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Pacific
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Sonny and Rita Delona photo
Pacific sunset illuminates Playa Callejones- Paraiso, Guanacaste, at the Vista Bela cabins. The location is near Playa Negra where a lot of
folks up north wish they were right now with the cold wave chilling Canada and much of the United States.


parade crashers
A.M. Costa Rica/Gabriela Vega Barrantes

Unwelcome

activists

Political party activists staged an unwelcome demonstration Thursday at the Tope Nacional horse parade. The holidays are supposed to be free of campaigning, and the marchers were booed and expelled.

The rest of our story is


Today Desamparados hosts Carnaval Nacional 2013
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The center of daytime diversion moves to Desamparados today for the Carnaval Nacional 2013.

The canton picked up the event when San José allowed the traditional Dec. 27 event to lapse eight years ago.

The grand parade usually ties up traffic for the afternoon, but few mind because this is another big show with clowns, macacaradas, bands and even antique cars. The parade route is about two kilometers from the southeast corner of the Colegio Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados to the Villa Olímpica

The sponsors are the Asociación Cívica Desamparadeña and the municipality's office of culture and tourism.

The Fuerza Pública said that 590 officers will be on duty along with the dog unit.

If last year is any indication, the biggest crimes they will confront are public drinking and small-time drug use.

Some 22 persons were detained last year, and 10 faced allegations of violation of the liquor laws. Some of these were minors. Five persons were held for being rowdy.

Nearby Aserrí is the home of the mascarada tradition, so plenty of these large, papier mâché figures will be in the parade.
The Cruz Roja said it was setting up 10 aid stations along the route. More than 100 workers. mostly volunteers, will be on the job at 10 a.m., two hours before the start of the carnival parade.

Last year the aid agency treated more than 60 persons and sent six to the hospital.

The weather is expected to be low on clouds and high on sun, so the Cruz Roja is urging carnival goers to wear hats or carry sun umbrellas. They also urged spectators to abstain from alcohol.

As the parade terminates, the bulls will be providing a spectator sport in Zapote, the location of the 2013 Fiestas. Plenty of carnival watchers will be heading that way.

The Costa Rican bullfights so far have not caused any fatalities, although a handful of participants met the wrong part of the bull.

A couple were thrown in the air, and one landed briefly on the back of the bull.

This is the event when perhaps 200 individuals enter the ring to tease and taunt a 500-kilo bull. There are shows at 3 p.m. and at 8 p.m. Some are televised.

Inspectors from the Ministerio de Salud checked out the food vendors at the Zapote fairgrounds Thursday. They took food samples for analysis and also checked the hookups for cooking gas.  There were no closures.

There is a heavy police presence in Zapote, too.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 256

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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.


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Colinas photo

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Murder victim discovered
in roadway near Parrita


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man on a tractor going to work spotted the body of a still unidentified man early Thursday in Parrita.

The man had been shot and was laying on the side of the road, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The body had several tattoos, including one that said Eduardo across the stomach.

Investigators said the man had been shot six times with the fatal bullet probably the one that entered the chest. The body was found bout 4:30 a.m.


Boat that was chased ashore
carried 50 kilos of cocaine


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A boat chased ashore Christmas Eve contained 50 kilos of cocaine, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas said Thursday.

The boat ended up on the beach at Punta Mona, in the Refugio Nacional de de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo along the southern Caribbean coast.

The occupants of the boat fled into the jungle, and have not been seen since. Law officers speculated that the crew members fled south into Panamá.

The boat originally had been spotted by a U.S. observation plane. Coast guard officials said that the pursuit was difficult because there were high seas late Dec. 23 and early Dec. 24.

Cornell Wind Ensemble plans
another trip and benefit concert


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Cornell University Wind Ensemble returns to Costa Rica next month for its fifth performing and outreach tour. The group includes 44 of the university’s best wind and percussion players.

CU Winds will give master classes and workshops at music schools and play concerts in San Isidro de El General Jan. 13, Buenos Aires Jan. 15, and San Vito Jan. 16 before moving on to David Jan. 17 and Panama City Jan 19.

The group will perform a concert in each community at the end of which they will donate instruments to the music school.

A concert at the Teatro Eugene O’Neill in the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano at 4 p.m. Jan. 12 is a benefit for the outreach program of the Asociación Caritativa Canadiense  for repairs to at-risk schools in many of these same communities.

Cynthia Johnston Turner, a Canadian and director of the CU Winds, has traveled to Costa Rica on several occasions to consult for the Sistema Nacional Educación Musica.  Cornell Winds students help with education of system musicians, perform joint concerts, and join in the mission “to bring artistic and cultural awareness to at-risk populations; to facilitate coexistence and positive relationships consistent with the Costa Rican democracy that is founded on peace, dialogue, exchange of opinions; and to foster social relations to help lower rates of violence and criminality in the country.”

The university is in Ithaca, New York.


Scammers still are active,
judicial investigators report


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As incredible as it may seem, Costa Ricans still are falling for text message and email scams.

The Judicial Investigating Organization issued a warning over two types of scams.

The first involves a text message that says the recipient has won some sort of prize. To obtain the prize, the victim is asked to send money via Western Union or to make an international bank deposit.

A second variation involves the offer of a luxury automobile at a very low price. Again the victim is asked to send money, perhaps because the vehicle is out of the country and transportation is needed.

The judicial agency said that the scam becomes obvious when the goods or vehicle are not delivered.

Such scams date to well before there was an Internet. They have been written about and talked about for decades, so the big surprise is that anyone can fall victim. But they do. One Costa Rican reported privately on an acquaintance who actually traveled to Africa to claim an amount of money, another variation on the scam.


Russian ship trapped in ice
awaits rescue in Antarctica

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Australian maritime authorities say a Russian ship that has been locked in thick Antarctic ice since Tuesday is nearing rescue as the Chinese icebreaker "Snow Dragon" draws close.

The Australian Maritime Authority, which is coordinating the rescue, says the "Snow Dragon" should reach the Russian ship "MV Akademik Shokalsky" by this evening. Two other icebreakers are also headed towards the site.

The Russian ship, which is carrying 75 people, including crew, scientists and tourists, became trapped when a blizzard's whipping winds pushed sea ice around the vessel, freezing it in place.

Officials say the ship is not in danger of sinking and there are ample supplies for the people on board. The ship, which left New Zealand Nov. 28, was on a mission to recreate the Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's century-old voyage to Antarctica when it became trapped.

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In recognition of the holidays, the offices of A.M. Costa Rica in Barrio Otoya will be closed until Thursday, Jan. 2.
However, the daily newspaper will publish each weekday
except New Year's Day.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 Hidden Garden
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 256
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mounted
                police
A.M. Costa Rica/James Marshall Monge
Mounted officers of the Fuerza Pública not only paraded but also kept tabs on the crowd and other riders.

Behind the scenes at the Tope Nacional, the big horse parade
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tremendous effort went into the preparation for the Tope Nacional Thursday.

More than 5,000 riders had to bring their mounts to San José, saddle them up and wait their turn to step into the parade route. And police and Cruz Roja workers also had to prepare for their responsibilities.

The horses had to be well-groomed and eager. Not all were
old horse
Willi Köbe is ready with Principe
to carry saddles. A miniature pony from Barrio Cuba is a tad short to carry an adult. There also were wheeled vehicles pulled by horses or other four-legged creatures.

Hardly any of the participants live close enough to ride to the parade. Most had to truck in their mounts. Willi Köbe of San Luis de Santo Domingo de Heredia pointed out that his mount, Principe, is 18 years old, a real senior citizen as horses go.

Also at the Tope were the presidential candidates, who claimed they were there for the tradition and not to win votes.  Activists for the Partido Unidad 
Social Cristiana caused a stir when they walked in the line of march carrying party flags accompanied by a bongo drum. The holiday season is supposed to be free of campaigning, so
preparation
A.M. Costa Rica/James Marshall Monge

the crowd reacted with boos and whistles. Police escorted them from the line of march.

Riders assembled at Plaza González Víquez. The horses appeared anxious to get out of the flat-bed and stake-bed trucks that hauled them.

The entire event was carried out under the eyes of nearly 700 police officers, who also used motorcycles and bikes. There were only three arrests, but the Cruz Roja said they treated more than 100 persons, many from falls or from the sun. A handful had to be hospitalized.

The Tope relates Costa Ricans to their rural roots, and many city dwellers also have farms or ranches where they maintain animals.

Johnny Araya, one of the presidential candidates, rode a family mount and talked about his experiences with horses when he grew up.

pony
A.M. Costa Rica/James Marshall Monge









Rafael Valverde of Barrio Cuba grooms his miniature pony Farabella before the start of the Tope Nacional.



The balance sheet between the value of war and of tourism
I read Tolstoy’s famous novel, War and Peace, many years ago.  It was in a box of books that a fellow student at Gettysburg College gave me when he went home to Delaware for Christmas vacation.  I was living in Gettysburg with my husband, who taught at the college.  There were probably 15 books in the box, and although we spent Christmas with our families in Jamestown, N.Y. I managed to read them all. 

I am not quite sure why that memory has come back to me, but it was triggered when I was thinking about all of the people who wanted to, but could not travel this Christmas, either because of the terrible weather conditions or because of the wars being carried on in those parts of the world that are popular tourist spots during this particular holiday season, especially in the Middle East where the three major religions originated.  My heart goes out to them.

Here in Costa Rica, the sun has been shining on most of the celebrants and the weather is mild, minus serious interruptions like earthquakes or volcano eruptions from Mother Nature, and although it is not a country void of violence, generally speaking it is pretty peaceful.  And this is the beginning of Costa Rica’s high season for tourism.

That got me to thinking that both the weather and war can obstruct and prevent travel or tourism, a form of travel that is now considered among the top sources of income for many countries. 
 
But in this day and age and especially at this time of the year when everything is measured in profit and loss, buying and selling, market value and bottom line, I asked myself the perhaps Libertarian question, “What is more profitable, tourism or war?”

If the question were “What is more pleasurable?”  It could easily be answered (with a few exceptions of the trip-from-Hell stories) “Tourism!”

My friend Fitz wrote to me about his recent trip on the Queen Mary 2 to Europe and his stay in Paris, complete with pictures and his wonderful anecdotes about the people he met.  Reading his tales took me back to times I only dreamed of or read about, although I did get to visit Paris.  It was a time when there were such things as “The Grand Tour” that usually meant Europe.  Today people are being warned to not visit Europe this winter because of the nose biting cold or on the 
Butterfly in the City
 
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

Jo Stuart


contrary, to only visit Europe in the winter because it is cheaper. 

That does not answer the question I have asked myself about the monetary worth of war vs. tourism.  The problem for a Libertarian would be that governments are involved in both war and tourism, whether it is issuing visas and passports or contracts to make munitions, and government people to train to handle both.
 
Do pilgrims visiting their revered holy places or music lovers traveling to hear their favorite orchestras or performers, art lovers who want to visit their favorite paintings in galleries, or gourmets eager to try new cuisines or whatever moves people to travel and visit far off places --- do they, finally, bring in more money to people and corporations and governments than the accoutrements of war do? 

I suppose if you figure in pleasure and pain, hospitality and hostility, learning something new or destroying something old, freedom and control, and on goes the list, then the balance would be different.  If you measure who benefits and who loses, that also may skew the comparison.  But we are talking money, profit and loss, power and control, not human emotions.

Traveling, unlike tripping -- taking drugs to experience a different reality, rather than actually going some place – does not facilitate wars.  Tripping does, and is profitable for both drug dealers and the army of fighters against drugs. The only one who loses is the lonely tripper.  It is more than the lonely traveler who loses when there is a war, but others gain.

Travel cannot prevent wars, but wars have the power to stop or limit travel, so in the long run, it looks like war is going to be with us for a very long time.

Let’s hope I am wrong and more tourists and fewer refugees are in the news this coming year.

Del

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. 27, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 256
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Researchers say they see hints of addiction in heavy Internet usage
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Young people who spend a lot of time on the Internet may exhibit classic addiction behaviors, according to new research.

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, tracked the Internet usage of 69 college students over two months. What they found was a correlation between certain types of Internet usage and addictive behaviors.

“About 5 to 10 percent of all Internet users appear to show web dependency, and brain imaging studies show that compulsive Internet use may induce changes in some brain reward pathways that are similar to that seen in drug addiction,” said P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

For the study, the students were asked to complete a 20-question survey called the Internet-Related Problem Scale. The scale measures the level of problem a person is having due to Internet usage from 0 to 200.

This scale was developed to identify characteristics of addiction, such as introversion, withdrawal, craving, tolerance and negative life consequences. The survey also captures escapism, ratings of loss of control and reduced time on daily activities.

The researchers also tracked the campus Internet usage of participating students over two months.

They found that the range of Internet-Related Problem Scale scores among participating students over the two-month period ranged from 30 to 134 on the 200-point scale. The average score was 75.

Participants’ total Internet usage ranged from 140 megabytes to 51 gigabytes, with an average of 7 gigabytes, and that use was divided into several categories, including gaming, chatting, file downloading, email, browsing and social networking (Facebook and Twitter). The total scores exhibited the highest correlations with gaming, chatting and browsing, and the lowest with email and social networking.

Classic addiction behaviors were tied to specific Internet activities, according to the researchers. For example, they found that introversion was closely tied to gaming and chatting; craving to gaming, chatting and file downloading; and loss of control to gaming.

Students who scored high on the introversion scale spent 25 percent more
addiction


time on instant messaging than those who scored low on the scale. Students who reported increased craving on the Internet-Related Problem Scale downloaded 60 percent more content than those who scored low. Not surprisingly, students who scored high on the Iscale spent about 10 percent of their Internet time on gaming, compared to 5 percent for the group that scored low.

“We tend to take drug-related addictions more seriously than if someone were using the Internet as a drug,” says Doraiswamy. “The negative consequences of the Internet may be quite underappreciated.”

According to the researchers, the demand for professional help for a digital detox is on the rise, but there is little data to guide diagnosis or care. They believe that results from this study and others may shed light on the potential of the Internet to affect behavioral and emotional wellness and the need to establish criteria for normal versus problematic usage in different age groups.

The team cautioned that the current study is exploratory and does not establish a cause and effect relationship between Internet usage and addictive behavior.

The reseachers add that most of the students scored a little lower than the mid-point of the scale. Furthermore, students exhibiting problematic Internet usage may also suffer from other mental disorders, a fact that was not examined in this study.

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TravelerFriendlyInsurance.com is an authorized representative of IMG insurance. For more than 20 years, IMG has dedicated its efforts to providing international medical insurance, travel insurance and impeccable service to the international community. It's our specialty. We realize that traveling abroad can be an exciting experience. We also know that anything can happen while you're away from home - whether visiting short-term or living abroad indefinitely. It's important to be prepared for any unexpected illness, injury or medical emergency. Many traditional medical plans simply are not designed for international travel. We offer: Indivudual/Family, Group, Students/Faculty Trip Interruption, Mission Medical, Specialty Coverage. Contact us at and get a FREE quote today: U.S Phone: 317-489-0189   Visit our web page for more info: http://travelerfriendlyinsurance.com/
8121-xxx

Mead Brown
MEAD BROWN
Rent villas, homes, and condos for your Costa Rica vacation.
Daily housekeeping, WiFi and concierge services included.
Visit us at Costa Rica Vacation Rentals.
7939-11/20/13

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homes,
Costa Rica tours and car rentals.   Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
7880-3/13/14


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.
Lundquist
                        patio
Exotic gardens next to one
of our patios



Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money.  Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk
Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com
8158-3/1/13

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)

San Pedro, Lourdes:  Furnished four-bedroom house for  rent near U. Latina.  3 bathrooms.  Two bedrooms have private bath.  TV with cable, wireless Internet, washer, microwave, all linens on beds, phone, garage with electric door opener.  Front yard and back patio.  Minimum 6-month contract.  $800 a month. Call Rick at 2280-3548 or write to rastern@racsa.co.cr.  Owner pays cable and internet.
8169-1/2/14 

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.
8161-1/11/13

Beautiful studio home with garden patio
Completely furnished with best bed (Jiron™ Full), refri, stove, dishes, pans, etc. TV and high-speed internet connected. Free.
Located high above a river. You will sleep like a baby. Perfect weather, never too hot nor cold. Secure, private and secluded, and yet, only 10 minutes to San Isidro de El General (fairly large city in the mountains with everything) and from there, 40 minutes to beaches. Bus is close and costs 35 cents to San Isidro. Special price for single, long-term renter, nonsmoker: $425 + utilities. Go to www.homeaway.com and put in, #969365 for pics and full description Then write to us, Thanks. Email: james43michael@yahoo.com
8146-12/11/13

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.
8157-12/22/13

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
88136-12.22.13

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 
tropical
of Costa Rica. 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.
8054-2/16/14






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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details



A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 256
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us



Cafetales



MsDs Web site
Voice of America photo
This image from a McDonald's Web site for employees caused a controversy leading to the fast food chain to take down the site.

McDonald's Web site sparks
controversy over food advice

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Fast food restaurant McDonald's has taken down a resource site that told employees hamburgers and french fries were not healthy dietary choices.

In a photo on the site, a picture of a hamburger, fries and what appears to be a soda, are labeled as an unhealthy choice. Next to the burger, an image of a sandwich, salad and glass of water are labeled as a healthier alternative.

It’s the latest controversy stemming from the Web site, which landed the company in hot water for appearing to be out of touch. For example, the site offered a budget planning guide for employees, but the budgeting tool did not account for food and gasoline, according to CNN. Also, the site had advice on how much to tip a pool cleaner, housekeeper and an au pair, according to NBC News.

The latest controversy appeared to be the last straw, and the site is no longer available. Visitors are greeted with a message that reads, "We are temporarily performing some maintenance in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Please excuse us while these upgrades are being made."

"A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate, and we've directed the vendor to take down the Web site. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary,” said Lisa McComb, a spokeswoman for McDonald's USA in a statement. “None of this helps our McDonald's team members."

She added that the company would still offer assistance to employees over the phone.


Obama credits Congress
for change in detainee rules

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama Thursday gave credit to Congress for relaxing restrictions on transferring detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the custody of foreign governments but said lawmakers need to go further.
 
After signing the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014, Obama noted that Congress retained regulations that prevent the transfer of prisoners to American soil, where they could be tried in federal court.
 
“The executive branch must have the authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees,” Obama said in a signing statement released during his Hawaiian vacation.
 
Prosecuting alleged terrorists in U.S. federal court is “a  legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the nation,” Obama said.
 
The United States also needs “flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers,” Obama said.
 
The regulations could remain an obstacle to the administration's years-long bid to close the Guantanamo Bay prison where 158 detainees from various countries remain after years of detention without trial at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. The prison has been condemned internationally.
 
While lawmakers of both political parties refused to yield on the ban against bringing prisoners to the United States, they were willing to relax rules for sending prisoners to their home countries.
 
Among the earlier restrictions was that the administration had to certify that the country where an inmate was being sent was not “facing a threat that is likely to substantially affect its ability to exercise control over the individual.” This had all but ruled out politically chaotic Yemen, which is home to the largest group of Guantanamo detainees.
 
Transfers had also been banned to countries that Washington designated “state sponsors of terrorism,” which made it difficult to move Syrian inmates. And prisoners in the past also could not be sent back to any country where previously released Guantanamo detainees had returned to terrorist activity.
 
Such rules will be lifted or significantly relaxed under the new law.
 
Even before the legislation was enacted, the administration had become more active in making transfers, sending two detainees each to Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Algeria.


Overturning Utah's gay ban
highlights marriage campaign

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Gay people are getting married in one of America’s most socially-conservative states after a federal judge ruled Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Last week’s decision in Utah capped a string of legal and political victories for gay rights across the nation in 2013, with more battles expected in the year to come.

2013 saw a doubling to 18 of the number of U.S. states where same-sex marriage is legal, as well as a Supreme Court decision requiring the federal government to recognize gay unions. More than one-third of Americans now live in states allowing same-sex marriage, and polls continue to show an ever-growing majority of the public backs the right of gay people to wed.

Last week’s federal ruling in Utah was particularly striking, given that the state is home to the Mormon Church, which strongly disapproves of homosexuality. Seth Anderson and his partner were the first of hundreds of gay couples to marry in recent days.

Anderson says, “We are so happy, and I am so proud to be in Utah right now."

Utah Assistant Attorney General Philip Lott had a different reaction. “The state is disappointed in the ruling,” he said.

Utah’s governor issued a statement decrying that “an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah”. The state will appeal the ruling, and has repeatedly asked federal courts to halt same-sex unions while the legal battle goes forward. So far, those requests have been denied.

In striking down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, the federal judge cited the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year.

New York University Law School professor Ari Waldman says “The Supreme Court said that the federal government cannot discriminate against legally-married same-sex couples.”

“However, the Supreme Court did not address the issue of whether a state could ban gays from the institution of marriage,” he added.

Gay couples are suing for the right to marry in multiple states that prohibit such unions, while gay rights groups are mobilizing elsewhere to repeal state bans through the legislative process or at the ballot box. Groups opposed to same-sex marriage remain active and vocal, but seem to be losing political clout.

Even though the Supreme Court did not settle the question of same-sex marriage nationwide, its decision striking down one particular form of discrimination against gay people has strengthened legal arguments for ending state bans in places like Utah, according to Waldman.

“There is no doubt that the state bans on same-sex marriage are on thin ice," said Waldman. "Justice Kennedy was pretty clear about the guarantee of equality for gay couples. With each decision, more and more people in this country are living in marriage equality states, which means that more and more people are going to live in a world where gay couples are getting married."  He was speaking of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

For 2014, Waldman expects court decisions on same-sex marriage bans in as many as 10 additional states, plus one or two other states that may legalize gay unions through the democratic process.

Ultimately, he expects the issue to return to the Supreme Court, but says the timing of such a decision is hard to predict.


Obama signs agreement
on federal budget deal


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Obama has signed the bipartisan budget agreement negotiated by Congress earlier this month.

Obama signed the bill Thursday while on vacation with his family in Hawaii.

The budget gives Washington a two-year reprieve from the budget wars that halted federal operations for 16 days in October.

The Republican-controlled House has quarreled with Obama, a Democrat, over his spending proposals.

The new pact will ease some of the budget-cutting that Congress earlier agreed to and will trim $23 billion from the country's $17 trillion debt over the next decade.

But budget negotiators again avoided dealing with other contentious financial issues, including an overhaul of the country's complex tax code and the burgeoning growth in spending for health care and pensions for older Americans.


Christmas packages bomb
U.S. delivery company UPS

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A high volume of holiday packages overwhelmed shipping and logistics company UPS, the company said Wednesday. The delays slowed the arrival of Christmas presents around the globe and sent angry consumers to social media to vent.
 
Amazon.com responded with an email to affected customers offering shipping refunds and $20 gift cards to compensate.
 
A convergence of factors, including higher volume than expected and recent patches of bad weather, were responsible for the delays according to UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black.
 
The company projected 132 million deliveries last week “and obviously we exceeded that,” Black said, without disclosing how many packages had been sent.
 
“For now, UPS is really focused on delivering the remaining packages,” Black said. “You might not see trucks, but people are working.”
 
Customers awaiting deliveries should expect packages on Thursday or Friday, and those with delivery guarantees will get appropriate refunds, she said. Amazon.com's email said credits were applied directly to user accounts.
 
Packages shipped via UPS for Amazon.com by Prime customers, who pay $79 a year for two-day shipping, may be eligible for additional refunds. Amazon's stated policy for missed deliveries is to offer a free one-month extension of Prime.
 
UPS has not yet coordinated with Amazon, nor has it determined what percentage of the undelivered packages were from Amazon, Black said.
 
Amazon also did not disclose how many of its shipments were affected or how many users got the email about delayed orders.
 
“If customers from Amazon were impacted, we'll work with Amazon to resolve that,” Black said.
 
Frustrated consumers took to social media, with some complaining that gifts purchased for their children would not arrive in time to make it under the tree by Christmas morning.
 
Others on social media urged shoppers to be more appreciative of the delivery company's work during the holiday season.
 

120th anniversary of Mao's birth
marked in subdued fashion

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China celebrated the 120th anniversary of Mao Zedong's birth Thursday with top leaders paying a ceremonial visit to Mao's mausoleum and praising the achievements of the man who founded the People's Republic of China.

While the celebrations were somewhat muted this year, the reverent remembrances were typical for China's Communist Party, which has traditionally turned to the late chairman for legitimacy.  Mao remains a potent symbol in China, although analysts say the public has grown more ambivalent about his legacy.

President Xi Jinping called for austere celebrations to mark Mao’s birthday, consistent with his push against lavish ceremonies and wasteful public spending. China’s media have reported a general scaling down of budgets and events connected with the anniversary's celebrations.

Political scientist David Zweig says the muted celebrations do not mean that the leadership is keeping Mao at arm's length.

“They very much want to be certain that they get a good bounce from this. They want to keep Mao as an important player in the cards that they hold in their hands,” he said.

Thursday, the Communist party's mouthpiece People's Daily celebrated Mao's success in liberating China's “semi-imperialistic, semi- feudal” society. It also stressed the new leadership is a continuation of Mao's work.

“The mission for generations of Chinese Communists has always been the same: revolution, construction and reform are deeply linked with each other in history,” the commentary read, “One development is accomplished on the basis of the one that came before.”

On Mao's errors, Chinese leaders have long embraced the view that there were missteps in the country's path towards a Communist society. In the 1980’s former leader Deng Xiaoping's remarked that Mao was seven parts right, and only three parts wrong. That evaluation still holds for many Chinese historians as well as the public.

In Thursday's speech, Xi Jinping appeared to reference that view by saying that in evaluating a country’s history, one needs to consider the social conditions of the time.

“We cannot judge those people who came before us by the current conditions and the level of knowledge and development we have today. We also cannot expect from them the achievements only obtainable by later generations,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

Critics say that such assessments do not take into account the most negative effects of some of Mao's campaigns, which have been largely forgotten by China's official historiography.

Among the most controversial policies were Mao's attempts to industrialize the Chinese countryside during the Great Leap Forward, which caused a mass famine and killed tens of million of people.

Ten years later, the cultural revolution threw the nation into a period of Communist fervor and spurred a wave of political violence.

“The left and some people within the leadership in China worry that if you spend too much time criticizing Mao for the cultural revolution and the famine that you don't have that many years to glorify him, and therefore his legacy becomes much weaker,” says Zweig.

Historian Xu Youyu talks of an ambivalence in contemporary attitudes about Mao.

“From the perspective of intellectuals, more negative things are said about Mao because there is more information out there about certain parts of history,” Xu says, “For example the fact that during the great leap forward Mao left more than 30 million people die of starvation is acknowledged by more people now.”

But at the same time, Xu says that the passing of time has softened the memories of many who suffered under Mao's rule, and for those among them who are seeking political power, celebrating Mao remains advantageous to their goals.

“They are more willing to talk about Mao's contributions because the sufferings are increasingly distant, but the opportunities for power are increasingly numerous,” Xu says.

Those who celebrate Mao’s record despite a personal history that is more complicated include China’s President Xi Jinping, whose father was purged and persecuted during the cultural revolution. Despite that history, Xi has become known for coining slogans reminiscent of Mao's times, and launching education campaigns that echo Mao’s pursuits for ideological purity.


Russia's finding on Arafat
does not halt investigation


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russia said Thursday former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, but a Palestinian official called the finding politicized and said an investigation would continue.

Samples were taken from Arafat's body last year by Swiss, French and Russian forensics experts after an al Jazeera documentary said his clothes showed high amounts of deadly polonium 210.

The Swiss said last month their tests were consistent with polonium poisoning, but not absolute proof of the cause of death. The Russian finding was in line with that of French scientists, who said earlier this month that Arafat had not been killed with polonium.

“Yasser Arafat died not from the effects of radiation but of natural causes,” Vladimir Uiba, head of Russia's state forensics body, the Federal Medico-Biological Agency, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Arafat, who signed the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords with Israel, but then led an uprising in 2000. He died at 75 at the Percy hospital in Paris in 2004, four weeks after falling ill in his Ramallah compound, which was surrounded by Israeli tanks.

“Like the French report on his death, this is a politicized finding. The truth lies at the Percy hospital,” said Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The official cause of death was a stroke, but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of Arafat's illness. No autopsy was carried out.

His widow, Suha Arafat, has argued the death was a political assassination by someone close to her husband. Many Palestinians believe Israel killed him, a charge Israel denies.

The Palestinian ambassador to Moscow, Faed Mustafa, said the Russian findings would not halt efforts to investigate the cause of death, state-run Russian news agency RIA reported.

“I can only say that there is already a decision to continue,” RIA quoted him as saying. “We respect their position and we highly value their work, but there is a decision to continue work.”


Pope denounces discrimination
against Christians in world


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis on Thursday denounced discrimination against Christians, including in countries where religious freedom is in theory guaranteed by law.

He delivered his traditional noon prayer and address to thousands of people in St. Peter's Square on the day the Roman Catholic Church commemorates St. Stephen, its first martyr.

The 77-year-old Argentine pope asked the crowd for a moment of silent prayer for “Christians who are unjustly accused and are subjected to every type of violence.”

Francis, celebrating his first Christmas season as pope, said “limitations and discrimination” against Christians was taking place not only in countries that do not grant full religious freedom but also where “on paper, freedom and human rights are protected”.

“This injustice should be denounced and eliminated,” he said.

Francis did not name any countries but the Vatican has long urged Saudi Arabia, the site of Islam's holiest places, to lift a ban on Christians worshiping in public.

This year there have been a number of incidents of intolerance and attacks against minority Christians in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria and other countries where their rights are guaranteed by law.

Francis, departing from his prepared text, said he was sure that Christians suffering from either discrimination or violence were “more numerous today than in the early times of the Church”.

In the past, the Vatican has also expressed concern over what former Pope Benedict called “sophisticated forms of hostility” against Christians in rich countries, such as restricting use of religious symbols in public places.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
8070-2/14/13


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8179-3/11/14

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.
7949-11/15/13

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



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8142-2/11/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8186-3/13/14

forest
Gorgeous Survival Farm located between San Ramón and Arenal Volcano bordering the huge Arenal Monteverde Nature Reserve. 30 acres of virgin rain forest with no neighbors, river, spring waters, rich soil, giant trees, homesite, no electricity, year-round 4WD access. 59,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com.
8182-1/13/14


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13

long view

200 miles of panoramic views over the Gulf of Nicoya and from Nicaragua along the volcanoes of the Cordillera de Guanacaste down to Jacó and around the southern Nicoya Peninsula to the open Pacific. 55 acres located at an altitude of about 2,800 feet in a fresh eternal spring climate, forest and pasture plus an old avocado forest. Many home sites, hidden entrance, property roads, spring waters.  195,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com
8164-12/28/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8162-1/11/14

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
8157-2/22/13

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

condors

HIGH SECURITY Condo
ULatina, UCR, & U Fidelitas San Pedro, San Jose. $185,000.
Quietly located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada, 500 meters north of Iglesia Lourdes, San Pedro. ULatina, UCR, U. Fidelitas, bus & new train station are within five minutes Four-bedroom, three and half-bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with secure entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. Security fencing with electric wire, and a CCTV recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house.  For additional peace of mind, this residence equipped with an independently wired security system, iron bars on windows and patio doors, a telephone communication system to contact the guard house and secure parking at your front door.   Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. A green park area inside the complex for your children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Cable TV/Internet lines and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Water storage tank with pump maintains high pressure to bathrooms on all three floors. American style washer and electric dryer, refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. Other furniture items may be available. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987   or  U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458  or   (305) 848-5577. C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
6141-2/11/14

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

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

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

humming bird nest

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

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

Real estate services
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
71
Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at:  http://youtu.be/iDXurhJ4fCk Asking price  $3.9 million. Email costaricapropertysales@gmail.com or call: 8899-9870.
8153-112/22/13

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

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

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 256
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Study discounts sun's effect
in earth's climate variations


By the University of Edinburgh news service

Climate change has not been strongly influenced by variations in heat from the sun, a new scientific study says.

The findings overturn a widely held scientific view that lengthy periods of warm and cold weather in the past might have been caused by periodic fluctuations in solar activity.

Research examining the causes of climate change in the northern hemisphere over the past 1,000 years has shown that until the year 1800, the key driver of periodic changes in climate was volcanic eruptions. These tend to prevent sunlight reaching the Earth, causing cool, drier weather. Since 1900, greenhouse gases have been the primary cause of climate change.

The findings show that periods of low sun activity should not be expected to have a large impact on temperatures on Earth, and are expected to improve scientists' understanding and help climate forecasting.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh carried out the study using records of past temperatures constructed with data from tree rings and other historical sources. They compared this data record with computer-based models of past climate, featuring both significant and minor changes in the sun.

They found that their model of weak changes in the sun gave the best correlation with temperature records, indicating that solar activity has had a minimal impact on temperature in the past millennium.

The study, published in Nature GeoScience, was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council.

Dr Andrew Schurer, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "Until now, the influence of the sun on past climate has been poorly understood. We hope that our new discoveries will help improve our understanding of how temperatures have changed over the past few centuries, and improve predictions for how they might develop in the future. Links between the sun and anomalously cold winters in the UK are still being explored."


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From Page 7: 

There are signs that global economy is improving

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The global economy may be entering a new phase as the year draws to a close. New data suggest some of the uncertainty that has characterized much of 2013 appears to be lifting as a new year begins, though economists are cautious. Despite steady improvement, U.S. unemployment remains high, Europe’s debt crisis is far from over, and China’s economy continues to slow.

As the year ends, more people are finding work in the United States, the economy is growing at the fastest pace in two years and Congress has a new budget that effectively removes the threat of another costly government shutdown. 

Barring another political standoff, small business advocate John Arensmeyer sees an improved business climate in 2014. “Could be a better year than 2013, particularly if we don’t see the type of shenanigans we saw with the shutdown.”

Across the Pacific, China's economy has slowed after decades of double-digit expansion. 

But even with a relatively modest outlook of 7 percent growth, international economist Uri Dadush said China continues to exert strong economic influence in the region.

“It’s going to be somewhat slower going forward over the next year or two, but still sufficient to pull a large number of countries along,”  said Dadush.

But while improving demand is likely to benefit countries from Cambodia to Japan, European economies remain weak.
 
The European Commission says growth will slow in the 18 nations that use the euro with unemployment likely to inch higher in the new year.

Despite recent banking reforms, Dadush said tough austerity measures in countries that received bailouts continue to weigh on Europe’s economy.

“Italy’s in deep trouble, and it’s going to take some years even for the Spains and the Portugals and the Irish to come out of the mess,” said Dadush.

Lingering questions also remain about the international impact of the U.S. central bank’s decision to scale back monetary stimulus.  With prices of raw materials likely to fall next year, economists say commodity-dependent countries could see their revenues fall.