A.M.  Costa Rica
August news index
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These news articles were published in August 2001

Chronological index for August 2001

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2001

Solís brings program to Republicans
Lies and unethical behavior by politicians have undermined Costa Rica so badly that no major party can orchestrate changes the country needs to prosper, according to Ottón Solís. Solís is the former Liberation Party official who has put himself forward as a third-party, middle-of-the-road alternative in the 2002 presidential election. 

Uncle Sam sets another lottery
Costa Ricans who want to win an immigration visa to the United States have to apply between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Ambassador appointment moves to Senate
John J. Danilovich of California officially got the  nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica  July 31. that was the day that President Bush's  staff sent the nomination to the U.S. Senate, the  White House said.

Both parents must sign for minors
Passport applications for minors under the age of  14 require the consent of both parents or legal  guardians, The U.S. Department of State  announced. The new regulation is designed to  make it tougher for one parent to take children  and run out on the other spouse.

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2001

No good news on coffee
Coffee futures have hit a nine-year-low in New York due to increased Asian production and seasonal lower demand.

Eyes on money laundering operations
All you ever wanted to know about money laundering but were afraid to ask. That's what Economic Perspectives, an electronic journal, has at its website.

Friday, Aug. 18, 2001

Looking for a few good test-takers
U.S. citizens living in Costa Rica have a chance to register for the next foreign service exam, but they will have to go to the States to take the test.

Sept. 5 a big soccer day here
U.S. citizens living in Costa Rica are going to need to exercise a little diplomacy Wednesday, Sept. 5. That's the day the U.S. national soccer team meets the Costa Rican team in an evening World cup semifinal contest in San José.

Advanced passport service promised in Miami
The U.S. Passport Agency in Miami now produces passports that federal officials are calling technologically advanced and secure. The agency is on the third floor of the Claude Pepper Federal Building, 51 SW First Ave. 

New OAS envoy Noriega presents credentials, stresses democracy
Strengthening democracy in the Americas remains one of the United States' top foreign-policy goals, said Roger Noriega, the new U.S. permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS).

New chipset faster, cheaper, Taiwanse firm says
A Taiwanese firm said yesterday it has begun volume shipments of a computer chipset that is supposed to be 25 percent cheaper than a similar chipset manufactured by Intel.

Monday, Aug. 20, 2001

Heavy rains drench several parts of the country
Truck transportation between eastern Costa Rica  and the Central Valley remained blocked early  today, thanks to at least four landslides on the  Braulio Carrillo Highway.

Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2001

U.S. gets blame for gun smuggling
Arms smuggling is a growing problem in Latin America, and the United States is the source of many of the weapons that are being bought and sold illegally in the underground market.

The turtle season is in full swing
Nesting season is in full swing for the  endangered Caribbean green turtle.  The sprawling, unkempt 22-mile  beach at Tortuguero is the most  important Western Hemisphere site  for this activity.

West Nile virus suspected in Ontario
Canadian officials said Monday they were conducting tests on a dead crow found in Windsor, Ontario, in early August because preliminary tests showed the presence of the West Nile virus. 

Cuba travel ban may face U.S. vote
The U.S. Treasury Department, which just stepped up enforcement of the ban on travel to Cuba, is now being urged to pull back. Congress may vote to ease the restrictions as soon as next month, according to legislative sources.

Shark targets include three surfers
Three shark attacks occurred Sunday  in the Daytona Beach area of Florida,  not far from where sharks bit three  surfers Saturday. 

IRA officials nabbed in Colombia 
Three men suspected of being members of the Irish Republican Army worked with local Colombian Marxist guerrillas to perfect a devastating fire bomb before their arrest a week ago in Colombia, according to police and intelligence sources.

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2001

Does 'Betty' say something about Latin lifestyle?
What is the attraction of the  so-called ugly woman who has  transfixed Costa Rican television  viewers? Is it just another Cinderella story  or does the popularity of "Yo soy  Betty la fea" say something about  Latin culture?

Another electrical problem puts out the lights
Electricity in San José went off for  about two hours Tuesday night during  the height of a major thunderstorm.  However, the cause, if known, still had  not been made public late last night. The outage might have extended  throughout most of the country.

IMF Offers Argentina $8 Billion
The International Monetary Fund is offering Argentina $8  billion in emergency loans to help the country stave off a  feared economic collapse. 

European Union visits Cuba
European Union officials are in Cuba Wednesday for a three-day visit aimed at improving relations.

Helms may not run again
U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, one of the most conservative Republicans in Congress. will not run for re-election, news reports said Tuesday.

Court to look at Pinochet again
The Chilean Supreme Court has agreed to review an  appeals court decision to suspend human rights abuse  charges against former dictator Augusto Pinochet.

State Department looks to armed services
The U.S. State Department will try to recruit 1,433 new employees next year and many of them from the armed services.

Grammys to avoid Miami
Organizers of next month's Latin Grammy music awards  decided to move the event from Miami to Los Angeles. Cuban exile groups had been granted permission to  demonstrate near the arena where the show was to have  been held. Organizers cited security concerns for the move.

Foreign Relations committee seeks secrets
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee scheduled hearings on John Negroponte's nomination to be U.S. representative to the United Nations for early September, when the Senate has returned from its August recess, a committee statement said Monday. The committee wants certain secret Executive Branch documents declassified.

Thursday, Aug. 23, 2001

Those from States, Canada not big group, census says
The final report of the 2000 census shows that 9,511 residents here were born in the United States. Some 3,389 persons were born elsewhere in North America, the census showed. Some 8,431 persons reported they were born in Europe.

Big military exercise under way down south
About 400 U.S. troops and more than 700 military personnel from countries in Latin America are participating in "Cabanas 2001" a military exercise the United States characterized as peacekeeping practice.

Power outage blamed on tree
The power outage that hit Costa Rica Tuesday night happened because a tree fell and struck a transmission line at the hydroelectric plant at La Angostura, Cachí, reports the Costa Rican Electrical Institute.

Assistant secretary defends anti-spray program as safe
WASHINGTON The United  States cannot find any  credible scientific evidence  that the aerial  drug-eradication spraying  program in Colombia  represents a health hazard  to humans, said Rand Beers,  assistant secretary of state. 

Friday, Aug. 24, 2001

Do the Nigerians have a wonderful deal for you
Has Rasheed Bello got a deal for you. He' s a director of the National Nigerian Power  Authority, and he wants to give you $16 million. Or at least that's what the e-mail from the a Yahoo  Internet mail account said this week as the latest  round of the so-called Nigerian scam began to hit  electronic mailboxes of Costa Ricans and foreigners  living here.

UCR plans big expo to show its work
University research projects from palmito production to electric circuits are on display Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the University of Costa Rica.

Congressman finally admits relationship with missing intern
U.S. Rep. Gary Condit acknowledged Thursday night  that he had a five-month "close relationship" with  missing intern Chandra Levy, but said he knows  nothing about her disappearance.

Extraditions approved for drug lords in Colombia
The Supreme Court of Colombia approved a U.S.  request to extradite a top drug lord to the United  States for trial on charges of cocaine trafficking and  money laundering. 

Rioters gassed in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES Argentine police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse thousands of people who took to the streets of Buenos Aires in the latest protest over government cost-cutting measures.

Himalayan quake feared
Scientists say the Himalayan region is overdue for a major earthquake that could threaten the lives of more than 50 million people in northern India, Pakistan and other neighboring countries. 

Monday, Aug. 27, 2001

Big show at UCR
The Faculty of Economic Sciences was the setting for what amounted to a science fair by professors Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To say the least, the University of Costa Rica event was impressive.

Proposal in Colombia to legalize drugs draws fire
A Colombian legislator last week introduced bills to legalize drugs and to halt the spraying of poppy and cocoa fields there.

Breakdown in talks causes violence
In Colombia, the breakdown of peace talks with a left-wing rebel group appears to have set off a new terror campaign, as bombs explode in several cities and towns around the country, causing millions of dollars damage to homes and businesses, and injuring scores of people.

Big drug bust draws praise
Colombia and the United States  have hailed a joint  anti-narcotics operation that  netted some $35 million in cash,  said to be one of the  largest-ever seizures of drug  money.

Brazil makes up with Iran
Brazil is resuming relations with Iraq, which were  downgraded during the Gulf War. The Brazilian  Government said it wants to promote closer  commercial ties with Baghdad.

U.S. pressures Europe on modified foods
The Washington Post newspaper said senior U.S. officials are pressuring the European Union to abandon restrictions on foods containing genetically modified organisms.

Big winner in Kentucky
The winning numbers for the United States'  Powerball lottery have been drawn, and officials  are waiting to hand over top prizes totalling $295  million as soon as the winners come forward.

Lawyer says Condit stays
The lawyer for U.S. Rep. Gary Condit says the lawmaker has no intention of resigning over the case of missing government intern Chandra Levy.

Shark diet restricted to fish
Officials in Florida have closed a 1.6 km stretch of  beach after sighting dozens of sharks. 

Cubans want Castro indicted
Some Cuban exile groups are urging the U.S. government to indict Cuban President Fidel Castro for murder in the 1996 shootdown of two planes flown by exiles.

DNA frees man after 17 years
Authorities in the western U.S. state of Idaho have  released a man who spent more than 17-years on  death row after new DNA evidence proved his  innocence.

Bush issues warning to U.N.
President Bush said Friday that the United States will not participate in a coming U.N. conference on racism if the conference organizers insist on saying that Zionism is a form of racism.

Free Taiwan called key 
"A free Taiwan is the key to the possibility of  genuinely close relations between the U.S. and  China and a guarantee that China's growing impact  on the international system will be a positive one,"  Rep. Henry Hyde said Friday in a speech in Taipei,  Taiwan.

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2001

A tight, shallow campaign predicted for Costa Rica
Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera frankly told Democrats  Monday that he was speaking to convince them that  his candidate should win the Costa Rican presidential  election. Solís, who taught political science at the University of  Michigan, did so in fluent English. His candidate is  Rolando Araya, of the Liberation National party.

IBM gets even smaller
IBM researchers created and demonstrated the world's first computer circuit within a single molecule, which may someday lead to a new class of smaller and faster computers that consume less power than now, the company said Monday.

We are featured
Hispanicvista.com, the Hispanic point of view, a bilingual website based in California, is featuring A.M. Costa Rica this week because this publication is a new arrival on the newspaper scene.

Powell will make a visit to Colombia
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit Colombia Sept. 11 to 12 after participating in the Organization of American States Special General Assembly in Lima Sept. 10 to 11, the State Department said Monday.

But he will not go to South Africa
The United States says Secretary of State Colin Powell will boycott the U.N. Conference on Racism beginning Friday in South Africa because of what it calls offensive anti-Israel language in the agenda.

Colombia to extradite Ochoa
The president of Colombia has cleared the way for the extradition to the United States of accused drug trafficker Fabio Ochoa, who was linked to the now-defunct Medellin cocaine cartel.

Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2001

Costa Rican real estate dances to its own drummer
Dot.com companies come and go, and national and  world economies heat up and cool off. But Costa  Rican residential real estate sales seem driven by  other, more fundamental factors.

Venezuela in emergency due to cases of dengue
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared a  health emergency last week in response to the  growing number of cases of dengue fever in his  country. The mosquito-borne disease has caused  some 600 deaths in Venezuela, with more than  24,000 infections, according to news reports.

Intel comes out with 2 GHz chip
Intel Corp. Monday introduced the Intel Pentium 4 processor at 2 gigahertz (GHz) - or two billion cycles per second - crossing a key technology milestone and extending the PC's ability, the company said.

Budget office reports Social Security on block
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office says the  government will use about $9 billion of Social  Security revenue to balance its budget this year. 

Annan urges U.S. to go to racism conference
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is urging the United States to take part in this week's U.N. racism conference in South Africa.

British fear more surveillance
Laws designed to catch computer criminals could  result in a huge increase in the amount of covert  surveillance carried out on British citizens by the police and intelligence services, BBC News Online  reported last week.

Environmentalists sue over missile defense
Eight environmental groups have filed a lawsuit aimed at forcing the Pentagon to show how President Bush's missile defense program and a   proposed test range in Alaska will affect the environment on the West Coast. 

More money for Argentina
The World Bank has approved a $400 million loan  for Argentina to help finance reforms and other  social programs being implemented by President  Fernando de la Rua.

Algerian indicted as terrorist
A London-based Algerian man has been indicted on terrorism-related charges by a U.S. federal grand jury.

McCain to have surgery
U.S. Sen. John McCain, the former Republican  presidential candidate, undergoes surgery  Wednesday for an enlarged prostate. 

Cuba won't use U.S. coins
Cuban authorities will no longer allow the use of U.S. coins as currency for purchases in stores and deposit in banks. Paper U.S. dollars are still  acceptable.

Labor leader dies in Bolivia
Bolivian labor leader Juan Lechin Oquendo, 89, has  died in La Paz. 

Bomb defused near U.S. consulate
Italian police have defused a small bomb placed near the U.S. consulate in Florence.

Man faces murder charges in fire
Police in Mendocino County in northern California have charged a man with murder for allegedly starting the campfire that spread into a wildfire and led to the deaths of two firefighters. 

Powerball winners in bliss
A couple from Maine who is sharing in the $295  million dollar Powerball lottery jackpot describes  the last few days as "wonderful pandemonium."

Thursday, Aug. 30, 2001

Surprise: The roads here are not too hot
If you think Costa Rican roads are a bit  undermaintained and full of potholes or  "huecos," you are not alone. The U.S.  government rated the roads again this year as  part of its annual review of the country.

Jo Stuart to join as columnist
Jo Stuart, a well-known and respected newspaper writer, will begin a weekly column in this publication, starting tomorrow.

Drought seems the worst in areas of El Salvador
El Salvador's worst drought in two decades has  wiped out farmers' entire crops in the hardest-hit  areas and left an estimated 200,000 people in  urgent need of food aid, according to a special  report.

Goverment troops go on offensive in Colombia
The Colombian government has stepped up a major  military offensive against leftist rebels as a  high-level U.S. delegation visits the Andean nation  for talks on its anti-drug efforts.

U.S. expands veggie list benefiting Costa Rica
The United States Wednesday expanded the list of  fruits and vegetables that could be imported and  included some crops from Costa Rica. 

Great Latin music going to Hall of Fame
Some of the greatest Latin music recordings are  being recognized for the first time, as the Latin  Recording Academy inaugurates a Hall of Fame. 

Auto workers continue strike
The Volkswagen plant in Puebla has served as a  model for Mexican industry. It is the only plant in  the world that produces the popular new  Volkswagen Beetle, which is sold in 80 countries.

Friday, Aug. 31, 2001

Cause of man's death still is not clear
Investigators are waiting for autopsy  results to find out what killed a  61-year-old Texan in his home near  Curridabat. The dead man is Roy W. Karsh, who  was found Wednesday by a part-time  maid about 1:30 p.m. in his home in  Los Faroles de Curridabat. 

Computer expo worth a visit but don't expect Buck Rogers
CompuExpo 2001 was a little subdued Thursday. There were fewer commercial participants than last year, and there was  breakthrough that would knock off your socks.

The U.S. game is on at 8 a.m.!
Who says 8 a.m. is too early for cold  beers? That's when the United States  National Team kicks off against  Honduras Saturday.

31 soldiers reported killed in clashes in Colombia
The Colombian military says at least 31 leftist  rebels and soldiers are dead in renewed clashes  that come as visiting U.S. diplomats review U.S.  policy. 

U.S. Customs Service nabs two in encryption exporting case
The U.S. Customs Service has arrested two men  suspected of trying to smuggle military encryption  technology to China. 

Elian may go back to U.S.
Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez may  return to the United States, this time as a delegate  for a U.N. special session on children.

Police nab Ukranian suspect in multiple murder case
California police captured fugitive Ukrainian murder suspect Nikolay Sotlys Thursday in California. The capture ended a nationwide manhunt for the immigrant who faces charges in the deaths of six relatives, including his wife and son.

Colombian daily to go weekly
One of Colombia's oldest and most respected newspapers, "El Espectador," is ending publication as a daily and will become a weekly publication. 

Nicaraguans protest at capital
Several hundred Nicaraguan farmers hit hard by  drought and low coffee prices have arrived in the  capital, Managua, to end their month-long protest  march.

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