Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Costa Rica beat Australia 3-0 in U-20 World Cup

Diego Madrigal of Costa Rica celebrates a goal against Australia during their FIFA U-20 World Cup Group E soccer match in Port Said September 30, 2009. Costa Rica won 3-0 and kept its hopes of advancing to the round of 16 alive. (Photo: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oscar Arias attend the Americas Conference

President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias speaks while attending the Americas Conference being held at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables Fla, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. Arias gave a luncheon address on the Honduras crisis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Brazil crushes Costa Rica in U-20 World Cup

Giuliano of Brazil (R) is challenged by David Guzman of Costa Rica during their FIFA U-20 World Cup group E soccer match in Port Said City September 27, 2009. Brazil won the match 5 - 0. (Photo: Reuters/ Suhaib Salem)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Arias condems arms race in Latin America

Oscar Arias, president of Costa Rica, addresses the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009. Arias criticized the arms race that is taking place in Latin America as he pointed out that countries of the region have spent as much as $60,000 million to buy weapons in recent years. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Molson Coors to bring Coors Light to Costa Rica

NEW YORK - (AP) Molson Coors Brewing Co. said Thursday that it is teaming with distributor Agencias Feduro (Costa Rica) to bring Coors Light to Costa Rica.

The brewer said the partnership is part of its international expansion efforts, as Costa Rica is the second largest beer market in Central America together with Panama.

Molson Coors said Coors Light will be available at Costa Rican supermarkets, convenience stores, bars and casual dining restaurants, with retailers carrying the bottles and cans starting this month.

The company also plans to introduce the beer in Trinidad & Tobago and Curacao Bonaire later this year. Coors Light is currently available in more than 25 countries, including Mexico, Panama, Ireland and China.

Shares of Molson Coors Brewing fell 30 cents to $47.80 in morning trading.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Czech detained over fraud in Costa Rica

San Jose - (Ceske Noviny) Costa Rican authorities have detained Karel Ponocny, a former Czech Finance Ministry official who was sentenced for fraudulent dealing with the Peruvian debt in 2006 in the Czech Republic, but escaped from the country before the verdict was delivered, Costa Rican media has said.

Ponocny was detained on the basis of an Interpol warrant of arrest in his flat at the San Jose outskirts. Ponocny's arrest was broadcast by Costa Rican television.

Ponocny, who put up no resistance while being detained, was in charge of exacting debts from abroad, among others from Peru, at the ministry. However, the debt from Peru was not to be exacted since the sum had been deposited on a bank account a long time ago.

Ponocny and his accomplice, entrepreneur Anton Murarik, masterminded a grand fraud. Murarik's company took the reward for exacting the money amounting to 95 percent of the sum, while the ministry received the remaining 5 percent, or 2.3 million crowns. Most of the money ended up abroad.

Ponocny and Murarik were also fined one million crowns each and they must cover the damage of 43 million crowns, incurred by the Czech Republic.

Ponocny has reportedly lived in Costa Rica since 2004 and after he married a local woman, he had acquired Costa Rican citizenship.

($1 = 17.073 crowns)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Motocross Tico racer murdered in Guatemala

(Herald Tribune) - A 22-year-old Costa Rican motocross racer was murdered on a highway in Guatemala a few hours after he won the first stage of the National Motocross Championship and his two companions were wounded, police said Sunday.

Oscar Diaz’s vehicle was attacked for unknown reasons, the National Civilian Police, or PNC, said.

The two men accompanying him, Lewis Boniel, a 20-year-old Costa Rican driver, and Carlos Zuñiga, a 30-year-old Guatemalan mechanic, were wounded.

The attack occurred near San Lucas Sacatepequez, a city in southwest Guatemala, as the three men were returning to Guatemala City from the Entre Volcanes track in Alotenango.

Diaz, who belonged to Team Green, was competing in Guatemala for the first time, making his debut in the 6th National Motocross Championship with a win in the first stage.

The National Motocross Federation said it was suspending the second stage of the competition, which was to be run on Sunday, in light of Diaz’s murder.

Arturo Ocham, a federation spokesman, condemned the racer’s murder.

Guatemala has been plagued by a crime wave that has driven the murder rate up to around 17 a day.

The more than 5,400 homicides reported last year in Guatemala – a nation of approximately 13 million – was nearly equal to the number of murders in neighboring Mexico, which has more than 100 million inhabitants and is the scene of open war among rival drug cartels.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Costa Rican man says he's seen Gimelfarb

(Photo taken from Facebook group page)By BJ Lutz

(NBC Chicago) - Within the last day or two, a Costa Rican man has told authorities there that he's twice seen a dirty, bearded David Gimelfarb.

Gimelfarb is the Chicago doctoral student who went missing in the Costa Rican jungle almost a month and a half ago.

The man lives outside the Rincon de Vieja National Park, Gimelfarb's friend Christine Shaw told NBC Chicago, and says that on both occasions, Gimelfarb appeared frightened and ran away.

That park is where Gimelfarb set off on a solo trip last month.

If the man who was seen is Gimelfarb, his strange behavior could be "due to head trauma, infection or poor blood chemistry due to inadequate nutrition and dehydration," Shaw wrote in a post to the "Help Find David Gimelfarb" group on Facebook.

The Costa Rican man looked at a photo of Gimelfarb and identified him as the man he'd seen near the park. He apparently told authorities that the man he saw wasn't wearing his glasses, which Shaw said wouldn't be at all unusual.

The local Costa Rican police are taking the sighting seriously, Shaw said, but they need help. The local police dogs aren't trained to track a specific person and are only able to track scents for a few hours.

They need trained bloodhounds, which can track a specific individual for a great period of time, but there are non in the country.

Shaw said the FBI has trained bloodhounds, but so far searchers haven't been able to secure their help.

Friday, September 18, 2009

U.S. FDA approves use of vaccine against A/H1N1 flu in Costa Rica

(AP Photo/Rich Schultz)San Jose - (Xinhua) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the vaccine against A/H1N1 influenza in Costa Rica, local press said on Thursday

According to Novartis lab, where the vaccine was proved, the preliminary approval was based on the result of the clinic studies and the other four kinds of vaccines, which had also been tried.

The vaccine was reported to have some side effects such as headaches and irritation in the injection area, and special indications for the people with allergy to eggs, because the virus was cultivated in eggs.

Costa Rica intends to buy 1.8 million doses of vaccines through the World Health Organization.

Currently, Costa Rica has reported 37 deaths from A/H1N1 flu.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Costa Rica requests 1.8 mln A/H1N1 flu vaccines

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst San Jose (Xinhua) - Costa Rica requested 1.8 million vaccines against the A/H1N1 flu virus to prevent infections among its people, official sources said on Wednesday.

According to the health authorities, these vaccines will be offered to some most vulnerable group of people, like patients who have risk factors like obesity, diabetes and smokers, as well as the health staff.

Those who have high levels of asthma among children and the people above the age of 60 years will be part of the priority sectors to receive the vaccine.

Costa Rica will buy these vaccines trough the Pan American Health Organization, which facilitate the procedures to get the vaccines for the third world countries.

Currently, Costa Rica has reported a total of 1,246 cases of A/H1N1 flu, including 33 death cases.

Brazilian Rene Simoes named new coach of Costa Rica

(Reuters) - Brazilian Rene Simoes has been appointed as the new national coach of Costa Rica, a Costa Rican Soccer Federation spokesman confirmed.

Simoes formerly managed the Jamaican National Team. Simoes will take over next week from Rodrigo Kenton, who was fired on Monday after the team failed to score a single goal in their last three World Cup qualifiers.

Simoes, 56, is best known for leading Jamaica to their first and only World Cup appearance in 1998. He also coached the Brazilian women's team that won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Costa Rica are currently fourth of six teams in the final round of the CONCACAF standings, with two matches to go.

The top three teams qualify automatically for next year's World Cup while the fourth-placed side will go into a two-leg playoff against the fifth-placed finisher from the South American qualifiers.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Costa Rica fires Rodrigo Kenton as national team coach

San Jose, Costa Rica (AP) - Costa Rica fired coach Rodrigo Kenton on Tuesday following three straight losses in World Cup qualifying.

Several possible successors surfaced, including Leo Beenhakker, Jose Pekerman and Cruz Azul coach Enrique Meza.

Costa Rica, which once led the North and Central American and Caribbean region, is fourth with 12 points following losses to Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador. The United States leads with 16 points, one ahead of Mexico and three in front of Honduras.

The top three teams qualify and the No. 4 team faces a playoff with the fifth-place nation from South America.
Costa Rica hosts Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10, then closes four days later against the United States at Washington D.C.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Costa Rica seizes migrant ship

(Photo: Jose Diaz/La Nacion)By Charles Scanlon
BBC News

Officials in Costa Rica have said that a boat with 54 African migrants on board has been intercepted off the country's Caribbean coast.

A security ministry spokesman said three men on the boat had been charged with trafficking offences.

Officials said the boat was in a poor condition and that those on board had not eaten anything for several days.

They believe the 54 migrants, including seven women, came from Eritrea and had paid traffickers to reach the US.

Several boats bringing migrants from the Horn of Africa and Guinea have been seized in the area in recent months.

The authorities say that the traffickers - who charge thousands of dollars for the trip - sometimes abandon them in the Caribbean rather than risk trying to land in the US.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rescuers end search for Chicagoan who disappeared in Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica (AP) — After thoroughly searching the inside of a volcanic crater, Red Cross rescuers are ending their hunt for a Chicago-area man who disappeared in a national park in Costa Rica.

Hopes had been lifted Monday when possible human remains were spotted in a crater, but officials said Thursday that what they thought was a body ended up being red foam.

Friends and family of David Gimelfarb are continuing to search for the 28-year-old doctoral student in psychology, who grew up in Highland Park, Illinois

"We sympathize with the family of David Gimelfarb," said Costa Rica Red Cross President Miguel Carmona. "We talked to them and explained the lamentable results were not positive. They understood the situation and appreciated the effort."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Costa Rica traffic law curbed until March

By Sean O'Hare
Tico Times Staff

The implementation of a controversial traffic law designed to eradicate bad motoring habits and reduce the accident death toll has been delayed until March 2010.

Offending motorists were liable to be fined and, in some cases imprisoned, as of Sept. 23 had the law not been postponed following a vote Monday at the Legislative Assembly.

Forty-six out of 57 legislators voted in favor of suspending the law so that Congress can modify its sanctions, deemed by the majority to be too severe.

Under the proposed law, drivers were liable to be fined between $39 and $388 for a range of offences which included driving while talking on a cellular and performing a U-turn.

Monday, September 07, 2009

‘Cats' to pounce into Costa Rica

(Tico Times) - Start purring, Broadway lovers: “Cats,” the iconic musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is coming to Costa Rica in December.

Twenty-one of the original “Cats” cast will perform in the Costa Rican debut of the beloved musical, bringing with them 60 costumes, 25,000 prop items and a 38-member crew, the daily La Nacion reported. The visit is part of a Central and South American tour that will also include Colombia, Venezuela and Panama.

Five performances will be offered Dec. 16 to 20 at the Palacio de los Deportes in Heredia, north of San Jose. Ticket prices and points of sale are expected to be announced in mid-October.

Based on T.S. Eliot's “Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats” – Webber set Eliot's verses to music – the show ran on Broadway for 18 years and in London for 21, setting long-run records in both cases. The musical's most famous song is the now standard “Memory.”

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Comptroller's office approves China - Recope Oil contract

(Inside Costa Rica) - Costa Rica's Comptroller's Office (Costa Rica's legal watchdog) on Thursday cleared a billion-dollar contract the government signed with China to jointly build an oil refinery after it was held up in legal wrangling for months.

The Comptroller's Office reversed its own earlier ruling in March, when it said an agreement signed in 2008 was invalid. The contract allows Costa Rica's state oil refinery (RECOPE) to form a joint venture with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

The government of President Oscar Arias, which severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 2007 to open ties with China, signed an agreement for the joint venture during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The Arias administration insisted on the legality of the agreement, and reacted with joy on Thursday when the office cleared the contract.

"This is extraordinary news for the country," said the president's brother and Presidency minister, Rodrigo Arias.

The agreement includes the creation of a joint venture bi-national company "in charge of developing and putting in operation the project to broaden the Moin refinery in the province of Limon, to increase its production to 60,000 barrels a day," the Comptroller's Office said in a statement.

The new Moin refinery is expected to dramatically increase the country's current refining capacity.

The refinery is expected to generate between 1,000 and 1,500 direct jobs, and some 5,000 more jobs indirectly in the province of Limon, according to the government.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

World largest penthouse to be built in Puntarenas, Costa Rica

New oceanfront building features country's first all-glass design

Puntarenas, Costa Rica, (Business Wire) - The real estate development firm Caspi International Inc. is building a new 14-story oceanfront condominium tower in Costa Rica that is expected to be completed by mid 2010 and will be located in the Pacific Coast city of Puntarenas.

The $120 million Genesis Puntarenas, as it will be known, will be home to the world's largest penthouse, a sprawling 68,459-square-foot, 10-bedroom masterpiece with three stories of living space, a private helipad, swimming pool and tennis court.

The new tower's penthouse and the building's 47 other living units are priced from $473,000 to $3.3 million.

Genesis Puntarenas, the first all-glass multifamily residential building in Costa rica, will be about a half-hour drive from the capital city of San Jose via the region's new six-lane Caldera toll road.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

AH1N1 vaccine possible in Costa Rica in November

(AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)(Inside Costa Rica) - One of the world’s leading drug firms says it has managed to produce the vaccine for AH1N1 virus weeks ahead of schedule. Novartis says trials, that includes 784 Costa Ricans, are expected to prove positive and will start producing the vaccine by the autumn.

Once the vaccine is available, Costa Rica is expected to receive some 400.000 doses by the end of November, according to the Health Ministry.

The Health Minister, Maria Luisa Avila, said that only those in high risk groups - the pregnant, those with respiratory problems and the hypertense and the obese will all be evaluated to receive the vaccine first.

Costa Rica will be obtaining the vaccine by way of the Panamerican Health Organization, which is negotiating with the drug firms on behalf of Latin countries for the best purchase price.

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