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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 256                              Email us
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Breakthrough announced for trapped Cubans here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican officials announced a breakthrough Monday in the effort to help Cuban migrants move north.

The foreign ministry said that the government of El Salvador had agreed to accept air flights of the migrants and arrange for buses to carry them to the Mexican border.

This would require the buses to go through Guatemala, a country that has been reluctant to provide support for Costa Rica.

The statement from  Manuel González, the Costa Rican minister of Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, characterized the effort as a pilot plan. There was no indication how many migrants would be transported.

Some 6,000 Cubans are trapped now in Costa Rica because the government of Nicaragua has closed its southern border to them. The migrants are housed in 37 public shelters, mainly in the northern part of the country.

The agreement Monday came at a meeting of representatives of the Central American countries in Guatemala.

The statement said that the countries in the region had agreed to this unusual, secure and ordered trip by Cubans.

González said that some countries had sought discretion over the details and that Costa Rica would respect this. He added that other details need to be confirmed with the political authorities for the security of the migrants.

Guatemala meeeting
Casa Presidencial photo 
This was the scene at the Guatemala meeting.

He said that Costa Rica had hoped that the results of the agreement would materialize in a short term, but he noted that the holidays prevent advancing more rapidly.

That probably means that there will be no air trips until after Jan. 1. In addition, there was no mention of who would be paying for the flights.

Costa Rica said that the coordination among the various countries would be constant to insure success.

Participating in the Monday meeting were representatives from  Panamá, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México as well as Costa Rica. Also present were representatives of the International Organization for Migration.

The migrants entered Costa Rica with plans to head north to the U.S. border. They became trapped Nov. 15 when Nicaragua sent its soldiers to secure the border.

The Cubans hope to take advantage of a U.S. Cold War law that gives them priority in entering the United States legally. But under terms of the law, they must do so on foot.

Three missing mountain bikers finally reach safety
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The plight of three Costa Rican mountain bikers might be instructive to tourists and expats who decide to plunge on their own into the country's jungles.

The three bikers finally reached safety Monday at 4:20 p.m. after being stuck in the jungle since Saturday. Three separate Cruz Roja rescue teams were required to find them and guide them to civilization.

The first team located them Sunday but was unable to exit the area, in part due to fog and rain. A second team was unable to meet up with the first team, and a third team was dispatched Sunday night.

In all, the Cruz Roja said its rescue crews spent 36 hours traversing difficult territory.

They rescued men were identified as Omar Jiménez, 45, Francisco Torres, 38, and José Acuña, 50. A hotel security camera recorded the three entering the mountains around Cerro Zurquí Saturday.

Zurquí is a peak in the central mountains.

Cruz Roja photo
José Acuña gestures as he reaches safety

So the Cruz Roja has a pretty good idea in what area the men might be found. The Cruz Roja rescues a number of hikers each year, but some who enter the jungle never are seen again.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, Vol. 16, 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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your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
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new species
California Academy of Sciences photo
Doto splendidisima sea slug from Africa

102 news species discovered in 2015

By the California Academy of Sciences news staff

In 2015, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 102 new plant and animal species to the family tree, enriching the understanding of Earth’s complex web of life.

The new species include two frogs, 23 ants, three beetles, eight wasps, 11 spiders, 26 fishes, nine sea slugs, two corals, nine plants, one water bear, and eight new viruses. More than a dozen Academy scientists along with several dozen international collaborators described the discoveries.

Proving that the planet contains unexplored places with never-before-recorded plants and animals with their own set of evolving viruses, the scientists made their finds over five continents and three oceans, ventured into steamy rainforests and plunged beneath the sea, looked in their own San Francisco backyards and traveled to remote islands in Africa. Their results were published in 43 different scientific papers.

Below are a few highlights among the 102 species described by the Academy in 2015.

Tiny, blood-sucking Dracula ants

Brian Fisher, Academy curator of entomology and real-life Ant-Man, recently discovered six new species of strange, so-called Dracula ants from Madagascar and Seychelles. These tiny, subterranean ants are part of a larger group of fierce predators, the genus Prionopelta, known for hunting down prey with dagger-like teeth.

Vogue-worthy sea slugs

Newly discovered nudibranchs are vibrant sea slugs made famous by their poisonous adaptations and importance to biomedical research. This year, Terry Gosliner, world-renowned nudibranch expert, described nine colorful new species and, together with student Carissa Shipman, the new genus Kabeiro from the tropical waters of the Philippines, the temperate seas of South Africa, and beyond.

Two jaw-dropping species from southern Africa, the cartoonishly bulbous Doto greenamyeri and dreamy pink-and-orange Doto splendidisima, were discovered during a student training expedition led by Gosliner in 2008. In terms of sea slug richness, South Africa’s diverse temperate marine environments rival those of nudibranch-packed California.

 Lost sharks

Academy Research Associate David Ebert is on a global search for the world’s lost sharks, the little known, or undiscovered, fishes overshadowed by a handful of high-profile charismatic species that only represent a fraction of the sharks in need of protection. Ebert travels the world, working with fellow researchers and students to discover and study these threatened marine species before they disappear forever.

In 2015, Ebert described a new ghost shark from New Zealand, a deep-sea catshark from the southwestern Indian Ocean, and a new species of electric ray from the cool waters of the southeastern Atlantic. The newly discovered electric ray, Tetronarce cowleyi, is a shiny black-topped, cream-bottomed predator that glides along the seafloor at depths of nearly 500 feet  feasting on bony fishes and small sharks. Torpedo rays earn their names from a potent ability to stun or paralyze prey with an electric discharge from organs located on their heads.

Ten armor-plated goblin spiders

Arachnologist Charles Griswold, emeritus curator, attributes this year’s discovery of 10 new species of microscopic goblin spiders to decades of fieldwork on the island nation of Madagascar. When Griswold and a team of academy insect and arachnid experts first began exploring the dark, damp leaf litter of Madagascar’s forests in 1993, they had no idea their expedition would morph into more than 20 years of research, educational outreach, and at least 100 new species of goblin spiders to date. Though the forest floor is literally teeming with this group of light-averse spiders, they were unknown in the region before Griswold’s first expeditions in the 1990’s.

New viruses

Eight 2015 Academy discoveries defy traditional plant or animal classifications. Academy curators Shannon Bennett and Jack Dumbacher  recently discovered several new viruses in Californian mosquito specimens and one ill Alaskan bird.

Bennett studies infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. While invisible to the naked eye, these microbes have a major impact on global human health.

Body of tractor trailer driver found

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 70-year-old tractor trailer driver and his vehicle went missing last Dec. 21, and police managed to locate his body in a lot in Liverpool, Limón, Monday.

The man had been executed after assailants gagged him and tied his hands behind his back with cable. The man was identified by the last name of Rivas, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Investigators said that he was seen last in Moín. They still are trying to located his tractor cab with sleeper.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 256
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Expat organization promises to keep an eye on new passport tax rule
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An expat advocate organization has promised to keep track of a new provision that could cost U.S. citizens abroad their passports.

The organization, American Citizens Abroad, Inc., opposed including the provision in a massive highway financing measure. The organization noted that the specific provision in the bill had never been subjected to a public hearing.

This is the provision that allows the U.S. Federal Government to cause an individual’s U.S. passport to be revoked or  an application for issuance or renewal to be denied, if the individual is seriously delinquent with his or her tax payments, said the organization, adding that seriously delinquent is not defined. 

The threshold is $50,000 or more and, while not clear, is probably comprised of tax, penalties and interest, the organization added.

American Citizens Abroad carried the fight against the measure, H.R. 22, to the Senate-House conference committee. But the bill passed anyway and became law.

“Tax bills like this one that pop up and are attached to a large bill, like the Surface Transportation Act, drive Americans living abroad crazy,” said Marylouise Serrato, executive director of American  Citizens Abroad.  “In their minds, this sort of thing demonstrates that Congress doesn’t really  understand the realities of their situation and, to the extent it does, doesn’t care.”

The organization estimated that there are from six to eight million American citizens living abroad.

As the provision has now passed and is law, American Citizens Abroad will be working with the offices of the State Department and the Internal Revenue Service to insure that Americans overseas are not unfairly targeted by this legislation, the organization said Monday.

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Palermo Hotel

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Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 256
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Staying health linked to perceptions of economic opportunity
By the Massachusetts General Hospital news staff

A new study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found evidence that economic opportunity, the prospect that individuals may be able to improve their economic status, may have important effects on the health of a community.

In an American Journal of Public Health report that has been published online, the researchers found that mortality rates were higher and that risk factors like obesity and smoking and the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes were greater in areas with the lowest levels of economic opportunity, based on a nationwide database.

"Today there is growing concern that economic opportunity, a core tenet of the American Dream, is not accessible to everyone," said Atheendar Venkataramani of the hospital's Division of General Medicine, lead author of the report. "Our findings, that people living in counties with lower economic opportunity on average had worse health behaviors, poorer overall health and were more likely to die younger, suggest that economic opportunity is important for good health as well as for economic well being."

While much attention has been given lately to issue of income inequality, economic opportunity is a different concept. Income inequality represents unequal distribution of resources at the present time, while economic opportunity reflects prospect for future social mobility.

Venkataramani explains that while the two concepts are probably related, they may have distinct consequences for health, which led his team to embark on what they believe is the first national study to examine the relationship between

economic opportunity and health.

Levels of economic opportunity were determined on a county-by-county basis based on the extent of income improvement experienced by the average individual whose parents had reported incomes in the lowest 20 percent. The researchers then examined how the level of economic opportunity in a county related to the overall mortality rate and the prevalence of health behaviors and risk factors as reported by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The study results, based on data from almost 2,700 counties covering 97 percent of the U.S. population, found strong associations between areas of low economic opportunity, such as the Southeast and upper Midwest, and higher mortality rates. Prevalence of smoking, obesity, hypertension and diabetes were all higher in lower-opportunity counties. All of the associations were stronger in working age adults, particularly those ages 25 to 44, and among African Americans.

The researchers determined that moving from the lowest opportunity to mid-range counties was associated with a 6.5 percent decrease in mortality, while moving to areas with the highest opportunity levels appeared to reduce the mortality rate by 16.7 percent.

"There are two ways that economic opportunity could influence health," says Venkataramani. "First, being healthy helps people get and keep better jobs and higher incomes. When prospects of improving incomes are more remote, people could lose an important motivating force to maintain healthy behaviors. Second, diminished economic opportunities may lead to greater despair, which could lead to poor health behaviors."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

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

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
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Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
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Real estate for rent (paid category)
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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 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
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 256
Real Estate
About us

Obama and Mrs. Clinton lead
listing of the most admired

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton top the list of America's most admired man and woman,  according to polling organization Gallup.

Seventeen percent of Americans cited Obama as their most admired, while 13 percent chose Mrs. Clinton, Gallup said.

Mrs. Clinton has topped the list 20 times, with this being her 14th in a row, while Obama has been named eight times.

Rounding out the top three men were Pope Francis and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump each with 5 percent. Trump has finished in the top 10 before, from 1988 through 1990 and again in 2011.

Gallup called Trump’s showing surprisingly strong, explaining that because he has been in the news so much, he was likely top-of-mind for many Americans.

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and business woman Oprah Winfrey rounded out the top three women with 5 percent and 4 percent.

According to Gallup, “Americans usually name the sitting U.S. president as the most admired man,” so Gallup limits the number of times a sitting president can win at eight.

The only president named as much as Obama was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who won during the eight years he was president. Eisenhower also topped the list in 1950, 1967 and 1968 “when the incumbent president was generally unpopular,” according to Gallup. Eisenhower also took the top spot in 1952, the year he was elected, giving him a total of 12 times in the most admired spot, more than any other man.

Mrs. Clinton’s 20 times at the top of the list is the most of any woman. She is followed by Eleanor Roosevelt, who was named most admired 13 times.

40 percent of Americans says
terrorists are winning the war

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new poll sponsored by news channel CNN shows more Americans dissatisfied with U.S. anti-terror efforts than any time since Sept. 11, 2001, with 40 percent saying terrorists are winning the war on the United States.

Those findings, published Monday, come just weeks after deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. They show nearly three-quarters of Americans critical of anti-terror efforts by the Obama administration, far surpassing the 61 percent who voiced similar sentiments against the George W. Bush White House in 2007.

The survey, conducted jointly with the Opinion Research Corp., shows 55 percent of Republicans believe that Islamist extremists have gained the upper hand, while 52 percent of Democrats see the global conflict as a stalemate.

Forty-nine percent said they favor sending ground troops into battle against Islamic State extremists occupying large swaths of Syria and nearby northern and western Iraq. A similar survey in the days after the San Bernardino massacre showed 53 percent backing the deployment of U.S. troops.

Terrorism and issues of national security have dominated the 2016 race for the White House, with several other surveys in recent weeks showing security concerns now top the economy as the No. 1  voter issue.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has gone so far as proposing a total and complete ban on Muslims entering the United States, until Washington can "figure out what's going on."

The White House quickly condemned that proposal as "totally contrary to our values as Americans."

Trump Republican rival Jeb Bush also derided Trump's proposal, tweeting that his rival's policy' proposals are not serious.

Grand jury declines to indict
police officer in boy's death

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A grand jury in the northern U.S. city of Cleveland, Ohio, has voted not to indict two police officers in the November 2014 shooting death of a 12-year-old African American boy carrying what turned out to be a fake gun.

Cleveland prosecutor Tim McGinty announced the decision Monday afternoon, capping a year of controversy and protests by activists and others who were shocked by surveillance footage of the killing of Tamir Rice.

“The outcome will not cheer anyone, nor should it," he said, referring to the grand jury decision. "Simply put, given the perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police."

Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Meyer said the youth was seen repeatedly drawing the gun from his waistband and putting it back there in the hours before the deadly confrontation.

Attorneys representing Rice's family differed sharply with the jury's decision.

"It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment," the lawyers said in a statement. "Even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers by telling the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified."

The video showed patrolman Timothy Loehmann fatally shooting Rice just seconds after arriving in a police cruiser to confront the youth. Police were sent to the scene after a caller alerted them about a man carrying a gun. The jury also declined to indict the driver of the police car, officer Frank Garmback.

Authorities later found Rice's gun to be a replica pistol that shot plastic pellets. It also found that factory-installed orange markings identifying the gun as fake had been removed.

As a months-long probe of the killing unfolded, outside investigators said that any reasonable officer could have believed Tamir's gun was a real firearm, and that actions based on that misidentification can be reasonable.

Tamir's death is one of a series of high-profile police killings of African-Americans that have riled police critics and spawned nationwide protests led by Black Lives Matter activists and their supporters in the past year.

Black Lives Matter facing
problem with public opinion

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Black Lives Matter movement is renewing calls to end police brutality and is pushing for criminal justice reforms across the United States.  The social movement is trying to influence public opinion while deflecting criticism it has not created enough positive change.

"No Justice! No Peace!," demonstrators chanted as part of a loud cry heard around the country in 2015.  Thousands of supporters were demanding sweeping changes to the nation's criminal justice system.

The movement, formed in 2012, has been gaining support over the past two years following a series of high-profile police encounters that led to the deaths of unarmed African Americans.

Activists say they want to end what they describe as police brutality and racial discrimination in mostly black neighborhoods.

Black Lives Matter member Dennis Rodriguez says the movement is growing.

"The movement has opened our eyes to everything," he said. "It has helped us understand that while we may not be seen as human or powerful currently that the fruits of our labor will soon come."

Black Lives Matter has been increasing its profile through street protests and a strong social media campaign.  The movement is pressuring lawmakers and potential presidential contenders to address their concerns.

"It has prompted us to start talking about police reform again that we had ignored since September 11th, 2001, when we had been more focused on national security rather than community policing," said political analyst Elsie Scott.

"I want to deal with what we can do to keep people from putting themselves in situations where you get bad outcomes," said E. W. Jackson, a pastor and conservative community activist.

Jackson says Black Lives Matter should put as much emphasis on the dozens of daily black-on-black homicides as opposed to focusing solely on killings by police officers.

"If you paint the picture that all of your problems have to do with race or have to do with police brutality then it seems to me you are avoiding essential issues," he said.

But attorney and Washington, D.C. community activist Nkechi Taifa disagrees.

"It is not to say that all lives do not matter.  What it means is that specific attention at this period, at this time, needs to be placed on people who are most adversely impacted by the laws and policies that are going on," she said.

Yet former police officer Leon Threatt believes Black Lives Matter has been more divisive than a uniting movement.

"It should not be the police against the community," he said. "It should be helping to create an environment or a platform for community oneness bring those parties to the table talking about trusting."

Leaders of Black Lives Matter say the organization is working to build relationships with police departments.  They say they will continue to stage street protests to highlight deadly or violent confrontations between black men and police officers. 

Jobless rate in U.S. seen
dropping to full employment

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A number of economists predict that unemployment will drop to around its lowest practical level in the United States by the end of 2016. But others say employers remain cautious about taking on new workers, and wages are growing at a frustratingly slow pace.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 5 percent in November, a dramatic drop from the 10 percent jobless rate seen at the worst of the recession in late 2009. Government experts also say the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits is hovering close to its lowest level in four decades.

Top officials of the U.S. central bank project that the unemployment rate will fall further, to about 4.7 percent by the end of 2016. Other experts offer projections similar to those from the Federal Reserve.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, expects economic growth to cool a bit over the next six months, but says the job market will continue to grow, pushing the jobless rate down to 4.6 or 4.7 percent.

Experts at PNC bank predict solid job gains that will push unemployment down to 4.6 percent.

Many economists say the rate can't go much lower than that because a certain percentage of people are in the midst of changing jobs, finishing school or switching from one seasonal job to another. That is why they call a jobless rate around 4.6 percent full employment, even though not all U.S. adults are working.

The academic definition of full employment may be viewed skeptically by the 7.9 million people who are currently out of work, including more than two million who have been jobless for six months or more.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also says just over 6 million people are working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, and another 600,000 have simply given up their search.

This underemployment is one reason Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her colleagues waited before raising the key interest rate earlier this month, and why they say future increases will depend on economic data and will be gradual.

While the U.S. economy has been growing at a modest rate since the recession, many workers are frustrated that wages have not increased more rapidly.

Presidential economic adviser Jason Furman says wage growth was 2.3 percent during the past year, but said there is still work to do to speed up growth in wages and jobs.

Analysts at say companies need to hire new workers, and they are vetting candidates.

But Senior Vice President Joe Weinlick says companies are worried that economic growth could falter, and they are being very selective and slow about bringing on new employees.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria
giving researchers nightmares

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, we have used antibiotics against a host of infections. But now, doctors are finding that more and more bacteria are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics available.

In 2015, the World Health Organization warned that we are heading toward a post-antibiotic era, when more people will die from common infections. If that happens, medical practice will change drastically.

Antibiotic resistance and reducing hospital infections are Michael Bell's specialties at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Many of the things that we take for granted in modern medicine, the ability to do surgery for example, requires antibiotics in many cases. If I get hit by a car, talented emergency medicine doctors can help me, the surgeons can put me back together but the bacteria that get into the wound will cause an infection, and if we can’t treat that infection, I can’t really be saved," he said.

If effective antibiotics are lost, Bell said it would affect everything from joint replacement surgery to cancer care.

"In India alone, there is an estimated 58,000 infants who have died because of a single resistant infection in just one year," he said.

About 23,000 deaths from antimicrobial resistance also occurred in the U.S., as well as another 23,000 in the European Union in 2014, according to the Centers and the World Health Organization. 

"For the longest time we’ve had a number of different antibiotics in the pipeline at any given time, so whenever we ran out of the ability to use one, we would move to the next one," Bell said. "Unfortunately, right now the number of antibiotics in the pipeline is essentially zero, maybe one, if we’re lucky. The time between now and when that’s available could be on the order of five to 10 years."

Bacteria are constantly evolving, which is normal, and those who survive the drugs designed to kill them reproduce. What you end up with is a microbe, commonly called a germ, that no longer responds to antibiotics.

Bell says that's why it's so important to save the antibiotics that are still effective. Improper use is one of the key drivers for the development of antibiotic-resistant germs.

A Centers' study published in 2014 found U.S. hospitals were prescribing stronger antibiotics and more of them than necessary. The Centers has since asked hospital practitioners to monitor antibiotic use so they are using the right antibiotics for the right time and for the right duration.

"Antibiotic resistance is being generated by not only using too many antibiotics," Bell said, "but also, by spread of infection by lack of hygiene, from unintended contact with soiled surfaces, so the infection control side is equally important."

For example, the most common complication for patients in a hospital is infection, including antibiotic resistant infections such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

A study by the University of Maryland Medical Center found that health care workers who wore gowns and gloves in intensive care units where the sickest patients stay reduced these Staphylococcus infections by 40 percent. The researchers also found that health care workers who followed this protocol, also washed their hands more frequently after leaving patients' rooms. Frequent hand-washing also reduces the spread of infection.

Bell said patients can get involved in their own care during hospital stays.

"People can control their hygiene, they can ask about their medications, and they need to be ready to speak up in hospital settings," he said. "If you are in the hospital for any reason, you need to be ready to ask someone to wash their hands before they touch you, you need to be ready to ask what is being done to keep you safe from an antibiotic resistant infection . . .  Speaking up is hard and sometimes you need a friend. Bringing a family member may be the best way to do it, but speaking up is key."

The Centers has advice for patients, as well. On its Web site, the the agency tells people to take all antibiotics as prescribed and to finish the course of the drugs, even if they feel better. It also tells patients not to take antibiotics left over from a previous infection.

The World Health Organization says public awareness of the problem is low in all regions of the world, and that many people think antibiotics, which work against bacteria only, can treat viral infections like the flu or a cold.

World Health also says the sale of antibiotics without a prescription remains widespread in many countries. What this means is that antibiotics are being used too often and when they may not be needed.

Scientists are working on developing new drugs. But until then, doctors, pharmacies and patients need to take urgent action on a global level to prevent the catastrophe that a post-antibiotic era would cause.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

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Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

Blakesmore one

Blakemoret  two

Costa Rica tropical paradise beach house for sale

Tropical five-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, south Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.  Located 8 kms. south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $750,000. Contact Roger. Phone number  (506) 6142-7228   Email: Watch this video for full details.

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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Safe house
The Safest Place in The World
Residencial La Jolla, Asuncion de Belén
Casa 7 of 19 luxury homes in exclusive gated community.
3 bedroom, 3.5 baths, home office with private entrance.
332 m2 construction. 2-car garage. Central A/C
Lease $2,750 USD per month. Purchase $449,000.
Contact: Phone 8309-2000.

ocean-view home
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email:


Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife. House 240 mts. sq, 2,400 sq ft. Lot 1,850 mts. or 19,000 sq. ft. Price $179,000. Very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or   More photos HERE!

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 256
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dead journalists
Year was one of deadliest for news people

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Committee to Protect Journalists says 2015 was one of the deadliest years on record for members of the press worldwide, with 69 journalists killed on-assignment. 

According to the committee, 2015 was the sixth year out of the last 10 and eighth since 1992 in which more than 60 journalists were killed in the line of duty.

The figure includes those targeted for their profession as well as those killed in combat, crossfire or while covering other assignments deemed dangerous. 

For the fourth consecutive year, the death toll among journalists in Syria topped the list, a figure currently at 13, and a steep decline from previous years: 31 journalists were killed in Syria in 2012. 29 and 17 were killed in 2013 and 2014.

However, the number alone does not tell the complete story.  The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that the declining deaths in Syria can be attributed, in part, to the reduced number of journalists working in the country, both as a decision among international news organizations not to send reporters to the country and among local journalists to flee into exile.

In addition, there are cases throughout the region in which journalists are either missing or whose deaths could not be confirmed.  

“It’s really challenging to investigate the killings of journalists in places like Iraq, like Syria, where there are such high levels of violence and so little information coming out,” said Courtney Radsch, the organization's advocacy director, in an interview.  

In Mosul, Iraq, the Committee to Protect Journalists investigated 35 cases of journalists reported either missing, dead, or held captive by the so-called Islamic State.  However, staffers could confirm the deaths of only a handful, the organization said.

Of the 69 journalists killed in 2015, 28 or roughly 40 percent came at the hands of Islamic militant groups including Islamic State and al-Qaida. 

Nine were killed in France. Eight at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Jan. 7, and one (43-year-old freelance journalist Guillaume B. Decherf) who was reporting on a concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris when gunmen attacked Nov. 13.

Ms. Radsch says that despite the spread of technology, which has enabled more people to practice journalism, there is still a privileged role that professional journalists play, as evident in the case of the slain Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.  She said journalists are at risk in their newsrooms, wherever they may be.

“They are pushing red lines, they are pushing social boundaries,” said Ms. Radsch.  “We also have to recognize that the response to those attacks also puts journalists at risk.”

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From Page 7:

International trade seen as vector for disease

By the Arizona State University news staff

International trade and travel has opened up new vistas for humans, ranging from travel to exotic places to enjoying the products and services of those distant lands. But according to a researcher, along with international trade and travel comes the risk of spreading infectious diseases, a growing problem in today’s global economy.

“The recent ebola outbreak made us realize that we are all just a plane ride away from exposure to emerging infectious diseases,” said Charles Perrings, a professor of environmental economics at Arizona State University. Perrings recently published the paper, “Options for Managing the Infectious Animal and Plant Disease Risks of International Trade,” in the early online version of the journal Food Security.

In the paper, Perrings describes the growth of international trade since the 1950s and the increasingly tight coupling of developed and developing economies. The paper considers how the global community currently deals with trade-related infectious disease risks of animals and plants, and asks how the system could be made more effective.

An example of the impact of an infectious disease came in 2001 in the United Kingdom when an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease cost some $10 billion and more than 2 million sheep and cattle had to be destroyed, Perrings said. More recently, African swine fever, a much more serious disease of pigs, has been spread in the Caucasus region through trade in pork, pork product or through waste in trade vehicles.

“In addition, many infectious diseases that affect animals also affect people,” he said. “Zoonoses like SARS, MERS, HIV/AIDS or highly pathogenic avian influenza all originated in wild animals and were then spread person to person through trade and travel.”

Perrings said current instruments to control infectious diseases are far from adequate.