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Published Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 44
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Abortion law frequently violated to stay employed
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When the woman's employer returned home from the hospital she found a dead fetus in a bathtub. That explained why her maid was bloodied and needed medical attention.

That was another chapter in abortion a la Tica, a crime here but a practice where the law frequently is flouted.

The latest case came to light when judicial agents brought the domestic employee, the maid, to court. The agents and prosecutors were asking a judge in Pavas to require the maid to remain available for future court hearings.

The woman is accused of using some type of medicine to cause the abortion.

Periodically these cases make the news. Sometimes the charge is murder when an un-welcomed newborn is dumped in a trash bin or deliberately smothered.

Costa Rica, staunchly supported by the Catholic Church, maintains strict laws against abortion.

The procedure only is allowed to save the life of the mother.

In the case that started Monday, the female employer found the maid covered with blood in the Rohrmoser home and carried her to a private hospital for treatment.

The case did not turn criminal until the employer discovered the fetus.

Typically the courts and prosecutors treat these cases lightly. In this case, for example, the request to the court is for preventative measures and not incarceration for the accused woman.
despondent
© Can Stock Photo
Abortion is done often to stay employed

Costa Rican labor law contains benefits for pregnant woman who are working. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social provides a period of financial subsidy for those who are insured.

Still, a pregnant employee is considered a burden to some companies and private employers.

Sometimes a domestic employee faces firing the instant the employer learns of a pregnancy. That is illegal, but this happens frequently.

Consequently in some cases, a maid might seek an abortion just to keep her job. That may not be what happened in the Rohrmoser case. Court testimony will establish motive.

Even so, a domestic employee sometimes greets news of her pregnancy with fear rather than happiness.

Finances hinder country's access to higher status
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's executive branch has been working feverishly to meet the requirements for membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This is another international organization, similar to the United Nations, that is designed to encourage trade and help countries solve common problems.

The organization now contains 35 members, nearly all First World nations.

But there is a hitch. Douglas Frantz, secretary general of the organization, led a delegation to Costa Rica to evaluate the country's advances toward winning the complicated membership approval.

Frantz expressed reservations over the country's financial condition.

The government reported that he was critical of the lack of a sense of urgency by some sectors with respect to the need to insure stability and sustainability for public finances.

The executive branch has been stymied in its efforts to pass a value-added tax and higher income tax rates, and the government still is running a monthly deficit with about half the budget being borrowed money.

Two international rating agencies have lowered the nation's junk credit status. Those two agencies are: the Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Fitch Ratings Inc.

The Paris-based organization is the one that has had Costa Rica on a blacklist of so-called tax havens. The government has responded by opening up some bank records and passing anti-tax fraud measures.

The organization also has been characterized as a hypocritical bully that picks on smaller nations over taxes and tax loopholes but leaves larger nations alone.

The U.S.-based Center for Freedom and Prosperity has accused the organization of trying to form a cartel of high-tax nations. The center promotes a flat tax, territorial taxation and offshore tax-havens. The central also supports financial privacy.

Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the conservative Cato Institute, has called the organization a bunch of crazy European socialists.  Mitchell is a founder of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

The central government has not completely outlined exactly what the annual cost will be for organization membership. The United States spends an estimated $100 million a year for its membership.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 2, 2017,
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.
Dentistry

Dental Services
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Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
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Psychotherapy
Dr.
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Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
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Residency experts

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JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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Email:  javier@residencyincostarica.com
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 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
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U.S. Tax International
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Fine art restoration and conservation

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Real estate agents and services
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U.S. citizen missing, judicial officials say

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The call is out for any information leading to the discovery of a missing U.S. citizen.

The Judicial Investigating Organization put out a notice Wednesday for information related to Michael Villafane. The 72-year old U.S. national has been missing since Feb. 16, according to judicial authorities. Officials said that neighbors made the alert of his disappearance.

Villafane was living at San Miguel de Cañas in Guanacaste. He is not a permanent resident and has been in the country at least three months, according to judicial workers. Villafane has no family in the country.

Any information related to Villafane can be made to the Centro de Información Confidencial.

New organized crime task force created

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Money laundering, drug dealing and human trafficking will now be tackled by the new organized crime task force of the Judicial Investigating Organization.

With a staff of 24 investigators, 20 of which come from within the Poder Judicial, the Unidad contra el Crimen Organizado will be under the overall direction of the Unidad de Investigaciones Criminales, surveillance of Cristian Montenegro, director of the Unidad de Investigaciones Criminales.
 
Cristian Montenegro, who is the director of that unit, told A.M. Costa Rica that much of the training for the investigators was supported by the U.S. embassy. This includes a few trips to Colombia. Investigators were chosen according to their field of expertise, experience and disciplinary records.

“It's no secret that Costa Rica and the Central American region are hotspots of organized crime. We are working with the neighboring police forces to make it harder for criminals to do their business”, said Walter Espinoza, director of the Judicial Investigating Organization.

When asked about the main investigations the unit will start with, Espinoza refused to answer based on security grounds.

Espinoza was emphatic that organized crime should not be fought just with a confrontative approach but also with a social one. “There should be education, opportunities and ways to keep young people away from these activities,” he said.

On Feb. 28, México, Colombia and Costa Rica signed an agreement to seek alternative ways other than imprisonment for those who come from underprivileged background and have committed minor offenses.


Our reader's opinion
More criticism leveled at the traffic police

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It does not appear that anyone is willing to fix these problems. I talked to the Policía Tránsito about these problems and was told they cannot do anything. Perhaps President Solis can.

Reporting negative issues may result in a retaliatory action by those reported. My neighbor reported to the transit police about excessive motorcycle noise. In the morning and afternoon, there are numerous noisy motorcyclists who travel at a high speed, sometimes doing wheelies, while they commute back and forth from work.

They travel in front of my neighbors and many other homes along the way. Someone told the owners of the noisy motorcycles who reported them and they returned to my neighbor’s home, late at night and made excessive motorcycle noise.

I have observed two or three police officers in their police car travel the area after the noisy, and speeding motorcycles have passed. However, things remain the same, noisy and speeding motorcycles still travel the area.
Albert Almeida
Nuevo Arenal

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Residency in Costa Rica

A.M.
Costa Rica

Third News Page
U.S. Tax
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 2, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 44
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Railroad crossing gates to be constructed at 91 intersections
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

After years of blaming motorists whose vehicles collide with trains, the public works ministry has received three bids on installing crossing gates at 91 intersections. Vehicle mishaps with trains at unguarded crossings have become nearly a daily event. There have been some deaths, too.

The estimated cost of the work will be about 4.5 billion colons, or about $8 million. The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes purchasing officials will study the bids. The plan is to award the job to the winning bid in June.

The job calls for covering nearly all the intersections along three train lines: Pavas-San José, Heredia-San José and Cartago-San José.


The ministry said that at each intersection there will be installed crossing gates and crossing lights. Any existing crossing lights will be remodeled, it said.

Many of the accidents with trains took place because motorists
railroadcrossing
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
Some crossings have not often had gates such as the one pictured.

were listening to music, and some even had on headphones.

One lawmaker even has suggested steep traffic fines for those motorists whose vehicles collide with trains.



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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 2, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 44
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Reptile shows how genetics and hormones shape development
By the University of Virginia press staff

The brown anole, a prolific lizard native to Cuba and now commonly found in many tropical and subtropical regions including Costa Rica, is providing new clues to how genetics and hormones work together to shape the development of organisms.

University of Virginia evolutionary biologist Robert Cox is using the animal as a model to understand how the sexes differentiate despite sharing most of the same genes.

In a new paper, published in the journal “American Naturalist,” he suggests that hormones play a key role in shaping gene expression in ways that are unique to each sex as an organism develops to adulthood.

“This is a new perspective in the sense that most evolutionary studies of hormones focus on their effects on the phenotype, or the observable characteristics of an organism, rather than the implications of the hormones for underlying genetic correlations,” he said.

“We’re addressing a very general question: how are two dramatically different organisms, in this case male and female, produced from a single genome?”

Cox uses the brown anole as a study model partly because it is extremely abundant in its native and introduced ranges and therefore provides his research group with the ability to track thousands of individuals and measure natural and sexual selection in action in wild populations.

The populations he studies come from islands in the brown anole’s native range in the Bahamas and also from Florida, where it has recently invaded.

The lizard is also not native to Costa Rica, but there is proof that it has also invaded the Central American region.

In 2015 a study done by Florida International University represented the first examination of the anole’s ecology and distribution within the country itself.

The species is compelling, he said, because the males and females hatch out of their eggs at the same size, but then go down different paths; during their yearlong development into adults, the males grow up to three times larger than the females.

lizard
   University of Virginia photo  
Robert Cox with one of the critters he's examining

Cox said that their studies revealed an interesting genetic dimension to this pattern: whereas brothers and sisters strongly resemble one another early in life, this familial resemblance, or genetic correlation between the sexes, breaks down during development.

“This implies that brothers and sisters, who share many of the same genes, are doing something different with their genes as they mature,” he said.

By measuring the expression of thousands of individual genes at different points in development, Cox and his collaborators found that sex differences in gene expression increased dramatically with age, as males and females diverged in size. “This shows that there is a huge amount of flexibility in what can be done to reach different endpoints from the same DNA blueprint,” he said.

Cox said there are several possible reasons why the males grow so much bigger than the females. One is that the male brown anoles are highly territorial, and large size is advantageous for fighting each other and for defending females. The other is that the females do not need large bodies because, unlike most other lizards, they don’t carry large clutches of eggs.

Instead, they produce only one egg at a time, every seven to 10 days from April to November. Females likely put their energy into producing their single eggs as quickly as possible.

Cox and his group are now working to understand how natural and sexual selection act differently on the sexes throughout development.


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George Lundquist header

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 2, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 44
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Air pollution may fertilize
oceans, new study claims


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists may have found an upside to air pollution.

A new study found that two pollutants coming out of the smokestacks at coal-fired power plants interact to make a kind of fertilizer for ocean-dwelling plankton. That may help increase how much planet-warming carbon dioxide the plankton absorb.

The authors didn't study the size of the fertilizer effect. But given the amount of coal burning going on, especially in Asia, they say it could be modest but significant.

While coal pollution is a major contributor to climate change and harms human health, in this case it is doing us a good thing, said University of Birmingham environmental scientist Zongbo Shi, senior author of the study.

Iron is essential for plant growth. But the mineral is often in short supply in ocean ecosystems.

Burning coal releases iron particles. Some estimates say the amount of iron falling into the oceans may have doubled or tripled since the Industrial Revolution.

But when that iron leaves the smokestack, it is locked away in a chemical form that's not useful to plants. Shi and colleagues found that as airborne particles drift along with other smokestack pollutants, they acquire a coating of sulfate, a chemical responsible for acid rain. That acidic coating triggers a reaction that generates iron sulfate, a soluble form of the mineral that plants can use.

The research was published in the journal Science Advances.

The study provides a demonstration of something that we thought was occurring, but couldn't necessarily demonstrate, said University of California-Davis engineering professor Chris Cappa, who was not involved with the research. Cappa did not, however, that it's still not clear how much is occurring.

Burning less coal will still mean fewer greenhouse gas emissions. But Shi said the reduction might be less than anticipated.

"If we control air pollution, then all this potential uptake of carbon dioxide by the ocean will become less and less," he said. "Then we will have to cut more and more greenhouse gas emissions."

But outside experts cautioned that it would take more work to figure out what effect these air pollution particles actually have on how much carbon dioxide plankton absorbs.

"The link between iron fertilization and carbon dioxide storage is more nuanced," said marine chemist Scott Doney at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. "There was a period of time when people talked about deliberately fertilizing the ocean with iron as a route to carbon storage and it turns out not to be so simple."

Before people get too excited about the benefits of air pollution, they should know this: The same form of iron that plants find useful also triggers damaging chemical reactions in human lungs, Shi said. That may be responsible for some of air pollution's impact on health.


Nasal swab could be used
to see if one has lung cancer


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers are developing a test using a nasal swab that could help doctors determine whether to order further testing in patients suspected of having lung cancer.

The disease is the deadliest of cancers, according to experts, who say that by the time the cancer is found, it has usually spread beyond curability.

It has become routine medical practice, particularly in the West, to use a high-tech X-ray, called a CT scan, to see whether current and former smokers are developing the disease.

The problem is CT scans find lung nodules, or growths, in many smokers and former smokers that are not malignant. However, in many cases, doctors can't be certain so more invasive and potentially dangerous biopsies of the nodules are ordered.

A nasal test may change that. Researchers have found that cellular, genetic changes in tissue lining the nose may be present in people with lung cancer.

Avrum Spira, a doctor of respiratory medicine at Boston University Medical Center, said there is a field of cancerization in smokers and former smokers that can help doctors determine whether the growths might be malignant.

Even though, when one is exposed to tobacco, the cancer usually grows deep in your lungs. The reality is that all of the cells that line one’s respiratory tract, including the nose, mouth and windpipe, are being bathed literally in all the toxins that are being inhaled, Spira said.

Spira said an existing test, called Percepta, can identify the same genetic changes in the tissue of the windpipe that are contained in malignant lung tumors. A positive finding of genetic alterations in the windpipe suggests a suspicious growth.

In a study conducted by Spira and colleagues, researchers wanted to see whether the field of cancerization extended up from the lungs, through the windpipe and into the nose.

They compared the results of bronchial swabs to swabs of the nose to see if the same genetic changes could be detected in the nasal passages. Researchers found that they could.

Investigators identified changes in 30 genes that, taken together, form a biomarker that is highly suggestive of lung cancer.

A study published in the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” looked for the biomarker in cells swabbed from the nose. The study involved patients with suspicious lung lesions at centers in North America and Europe.

Among a subset of 130 patients, researchers identified 90 percent of lung cancers in smokers and former smokers who turned out to have cancer.

A test that looks for cancer biomarkers in the nose is preferable to more invasive swabs of the windpipe, according to Spira.

Spira said that a negative nasal swab test did not mean the patient didn't have a developing lung cancer. The test, however, offers reassurance to patients and doctors, who can then order repeat lung scans and wait to see whether the nodules are early malignancies, Spira said.

"Physicians want to be able to rule out lung cancer," he said. "They are looking to know who can they avoid sending for an unnecessary surgical biopsy. So a negative test here would help do that."

Diagnosing lung cancer early means the tumor can be removed surgically, dramatically increasing a patient's chances of survival.

Investigators plan on conducting a larger clinical study, and hope to have the nasal swab test on the market in the next two to three years.

Spira said drugs are now in development that can reduce a patient's risk of lung cancer. In the future, he said, these drugs could be given to patients who have a positive nasal swab.


U.S.-China military relations
starting slow under Trump


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S.-China military-to-military relations for 2017 are off to a slow start, and questions are being raised about whether the program has been put on hold or even curtailed by the Trump administration.

U.S. Navy Commander Gary Ross, the Pentagon spokesperson for Asia Pacific affairs, said that there has been only one direct engagement between the two militaries since the beginning of the year. That was Jan. 18 a meeting on defense policy coordination, which included the discussion on plans for the year.

Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Asessments think tank in Washington, said that plans for these engagements are usually worked out by fall in the prior year.

Ross said late last week that the Trump administration has not ordered the Pentagon to stop or curtail U.S.-China military relations.

China's Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the two sides are still working on a list of engagements. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense said Thursday that China attaches great importance to the development of Sino-U.S. military relations and hopes that the U.S. will jointly promote the sustained and healthy development of the relations between the two armed forces.

For the past three years, by the end of February there had been at least one military-to-military engagement at the highest officer level, records show.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested Thursday in a talk at the Brookings Institution that the U.S. military relationship with China is linked to the political relationship between the two countries.

“Our military-to-military relationships are informed by our national objectives,” he said. “So the nature of our military-to-military relationship with China right now will be very consistent with our political relationship with China. But at minimum, we need open lines of communication to mitigate the risk and miscalculation, and to address some of the incidents at sea and in the air.”

Such incidents include the close call earlier this month between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft, which passed about 1,000 feet in front of a U.S. Navy P-3 plane on a routine mission in international airspace near Scarborough Shoal, between the Chinese mainland and the Philippines. As a result, the P-3 was forced to make an immediate turn.

Even though the event between the two aircraft came as tensions between the U.S. and China are heightened because of China's moves to create man-made islands in the South China Sea, U.S. military officials were in contact with their appropriate Chinese counterparts as the incident was investigated.

In an interview last month, Clark said President Donald Trump is less likely to give in if Beijing uses scheduled military engagements as leverage. Clark pointed to a recent incident when the president canceled a visit with México's President Enrique Peña Nieto because of differences over immigration policy.

“If there was a disagreement between us and China, the Chinese would use that upcoming engagement as a tool to force the United States to back down and agree with the Chinese terms,” Clark said. “It seems that, given this Mexico example, the Trump administration is not likely to follow that pattern.”


New highest temps recorded
for the Antarctic continent


By the World Meteorological Organization press staff

A World Meteorological Organization committee of experts has announced new records for the highest temperatures recorded in the Antarctic Region as part of continuing efforts to expand a database of extreme weather and climate conditions throughout the world.

Knowledge and verification of such extremes is important in the study of weather patterns, naturally occurring climate variability and human-induced climate change at global and regional scales.

The highest temperature for the Antarctica region, defined by the organization and the United Nations as all land and ice south of 60 degrees south topped off at 19.8 degrees Celsius, or 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This was observed back in Jan. 30, 1982, at the Signy Research Station on Signy Island.

The highest temperature for the Antarctic continent, defined as the main continental landmass and adjoining islands, is the temperature extreme of 17.5 degrees Celsius, or 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That was recorded on March 24, 2015, at the Argentine Research Base Esperanza located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Thirdly, the highest temperature for the Antarctic Plateau, which is the landmass above around 8200 feet was the observation of -7 degrees Celsius, or around 20 degrees Fahrenheit made on Dec. 28, 1980 at an Automatic Weather Station site D-80 located inland of the Adélie Coast.

The lowest temperature yet recorded by ground measurements for the Antarctic Region, and for the whole world, was −89.2 degrees Celsius, or around -129 degrees Fahrenheit at the Vostok station in 1983.

It is possible, indeed likely, that greater extremes can and have occurred in the Antarctic Region. As with all the organization’s evaluations, the extremes are identified based on only those events with available high-quality ground-based data.

The meteorological organization’s commission for climatology maintains an archive of weather and climate extremes. This includes the world’s highest and lowest temperatures, rainfall, heaviest hailstone, longest dry period, maximum gust of wind, longest lightning flash and highest significant wave height.

Roughly twice the size of Australia, the Antarctic is cold, windy and dry. The average annual temperature ranges from about −10 degrees celsius on the Antarctic coast to −60 degrees celsius at the highest parts of the interior. Its immense ice sheet is up to 5 kilometers thick and contains 90 percent of the world’s fresh water. That would be enough to raise sea level by around 60 meters were it all to melt. The Antarctic Peninsula, which is the northwest tip near to South America, is among the fastest warming regions of the planet, almost 3 degrees Celsius over the last 50 years. Some 87 percent of glaciers along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years with most of these showing an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years.

The verification of these three Antarctic extremes helps increase understanding about the Antarctic’s distinct climatic regimes, specifically maritime versus plateau environments. The commission for climatology noted that the records at all three stations occurred during an influx of warm air. At Signy and Esperanza, there was a warming wind. At D-80, solar heating under clear skies at high elevation was a major contributory factor.

The investigations also serve to improve the quality of observations through the careful analysis of observation practices and proper equipment selection.

“The Antarctic and the Arctic are poorly covered in terms of weather observations and forecasts, even though both play an important role in driving climate and ocean patterns and in sea level rise. Verification of maximum and minimum temperatures help us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers”, said Michael Sparrow, a polar expert with the organization and co-sponsored by the World Climate Research Programme.

In an effort to increase weather forecasting and environmental prediction capability in the Antarctic and Arctic, WMO is one of the organizers of the Year of Polar Prediction from the middle of 2017 to 2019. This is a concerted effort to increase and improve research, observing and modeling capabilities in the poles.


Lianas could suppress tree growth in tropical forests

By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute press staff

Lianas, or woody vines, have been proliferating relative to trees in some tropical forests.

A new study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá shows that lianas can slow the accumulation of biomass in young forests as well as in more mature ones. The effect became more severe as forests became older: lianas reduced tree growth by almost a fifth in five-year-old forests but inhibited it by nearly a third in thirty year old forests.

“There is quite a bit of interest in the potential for naturally regenerating forests to store carbon and help moderate increases in CO2 in the atmosphere,” said co-author and institute staff scientist Jefferson Hall. “Thus it is critical that we understand the role lianas might play in counteracting this ecosystem service.”

Tropical forests store almost 30 percent of terrestrial carbon worldwide, a critical buffer against climate change. Lianas are an important component of these forests, but have been shown to reduce tree growth through competition for light and nutrients. Data from the Smithsonian’s ForestGeo global network of forest plots show that lianas are increasing in some tropical forests, notably those in the Americas, potentially impairing the ability of these forests to store carbon.

More than half of the world’s tropical forests are secondary forests that are regenerating on land previously cleared for agriculture or logging. These fast-growing forests have been demonstrated to have great potential to accumulate and store carbon. Although lianas can be abundant in secondary forests, there is little documentation of how they affect the growth and carbon storage.

The study was conducted in the institute’s Agua Salud project in central Panamá, one of the largest landscape-scale studies of secondary forest dynamics in the tropics. Research at Agua Salud is focused especially on developing systems of Smart Reforestation that will maximize ecosystem services from tropical watersheds in response to global climate change.

Data on growth, mortality, and recruitment on woody plants, including trees, shrubs, and lianas, was analyzed from 84 plots at 42 sites in former pastures where forest had been regenerating for from three to 32 years. Lianas were found to reduce the growth of tree biomass by 19 percent after five years, and by 32 percent after thirty years.

Extrapolating from the field data, the projected reduction in growth after 60 years would be 47 percent. But increased growth by lianas did not compensate for the loss of tree growth: lianas made up for only 56 percent of reduction in tree growth in five-year-old forests, decreasing to just 28 percent in thirty-year-old forests. Because lianas rely on trees for support they can put less wood into their stems, and thus contribute relatively less to the biomass of the forest.

The tropical forests of central Panamá, including the original ForestGeo plot on Barro Colorado Island, Agua Salud, and other sites, are the most intensively studied in the world. Data from fine-scale and long term monitoring of plots, satellite imagery, canopy studies, and LIDAR and drone surveys, coupled with mathematical models, have given us an increasingly powerful understanding of tropical forest dynamics.

Ongoing studies of lianas such as this are providing another component for predicting how the ability of tropical forests to accumulate and store carbon may be affected by future global climate change.

“In future studies, by knowing the impacts of lianas on forest growth we could further examine why some individual trees or forest stands are more resistant to the growth reduction imposed by lianas,” said lead author Hao Ran Lai, a doctoral student at the University of Singapore. “This could help with prioritization in forest management and also design restoration plans that lead to better resistance against liana infestation.”



More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America


Real estate-related services (paid category)

A-1
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A1 MASTER BUILDERS COSTA RICA
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Shipping Container Homes For Sale!
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Stop by our workshop and walk through our model homes in San Ramón.
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SellATimeshare.com
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at SellATimeshare.com. 
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9177-6/19/16

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Remax
                                        Tamarindo
www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com 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 Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com  or click here www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com
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ReMax Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property
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9174-2/7/18

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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8906-2/21/16


Rich
                                        Coast
Rich Coast Realty
REDUCED by $30k! Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k.
Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000!!
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9058-3/1/17

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Puriscal home
GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN & OCEAN VIEW HOME
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
HEALTH CONDITIONS REQUIRES QUICK SALE
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
 
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
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       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
 
Video Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEAmahIU9A
Community Web Site: http://www.altigua.com
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Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email gary_one@msn.com
9173-9/1/17

Colinas del Sol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

Contact:
In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:  jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call 517-484-3675

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9056-2/28/17

Etlinger Farm rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is www.etlingerafarms.com and photo album can be found at www.ticorico.com
9170-3/24/17

horse
                                        ranch rollover
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

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
go to www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com

Kkpit
                                        rollover

FURNISHED  APARTMENT for SALE.
CONDOMINIO SATURNO, LA URUCA, OUTSKIRTS
of SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA
Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F.  Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors.  Spacious living room-dining area, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware,silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes.
PRICE $120,000
 Available for viewing:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email: boriskopit@yahoo.com
9143-4/17/17

rollover
Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here  www.whynotcostarica.com. If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email tim@whynotcostarica.com 
9143-2/3/17

San
                                        Rmon rollover
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: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
9129-3/6/17

Penthouse rollover
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 www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
9132-6/1/17

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 2, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 44
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trialvid
  Ministerio Público Photo   
Nicaraguan and Costa Rican authorities cooperate with live video

Trial conducted over video-conference

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A trial was conducted via video-conference Wednesday morning involving two Nicaraguan nationals who fled to their country after crimes were committed in Costa Rica.

The issue is a delicate coordination between Costa Rican and Nicaraguan authorities. Nicaragua does not allow in its constitution the ability of the government to extradite its citizens for judicial proceedings in another country.

The case involves a murder of one Costa Rican minor and the attempted murder as well as robbery of another Costa Rican minor. The crimes were committed in Banderas de Pocosol near the Nicaraguan border back in June 2016.

Nine witnesses were called to attend the video-conference trial shown at the prosecutor’s office in San Carlos. On the Nicaraguan end, the live feed was held at the Complejo Judicial in Managua. The initial court process began a week ago with the decision to choose a jury. The defendants, according to authorities, chose to waive it and decided to be tried by a court.

Nicaraguan authorities said they estimate the trial to end next Wednesday. The prosecutor’s office in San Carlos and the Oficina de Asesoría Técnica y Relaciones Internacionales are collaborating with Nicaragua to bring the suspects to justice, officials said.

All evidence gathered and the case record was sent to Nicaragua, Costa Rican authorities said. The judiciary also said that witnesses and judicial investigators will travel to Nicaragua for the trial as well.

Franco hosting anniversary celebration

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Franco-Costarricense lyceum will take the opportunity to open its new maternal center, in conjunction with its celebration of its 50th anniversary, this afternoon.

The opening ceremony today represents an aim by the Franco, the popular name given by Costa Ricans to the French-Costa Rican high school, to modernize its infrastructure. It also is celebrating the longstanding cooperation between Costa Rica and France in the educational and cultural fields.

The Franco is funded by both the French and Costa Rican governments and it is expected to grow in the following years after an agreement between Luis Guillermo Solis and the French president François Holland signed in Paris in 2015.

The institution said its goals include the promotion of multilingualism, social integration and educational quality.


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From Page 7:

Yahoo won't pay CEO's bonus, company says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Yahoo will not pay CEO Marissa Mayer her scheduled 2016 bonus, worth as much as $2 million, because of the massive breach her company suffered in 2014.

And Yahoo’s general counsel, Ronald Bell, resigned without severance pay for his department’s lackadaisical response to the security lapses.

Although Yahoo’s security team uncovered evidence that a hacker backed by an unnamed foreign government had pried into user accounts in 2014, executives failed to act sufficiently on that knowledge, according to the results of an internal investigation disclosed Wednesday. At that time, Yahoo only notified 26 people that their accounts had been breached.

That breach affected at least 500 million users whose email addresses, birth dates, answers to security questions, and other personal information may have been stolen. Three months later, Yahoo revealed it had uncovered a separate hack in 2013 affecting about 1 billion accounts, including some that were also hit in 2014.

Ms. Mayer, a former Google executive, said she would voluntarily turn down her annual bonus and equity grants for 2017 as a result of the incidents. Under the terms of Mayer’s 2012 hiring contract, she is entitled to a performance-based equity award of no less than $12 million every year. Mayer said she wants the board to distribute her annual bonus to Yahoo’s entire workforce of 8,500 employees. The board did not say if it would do so.

Yahoo’s unprecedented data thefts had threatened to derail the sale of its Internet business to Verizon. Instead, Verizon cut $350 million from the purchase price, lowering the value of the deal to about $4.48 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.