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(506) 2223-1327                                     Published Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 218                        Email us
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A little cold snap brings out the winter clothes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Central Valley is struggling through another cold snap where a bit of wind and temperatures below 70 F provoke complaints.

For some, the temperatures that may dip overnight to 16 C. are challenging. After all, that is about 61 F!

Still Costa Rican buildings are not made to withstand a cold snap. The windows leak and in some cases there are no windows at all. Mosquitoes are not a big threat in the Central Valley. Some upscale homes have fireplaces, but they usually are more trouble to light than they are worth.

Anyway, birds built nests in the chimney

Cartago is the cold spot of the nation with overnight temperatures at 16 C and with expected daytime temperatures today about 21  C. That's 70 F.

Folks living near the Turrialba volcano can almost pretend that the residual ash from the eruptions really is snow.

The wind does inflict a little damage to the face, almost like a sunburn. So today is the day to break out those winterish clothing, especially if
winter clothes
A.M. Costa Rica file photos
It's time to show winterish clothing.

there are youngsters who need protection.

The beaches, of course, will continue to register temperatures in the 80s during he day. However, there has been rain on the Caribbean coast and in the northern zone. More is expected today.

The north Pacific will get strong winds, said the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. The strongest will be in the mountains, perhaps as much as 80 kph, about 50 mph.

The good news is that the cold front is a harbinger of the dry seasons that is supposed to unfold earlier this year during this month.

Tech chamber opposed bills to monopolize industry
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The technology chamber again has urged rejection of a bill that would require anyone working in the  informática and computación fields to have a university degree and be a member of a restructured colegio or professional organization.

The chamber, the  Cámara de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación said that the twin bills, Nos.18.919 and 18.928, would jeopardize the development of digital technology in Costa Rica.

A colegio is a self-governing public entity of the type to which lawyer, physicans and other professionals belong.

The summary to the bill said that already 6,000 persons belong to the colegio. The bills would make membership and payment of dues obligatory, although still unclear is exactly what job categories would be covered.

The chamber said it became aware Monday that the bill had been reported out by a legislative
committee to possible action on the legislative floor.

Luis Carlos Chaves, president of the chamber, said in a release that the profession does not require a formal education or university. Many professionals are self-educated and are competent and capable.

He noted that the bills cover employment in the public and private sector.

The  Colegio de Profesionales en Informática y Computación has existed since the 1990s, but the bill would revise the rules and make membership obligatory.

The chamber has been lobbying against the bill since July, it said.

He said that those covered by the proposed legislation would be those who develop aps, software or Web pages either for personal use or for a customer.

The chamber is an association of some 200 technology companies.

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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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Banco Central trio face theft charges

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three employees of the Banco Central have been detained on the allegations they were making illegal withdrawals. Judicial police made the arrests Monday, but the trio had been under investigation and suspended from their jobs.

All three worked in the treasury of the Banco Central, and they were involved with receiving old banknotes that has deteriorated and banknotes that were being returned when the country changed its currency in 2012 and 2013.

The Poder Judicial said that the men were seen acting suspiciously on cameras.

There is no estimate yet on the amount of money taken, but police did say that the trio has purchased five automobiles and some property out of town.

Volcano reported remaining stable

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 13 schools remain closed in the vicinity of the Turrialba volcano, but officials noted Monday that the mountain has been stable for 48 hours with just some emissions of gas and steam.

The national emergency commission continues to obtain information from the residents about any damage they may have suffered.

Some of the dairy farmers have been moving their animals elsewhere. Some cows still are in the security zone set up around the volcano. They are being provided water and feed.

There still is an alert, and the national park that surrounds the volcano is closed. However, officials are permitting some access to the nearby sister volcano, Irazú, which also is the center of a national park.

Since the volcano erupted Thursday night, there has been a lot of activity by emergency workers. In addition, farmers are taking count of the produce that has been damaged by the sulfuric gases that some from the volcano.

There also is a rain of ash that can cover cattle pastures close to the volcano. Ash has been detected in the Central Valley as far away as Moravia and Puriscal.

Near the volcano officials said they count 13 communities with some type of volcano-caused problem. There are 62 families containing 164 persons, but many have moved away to stay with realatives, said the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias.

Measure would reform law on HIV

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The executive branch is supporting a proposal to reform the country's laws involving HIV. Under the new legislation employers could not fire an employe or put the worker in another department because of HIV.

In addition, if a person transmits HIV to another person unknowingly, he or she will not be subject to the current criminal penalties.

The proposal, which already was in the legislature, was outlined Monday by Ana Helena Chacón, second vice president. She said there were 694 new cases of HIV last year, and 56 of these evolved into AIDS.

The prevalence of HIV in Costa Rica is about  three tenth of a percent, according to medical estimates. That suggests 9,800 infected persons, according to Casa Presidencial. The report also said that 83 percent of the cases are male.

María Elena López, the health minister, said that the proposed legislation prohibits discrimination due to sexual orientation, ethnicity, handicap or a medical condition or illness. The legislation is being studied in the Comisión de Derechos Humanos  of the legislature.

Top cop becomes a data peeking suspect

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The controversy over judicial workers peeking into the files of a top soccer star is beginning to look like a political grudge match.

The chief prosecutor, Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, has ordered that the director of the Judicial Investigating Organization be included among the suspects, according to a statement released through the Poder Judicial. Chavarría  said that was because the director, Francisco Segura Montero, told reporters that he authorized two accesses to the Plataforma de Información Policial file of soccer star Keylor Navas.

Both  Segura and  Chavarría appeared before the Corte Suprema de Justicia Monday to explain their positions. The court issued rules to prohibit use of the data base except in the case of individuals under investigation.

Including Segura, there now are 25 judicial agents and four prosecutors under investigation for accessing the soccer star's file in June, July and August.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 218     
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Plan readied with goal to reduce deaths of those using motorcycles
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anyone who drives a vehicle in Costa Rica knows that motorcyclists are in a world of their own. They jump traffic lights, plow through lines of traffic and frequently have accidents.

Taking care of injured motorcycle drivers cost the  Instituto Nacional de Seguros $40 million last year.

The Consejo de Seguridad Vial  is trying to come up with a plan to reduce the deaths of motorcyclists by 20 percent over the next six years. However. the plan still is in the works with the help from the  Banco de Desarrollo para América Latina and international experts.
Among other approaches, the agency is considering a special driving course for those using motorcycles.

The bulk of the deaths are of young men in rural areas. Each weekend there seems to be at least four or five fatal motorcycle accidents. Many involve just the motorcycle that goes off the road and hits a tree or wall, Sometimes two motorcycles collide head-on with fatal results. The traffic safety agency did not mention it, but alcohol appears to have a role in some of the deaths.

Compared to automobiles, motorcycles are inexpensive, usually less than $1,000 and sometimes way less. Consequently their are attractive to youngsters.

Vandals in Limón torch
two tractor cabs overnight

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Vandals in Limón torched two tractor trailer cabs Sunday night and Monday morning.

The first was at the entrance to Limón 2000 on Ruta 32, the main access to the Moín docks. That was at 9 p.m., and the driver said he was ordered out of his cab at gunpoint.

At 2 a.m. there was a similar situation in Moín when armed men intercepted a tractor trailer  The Fuerza Pública said they detained some suspects. There were reports that homemade bombs were used.

There were no indications that the vandals were connected directly to the striking dock workers union.

Police managed to break up plans for additional lawlessness. They said they found 18 gasoline-soaked pallets and some 54 old vehicle tires that were designed to create burning barricades in the Caribbean communities.

Officers are urging truckers to avoid the area after daylight hours.

Meanwhile, Casa Presidencial has invited the defensora de los habitantes, Monserrat Solano Carboni, to participate in negotiations.

Víctor Morales Mora, issued the invitation is a letter. He is minister of Trabajo and is handling the negotiations. However, he restricted the topics for discussion and said that there would be no amnesty for strikers who were detained a week ago when police moved into the docks. He said the discussion should center on a Limón development plan that Casa Presidencial proposed last week.

Strikers want a contract with APM Terminals redone to give them more container handling at the public docks where they work. The government has continually refused to do that.
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
These tires were going to be burned by vandals

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Another lethal fungus could devastate populations of salamanders
By the  University of Maryland news staff

A deadly disease that is wiping out salamanders in parts of Europe will inevitably reach overseas through the international wildlife trade unless steps are taken to halt its spread, says University of Maryland amphibian expert Karen Lips.

Mortality was 100 percent among Eastern red-spotted newts (Nothophthalmus viridescens) exposed to a newly-named fungus emerging from Asia. The North American native is a popular aquarium pet.

The recently described fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, has caused a crash in wild populations of fire salamanders in the Netherlands.  After the fungus was discovered in Europe last year, Ms. Lips joined an international team of experts that tested more than 5,000 amphibians from four continents. Their results, published in the journal Science, show the fungus probably originated in Southeast Asia 30 million years ago and reached Europe through the international trade in Asian newts, which are popular with amphibian fanciers.

The fungus, which is lethal to at least a dozen European and North American salamander and newt species, has not yet reached the Americas, says Ms. Lips, an associate professor of biology and one of the world's top experts in amphibian diseases. Ms. Lips and a colleague, Cornell University Professor Kelly Zamudio, screened about 1,400 frogs, salamanders and newts from sites in North and South America and found no trace of the fungus.

But Chinese fire belly newts are potential carriers of B. salamandrivorans, and more than 2.3 million of them were imported into the U.S. for the pet trade between 2001 and 2009. If even a few of these animals have the fungus, "it's a question of when, not if, this fungus reaches North America," says graduate student Carly Muletz, a co-author of the Science paper.

Ms. Lips says scientists can act now to track, and ideally prevent, a disease outbreak from ravaging wild populations of newts and salamanders in the Americas. Current U.S. regulations focus on monitoring live animal imports to prevent the spread of diseases to humans and livestock, not to native wildlife, says Ms. Lips.

She and other experts recently briefed congressional staffers on the need to fill in this regulatory gap.

"If scientists and policy makers can work together on this, we have a rare opportunity to stop an epidemic from spreading around the globe with potentially deadly effect," says Ms. Lips.

North America is the global center of salamander biodiversity, home to more than 150 of the world's 655 known salamander species. Reclusive and mostly nocturnal, these rarely-seen creatures are the subjects of folklore  — associated with fire because of some species' brilliant coloring, poisons because of the toxins some produce to
University of Maryland/Edward Kabay
This is an Eastern red-spotted newts (Nothophthalmus viridescens)  shown here in its juvenile stage.

discourage predators, and immortality because of their ability to regenerate lost limbs.

B. salamandrivorans rapidly invades salamanders' skin, which plays a crucial role in the animals' respiratory system. Scientists don't yet know how it kills its hosts, Ms. Lips said, but a sister fungus, Batracochytrium dendrobatidis, also infects skin, interfering with amphibians' breathing and their ability to absorb water and essential minerals. B. dendrobatidis infects more than 520 amphibian species around the world, has caused steep declines in populations of frogs and salamanders, and has driven some species into extinction. The scientists fear B. salamandrivorans might prove equally devastating.

The researchers found that newts, a subgroup within the salamander family, are especially vulnerable to B. salamandrivorans.  When two common North American species — the Eastern red-spotted newt, a showy animal often kept as a pet, and the rough-skinned newt, which ranges from British Columbia to the Mexican border — were exposed to the fungus in laboratory tests, 100 percent of the animals died.

"We have billions of these newts living in the wild all across the continent," says Ms. Lips, "and because they're highly sensitive to this fungus, they could amplify it or spread it to other groups of salamanders. We don't know what the consequences of that might be."

Ms. Lips and her colleagues hope to establish a surveillance network to monitor wild salamander and newt populations for signs of the fungus. Lips and other experts are also calling for a testing program to sample animals in the wildlife trade that may carry the pathogen, to trace its movement and mitigate its impact.

"This study captures a pathogen's first steps out of Asia," says Ms. Zamudio. "The more globalized our world becomes, the more our biodiversity will be challenged by diseases moving into areas where they have never occurred before."

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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   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
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 for rent (paid category)
Enjoy living in the middle of wonderful mountains.
Fresh air, gorgeous forest. Near downtown but away from noisy city.  Nature lifestyle.  Beautiful chalet in a large property located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two baths, laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. Rate $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306


Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

Cottage in the mountain.  Surrounded by nature.  One bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms. Beautiful balcony and view. Bus line service, security.  $500 monthly.  Phone: 506-8739-0638  Email:

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

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. $1,000 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 inquire 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.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 218      
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New ebola cases seem to dip
in hard hit Liberia capital

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Liberian officials and the World Health Organization say the number of new ebola cases in Liberia appears to be falling but that it’s too soon to be sure.  Liberia has been the hardest hit by this regional epidemic with approximately half the total cases and deaths.

Ebola has killed at least 2,413 people in Liberia since April.  Some experts have suggested it could kill tens of thousands more by year’s end.

However, health authorities there say that over the past two weeks the rate of infection appears to be dropping slowly.

World Health says it is cautiously optimistic.

Liberia’s assistant health minister and head of the government’s ebola response, Tolbert Nyenswah, says now is not the time to relax intervention efforts.

Doctors Without Borders runs the largest ebola treatment unit in Liberia. It was overflowing just two months ago. They were having to turn patients away. Since mid-October, they've had empty beds.

“We have 79 out of 190 beds occupied," explained the organization's medical coordinator in Liberia, Natasha Reyes. "So that’s now less than half. And that’s quite new for us. We used to have over 100 patients in the confirmed area.”

She says that does not mean there aren’t still sick people in communities.

“We need to have a better surveillance of the community. We need to have better tracing of the contacts of the patients that we have for us to have a really good picture and for us to draw any conclusions," Dr. Reyes said.

The country’s burial teams say they are also picking up fewer bodies. Marcus Speare, who runs burial operations for Margibi County just outside Monrovia, says community resistance remains.

“There are few persons of families that are still hiding sick persons, and we want them to begin to cooperate with the health program," he said.

Medical experts say ebola victims are at their most contagious after death.  Safe burial requires family members to have no physical contact with the bodies -- a practice at odds with Liberian tradition.

Dr. Reyes says that could still be deterring sick people or their family members from coming forward.

“It may be discouraging people from accessing our centers because if I were sick, I would be afraid to go in because that if I die I will be cremated and that my family will never see me again," she noted.

According to health workers,  the downward trend in new cases is promising. Ramped up response efforts are having an impact.

But they are quick to point out that Liberia and neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone have seen other dips in cases over the course of this now eight-month epidemic only to have the virus spread and resurge.

Candidate who is Muslim
seeks fifth term in Congress

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American voters say the fear of the Islamic State is one of their most important concerns in the upcoming mid-term elections. President Barack Obama’s decision to attack the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the fact that some
Rep. Ellison
American Muslims have joined the  fighters has put some Democratic candidates in a tough spot. It may have put Rep. Keith Ellison in a tougher spot than most. He is the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.

Ellison entered Congress in 2006 as a Democrat opposed to the Iraq war. As he hopes to retain his seat for a fifth consecutive term, he is now a supporter of the president’s war against the Islamic State.

“It’s tough," he said. "I do think that ISIS is a threat. But I also
believe that the most important ways to confront ISIS are not necessarily military in nature. Cutting off their ability to sell oil. Cutting off their financial flows. Stopping their recruits from going through Turkey or countries in the region. Making sure the government of Iraq rules in an inclusive way and minimizes sectarianism. These are all non-military things that will reduce the threat of ISIS," said Ellison.

Approximately 100 Americans have fought for the Islamic State.. At least 10 are from Minnesota's capital, Minneapolis, which Ellison represents.   

“We have to tell our young people, if they want to do something good and constructive for their faith, what they need to do is help the poor. Help the less fortunate. They need to get involved in the civic life of America. They can criticize any U.S. policy that they want to but it needs to be through the ballot box, use their First Amendment rights. To take up arms with a foreign power against their own country, is simply not acceptable," he said.

Doug Dagget, Ellison’s Republican opponent in the elections, believes that the policies of Democrats influenced some of the Somali Americans who joined the Islamic State in Syria:

“It is very concerning. Somalian Americans came here to prosper. We have the biggest Somalian community right here in Minneapolis.  The community leaders tell me that it’s lack of jobs, lack of education, lack of hope. They don’t believe that Congressman Ellison has been doing enough. He’s been absent," said Dagget.

Ellison was the first congressman to be sworn in with his hand on the Quran.

Has being a Muslim in America’s political climate helped him or has it been a difficult challenge?

“It’s helped me because no matter what struggles or difficulties I’ve faced, I can always go to prayer and it always strengthens me. It helps me. It’s an overall benefit. I look forward to fasting, prayer and it’s made me a happier person than I believe I would be otherwise. Sometimes there are acts of violence and these are always sad but when a Muslim is involved in it, they always attribute it to Islam. Sometimes I have to deal with anti-Islamic actions but these are small things and they don’t bother me at all," said Ellison.

Obama's handling of ebola
may be factor in elections

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The ebola outbreak that has killed thousands of people in West Africa has emerged as an issue in the U.S. midterm elections.  In recent days, President Barack Obama has been front and center on the ebola response after polls showed many Americans disapproved of his handling of the situation.

He gave a big hug to newly recovered nurse Nina Pham and thanked U.S. health care workers on the front lines of the ebola fight.
“We need to call them what they are, which is American heroes.  They deserve our gratitude," said President Obama.

President Obama has spent a good part of the past two weeks reassuring the American public on ebola, even taking a few minutes before embarking on a campaign trip last week to speak to reporters at the White House.
“America in the end is not defined by fear.  That is not who we are.  America is defined by possibility.  And when we see a problem and we see a challenge, then we fix it," said Obama.
The stepped up media effort seems to be working, with a recent poll showing about 49 percent of those surveyed approve of President Obama’s handling of the ebola issue - up eight percent from two weeks ago.
George Washington University Professor Matt Dallek:
“All these ways, aggressive ways, in which the White House has been trying to kind of push back on the story, demonstrate that it is in charge and that it is effective, have been helpful politically," said Dallek.
But it is not just President Obama who has made ebola a central issue in recent days.  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made headlines after he ordered the quarantine of an American nurse who had returned from treating ebola patients in West Africa.
“We are not going to take any risks with the public health of New Jersey," said Christie.

Dallek says crises like ebola and the Islamic State militant group’s gaining ground in Iraq have created an opening for Republicans during the midterm election campaign.
“At least, historically in the last 30, 40 years, Republicans have often been seen as being stronger than Democrats, tough on national security, tough on law and order, being willing to take the extra step to protect you," he said.
While global crises have influenced U.S. midterm campaigns, the impact of Americans fear of ebola will likely be made clear on Tuesday, when voters decide who should represent them in Congress. 

World Trade Center opens
13 years after terrorist attack

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The newly-built World Trade Center has reopened in New York City some 13 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The 541-meter skyscraper was rebuilt at a cost of $3.9 billion and will once again dominate the Manhattan skyline, standing as the tallest building in North America.

The building is at the centerpiece of the site where the decimated Twin Towers once stood.

The new One World Trade Center will house the offices of publisher Conde Nast, the government's General Services Administration, and the China Center. Other tenants include an advertising company, investment and entertainment companies. Sixty percent has already been leased.

Conde Nast eventually will have 2,300 employees spread among 24 floors.  The first of those to move in were generally enthusiastic, and expressed no concerns about being safe in their workplace.

MaryAnne Cacey said she's proud about working in the building.

“You know it’s a tragedy what happened in 2001, but I think it’s a great tribute to America what they’ve come back and done.  I’m proud to work here,” she said.

“There’s plenty of security here. You feel safe, at least I do,” added Austin Parker, an employee of CMS Video Associates.

Some of the principals who were involved in making opening day possible held a brief news conference Monday.

“This is a terrific day for lower Manhattan, a wonderful day for New  York City and an absolutely great day for Conde Nast,” said Charles Townsend, CEO of Conde Nast.” 

“This is the safest class of office building any place, not just  in the nation, any place in the world,” added Patrick Foye, executive director of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.

"We give you back as a gift of remembrance, of people we lost that fateful day but also of the wonder of how people pull together to make such a wonderful thing , a wonderful structure in their memory,” said Steve Plate, director of One World Trade Center construction.

The Twin Towers were destroyed when al-Qaida terrorists flew two hijacked airplanes into the buildings, bringing them down and killing more than 2,700 people.

Disclosure by Apple CEO
generates reaction in Russia

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russian media reports say a big mock iPhone meant as a monument to the late former Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been taken down in St. Petersburg after his successor, Tim Cook, came out publicly as gay.

The monument, with an interactive screen displaying information about Jobs, was reportedly put up on the grounds of an IT university in January 2013 on the initiative of a Russian company called Western European Financial Union.

Russian Radio station Biznes-FM cited the company's chief, Maksim Dolgopolov, as saying he had it removed in part to comply with a law banning the spread of propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.

After Cook came out as gay in an essay published Thursday, prominent St. Petersburg antigay activist Vitaly Milonov was quoted as saying Cook should be banned from Russia because he could bring AIDS, Ebola, or gonorrhea into the country.

President of Argentina goes
to hospital for fever treatment

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Argentine President Cristina Fernández checked into a Buenos Aires hospital for treatment of an infectious fever, according to a statement issued by her office on Sunday.

The 61-year-old president entered the Sanatorio Otamendi clinic after feeling ill Sunday afternoon, her office said.

“She decided to check herself in for observation and treatment,” said the statement, which was signed by her medical team.

The statement gave no details about the ailment besides describing it as an infectious fever.

In mid-October, doctors told Fernández to rest for 48 hours in order to recover from a sore throat.

The two-term president had brain surgery last year to remove a blood clot. Fernandez made no public statements for six weeks during that period, leading to concern over her condition.

dog harness
North Carolina State University photo
This is the high-tech harness that is equipped with a suite of technologies to enhance communication between dogs and humans.

Smart dog harness opens
many possibilities for contact

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Dog-loving scientists at North Carolina State University have figured out a way to communicate better with man's best friend — via tactile means, not verbally.

David Roberts, a mathematician and computer scientist at the Raleigh university, said he and his colleagues have developed a comfortable harness with a small computer mounted on it that allows dog owners to detect, from a distance, what Fido is doing and feeling.

“This involves outfitting the harness with a bunch of sensors that are dedicated to monitoring the environment that the dog is in, as well as monitoring the dog itself," Roberts said, "and then also being able to send input back to the dog via haptics, a gentle vibration much like when a cellphone goes off in a pocket.”

The harness, which can record a dog’s heartbeat and temperature and measure its activity level, is controlled wirelessly through a cellphone app.

Roberts said the device runs two programs and has a number of potential applications. For instance, it can be used with service dogs that guide sight-impaired people. These dogs, Roberts said, are particularly vulnerable to stress, even though they are trained to remain very calm.

When their work "builds up to a point that it starts to affect their well-being, they have to be retired,” he said.

A handler who can detect a dog’s discomfort can remove the animal from a bad situation, improving its health and quality of life.

The high-tech harness can also be used on search-and-rescue dogs, and on military dogs trained to locate explosives.

When such dogs "catch a whiff of something, they could be out at several hundred yards, working away from the handler. And the handler could get a little beep on a handheld device saying, 'Hey, your dog is on some scents.' "

The beep on a cellphone tells the handler that the dog has laid down in front of a scent, as such animals are trained to do.

The harness can be customized with environmental sensors that detect hazards such as gas leaks, as well as a camera and microphone for collecting additional information.

Haptic vibrations also can send precisely timed signals from the handler to help train a dog.

Roberts and his colleagues are in the process of miniaturizing the computer and improving the physiological sensors so the harness can be used in animal shelters and hospitals. The National Science Foundation is funding their research.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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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 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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

Check with our Web site at
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
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498.000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135.000. Click
Grecia 883
Beautiful  House in Grecia, Costa Rica,  1.5  kilometers from the city.   220 m2 of land. Price $138.000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

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Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

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 8702-0778.  From U.S. 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 houses
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. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
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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 A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 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, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 218  
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Scientist find new factor melting sea ice

By the U.S. Department of Energy/Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory news staff

Scientists have identified a mechanism that could turn out to be a big contributor to warming in the Arctic region and melting sea ice.

The research was led by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They studied a long-wavelength region of the electromagnetic spectrum called far infrared. It’s invisible to human eyes but accounts for about half the energy emitted by the Earth’s surface. This process balances out incoming solar energy.

Despite its importance in the planet’s energy budget, it’s difficult to measure a surface’s effectiveness in emitting far-infrared energy. In addition, its influence on the planet’s climate is not well represented in climate models. The models assume that all surfaces are 100 percent efficient in emitting far-infrared energy.

That’s not the case. The scientists found that open oceans are much less efficient than sea ice when it comes to emitting in the far-infrared region of the spectrum. This means that the Arctic Ocean traps much of the energy in far-infrared radiation, a previously unknown phenomenon that is likely contributing to the warming of the polar climate.

Their research appears this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Far-infrared surface emissivity is an unexplored topic, but it deserves more attention. Our research found that non-frozen surfaces are poor emitters compared to frozen surfaces. And this discrepancy has a much bigger impact on the polar climate than today’s models indicate,” says Daniel Feldman, a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division and lead author of the paper.

“Based on our findings, we recommend that more efforts be made to measure far-infrared surface emissivity. These measurements will help climate models better simulate the effects of this phenomenon on the Earth’s climate,” Feldman says.

He conducted the research with Bill Collins, who is head of the Earth Sciences Division’s Climate Sciences Department. Scientists from the University of Colorado, Boulder and the University of Michigan also contributed to the research.

The far-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum spans wavelengths that are between 15 and 100 microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter). It’s a subset of infrared radiation, which spans wavelengths between 5 and 100 microns. In comparison, visible light, which is another form of electromagnetic radiation, has a much shorter wavelength of between 390 and 700 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter).

Many of today’s spectrometers cannot detect far-infrared wavelengths, which explains the dearth of field measurements. Because of this, scientists have extrapolated the effects of far-infrared surface emissions based on what’s known at the wavelengths measured by today’s spectrometers.

Feldman and colleagues suspected this approach is overly simplistic, so they refined the numbers by reviewing published studies of far-infrared surface properties. They used this information to develop calculations that were run on a global atmosphere climate model called the Community Earth System Model, which is closely tied to the Department of Energy’s Accelerated Climate Model for Energy.

The simulations revealed that far-infrared surface emissions have the biggest impact on the climates of arid high-latitude and high-altitude regions.

In the Arctic, the simulations found that open oceans hold more far-infrared energy than sea ice, resulting in warmer oceans, melting sea ice, and a 2-degree C increase in the polar climate after only a 25-year run.

This could help explain why polar warming is most pronounced during the three-month winter when there is no sun. It also complements a process in which darker oceans absorb more solar energy than sea ice.

“The Earth continues to emit energy in the far infrared during the polar winter,” Feldman says. “And because ocean surfaces trap this energy, the system is warmer throughout the year as opposed to only when the sun is out.”

The simulations revealed a similar warming effect on the Tibetan plateau, where there was 5 percent less snowpack after a 25-year run. This means more non-frozen surface area to trap far-infrared energy, which further contributes to warming in the region.

“We found that in very arid areas, the extent to which the surface emits far-infrared energy really matters. It controls the thermal energy budget for the entire region, so we need to measure and model it better,” says Feldman

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From Page 7:

Obama ties wage hike to fairness for women

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama says there are still women earning less than men for doing the same work.

The president said in his weekly address "we don't have second-class citizens in this country  - we shouldn't in the workplace either."

He said women deserve fair pay and they deserve a fair shot at success.

Obama said one solution to raising women's pay is for Congress to pass a minimum wage increase, something they have not done for seven years.  

President Obama said about 28 million workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10  and more than half of those workers would be women.