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Astonishing number of new wasps species discovered
By the Pensoft publishers
and the A.M. Costa Rica news staff

Scientists have described an astonishing 277 new species of wasps that live in Costa Rica.

The listing in the open access journal ZooKeys amplifies the country's status as a land of biodiversity. The wasps are all from the  Heterospilini tribe and are tiny, from 3 to 5 millimeters (two tenths of an inch).

This is the second part of an extensive two-part study of the braconid subfamily Doryctinae from Costa Rica, the first part already has been published.

In this part, the authors Paul M. Marsh, Alexander L. Wild and James B. Whitfield of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, describe a total of 286 species of wasps within the tribe but reveal a possibility of additional 50 to100 species to be added to the counts.

"If the numerous unplaced species in the unsorted specimens we have looked at are added to the above figures, the enormous diversity of this genus in such a small locality becomes obvious." explained Marsh. "We estimate that perhaps another 50 to100 species could be added to the total to contribute to the astonishing biodiversity of Costa Rica."

This study is remarkable in one more way, being the first large monograph incorporating hundreds of species to be automatically registered on ZooBank as a part of an innovative workflow implemented for the first time in zoology by ZooKeys. The automated registration saves many hours of manual work and reduces the risks of human mistakes in the data transfer.

The braconid family, to which the tribe described belongs, is a large and diverse group of parasitoid wasps. There are approximately 17,000 recognized species and many thousands more undescribed.

Most braconids are internal and external
wasp
Pensoft publishers photo
One of the tiny Costa Rican wasps.

parasitoids on other insects, especially upon the larval stages of beetles, flies and moths.

Parasitoid wasps often present some of the most extraordinary and morbid techniques to ensure larval survival within the host. Some harbor and introduce into the host specific viruses for compromising host immune defenses. The DNA of the wasp actually contains portions that are the templates for the components of the viral particles, and they are assembled in an organ in the female's abdomen known as the calyx.

Members of two subfamilies, Mesostoinae and Doryctinae, to which the tribe described belongs, are known to form galls on plants.

The wasps were collected along the Gulfo Dulce, Puerto Viejo, Corcovado,  Turrialba, the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, in Puntarenas province and Piedras Blanca, according to an online summary.


An analysis of the news
Falling faith in democracy suggests greater crisis

By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica staff

As the country moves toward another general election Feb. 2, the public is restless and unhappy.

Election officials worry that many will not cast a vote. But there are more serious issues to be considered.

Costa Rica is in much the same position as was Venezuela when strongman Hugo Chávez was rising to power. Corruption  seems to be epidemic.

A Latinobarómetro poll released over the weekend showed that respect for the democratic system dropped by 21 percent since 2009. Only 53 of every 100 citizens expressed support for democracy.

The government of Laura Chinchilla has failed to carryout its promise of reducing crime. A judge has ordered many armed robbers to be released because the central government has ignored the problem of prison overcrowding which now stands at more than 30 percent.

Front runner Johnny Araya Monge, the former mayor of San José, promises a continuation of the
Woodbridge
Jorge Woodbridge
Partido Liberación Nacional leadership. In addition, if elected, he will come to the job with a gigantic fiscal crisis in which nearly half of that the government spends is borrowed money.

An opinion poll done by Borge y Asociados for El Diario Extra shows Araya has about 50 percent support. But in second place is
36-year-old José MaríaVillalta Florez-Estrada of Frente Amplio.

An online campaign promoting Movimiento Libertario candidate Otto Guevara Guth says "We don't want our country to become a new Venezuela." The choice is between the same thing or communism, it says, suggesting that Guevara could be an alternative.

If the election winner Feb. 2 does not gain 40 percent of the popular vote, a runoff between the two will take place. Commentators already have noted that the left wing Villalta has a strong following among students, the unhappy and the economically distressed.

The idea that Araya will be the same thing comes from the rotating leadership in Liberación in which legislators become ministers and vice ministers and then return to the legislature or a fancy government job. The ineptitude of the Chinchilla administration also has resulted in a continuing struggle with Nicaragua over sovereignty, collapsed roadways that make administrative lapses up close and personal for motorists and continuing sagas of corruption.

The only answer from officials seems to be more taxes and $5-a-gallon gasoline.
survey flyer
The email flyer sent Wednesday


Jorge Woodbridge González, in a La Nación opinion piece published Tuesday, says of the country "We can't continue as we are."

He summaries the failings of infrastructure and the country's low ranking on the World Bank's Global Competitiveness Report.

 "Among 144 countries, Costa Rica is in 95th place in quality, 131st in roadways, 106th in railways, 140th in ports, 60th in airports, 94th in mobile telephones and 42nd in the quality of electrical service," he said.

He ought to know, he was a vice minister of Economía with a specialty in competitivity.

He notes, for example, that there has not been a significant investment in the public docks of Moín since 2002 and that 73 percent of the government income there goes to salaries and privileges.

In the eyes of many in the public that seems to be typical of Costa Rica where the insiders drain money from the national budget, take over land, win oceanfront concessions, get high-paying jobs for themselves and family and generally work the system to their advantage.

What is new is that a lot of allegations against insiders can be found on YouTube and in truthful and untruthful email messages.

Carlos Andrés Pérez became president of Venezuela in 1974 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1993. He was removed by the country's supreme court for embezzlement. Subsequent actions show that he and his associates robbed the energy-rich country blind.

His failure to deliver set the stage for the ascension of Hugo Chávez, a military man who once led a coup against Pérez. Chávez, of course, embraced a social system more typical of Cuba than capitalism.

The problem now is that Costa Rica seems to lack a plan and any consensus to take charge of the country' s mess and solve the problems.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 7, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 221

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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arrerst
Judicial Investigating Organization photo    
Ms. Arias is led off to jail.

Long-time fugitive caught,
but many others still sought

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents picked up a fugitive convicted of attempted murder
wanted
                                                          Frenchman
Cristopher Mansuelle
in Roble de Puntarenas Wednesday. The woman had been a fugitive since 1997.

But the Judicial Investigating Organization also said that 29 men and three woman still are loose even though they have been convicted and sentenced.

The judicial agency has a special unit to make captures. The courts frequently allow prisoners to go free even after they have been sentenced with the expectation that they will return to serve their time.

Periodically, the judicial agency releases photos and brief summaries of the people
who did not surrender. The current batch contains a Frenchman, Cristopher Aquin Mansuelle, but no U.S. citizens or Canadians.  Mansuelle was convicted of armed robbery.

The crimes of the others include murder, robbery, international drug trafficking, drug possession and aggravated rape, among others.

The woman detained Wednesday was working in a small restaurant in the center of Roble de Puntarenas, said the judicial agency. She had been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for two counts of attempted murder and one of drug trafficking. She was identified as Estrella Arias Méndez and is 51, the agency said.

The attempted murder charges relate to a raid the judicial agents made on her home in Pérez Zeldón Nov. 28, 1997. She fired on the group of agents and hit one in the shoulder and another in the chest, the agency said.

She was convicted and sentenced, but her lawyer filed an appeal, and she was placed in home detention while the appeal was being processed. Eventually the appeal was denied, but the woman had vanished.

Agents thought that she had left the country, so they said they filed an international arrest warrant in 2008.

The agents who detained her were acting under the authority of the International Police Agency, which is now housed with other Judicial Investigating Organization offices.

The judicial agency said they were tipped off by an acquaintance of the woman as to her whereabouts.


Latin newspeople air complaints
before human rights commission


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Ecuadorean and Argentine journalists have turned to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for what they consider an erosion of rights in their countries.

The commission held a hearing Oct. 28 that was attended by representatives of 15 Ecuadorean organizations, among them press groups, that complained of a deterioration in freedom of expression and of assembly in their country. The delegation spoke of specific cases of violations of press freedom, and of a communication law in effect since June this year.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa described those denunciations as “another nonsense by those who lost the elections and by the international bureaucracy.” Vice President Jorge Glass and other senior government officials added their insults and discrediting of journalists in public statements and on social media.

The same attitude of belittling those making the denunciations was adopted by the Argentine government, which attacked Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú and Joaquín Morales Solá, who in representation of a group of press colleagues complained to the commission Friday the poor conditions for practicing journalism in their country, campaigns to discredit independent journalists and legal and economic persecution of media critical of the government.

Argentina’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, Nilda Garré, who attended the hearing, accused the journalists of seeking to make themselves victims, of being spokespersons of monopolistic groups that resist democratic advances, and of orchestrating campaigns against nationalistic policies in Latin America.

The chairman of the Inter American Press Association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, declared his organization’s solidarity with the journalists and regretted that the right to denounce was not being respected. “Beyond the differences that President Correa or any other person in government may have with the inter-American system there cannot be a lack of respect for the mechanisms which, in seeking justice, are available for all the people of the Americas.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added that governments have a right to respond as an opposing party in the same hearings, “but this does not mean that instead of discussing the issues and presenting their views they can end up insulting their own citizens.”

"As we in the IAPA have a great deal of experience in taking part in those hearings before the IACHR and discussing with governments, but always in a climate of respect, it is difficult to understand why a president of a country or high-ranking official has to resort to disparaging remarks.”

Anyone in the Americas can request to be heard in one of the two hearings that the commission holds each year. The rules of the inter-American system protect the people so that they can present their formal complaints, while it prohibits governments from “taking the witnesses or experts to court or taking reprisals against them or their families because of their statements….”


National science fair runs
until Friday afternoon


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nearly 400 students are participating in a science fair that ends Friday  There are about 200 separate projects.

The students are from the primary and secondary grades. The event is at the sports facility of the Universidad de Costa Rica, in Sabanilla de Montes de Oca.

The event was inaugurated Wednesday night. The fair is open to the public today until 4 p.m. At the same time judges will be making their evaluations of the projects.

Students form all 27 educational regions in the country are participating in what is called the Feria Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología.


Municipality plans job fair
for holiday employment


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Municipalidad de Montes de Oca in conjunction with Grupo Mall San Pedro has organized a job fair for temporary employees that will be held Friday.

The employment fair will be on the first floor of the Outlet Mall in San Pedro across Avenida Central from the Catholic church there.

The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A number of businesses that have operations in the municipality will participate seeking employees for the holiday season.

Mayor Fernando Trejos B. said that an emphasis will be on youngsters who might have an interest in working over the holidays.


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President makes a pitch for those stone spheres at U.N. agency
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Laura Chinchilla lobbied at the U.N. cultural organization Wednesday in an effort to advance a decision on the country's pre-Columbian stone spheres.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is preparing to designate  the spheres as world heritage artifacts.

Costa Rica is developing an archaeological park in the area of the spheres, the Diquis Delta region in the southwestern part of the country.

The president noted that an international team from the U.N. organization visited the site. That was in March 2010. She met in Paris with Irina Bokova, the director general of the agency and explained that the designation is vital for Costa Rica.

In January, the president noted, the country received notice that the file on the spheres would be studied and evaluated. The country is awaiting a final decision by the agency.

OffIcials here also were supposed to prepare a report on the plans for the archaeological site and how the spheres would be safeguarded from vandals. That was sought last year.

Expats and others in the area of the spheres are expecting a big boost in tourism when the U.N. makes its declaration.

As part of the visit, the president awarded Ms. Bokova with a Costa Rican decoration, the Orden Juan Mora Fernández, Gran Cruz Placa de Plata, according to the foreign ministry here.

The ministry also noted that a leading museum in Paris will open an exposition that includes the spheres this year.

Scientists believe the round stones were first created about 600 A.D., with most dating to after 1,000 A.D. but before
sssspheres
University of Kansas file photo
 John Hoppes of the University of Kansas is pictured with
 one of the spheres. He was part of the U.N. team that
 evaluated the artifacts for the U.N. agency.


the Spanish conquest. There are about 300 of them and some are household ornaments in the Central valley.

Recent studies suggest the spheres were household ornaments in the pre-Columbian communities where they were made. The speculation is that the spheres were signs of power placed outside the home of various leaders.

The Museo Nacional is trying to repatriate some spheres to the original locale.


Expat from Quepos receives a rude welcome in Central Valley
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A bold daylight robber confronted a Canadian expat and took the vehicle she was driving in Rohrmoser Tuesday.

The woman, a visitor from Quepos, Candice Weir, suffered an injury to the head when the bandit struck her.

The woman had borrowed a neighbor's car and drove it to the Central Valley. She was parking the vehicle in front of the hotel where she was to stay with her husband when the bandit approached shortly after noon.

She got out of the car after seeing a firearm and left her papers, credit cards, passport and some electronic gear. The crook drove off. The incident took place in front of the Casa Roland, an upscale hotel.
The woman's husband, Dale, said that the vehicle was recovered by police and put in an impound lot.

They were unable to recover it immediately because they were not the registered owners, he said.

Weir said the couple has lived here for 10 years and has had no trouble of this type in all that time.

They continued to stay at the hotel and made a report to the Judicial Investigating Organization. Weir said the agents provided excellent service.

There is a perception that crime has diminished in the Central Valley, but in many cases the absence of crime is really an absence of reports by police to newspeople. There was no news bulletin issued on the crime involving Ms. Weir.


Museo Nacional promotes democracy with historical exposition
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional and the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones have set up an exposition showing the growth of democracy in Costa Rica.

The exposition runs until Dec. 15. An additional feature is a guided tour that the museum can arrange. The tours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the downtown museum. Tours need to be reserved in advance.

The exposition is “Vivamos la Democracia,” which seeks to show the growth of democratic principles in the country.
María Elena Masis, a museum historian, said the exposition seeks to enlighten Costa Ricans over the long road from the Spanish conquest to civic voting rights, according to the museum,  She noted that there exists a decrease in the part of the population that respects democracy and elections.

In Costa Rica women did not get the right to vote until 1949 under the current Constitution.

Democracy is not just something historical but it is a form of living in which each Costa Rican has rights and ought to live in a personal manner with values of tolerance respect and confidence, among others, she was quoted as saying.

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Being bilingual keeps Alzheimer’s and related dementia at bay, says report
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New research suggests that speaking more than one language may delay the onset of different types of dementia.  In fact, say investigators, bilingualism appears to be more important than the level of education in warding off dementias. 

In a study carried out in India, researchers assessed the effect of bilingualism in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, which tends to strike people at a younger age, vascular dementia, Lewy bodies dementia and mixed dementias.  Nearly 650 people with an average age of 66 were studied, and 240 suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of mental decline.
 
Some 391 of the participants spoke two or more languages.  Investigators found the dementias began about four-and-a-half years later in those who were bilingual compared to those who only spoke only one language.  The volunteers’ level of education had no effect on the outcome.

Co-author Thomas Bak of the Center of Cognitive Aging at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland speculates that those who are fluent in more than one language train their brains by switching back and forth between different words and expressions. 
Bok said he believes this concentration improves so-called executive functioning or attention to tasks, which tends to decline in people with dementias.

“I am suppressing the other languages.  So it means I have to be always active, selectively activating things.  And we believe that because this attention mechanism is important in different types of dementia, that is why we find this effect in different types of dementia," said Bak.

Researchers found there was no benefit in speaking more than two languages.  They also did not see a delay in the onset of Lewy bodies dementia, a progressive form of mental illness that causes hallucinations and causes sufferers to fluctuate back and forth between alertness and periods of drowsiness.

To reap the benefits, Bak says it does not appear to matter whether you learn a language at a young age or later in life.

“So it’s not something you sort of say that you missed the boat when you do not do it as a baby. It is something that is still quite useful and powerful when you do it as an adult," he said. Scientists found that the benefits of bilingualism in delaying the onset of dementia occurred even in uneducated subjects.

 
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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
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 (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.
Lundquist patio
Exotic gardens next to one
of our patios



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!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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.
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Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

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Palmares


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our Web page: palmarescostarica.us
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Unfurnished 2-bedroom 2-bathroom house.. One large room for living room, dining room and kitchen. Separate bath.  2 bedrooms with bath on second floor. Washroom. Large 3-bay garage with bathroom, secure  for warehousing and storage. Located  approximately 6 miles east of San José and 1 mile west of Concepcion Tres Rios.  Map on request.  Telephone installed, cable and Internet available.  $250 a month plus utilities. 6 months minimum lease, deposit. Available after Oct. 15.  Tel. 2256-9426 bobbyruf@ice.co.cr 
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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 
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Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 7, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 221
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Cafetales



Pacific Estates

Reports on death of Arafat
differ on polonium allegation


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Swiss forensic scientists say samples taken from the exhumed corpse of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat show unexpectedly high levels of the lethal radioactive isotope polonium 210.

The findings from specialists at the University of Lausanne were released Wednesday in a 108-page report and posted online by the pan-Arabic television network al-Jazeera.  The probe was commissioned jointly by Arafat's widow, Suha, and the network.

Forensic experts from France and Russia also took samples from Arafat's corpse in 2012.  Moscow has said its examination found no traces of polonium, while results from the French analysis have not yet been released.  

The Swiss document appears to be the most significant evidence so far linking Arafat's death to foul play.  But its authors framed their analysis cautiously, saying the results moderately support the proposition that the colorless, odorless and nearly impossible to detect polonium 210 caused the death.

The Swiss experts said their analysis took into account the time lapse since Arafat's death and the nature and quality of the specimens examined.

Arafat fell ill in October 2004 and was airlifted to France days later, after he failed to respond to treatment from a team of Mideast medical specialists.  In early November, he lapsed into a gradually deepening coma and died Nov. 11.

His death spawned a host of conspiracy theories with many Palestinians accusing arch-rival Israel of complicity in his death.  Israel has flatly rejected the allegations.

In a separate and still controversial 2006 case, British investigators directly linked polonium 210 to the poisoning death of one-time Russian spy Alexander Litvenenko, who had defected to London.  Litvenenko, from his death bed, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, accusations that were flatly denied by Moscow.

Russia later denied British extradition requests for a key suspect in the case, which remains open.


U.S., to give Palestinians
$75 million more in aid


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday announced $75 million in new aid to the Palestinians aimed at building roads, schools and health clinics.

Speaking at a ceremony in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Kerry said boosting economic development will show both Israelis and Palestinians "that peace has the benefits of economic opportunity and prosperity and a better quality of life."

​The money adds to the $25 million pledged by the United States in September for West Bank infrastructure improvements.

In addition, Germany will put up $10 million towards about 200 projects being identified by the Palestinian Authority. The efforts are due to start within the next six months.

The United States sees the economic track as a vital complement to ongoing direct final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Washington has provided more than $4.5 billion in assistance to the West Bank and Gaza since 1994, creating tens of thousands of temporary jobs.


China, too, grapples with use
of genetically modified crops


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The debate in China over expanding the use of genetically modified crops has reached a stalemate. Analysts say that despite efforts by prominent scientists to expand the commercialization of modified crops, proponents face a public that deeply mistrusts government management of food safety and is suspicious of the science behind GMO products.

Over the last three decades, China has lifted millions out of poverty as the heavily populated country has risen to become the second largest economy in the world. Its appetite for food has grown as well. So much so that China now relies heavily on imported foods and grains, and some here feel that genetically modified foods should be allowed to play a more significant role.
 
Supporter Li Ning is the director of the State Key Laboratories for AgroBiotechnolgy at China Agricultural University. He says that although biotechnology would help improve agricultural efficiency, scientists need to overcome resistance from the public.
 
“People in China are so scared about food safety issues, that as soon as someone reports negatively on GMO foods they start to be afraid,” said Li.
 
As an example, he mentions an official from the Heilongjiang Soybeans Association who told the media that consuming genetically modified soybeans had carcinogenic risks. Experts were quick to rebuke the official’s remarks, but Li says people believed the wrongful claims.
 
The genetic makeup of GMO food is modified at the seed level to make crops more resistant to diseases and pest attacks. Currently, China allows the commercial production of GMO tomatoes, cotton, papaya and bell peppers.
The ministry of agriculture has repeatedly stated that GMO crops are safe, and the ministry of technology has invested hundreds of million of dollars into the biotech industry.
 
Nonetheless, safety certificates for GMO rice and corn granted in 2009 will expire next year, and commercialization has not been approved yet. Li Ning says that the delay is a result of intense pressure from environmental groups like Greenpeace.
 
“They have organized people to stage sit-ins in front of the Ministry of Agriculture,” said Li. “This has made officials at the ministry very scared. Some of them do not dare take a stance against such demonstrations.”
 
Ronald Herring, a professor of Political Science at Cornell University, says that there is no obviously safe place for politicians on this issue.
 
“Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever of environmental or food safety risk from transgenics,” said Herring, “but in 55 languages the common folk wisdom is: where there is smoke there is fire.”
 
Earlier this year, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering signed a petition letter to push for the commercialization of GM rice.
 
In a recent interview with the Southern Daily, Zhang Qifa, one of the academics that signed the petition, said that this is the best time for China to implement a national industrialization of GM rice.
 
“The technology we have is as good as that of the U.S.,” Zhang was quoted saying. “However, we lack the commercial infrastructure. We must nurture strong agricultural companies to promote GMO rice industrialization.”
 
The large-scale commercialization of GMO crops has been seen as a strategic move to help China solve the problems arising from needing to feed an increasing population while the availability of arable land decreases.
 
Yan Jianbing, a professor at the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement at Huazhong Agricultural University, in Wuhan, has been involved with tasting sessions of GM rice in Wuhan.
 
At one of the events last month, volunteers tasted rice cakes and porridge made with GM rice and promoted the event to reassure the public about the safety of transgenic crop.
 
Last week Li Jiayang, China's deputy minister of agriculture, was criticized in the media for having been a consultant for DuPont, which advocates GM foods and is financially invested in China's biotechnology market. Part of the criticism stemmed from the fact that party rules forbid senior officials from taking posts in foreign companies, but much emphasis was also put on Li’s advocacy of transgenic crop for China’s agriculture.
 
Scientists like Li, a commentary on the China Youth Daily suggested, are pushing biotechnologies in China for their personal gain, while helping multinational corporations grasp sizable economic interests within China. A similar argument was made in August by a major general of the People’s Liberation Army, who argued that the West was threatening food security in China by introducing GMO grains through imports.

Currently, China permits the importation of GMO corn, soybean, canola and cotton, but only for non-human consumption.
 
However, an estimated 80 percent of soybeans consumed in China are imported from the United States, Brazil and Argentina, and most of them are genetically modified. In the first half of 2013, seven additional types of GMO crops were given the green light for imports.
 
Farmers have criticized the government's choice to increase GMO imports, which are often cheaper and of better quality than the local produce. China is not alone in struggling with this issue.
 
The European Union is fiercely negotiating a trade agreement with the United States on GMO trade. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of 2014 and might eventually allow U.S. GMO foodstuffs to enter the European market.


Greenhouse gases are record,
says U.N. weather agency


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Meteorological Organization reports the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere reached a record high in 2012. This accelerating trend will have devastating consequences on climate change, the U.N. agency says, unless the world's nations do more to to rein in emissions.  

The agency’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin notes that fossil fuel-related emissions, mainly from carbon dioxide, account for 80 percent of the increase.  It says carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere grew more rapidly last year than the average growth rate over the past decade.

The report said the volume of carbon dioxide reached 393.1 parts per million in 2012, some 41 per cent above the pre-industrial level.

World Meteorological Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says the increase of carbon dioxide is mostly due to human activity, industry, energy production, land use and deforestation, among other factors.

“CO2 is a very stable gas, so it means that there is no sort of chemical reaction which would naturally destroy CO2 in the atmosphere. So it stays for very long periods, hundreds of years, or even more. And that is why, as a consequence, the actions we take now or the actions we do not take now will have consequences for a very, very long period,” said Jarraud. 

The organization says methane is the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas and to the potential warming of the atmosphere. About 40 percent of methane reaches the atmosphere from natural sources, such as wetlands and termites. The other 60 percent comes from human activities including cattle breeding, rice agriculture, fossil fuel exploitation and biomass burning.

Nitrous oxide is the third most important greenhouse gas.  The organization says about 60 percent of emissions come from natural sources and 40 percent from human activity.  The U.N. agency notes nitrous oxide also plays an important role in the destruction of the atmosphere's ozone layer, which protects people from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

In its recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed that atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide are breaking all records, and are now higher than they have been for more than 800,000 years. 


Climate talks next week
will center on emissions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, next week address the task of creating a treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement, expected by 2015, will replace the Kyoto Protocol that expired last year.

The U.N. Environment Program’s annual Emissions Gap Report, released this week, reviews how each nation is meeting its pledge to reduce the release of greenhouse gases. Climate Change Coordinator Merlyn van Voore warns the opportunity to control those emissions is slipping away. “The emissions gap is still growing. UNEP believes that it is still possible to close the gap, but it will be tough.”

The scenarios described in the report find that delay will be costly, but the situation will get even costlier if nations continue with business as usual.

Not all large emitters on track to meet pledges

According to the report, five of the largest emitters, China, India, Australia, Russia and the European Union nations, are on track to meet commitments made in international forums. Other major emitters, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico and South Korea, fall short.

Co-author Taryn Fransen, a senior scientist with the World Resources Institute, said that while the news is not great, she is encouraged that some of those nations have recently put policy changes in place. She points to a new climate law in México, an emissions trading scheme in South Korea and the U.S. Climate Action Plan announced by President Barack Obama in June.

Ms. Fransen said even if the United States and every other nation fulfilled their pledges, however, emissions by the end of the decade still would be 18 to 27 percent above where they need to be to keep global temperature rise less than two degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels.

Climate scientists say breaking the two degree Celsius threshold would put the planet in danger with increased ice sheet melt, sea level rise, forest fires, and extreme weather.


Effect on climate uncertain
because of aerosols in air


By the University of Leeds news staff

Natural aerosols, such as emissions from volcanoes or plants, may contribute more uncertainty than previously thought to estimates of how the climate might respond to greenhouse gas emissions.

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Leeds, has shown that the effect of aerosols on the climate since industrialization depends strongly on what the atmosphere was like before pollution when aerosols were produced only from natural emissions. The research is being published in the journal Nature today.

Ken Carslaw from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds and lead author of the study, said: "We have shown that our poor knowledge of aerosols prior to the industrial revolution dominates the uncertainty in how aerosols have affected clouds and climate.

"In order to better understand climate change, we need to turn our attention towards understanding very clean regions of the atmosphere as might have existed in the mid-1700s. Such regions are incredibly rare now, but we are looking for them."

Aerosols tend to increase the brightness of clouds, which would increase the reflection of solar radiation to space, thereby partially masking the climate-warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Firmly establishing the effect of aerosol-induced changes on cloud brightness is an important challenge for climate scientists.


Another U.S. Navy officer
held in bribery investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. prosecutors have accused a third senior U.S. Navy official in a widening bribery probe involving millions of dollars in excess charges for refueling and supplying U.S. fleet ships in Asian ports.

A Justice Department statement said Navy Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez was arrested early Wednesday in Florida. He was charged with accepting prostitutes, luxury travel and $100,000 from a foreign defense contractor in exchange for classified and internal Navy information.

This arrest is the latest development in a sweeping probe of a massive overbilling scheme allegedly orchestrated by Singapore-based defense contractor Glen Defense Marine Asia.

The probe, first reported last month in the Washington Post, has so far led to the arrests of a senior agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and another Navy commander who captained a U.S. destroyer. Another commander ensnared in the probe was relieved last month in Japan of his ship's command.

Prosecutors allege Sanchez took bribes in return for providing sensitive information on ship deployments. The officer also is accused of recommending specific ports at which aircraft carriers, submarines and other ships would refuel and resupply. Those ports were serviced by Glen Defense Marine Asia.

Court records show Glen chief executive Leonard Glenn Francis and another company official were arrested in September in San Diego after federal investigators lured them to the United States by arranging a sham meeting with Navy officials.

The firm has serviced navies in Asia for a quarter century, and authorities say the company has been awarded U.S. contracts worth more than $200 million.


Number living in poverty
increased with new U.S. data

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government says one in six Americans lived at or below the poverty level last year. That is about 50 million people in total.

That figure is three million people more than were listed in a report two months ago. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the new figure is based on a revised formula that is more true-to-life because it includes people who received government benefits that helped lift them out of poverty.

An American family of four is officially designated as living in poverty if it earns less than $23,550 a year. But the revised figure looks at things like Social Security payments to the elderly that can put them above the official poverty line.

The U.S. economy is steadily improving. But officials say many working-age adults are still not able to find jobs that pay them enough to cover all their bills.

Congress already has cut food stamp benefits for poor Americans and is considering even more cuts to help balance the ailing federal budget.


Google employees express
their anger at NSA spying

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A pair of Google, Inc., employees involved with the Internet company's security systems have publicly lashed out at the National Security Agency with one of the employees accusing the organization of subverting the law by intercepting communications on cables linking Google's various data centers.
 
Nobody at the U.S. National Security Agency or the British intelligence agency “will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process,” wrote Mike Hearn, an engineer at Google, on his personal Google+ page Tuesday.
 
The comments follow a report in the Washington Post last week that the NSA had gained access to an overseas cable or switch that relayed Google and Yahoo, Inc., traffic through an unnamed telecommunications provider. The report is the latest revelation based on secret NSA documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden.
 
Hearn, whose profile on the Google+ Web site lists him as a Zurich-based software engineer who has worked at Google since 2006, said in the post that he had worked on an anti-hacking system at Google for two years.
 
“We designed this system to keep criminals out. There's no ambiguity here,” Hearn wrote. “Bypassing that system is illegal for a good reason,” he said, noting that the judicial system of warrants and rules of evidence provided an effective and time-honored way to prevent crime while limiting excessive intrusions into privacy.
 
The strident comments echo those last week by Brandon Downey, who identified himself as a network security engineer on his personal Google+ Web page.
 
“Even though we suspected this was happening, it still makes me terribly sad,” Downey wrote. “The U.S. has to be better than this,” he said in a post.
 
A person close to the company confirmed that Hearn and Downey are Google employees.
 
Both Hearn, who personally thanked Snowden in his post, and Downey said they were voicing their personal opinions and not speaking on behalf of Google. Google declined to comment on their postings.
 
Google, the world's No.1 internet search engine, said last week that it was outraged by the government's actions and called for urgent reform.
 
The Internet company has faced its own criticism about intercepting data in the past, most notably when it acknowledged in 2010 that a fleet of cars it operates to map the world's streets had mistakenly collected passwords and other personal data from home consumers' wireless networks over a two year-period.
 
The newly disclosed NSA program, operated jointly with the United Kingdom's Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, amassed 181 million records in one recent 30-day span, according to one document reported by the Post. It could not be learned how much of that included material from U.S. residents, how the agency redacted data on them or how much of the information was retained.
 
An NSA spokesperson said in a statement last week that the suggestion in the Post article that the agency relies on a presidential order on foreign intelligence gathering to skirt domestic restrictions imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and other laws is not true.
 
“The assertion that we collect vast quantities of U.S. persons' data from this type of collection is also not true,” the statement said. “NSA is a foreign intelligence agency. And we're focused on discovering and developing intelligence about valid foreign intelligence targets only.”
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8119-4/16/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 768
1,000 square meters of land and 350 square meters of construction. HERE!
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8068-11/9/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

San Mateo pool

BEAUTIFUL PROPERTY IN SAN MATEO, ALAJUELA 3,528 m2

Includes 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-story house built to American standards with a balcony overlooking full-sized swimming pool and rancho with a bathroom and a shower room, and landscaped tropical gardens.  There are two large storage buildings, a carport and electric-gate access to the enclosed property.  It is a short drive to the highways to San José and the beaches.  Owner financing available.  Please call: +506 2446-4901
8116-11/15/13

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!
8087-10/18/13

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8082-10/9/13

Nicoya
                                views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD, axelspecial@gmail.com    Cell 8916-5550.
8061-xxxxx

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
88059-xxxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Naranjo views

NARANJO VIEW PROPERTY READY TO BUILD: ALL PERMISSIONS

4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone
Email monicacal@mac.com
8034-8/19/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8010-7/28/13

Flamingo
                            view
Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.
7986-8/6/13

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

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

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website WendyLovesCostaRica.com. All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email Wendy@WendyLovesCostaRica.com.
7971-6/23/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7967-7/17/13

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)71

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2
11

DIGITS RESOURCE GUIDE is for sale!
In the nine years of operation, DIGITS Resource Guide has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and Osa Peninsula areas.  DIGITS is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into an even greater level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. For a preview of the magazine, go to www.everydigit.com, or simply go to a local Distributor for a copy. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.
8115-11/18/13

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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 7, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 221
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News from the BBC up to the minute
















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Hijacker of U.S. jet plane
wants to return to visit


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A one-time U.S. militant who hijacked an airliner to Cuba nearly 30 years ago is returning to his homeland, with the hope of resolving criminal charges that he still faces in the United States.
 
William Potts was a member of a black nationalist group called the Black Panthers when he commandeered a plane with 56 passengers on it at gunpoint in 1984 and ordered the pilot to fly to Havana. It was an era when airline security was lax and U.S. hijackers frequently sought passage to communist Cuba.
 
Potts, now 56 years old, thought he would be welcomed in the island nation a short distance from the southern coast of the U.S. Instead, he was quickly convicted of air piracy and served 13 years in a Cuban prison. Once freed, he married a Cuban woman with whom he had two daughters.
 
The couple has since divorced and his daughters now live in the U.S., prompting Potts to negotiate with U.S. authorities to arrange a charter flight Wednesday from Havana to Miami in the southern U.S. state of Florida.
 
Potts said he is looking forward to a reunion with his family in the U.S.
 
"To go home, to my family, to my daughters, that's what I'm hoping, that's what I'm expecting," said Potts, who has also acknowledged that he has made no deal with American authorities about his fate when he returns to his homeland.
 
He said he is hoping that the prison sentence he served in Cuba will limit further punishment in the U.S.
 
"We have not coordinated anything, that same uncertainty we have to resolve today is that I committed a crime, paid my dues and that's it, it's over. I was condemned to 15 years in prison, not life."
 
Potts said he intends to return to live in Cuba once the U.S. criminal charges are resolved.


U.S. visa chief in Vietnam
admits accepting bribes


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A one-time U.S. visa chief in Vietnam has pleaded guilty to bribery and other charges for accepting more than $3 million in bribes to hand out visas for entry into the United States.

The U.S. Foreign Service officer, Michael Sestak, admitted the scheme Wednesday in a federal court in Washington. He acknowledged that he took bribes to approve nearly 500 visas while serving in Ho Chi Minh City from 2010 to last year.

Prosecutors said Sestak conspired with four other people, two Americans living in Vietnam and two Vietnamese citizens, to collect nearly $10 million in bribes that ranged from $15,000 to $70,000. American officials said the 42-year-old Sestak used his $3 million share of the bribes to buy nine pieces of real estate in Thailand, all of which he is forfeiting as part of his guilty plea agreement.

Sestak has yet to be sentenced, but U.S. guidelines call for a prison term of about 19 to 24 years.

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From Page 7:

U.S. firm to handle Jacó Rays bookings

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Oriens Travel & Hotel Management Corp. said Wednesday that it will handle booking and reservations for the Jacó Rays professional soccer team.

The second-division Jacó team will be using the Daystar stadium. Patrick Hundley, principal of Daystar Properties, is building the multimillion dollar stadium for the community which also will be used as a host site for the Womens under 17 World Cup next year, of which Jacó has been selected as a host community.

For an area that is rapidly growing in tourism and retirement communities, the amenities and infrastructure the new stadium will offer "greatly increases the general value for Jacó Beach real estate and other international investments," said Ken Chua, resident of Oriens Travel & Hotel Management, which is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

He said that implementing the company's reservations system in this arena will further demonstrate the sophistication and versatility of the online booking engine and will certainly help to solidify the firm's growing position within Central
America.

"This new stadium will be a major upgrade from the facility where the Jacó Rays currently play," Chua added. "As the Jacó Rays continue to become a big draw in the central Pacific, having the ability to seamlessly manage electronic ticket sales, booking hotel/stadium specials and other entertainment hospitality related reservation services, will be of the utmost importance to ownership. Oriens can provide the ownership with these necessary tools."