosion. Still, agricultural producers need to pay attention to the changing climate and adapt accordingly, not forgetting the lessons of the past, said Seager. "The risk of severe mid-continental droughts is expected to go up over time, not down," he said.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
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Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

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.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Beautiful fully furnished two floor house for rent
in La Guacima

Guacima montage
La Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela Centro and 30 minutes from Heredia. Near highway 27. $1,200 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). Very private, very quiet, green areas, fully furnished. Must like animals (we have three gentle dogs), look at high resolution pics HERE! U.S. citizens or Europeans preferred. No children. Call to inquiry and for appointment to visit. Available for rent in December. Contact phone number:  (506)  8839-4315.

Organic farm home
$800 plus utilities.
Two-bedroom, two-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

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.

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 204
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About us

Disease control center chief
promises more rapid action

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that starting now, any U.S. hospital with a confirmed case of bola will have a response team  from his agency on the ground within hours.

The director, Tom Frieden, delivered an update on the ebola situation at his headquarters in Atlanta Tuesday, saying he has been hearing loud and clear from health care workers that they are worried about Ebola and do not feel prepared to take care of a patient with the disease.

Fears have risen since a Texas nurse became the first person to contract ebola on U.S. soil after treating the Liberian man who was the first person to die of the virus in the U.S.

Frieden said the centers' team currently on the ground in Dallas is making sure those caring for the infected nurse do so safely and effectively. Frieden said putting a more robust infection control team in place when the first patient was diagnosed in Dallas might have prevented the nurse from getting infected.

He said officials have identified 76 health workers who might have come into contact with the Liberian patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, or his blood. He said they are all being monitored for fever or other symptoms. Another 48 people exposed to Duncan before he was hospitalized have passed the period of greatest risk, and Frieden said they are now unlikely to develop ebola.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old nurse, Nina Pham, said Tuesday in a hospital statement that she is doing well and wants to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Ms. Pham is being treated, is the same facility where she was infected.

The hospital's CEO said the doctors and nurses involved with Ms. Pham's treatment remain hopeful. He said the hospital is "working tirelessly to help her in this courageous fight."

The optimistic outlook for Ms. Pham comes after it was revealed she received a blood transfusion from Kent Brantly, the American doctor who recovered from ebola in the U.S. after contracting it in Liberia.

Ms. Pham is the third ebola victim to receive Brantly's blood, which carries antibodies to the virus because he is a survivor. It also was given to American aid worker Rick Sacra, now recovered, and U.S. journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who appears to be getting better.

In an interview Tuesday, Mukpo's father, Mitchell Levy, said his son's strength is coming back. Levy said Mukpo is eating again and getting out of bed, signs that he said point to improvement.

The Centers for Disease Control announcement came as a pharmaceutical company in China announced it has applied for market approval for a drug that is being touted as a possible cure for ebola.

Last week, Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group signed an agreement with the China Academy of Military Medical Science to push a drug called JK-05 through China's approval process. At the moment, the academy-developed drug has only been tested in mice and is approved for emergency military use only.

Che Fengsheng, chairman of Sihuan, said last week his company will file with China's food and drug administration before the end of the year. He said the agency has attached great importance to the application, and that priority will be given to the drug in the approval process.

Sihuan’s product is just one contender among a number of experimental drugs worldwide aimed at curing ebola. ZMapp, TKM-Ebola and brincidofovir have all been used to treat ebola patients on an emergency basis in the latest outbreak. It is not clear yet if any of them will prove to be an effective cure for the disease.

As the fears about ebola rise, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday that he and his wife are donating $25 million to the CDC Foundation to help fight the disease. In a post on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said "we need to get ebola under control in the near term so that it does not spread further and become a long-term global health crisis" like HIV or polio.

The foundation said the money will go to the Centers for Disease Control's response effort in the worst-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other places where ebola is a threat.

The Liberian patient in Dallas died of ebola last Wednesday. Brantly reportedly also offered to donate blood to him, but their blood types did not match.

Last week, authorities in Spain euthanized a Spanish nurse's dog after the nurse was diagnosed with ebola. That decision sparked outrage and raised fears that the same might happen to the Dallas nurse's Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

But Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Tuesday that authorities want to make sure Ms. Pham's dog is healthy as can be. He said officials emailed Ms. Pham a video of her pet in the hopes of lifting her spirits.

The Centers for Disease Control says there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with ebola or of being able to spread ebola to people or other animals.

The head of the U.N. mission to fight ebola warned Tuesday that the coming weeks will be critical in efforts to get the virus under control.  His words came as U.S. President Barack Obama urged the international community to do more to halt this global public health threat.

The head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, Anthony Banbury, told the U.N. Security Council he is “deeply worried” that all the pledges of personnel, material and money are not enough to stop ebola.

Speaking via a video link from Ghana where the new U.N. mission is based, Banbury said that if the international effort to get ahead of the virus fails, the response plan they have cannot be scaled to a much larger crisis.

“We either stop ebola now, or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan," said Banbury.

He said the World Health Organization estimates there will be 10,000 cases of ebola each week by Dec. 1.  Banbury said the agency advises that 70 percent of infected people must be in a care facility and 70 percent of burials must be done without causing further infections by that date.

“If we can reach those targets, then we can turn this epidemic around," he said.

Banbury said many gaps still need to be filled in the ebola response.  In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three most affected countries where all but a handful of the nearly 9,000 cases have occurred, he said several thousand more treatment beds with trained, paid staff are needed, as well as more diagnostic laboratories, burial teams, protective gear and vehicles.

He also warned that ebola is spreading most rapidly in urban areas, which will need specialized assistance.

U.S. will study sales plan
for famed Waldorf Astoria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government is reviewing the Hilton Co.'s planned sale of the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City to a Chinese insurance company.

A spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Kurtis Cooper, said Tuesday that last week's $1.95 billion sale to Anbang Insurance Group is being scrutinized. He said particular attention will be given to a planned major renovation included in the terms of the deal.

The Waldorf Astoria has been home to U.S. envoys to the U.N. for more than 50 years. U.S. President Barack Obama stays at the Waldorf Astoria when he is in town.

The State Department routinely warns U.S. diplomats in China about physical and electronic surveillance, and tells American citizens in that country to be aware of similar risks, notably in hotels.

Every September, the department takes over two floors of the Waldorf to serve as headquarters for the horde of U.S. diplomats who come from Washington for the U.N. General Assembly.

The sale allows Hilton to run the hotel for the next 100 years.

Three men in Cambodia
held in journalist's murder

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Three Cambodian men have been indicted for the weekend murder of a journalist who was investigating illegal logging activity.

La Narong, Kem Pheakdey and Pin Heng are accused of killing Taing Try, who was shot in the head Sunday in eastern Kratie province. Officials say the three, with ties to the police and military, are also accused of possession of illegal weapons.

Colleagues say Taing Try was investigating illegal logging in Kratie at the time of his death and at least one of the suspects is a timber trader.

Deputy Prosecutor Thuch Panchak Santepheap said that the case is still being built even though they have enough evidence to make arrests.

“We will see how consistent the case is and what witnesses have brought forward," he said. "We lay charges based on the evidence we have.”

Sok Sovan, president of the Khmer Journalists for Democracy Association, says Taing Try had received death threats prior to the shooting.

“I've urged the court to punish the perpetrators according to the law. There should not be any pardon for perpetrators and accomplices so that others won't follow this example.”

Threats, abuse and murder of journalists and activists, particularly those looking at illegal logging, are not uncommon in Cambodia, but arrests and prosecutions have been rare.

At least 14 journalists have been killed since 1990. Prior to this, the most recent one occurred in 2012 when Chhey Udom, who was also investigating illegal logging, was killed.

In that same year, environmental activist Chut Wutty was shot dead in an altercation with security forces while escorting two journalists through an area known for illegal logging.

Taing Try contributed work to a number of newspapers and is a member of the Khmer Journalists for Democracy Association.

Nigerian girls are missing
now for six months

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Parents and supporters in Nigeria have marked six months since Islamists abducted more than 200 girls from a secondary school.

Nigerian police on Tuesday blocked protesters demanding the release of the schoolgirls from marching on the president's official residence in the capital, Abuja.

April 14, dozens of fighters from Islamist militant group Boko Haram stormed an undefended secondary school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, carting away around 270 girls, more than 200 of whom remain in captivity.

Fifty-seven managed to escape and Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau later threatened to sell the remainder as slave brides, vowing they would not be released until militant prisoners were freed from jail.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been criticized at home and abroad for his slow response to the kidnapping and for the inability of Nigerian troops to quell the violence by the militants, seen as the biggest security threat to Africa's top economy and leading energy producer.

Faults in northern California
believed ready for quake

By the Seismological Society of America news staff

Four urban sections of the San Andreas Fault system in northern California have stored enough energy to produce major earthquakes, according to a new study that measures fault creep. Three fault sections, Hayward, Rodgers Creek and Green Valley, are nearing or past their average recurrence interval, according to the study published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The earthquake cycle reflects the accumulation of strain on a fault, its release as slip, and its re-accumulation and re-release. Fault creep is the slip and slow release of strain in the uppermost part of the Earth's crust that occurs on some faults between large earthquakes, when much greater stress is released in only seconds. Where no fault creep occurs, a fault is considered locked and stress will build until it is released by an earthquake.

This study estimates how much creep occurs on each section of the San Andreas Fault system. Enough creep on a fault can diminish the potential size of its next earthquake rupture.

"The extent of fault creep, and therefore locking, controls the size and timing of large earthquakes on the Northern San Andreas Fault system," said James Lienkaemper, a co-author of the study and research geophysicist at U.S. Geological Survey. "The extent of creep on some fault sections is not yet well determined, making our first priority to study the urban sections of the San Andreas, which is directly beneath millions of Bay Area residents."

Understanding the amount and extent of fault creep directly impacts seismic hazard assessments for the region. The San Andreas Fault system consists of five major branches that combine for a total length of approximately 1,250 miles. Sixty percent of the fault system releases energy through fault creep, ranging from 0.1 to 25.1 millimeters (.004 to 1 inch) per year, and about 28 percent remains locked at depth, according to the authors.

Monitoring of creep on Bay Area faults has expanded in recent years. The alignment array measurements made by the San Francisco State University Creep Project and recently expanded GPS station networks provide the primary data on surface creep, which the authors used to estimate the average depth of creep for each fault segment. Where available, details of past ruptures of individual faults, unearthed in previous paleoseismic studies, allowed the authors to calculate recurrence rates and the probable timing and size of future earthquakes.

According to the study, four faults have accumulated sufficient strain to produce a major earthquake. Three creeping faults have large locked areas (less than 1 millimeter or .04 inches of creep per year) that have not ruptured in a major earthquake of at least magnitude 6.7 since the reporting of earthquakes by local inhabitants: Rodgers Creek, northern Calaveras and southern Green Valley. The southern Hayward fault, which produced a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in 1868, is now approaching its mean recurrence time based on paleoseismic studies.

The authors also estimate three faults appear to be nearing or have exceeded their mean recurrence time and have accumulated sufficient strain to produce large earthquakes: the Hayward (M 6.8), Rodgers Creek (M 7.1) and Green Valley (M 7.1).

"The San Andreas Fault and its two other large branches, the Hayward and Northern Calaveras, have been quiet for decades. This study offers a good reminder to prepare today for the next major earthquake," said Lienkaemper.

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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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
house 865
Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
House 868
Beautiful house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 810 m2 of land, Price $178.000. Click HERE!
House 866
Beautiful large house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather,1.006 m2 of land, Price $290.000.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

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Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office  with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call Nate @ 8635-9320.
From the US call 209-482-1788.
Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
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 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.

Two lovely homes on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-story, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-story 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet.   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

house photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and


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  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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call center
Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 204
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
This backhoe was part of the equipment used by three men who were caught removing sand without permits from a bank of the  Río Nazareth en Liberia, Guanacaste. The three have a court date now.

Budovsky pleads innocent in Manhattan

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Arthur Budovsky, the founder of Liberty Reserve, pleaded innocent Tuesday in Manhattan federal court

Budovsky was extradited Friday from Spain to face charges related to his alleged operation of the virtual currency that was used by cybercriminals around the world to launder the proceeds of their illegal activity. Budovsky, 40, a citizen of Costa Rica, was arrested in Spain in May 2013, as a result of an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court.

Following his extradition by Spanish authorities, Budovsky arrived in New York Friday afternoon. He was arraigned Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote. She set a date for trial next year.  Budovsky remains in jail.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Friday: “As alleged, Arthur Budovsky founded Liberty Reserve to enable criminals in the United States and around the world to process illegal payments and to launder billions of dollars in crime proceeds anonymously and beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement. Budovsky allegedly operated Liberty Reserve from Costa Rica and renounced his United States citizenship to evade the authorities. Now, thanks to the cooperative efforts of our law enforcement partners here and in Spain, Arthur Budovsky has been apprehended and will face justice in an American courtroom.”

Liberty Reserve was born out of Budovsky’s unsuccessful experience running a third-party exchange service, called Gold Age, Inc., for another digital currency, called E-Gold. In 2006, Budovsky was convicted in New York State of operating Gold Age, Inc., as an unlicensed money transmitting business. In 2007, the operators of E-Gold were also charged with criminal offenses, including money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business,, and subsequently ceased doing business. In the wake of his own criminal conviction, Budovsky set about building a digital currency that would succeed in eluding law enforcement where E-Gold had failed, by, among other ways, locating the business outside the United States, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Budovsky emigrated to Costa Rica, where he and other defendants began operating Liberty Reserve.

Liberty Reserve billed itself as the Internet’s “largest payment processor and money transfer system.” Liberty Reserve was created, structured, and operated to help users conduct transactions anonymously.

Liberty Reserve emerged as one of the principal money transfer agents used by cybercriminals around the world to distribute, store, and launder the proceeds of their illegal activity, federal official said.

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From Page 7:

Young engineers competing at expo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An estimated 104 students will display their projects today and Thursday at the  ExpoINGENIERÍA, the national fair that features the engineering efforts of secondary school children.

The event is at the  Colegio Técnico Profesional de Ulloa in Barreal de Heredia. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday after judging is complete.

There are 57 projects, including robotics, biotechnology, computer science, electrical and electronic engineering and environmental management, said an announcement.