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Cocal for Jan. 20
    retirement
Loma Verde
(506) 2223-1327                       Published Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 255                                  Email us
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Rock Construction

;ale Arenal

bulls
Municipalidad de San José/Gilberto Luna
This is the first bull of the year at Zapote. More photos are on the municipality Facebook page.
Bull event is in full swing at Zapote and Pedregal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The bull baiting at Zapote began on schedule Thursday afternoon with an introduction by the San José mayor, Sandra García Pérez. 

Accompanying her was a Roman Catholic priest who provided a blessing, an appropriate action for what was to come.

The first bull, El Mal Tallado, entered the ring about 3 p.m. The bull baiting will continue until Jan. 4. There was a full house Sunday. Spectators cheered as bulls ran down the toreros improvisados in the rondel or bull ring.

In the first hours, bulls managed to catch a handful of participants, but the Cruz Roja on duty at the bull ring said that the worst injury was just a bruised hip. The emergency clinic attached to the ring will have plenty of activity over the next 10 days.

The bull baiting at the festival in Zapote has competition this year at Pedregal, and both locations can be seen on the local television stations with Channel 9 covering the Pedregal action.

Organizers of the Zapote event are trying to be more creative, including putting a popular band on a flatbed and wheeling it into the ring.
Musicians played and sang while a bull chased toreros around the flatbed.

Organizers also presented two diminutive toreros to face a mere 200-kilo bull. The 3-foot toreros were bounced around a bit, but they did manage to pile on the bull and bring it to rest in the ring. Organizers have more unusual activities planned to keep the audience and the television crowd interested.

The Zapote Festejos Populares has free admission, but the bull baiting costs between 5,000 and 25,000 colons. There also are admissions charged for the carnival rides. And the food stands vary in price depending on the meal.

The municipality also presents the Tope Nacional today starting at noon.

The horse parade route begins at Plaza González Víquez and follows Calle 11 to Avenida Segunda and then to Paseo Colón. The parade ends at Calle 40 just east of the statue of  León Cortés in Parque la Sabana.

Horse riders are paying 10,000 colons each to enter the line of march. In addition to horses and riders, there will be various horse-drawn vehicles and other attractions. The Tope pays tribute each year to the country's agricultural heritage.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
 
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 255

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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.

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. —

We know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.

Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta javier@residencyincostarica.com
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
8512-3/15/15

 Accountants

U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
 services. Over 15 years in Costa Rica

U.S. Tax rollover
(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2001
FAX: 506 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page: www.ustaxinternational.com
8476-3/11/15

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

Uncle
Sam's
• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
99,200 in 2014}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
8719-4/3/15


Psychotherapy
Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
gray book
 
 
   'New World Meditation'
Training & Support
 Buy Now
via Amazon


www.DrLucindaGray.com
Costa Rica: (506) 2228-2041
8430-1/20/15

Legal services

Real Estate Closing Services
Lic Matta

Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA.

Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

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

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000
Email: jpmata2000@gmail.com
8477-12/5/14


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
restored over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz 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: marcomunozcavallini.com
8365-5/12/15


Remodelling and Construction


Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
HEY FOODIES-SURFERS-BEACH LOVERS!
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. 
Fisher
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
#2: The Jacó 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 !
   JACO BEACH and area FIRESALES!
Yes we know Costa Rica: Jeff (21 years here), Frances Winborne (23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jacó born & bred),  and we chose the Central Pacific!
SIGN UP FOR OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER:
info@crbeach.com

Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
www.CRbeach.com    info@crbeach.com
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
JACO Office: IL Galeone Center by BAC, #14, Costa Rica
8506-4/3/15

exo graphic
with text
   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
          property
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and Hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jac¢ area

www.ecorealtorscr.com    info@ecorealtorscr.com
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
8517-4/13/15

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

Colinas

* 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 clear-titled 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
Email:  JimDay50@aol.com 
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
8467-2/26/14



Commercial

Christmas

Commercial enterprises are quick to jump on Christmas as a way to market their images.

This towering tree is in Plaza de la Cultura adjacent to the Teatro Nacional.

A cell telephone company put it up as a reminder that it joins in the holiday celebration. The tree is one of many displays, ranging from inflated Santas, to thirsty polar bears that can be found in the metro area.


tree
A.M. Costa Rica photo

New business features batting machines

By Dennis Rogers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

New on the Costa Rican baseball scene is indoor batting practice. Baseball here is mostly played by Nicaraguan immigrants and other foreigners, but the owners hope to expand and attract more Ticos to the game.

Tim Bell and Javier Calvo have set up with a Juggs pitching machine and batting cage. The machine can be set from 50 to 75 mph, according to the skill of the batter, and shoots a hard rubber ball with no seams to avoid unusual movement on the pitch. Bell says they also plan to get a another, similar machine designed for bigger softballs, as that has a larger following in Costa Rica than fast-pitch baseball. The price is 1,000 colons for 25 swings.

Also on the premises is an existing business moved from a previous location in Rohrmoser:  Solo Para Fanaticos, which has baseball equipment and shoes along with hats and shirts.

Solo Para Fanaticos is located behind the Las Animas church between Avenidas 8 and 10 on Calle 20 in San José. Avenida 10 is eastbound, and Avenida 8 westbound, with Calle 20 one-way to the north. Hours are 3 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays 9  a.m. to 7:30 p.m. There is parking on the street near the business. More information is available at 8362-6480.

Also the baseball season is underway at the Santo Domingo program, and kids ages 3 to 16 are welcome. Loaner gloves are available. Activities start at 9 a.m. on Saturdays at the Polideportivo de Santo Domingo. This is about 500 meters north of the basilica (the larger of two churches in Santo Domingo) and 200 meters to the west. A tubular cell phone tower in sight as one gets nearer is helpful.


Suspect in murder of teen identified


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial has identified the last name of Colomer, the suspect in the murder of a 14-year-old girl. He has been remanded to preventative detention for the next three months.

The judiciary also has released more information on the case.

The body of the girl, Wendy Ojeda Pastrana, was identified Monday, and the suspect, 19, was detained. The Poder Judicial said that the body was found adjacent to where the suspect lived until last week. The girl had been tied hands and feet.

Investigators found traces of blood in both the location where the suspect used to live and his current living quarters, they said. They are trying to determine if the blood all came from the girl. She was strangled, but her face contained abrasions.


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
U.S. Tax new ad
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 255        
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The financial route is always a difficult uphill trek in January
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Ricans call it the cuesta de enero, meaning the January slope. And the slope is upwards and financial.

This is the time when expenses come home to roost after businesses and individuals have paid employees the aguinaldo. For expats, the payments might be to a gardener, a watchman or a domestic worker, although the first two frequently are independent contractors. Presumably these payments will have been made by Dec. 15.

Christmas, of course, has generated credit card bills, and the first payment comes sooner than expected.

For many expats, Dec. 31 is the deadline for paying municipal taxes on properties, on business licenses and some other fees. Most municipalities are closed until Jan. 5, but the payment can be made at banks. The Municipalidad de San José will open its online payment system briefly Monday, it said.

Then there is the marchamo or road tax that is due without penalty by Dec. 31. Although the Instituto Nacional de Seguros has closed for the holiday vacation, payments can be made all over, including at major supermarkets, private insurance agencies and banks. The amount depends on the value of the vehicle.

For many expats, the big bite from the government is the luxury home tax. That is due by Jan. 15 from owners of homes  The luxury home tax is assessed on any dwelling and immediate property that is worth this year more than 122 million colons, about $226,000. 

The tax to be paid is equal to 0.25 percent of the property’s total value to a maximum tax rate of 0.55 percent since it is a progressive tax.

By the end of January the corporation tax is due, some 201,700 for active entities. That's about $382.  Inactive corporations pay half that.
uop hill in January


Christmas delivery
Lynn Gensemer photo
Santa came in a stock truck Thursday in the hills above Jacó. Lynn Gensemer of Chungo Interior Design and friends once again delivered food staples and toys to those
who may need a little help. This has become an annual event with the help of local businessman Jim Gray and other expats in the Pacific beach town.

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, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 255
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Franklin Chang publishes second part of his autobiographical series
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Franklin Chang Diaz, the Costa Rican-U.S. astronaut, has written a second book in his autobiographical series. This is "Dream’s Journey" that begins as Chang, now 18, is on his way to the United States with $50 in his pocket.

"This book gives a very personal account of his educational experiences, his first marriage, family life and his impressions of poverty in the United States and religion, among other topics," said a summary.

The second book is in English and brings readers to the time when Chang is accepted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The first book, " Los Primeros Años," covers his earlier years.

The former astronaut now runs Ad Astra Rocket Co.  in Liberia which is pioneering plasma motors.

There are other books available about Chang, but most appear to be for children, based on the titles and descriptions available online.

Also available is "Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut" by José M. Hernández, a Mexican who was turned down for the astronaut program 11 times before finally being accepted.

"Dream´s Journey" is not available in bookstores and can be purchased by contacting bcallowconsulting@gmail.com


Chng book cover
Franklin Chang is on the right in this cover photo.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


PRIMO'S SUEŇO CABINAS
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: lagringo2003@yahoo.com
8492-4/1/15

Howard
rollover
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 www.liveincostarica.com
8479-9/11/14

Anywhere
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.
8278-3/14/14


Hidden
Garden
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:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
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.
Every Saturday - Vendor Fair!
8567-3/15/15

diligence
Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
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.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8390-10/2/14

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

HERE!

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
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        www.manuelantonioestates.com

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:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8559-1/4/15


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. laurelfanderson@gmail.com
8484-10/16/14

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.
tropical
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8441-2/17/15

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8423-9/15/14

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.
Contact:  HPCattleCR@aol.com
8425-8/17/14




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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 255       
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Cafetales

Sony releases 'The Interview'
in theaters, social networks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sony Pictures has started distributing the controversial comedy "The Interview" online a day after announcing that 200 independent theaters will screen the movie on Christmas Day.

The movie, was released Wednesday and will be available across several digital platforms including YouTube, Google Play, and Microsoft Xbox. The YouTube version does not seem to be available in Costa Rica.

In a statement, Sony said it was essential to release the movie, "especially given the assault upon our business by those who wanted to stop free speech."

Sony pulled "The Interview" from general release last week after several large U.S. theater chains said they would refuse to show it because of threats of violence.

The comedy tells the story of two journalists who are recruited by U.S. intelligence to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Wednesday Sony reversed its decision to cancel the movie, announcing a limited theatrical release that will see the film shown in dozens of theaters.

In a statement, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the president welcomed the move, which he said "allows people to make their own choices about the film."

President Barack Obama had said Sony made a mistake in canceling the movie, saying it risks setting a precedent in which "dictators can start imposing censorship" in the U.S.

The Obama administration has vowed to respond to the cyber attack on Sony, but officials would not confirm or deny whether the U.S. retaliated by causing a brief North Korean Internet outage this week.

State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf would not comment on the matter.

"I leave it to the North Koreans to talk about if their Internet was up, if it wasn't, and why," she said. "We're just not going to entertain questions one way or the other about any of these questions about possible U.S. responses of any kind. And I would caution you from assuming, that because I'm not going to comment on them, that the answer means one thing or another."

The U.S.-based Internet monitoring company Dyn Research said the reason for the outage is not clear, but was consistent with "a fragile network under external attack."

North Korea has not commented on the disruption, which lasted about nine hours. But it has adamantly denied involvement in hacking Sony Pictures.

The FBI says it has evidence Pyongyang was behind the cyber hack, which resulted in leaks of embarrassing corporate emails, yet to be released films, and private employee data.

The hackers call themselves the Guardians of Peace and warned there would be a bitter fate for anyone attending a showing of "The Interview."


World leaders deliver
personal Yule messages


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After a particularly violent week leading up to the Christmas holiday, world leaders used their yearly holiday messages to heal and speak out against injustices.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, the top Roman Catholic official in the Holy Land, led a Christmas Eve midnight Mass as hundreds of worshippers prayed in the Nativity Church.

In his Christmas Eve message, Patriarch Twal urged Jews, Muslims and Christians to live in peace in the Holy Land.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis on Thursday called for peaceful resolution of a series of other conflicts, including Ukraine, Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and various regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The pope also offered sympathy for the victims of the ebola epidemic, citing above all Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and also the families of the children killed in an attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, last week that left an estimated 150 people dead, the vast majority children.

Christmas celebrations lifted spirits after a year of conflict and failed peace efforts in the region.

Stephana Zecevic, who was visiting Bethlehem from Belgrade, Serbia, said, “It was very spiritual for me and wonderful — giving, sharing, really beautiful. I can feel the Christmas spirit. I felt really blessed, and I’m very happy that I’m here.”

It was a low turnout this Christmas in the wake of the 50-day war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. A cease-fire has mostly held since the violence ended four months ago, but tourism to the Holy Land has not recovered.

Palestinians in Bethlehem are disappointed by the lack of tourists, which is a blow to the city’s fragile economy.

Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun said the root of the problem is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

“The main message is: All I want for Christmas this year is justice, and if there is justice, there is peace,” Baboun said.

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, sent Christmas and New Year holiday greetings to all Americans, with a special message of thanks to U.S. troops for their service to the country.

The Obamas recorded the Christmas message, which was released Wednesday, before the family left for a holiday in Hawaii.

The Obamas thanked troops, military families and veterans for their service and urged all Americans to express their gratitude to the armed forces by giving back through community service.

The president also said that the birth of Jesus was a message to love one another and reach out to the sick, the hungry and the troubled.

Obama enjoyed a Christmas Eve dinner Wednesday with his family and telephoned members of each branch of the U.S. armed forces to express his gratitude for their sacrifice. He also planned to visit a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay to visit with servicemen and women.

The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also telephoned four selected service members to thank them for giving up their holiday to serve. Two were in Afghanistan and two were with the U.S. Central Command, which is leading the coalition fight against the Islamic State group.

In Afghanistan, U.S. troops celebrated Christmas Day with song and dance. “Tops in Blue,” a touring performance ensemble, put on a festive show at the Bagram Airbase for troops from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

In Britain, Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas message spoke of reconciliation and gave thanks for health care workers helping to fight the ebola outbreak in West Africa.

​The queen referred to the independence referendum in September in Scotland, which ended up not breaking away from the United Kingdom. Her message urged healing between the two camps.

“Of course, reconciliation takes different forms. In Scotland, after the referendum, many felt great disappointment, while others felt great relief, and bridging these differences will take time,” she said.

The queen also said she was deeply touched by the selflessness of doctors and nurses combating the ebola outbreak.

Each year, the queen writes her own Christmas speech, which is prerecorded and televised in many parts of the world on the afternoon of Christmas Day. 

Less than two weeks ago in Australia, a gunman took more than a dozen people hostage in a Sydney cafe. After a 16-hour standoff, police entered the cafe after hearing gunfire. Two hostages and the gunman were killed.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged Australians to remember not only the families of the victims but others who have had a hard year as well, including soldiers abroad and farmers dealing with drought.

"The last fortnight has been a heartbreaking time for our country," Abbott said in a video message. "The thoughts and prayers of everyone are with those who are grieving this Christmas."

German President Joachim Gauck used his annual Christmas address to urge his countrymen to welcome with open arms the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war zones and to reject anti-immigrant populism.

In a broadcast released Thursday, Gauck praised Germans who sheltered and supported about 200,000 new refugees this year and to indirectly attack a new anti-asylum movement. More than 17,000 people took part in Germany's largest anti-immigrant rally on Monday in the eastern city of Dresden to air their claims that Germany is being overrun by Muslims.

In Donetsk, a pro-Russian rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine, hundreds of people gathered for the traditional unveiling of a tree decorated with lights ahead of the New Year holiday. Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 7 in Ukraine, an Orthodox Christian country.

Children recited poems on a stage in Lenin Square and Russian pop music blared from loudspeakers as an inflatable snowman bobbed in the cold wind, but the Christmas spirit was missing.   

After eight months of fighting between government forces and Russian-backed rebels that has torn the region apart and left more than 4,700 dead, people admitted they were not feeling too joyful.

"If I have any sense of a holiday mood, then it is buried very deep down," Svetlana Mashilina, standing next to her husband, Vladimir, told a reporter.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wished Christians the world over a Merry Christmas on Thursday, lamenting the plight of Middle East Christians, who he said are subject to persecution in every country of the region, except for Israel.

"I wish Christians in Israel and all over the world a very Merry Christmas," Netanyahu said in the YouTube video.

He called on the world's Christian communities to remember those who are less fortunate, the Christians suffering from persecution across the Middle East.

In Spain, King Felipe VI delivered a Christmas Eve address at Zarzuela palace in Madrid, using his first holiday address to lash out against corruption. However, Felipe made no direct mention of his sister Cristina de Borbon, who was ordered Monday to stand trial on tax-fraud charges.

In Berlin, dozens of swimmers arrived Thursday at the city’s Oranke Lake for their annual Christmas Day dip, complete with red Christmas hats.

The air temperature was 5 degrees C (41 F) for the Berlin Seals' outing. Swimmer Beate Korehnke said: “The best is the feeling afterward. There is prickling all over the body — it's like a sauna but backward.”

Iran’s Christian minority — most of Armenian ethnicity and adherent to the Gregorian faith — also celebrated Christmas, gathering at St. Mary’s Church on Christmas Eve in Tehran.

While Russia woke up on Christmas Day to its first heavy snowfall of the year, with white snow blanketing much of the country, President Vladimir Putin told government officials to scrap New Year’s holiday plans.

Russian company workers are given holiday from Jan. 1 through Jan. 12, when Russians celebrate the New Year, as well as Orthodox Christmas.

But with the country facing a still-unfolding economic crisis, Putin told a televised government session on Thursday that cabinet ministers should not take this time off. "For the government, for your agencies, we cannot afford this long holiday, at least this year," he said.

Russia's economy, battered by low oil prices and Western sanctions, is set to enter recession next year for the first time in six years, while the ruble is now worth less than half of its former value. The Russian Central Bank also announced Thursday that the country's currency reserve has dropped below $400 billion for the first time since August 2009, as the government has been selling the currency on the market to support the ruble.


2014 toll of journalists
put at 60 by press watchdog

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A press freedom group says at least 60 journalists have been killed this year while on the job, with members of the international press making up a particularly high percentage of the dead.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists issued its annual report documenting journalist deaths in 21 countries in 2014.

It said that local journalists continue to be the most targeted, but that 23 percent of those killed were international journalists. By comparison, the local press makes up 90 percent of the organization's data base of journalist deaths dating back to 1992.

The report attributed the uptick to the "increasingly volatile nature of conflict zones in which Westerners are often targeted."

Syria was by far the most dangerous country for journalists, with 17 deaths this year. Five journalists were killed in both Iraq and Ukraine, while four deaths occurred in Somalia and during the war between Israel and Palestinian militants.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said 2014 capped a three-year period that has been the deadliest it has ever recorded.

The deaths also included three each in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Paraguay, and the first journalist killing the group has ever documented in the Central African Republic.

The report said 43 percent of the dead were murdered, while 38 percent died in combat or crossfire.


Asia will commemorate
deaths in 2004 tsunami

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Beach side memorials, moments of silence, and religious services are planned across Asia today to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 220,000 people in 2004.

The gigantic wave stuck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim.  It destroyed entire coastal communities, wiped out families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas.

The disaster was triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, the region's most powerful in 40 years, that sent waves roaring across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds as far away as East Africa. It was so powerful that it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters.

The tsunami led separatist rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province to lay down their arms in order to rebuild their lives. The three-decade rebellion against Indonesia ended in 2005, after having claimed 15,000 lives.

Indonesia was hardest hit by the tsunami, with more than 160,000 dead. Thousands more were killed in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
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8502-4/20/15




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 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 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
HERE!
Grecia 898
Beautiful house in Grecia downtown. Full security cameras. Land 250 m2.  Price $400,000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8533-2/17/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Heredia montage

Cariaria  Los Arcos.
    Lot inside Los Arcos Residence. Absolutely gorgeous right in front of the coffee plantation. The lot is 326.50 meters. Includes the corporation for an easy transfer and the plans for a 170 meter house. Open to all offers.   Architect  plans included (the blueprints). Cost to the seller $4,000 this is included!!   Original Price $97,000 just reduced to $86,000

Also I am selling an Audi A6  2008, 2.0 twin turbo. Full loaded power. Back leather. Full service records at the agency in Costa Rica.  52 kms.  Silver with black. Full computer iPod interface power. Electric moon roof. Everything's a beauty!!  Incredible history and full service at the agency, Costa Rica Audi.

It's a package deal $104.000.  Must sell.  I am moving back to U.S.  Contact me  at my phone:  2260-6979 or cell phone:  8893-8672.

La Fortuna Distress Sale
Divorce forced wife to return to the U.S. with bills to pay. Just wants to get out from under. Modern 2-bedroom home on over 1100m2 intended for apartments or condos. Easy walk to center of town, great volcano view. $140,000 with 50 percent financing arranged. On vacation rental program now producing nice income, but Costa Rica no longer in her future. For details contact
lafortunaguy@gmail.com
8548-1/1/15

Ringle resort
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-storey, 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-storey. 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 azucarb@racsa.co.cr or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.
8555-1/12/15

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
 PRICE REDUCED FROM $235,000 to $195,000
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 $195,000.
8545-1/2/15

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. http://www.atenasrealty.com/fotos%20H392.html
8542-12/17/14

greatroom
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 www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/

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. www.manuelantonioestates.com
8515-2/16/14

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, orbec12@gmail.com for further info or to arrange a viewing.
8509-xxx

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 Karen@remax-ocr.com  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
8500-1/3/15

Newly available in Roca Verde
Atenas
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: http://www.atenasrealty.com/fotos%20H326.html 2446-5587. ldrock@gmail.com
8499-q11/3/14

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 mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!
8482-2/11/15

Esterillos

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: edumace64@yahoo.es  and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8458-3/2/15

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES
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:
8422-9/15/14

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site: costaricalandsales.com
email: kim@costaricalandsales.com

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.
8406-8/2/14

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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.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 255
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News from the BBC up to the minute










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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
fireworkds
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo        
  Police officer checks part of a 61-kilo confiscation made at a retail outlet in
  Miramar Tuesday. That was one of two cases of illegal fireworks reported
  that day.


New theories target depression

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Clinical depression is extremely common around the world, with an estimated 350 million cases reported by the World Health Organization.

People of all ages suffer from depression, which is a leading cause of disability. The mental disorder, says the World Health Organization, is linked to about 1 million deaths every year from suicide or some other cause, such as substance abuse.

There are effective treatments for depression. But some, like lithium, carry significant and even dangerous side effects.

So researchers are now looking at a number of unconventional approaches to treating depression.

In Britain, scientists think some of the vast number of microbes that live in the gut may play a role in the development of mood disorders. They report that so-called probiotics, or helpful bacteria, relieve anxiety in mice and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

In humans, probiotic supplements have been shown to boost good bacteria in preliminary research, reducing bacteria that trigger inflammation. Scientists think the beneficial microbes may improve the way people process emotions, resulting in less anxiety. They plan further studies.

Meanwhile, a research consortium of a half dozen universities in the U.K. is focused on the role inflammation may play in clinical depression, exploring a newly discovered link between immune disorders, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and mental illness. 

Investigators say up to 40 percent of patients who receive interferon to treat a liver infection called hepatitis become depressed even though they were fine before treatment. Interferon triggers inflammation.

Researchers stress that the link between inflammation and clinical depression is not yet understood.

It's hoped that new drugs that reduce the inflammatory response can help ease depression or that existing anti-inflammatory drugs can be repurposed to help those who suffer from the mental disorder.


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