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Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 207
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Food researchers say they cut salt but not flavor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anyone who worries about health knows that salt should be limited. But salt is a preservative as well as a flavor enhancer in food.

For most individuals salt is the same as sodium, which makes up about 40 percent of table salt.

Researchers at the Universidad de Costa Rica are tackling some of these salt questions, and the country even has a national plan for reducing sodium in the diet. Residents need to. Costa Ricans on average consume about 7.1 grams of sodium a day, twice the average of residents of the United States.

Health officials want to bring the average down to about 3 grams of sodium a day. That is still higher than the 2.4-gram target suggested by the American Heart Association. The association is involved because sodium tends to retain water. Excess water puts a strain on the heart, and this increases blood pressure. High blood pressure can make bad things happen to the heart and body, including stroke, the Heart Association notes.

Another fact is that most of the salt that modern humans consume does not come from the salt shaker, as the Heart Association notes. The sodium already is in the food.

Elba Cubero Castillo and Yorleny Araya Quesada at the Universidad de Costa Rica’s  Escuela de Tecnología de Alimentos, in research reported Tuesday they found that food producers could cut the salt in their hot dogs, sausages and similar products without altering the flavor.

They did this with experiments in which the
Universidad de Costa Rica
A selection of what are called embutidos.

salt content of various products were cut 20 percent without being detected by those eating the meats, called here embutidos. The researchers reported that sausages low of fat and marketed as light contain an average of 2.05 percent salt. They said they could reduce that to 1.53 percent without affecting the perceived flavor.  Similar reductions were made with chorizo salchichón and similar.

There is a lot of salt in processed meats, like ham and cold cuts, too, they noted. The downside is that plenty of sodium products are put in meats as preservatives, and reducing the amount may affect the shelf life and healthfulness of the products. So the university’s Facultad de Microbiología staff is studying that question.

The researchers noted that the Cámara Costarricense de Embutidores y Procesadores de Carne has promised to cut sodium in its members’ products by 15 percent, but probably with a longer time frame.

The researchers also noted that studies of supermarket meats are complex because a lot of the meat is not just meat. Retail products include all types of extenders, including vegetable protein, that add texture and color to the food. Researcher said they still need to find out if these various extenders add more sodium to the finished product, so the studies continue.

Arrest made in vicious Arenal area home invasion
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators say they have detained one suspect in the invasion of a U.S. woman expat’s home last Sept. 27 near Tilarán. But four suspects managed to evade raids Tuesday.

The only detention was at a school in Limonal de Orotina where a suspect was working as a welder, agents said.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that other similar home invasions also are being studied in relation to the four suspects.

One crime was in Paquera Aug. 13, they said.

The woman in the latest attack lost nearly a half million dollars in money, jewels and items in the home, investigators said.

Five men invaded her home, tied her up, beat her and then ransacked the place, agents said.

In raids Tuesday agents said they recovered a vehicle, money and major appliances they said they suspected had been purchased with money from home invasions. Other raids were in  Ángeles de Tilarán and Orotina.

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Botanical garden plan may get boost

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Municipalidad de San José may get support from the legislature in its long-running fight to evict the Parque Bolívar zoo.

Two administrations have tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the zoo from the park in the northern part of the capitol.

Now the legislature has a chance to donate a government-owner piece of property adjacent to the zoo for use as a botanical garden. The municipality would replace the zoo with a garden.

The zoo, officially known as Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar, is run by the Fundación Pro Zoológicos. The foundation went to court and won when the government tried to end its lease.

Now the government is forcing it to find better and more expensive quarters for an African lion, the only one at the zoo.

The zoo has been an object of criticism from tourists and officials alike for the conditions in which the animals are kept. There also are some who are opposed philosophically to keeping animals in cages.

The lion at the zoo has never roamed free. Officials confiscated the animal from a passing circus when it was young in 1999, and the lion has been in a small cage since. The environmental ministry just won a court decision backing up its order to relocate the cat.

Lawmaker Gonzalo Ramírez Zamora introduced the legislation that would turn over the property title to the municipality. It is No. 20.123. The lawmaker notes the criticism of the zoo and praises the benefits of a botanical garden as the green lungs of the city. He also said that a botanical garden would advance plans for a green corridor along the south bank of the Río Torres.

The property being donated is 25,111 square meters, some 270,292.6 square feet or about 6.2 acres, according to the bill that has just been introduced.

Sala IV will hear state secrets case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has agreed to hear an appeal against the president designating some memos as state secret. The memos outline the country’s policy toward the new government in Brazil.

President Luis Guillermo Solís, his wife, Mercedes Peñas, and the foreign minister, Manuel González, stood up and left the United Nations assembly hall when Michael Temer, president of Brazil, began to speak Sept. 20.  Diplomats from Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba did likewise. They call the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff a coup.  Temer took her place.

Last week the president designated as a state secret the documents exchanged between the foreign ministry here and its embassy in Brazil.  Newspaper reporters as well as lawmakers would like to find out the status of the country’s relations with Brazil.

So Rolando González Ulloa, a legislator, filed the action before the Sala IV. The court said Tuesday that it had accepted the appeal, something it is not required to do.

González of Partido Liberación Nacional said in March 2015 that he would present a bill to define state secrets. The definition now is in the hands of the president. The lawmaker was miffed then after Solís and his aides declined to provide a reporter with information on the population of various prisons. Such a bill has not yet become law.

The court eventually rejected that position and said it did not see how releasing the information would damage the country.

The diplomatic documents might be damaging because they probably discuss the government of Brazil in candid terms.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública added two more aircraft to its fleet Tuesday with the arrival of this plane and one other. Both are donations from the People’s Republic of China. They are designated Y12E and carry up to 17 passengers. The United States just donated planes to the ministry, too.

Taxi drivers plan Uber protest Thursday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hundreds of taxi drivers are going on strike again Thursday. They plan to assemble on foot on Paseo Colon and march to the Corte Suprema de Justicia. They are seeking a court decision that would eliminate Uber as a competitor.

Uber entered the country more than a year ago and claims to be simply a brokerage service that joins passengers with private drivers. The licensed taxi drivers have a big investment in their vehicles and expenses like insurance, so they claim the competition is unfair.

Uber has gained support from some persons because they like the way to call a Uber vehicle via a smart phone and that the vehicles are clean and the drivers are courteous.

Representatives of the taxi drivers have met with the Fuerza Pública and the Policía del Tránsito to outline their plans for the march, which starts at 9 a.m. Drivers have lost a lot of standing with the public because they have blocked highways and slowed down traffic as means of protest in the past.

Two held in murder of elderly woman

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agents have detained two men, 18 and 21, in the murder of an 86-year-old Guatuso resident. Agents said one of the suspects is a former employee of the victim, identified by the last name of Alvarez.

The murder happened Aug. 25.  The motive appears to be robbery.  The elderly woman suffered knife wounds and bullet wounds. She lived alone, and her body was found by relatives, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The suspects were detained in El Abanico de Peñas Blancas de San Ramón, agents said.

The robbers took 15,000 colons in cash from the home, about $27.50, as well as a firearm and a cell telephone.

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A man observes the mess at the Pochote bridge near Tambor after heavy rains
Low-level emergency declared as rain inundates the country
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

October renewed its reputation as the wettest month with flooding and as much as five inches of rain in some areas in just a few hours.

The Nicoya peninsula was among the areas hardest hit. There at least 125 millimeters of rain fell beginning Monday night. By early Tuesday, much of the area was awash, including the Barceló Playa Tambor hotel where there were inches of water in the lobby.

Some of the nearby luxury homes were flooded when rivers overflowed and inundated the entire area.

Nosara, further north on the peninsula also had its troubles when the landscape just could not handle the downpours.

Tuesday night an additional 30 millimeters fell on the Pacific coast and also on the Caribbean coast. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional blamed a low pressure area over the country and said the rain would continue though today and perhaps into Thursday.

The national emergency commission declared an alert for the entire country.

There also was flooding in communities around Cartago and in some urban areas where the problem was trash in the drainage systems.

Flooding problems also were reported on the southern Pacific coast around Golfito.

The was some lightning and wind, so some trees fell. Trees were blamed for an outage of electricity that affected 350

A.M. Costa Rica/Gabriela Vega Barrantes
Crew works on clearing the Caldera Highway at Kilometer 25 Tuesday afternoon.

persons near Puriscal and between Naranjo and Llano Bonito, in Alajuela where 2,500 customers were affected, said the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. A landslide blocked one lane of Ruta 27, the Caldera highway, Tuesday afternoon and that resulted in delays of up to an hour and a half for motorists and bus passengers.

The weather institute predicted that the rains would taper off on the Caribbean coast later today but continue on the Pacific side.

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Sophisticated scans detect some intriguing voids within Great Pyramid
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists using new technology have announced some intriguing new discoveries while peering deep inside the great pyramids of Giza.

The results come from the Scan Pyramids group, a collaboration between the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and a host of international tech companies and universities.

The team has been using high-tech muography, thermal imaging and 3-D scanning techniques to fully map the interior of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The team is also working on the nearby pyramid of Khafre, and two others, the Bent pyramid and the Red pyramid.

But the results on Khufu are the ones that are grabbing headlines.

Khufu is generally known as the Great Pyramid of Giza. It's the oldest and largest of the three pyramids on the Giza plateau. Most scientists believe it took about two decades to build and was finished around 2560 B.C., generally considered to be the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu.

It stands 146 meters high and was the largest man-made structure in the world until the 1300s, when the Lincoln Cathedral was built in London. It was first explored in 820 by a caliph named Abdullah Al Mamun, who tunneled into the pyramid until he eventually hit one of the hidden inner passageways.

Since then, archaeologists have been combing the pyramid, trying to discover its secrets. But the Scan Pyramids team is adding an exciting new chapter in the continuing work to fully explore this last standing wonder of the ancient world.

The team used a mapping technique called muography to visualize the interior of the pyramid. Muons are charged particles similar to electrons, and scientists say they are highly penetrative. Think of them as X-rays on steroids. They are also everywhere, and millions of them pass through humans every day.

Mehdi Tayoub heads the Heritage, Innovation and Preservation Institute, one of the main partners in the Scan Pyramids group. Muography is a fairly common scientific technique that Tayoub says has been used to look behind walls at Fukushima or to monitor magma chambers for volcanoes, for example.

The team has adapted the process to work inside the pyramids.

Public domain photo
The great Pyramid of Eqypt

Muons are absorbed by stone, so the team laid muon-sensitive plates, which look like giant X-ray plates, in the interior of the pyramid and then exposed them to the muons zipping through the pyramid. The muons that hit the plates, rather than the stones, create images. Those images suggested empty spaces or voids inside the pyramid.

"The more dense the stones," Tayoub says, ". . . the more the muons are absorbed. That means if in certain angles we have more muons, we are able to identify voids."

Tayoub was quick to point out that voids don't mean new chambers, or new corridors. "When we see a void," he says, "the question is not, Is there or not? The questions are what exact size, what purpose, what exact shape, et cetera."

All Tayoub can say is that they can confirm the presence of two previously unknown cavities. The team knows the most about the void on the northeast edge of the pyramid. "We can estimate that this void . . . has a surface of about 9 meters squared, squared," Tayoub says. The other void on the north face, the team knows little about.

Now the real work starts. This is a giant pyramid of solid stone, and even with the muography, Tayoub says, "We can't look very deeply." And while he does say one of the voids seems to have a corridor shape, that "doesn't mean that it is a corridor."

The team is waiting for more results on muography that was done in the Queen's Chamber, which sits below the King's Chamber, where a sarcophagus, presumably of Khufu, was interred thousands of years ago.

What is clear is that the pyramid may indeed have some mysteries to divulge, and the research, while far from being definitive, is noteworthy. The team is also using thermal scanners, and drones equipped with 3-D mapping technology, to scan not only the interior of the pyramids, but the entire Giza complex.

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Mountain forest and fresh air. Charming two-bedroom and two-bath chalet style home. Near downtown Heredia away from the noise and traffic in the quiet mountain setting of Monte de la Cruz. Room for parking on a large manicured garden property. Fully furnished with loft and laundry room. Property is gated. No smokers, must have references, and no more than an occupancy of two.  $550 per month. One month deposit.  Please call Leda at:  2267-6306  to make an appointment to view.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 207
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Mrs. Clinton looks to states
that usually vote Republican

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Increasingly confident of winning the U.S. presidency in the November election, Democrat Hillary Clinton is expanding her campaign into traditionally Republican states in hopes of closing off a path to victory for Republican Donald Trump and to support the election of more Democratic lawmakers in Congress.

With three weeks until Election Day, the Clinton campaign says it will spend $2 million more in advertising in the Western state of Arizona, which has voted for a Democratic presidential contender only once in the last 16 elections.

It also plans to send one of its most popular surrogates, first lady Michelle Obama, to the state Thursday to hold a rally for Mrs. Clinton. Recent polls show Mrs. Clinton and Trump locked in a tight race in the state, which shares a border with Mexico.

In addition, the Clinton campaign is also ramping up its efforts in two Midwestern states where Trump leads: Missouri and Indiana. Both states have closely contested Senate races that Democrats and Republicans view as important in their efforts to win political control next year in the Senate, where Republicans now have a majority.

Recent polls show Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of State seeking to become the country’s first female president, surging to a bigger lead over Trump, a brash real estate mogul making his first run for elected office. The political Web site Real Clear Politics says its average of national surveys shows Mrs. Clinton with a 7-percentage-point advantage, while several political analysts say she has about a 9-in-10 chance of becoming the country’s 45th president.

Mrs. Clinton and Trump are squaring off for their third and last debate Wednesday, with both candidates facing tough questions, Mrs. Clinton about her use of a private, unsecured email server when she was the country’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, and Trump about his boasts on a 2005 tape that he could grope women with impunity because he was a celebrity and subsequent allegations from multiple women that he made unwanted advances on them over several decades.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded that Mrs. Clinton’s handling of national security material in her emails was extremely careless, but that no criminal charges were warranted.

But in a new document released Monday, the FBI suggested that a State Department aide sought to get one of the documents downgraded from a secure classified rating to unclassified in exchange for allowing more FBI agents to be stationed at U.S. consulates in foreign countries.

The State Department has denied that any such quid pro quo offer was made, and the FBI kept the document classified, over State Department objections.

Mrs. Clinton has said many times she made a mistake in using the private email server, rather than a more secure government server, but says she did not knowingly send or receive classified material even though some of it turned out to include such emails.

President Barack Obama said the allegations of a deal to change the classification of the document are just not true.

Trump claimed Monday that hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta being released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks proves even the Clinton campaign knew that she mishandled classified info on the private, unsecured email server she used while serving as U.S. secretary of state.

“But no one gets charged? RIGGED!” he said.

Trump has plunged in polling against Mrs. Clinton for the last week and a half after the 11-year-old tape surfaced. At the second debate on Oct. 9, Trump denied he had acted on his boasts of kissing and groping women, saying it was locker room talk. But within days, at least nine women said he had made unwelcome advances on them over several decades.

Trump’s wife, Melania, in interviews Monday and Tuesday, echoed his complaint that the allegations were part of a broad election conspiracy against him by the U.S. news media and the Clinton campaign.

“They want to damage the presidency of my husband, and it was all planned, it was all organized from the opposition,” she told Fox News.

In an interview broadcast Monday on CNN, Melania Trump alleged that her husband was egged on by a TV personality, then “Access Hollywood” anchorman Billy Bush, to say “dirty and bad stuff” on the tape recorded in 2005. She added about her husband, “This is not the man that I know. He is a gentleman. He is kind. And I know he respects women.”

Melania Trump told the network her husband apologized to her for his remarks on the tape, and that she accepted his apology.

She described his taped comments as boy talk, and said that allegations the women subsequently made against him “should be taken care of in a court of law. And to accuse, no matter who it is, a man or a woman, without evidence is damaging and unfair.”

Donald Trump Monday ramped up his contention that the election is rigged against him.

“Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before Election Day,” Trump said in one of a flurry of Twitter comments. “Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!”

Trump has produced no evidence of voter fraud or other claims he has made, such as alleging Hillary Clinton was on drugs during their last presidential debate.

A new survey by the political Web site Politico and the polling company Morning Consult shows many Americans are skeptical about the integrity of the national election, with 41 percent of voters believing that the election could be stolen from Trump. There was a wide partisan split in the poll results, with 73 percent of Republicans, but only 17 percent of Democrats, agreeing that there could be massive vote fraud.

Controversy erupts over access
to Web by Julian Assange

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Ecuador's government admitted Tuesday that it had temporarily restricted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's internet access at its London embassy after the site published documents from Hillary Clinton's U.S. presidential campaign.

A foreign ministry statement said that while it stands by its decision in 2012 to grant Assange asylum, it does not interfere in foreign elections. President Rafael Correa’s government said it was acting on its own and not ceding to foreign pressures.

The foreign ministry didn't specify how Assange's internet access had been restricted. It said only that the curbs wouldn't affect WikiLeaks' journalistic ability.

WikiLeaks, in tweets Tuesday morning, alleged that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had asked Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing documents about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby categorically denied the assertion.

“While our concerns about WikiLeaks are longstanding, any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down WikiLeaks is false,” Kirby said. “Reports that Secretary Kerry had conversations with Ecuadorian officials about this are simply untrue. Period.”

WikiLeaks claimed Monday that Assange’s internet connection had been intentionally severed by a state party.

Writing on Twitter, WikiLeaks later said it had activated appropriate contingency plans for Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012 to avoid arrest. Sweden is pressing to have the 45-year-old Australian national extradited over an alleged sex offense.

A WikiLeaks spokesman linked the severed connection to "our ongoing publications revealing the associations and positions of U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton."

The Clinton campaign reported in July that the emails of the Democratic National Committee had been hacked by Russia, and WikiLeaks later began publishing the contents of the hacked documents. Moscow has denied involvement.

The most recent batch of hacked documents included a 2013 Clinton speech to a conference of investment bankers. In the speech, she said she urged China to do what it could to control North Korea’s nuclear threat, saying “You either control them, or we’re going to have to defend against them.”

WikiLeaks also published emails purportedly linked to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, who said last week an FBI probe of that breach is part of a wider investigation into an alleged Russian hacking campaign ahead of Nov. 8 elections.

Podesta also claimed that Roger Stone, a key adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump, had advance knowledge of the leaks. That accusation follows predictions from Stone in August that WikiLeaks would attack both Clinton and Podesta in the coming weeks.

The latest WikiLeaks disclosures, focusing exclusively on the Clinton campaign, have prompted some analysts to speculate that Russia has teamed up with WikiLeaks in an attempt to subvert Clinton's presidential bid.

Despite its recent Clinton focus, WikiLeaks also has rankled the leaders of several foreign governments, key among them Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Voice of America/S. Herman  
 Vietnamese American Minh Dang, who said her
 parents sold her for sex at age 10.

Human Trafficking Council
is made up of former victims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Members of a unique U.S. government advisory panel, all of them victims of human trafficking, are calling for significant changes in the way authorities engage with those who have been rescued from slavery and exploitation.

More extensive and uniform training for law enforcement, comprehensive government services for all survivors, and funding to empower survivor leadership and empowerment are among the recommendations by the 11-member U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

The first report of the all-volunteer council, composed of eight women and three men, was released Tuesday. Its members, at a public event in Washington's Chinatown district, called for greater awareness about the war on human trafficking, which they say is a lucrative, global criminal enterprise.

While Asia is recognized as a significant region for the modern-day slave trade, there also are an unrealized number of victims in and from Africa.

Africa's "culture doesn't encourage speaking out. You can't say it to your next door neighbor; you can't say it to your friend. So in that situation it's hard to get statistics," said council secretary Bukola Love Oriola, originally from Nigeria.

Vietnamese American Minh Dang, whose parents sold her for sex from age 10, said there frequently is a single narrative about what constitutes human trafficking.

"There can be an overemphasis on the commercial sex industry, or an overemphasis on this as an international issue," she said. "This happens in all industries in all countries. The U.S. is trafficking its own people and trafficking foreigners."

At the core of it, in the United States and elsewhere, Ms. Minh laments, is "an economy that demands cheap or no cost labor. We are OK with building an economy on peoples' backs and not paying them."

Law enforcement and other aspects of society too frequently believe that once victims are rescued, the responsibility to assist them ends. But council members say years of support from society, usually including housing and mental health counseling, are crucial.

"I don't know how to share my pain," said council co-chairman Harold D'Souza, who as a child was part of a family from India that was subject to labor bondage in a Cincinnati-area restaurant.

"When I'm alone, I'm crying. I break down. I feel ashamed of myself," added D'Souza, who now is a husband and father of two sons.

"Human trafficking changes the life of the victim forever," said council member Flor Molina, who was trafficked from Mexico into a Los Angeles garment factory.

Even family members don't understand "why we are so afraid," Ms. Molina explained at the event.

Council member Evelyn Chumbow, originally from Cameroon, was held in personal slavery by a recruiter in the United States from the age of seven until 17. Ms. Chumbow appealed to the U.S. government to "take these recommendations we have given and really implement them."

The council recommends law enforcers and others involved in combating the $150 billion industry receive training from actual survivors of human trafficking about the complexities of the crimes.

The report also requests improved training for members of the Association of Club Executives, a trade association of adult nightclubs in the United States. And it recommends that club owners receive additional awareness training with updated materials and the establishment of a program to monitor the effectiveness of their efforts.

The council was established by the Obama administration in December 2015 to provide a formal platform for survivors to provide expertise to federal agencies on the U.S. anti-trafficking policy.

The council's establishment has helped create awareness that "human trafficking could happen to anyone," said member Ronny Marty, who was trafficked from the Dominican Republic into an Alabama manufacturing plant.

Dorothy’s red slippers focus
of Smithsonian campaign

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to preserve the ruby slippers from the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz."

The museum hopes to raise $300,000 in a month.

The slippers, which for more than 30 years have been one of the most beloved items at the museum, were crafted almost 80 years ago by the MGM Studios prop department. Like most movie props, they weren't built to last.

Now the museum wants to polish the dulled sequins, clean up the loose threads and create a state-of-the-art display case to preserve the shoes for decades to come.

The Smithsonian's museums are federally funded, but the institution frequently solicits private and corporate contributions for major projects that its budget doesn't cover.

This is the Smithsonian's second Kickstarter campaign.

In 2015, the National Air and Space Museum looked to the crowdfunding site to preserve the spacesuit that astronaut Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon. It reached its $500,000 goal in five days, and eventually raised $719,779 from 9,477 supporters, according to Kickstarter.

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Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

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Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
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We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
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Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 207
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Being fat found to affect the brain

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Being overweight is not good for your body, and new research suggests it’s not good for your brain either.

Researchers from the University of Arizona say having a high body mass index, or BMI, can cause inflammation that can impair cognitive functioning in older adults.

"The higher your BMI, the more your inflammation goes up," said Kyle Bourassa, lead author of the study, which is published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. "Prior research has found that inflammation, particularly in the brain, can negatively impact brain function and cognition."

The conclusions were reached using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, which “includes over 12 years' worth of information on the health, well-being and social and economic circumstances of the English population age 50 and older.”

They looked specifically at two groups over a six-year period.

"The higher participants' body mass at the first time point in the study, the greater the change in their CRP levels over the next four years,” Bourassa said. “CRP stands for C-reactive protein, which is a marker in the blood of systemic inflammation in your body. Change in CRP over four years then predicted change in cognition six years after the start of the study. The body mass of these people predicted their cognitive decline through their levels of systemic inflammation."

The researchers say their study adds to existing literature about inflammation and cognitive decline by showing BMI has a role to play.

"The findings provide a clear and integrative account of how BMI is associated with cognitive decline through systemic inflammation, but we need to remember that these are only correlational findings," he said. "Of course, correlation does not equal causation. The findings suggest a mechanistic pathway, but we cannot confirm causality until we reduce body mass experimentally, then examine the downstream effects on inflammation and cognition."

While cognitive decline is normal as one gets older, linking BMI to inflammation could help stave off the worst effects.

"If you have high inflammation, in the future we may suggest using anti-inflammatories not just to bring down your inflammation but to hopefully also help with your cognition," Bourassa said. "Having a lower body mass is just good for you, period. It’s good for your health and good for your brain."

Pair rescued from fire by police

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police officials say that officers on patrol in Hatillo heard cries for help and broke down a door to rescue a woman, 67, and a 15-year-old boy from a house fire.

Both persons suffered from smoke inhalation, police said. The home was full of smoke when police entered Monday afternoon, officials said.

The pair appeared to have been trapped in a room in the house.
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From Page 7:

Country featured in negative fake stories

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some tourists might think twice before coming to Costa Rica, and fake news stories might be the reason.

Among other purported news stories making the rounds on the Web is one that says Islamic terrorists are planning to kidnap President Luis Guillermo Solís and his cabinet. And there is one that says the country is under a terror alert because the Islamic State is planning a full-scale invasion.

Some of the articles are dated, but internet copy has a long life. The date or veracity mean little when bloggers are trying to fill Web site with copy.

The articles also show an intimate knowledge of Costa Rica and these and others probably were written by individuals who had lived here for a long time or live here now.

Although characterized as satire, the articles do not have a critical point of view that is required of good satire. They simply are fake stories.

Costa Rica seems to be immune to any terrorism. The Muslim population here is about a tenth of a percent, and there does not seem to be any efforts at recruiting of future Islamic State fighters.

In fact, the Islamic State seems to be getting less and less manpower from Latin America.

Navy Admiral Kurt Tidd, the commander of U.S. Southern Command, said Tuesday that the flow of foreign fighters from Latin America to the Middle East has been curtailed significantly.

At best, intelligence sources have said, only about 100 to 150 foreign fighters from Latin America have joined the Islamic State. Argentina with 700,000, Brazil with 1.5 million and Venezuela have much larger Muslim populations. Officials in many countries are concerned by the return of Islamic State fighters.

Still, Tidd said that many U.S. partners in Latin America now recognize that attacks by self-radicalized individuals can pop up almost anywhere and with little warning, according to a wire service report.

“I don’t think it’s safe for anybody to now say, 'Well, it will never happen here,' " Tidd told reporters. “It’s a phenomenon that we’re just going to have to wrestle with.”