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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 208                 Email us
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Jo Stuart
Cascata del Bosco

A.M. Costa Rica/Barry Hovland at 10 Degrees Above



Confetti rains down on Carnaval goers in Limón Sunday as the annual event drew to a close.

Our story is HERE!

Epidemic from Nicaragua killed 10 percent of population
Many more defenses now against cholera than in 1856

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The cholera epidemic in central México concerns health officials here, but the disease is unlikely to be much of a problem even if cases are discovered here.

The World Health Organization notes that there has been a steady number of small cases in Costa Rica.  The available data said that Costa Rica has had a few cases reported each year and that 36 cases in 1994 was the most in one year. There was one death in 1996.

Cholera, a bacterial disease, has ravaged Haiti and the Dominican Republic since the earthquake there. There has been an epidemic in Cuba, and now four states in México report cases.

World Health said that the Ministry of Health in Mexico has reported 171 confirmed cases, including one death, of infection with Vibrio cholerae between Sept. 9 to Friday.

The disease is spread by water or food contaminated with fecal matter. The Mayo Clinic has attributed the Mexican outbreak to contaminated shellfish.

Reports of an epidemic here is not what the tourism industry needs as the high season approaches.

Health officials were wary when Mexican soccer fans came to a World Cup preliminary match. The truth is that hundreds of persons probably are walking around with the cholera bacteria and not showing any signs.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social attributes a campaign of hand washing among school children for reducing all forms of diarrhea in that age group. The Caja said that there have been 254,219 reported cases of diarrhea this year. None is believed to be cholera.

The 7-year-old hand washing campaign received a boost with reports of bird flu.

Cholera also can be spread by hand. But the usual vehicle is contaminated water. Modern practices by the country's water companies are a big barrier to such epidemics.

That was not the case in 1856 when Costa Rican troops fought and defeated units loyal to U.S. filibuster William Walker. The victory at the battle of Rivas, Nicaragua, quickly was followed by a raging epidemic among Costa Rican troops. When Juan Rafael Mora Porras, the president and military leader, ordered the troops back to Costa Rica, he inadvertently created a panic and conditions so that 10 percent of the country's population died.

Roberto Le Franc Ureña summaries the existing literature in a paper he wrote for a University of
Costa Rica historical magazine in 2007. He reported that the troops left a trail of cadavers along the roadways as they marched to the Central Valley. He also said some soldiers took a water route home via the Río San Juan. Those who died on the trip were dumped into the river, thereby spreading the bacteria to others, he noted.

An unrelated Facebook page recounts the story of a Desamparados couple who decided to make a will in the face of the epidemic. They were Manuel Morales Meléndez and María Josefa Fallas Retana. A short time later the man became one of the 10,000 who died from the disease, the report says. The page is interesting because it contains photographs of the longhand will that the couple dictated.

Le Franc reports that in May 1856, the month after the epidemic began, public officials called on churchmen to add their efforts. A pilgrimage to the Dulce Nombre del Niño Jesús began then at the Iglesia de El Carmen in San José that has endured to this day.

A more upbeat tale also emerged from the epidemic. An elderly man named Bizcochio participated in the pilgrimage playing a violin each year. The tale is among those compiled Elías Zeledón in "Leyendas Costarricenses." The man said he contracted cholera to such an extent that he appeared to be dead to those around him.

Although he could not talk or move, he was aware that he was heaped on a cart with other epidemic victims and taken to an open common grave.

After he and the other bodies were dumped into the trench, heavy rains came so that workmen did not cover the corpses with earth. The rain appears to have refreshed him and he managed to crawl from his grave and somehow make his way home.

He awoke the next day better and surrounded by his family. That was after his sister saw him standing at the front door returned from the grave. She collapsed, said the tale. The man participated in the pilgrimage each year as a way of thanking God for his delivery.

Modern medicine can treat the dehydration brought about by the cholera diarrhea. There also are vaccinations and antibiotics that did not exist in 1856.

Costa Rica does harbor some problems. Most of the Central Valley sewage flows into the Gulf of Nicoya, which is where many seafood products are harvested. That could be a source of infection if cholera becomes epidemic here.

Fortunately most of the country's food products have not presented a bacterial or parasite problem as they have been in other countries where contaminated water is used for cultivation.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 208

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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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Our readers' opinions
Another hidden U.S. tax
is self-employment levy

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Another small detail that is very important to add to your factual article is one regarding U.S. taxes: Most expats will look at the tax threshold of $95,100 and say "no problem" as they never made that amount even when working. However, self-employment tax is another matter. U.S. citizens still have a tax liability if they earn as little as $400 a year. Even a small side business can generate a hefty tax along with an even stronger penalty for failure to pay and late payment (two different penalties.)  Indeed, "Uncle Sam has a long memory."  An expat can face years worth of back taxes and penalties that can add to the misery of not knowing all the facts beforehand.
S. M. Brooks

Expat explains exactly why
he and wife are leaving here

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Here's why we've decided to leave Costa Rica

You've heard all the complaints of Costa Rica before. So had we. Our thoughts were usually of dismissal and in hindsight denial. We actually got mad and were secretly telling them to leave if they didn't like it.  The common statistics for expatriates living in Costa Rica are not good. Most move back within five years. But, I thought our situation was different. I'm married to a Tica. She speaks English, and I speak Spanish. We live in a local community and most of our friends are Ticos. She's a professional, and we live frugally.

We also have had many friends who are in similar situations to ours: foreigners married to Costa Ricans. Almost all have left. When I first came to Costa Rica nine years ago, life was different. People bitched about other things, like the roads. But for a while things seemed to be getting a bit better. Unfortunately, we can't think of anything that is getting better now. The price of groceries and restaurants is crazy (I know, eat rice & beans), gas is the highest in Central America, Consumer prices are ridiculous, and real estate prices are not even close to being justified.

On the surface the Caja looks good. But if you need to see a doctor, try lining up for hours to see one. And, you'll never see the same doctor twice. So we always use private doctors. They used to be reasonable but not anymore.

Most doing business here will sing a similar song. Fees, regulations, bureaucracy, permitting and labor costs have all spiked. Many business people that I know have closed their operations down or are struggling to survive. Electricity costs have doubled in a few years. The tourism and hospitality industries are in pain, mostly because they've been forced to price themselves out of the market. Taxes have gone up on rental income, homes over $230,000 and S.A.'s. 50 percent of the Costa Rican government's annual expenditures are made with borrowed funds, not sustainable says the big credit rating agencies. Now the government is pondering new taxes like targeting passive income (interest), money coming into the country, a VAT and a wealth tax. The official unemployment rate is already over 10 percent and supposed to rise.

My wife is educated and holds two masters degrees. She has seniority, and yet she takes home about $1,200. This is very good compared to most in Costa Rica. For the average Tico, life is incredibly difficult. Mortgage and loan rates are nuts. We realized that things were different when we had our first child. It's difficult to find activities for them. Playing in the neighborhood is unheard of without supervision. The streets and roads are dangerous: no pedestrian rights and terrible drivers. Everybody lives either with locked gates, bars, razor wire or in tight gated communities. There is spectacular nature, but you have to drive for hours to get to it and fight horrendous traffic. Pollution is terrible: garbage everywhere, sewage in the rivers, the air in the Central Valley is horrible and trash is an epidemic countrywide. The public schools are substandard (in my opinion), and private schools have become very expensive.

Over the last few year most people that we know, expats, or expats married to Costa Ricans, have left. We were always slightly offended when another one did. But, now we've given up the fight and are starting a new life elsewhere (Canada). We'll come back to Costa Rica to visit the wonderful nature and our relatives. Maybe we'll enjoy it more in small doses.

Bill Hiller,
Santo Domingo

Tragedy brings the community
together as a single family

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

People have spoken at length, here and elsewhere, about the differences between living in the United States and in Costa Rica, but recent experiences have lead me to what may be the heart of the matter, at least for many of us.

There was a disaster in our small area near Lake Arenal.  A man and his son were swept downhill by a landslide and buried beneath tons of debris.

And everything seemed to stop.

This was not a case of a man who jumped in his car and went to work 25 miles from home to an office filled with strangers who had all come from other areas 25 miles away.  This was a man who walked to work or rode a few miles with someone who picked him up on the road.  He wasn’t hitchhiking, just walking and waiting.  He was a man who worked with his hands, milking cows, cutting brush, moving stones.  He was a man with a family, and everyone seemed to know him, his wife, his children.  They knew his parents, too, and his parents’ families.  They were related, intertwined, a community.

And then he fell; he and his young son.  And everything seemed to stop.

Everything except the community.  They were there, in force.  Not just fire and rescue, but men who left work with shovels and picks.  Men who had to work, but who came after work, or were sent by their employers.  More picks.  More shovels.   They went down into the arroyo, 30 feet below the road.  They stood in the mud and the rain and worked.  There was danger of further landslides, collapses, and still they worked.  They refused to come up to the trucks where women waited with food and water, so provisions were thrown down into the arroyo for them, or carried down in baskets.

Women were there with their children who could not be left at home.  Women who stood and waited with the family; women who gave support and comfort and hope.  Women with strong hands and strong hearts.

And Gringos were there too, saying, “We are one family, one community.”   The strong worked alongside of the men in the arroyo.  The women helped with food and support.

We are one family, one community.

Today we celebrate a Mass for the family.  Our family.  Here in Costa Rica, we know that we are united.  That death can separate us from loved ones, but that the family goes on.

And somehow it seems that here, in Costa Rica, we are finally getting it right.

Victoria Torley

All gas fuel is not the same,
and uncertainty is dangerous

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

When you report price changes for gasoline price, you often report the LPG price change. Sometimes you refer to the product as  "Liquid Natural Gas" (LNG).  It is dangerous to confuse the two. Appliances need to be set up for the gas to be supplied.  In Costa Rica,  the fuel is LPG.
LPG is mostly propane and/or butane, it is heavier than air and in confined spaces leaks settle to the lowest level, where it can suffocate sleeping persons and be ignited.  Improper combustion can easily lead to carbon monoxide, a colorless odorless poisonous gas.

LNG is mostly methane, must be stored at a cold temperature to stay as a liquid and tanks need to be heavily insulated. When it is a gas, it is lighter than air and rises to the ceiling in confined spaces.  In the U.S.A., natural gas is available at most suburban and urban areas, delivered thru underground pipes, but not as a liquid.
Appliances imported thru regular commercial routes are probably set for LPG, but appliances that are imported used and/or for personal use may be set up for natural gas.   
John Osborn

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 208
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A.M. Costa Rica/Barry Hovland at 10 Degrees Above
                             Turtle eggs for sale                                                            Muscular men escort Carnaval queen.
If it's loud, funky or sexy
Carnaval is where it belongs

By Kimberly A. Beck
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A person could visit the city of Limón on the Caribbean Coast 364 days of the year and leave with the impression that the Limonese carry around with them an inherent sadness. The city looks like it is all work and no play from November through September. There are few smiles shared by strangers on the street.

It is because the Limonese are a private people. In their past they have been used (think early railroad work camps), shunned (Limoneses were not allowed to travel past Turrialba until after 1949) and 22 years ago an earthquake dislodged the foundation of prosperity and stunted the cities growth.  In every generation there has been a need for young people to re-build the efforts of their grandparents. In Costa Rica, outside of the province the city has a reputation of crime and darkness.

Then for two weeks after Oct. 12th, the Day of Cultures or Columbus Day as it is known in other countries, there is the Carnaval, a two-week celebration of culture and passion. The original carnaval made its debut in 1949 and was orchestrated by a Limonese community leader known as Mr. King. The parade was designed to celebrate the new Constitution that was enacted by Jose Figueres, a three-time president who gave the Jamaican immigrants of Limón citizen status and allowed women to vote. Figueres also abolished the Costa Rica army the same year.

The main event, the Grand Carnaval is actually just a huge parade that mixes local marching bands, sexy dance troupes and palm leaf decorated semi-trucks carrying floats through the streets. A beauty competition at the beginning of the two week festivities births a carnival queen who this year was romantically displayed as Botticelli’s "Birth of Venus" with the Latin touch of half dressed male dancers to titillate the crowd. This year’s parade also included a section of carburetor toys such as choppers, 4-wheelers and a dune buggy.

Anything goes as long as it is loud, funky or sexy.

The crowd left very little room for the parade to pass. People in equally colorful clothing pushed closer and closer to the action. The crowd at Carnaval is one of the most diverse that can be found in Latin America. Black, White, Red and Yellow or Afro-Caribbean, tourists, Indians and Chinese made up the stunning kaleidoscope of people that lined the streets.

A.M. Costa Rica/Barry Hovland at 10 Degrees Above
Young and younger models from a local academy had their own float.

Most people brought coolers full of their own refreshments and used them as a comfy place to sit for the 2 hours of  waiting past the 1 p.m. planned start time. The bars along the parade route were selling beers for a meager 1,000 colons. Street meat smoke added to the dancer’s mystique and if a family member forgot a hat, chair, toy or cotton candy there was always a vendor nearby to make a sale.

Once the streets are cleaned Limón will probably go quietly back underground to plan for its future. A future which includes an investment of $400 million to expand the main highway, route 32, a new refinery and $948 million in Moin’s newly designed shipping port. Will this be the catalyst for making the streets come alive the other days of the year? The answer will surely be found in next year’s Carnaval.

Strange death of healthy steer
prompts concern about big cats

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is something roaming the area between the Rincón de la Viaja and Marivalles volcanos that, in the words of a cattleman, is "not something you would want to meet on a wooded trail after dark."

Whatever the creature is it took down a 349-kilogram (768-pound) steer. The 16-month old animal was reported to be in good condition, so the cattleman and his farm manager are ruling out a natural death followed by attacks by scavengers.

Speculation runs to a cougar or a jaguar, a big, strong one. Both the farm's manager and a hired hand said they never saw an animal die like this, said the owner, Loray Greiner of La Garita.

Greiner said the property is in Guayabo de Bagaces. He saw a young black cat in the area not long ago, but he said he doubts that a juvenile cat could take on a nearly adult steer.

"Of course, I hope we don't have any more attacks like this," said Greiner.  "Losing a steer like this was costly.  But I don't blame the cat, and I certainly wouldn't allow my workers to harm it.  We'll just have to hope that it doesn't return.  And if it does, we'll have to come up with some ideas to scare it off without harming it."
A.M. Costa Rica via Loray Greiner
Animal was attacked from below

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 208
Real Estate
About us

Frog fungus toxin might contain key for treatments against cancer
By the Vanderbilt University news service

A fungus that is killing frogs and other amphibians around the world releases a toxic factor that disables the amphibian immune response, Vanderbilt University investigators reported in the journal Science.

The findings represent “a step forward in understanding a long-standing puzzle — why the amphibian immune system seems to be so inept at clearing the fungus,” said Louise Rollins-Smith, associate professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology. Although the identity of the toxic fungal factor or factors remains a mystery, its ability to inhibit a wide range of cell types — including cancerous cells — suggests that it may offer new directions for the development of immunosuppressive or anti-cancer agents.

The populations of amphibian species have been declining worldwide for more than 40 years. In the late 1990s, researchers discovered that an ancient fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, was causing skin infections, and the fungus is now recognized as a leading contributor to global amphibian decline.

Ms. Rollins-Smith, an immunologist, and her colleagues have been studying the immune response to the fungus for more than 10 years.

“Amphibians have excellent and complex immune systems, nearly as complex as humans, and they should be able to recognize and clear the fungus,” she said.

In early studies, the investigators demonstrated that some frogs produce anti-microbial peptides in the skin that offer a first layer of defense against the fungus. But when the fungus gets into the layers of the skin, Ms. Rollins-Smith said, the conventional immune response, lymphocytes, should be activated to clear it.

“We think it’s not a block at the initial recognition stage,” Rollins-Smith said. “The macrophages and neutrophils can see it as a pathogen, they can eat it up, they can do their thing.”

But during the next stage of the immune response, when lymphocytes
poison dart frog
Vanderbilt University/Louise Rollins-Smith
Poison dart frogs like this one in Panamá are threatened by fungal infections that paralyze their immune response.

should be activated, the fungus exerts its toxic effects. The investigators demonstrated that B. dendrobatidiscells and the incubation liquid separated from the cells impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced cell death of lymphocytes from frogs, mice and humans. The toxic fungal factor also inhibited the growth of cancerous mammalian cell lines.

“Fungal infection causes rapid behavioral changes — frogs become lethargic and start to crawl out of the water — suggesting that even though the fungus stays in the skin, the toxic material is having effects elsewhere,” the researcher said.

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Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

Howard Spanish cover


ALL you need to handle most daily situation. ALL of the Tico slang you cannot find in a dictionary. Practical pronunciation exercises to help you lose your Gringo accent. Social situations and everything else you need to know in the #1 Best-selling “Christopher Howard’s Official Guide to Costa Rica Spanish.”  Also see our #1 Web site on Google  for FREE Spanish lessons. eBook available through

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costa Rica Starter Kit

    * The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to Retirement
             and Living  in Costa Rica”
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    * Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish”
    * Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos
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Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica? offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our Web page:

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

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

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

house for rent
House for rent on a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden on a bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms plus extra room for office, security, electric gate, Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $475 monthly. Call 2267-6306  Or email:

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.

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542,

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.

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 208
Real Estate
About us


Pacific Estates

FLying car
Terrafugia photo
This is the Transition of display at an air show.

Company promises flying car
for dodging the highway messes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tired of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic?

In just two years, a company called Terrafugia says it will offer flying cars for sale.

The company plans production of two aircraft, the Transition, which has folding wings and must be driven to an airport for takeoff, and the TF-X, a car that could vertically take off and land.

“The potential benefit to humanity of a practical flying car is tremendous," says Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich. "The global impact of widely distributed, practical, personal airborne transportation has been estimated by the non-profit CAFE Foundation at approximately $800 billion/year. NASA has estimated it at $1 trillion/year. I believe it is impossible to quantify the benefit to humanity."

The Transition, which is much further along in development than the more conceptual TF-X, is expected to cost nearly $300,000, but the company says there were already 100 pre-orders earlier this year. The car uses the same engine for driving and flying, and can be run on premium gasoline instead of much costlier aviation fuel. On a full tank, the company says the plane has a range of about 800 kilometers.

Owners will have to have a valid driver’s license as well as a sport pilot certification to operate the Transition.

Terrafugia says the Transition must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of the automotive certification process.

Recent drive testing showed the craft is capable of stopping from a speed of 120 kilometers per hour in a distance of only 34 meters, according to the company.

Health care glitches face
study by House Republicans

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week will bring renewed scrutiny of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, a key portion of which has been hobbled by technical glitches since going online at the beginning of the month.

The U.S. government is funded once again, allowing landmarks like the National Zoo to reopen.
“The animals have missed you, the people have missed you. We need you back,” remarked National Zoo director Dennis Kelly as he welcomed back visitors following a 16-day shutdown.
The fiscal impasse that sent America to the edge of a debt default also diverted the nation’s attention from another problem: the roll-out of online health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Nearly three weeks since its launch, the system is barely functional, with many insurance shoppers unable to even create an account.
“It is just one dead end after the other. It is hour after hour after hour trying to find out where my insurance is and what it is going to cost,” said frustrated Obamacare user Dan Howard.
Later this week, the Republican-led House of Representatives will probe the glitches. The administration’s top health official, Kathleen Sebelius, has admitted problems in even tracking the number of successful users.
“How many enrolled? I cannot tell you, because I do not know," conceded Ms. Sebelius during a recent appearance on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.
Frustrations extend to President Obama, according to White House Spokesman Jay Carney.
“He is not happy with it and has insisted that everybody work 24/7  to fix the problems that exist,” said Carney.
Republican opposition to Obamacare was a major driver of the fiscal impasse that halted federal operations and risked a debt default. Many Republican lawmakers say they are reassessing their tactics, but will not abandon the fight against the law. Among the initiative’s chief critics is Sen. Ted Cruz
“My focus is, I think, where the American people’s focus is: what are we doing to provide real relief to the people who are hurting because of Obamacare?” said Cruz.

Meanwhile, Obama said there are three areas where he believes Democrats and Republicans can work together immediately.

In his first weekly address since a partial government shutdown ended and a threat of default was defused, the president said the two parties "should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget" that grows the economy faster and shrinks deficit spending further.

Obama said another area where they can work together was finishing the job of fixing the country's broken immigration system. He said the Senate has already passed a bill with strong bipartisan support, and now it was time for the House of Representatives to do the same.

The president said the third area where they should be able to make progress was passage of a farm bill "that protects vulnerable children and adults in time of need," and gives rural communities opportunities to grow.

In the Republican address, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said Obama's health care law was an affront to the freedoms on which the country was built. Cuccinelli, who is running for governor of Virginia, said the law was an overreach of federal government, and has been a national embarrassment.

JP Morgan Chase promises
to pay $13 billion penalty

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The largest bank in the United States has tentatively agreed to pay $13 billion in fines, penalties and consumer relief to settle several investigations into bad mortgage loans it allegedly made.

JP Morgan Chase and the U.S. Justice Department still have to finalize the deal, which also requires the bank to cooperate with a continuing criminal probe into the bank's mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial meltdown.

The settlement would represent the largest penalty ever paid by a single company. The $13 billion total would include $4 billion in aid for struggling homeowners, such as loan modifications.

A number of federal and state regulators claim that JP Morgan Chase misled investors about the quality of the mortgages it was selling between 2005 and 2007 When the so-called housing bubble burst in 2007, investors in those mortgages lost heavily.

The bank has set aside at least $23 billion in reserves to cover settlements and legal expenses related to its actions before and after the financial crisis.

New York man is in jail
as would-be terrorist recruit

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. authorities have arrested a 25-year-old New York man on charges that he tried to join an Al-Qaida-related organization in Yemen and conspired to commit murders overseas.

Marcos Alonso Zea, is known as "Ali Zea," was arrested Friday at his home in Brentwood, on Long Island.

He is charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, attempting to support terrorists and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, known as Ansar al-Sharia, and obstruction of justice.

He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

Last year, Zea attempted to fly to Yemen but was stopped by British officials because he lacked the documents to enter Yemen. He was returned to the United States.

Former House speaker Foley
reported to have died at 84

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former U.S. speaker of the House of Representatives, Tom Foley, has died at the age of 84.

Foley's wife, Heather, confirmed his death Friday and said the cause was complications from strokes.

The Democratic lawmaker served in the House for 30 years, rising through the ranks to eventually become speaker in 1989.

The politician was known for his ability to be a consensus builder and his dislike of extreme partisanship.

While in office, Foley always served in the majority party, during a time when the Democratic Party controlled the House of Representatives for a stretch of 40 years.

When the Republicans won control of the chamber in 1994, Foley was one of many Democrats voted out of office. He became the first speaker to be voted from office by his constituents since the Civil War.

Foley later served as U.S. ambassador to Japan during the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Sleep is cleanup period
for brain, study reports

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

While we’re asleep, our brains are doing more than recharging for the next day.  They’re also tidying up, using a cleaning process scientists hope could lead to treatments for dirty brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Sleep can flush toxins from the brain that accumulate during the course of the day according to a study which may change understanding about the biological purpose of sleep.

“This study shows that the brain has different functional states when asleep and when awake,” said Maiken Nedergaard,  co-director of the University of Rochester's Center for Translational Neuromedicine and lead author of the article. “In fact, the restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness.”

Researchers said the study revealed that the brain’s unique method of waste removal – dubbed the glymphatic system – is highly active during sleep, clearing away toxins responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. Furthermore, the researchers found that during sleep the brain’s cells reduce in size, allowing waste to be removed more effectively.

Since the lymphatic system, which is responsible for disposing cellular waste from the rest of the body, does not extend to the brain, scientists had long puzzled about how the brain cleaned itself.

Using two-photon microscopy to study mice brains, the researchers discovered what they call a plumbing system that piggybacks on the brain’s blood vessels and pumps cerebral spinal fluid through the brain’s tissue, flushing waste back into the circulatory system and onto the liver for filtering.

The accumulation of waste in the brain can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers said that since pumping spinal fluid demands a great deal of energy, it might perhaps be better to do it when the brain is not occupied with processing information during waking hours.

“The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must chose between two different functional states – awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up,” said Nedergaard. “You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can’t really do both at the same time.”

Researchers also found that cells in the brain shrink by 60 percent during sleep. They said the contraction allows more space between the cells, which allows the CSF to flow through more freely.

“These findings have significant implications for treating dirty brain disease like Alzheimer’s,” said Nedergaard. “Understanding precisely how and when the brain activates the glymphatic system and clears waste is a critical first step in efforts to potentially modulate this system and make it work more efficiently.”

The study was published in the journal Science.

Origin of flowering plants
pushed by 100 million years

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A scientist has been searching for the origin of flowering plants, which evolved to dominate the landscape. He reports his findings in a new study that pushes back the date of the earliest flower by 100 million years, to a period when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Twenty-five years ago, geologist Peter Hochuli was on an expedition in Norway when he made a discovery in a sediment core, a long round sample of soil or rock, that puzzled him. 

“And there I found first these amazing pollen grains which looked to me like the ones that I knew from the Cretaceous,” he said.

That is the relatively warm geological period 140 million years ago, when dinosaurs dominated the landscape, and scientists believe new groups of mammals and birds, as well as flowering plants, appeared. The problem was that he had dated the core to the Triassic, or 100 million years earlier in earth’s history. 

“But for many of my colleagues, it didn’t fit the picture that these pollen are occurring in the middle Triassic. So I thought they were contaminants, and I suspected that they came from the lab. In the lab they also prepared Cretaceous sediments. So I also thought they made kind of a mess,” said Hochuli.

But he does not think so anymore. Now a paleo-botanist at the University of Zurich, Hochuli has focused his research on finding the origin of flowering plants, which evolved from extinct plants related to today’s conifers, seed ferns and pollen.

Hochuli works with organic fossils, those leaves, woody particles, spores and pollen extracted from sediment cores. His new study in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science describes pollen extracted from sediment cores in Switzerland. Interestingly, the date is consistent with his earlier suspicions more than two decades ago.

“I think that it is the direct line in the evolution of flowering plants. We are sure that the assemblages of the pollen and spores we found, they are about 240 million years old,” said said Hochuli.

The finding extends the uninterrupted sequence of fossilized pollen from flowers by 100 million years. Hochuli said his previous study in 2004 documented different, but clearly related, flowering plant-like pollen from the Barents Sea, some 4,800 kilometers away. 

“And I think they are more widespread and more common than we originally thought. Originally we thought that this Barents Sea area would be kind of the cradle of the flowering plant evolution, but that is certainly not the case,” said Hochuli.

Charles Darwin described the origin of plants as an abominable mystery because they appeared to spread across the earth in such a relatively short time. While Hochuli’s work pushes the date back, he said gaps remain and the record is spotty.

“I’m searching for the roots. I’m searching for a group of plants, which are at the base of the flowering plants,” he said.

Hochuli said more fossil evidence is needed to confirm his findings, a task he committed his life to find.

Fire destroys warehouses
of major sugar exporter

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A fire Friday destroyed up to 300,000 tons of sugar and much of the Santos Port warehouses owned by Copersucar, the world's largest trader of the sweetener, the port authority of Santos said.
Copersucar says nearly a fifth of the world's sea-borne sugar trade flows through its trading desks.
ICE March raw sugar prices rose more than 6 percent to a one-year high on news of the fire, before paring gains. By 8:40 a.m. ET the contract was up 3 percent at 19.58 cents per pound.
“Three warehouses were destroyed by the fire and we are trying to control the fire now in a fourth,” said a representative for the fire department in Santos, adding that four people were hurt.
Copersucar has six warehouses with capacity to hold 50,000-100,000 tons each at the Santos port, the world's main source of raw sugar shipments. Copersucar officials said they had no additional information about the containment and damage of the blaze beyond what the fire department has reported.
Live television footage showed a three-story high mountain of sugar engulfed in flames inside a warehouse that had lost most of its siding and roof to the flames.
Some of the overhanging conveyor belts that transport sugar between the warehouses and eventually to waiting ships at the terminal in Santos appeared to have toppled over or were lying on the pavement alongside some of the warehouse.
Brazil is at the tail end of a record 585 million ton center-south cane harvest that is expected to produce 34 million tons of sugar. Roughly 15 percent of the crop remains to be crushed.
In June, Copersucar had inaugurated an expansion  project at Santos that doubled its export capacity to 10 million tons a year.
Copersucar represents 47 sugar mills in Brazil and recorded revenues of $4.1 billion in 2012. The company had hoped in June to expand its trading volume to nine million tons from 7.2 million tons in 2012.
Codesp, which manages the day-to-day operations at Santos, said the fire broke out shortly after 6 a.m. local time after which a ship berthed at the terminal was removed.
The fire appeared to have been preceded by an explosion, an event not uncommon with bulk commodities like grains or sugar. The dust and gasses emitted by such bulk commodities are extremely combustible.
When large stockpiles of sugar catch fire, it can be extremely difficult to extinguish the fire quickly. As the sugar burns it create a carbonized outer shell as the fire burns into the center of the mound that inhibits the penetration of water and chemicals that would otherwise snuff out the blaze.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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

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

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 768
1,000 square meters of land and 350 square meters of construction. HERE!
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Mateo pool


Includes 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-story house built to American standards with a balcony overlooking full-sized swimming pool and rancho with a bathroom and a shower room, and landscaped tropical gardens.  There are two large storage buildings, a carport and electric-gate access to the enclosed property.  It is a short drive to the highways to San José and the beaches.  Owner financing available.  Please call: +506 2446-4901

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

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email:

Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD,    Cell 8916-5550.

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

Naranjo views


4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone

Guiones retreat
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email

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:

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. $180,000 506-8869-9274.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11
A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose,  Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas.  And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive ground-work that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to  even greater success.  Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

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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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday,  Oct. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 208
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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

Heavy Sunday afternoon rain
soaks Central Valley, hills

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Central Valley and nearby mountains got up to 80 millimeters of rain (more than three inches) over just six hours Sunday.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the instability was caused by high temperatures and a lot of humidity in the atmosphere.

The automatic weather station in Barrio Aranjuez said that the area received 40 millimeters Sunday afternoon.  That's about 1.5 inches.

The rain tapered off about 7 p.m. but the weather institute said that rivers were running out of their banks and that some bridges had collapsed.

It said that the area was vulnerable to flooding and other weather woes because the ground was soaked.

Bandits disrupt breakfast
and take about $60,000

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four businessmen who make trips to Panamá to purchase goods for sale became victims of bandits about 6:30 a.m. Sunday near the Río Tarcoles, said judicial agents.

The four men were traveling from Barranca to Colón, Panamá, but stopped for breakfast, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. Once they began to eat breakfast, four masked men on two motorcycles arrived and produced weapons. They took the briefcases of the men, which contained money for the purchases, agents said.

The stickup netted crooks about 30, million colons or about $60,000, they said.

Medical wastes showing up
on Pacific Playa Potrero

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats report that needles and vials of blood have turned up on Playa Potrero in Guanacaste.  The trash is presumed to be medical waste that was disposed of improperly.

The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas received a report, and expats hope the agency will be able to determine from where the material originated.

Such needles and blood can spread infections and other ills.

Travel show Nov. 7

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Seventh Travel Show Expo 2013 will be Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Gran Hotel Costa Rica in San Jose's downtown. Admission is free.

Costa Rican News
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From Page 7:

Google shares break $1,000 barrier

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Google, Inc., shares jumped past $1,000 Friday as investors bet on the Internet company's continued dominance of the mobile and video advertising businesses despite aggressive competition from Facebook, Inc., and Yahoo, Inc.

Shares of the world's No. 1 search company rose more than 14 percent to an all-time high of $1,015.46, swelling its market value by about $40 billion.

That vaulted Google past Microsoft Corp. and Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., in capitalization and brought it to No. 3 among U.S. companies, behind only Apple, Inc.,  and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Google, whose Android is the world's most-used mobile software and whose YouTube is the most popular video-streaming service, Thursday reported a 23 percent jump in net revenue from its Internet business. Advertising volume soared 26 percent, the highest rate of growth in the past year and more than made up for an 8 percent slide in ad prices.

But given concerns about how U.S. companies can increase revenue in an uncertain global economy, those numbers suggested Google was firing on all cylinders except for its perennially money-losing Motorola unit, analysts said.

At least 16 brokerages raised their price targets on the stock to between $880 and $1,220. The shares were up 13.7 percent, or $121.82, at $1010.62 on Nasdaq at mid-afternoon.

“We view solid paid clicks growth to be a good indicator of demand, driven by the continued shift to mobile,” JPMorgan analysts said. They had expected 21.5 percent growth in ad volumes.

While much of Wall Street raised their price targets to above $1,000, Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group kept his at $880 and rated Google a hold.

Some analysts warn that spending on ambitious projects with as-yet unproven commercial potential, self-driving cars and wearable Google Glass being among them, may erode margins. Wieser estimated that, excluding traffic acquisition costs, gross margins slipped to 34.9 percent in the third quarter from 37.2 percent in the previous three months.