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(506) 2223-1327                                     Published Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 220                        Email us
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Government to create an organic produce department
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Organic farming got a boost Wednesday when the minister of agriculture said that a special department would be set up to promote and support the concept.

The minister, Felipe Arauz, was speaking to some 146 organic farmers in Tres Ríos de La Unión. The  Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería was instructed to set up such a department by a new law. There are about 2,160 farmers who produce organic products.
All produce and even all farmers are organic, but the term means that the food is produce without chemical insecticides and fertilizer.

One concern of organic producers is how to differentiate their crops from those that are not organic.  That becomes an important issue because the minister said that he expects to see 2,000 hectares in organic crops by 2018.
Certification is available but many farmers say doing it is too expensive. Certification also has advantages for exporting.

Discredited French rat study just won't go away
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Universidad de Costa Rica professor presented facts about a discredited French rat study to encourage a legislative committee to support a nationwide ban on genetically modified foods.

The professor, Mildred García González, identified in a summary of her presentation as a toxicologist, has long been a foe of modified crops. She is with the Escuela de Medicina and the Vicerrectoría de Acción Social

She appeared before the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Agropecuarios, which is considering bill No. 18941.

The French study by Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues has been cited repeatedly during committee testimony. The study purports to show that rats fed Monsanto Co.’s glyphosate-resistant NK603 corn and with the company's Roundup herbicide in the drinking water developed tumors and died sooner than rats in a control group.

The prestigious journal Nature said a year ago that "bowing to scientists' near-universal scorn," the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted an article on the study. The original article was not peer reviewed. A detailed summary can be found HERE!

Professor García told the committee that the using of genetically modified products in food is an experimental risk whose effects have not been seen in their totality regarding humans, according to the legislative summary. The summary did not say that she presented any of the criticism of the study. She is believed to be the final witness to testify on the bill.
The flap over genetically modified crops stems from Monsanto's desire to plant some smallplots with the corn variety. Monsanto's modified corn varieties can eliminate creatures that consume the plant roots and provide protection against other insect pests.

Committee members may not be aware that the French study was criticisms because the type of rat the scientists used naturally develops tumors. The rats are of the Sprague-Dawley strain, according to the study. The French study also was criticized for using too few rates in the various test and control groups and for what some critics called non-standard statistical methods.

The biggest test group of genetically modified food in Costa Rica has to be its citizens. Nearly all the imported corn-based snack foods contain genetically modified grain.

Also Wednesday at a meeting of some 146 agriculturists in Tres Ríos de La Unión the moratorium on modified crops was promoted as a way to keep Costa Rica seed uncontaminated and to maintain the country's concept of one without artificial ingredients.

Those who attended the meeting were asked by Jaime García of Universidad Estatal a Distancia and the Universidad de Costa Rica to sign a petition supporting the ban.

He said the ban also would protect farmers who might face Monsanto's aggressive defense of its variety as has happened elsewhere.

Those supporting the ban have said it would protect the country's native corn varieties, but there are at least 100 varieties now in Costa Rica.

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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.

Residency experts

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A full service immigration agency
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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

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Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker & INT’L
NAR certified Realtor Jeff Fisher is famous for being “Brutally Honest.”
See why he still believes only the 100% titled land of the Jaco beach & Central Pacific areas of Playa Hermosa/ Jaco-Los Suenos Marina & Golf and the Esterillos-Bejuco beaches are the best places to live, invest and enjoy. 
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
#2: The Jaco area has everything you need, from KFC to Gourmet Organic;  from zip lines to bank lines, from a movie house to a fire sale house…. 
#3: BUYERS’ MARKET: Many properties are at their lowest price ever
           *$179,900 Hermosa Beachfront Community with Ocean Views !
Yes we know Costa Rica: Jeff (21 years here), Frances Winborne (23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jacó born & bred),  and we chose the Central Pacific!

Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
JACO Office: IL Galeone Center by BAC, #14, Costa Rica

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $39,000 USD , and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion, be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Judicial Investigating Organization photo           
The items that were confiscated later were on display to the public.
5,000 items with faked logos confiscated

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial police have confiscated some 5,000 items on which popular logos were counterfeited, they said. The agents took over a store near the Mercado Borbón Wednesday. The items confiscated ranged from shirts to billfolds and athletic bags.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said it has received several complaints about such items being sold at various commercial centers in the Central Valley.

Falsifying a logo or trademark is a violation of the intellectual property laws.

Agents said that they also confiscated three devices that were used to imprint the logo on clothing and other items. They also said they had tracked the items with the falsified logos from Alajuela as merchants moved them about.

Three children die in fire at their home

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fire fighters said that three children died when flames ravaged their home in Tambor de Alajuala shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Neighbors could not save the three, who were 2, 3 and 5 years, because the home was locked securely.

A grandmother had left the home briefly to put another child on a school bus a short distance away.

Although the Cuerpo de Bomberos said the home was only damaged partially, the children perished due to the smoke.

Geological work planned at traffic circles

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Motorists who travel the Circunvalación will be happy to learn that geological studies will be done Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the two remaining traffic circles and the Guadalupe intersection.

Demolition is proceeding at the Paso Ancho circle, also known as the Rotunda de Guacamaya.

The geological work is in advance of design work to eliminate the circles, the Bandera and the Garantías Sociales.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Trasnportes said that the work will require closing the roadway to heavy vehicles and detouring passenger cars. The work will continue through early Monday, the agency said.

Archaeological pieces recovered from Italy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional is expected to give details today on 11 archaeological pieces that have been returned from Italy.

The items have been in the hands of Costa Rican diplomats there after they were confiscated by local police in 2009.  Miguel Ángel Obregón López, the former ambassador of Costa Rica to the Vatican, brought the pieces back with him when he returned from Italy, said the museum.

Internet governance to be discussed

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The law school at the Universidad de Costa Rica will be the site today at 4 p.m. for a seminar on governance of the Internet. The session will be in the auditorium.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 220        
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Consejo de Seguridad Vial photo
A pedestrian bridge like this will go up over Ruta 32 in Pococí and also in front of Plaza Herradure over the Costanera Sur, in the
Canton de Garabito. There may be some traffic delays as crews do the work at night. The bridge above is the one in Alajuelita.

Judicial police try to stem growing number of bank messenger robberies
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For two days in a row bandits stuck up messengers and relieved them of the money they were carrying from a bank.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that it was in contact with other police agencies Wednesday to develop a plan to stop this type of crimes.

The stickups of the messengers are the most visible of a continuing wave of stickups that can be seen with the recent arrests in more than a half dozen cases by Fuerza Pública officers.

The most recent messenger stickup was just before 9 a.m. Wednesday in Pavas. A messenger had just left a bank with 12 million colons, about $22,000. Some 600 meters from the bank, the 35-year-old messenger was confronted by crooks on a motorcycle who took the money.

The Tuesday robbery was in the center of San José when a messenger was carrying some 10 million colons, about $18,300, from a bank to a hotel.
The messenger was on a motorcycle, and bandits, also on a motorcycle, pulled up alongside and, according to judicial agents, used great violence to grab the bag.

The Fuerza Pública detained three suspects in the robberies of two individuals just 100 meters from the U.S. Embassy in Pavas. That was Tuesday night. The crooks were in a vehicle, and the victims were pedestrians.
In Campo Bello de Ulloa in Heredia the Fuerza Pública detained three persons who are accused of entering a store and taking 40,000 ($83.50) at gunpoint and then robbing a nearby lottery vendor, they said. The suspects were in a vehicle when police caught up with them. A .38 caliber pistol was confiscated.

Banks have a lot of rules to prevent the robbery of their customers. Most bans prohibit the use of cell telephones inside the building because someone on a phone could be giving information to crooks outside. Inmost cases, there has been inside information given to the crooks, such as the day of the week when payroll will be handled. There also have been a few cases when the messenger was part of the scheme.

Dock workers in Limón are supposed to return to their jobs today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Striking Limón dock workers were supposed to return to their jobs today after an agreement was struck during negotiations mediated by Monserrat Solano Carboni, the defensora de los habitantes.

The union rapidly was losing support, and even the Frente Amplio political party had called for workers to return to the job.
Government officials met with representatives of striking dock workers Wednesday.

The strike already has been declared illegal by a labor court. The government is declining to negotiate a key clause in a contract for a new $1 billion container facility that is the main reason for the strike.
Union leaders were dealing with an increasingly anxious rank-and-file that had missed a payday.

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, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 220         
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World Health considers the challenge of many more senior citizens
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization says governments must prepare now to deal with an increasingly aging world.  Otherwise, it warns the growing burden of chronic disease will seriously affect the quality of life of older people and create economic and other hardships for national health systems.  These findings appear in a new series on health and aging published in the British journal, The Lancet. 

Everywhere in the world people are living longer.  But as people age, they are saddled with chronic illnesses and diminished well being that affects their quality of life and creates a burden on society.

The latest statistics show by 2050, an estimated two billion people will be aged 60 and older, more than double the 841 million today.

The World Health Organization notes 80 percent of these older people will be living in low- and middle-income countries, not in wealthy countries. 

It says the increase in longevity in affluent countries is largely due to the decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease resulting from simple, cost-effective strategies to reduce tobacco use and high blood pressure. 

Islene Araujo is a senior policy and strategy adviser in the Department of Aging and Life Course for the agency. She says life expectancy in Africa now is 60 years.  She says cardiovascular diseases are responsible for killing most older people.

She says stroke survivors often become disabled, burdening society. “Cardiovascular disease can be prevented with one simple
action, for example control of hypertension.  Most of the people in this region in Africa - 10 percent may have a diagnosis of hypertension, like for example South Africa, and 80 percent do not get treatment for hypertension.  So, one single intervention like treatment for hypertension can save many lives.  It can also avoid disability," said Ms. Araujo.

Besides heart disease and stroke, other major illnesses of aging include cancers, chronic lung disease, sensory disorders, vision problems, mental and neurological disorders.  Authors of the World Health reports say dementia and Alzheimer's are the biggest cause of dependency in richer countries.  Although people are living longer, evidence shows they are not necessarily healthier than before. 

Report author Somnath Chatterji said there are low-cost strategies that can help older people live healthier lives.  For example, he says reducing salt intake can have a big impact on health.

“Secondly, the early detection of illnesses. You know, we need to train primary care workers to be able to identify things like hypertension, for example again relatively early, diabetes relatively early and treat those conditions before they become much more expensive to treat.  Thirdly, there are strategies to extend these health care services using current technologies.  So, one could use mobile technologies to actually improve the delivery of these services," said Chatterji.

The report's authors suggest changing policies to encourage older adults to remain part of the workforce beyond retirement age.  They also say people of all ages should not smoke, do more physical activity, moderate alcohol consumption and practice good nutrition, which will pay good health dividends later in life. 

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
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * 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 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)
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
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 220         
Real Estate
About us

Obama promises to find
common ground with GOP

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A day after his Democratic Party was trounced in midterm elections, President Barack Obama vowed to work with the new Republican majority in Congress to ensure a prosperous future for Americans.
Conceding that Republicans had a good night, winning a 52-seat majority in the Senate, Obama struck a measured tone, saying Americans had sent a clear message with their vote.
“They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do," he said. "They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. All of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment."

At a White House news conference, the president cited areas of possible common ground with Republicans, such as building infrastructure and boosting exports.  He said he would meet with Republican congressional leaders Friday to get a sense of their agenda.
Obama said that in the next few weeks, he hoped to work with lawmakers on boosting funding for those on the front lines of the ebola fight in West Africa and getting congressional authorization for the use of military force in the battle against Islamic State militants.
“The world needs to know we are united behind this effort, and the men and women of our military deserve our clear and unified support,” he said.
One area where Obama stood firm was immigration. He said he had hoped Congress would pass comprehensive reform that would strengthen the borders, improve the U.S. economy and give opportunity to those who are undocumented.

But in the absence of such congressional action, Obama said he was prepared to act on his own and use his executive authority on immigration before the end of the year.
“What I am not going to do is just wait," he said. "I think it is fair to say that I have shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible, and I am planning to keep on doing so. But in the meantime, let us figure out what we can do lawfully through executive action to improve the functioning of the existing system.”
Throughout the press briefing, which lasted more than an hour, Obama deflected questions about whether he is a lame-duck president and how it feels to be rejected by members of his own party who distanced themselves from him during the midterm campaign.
Instead, Obama said he was optimistic about America’s future and planned to spend his last two years continuing to work hard for the American people.

Meanwhile, the presumptive Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said he would work with Obama to win approval on international trade pacts and tax reform, and said they agreed in a telephone call to look for issues where they could reach accord.

McConnell said one message of the election was that a politically divided government need not result in continued gridlock in Washington.

"There are a lot of people who believe that just because you have divided government does not mean you do not accomplish anything," he said.

Democrats held 55 of the Senate's 100 seats before Tuesday's congressional elections, but Republicans gained at least seven seats with wins in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. Three races were still undecided Wednesday.

Republicans also added at least 14 seats in the 435-member House, where they already held 233 seats.  The majority will be the Republicans' biggest since the 1940s.

The results were a stinging rebuff to Obama, who was not on the ballot but said that his policies were.

House Speaker John Boehner said the new Congress would work on energy and jobs legislation that he said Senate Democrats had  been stalling while in control.  He said it was time for government to start getting results.

With control of Congress, McConnell said Republicans would continue to address disputes with Obama over his signature legislative achievement, health care reform.  Many Republicans view the law as excessive government involvement and have repeatedly called for its repeal.

Voters seem to be drawn
to a pretty faced candidate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Political pundits say the Republican sweep in Tuesdays elections was about voters looking for change.  New research suggests the winning candidates' success may have a bit to do with voters looking at their faces.

There’s lots of scientific and anecdotal evidence that voters are more drawn to attractive candidates.

If you are old enough to remember the 1960 U.S. presidential election, it was believed John F. Kennedy’s youthful appearance and vigor swept him into office over Richard Nixon, who appeared sallow and pale in a television debate. 

A new study from the Netherlands further breaks down the attractiveness component into facial features that suggest extremes of health and intelligence.

Then, researchers used a computer program to digitally alter the faces of a group of men.  Each participant was shown a pair of photos featuring the same man, but the images had been slightly manipulated to have a more or less healthy complexion, or to look more or less intelligent. 

The 148 male and female participants were told they had to pick the new head of a company just by looking at the photos.

Brian Spisak is a business and economics professor at VU University in Amsterdam.

“Ultimately we found that in certain situations, people prefer intelligent-looking faces.  But across all situations that we tested, people preferred healthy-looking individuals," said Spisak.

In 69 percent of the trials, the participants chose the the candidate who looked healthier.  Spisak says they were perceived as more trustworthy, ambitious, likable and more like a leader.

But when people were told that the executive they were selecting was going to have to oversee a competitive or challenging corporate environment, they tended to choose the man they considered more intelligent. 

Spisak says in general terms, the more intelligent face is perceived as more masculine.

But Spisak also says context is everything, and if a candidate wants to run on change like President Barack Obama did in 2008, he better look the part.

Researchers at that time experimented with a generic face they created.

“What we find is younger faces are preferred for times of change.  And we found that not using Obama’s face, just using a controlled face that we made up, and then morphing a bit of Obama’s face on to a base face and a bit of McCain’s face on to a base face, what we continually found there that in times of change, they prefer the younger candidate," said Spisak.

Spisak says his research shows it pays for aspiring leaders to look healthy. 

The findings are reported in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

More money being sought
for fighting ebola virus

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $6.18 billion in emergency funds to combat ebola in West Africa and to secure the United States against any spread of the virus.

The request coincided with a report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization, indicating fewer new ebola cases this week in Liberia, about the same number as last week in Guinea and an increase in Sierra Leone.

The World Bank, in coordination with the United Nations, said it was mobilizing about $1 billion for the three countries, which have been hit hardest by the ebola outbreak. That financial aid is meant to help speed up the deployment of foreign health workers in those countries.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the ebola outbreak "is a humanitarian crisis first and foremost, but it's also an economic disaster for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. That's why, in addition to our emergency aid, we will do all we can to help support the private sector in these countries to build back their businesses."

In response to the Obama administration's request to Congress for ebola funds, a spokesman for House Republican leader John Boehner said congressional staffers would review the appropriation request.

According to an official at the White House's Office of Management and Budget, the administration wants lawmakers to provide $4.5 billion for an immediate response to the deadly disease and another $1.5 billion in contingency money.

Famed rock band drummer
faces murder plot charge

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The drummer for the legendary rock band AC/DC has been charged by New Zealand authorities with hiring a hitman as part of an alleged murder plot.

Phil Rudd appeared before a court in Tauranga, about 200 kilometers southeast of Auckland, Thursday and entered no plea before being released on bail.

The 60-year-old was charged with attempting to procure murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. He was also charged with threatening to kill and possessing methamphetamine and marijuana.

Local media report Rudd was trying to hire a hitman to kill two men whose identities have not been disclosed. Police have not commented on the alleged murder plot.

The Australia-born Rudd, who now lives in New Zealand, left AC/DC in 1983, but rejoined the band in 1994.

AC/DC is one of the highest-grossing bands of all time, with hit songs that include "Back in Black," "Thunderstruck," and "You Shook Me All Night Long."

The band is due to release a new album, titled "Rock or Bust" next month.

Earlier this year, the band announced that rhythm guitarist and founding member Malcom Young was leaving the group. His family said Young, 61, was suffering from dementia.

At least 44 arrests made
in Pakistani lynching case

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police in Pakistan have arrested at least 44 people in connection with Tuesday's killing of a Christian couple accused of desecrating a Quran.

The killings took place in Kot Radha Kishan, about 60 kilometers southwest of Lahore. Police said a man and his wife were beaten to death by an angry mob, and their bodies were burned at the brick kiln where they worked.

Police said a local cleric announced through the loudspeakers of his mosque that the couple had committed blasphemy, sparking the mob.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the killings an unacceptable crime that a responsible state could not tolerate.

The couple reportedly were bonded laborers and had been working to pay off their debt to the kiln owner.

Hundreds of Pakistani Christians and human rights activists demonstrated in Lahore against the killings, accusing authorities of failing to protect minorities.

Amnesty International has condemned what it calls a climate of impunity around violence against religious minorities in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

Forbes names Russia's Putin
most powerful world figure

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For the second year in a row, the U.S. business magazine Forbes has named Russian President Vladimir Putin the most powerful person in the world.

The magazine said its editors picked the Russian leader over President Barack Obama, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rounding out the top five.

Forbes said it picked Putin because "he strong-armed his way into possession of Crimea and waged an ugly proxy war in neighboring Ukraine, during which an almost certainly Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile downed a civilian jetliner."

The magazine said that "as the undisputed, unpredictable and unaccountable head of an energy-rich, nuclear-tipped state, no one would ever call him weak."

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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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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
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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 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 220       
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are diabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Dutch test farming with salt water

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the many adverse effects of global climate change is the rise of sea levels, which scientists say can increase the salinity level of fresh water reserves. As saline water cannot be used for irrigation, farm fields close to the seashore are lost to agriculture. But a farm in Netherlands has managed to grow healthy and tasty vegetables in soil irrigated with salt water.

Salinization is reducing the world’s irrigated lands by 1 to 2 percent annually, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization.

But that doesn't faze Dutch farmer Marc Van Rijsselberghe, who has used saline water to kill some plants in order to identify which ones are able to thrive.

“We put a lot of plants in the field and then we put them in fresh water and in sea water and all varieties between it, and then we see which variety is surviving and which variety is dying,” he said.

Working with scientists from the Free University of Amsterdam, Van Rijsselberghe and his team divided a farm into eight plots covered with a network of irrigation pipes.

Separate pipes bring fresh water and sea water to a distribution center where a computer-controlled system mixes irrigation water with eight different degrees of salinity.

“And then computer says 'go' and then it goes to the fields and dripping irrigation starts to work and we are going to kill plants. That's it,” said Van Rijsselberghe.

Numerous sensors continuously control soil salinity and moisture. Van Rijsselberghe said they were able to harvest vegetables from most of the test plots. Although they were smaller than normal, he said they contain more sugar and salt, so they taste better.

“It's a miracle. It shouldn't be a carrot, it should be dying if we look at the data that are available in the world at the moment,” he said.

The farm managed to grow carrots, cabbage, onions and beetroot, but potatoes proved to be the most tolerant to saline water. Van Rijsselberghe said four varieties of salt-tolerant potatoes recently were shipped to Pakistan where thousands of hectares of land damaged by salinization are being prepared for testing the Dutch potatoes.

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From Page 7:

Accountants say Christmas bonus is complex

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The public accountants organization says that figuring the Christmas bonus for an employee can be complex.

Guillermo Smith, president of the Colegio de Contadores Públicos, issued the reminder Wednesday and said that a stiff monthly fine awaits employers who fail to pay the aguinaldo.

The amount is normally one twelfth of what the employee earns in the 12 months preceding Dec. 1, but certain situations such as sick leave, can create confusion.

In addition, live-in maids who also receive food should be paid based on 50 percent of the value they received, said the organization in a release.

Commissions and extra pay also should be figured in computing the aguinaldo, it said. Sick leave is not included unless the leave is for maternity, it noted.

The monthly fine is based on 399,800 colons or about $740. Employers can face as many as 21 times that amount, the organization noted.