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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 228                      Email us
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for fire fighters

These 14 fire trucks arrived Monday from the United States and will go into service after being licensed and fitted out with radios and other equipment. The $4.6 million investment includes 10 pumpers and four four-wheeled vehicles designed for forestry work, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos. The tankers are going to  Pavas, Guadalupe, Ciudad Quesada, Liberia, Cañas, El Roble, Ciudad Neilly, Limón, Siquirres and Alajuela. The forest-fighting vehicles are going to Tilarán, Pital, Palmar Norte and Filadelfia.
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Judiciary appeals to itself to prevent cuts in budget
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial said Monday that it has appealed to the Poder Judicial to declare that national budget cuts are outside the guidelines of the Constitution.

The appeal is by the presidencia of the Corte Suprema de Justicia to fellow magistrates in the Sala IV constitutional court.

The appeal says that the modest budget cuts that are being considered by the Asamblea Legislativa violate the budget flexibility and independence of the judiciary.

The key focus of the complicated appeal appears to be salaries.
The Luis Guillermo Solís administration submitted a 2015 budget that was 19 percent higher than the previous year. A legislative committee reduced the amount by about 3.8 percent or some $546 million. The approved budget is 7.6 trillion colons, about $14 billion.

The Poder Judicial is not the only branch of government complaining, but so far it is the only entity that has filed a court challenge.

In a related action the Partido Acción Cuidadana called upon lawmakers to approve the original budget without the cuts.  President Solís is of that party. Lawmakers can restore the cuts because the budget is now being considered by the full membership.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 228    

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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

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José‚ offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore. —

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Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.

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Tel: (323) 255-6116


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FAX: 506 2231-3300
Web page:

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International Practice via the Web
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Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA.

Legal – Financial Adviser

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

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Mu¤oz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Mu¤oz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Mu¤oz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:

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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 (Jac¢ 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
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and Hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jacó area
Telephone: +506 2643-4065   
cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
skype: ecorealtorscr  Facebook: ecorealtorscr
In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó
Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR

Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
del Pacifico, S.A.


* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards.
* 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.
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, Northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Papagayo  Golf & Country Club
Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Heredia gets a new theater this month

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new theater is opening this month in Heredia's Centro Comercial Paseo de las Flores.

The operators are architect Remberto Campos and award-winning actress  Andrea Oryza. The theater is called La Fortina after the Heredia landmark structure the Fortín.

The theater is on the second floor of the commercial center and can seat 170 persons. The theater opens Nov. 27 with its first show, "Fuego en el sótano," described as a comic satire.

Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes         
Some of the vehicles are in pretty sad shape.

217 cars are just a drop in the bucket

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said it donated 217 vehicles to the Asociación Obras del Espíritu Santo to support its work with children. The ministry still has about 14,000 vehicles to go.

The vehicles all were put in the custody of the ministry before Feb. 28, 2010. Some were involved in accidents. Others have outstanding traffic tickets. They range from twisted and torn metal to a pristine Mercedes.

The traffic laws provide for donations to public agencies, educational institutions and social welfare organizations. The confiscated car lots are all over the country.

The ministry estimated that it will take eight years to donate all 14,000 vehicles.

Robbers were just too flashy with guns

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A good rule for professional stick-up artists is to keep the gun under wraps until you enter the place you seek to rob.

The alternative is what happened Sunday afternoon in Desamparados.

The Fuerza Pública said that officers were on routine patrol Sunday afternoon when officers spotted three men with guns headed for a fast-food outlet.

Once they saw the presence of police, the three men attempted to flee on motorcycles, but they were detained. All have police records for the same type of crime and others.

Officials off to China for refinery talks

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two Costa Rican officials are off to China to negotiate with the China National Petroleum Co. for the modernization of the state petroleum refinery.

They are Edgar Gutiérrez, minister of  Ambiente y Energía, and Sara Salazar, executive president of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, the state fuel company. They will be joined by Costa Rican officials already in China

The Contraloría General de la República raised questions about the original deal that was formulated during the Laura Chinchilla administration.

Bus fare cut through negotiations

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos says it cut the fare by 50 colons on bus service to and from Concepción de La Unión, de Cartago because local associations and the operator of the line, Transportes Hermanos Chacón S.A., agreed. The associations appear to have negotiated with the bus operator and then brought the request to the Autoridad.  The reduction is about nine U.S. cents. The fare now is 300 colons, about 55 cents.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 228            
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Government says it will support plans for Mega Terminal of the Atlantic
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government said Monday that it is supporting plans for a second giant container terminal in the Limón port of Moín.

This is the private project of the America’s Gateway Development Corp. The role of the government will be to advance the paperwork to create a trust to permit the first steps of the development. The project is being called the Mega Terminal of the Atlantic. The firm is a subsidiary of AMEGA Holdings Barbados, Inc. That firm is Canadian, American and Costa Rican, the Ministerio de  Comercio Exterior said.

The post will be a competitor to the $1 billion container handling facility being planned as a government concession and developed by APM Terminals, a Dutch company.

America’s Gateway's terminal also is seen as the eastern terminus of a proposed dry canal, a rail line, across the northern zone of Costa Rica to the Pacific. The firm Empresa Tren Interoceánico Continental  is involved in that project.

America’s Gateway has been promoting the project since 2008. Right now the project is in the feasibility planning stage.

For the global maritime industry, the AMEGA terminal offers a high speed, efficient deep-water port in a strategic geographical location that fully leverages the opportunity inherent in the Panama Canal expansion, the firm said. The channel will be 19 meters, about 62 feet.

For North American freight consignees and government, the terminal offers a high-security environment where containers from multiple incoming ports will be pre-scanned for immediate customs clearance into the United States and Canada reducing both risk and transit time, the firm added..
Moin port
America’s Gateway Development Corp. graphic
This is a rendering of the proposed Mega Terminal of the Atlantic.

The terminal is estimated to cost about $900 million.

"There is support for AMEGA from all sectors and we look forward to working collaboratively with the government, the private sector, non-governmental agencies and the people to make the project a success," the firm said on its Web site.. "America’s Gateway will bring great economic and social benefits to the Limón region and put Costa Rica firmly on the map as a leading global player in container shipping and related economic activities." Work is about to commence on the second  stage of the concession process, with the aim of taking the terminal to public bidding early in 2016.

The APM Terminal project has run into strong opposition from workers on the public docks in Moín who fear they will lose their jobs.

Government outlines its goals for the next three and a half years
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Luis Guillermo Solís administration laid out development plans Monday night that filled a 560-page document. The Teatro Nacional was the forum where the plans were outlined.

According to Solís, the priorities for the next three years will have impact through 2030. There are three pillars of the plan:

• Stimulation of the economy and the creation of quality employment

• Combating poverty and reducing inequality, and

• Maintaining an open and transparent government that fights against corruption.

Casa Presidencial said that a new aspect of the development plan will be a system of evaluation.
Specifically, the plan calls for economic growth of 6 percent in the next three and a half years and 8 percent by 2030, a reduction in unemployment from 8.6 to 7 percent in three and a half years and down to 4 percent in 2030 and bringing 42,000 families out of extreme poverty.

The president said he wants to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030. He also wants to improve the country's rating on an index of perception of corruption.

Extreme poverty is defined as not having enough money for three meals a day.
The plan will be put into practice by some 164 programs and projects, said the government.

Each administration publishes a development plan put together by the Ministerio de Planificación. The current one is a product of about five months of work by many government agencies.

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, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 228
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International student numbers soar — and not just in the United States
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing.

A new report from the Institute of International Education says that in the academic year 2013-2014, more than 886,000 foreign students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions, an increase of 8 percent over the year before. There are now twice as many international students in the U.S. than only a decade ago. That trend is driven to a large extent by incoming undergraduate students from China.

"In the U.S. they emphasize class discussions, and your opinion, and the capacity to debate with others, such as professor or teacher, and that is an atmosphere I want to experience," said Eric Xu, a Chinese student studying at Columbia University, in New York.

While the enrollment of Chinese students continues to grow, the past academic year saw a significant increase in students from Kuwait, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and even Iran. More than 4 percent of the students in U.S. higher education institutions are foreigners. Educators say the presence of foreign students in American schools is beneficial, and that about 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities can accommodate more.

"We know that international students contribute significantly to U.S. classrooms and campuses through their global perspectives and by
providing international exposure to those American students who may never have the opportunity to study overseas," said Rajika Bhandari, vice president of the Institute of International Education.

Enrollment of students from abroad also adds to the U.S. economy.

"This year, $27 billion was contributed to our economy at the local state and national levels, through payments for tuition, housing and other costs," said Evan Ryan, assistant secretary of State for education.

The U.S. State Department and the Department of Education also promote study abroad for U.S. students.

"We believe that study abroad can increase American competitiveness by enabling U.S. students to acquire language skills as well as the regional and global perspectives necessary to succeed in the 21st century," said Ryan.

About 290,000 U.S. students went to study abroad in 2012-2013 for academic credit.  Europe, especially Britain, remains the number one destination for American students, but the latest report shows that more students now choose to go to Latin American countries and China.

"China now is the number five host country for U.S. students, hosting over 14,000 American students," said Christine Farrugia of the International Institute of Education.

While U.S. schools continue to attract young people from all over the world, student exchanges among other countries also are on the rise.

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

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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  Email


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

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 228   
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Altos de Antigua

Ferguson shooting raises
possibility of new policies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

That a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in a central U.S. city on Aug. 9 is undisputed.

More than three months later, however, whether Michael Brown's killing in Ferguson, Missouri, by police officer Darren Wilson will or should bring about new policies related to race and diversity remains undecided.

“The case is seen very differently whether you’re African-American or whether you’re white,” said Debbie Hines, a former state prosecutor turned trial lawyer who blogs about the case.
And the numbers support Hines. Eighty percent of black adults surveyed for the Pew Research Center in August in the weeks after the shooting believed the case raised important issues about race. Only one third of white respondents agreed.

Tension surrounding the case racheted up again Monday, when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency before a grand jury decision expected later this month about whether Wilson will be charged in Brown's fatal shooting.

Nixon said the order would activate the National Guard to assist state and local police in case of violence in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, when the grand jury's decision is announced.

Those who see race as a key issue in the teenager's death point to systemic problems. They want discrimination addressed on a national level.  

A civil rights group, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has asked the U.S. Justice Department for wholesale policy changes to address police violence against black Americans.

The week after Brown’s death, the organization's Legal Defense Fund wrote a five-page letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, detailing 13 cases of what it called the “unjustified use of lethal and excessive force by police."

Among the demands: more racial, ethnic and gender diversity in law enforcement, and more police officers who are members of the community they serve.
Holder has ordered an investigation into whether the Ferguson police department was involved in racial profiling and how the force handled the protests which turned violent after Aug. 9. Authorities are also looking into how the force was trained.
But for now, it excludes looking at the hiring practices that made the Ferguson police department into an almost exclusively white force in a majority black city.
Elsie Scott, who has researched the interaction between police and minority communities, worked to increase the number of minorities in the New York City Police Department as deputy commissioner of training.

She believes expanding the diversity of law enforcement agencies around the country is key to mending the rift communities of color feel separates them from police.
"Even when a cop is not violating the law, because of this distrust and this disconnect between the black community and the police, you can still end up with a major incident if you have not engaged your community, or if you do not have black people in your police department," said Ms. Scott, now director of the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University in Washington.

For her, treating cases like Brown's as isolated incidents stands in the way of understanding larger issues across the country.

"I think a lot of people will dismiss this and say, ‘well my city is not like Ferguson. We don’t have the prejudice that seems to be there in Ferguson, we have proper protocols,'" Ms. Scott said. "And I think that’s a disservice because if you think your city doesn’t have problems, then you’re going to be somewhat like Ferguson if you end up with an incident like this."
Bill Johnson heads an umbrella organization in Washington that represents about a quarter-million police officers and their unions through the National Association of Police Organizations. He sees the shooting primarily as a question of whether Wilson was defending himself, therefore justified in his use of force against Brown, who was shot at least six times after an altercation with the officer.

"Like it or not, regardless of the color of the people involved, regardless of the socio-economic standards or regardless of the history of the police department, for an individual officer, if his or her life is threatened, or if they reasonably believe it’s threatened, they have the right to use force," said Johnson.
He disagreed with Ms. Scott that putting more police from minority communities in areas similar to their cultural or racial background is a solution to bridging the perceived gap seen by communities of color between them and the police. 

"If you pursue that and it goes too far down that road, it really ends up with a kind of insidious discrimination that’s there. And I think that...doesn’t solve the problem," said Johnson.

"I think if you send a message also that, to a community of color, you can’t trust the white officer. You can’t trust the Anglo officer. We’re sending people of color into a community because we can’t - you know, that’s really the only people you can trust," he added.
Instead, Johnson supports training and the creation of community liaisons on the police force, where officers get to know the area they patrol by interacting more with residents.

The wait to see whether Brown’s death will change what some Americans believe is an unacceptable status quo may take a lot longer than the grand jury decision expected by the end of November.

"There’s a lot of healing that’s going to have to come about," said Scott, who recalled the civil rights protests of the 1960s that eventually lead to policy reforms.
"It’s not going to happen overnight."

Obama's immigration action
might close U.S. government

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The dust has barely settled from the 2014 midterm elections, but it’s clear that the next great political battle is already here: immigration reform.

President Barack Obama is expected to take executive action soon to protect millions of immigrants who entered the country illegally from being deported. That would please Hispanic political activists, but also set the stage for a major confrontation between the president and newly empowered Republicans in Congress.

In light of sweeping Republican victories Nov. 4 that won a Senate majority and expanded their majority in the House of Representatives, you might have expected a more humble response from the Obama White House.  Instead it appears that the president is about to double-down on the immigration issue and follow through on his threat to take executive action in light of growing Republican opposition in Congress to taking up comprehensive reform.

After initially sounding a note of hopeful bipartisanship in the wake of the election results, incoming Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he and his fellow Republicans were concerned with the post-election stance of the Obama White House.

“I had maybe naively hoped the president would look at the results of the election and decide to come to the political center and do some business with us,” McConnell said. “I still hope he does at some point but the early signs are not good.”

The immigration gambit is also exposing cracks within Republican ranks between mainstream congressional leaders who now want to demonstrate that their party can govern in a responsible way and Tea Party and other conservative adherents that may be willing to shut down the federal government in a bid to prevent Obama from taking unilateral action.

Immediately after the midterm election, both Sen. McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner were quick to rule out any government shutdowns in the weeks ahead.  But the president’s expected action on immigration has fired up the Republican base, especially in the House, to the point that Boehner now says that all options are on the table.  Boehner told reporters that House Republicans will fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path.

Some conservatives raised the idea of trying to block the presidential action on immigration by linking it to upcoming congressional action on the budget.  Congress needs to act by December to keep the government running and a confrontation over immigration raises the possibility that some Tea Party activists and other conservatives will use the issue to push for a government shutdown.  Republicans leaders were hoping to enact a budget resolution that would have kept the government funded at current levels through next September.  But Tea Party activists may now demand a shorter term funding bill as part of an effort to fight the president on immigration.

Republican congressional leaders also said after the election that impeaching the president was off the table, a response to a small group of House conservatives who have raised the possibility in the past.  If things really get bad over the next few weeks, one has to wonder if some conservatives might be tempted to raise the issue anew under the theory that unilateral action by the president would be seen by many of them as a violation of the Constitution, something the Obama White House would vehemently push back on.

Democrats are also going through their own post-election soul-searching and many are concerned about what they see.  Republicans effectively cast the midterm election as a referendum on President Obama and his policies.  They also had some success in targeting Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.  Reid was re-elected leader by Senate Democrats but there were some notable defections, especially by Democrats in Republican-leaning states who grew tired of trying to defend the president and his policies.

House Democrats have been in the minority for the past four years and are well aware of their limitations in trying to have a voice in legislation.  The rules of the Senate give the minority a greater say than in the House, but now Senate Democrats will have to adjust to their new status as Republicans prepare to take the majority in January.  That could set the stage for more presidential vetoes, since the Democratic Senate blocked numerous bills from House Republicans before they could reach the president’s desk during his first six years in office.

How the immigration struggle plays out in the coming weeks could have a major impact on the early battle lines for the 2016 presidential race.  Unilateral presidential action would no doubt please immigration activists and give Hispanic voters a reason to come out in force for Democratic candidates two years from now, something they did not do in this year’s midterm elections.  It could also be a boon to whichever Democrat tries to succeed Obama in the presidency, beginning with the current favorite for the party nomination, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

State Department says
no classified info lost

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Despite last month’s suspected attack on the U.S. State Department’s email system and Web site, there’s no reason to believe classified information was compromised, a spokesman said.

The department had revealed that a portion of its email system and public Web site were shut down over the weekend weeks after authorities detected suspicious activity believed to be the work of an outside hacker.

"The State Department, like any other large organization that has a global span, is a constant target of cyberattacks," spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters Monday at a routine daily briefing.

He said the department, after detecting activity of concern several weeks ago, developed a response with cybersecurity experts from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies and is "implementing carefully planned improvements to the security of our main unclassified network."

Rathke, in explaining why parts of the email system weren’t disconnected until this weekend, said the action was part of previously planned maintenance.

He said he had no information to share on the source of the attack, which remains under investigation.

The intrusion happened about the same time the White House announced several of its unclassified computer systems were hacked into by an outside intruder. In that case, officials were quick to lay blame on Russian hackers, possibly working in cooperation with the Kremlin.

Cyber-attacks on U.S. and Western governmental and military assets have been on the uptick lately.

Just in the last few weeks, Chinese hackers reportedly dug into 800,000 employee records at the U.S. Postal Service, breached weather forecast systems at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and compromised the computers of G20 finance ministers by promising nude photos of former model Carla Bruni ahead of the G20 summit.

To be sure, such hacks are embarrassing and troublesome. But of potentially greater threat is what now appears to be a sustained Russian hacking campaign targeting the U.S., German, and Ukrainian governments as well as computer networks at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters.

"It’s fair to assume that the Russians can compromise any network that the Chinese can compromise," said Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security and now partner at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson. "The Russians are at least as talented as the Chinese, and far more stealthy."

Baker said he’s not the least surprised that Russian hackers, possibly working with elements of the government there, were hacking into sensitive U.S. computers. What’s surprising, he says, is that they did so in such a public fashion.

"The Russians may have made a deliberate decision to be less stealthy, either because it’s easier or because they’re sending us a message," he said via email. “Either way, it’s a sign that our lack of effective response to past foreign government hacks is encouraging more hacks and more willingness to advertise the foreign government hand behind the hacks.”

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 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)

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

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!

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 installed, 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.


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, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 228
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are dsiabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Unused language found hidden in brain

By the McGill University news service

An infant’s mother tongue creates neural patterns that the unconscious brain retains years later even if the child totally stops using the language, as can happen in cases of international adoption, according to a new joint study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and McGill University’s Department of Psychology. The study offers the first neural evidence that traces of the lost language remain in the brain.

“The infant brain forms representations of language sounds, but we wanted to see whether the brain maintains these representations later in life even if the person is no longer exposed to the language,” says Lara Pierce, a doctoral candidate at McGill University and first author on the paper. Her work is jointly supervised by Denise Klein at Montreal Neurological Institute and Fred Genesee in the Department of Psychology. The article is in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

The Montreal Neurological Institute conducted and analyzed functional MRI scans of 48 girls between nine and 17 years old who were recruited from the Montreal area through the Department of Psychology. One group was born and raised unilingual in a French-speaking family. The second group had Chinese-speaking children adopted as infants who later became unilingual French speakers with no conscious recollection of Chinese. The third group were fluently bilingual in Chinese and French.

Scans were taken while the three groups listened to the same Chinese language sounds.

“It astounded us that the brain activation pattern of the adopted Chinese who lost or totally discontinued the language matched the one for those who continued speaking Chinese since birth. The neural representations supporting this pattern could only have been acquired during the first months of life,” says Ms. Pierce. “This pattern completely differed from the first group of unilingual French speakers.”

The study suggests that early-acquired information is not only maintained in the brain, but unconsciously influences brain processing for years, perhaps for life, potentially indicating a special status for information acquired during optimal periods of development. This could counter arguments not only within the field of language acquisition, but across domains, that neural representations are overwritten or lost from the brain over time.

The implications of this finding are far reaching, and open the door for questions relating both to the re-learning of an early acquired, but forgotten, language or skill, as well as the unconscious influence of early experiences on later developmental outcomes.

Second-hand pot smoke has impact, too

By the American Heart Association news staff

Breathing second-hand marijuana smoke could damage heart and blood vessels as much as secondhand cigarette smoke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

In the study, blood vessel function in lab rats dropped 70 percent after 30 minutes of exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke. Even when the marijuana contained no tetrahydrocannabinol, a compound in marijuana that produces intoxication, blood vessel function was still impaired.

Reduced blood vessel function may raise the chances of developing atherosclerosis and could lead to a heart attack. Atherosclerosis is the disease process that causes plaque build-up in the arteries which narrows them and restricts blood flow.

“Most people know second-hand cigarette smoke is bad for you, but many don’t realize that secondhand marijuana smoke may also be harmful,” said Matthew Springer, senior author of the study and cardiovascular researcher and associate professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco’s Cardiology Division.

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From Page 7:

New taxes put Japan into recession

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Japan's economy, the world's third largest, has fallen into recession.

New data show the economy shrank at a 1.6 percent annual rate in July, August and September, after an even sharper decline in the previous quarter.  Textbooks often define recession as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The shrinking economy follows a tax increase that apparently discouraged spending by consumers and businesses. Stories in the financial press say the bad economic news makes it likely that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will delay another planned tax hike and call an early election.

Abe took office promising to improve the slumping economy through massive public stimulus spending and reforms. The plan often is called Abenomics.

The shrinking economy surprised experts who mostly predicted modest growth for Japan.  News of the recession caused stocks to decline in Tokyo and some other major markets.