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Vol. 3 • Edition 185 • Biweekly • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009 • Costa Rica, Central America •


global affairs

P. 20

World tourism industry caught between crisis and flu

Volatility unleashed by the global economic crisis and the swine flu epidemic is hitting the travel industry hard, prompting deep concern among participants at a world tourism conference in Brazil.



U.S. lawmakers formally unveil climate change bill Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives formally unveiled sweeping legislation to fight climate change and said the 932-page bill enjoyed broad national support.



‘Vital’ Roland Garros extension plans unveiled

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) unveiled plans for the extension of Roland Garros, home of the French Open. The FFT has turned to architect Marc Mimram to expand the site, but has yet to hold discussions with the Paris planning authorities, from whom a building permit must be requested..



‘Slumdog’ child actor’s Mumbai home demolished The shantytown home of a child star in the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” was torn down as Mumbai authorities cleared an illegal slum, eyewitnesses said.

New Beachfront Model Villa Open Daily

The population of howler monkeys in Guanacaste is experiencing a recovery, in places such as Santa Rosa National Park. Photo Sylvia Guardia M.

Howler monkeys regain their habitat

The howler monkey is a rainforest species, although it can also be found in the dry forest of the North Pacific, where it prefers high-canopy trees and feeds on leaves, fruits, flowers and leave buds. Howler monkeys can be seen in the Cahuita National Park (Caribbean) and in the Santa Rosa, Rincon de la Vieja and Guanacaste national parks in Guanacaste. Recent scientific studies have found that howlers at Santa Rosa have been increasing their population in the past few years. Adult howler monkeys are black, with a dark brown or blond back. A male can weigh 6 to 7 kilograms, while females are smaller (4 to 5 kilograms). These monkeys are known and named for their strong


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howl, which can be heard more than 1 kilometer away in a dense forest. Such a powerful sound is produced by a special organ in their larynges, called hyoid, which is a bone that creates resonance. Howler monkeys can be spotted from low-lying areas all the way up to mountain ecosystems (up to 2,500 meters above sea level), from Mexico south to the northern tip of South America. Howlers live in groups of two to 20 individuals, with males, females and juveniles living together. Howler monkeys consume large amounts of leaves and are extremely selective, only eating certain parts of certain trees — always picking the best foods available.

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Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

Page two


Business & Economy

It’s official: Costa Rican economy in recession

The Costa Rican Central Bank has confirmed that the national economy is effectively and officially in a recession. An economy is considered to be in recession when the real growth rate of production is in negative ground for at least two quarters in a row, negatively affecting employment and real salaries once inflation is accounted for.

P. 10


Environmental Court orders restoration of damage at Palo Verde park

The Administrative Environmental Court (TAA) is giving the government one year to stop and repair damages caused to 3,000 hectares within the Palo Verde National Park in Guanacaste, which has been declared as a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

P. 14


Tattooed Faces in Greater Nicoya and California

Apart from the actual physical tattoos, do the colors have a particular meaning, or were they simply the colors that were available from natural sources? We know that in southern California there was an emphasis on the use of red paint for both pictograph rendition and body-painting, but this too may have been a reflection of the hematite rock or powder that could be obtained from nature.

P. 18


Sleep may keep you thin

The secret of staying thin could be at least partly down to a good night’s rest, an international conference on obesity heard in Amsterdam.

P. 19


European recession deepens with record 2.5 percent slump

The European economy contracted a record 2.5 percent in the first quarter and went deeper into recession than the United States, official data showed last week amid growing public outrage at job losses.

P. 20

Global Affairs

Nations demand oceans be included in climate talks

Ministers and officials from more than 70 nations called for oceans to be included on the agenda of global climate change talks aimed at finding a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

P. 21


Industrialists say Brazil has put worst of crisis behind them

Industrialists in Brazil’s economic heart of Sao Paulo said the worst of what officials were now calling a “soft recession” was behind them.

P. 22


Costa rica tides chart Day


Tue 19 Wed 20 Thu 21 Fri 22 Sat 23 Sun 24 Mon 25 Tue 26 Wed 27 Thu 28 Fri 29 Sat 30 Sun 31 Mon 1

00:34 / 7.54 ft 01:23 / 7.97 ft 02:11 / 8.41 ft 02:59 / 8.80 ft 03:48 / 9.09 ft 04:38 / 9.25 ft 05:30 / 9.29 ft





03:49 / 1.90 ft 04:42 / 1.80 ft 05:35 / 1.56 ft 06:26 / 1.22 ft 07:16 / 0.84 ft 08:05 / 0.48 ft 08:55 / 0.20 ft 09:45 / 0.04 ft 10:37 / 0.03 ft 11:32 / 0.16 ft 00:01 / -0.38 ft

10:21 / 7.54 ft 11:13 / 7.88 ft 12:02 / 8.32 ft 12:50 / 8.79 ft 13:38 / 9.25 ft 14:25 / 9.61 ft 15:14 / 9.83 ft 16:03 / 9.87 ft 16:54 / 9.72 ft 17:48 / 9.41 ft 06:24 / 9.20 ft 00:55 / -0.02 ft

16:33 / 1.87 ft 17:28 / 1.47 ft 18:19 / 0.99 ft 19:08 / 0.47 ft 19:55 / -0.01 ft 20:43 / -0.40 ft 21:30 / -0.65 ft 22:19 / -0.73 ft 23:09 / -0.64 ft

22:49 / 6.89 ft 23:43 / 7.16 ft

12:28 / 0.40 ft

18:44 / 8.98 ft 07:21 / 9.04 ft

02:51 / 0.80 ft

09:21 / 8.70 ft

P. 23


Lohan, Harrelson to shoot indie comedy

Actress Lindsay Lohan has joined the cast of independent fantasy comedy “The Other Side,” alongside Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, and singers Dave Matthews and Alanis Morissette, Hollywood press reported.

Area:  Population: Capital:  Language:  Time Zone:

P.18 Health P.19 Europe P.20 Global Affairs P.21 Americas P.22 Sports P.23 Entertainment

21:51 / 7.78 ft

51,000 km2 4,509,290 (Nov 2008) San Jose Spanish UTC/GMT-6 hours

Useful Numbers Emergencies EMERGENCY SERVICES Fire Medical Alert (Ambulance) OIJ (Police Special Branch) Red Cross Hospital Liberia Hospital Nicoya Hospital San José Clinic (Coco) Clinic (Liberia) Emergency Medical Service Santa Monica Radialogy Center

911 2688-8918 2670-0258 2690-0128 2666-0994 2666-0011 2685-8400 2257-7922 2670-0987 2666-1881 8380 41 25 24 hrs. 2665-0704

Transport Central Line San José Central Line Liberia Interbus Pulmitan Liberia Tica Bus

2257-7214 2221-9115 2666-0085 2283-5573 Fax: 2283-7655 2666-0458 2666-3818 2666-0371

Lost credit cards American Express Mastercard Visa

0 800 012 3211 0 800 011 0184 0 800 011 0030

Grizzlies’ Miles charged with marijuana possession

Grizzlies forward Darius Miles, banned 10 games last season for violating the National Basketball Association anti-drug program, has been charged with marijuana possession.

01:52 / 0.40 ft 15:37 / 1.12 ft

Costa Rica Basics

Contents P.04 Lead Story P.06 Business & Economy P.10 Society P.14 Culture P.16 Week In Brief

Information for Pacific Coast

Emergency Medical Service Toll Free 800-EMS2000

Air and ground ambulance - Doctor - Paramedic

Call center 8380-4125 • 24hrs Quepos - Jaco - Cobano - Tamarindo Huacas - Sardinal - Liberia

Vol 3 • Edition 185 May 19 - Jun 1, 2009 Costa Rica, Central America

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lead story

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

CR to implement marketing campaign in U.S.

the fact that all of this is only a click of the mouse away.

The mini site will include attractive coupons that the traveler can later present at hotels, tourist attractions, vehicle rental companies and others participating in this campaign to enjoy discounts. These benefits will be offered regardless how the reservation was made, whether directly or through a travel agent, or even wholesalers who offer travel deals.

“This campaign invites people to take action,” said Maria Amalia Revelo, deputy manager and marketing director at ICT. “We will develop an aggressive sales campaign in the United States by offering value-added products.”

Investment in this campaign (which will be seen in major newspapers in the United States) is estimated at half a million dollars. It has been designed to reach prospective customers who fit the right profile, reason for which the ads will be placed in Sunday travel sections.

Added CANATUR President Gonzalo Vargas:

“The Costa Rican private sector should see this new promotional effort as a great opportunity, with the aim being to offer interesting value-added products so that potential tourists will consider us as an alternative to competitors.” The campaign’s main goal is to communicate in a clear and relevant manner to the U.S. consumer about the additional benefits that Costa Rica offers at this time, which together with the country’s natural riches,

The tourism marketing campaign is complemented with promotions available on ICT’s Web site. Photo ICT.

make it an even more attractive destination.

The central message is a call to action, reason for which the campaign will highlight offers that instead of “cheapening” Costa Rica as a destination, show it a as place with added value, which can be taken advantage of by anybody who visits the country right now

by accessing a mini Web site exclusively designed for this promotion.

The “Costa Rica has never been this close” heading used in the campaign seeks to capture the geographical proximity of Costa Rica to the United States, the accessibility of the country to the U.S. market and, now,

The ads will run for 10 weeks starting the first week of June, but only as long as at least 25 local business take part in the special promotions.

The “Costa Rica Plus” campaign will begin with the first 25 tourism businesses that registered by May 14. Another offering will include businesses joining the program by May 28, with the final chance to participate ending on June 5. Tourism officials expect at least 150 businesses to participate.

Construction of hotels in Guanacaste not stopping despite recession

(InfoWebPress – – Although it is true that some hotel projects have been put on the backburner in the North Pacific region of Costa Rica, news have come out in the past few days that new hotels are already being slated for construction. For example, the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) firm is getting ready to break into the beach hotel business by opening two resorts, one in Guanacaste and one in the Central Pacific region.

There’s no set date for the opening of these hotels, but this company has a lot of experience in the management of other hotels in the country — including Real InterContinental, Crowne Plaza Corobici, Aurola Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Indigo. The firm has also announced plans to build another hotel in San Jose in 2011. Meanwhile, Barcelo Hotels & Resorts announced that it will manage two new 5-star hotels, which are currently under construction in Jaco (Central Pacific) and Santa Cruz. The Guanacaste hotel will be unveiled in late 2011 and will be located in Playa Azul.

The Spanish conglomerate has signed a management contract for both hotels, whose construction will cost $301 million. Private investors footing the bill, while Barcelo will run them under the Barcelo Premium brand (its highest category).

Meanwhile, the Marriott International Corporation has opened the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Guanacaste, seeking to capitalize on the large number of tourists who visit this beach- and sun-rich province to enjoy its natural treasures.

Wet your hands with water

Apply enough soap to cover the entire surface of your hands

Rub your hands palm against palm

Place your right hand over the back of your left hand, interlacing your fingers, and vice-versa

Now interlace your fingers palm against palm

Put your knuckles against the palms of your hands with your fingers interlaced

Grab your left thumb with your right hand and rub in a circular motion. Do the same with the other hand

Using the tips of your left hand fingers, rub the palm of your right hand in a circular motion backwards and forward; do the same with the other hand

Dry your hands with a paper towel

Once the Barcelo Jaco Beach and Barcelo Playa Azul are built, this corporation will reach a total of 1,319 hotel rooms in Costa Rica — making the country its third largest market in Latin America.

Guanacaste’s Barcelo Playa Azul will serve in part tourists who come to Costa Rica for medical treatments. The resort will include a hospital, a health center and spa, 60 rooms for “health tourists” and a research center. Overall, the hotel will have 248 rooms and 50 villas, in addition to a shopping center. Cost of this hotel will be $237 million.

Duration of process: 40 to 60 seconds

Cut it out and put it in a visible place.

(InfoWebPress – – Starting in June, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), in coordination with the Mixed Marketing Committee (a partnership between ICT and the Costa Rican Chamber of Tourism, or CANATUR), will begin implementation of a campaign to boost hotel reservations in the short term. The “Costa Rica Plus” campaign seeks to engage the entire tourism sector here.

Use the towel to turn the spigot off

Rinse with water

Clean hands protect our health

Source: National Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Commission (CONPPI), Ministry of Health, Costa Rica

Despite the recession, hotel construction continues in Guanacaste. Photo Gabriela Hernandez

Located inside the Hacienda Pinilla complex, the hotel seeks to attract tourists from Central America, South America and Europe. It has 310 rooms. Even though the global recession has led to the postponement of mega hotel and real estate development projects in Guanacaste, other projects have continued their normal

construction rhythm so that their hotels can be ready for business in time for the wave of tourists expected once the economy rebounds and tourism boom of the past few year comes back to life in the province. However, a transition period is expected before hotel projects reach the dynamic rhythm they once enjoyed.



Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

It’s official: Costa Rican economy in recession

(InfoWebPress – – The Costa Rican Central Bank has confirmed that the national economy is effectively and officially in a recession. An economy is considered to be in recession when the real growth rate of production is in negative ground for at least two quarters in a row, negatively affecting employment and real salaries once inflation is accounted for. In its April Monthly Report on the Economic Situation of Costa Rica, the Central Bank had warned that economy activity as of February 2009 (according to the Monthly Economic Activity Index, or IMAE) had contracted for the fifth month in a row and at a higher pace. The IMAE fell by 4.9 percent in the first two months of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008 — when it actually grew by 6.8 percent. Meanwhile, the February inter-annual index fell to -5.1 percent. However, production slowdown was not

100 days Javier Segura, B.A. General Manager, DCL Realty Consultants I think that, never before in modern American history, the first hundred days of a new administration have been seen, analyzed, decomposed, and expected with so much attention. Methods of grading, discussion groups, focus groups, evaluations, debates, and any other analytical tool available, has been used by the media, the special interest groups, and the academics, for dissection of those first 100 days. I am here not to give you my assessment of the beginning of Obama’s era. It would be the 368th opinion that you would read; and probably will be very similar than any other analysis (well... except Fox´s, for obvious reasons) saying that the first 100 days have been... well, not exactly the Second Coming, but at least has been good; good enough for giving a glimmer of hope to the world. Anyway, let´s leave the analysis for next month´s

seen in all activities included in the IMAE, as some are still growing albeit at a slower pace compared to January and February of last year. The main industries experiencing a contraction are manufacturing, agriculture, retail and hotels. Those that have been hardest hit by the recession are construction, financial services, transportation, warehousing and communications. The Manufacturing Industry Monthly Activity Index (IMAM) showed a decline of 16.8 percent in the first two months of this year, while only a year ago it saw gains of 5.7 percent. Due to these recent numbers, the Central Bank is predicting that economic growth will be slight this year, or even zero. In any case, banking officials had predicted this contraction of the local economy, as the international financial crisis that began in the United States continues to impact the entire globe. The Central Bank informed that some agricultural industries decreased by 5.2 percent,

compared to a slight decline of 0.6 percent in January and February of 2008 — fueled by production losses in bananas, coffee, melons and pineapple due to adverse weather conditions, diseases and high production costs. These losses were cushioned by gains in production of rice and beans. Meanwhile, retail activity decreased in the first two months of this year by 3.3 percent, while in the same period last year local commerce saw gains of 7.6 percent. Hardest hits by slower sales are car dealerships and car parts stores, construction material suppliers, appliance and electronic stores, and jewelry stores.

The president of Costa Rica’s Central Bank acknowledged that Costa Rica is officially in recession. Photo Casa Presidencial

outside the box

articles; for today I would like to talk about this insatiable need for grading this guy´s first 100 days of work.

Let´s see, he is going to be in the office 1,460 days, or maybe 2,920; which means that if he can not solve something in 100 days, there are still other 1,360 days to work it out. Others say that this period will set the direction of the new administration; that is simply not true, and if you don´t believe me, just ask Mr. Clinton, who made some significant changes after his first 100 days, he took different paths, and redirected some of his pet projects. But it worked, no? Thus, 100 days are important, but are not a suicidal pact; things can be changed in the future, if needed. The thing is, from the objective point of view, the first 100 days are as important as the second ones. Think about it, if you were the leader of the free world, things are not going to get any easier for you on day 101; it is as simple as that.

Then why we need so desperately to evaluate this period of time. There are several theories; so, let us talk about the two of them that I consider the most interesting Theories about why is so important to grade the first

hundred days of this new administration.

Confirmation Theory: Basically we all are feeling that things are worst than 100 days ago, but also feel that the work done by the government has been adequate, given the circumstances. But we all need confirmation of that perception; we need to know that it is not just our eager desire of seeing things better; but that the reality, and the facts, are confirming our, almost desperate, optimism. It is very important for the American people that the few good news released along these 3 months are just the beginning of something better. But most important, we need to know that all of us still have hope, and that this hope is a little bigger every day. Someone could say that the American people need to know that the proverbial American optimism is there, and that the American spirit is still strong in everyone´s heart.

Reality Show Theory: We simply can not help ourselves!! We are so accustomed to reality TV that we can not stop watching, morbidly, how the Jobless rate grows, or the Dow grows or falls, or the sales of pre-owned homes... or, for that matter, any other benchmark. Benchmarks that once were serious parameters for the executives

The hotel business has seen a median decline of 8.4 percent due to less tourists visiting the country, in addition to a cutback in domestic spending on vacations and travel. The highest losses were experienced by hotels with 101 to 300 rooms, mainly in the north of Guanacaste and Papagayo areas.

decision making process; and today are just part of this “Big Brother... Global Crisis Edition”. People are craving for the next Rush Limbaugh´s spicy phrase, or the next High Executives related scandal. This is serious, and we all know that the this is much more serious than a rough patch, but among the seriousness of the crisis, American people is taking time to see if the leader of the American Tribe beats the first challenge. And if you do not believe me, you just need to see what is the new target of the “celebrity oriented” tabloids: the high paid executives of the TARP bailed out companies. Maybe we need the circus, and this 100 days evaluation is just the season finale for the first season of this crazy reality show.

Anyway, no matter what of these theories is true, or if all of them are; the important thing is that there is still much to do, and given the fact that the leadership appears to be strong, the only thing that we can do is stop watching, and start doing things. We all have things to do in order to contribute, in a human scale, to the global efforts to overcome the crisis; so, turn off the TV and go back to work, like what you are: a hero of this crisis, because we are all heroes on these days.



Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

Efforts underway to reclaim shrimp export certification

fication program has actively collaborated with the establishment of judicial process leading to determining the noncompliance of turtle-protection laws.”

(InfoWebPress – – Due to the recent rescission of Costa Rica’s permit to export shrimp to the United States, the National Fishing and Aquaculture Institute (INCOPESCA) is actively working to obtain recertification to access this important market, according to government authorities.

The reason the United States lifted Costa Rica’s shrimp export certification is based on the application of sanctions related to turtle protection issues. U.S. officials claimed the Costa Rican system is not comparable to theirs, and thus it needs to be improved.

“In keeping with this goal, throughout the rest of the year the country will demonstrate that regulatory improvements have been implemented to achieve an efficient system of sanctions for eventual infractions, which would be equivalent to U.S. legislation,” said Luis Dobles, executive director of INCOPESCA.

“We are going to show them that these improvements are taking place and that we are doing things right,” Dobles said.

Last May, the U.S. Department of State certified 40 countries and one territory as meeting the requirements established in Section 609, PL 101-162, for shrimp exports to the North American nation. Costa Rica was on that list.

Dobles added that Costa Rica is committed to sustainable fishing practices and has an important legal framework for protecting marine resources, and specifically policies for protection of sea turtles. “To assure compliance with existing laws, INCOPESCA has a program for verification of the appropriate use of the DET, which is the turtle-exclusion device that must be used in shrimp fishing, and whose goal is to avoid the accidental capture of sea turtles,” Doble explained. This program has been in operation for the past 10 years, Dobles said. Its goal is to

It is estimated that shrimp exports to the United States will resume in the short term, once Costa Rica demonstrates it is implementing sea turtle-safe fishing practices.

implement Costa Rican legislation regarding the protection of sea turtles via training and control on the use of the DET devices. “In fact, INCOPESCA is actively working

to enforce this turtle-protection policy when it comes to shrimp fishing, and this has been recognized internationally,” Dobles claimed. “As part of this work, the INCOPESCA veri-

The United States continues to support the use of TEDs as an effective technology for protecting sea turtles, some of which are endangered. Other countries are evaluating this technology right now to consider their adoption for their domestic fishing industries. The United States is providing technical assistance to support these efforts, with the hope that more countries can be added to the list of certified exporters.

‘Perfect’ papaya now being exported to Canada (InfoWebPress – – The variety of papaya known as “Perfect” or “World’s Best” — the Costa Rican hybrid Pococi — is now being enjoyed by Canadians, and national agricultural officials and agribusinesses hope it will soon find its way to Europe, where samples have been positively received.

Montero Gonzalez said.

The Pococi hybrid boasts excellent flavor, sweetness, compact pulp, deep orange color, and high productivity — up to 80 tons per hectare per year, with each fruit reaching an average weight of 1 to 1.5 kilograms.

Montero Gonzalez added that Costa Rica is in a great position to increase production and commercialization of the Pococi hybrid, as the country has enough seed at the Los Diamantes Experiment Station in Guapiles (INTA-MAG) and the Fabio Baudrit Experiment Station (UCR-MAG).

In order to make the flavor of these unique Costa Rican papayas known, a group of local agribusinesses took part in a weeklong exporters’ mission during the month of May in Toronto, Canada. The mission was supported by the Trade Promotion Office of the Costa Rican Foreign Corporation (Procomer). The activity yielded some 99 business meetings with well-known supermarket chains such as Sobeys, Loblaws and Metro. The Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) is promoting the cultivation of papayas using good management practices, rational utilization of inputs and good harvesting practices that would guarantee the shelf life of the fruits up to the moment they are sold in their final market destinations. According to MAG’s non-traditional fruits manager, Alberto Montero Gonzalez, Costa Rica has the ideal conditions to grow the “perfect” papayas, which were developed by

The cost of seed per hectare of the Pococi hybrid is about 40,000 colones ($70), with expenses for establishing the crop and production costs totaling some 6 million colones ($10,500) per hectare for an 18-24 production period.

The quality of Costa Rica’s “perfect papaya” has been well received in North America.

ministry experts and are mainly grown in the Caribbean region (Guacimo and Pococi), the Northern Zone (La Fortuna), and the Central Pacific (Orotina and Parrita).

“Costa Rica has some 1,000 hectares of papayas planted, of which 400 correspond to the Pococi hybrid, while the rest has the local variety known as ‘lucia’, among others,”

MAG and the National Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer Institute INTA) offers growers field days, technical assistance and technology transfer so that they can be successful in the papaya-growing operations.

A recent outreach event took place last April 28 at the Guacimo Cantonal Agricultural Center in the province of Limon.



Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

Environmental Court orders restoration of damage at Palo Verde park (InfoWebPress – – The Administrative Environmental Court (TAA) is giving the government one year to stop and repair damages caused to 3,000 hectares within the Palo Verde National Park in Guanacaste, which has been declared as a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

The TAA ratified last week its approval to a conciliation agreement entered into by the Agrarian Development Institute (IDA), the National Irrigation and Subterranean Waters Service (SENARA) and the ArenalTempisque Conservation Area of the Ministry of the Environment. The latter had sued IDA and SENARA for flooding a sector of the park as a result of irrigation channels and other works done to bring water to sugarcane and pineapple plantations on IDA-owned land contiguous to the protected area.

The case aggravated and the damage continued, due to the fact that an inter-institutional commission didn’t comply with agreements and didn’t carry out any of the actions mandated by the TAA in 2001. Five years later, in 2007, and following several studies, it was determined that the flooding had affected almost 3,000 hectares in the areas of Bocana, Nicaragua, Corralillo and Quebrada la Mula, all legally protected. Also destroyed was a pochote tree forest that is unique to the region, which was also flooded. Also suffering was the overall

ecosystem and biodiversity of the park.

The Environmental Court was emphatic that the problems in Palo Verde must be sold immediately.

“There has been a real and incompetence to solve a problem created by state institutions. You could hardly beat such example of institutional irresponsibility,� the TAA wrote in its May 12 resolution.

For that same reason, the TAA rejected a nullification request filed by the Procurer General’s Office, which sought to have the conciliation agreement thrown out due to technical aspects. “The current heads of IDA and SENARA are showing real willingness to solve the grave environmental damage in Palo Verde, and we won’t delay this conciliation agreement anymore so that the work can be done immediately,� said TAA President Jose Lino Chaves. All in all, nearly 3,000 hectares must be restored and more than 30,000 trees planted in the La Mula Biological Corridor — the sector most affected by the flooding, which in addition to destroying its ecosystem facilitated the growth of the invasive plant Typha. To repair the damage, the defendants will need to build a 6-kilometer-long channel to help drain the water out of the flooded area, and another channel will have to be expanded in the buffer zone of the Tamarindo settlement.

Additionally, IDA will have to transfer pending parcels of land to Palo Verde.

Some 3,000 hectares of the Palo Verde National Park are flooded and full of the invasive plant Typha, which is very aggressive. Photo Gabriela Hernandez

Liberia airport concession contract could be signed this week (InfoWebPress – – If there are no delays, the concession contract for terminal construction and management of Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport could be signed even this week. The National Concessions Council (CNC) gave its rubber stamp last October to the proposal presented by a consortium that includes the Houston Airport System (HAS). Daniel Oduber’s concession agreement will extend for 20 years and will require the concessionaire, Coriport, to complete infrastructure works valued at $35 million. The members of this consortium include ADC & HAS Aviation, MMM and Aviation Group (Canada), Brad & Tod Corporation, Cocobolo Inversiones and Emperador Pez Espada. It was the only bidder that submitted a proposal. The Liberia airport’s new terminal project seeks to eliminate crowding and other unsatisfactory conditions currently experienced there, including those related to boarding gates, basic services and infrastructure in general. Once the contract is signed, it will go to the Comptroller General’s Office for approval. After that, the CNC would give Coriport the green light to begin construction. The new terminal building will have two levels: 17,637 square meters in the first level and 5,312 in the second level, for a total of 22,942 square meters. Once the project is completed, the old building will be given over to the concessionaire for management and modernization. The main shareholder in Coriport are MMM and Aviation Group (57 percent), followed by ADC & HAS Corporation (25

Guayacån Real The best investment‌ the best place‌

The conciliation agreement included a total of 16 actions that must be executed within the one-year term indicated by the TAA, which will monitor the work every month. The Court also ordered the formation of a follow-up commission, and the parties involved were given six months to draft an “Integrated Management Plan for the La Mula Creek Mini-watershed� in Palo Verde. This plan must show details about the budget with which IDA and SENARA will execute the 16 actions of the agreement. “The important thing is that every restoration action is implemented to the T, regardless of the cost, and we will make sure this becomes a reality,� said Judge Yamilette Mata, vice president of the TAA.

At the Guanacaste’s Golden Mile

Guayacån Real, with everything you need: • Located in the GOLDEN MILE, Guanacaste’s best commercial site between Liberia’s International Airport and the intersection to Papagayo, where all tourists and investors travel • All technology and communications services available • Provides you with the opportunity to shape the space to your needs • 24/7 services and strategic facilities.

It is estimated that the new Liberia airport terminal will be finished by April of next year. Photo Tj/InfoWebPress

percent). The rest of the shares are owned by Costa Rican firms. The airport’s modernization comes in response to the increasing in traffic experienced by the Guanacaste terminal. Even though tourist visitation is down so far this year due to the international recession, it saw steady increases in 2007 and 2008. Official numbers indicate that in 2008, some 420,000 tourists arrived in Costa Rica via Daniel Oduber, for a 3.5 percent increase over 2007 — when 405,000 foreign travelers chose this airport. The greatest number of tourists arriving via the Liberia terminal came during the month of March 2008: 60,000 travelers. Between 2003 and 2008, airport visitation at Daniel Oduber grew by 44.25 percent (with annual increases ranging between 3.5 percent and 61 percent). However, preliminary estimates show visitation will decrease this year as travelers cut back on vacations due to the harsh economic conditions worldwide.

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Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009


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Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

Tattooed Faces in Greater Nicoya and California

Frederick W. Lange¹

Again, I am writing an article for the Journal that ties together my previous research in Greater Nicoya (northwestern Pacific Costa Rica and Pacific Nicaragua) with my present research in southern California. A few days ago, as I was working on a report for a project in western Riverside County, the following words triggered this report: At the conclusion of the period during which the girl remained in the pit, her face was painted, and a similar panting was also made on a rock. At the end of a month the girl’s face was painted in a different manner, and a similar painting was added to the first painting made on the rock. This was repeated every month for a year, each month a different painting being placed on the girl’s face, and a similar one added to the original one on the rock…. Also, there are accounts from southern California that this facial tatooing (painting?) was preparatory to death and burial later in life – one could not be buried without the facial tattoos. In an age when life was somewhat more tenuous, being prepared for death from the age of puberty on was probably a good idea, a sort of a prehistoric insurance policy and not unlike the practice of baptizing infants to guarantee their entry into Heaven.

Similar facial decorations appear on ceramic heads from Guanacaste. Is it possible they have the same significance as the facepainting from southern California? There are few written records from the period of first

contact with Spaniards in Guanacaste and none of them seem to have dwelled on the subject of facial decoration. We do know that the prehistoric peoples utilized extensive body painting and roller-stamped decoration as well as facial decoration, as shown in the images that accompany this article. It is always dangerous to interpret the cultural practices of one area, in this case Greater Nicoya, with data from another area, in this case southern California.

Except at the most general level, there is no prehistoric connection between the two areas and this makes it even more dangerous to transfer interpretations from one area to another. However, in the total absence of historical information from the tribes of Guanacaste, the California information can

‘Classrooms on wheels’ program arrives in Nicoya

(InfoWebPress – – “The bus is a classroom, a means by which students can enrich their academic activities,” said Orlando de la O, dean of the National University’s (UNA) Chorotega campus in Guanacaste, during a ceremony in which vice-rector for academic affairs, Sandra Leon, officially handed over three buses that will be used to deliver knowledge to university students in the province.

For Leon, these vehicles are an example of the work UNA has bees doing to consolidate regionalization as part of the country’s education. Tattooed Effigy Head Ceramic Pot

at least help us to tentatively explain the facial tattooing on the Guanacaste figures. The Native peoples of Greater Nicoya never developed a writing system of their own. Our only hope of confirming this cross-cultural speculation from California to Guanacaste, or of encountering a completely different interpretation that answers the question: What does the facial tattooing mean in the Guanacaste case? depends on finding some previously unknown, or un-translated, Spanish document that focuses on the details of facial tattooing.

Tattoed Galo polychrome female figure

¹Fred Lange earned his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1971). He is the author of “Before Guanacaste”(2006), a popular account of the first 10,000 years of the province. BG is available in Libreria Internacional bookstores throughout Costa Rica, at the Jaime Peligro book store in Tamarindo, and in the Cafe Britt store at Peninsula de Papagayo. His e-mail is

“The most important of our principles is that the National University is one, and that we all together should aspire to have the same facilities to do our work in the best possible manner,” Leon pointed out.

During the ceremony, Leon reminded those who will benefit from these educational buses that the resources to pay for them come from the daily work of Costa Ricans, so students should be faithful to that society that is allowing them to grow and become better individuals.

Dean de la O acknowledged that UNA has

The goal of the “classrooms on wheels” is to help university students get closer to the community. Photo UNA

been betting on regionalization processes, saying that the buses are real classrooms, laboratories that will enrich the academic lives of all students.

Meanwhile, Lourdes Rodriguez, vice dean of the Brunca (Southern Zone) regional campuses, said the bus assigned to this region will help meet the educational needs of students on both the Perez Zeledon and Coto campuses — as the other vehicle already ser-

Meanwhile, Alvaro Villalobos, academic director of the Sarapiqui campus, indicated that the new bus is an important academic work tool for his institution — which in its first year of existence has 202 students but also provides services to more than 1,000

A- Detalles especiales • Special details C- Banquinas • Window sills well positioned to continue offering new opportunities for English-language learning,” said Marta Blanco, executive director of Costa Rica Multilingual. “The achievements we celebrate today are the result of having neither a ministry-level nor a sector-level plan, but a country-level plan to effectively deal with the challenges we have taken on as a nation for the improvement of our language and cultural skills.” This initiative coordinates efforts among organizations such as high schools and private institutes, businesses and international institutions, facilitating the creation of alliances that would allow to expand the teaching of English and, in the future, other languages.

According to Education Vice Minister Alejandrina Mata, some 2,000 English teachers have been trained of 3,600 working for the Ministry of Education (MEP). This training aimed at improving the teachers’ own language skills. Meanwhile, Jose Luis Torres, vice rector

for the State University for Distance Education (UNED) and representing the National Rectors Council (CONARE), said that since 2007 some 5,685 students at language-acquisition levels A1, A2 and B1 have been served by public universities, among other services offered to both students and educators. The initiative has also made inroads in securing international funds to support its efforts. Additionally, a Costa Rica Multilingual Foundation has been created to ensure the sustainability of this program through a long-term vision. In the case of Guanacaste, the U.S. volunteers received training in methodology, pedagogy and culture in San Carlos before traveling to the communities of El Coco, Sardinal, Guardia, Belen and Cartagena — where they are working alongside MEP teachers, teaching language classes at the local schools.

The initiative’s main goal is to have all secondary school students graduate with an intermediate-high English-language proficiency by 2017.

Each bus, which capacity for 35 passengers and the driver, costs 25 million colones ($43,800).


B- Molduras • Frames Marta Blanco, executive director of the Multilingual Costa Rica initiative, highlighted the achievements of the program in its first year. Photo Casa Presidencial

students taking training courses provided by institutions such as the Ministry of Education, the Limon University College, the National Learning Institute (INA) and even the U.S. Embassy, all of which are important to the development of this region.

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Last March, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and U.S. Ambassador Peter Cianchette welcomed to the country the initiative’s first five volunteer instructors, who came from Kent State University in Ohio to teach English at several communities in the province of Guanacaste. “Thanks to the work of multiple players and strategic partners in Costa Rica and around the world, our program is now very

vice there will be moved to the latter facility. “The bus gives freedom of action regarding all activities the students are engaged on,” Rodriguez said.

Preformados de Concreto Ultraligero, Máxima resistencia, Fácil de instalar, Gran variedad de modelos.

‘Multilingual Costa Rica’ presents first-year report of accomplishments (InfoWebPress – — The Costa Rica Multilingual initiative, which seeks to improve the language skills of all Costa Ricans, presented its first annual report — including a diagnosis of current language-acquisition levels and information on educator training, new English courses offerings, national coordination and the launching of a countrywide volunteer program aimed at supporting the initiative’s goals.



The buses will serve UNA’s regional campuses in Guanacaste and the Southern Zone, as well as in Sarapiqui (Caribbean). Leon underscored the importance of these “classrooms on wheels,” as they will help transport students so that they can go out and explore, learn and take UNA’s knowledge to the Costa Rican society.

Or do the Greater Nicoya tattoos perhaps mean nothing at all? If we think about all of the tattoos that we see on family members, or standing in line at the supermarket, we know that some are charged with political or religious meaning, while others are simply for fun. What is particularly important to remember is that whether or not a tattoo is religious or for fun depends on the view of the wearer, not the viewer. Apart from the actual physical tattoos, do the colors have a particular meaning, or were they simply the colors that were available from natural sources? We know that in southern California there was an emphasis on the use of red paint for both pictograph rendition and body-painting, but this too may have been a reflection of the hematite rock or powder that could be obtained from nature.

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009


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Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

week in brief

Politics Chinchilla and Araya close in polls for PLN nomination (La Republica) — Only a couple of weeks away from internal elections by the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) to chose its candidate for the 2010 presidential elections, hopefuls Laura Chinchilla and Johnny Araya are very close, according to a CID-Gallup poll. Chinchilla was leading with 45 percent of vote intention, but Araya was close with 42 percent. The numbers have changed significantly since the last poll, when Araya, former mayor of San Jose, was ahead with 50 percent to 43 percent for former vice president Chinchilla. The PLN convention will be held June 7.

Business & Economy EU reaffirms commitment to finish trade deal talks by June (La Prensa Libre) — The European Union has ratified its commitment to finish technical negotiations leading to an association agreement with Central America by this June, during a meeting scheduled to take place June 6-10 in Brussels. The announcement was made last week during the San Jose Dialogue meeting — the oldest political dialogue process between two blocs of nations ever established.

Credit crunch hits Costa Rica’s real estate sector ( — Property prices are falling and real estate developments are being delayed as the market in some parts of Costa Rica are affected by the global downturn. In Guanacaste province, where the real estate market has surged since 2006, the tide has turned. A number of highly publicized residential developments aimed at secondhome owners and anchored by brand-name hotels and golf courses have been delayed on Guanacaste’s Gold Coast, a 60-mile stretch on the Pacific Ocean from the Papagayo Peninsula in the north to Tamarindo in the south. Holiday home sales have been reduced to a ripple. Individuals who built or bought with an eye toward selling have lowered or postponed their expectations, trying instead to earn money by renting out their properties in a region that remains a popular tourist destination. But according to Christopher Howard, an American author who specializes in real estate, for the serious or spontaneous buyer there are some good deals. “In a way the downturn benefits the Guanacaste

market. Things were developing too fast and prices were getting too high,” he said. However, Costa Rica still remains among the most popular second home destinations for Americans and it also has a thriving ecotourism markets. Experts point out that the low cost of living and property taxes still attract retirees who are looking for cheaper options without too many compromises.

Spirit Airlines opens reservation desk in Costa Rica

(Inside Costa Rica) — Beginning last week, Spirit Airlines will have a reservation center in San Jose, providing travel services to Spirit and new customers. The centre is located in Ultrapark business center in Heredia. Airline officials said the decision to open an office in the country is due to the excellent reputation of Costa Rica as a tourism destination and for the quality of human resources here. Spirit offers low cost non-stop flights from San Jose to Orlando, Fla.

Costa Rica’s 2008-09 coffee sales fall 18% as of May 1

(Dow Jones Newswires) — Costa Rica’s coffee industry has logged sales contracts for 1.36 million (60-kilogram) bags of coffee from the 2008-09 crop as of May 1, the official Costa Rican Coffee Institute, Icafe, said last week. This is 18 percent lower than the volume contracted in the same time a year ago, when 1.65 million bags of the 2007-08 Costa Rican crop were sold. The volume of the 2008-09 crop sold to date is estimated at about 85 percent of the country’s output from this harvest, which is forecast to produce 1.595 million bags, Icafe said, adding the figure includes forward sales locked in months before the 2008-09 cycle started on Oct. 1. The current year’s crop sold to date were fixed at an average price of $1.3848 a pound, below the average of $1.4099 logged in the same time a year ago. The Central American coffee nation is known to be an “early seller” in the market, with forward sales for the new crop normally starting between June and July.

Tourism in Central America increased in 2009

(La Prensa Libre) — According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of tourists visiting Central America during the first two months of 2009 grew by 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year, despite the fact that tourism worldwide decreased 7.7 percent during this period. Travel to Africa and South America also grew during this time.

Growth in eco-tourism expected in Costa Rica (Inside Costa Rica) — Costa Rica has been affected by the global economic downturn, but it has not been as badly hit as many other countries and its prospects remain attractive. The country still remains popular for second home property investors, particularly those from the United States. These investors are attracted by the low cost of living and attractive property taxes. The country has successfully branded itself as a premiere eco-tourism destination and the tourism sector is expected to continue growing. The local construction industry has fallen victim to the financial crisis but continues to grow, albeit at a much slower rate. In 2007, the industry experienced an incredible 18 percent growth but that reduced to a still impressive 5 percent for 2008. A recent article in Nuwire Investor confirmed that “long term prospects for Costa Rica remain attractive. The government is stable and has instituted good health care and educational systems.” More importantly, it knows how to take care of its environment. “Costa Rica was ranked 5th in the world by the Environmental Performance Index developed by Yale University and Columbia University,” the article points out.

Costa Rican beef consumption on the increase worldwide

(Inside Costa Rica) — Costa Rican beef is consumed more each day and is better paid on an international level, and statistics back up this claim made by the Cattle Ranching Corporation (Corfoga), as exports to other countries are increasing. According to Corfoga, Costa Rican beef has shown a 7 percent increase in exports during the first quarter of 2009, as compared to the same period in 2008. Erik Quiros, president of Corfoga, said that in the first quarter of 2008, beef exports reached 3.890 tons, while in 2009 the amount of exports was 4.577 tons. Costa Rica exports 20 percent of its beef production.

Society Costa Rica tops in Latin America in technological innovation (La Republica) — A study conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit placed Costa Rica as the most innovative nation in Latin America and 36th worldwide, out of 82 nations, for the 2004-2008 period. The study took into consideration research expenditures, education, telecommunications infrastructure, wideband Internet availability, and business and political environment. Trailing Costa Rica were Argentina, Chile and Mexico. Japan was No. 1 worldwide.

Catholic Church prohibits use of birth control by adolescents

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(Inside Costa Rica) — The Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica has approved a new “sex guide” that prohibits the use of condom, birth-control pills and other “artificial” methods of anti-conception by youths. The guide is a series of volumes to be used as a guide in schools for sex education, which covers topics such as love and sexuality, affection and love and the age of innocence. According to volume six of the guides, “artificial methods are illicit for the Church as they intentionally destroy or make life impossible.” In the new publication, the Catholic Church only approves natural methods of contraception, birth control and family planning and supports the “Billings Ovulation Method,” which according to the Church is the most modern natural way to achieve or to avoid becoming pregnant. In the guides, the Church insists that sexual relations should only occur within the confines of matrimony, emphatically promoting chastity and abstinence among

unmarried young people. The booklets recommend that adolescents not talk about sex, which is something that should be dealt in a private manner.

Costa Rica request changes to maritime borders

(La Nacion) — Costa Rica has asked the United Nations to expand its maritime borders in the Pacific Ocean with the goal of exploiting sea resources beyond the 200 miles of the current Economic Exclusion Zone. The areas Costa Rica is seeking to have included are located northwest and southeast of Cocos Island, which are currently considered international waters.

ICE ends grace period for paying telephone bill

(Inside Costa Rica) — The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has for some time maintained a practice of giving its customers an eight-day grace period to pay their telephone bills before shutting off their lines. However, in a press release, the state telecom announced that it will cut service the day following the due date and that customers will have to request a reconnection, which entails visiting an ICE agency and be charged a reconnection fee. In addition, ICE informed that an unpaid balance on one telecom service can prejudice another. For instance, having an outstanding balance on a home telephone bill can affect the service of a cellular telephone and/or Internet connection, if all the services are on the name of one customer.

Higher unemployment for 2009 predicted

(Inside Costa Rica) — Unemployment could see a rise in Costa Rica, according to the projections by experts of the Junctures Observatory at the National University (UNA). In addition, UNA said that there will be no growth in salaries, especially in the private sector. Of course, on the positive side, inflation will remain low and will help keep the prices of the basic food basket down. Henry Mora, economist with UNA, said the current unemployment rate in Costa Rica is 4.6 percent, with the possibility that it will increase during this year. Mora explained that in 2007, 70,000 new jobs were created, but that figure dropped to 20,000 new opening in 2008 and may be even lower for this year. In addition, job losses have been on the increase. Between October 2008 and March 2009, the UNA reveals that 28,942 jobs were lost, primarily in the construction industry, followed by manufacturing and real estate.

ICE objects to Internet cafes

(Inside Costa Rica) — If the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) had its way there would be no “Internet cafes” in Costa Rica, unless they were operated by ICE. At least that is what the institution pretends in objecting to the newly created telecommunication’s body, Sutel, giving out permits to Internet cafe operators. ICE has made a formal objection to Sutel issuing a permit to two internet cafes in Heredia, whose owners are now faced with the task of formally responding to the ICE objections. ICE has made it clear that it will use any and all legal objections it can to stall competitors from entering the telecommunications market and operators, small and large, are getting caught in the middle of a fight between the country’s only telecom and the regulating body. Currently there are some 1,800 Internet cafes all over Costa Rica. Last March the Sutel began requesting basic information from the operators in the process of handing out permits of operation. So far only seven have applied for a permit, according to the Sutel.



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Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

Flu strains developing resistance to key antiviral drug

GENEVA (AFP) – Development of a swine flu vaccine was partly triggered by evidence that seasonal influenza strains are developing resistance to antiviral drug Tamiflu, a World Health Organisation expert said. Nikki Shindo said relatively high rates of hospitalisation for swine flu in the United States and Mexico “rightly” prompted vaccine development “because we are also facing the risk of having resistant viruses.”

“Last year we have seen widespread evidence of oseltamivir resistance in seasonal influenza,” said the pandemic flu expert at a daily WHO briefing on the outbreak of influenza A(H1N1). “So given that we have winter in Southern American countries and also the other parts of the southern hemisphere, there will be a risk of having viruses that will be highly resistant to antivirals.” Flu outbreaks are at their most active during winter.

Oseltamivir is the active ingredient in Tamiflu, an antiviral made by Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Roche which is at the centre of global precautions – led by the WHO – against influenza and a possible pan-

very aggressively,” Shindo remarked.


Mexico and the United States, where the outbreak was first uncovered last month, together account for nearly 90 percent of the 5,251 cases of the A(H1N1) virus confirmed by the WHO in 30 countries.

Roche said it was donating 5.65 million treatment courses of Tamiflu to help the WHO fight the swine flu outbreak and boosted its production capacity for the next five months.

However, there were hints this week that the virus might have already been circulating more widely there when it was first uncovered.

In the absence of an efficient vaccine against influenza A(H1N1) for now, only Tamiflu and Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline, are considered efficient drugs to keep the virus in check.

Data from the United States and Mexico suggested that nine to 10 percent of confirmed cases of swine flu require hospitalisation, Shindo said, adding: “This clearly is different from what we see from seasonal influenza, that’s for sure.” However, the WHO is preparing to publish clinical guidance to doctors and nurses on the new A(H1N1) virus this week highlighting the fact that most patients would not require hospitalization or antiviral therapy, she said. Shindo also highlighted different approaches to the use of antivirals to treat swine flu on either side of the Atlantic.

While the United States and Mexico tend-

Climate change ‘biggest global health threat,’ doctors warn

PARIS (AFP) – Climate change will present the greatest threat to health this century, amplifying the risk of disease, malnutrition and homelessness through floods, drought and rising sea levels, a medical panel said.

Anne Schuchat, the interim deputy director for science and public health at the Centers for Disease Control said the 2,600 confirmed cases in the United States represented just the tip of the iceberg of actual infections. Oseltamivir is the active ingredient in Tamiflu, an antiviral made by Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Roche which is at the centre of global precautions – led by the WHO – against influenza and a possible pandemic.

ed to confine such treatment for the most vulnerable, such as those with chronic illness or pregnant women, European countries resorted to the drugs more readily. “The European countries which are mainly importing cases have been using anti-virals

Science magazine also released online a study by the WHO Rapid Pandemic Assessment Collaboration, which includes CDC scientists, which estimated that 23,000 people had been infected by the A(H1N1) virus in Mexico.

Sleep may keep you thin AMSTERDAM (AFP) – The secret of staying thin could be at least partly down to a good night’s rest, an international conference on obesity heard in Amsterdam.

“These results indicate that sleep deprivation increases food intake and... could be a factor promoting obesity,” it added.

This represented about one large hamburger.

The World Health Organization estimates that in 2005, about 1.6 billion adults were overweight, of which at least 400 million were obese.

“After a bad night’s sleep, people ate 550 calories (22 percent) more than normal,” said the findings of a study by the European Centre of Taste Science in Dijon in central France, presented at the gathering.

Feelings of hunger were higher among a test group who slept four hours the previous night than among those who slept eight hours, stated an extract of the findings.

“Even the most conservative estimates are profoundly disturbing and demand action,” said the report, compiled over a year by The Lancet medical journal and experts from the Institute for Global Health at University College London.

The vast majority of people who became ill with the virus tended to recover in the same way as with seasonal flu and probably did not seek laboratory testing, she explained.

A separate study conducted by researchers at the Netherlands’ Maastricht University found that children who got less sleep during puberty than when they were younger also gained more weight compared to children whose sleep patterns did not change.

The conference was organised by the European Association for the Study of Obesity.

“Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” The commission drew much of its data from the landmark Fourth Assessment Report, issued in 2007 by the UN’s Nobel-winning climate experts, the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Changing weather patterns could widen the habitat of disease-bearing mosquitoes, bringing malaria and dengue to previously cold regions, while flooding in poor countries will be a boon for cholera and other water-borne diseases. Indirect effects on health include malnutrition as a result of poor harvests; injury and death from storms; and vulnerability from migration, as populations flee swamped delta cities or civil unrest.

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

European recession deepens with record 2.5 percent slump

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European economy contracted a record 2.5 percent in the first quarter and went deeper into recession than the United States, official data showed last week amid growing public outrage at job losses.

Export-dependent Germany led the way deeper into recession as Europe’s biggest economy shrank a stunning 3.8 percent and 6.9 percent over one year in a sharp deterioration.

However, Italy was not far behind with its economy contracting 2.4 percent and 5.9 percent over one year while the French economy officially entered recession as it shrank 1.2 percent over the quarter and 3.2 percent over one year.

Even though the downturn first took hold across the Atlantic, the recession in Europe has proved to be even more dramatic than in the United States, where the economy shrank 1.6 percent over the quarter and 2.6 percent over one year.

Despite the dire situation at the start of the year, economists said that the recession may have bottomed out in the first quarter although that did not mean that a quick recovery could be expected.

Europe plunged last year into its deepest post-war recession as international trade collapsed and consumers grew wary of spending on all but essential purchases in the face of the worst financial crisis in generations. Although signs the slump may be stabilising have emerged since the first quarter, the downturn is taking a painful toll on the labour market with fresh waves of job losses announced on an almost daily basis. British telecoms operator BT said it would cut up to 15,000 more jobs, or 10 percent of its staff, after suffering an annual net loss of 83 million pounds in its 2008-2009 financial year.

The European Commission warned earlier this month that mass unemployment could return to haunt Europe with the jobless rate expected to surge to a post-war high of 11.5

FRANCE, Bignan : French farmers, mainly milk and pork producers, demonstrate in Bignan, western France, during the visit of a poultry factory by French Prime minister Francois Fillon. According to Fillon, France shows better resistance than other countries of the Euro zone as the European economy contracted a record 2.5 percent in the first quarter and went deeper into recession than the United States. AFP/FRED TANNEAU

percent in the eurozone.

“Contracting activity is likely to continue depressing recruitment,” BNP Paribas economist Clemente De Lucia said. “Mounting fears of unemployment are likely to drag down consumer confidence, making consumers reluctant to spend despite

falling inflation.”

The depth of the eurozone slump in the first quarter took economists by surprise, exceeding their forecasts for a contraction of 2.2 percent over one quarter and 4.1 percent over one year. It also marked a dramatic turn for the

“At least though, this should mark the nadir in the eurozone’s recession as there are mounting signs that the rate of contraction is now moderating,” IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer said.

“Nevertheless, we suspect that actual growth remains some way away with the result that eurozone GDP (gross domestic product) could well contract by as much as 4.5 percent this year,” he added. Likewise, Daniele Antonucci at Capital Economics said: “Although this might be as bad as it gets, after this very poor start to the year we feel even more comfortable with our below consensus forecast of a 5.0 percent contraction in 2009.”

Recession strikes Germany biggest blow for 40 years FRANKFURT (AFP) – The global recession has struck exporting giant Germany the biggest blow since records began 40 years ago, with data showing a first-quarter output slump of 3.8 percent.

The quarter-on-quarter contraction in Europe’s biggest economy, accounting for a third of eurozone output, was even steeper than the 2.2-percent fall recorded in the final three months of 2008, the statistics office said.

The French finance minister said this meant that the economy was set to shrink three percent this year and figures in other European countries such as Italy, Austria and Hungary out Friday painted a similarly bleak picture.

“Estimates show that small increases in the risk for climate-sensitive conditions, such as diarrhoea and malnutrition, could result in very large increases in the total disease burden,” it said.

worse at the start of the year after the eurozone economy contracted 1.6 percent over one quarter in the final three months of 2008 and 4.4 percent over one year.

The 16-nation eurozone suffered its deepest slump on records going back to 1995 as the economy shrank 4.6 percent over one year and the 27-nation European Union economy contracted 4.4 percent, the Eurostat agency estimated.

France, Germany’s main partner and the second-biggest eurozone economy, meanwhile entered official recession, with statistics showing output falling 1.2 percent after a 1.5-percent drop in the last quarter of 2008.

Changing weather patterns could widen the habitat of disease-bearing mosquitoes, bringing malaria and dengue to previously cold regions, while flooding in poor countries will be a boon for cholera and other water-borne diseases. Photo



As a whole, the European economy contracted a record 2.5 percent, sending it deeper into recession than the United States.

Germany entered recession, defined as two quarters running of falling gross domestic output (GDP), two quarters earlier than France, in the third quarter of 2008. France narrowly avoided the same fate then with growth of 0.1 percent. The worse-than-expected German result -- economists had forecast a drop of 3.2 percent -- was the worst since records began in 1970 and sent the euro lower against other currencies.

Europe’s leading stock markets shrugged off the news, closing mixed or slightly firmer on the view that the data, however bad, might prove to be the bottom of the downturn. The Frankfurt market closed little overall. Compared to the first quarter of 2008, the figures looked even worse, with Germany producing 6.7 percent less goods and servic-

Poor countries that are least to blame for global warming will be hit most, “a source of historical shame to our generation if nothing is done to address it,” the authors said.

es, or 6.9 percent when adjusted for calendar effects skewing the figures. The preliminary figures will be finalised on May 26. UniCredit Economist Alexander Koch said the “ugly” figures mark the low point, with business sentiment in Germany, and in almost all other major economies, bottoming out.

“This very bad news, which was broadly expected, had demonstrated the large dependence of the German economy to foreign trade,” said Natixis economist Costa Brunner. “But the good news is that the worst is behind us.” Measures worldwide to get banks lending again, rock-bottom interest rates, lower commodity prices and signs that the worst may be over in manufacturing should support Germany from July onwards, Brunner said. Several pieces of hard data released this month have also given cause for hope in Ger-


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many, with both industrial orders and exports in March showing their first increases after dropping for several months straight.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government shares this optimism, predicting 0.5 percent growth in 2010, albeit after a slump of six percent this year – the worst slowdown since World War II.

But the problems facing the conservative Merkel, who is running for re-election on September 27 heading a fractious coalition with the centre-left, are far from over. Government estimates last week showed the recession rapidly blowing a massive hole in Germany’s public finances, with tax receipts falling off a cliff while government spending rockets skywards.

Germany’s growing debt mountain is expected to figure highly in campaigning for the elections, as is unemployment, which is expected continue rising well after the hoped-for recovery begins.


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The secret of staying thin could be at least partly down to a good night’s rest. Photo

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global affairs

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

World tourism industry caught between crisis and flu

FLORIANOPOLIS (AFP) – Volatility unleashed by the global economic crisis and the swine flu epidemic is hitting the travel industry hard, prompting deep concern among participants at a world tourism conference in Brazil. International tourism risks sliding heavily if the H1N1 swine flu spread is upgraded to a pandemic, an economist at Britain’s Oxford Economics firm, John Walker, told AFP. The number of passengers could drop “up to 60 percent,” he said.

“The probability of a full blown pandemic is relatively low, but there might be another outbreak in full force of swine flu in the next winter in the northern hemisphere,” Walker said. The economic crisis, meanwhile, could be more devastating to the sector in the United States and Europe than expected, some participants said.

Latin America, host for the first time to the tourism conference organized by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), seemed to be sheltered from the worst of the crisis, however. Over the first two months of 2009, the number of travelers in the world has decreased 7.7 percent compared to the same period in 2008, according to the World Tourism Organization. That was worse than the body’s forecast of a drop of 2.0 percent.

“We are unable to see ahead. If we finish the year with a drop of less than five percent we can say we held up OK,” the WTO undersecretary general, Geoffrey Lipman, said.

zil’s tourist promotion agency.

Most of Latin America, like Africa, has mostly been spared the drop in tourism seen elsewhere. Overall, the region saw tourist numbers swell by between three and five percent in January and February, according to the WTO.

Projections were further clouded by the added impact of swine fly, he said. “Who can say whether one tourist or another has canceled a trip because of fears of the flu, or because he couldn’t pay household expenses.”

One point is certain: Mexico has borne the brunt of the effects of the H1N1 virus. Nearempty hotels in the tourist beach resort of Cancun have been forced to offer three years of free vacations to any tourist who might become infected by the disease while staying there. “Right now it looks like a relatively benign epidemic. There was no very violent spread like happened with SARS” in 2003, the head of the WTTC, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, said. But he added that he remained cautious in relation to tourism, because anxieties sparked by the flu virus were dampening travel.

The abandonment of Mexico by tourists could prove a boon to Brazil, however. The nation of samba is the second-biggest tourist destination in Latin America with 5.2 million visitors last year.

“Some tourists used to going to Cancun are now going to Salvador de Bahia on Brazil’s Atlantic coast,” observed Gisela Mendonça, communications director for Embratur, Bra-

Photograph taken May 12, 2009 in Cancun, Mexico of empty lying chairs in Cancun Beach. Hotel occupancy has sunk across the country due to the crisis, and 25 hotels have temporarily closed in and around Cancun, local officials said. Hotels in the area offered free vacations for three years to any tourist catching swine flu while on holiday there in a bid to counter the blow to the industry. AFP/ Luis Acosta

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who inaugurated the world tourism conference late Thursday, urged tourism chiefs to invest in his country, which he said was a haven of “economic stability” while the rest of the globe was suffering. But so far, actors in the sector are playing wait-and-see. Financial transactions “have almost stalled – everybody is waiting for the crisis to pass,” complained a banker specialized in mergers and acquisitions in the tourism business.

Nations demand oceans be included in climate talks MANADO (AFP) – Ministers and officials from more than 70 nations called for oceans to be included on the agenda of global climate change talks aimed at finding a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Delegates at the World Ocean Conference in Indonesia urged joint action to reverse the impact of climate change on the oceans and for the issue to be included in crucial climate talks in Copenhagen in December. The Manado Ocean Declaration calls for cuts to ocean pollution, funding for sustainable development in poor countries, greater research into how climate change affects the ocean and the role oceans play in fighting climate change.

“The declaration represents a political commitment by participating governments to address the common questions of sea level rises, ocean acidification, changing weather patterns and other climate-related phenomena,” U.S. delegation head Mary Glackin said. The non-binding declaration contained no specific commitments for funding or emissions targets and was criticised by some scientists as too weak to combat likely devastating sea rises and the destruction of key species.

Delegates also said pressure from developing countries including the United States, Canada and Australia saw the watering down of key declaration clauses that would have made stronger calls for the inclusion of oceans in a post-Kyoto framework and the provision of funding for poor countries. The outcome of the talks was “disappointingly weak given the severity of the problem,” Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a scientist at Australia’s University of Queensland, told AFP. “If their commitment is weakening then this is all going to unravel,” he said.

Hoegh-Goldberg was the lead author of a report commissioned by environment group WWF this week that said reefs in Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle could disappear by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emis-

sions are not drastically cut.

The collapse of the region, said to be the ocean’s richest ecosystem and home to half the world’s coral, would destroy food and livelihoods for over 100 million people and trigger mass migration to cities and neighbouring countries.

The report is one of a number of gloomy scenarios floated at the five-day conference, billed as the first time nations have gathered to discuss the link between oceans and climate. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told delegates in a recorded statement that nations needed to work harder to conserve oceans and fight climate change. “Changes to our oceans threaten their ability to provide for their families and make a better life for their children,” she said.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned the future of the oceans was a “life and death issue” for humanity.

“Today it is time for the world to hear yet another important message: that we can only survive the 21st century if we are united in caring for and preserving our oceans,” Yudhoyono said.

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009



U.S. lawmakers formally unveil climate change bill

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives formally unveiled sweeping legislation to fight climate change and said the 932-page bill enjoyed broad national support. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will take up the measure on Monday and have legislation ready for a full House vote by the end of next week, the panel’s chairman, Democratic Representative Henry Waxman, said in a statement.

“The American Clean Energy and Security Act” is expected to run headlong into opposition from Republicans, who plan to offer some 449 amendments to the bill, according to a list obtained by AFP. Democrats say the legislation, which creates a cap-and-trade system limiting overall pollution from large industrial sources and then allocating and selling pollution permits, is needed before December global climate

The legislation breaks sharply from President Barack Obama’s goal of auctioning off 100 percent of emissions permits in a bid to raise hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years, which he had hoped to harness to provide a tax credit aimed at offsetting higher energy costs.

talks in Denmark.

The bill “will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, promote America’s energy independence and security, and cut global warming pollution,” said Waxman.

The Waxman-Markey bill aims to soften the blow to consumers and ease the transition for some businesses by allocating about 80-85 percent of so-called “allowances” to utilities, states, households and vulnerable industries.

“In support of these goals, this legislation ensures that consumers and industries in all regions of the country are protected,” said the California Democrat. “This bill marks the dawn of the clean energy age,” said Democratic Representative Ed Markey, who chairs the panel’s subcommittee on energy and the environment, coauthor with Waxman of the sweeping bill.

“I am pleased that we have produced a bill that has widespread support from all regions of the country,” said Markey, who called the measure “a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

The rest will be auctioned.

The bill will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, promote America’s energy independence and security, and cut global warming pollution.

If the House and the Senate – which has also been working on climate change legislation – pass different versions, they would have to craft and approve a compromise bill before Obama can sign it into law.

EU ready to help Latin America combat drug trade

PRAGUE (AFP) – The European Union offered a helping hand to Central and South American countries in their fight against drug trafficking and other crime in a bid to boost security in the region. “The EU has expressed solidarity and a readiness to help tackle the security situation” in the region, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters. European ministers discussed issues ranging from crime to development cooperation with counterparts from Mexico, Chile, Central American countries associated in the System for the Central American Integration (SICA) and South America’s MERCOSUR.

Valdrak Jaentschke Whitaker, Nicaraguan state secretary for external cooperation, called Central America a region “stuck between... the production of drug trafficking and the consumption of drug trafficking.” “We are small vulnerable countries with scarce resources and we have to pump this money into a battle that is not ours,” said Whitaker, whose country now presides over the SICA. “We are a (drug) transit area and this undermines the very fabric of our society and potentially it means these problems might become rife in our society,” he added, calling for more responsibility from other countries including the consumption countries of the EU.

Industrialists say Brazil has put worst of crisis behind them SAO PAULO (AFP) - Industrialists in Brazil’s economic heart of Sao Paulo said the worst of what officials were now calling a “soft recession” was behind them. “The biggest part of the lay-offs has al-

ready happened. Now we are in a residual destruction of jobs because of the crisis, but we believe stability will be seen in May,” the head of economic research for the Federation of Industries in Sao Paulo state, Paulo Fran-

In the meetings held under the Czech EU presidency, running to June 30, the EU also agreed to push ahead with an association agreement with the Central American nations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European commissioner for external relations, called for more progress in work on “free movement of goods, services and investment from the EU to Central America,” which “will help tackle the economic crisis.” “We need to build bridges on both sides,” she added. But Whitaker also pointed out the differences or “asymmetries” between Europe and

Central America that must be taken into account before “a region of stability and prosperity” can be built. “What we were hoping was to see a much more flexible approach on the European side,” he said. He called for a partnership agreement that “recognises that we are different, that each of us has different perspectives, but that we respect these differences,” and added he “wanted a good agreement which is always better than a quick agreement.” The meetings were held a day after the EU’s summit with the Rio Group of 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries ranging from Mexico to Cuba.

cini, said. Early this week, Industry Minister Miguel Jorge admitted Brazil was in a “soft recession” – confounding previous government assurances that such a prolonged contraction would not occur. Official data on gross domestic product for the first quarter are due next month. The last quarter of 2008 showed a 3.6 percent fall in output. The most widely accepted definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Brazil, Jorge said, is in “a soft recession compared to other countries, principally countries with mature economies that are facing deep recession.” He predicted the country would see growth in the second half of 2009 and would finish the year with a two-percent increase in GDP. Official statistics show that unemployment across Brazil grew to 9.0 percent, a half a percentage point higher than for February and its highest level since September 2007.

Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the declaration was significant. “You can’t underestimate how important it is to have such a significant number of countries sign on,” he said.

“This is an important declaration and it will enable strong and positive and constructive actions to be taken.”

But the head of a bloc representing small island nations likely to be the hardest hit by rising sea levels said the agreement was only a small step in long negotiations to replace Kyoto when it expires in 2012. “I don’t think it’s adequate... but I think the pieces of the solution are being laid and that is important at this juncture,” Grenada’s ambassador to the UN and Alliance of Small Island States chairwoman Dessima Williams said.

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‘Vital’ Roland Garros extension plans unveiled The FFT has turned to architect Marc Mimram to expand the site, but has yet to hold discussions with the Paris planning authorities, from whom a building permit must be requested.

Hamilton, 24, claimed his maiden world crown for McLaren in spectacular style last season, however the Englishman’s blossoming career has already been blighted by controversy.

There has also been no contact with local residents, who are strongly opposed to the project.

“To begin with, we will hold discussions with the Paris town hall on the licensing,” continued Gachassin, who said that he expects the project to be approved by December. “In order to have a building permit, we must be authorised to build on this land. The first discussion will be on the cost of the permit and also on Roland Garros.” Gilbert Ysern, director of both the FFT and the Roland Garros tournament, said France’s showcase tennis event “needs to evolve”. “In the last few years we have seen the three other Grand Slam tournaments (the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open) improve their facilities,” he said. “We also have tournaments that provide highquality facilities, such as Shanghai and Madrid. “It’s a fairly vital need. There is a pressing need to grow.”

F1 politics too much for dejected Hamilton LONDON (AFP) – Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted the predominance of politics in Formula One has left him feeling disillusioned with the sport.

PARIS (AFP) – The French Tennis Federation (FFT) unveiled plans for the extension of Roland Garros, home of the French Open.

“This is only a sketch,” said newly-elected FFT head Jean Gachassin at the unveiling of the plans. “Tomorrow, with the Paris planning authorities, we will try to find better solutions.

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

McLaren were fined a record 100 million dollars by the sport’s world ruling body the FIA after they were found guilty of stealing secrets from Ferrari - an affair which came to be known as ‘spy-gate’.

The FFT has turned to architect Marc Mimram to expand the site, but has yet to hold discussions with the Paris planning authorities, from whom a building permit must be requested.

The project, expected to cost 116 million euros, will see the creation of a 14,600-seater arena around 500 metres from the current facilities. The arena will be equipped with a folding roof that will enable play to continue during rain and allow matches to take place at night. “It’s an open stadium that we can cover, not a covered stadium that we can open,” said Mimram.

This year’s Wimbledon championship will be the first to take place since a retractable roof was installed on Center Court.

In another, more recent, affair which came to be known as ‘liar-gate’, Hamilton was found guilty of misleading stewards after the Australian Grand Prix in March - which led to the Briton making a dramatic public apology.

Hamilton says what happened in Australia “was wrong”, but a few months down the line he admits those battles with officialdom have left him disillusioned with the sport he joined as a promising rookie driver in 2007. “It’s got to be a similar feeling to anyone who goes to jail but feels they shouldn’t be behind bars,” Hamilton told The Times.

“That is the feeling I have had, although I know what happened in Australia was wrong.

“I just feel knocked about by it all. I want to be a driver - I am not in the sport to be a politician. “It hasn’t affected my driving. I won’t allow anything to affect my driving. But it affects your life, it affects the way you are. I used to enjoy Formula One and part of that has been taken away from me.”

Hamilton currently sits seventh in the drivers standings on only nine points, 32 shy of championship-leading compatriot Jenson Button. In the meantime some of the sport’s biggest teams, including Ferrari and Renault, are battling the FIA’s plans to introduce controversial budget caps of 40 million pounds (60.7 million dollars) for each of the teams as of the 2010 season.

The FIA laid down the new restrictions as a response to the global financial downturn which has ensured that F1 must rein in its expenditure.

Hamilton added: “I never imagined there would be so much politics when I came into Formula One. It definitely was a shock. There has been too much time taken up with it.

“Unfortunately, it is the way the Formula One world works for some reason. It’s much nicer in the lower categories, where all the people are there just to race and the teams are there just to race.”

Grizzlies’ Miles charged with marijuana possession ST. LOUIS (AFP) – Grizzlies forward Darius Miles, banned 10 games last season for violating the National Basketball Association anti-drug program, has been charged with marijuana possession.

Miles was ticketed for driving with a suspended license, charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and released on 100 dollars bond.

Miles, who had microfracture surgery on his right knee in November of 2006, didn’t play for two years and was waived by Portland when a doctor deemed his injury was career-ending.

The film will begin shooting in October on an island off the eastern U.S. state of Massachusetts.

“They came and destroyed the house when my son was sleeping,” said Shamim Ismail, whose son Azharuddin played the young Salim, elder brother of the film’s central character Jamal.

In 2007 she had more than one run-in with Los Angeles police for drunk driving, and was also charged with cocaine possession after a stint in a rehab clinic.

Eyewitnesses said 11-year-old Azharuddin, known to his family and friends as Azhar, was sleeping when the council workers arrived. They were told to pick up their few belongings and leave immediately.

Boston then took a chance on him last August, before Memphis signed him last January for the second half of the season, a contract that expires at the end of June.

“Now we don’t have any place to go so we’re sitting here right now with our belongings. I hope someone from the government will help us,” she added.

It is the first feature-length role for Lohan since 2007’s “I Know Who Killed Me.” The 22-year-old’s actress’ career hit the rocks soon after following an apparently turbulent patch in her personal life.

Infamous for her nighttime antics and the obsessive paparazzi culture that surrounds her, former Disney child star Lohan was once considered Hollywood’s most promising young actresses.

“Lindsay’s very aware of people’s perceptions of her,” director David Michaels told Daily Variety.

It is the first feature-length role for Lohan since 2007’s “I Know Who Killed Me.” The 22-year-old’s actress’ career hit the rocks soon after following an apparently turbulent patch in her personal life.\

“She’s really committed to doing what she has to in order to change that.”

Metal and tarpaulin sheets were removed by hand but hours later residents of the huts had returned in anticipation of rebuilding their makeshift homes, a source close to the family said.

Azhar seemed unperturbed and was seen playing with chickens as television news

Ol’ Blue Eyes is back: Scorsese to make Sinatra biopic LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese is to bring the life and times of Frank Sinatra to the big screen in the first ever feature film about the legendary entertainer, it was confirmed last week.

Sinatra, who died in 1998 aged 82, was the subject of a 1992 made-for-television movie, where he was portrayed by Philip Casnoff. Ray Liotta also played Sinatra in a cable Known for his flamboyant dunks, Miles was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000 and spent his first two NBA seasons with them before moving to Cleveland.

A team of workers moved into the sprawling Gareeb Nagar shantytown in the Bandra East area of central Mumbai, which had sprung up on government land.

The story, according to Variety, revolves on a grad student working at a scientific outpost on a remote island, where she stumbles upon a community of eccentric characters hiding a secret of a tragedy from years earlier.

Both companies have been developing the Sinatra project after securing the rights to iconic singer and actor’s life, a process that took several years, according to Daily Variety.

Known for his flamboyant dunks, Miles was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000 and spent his first two NBA seasons with them before moving to Cleveland.

MUMBAI (AFP) – The shantytown home of a child star in the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” was torn down as Mumbai authorities cleared an illegal slum, eyewitnesses said.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Actress Lindsay Lohan has joined the cast of independent fantasy comedy “The Other Side,” alongside Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, and singers Dave Matthews and Alanis Morissette, Hollywood press reported.

Universal and Mandalay announced the project in a joint statement. There was no word on which actor would play Sinatra.

Miles was with Boston when he was banned for 10 games last September for a violation of the anti-drug programme at the end of the 2007-08 campaign.



Lohan, Harrelson to shoot ‘Slumdog’ child actor’s indie comedy Mumbai home demolished

Scorsese, 66, who has made several acclaimed films about historical figures during a career bristling with classics such as “Goodfellas”, “Taxi Driver” and “Mean Streets,” will make the film for Universal and Mandalay Pictures.

Miles, 27, was stopped by police for allegedly failing to use turn a signal. Police say a search of his car turned up a small amount of marijuana.

He was traded to Portland in January 2004, and the Trail Blazers signed him to a six-year, 28 million-dollar contract.

Edition 185 • May 19 - Jun 1, 2009

movie “The Rat Pack.”

Sinatra’s daughter Tina said in a statement she was happy that one of the giants of cinema had been given the task of telling her father’s story. “My father had great admiration for the talent of the people he chose to work with, and the talented people who worked with my father had great admiration for him,” Tina Sinatra said in a statement. “It is personally pleasing to me that this paradigm continues with Marty Scorsese at the helm of the Sinatra film.”

Scorsese’s most recent feature film was 2006’s bloody crime thriller “The Departed”, the movie that landed the film-maker a long overdue best director Academy Award. Scorsese followed that up with a concert movie about the Rolling Stones last year and is currently preparing his latest thriller, “Shutter Island”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, for release in October.

Each column, row and box must contain each number from 1 to 9. There is only one solution, wich is shown here.

INDIA, Mumbai : Child star Azharuddin Ismail, from the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, rides his bicycle past his recently demolished shanty in Mumbai. Work to clear illegally-built lean-tos and tarpaulin-covered huts is a regular occurrence, but the authorities readily admit that they can do little to stop them being rebuilt, given the city’s acute housing shortage. AFP/PAL PILLAI

crews and photographers looked on.

Azhar and nine-year-old Rubina Ali, who played the younger version of Jamal’s love interest, Latika, in the film, both still live in Mumbai’s slums and had been told they would be rehoused.

“We were promised that we will get a government flat but we have still not got anything yet,” said Azhar’s mother.

Just 5 minutes from Tamarindo.



The Journal Edition # 185  

The Journal Edition # 185