Costa Rica News 6-4-15 posted by on June 4, 2015
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FIFA: Blazer details bribe taking; Warner says he “fears for his life”

June 4th, 2015 (VOA) U.S. court records unsealed Wednesday revealed that Charles Blazer,  a former FIFA executive committee member admitted to accepting bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups in November 2013.

Blazer, a U.S. citizen who spent two decades as one of the world’s most powerful sports officials, secretly pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in New York as part of an agreement with U.S. prosecutors, according to the partially redacted transcript of the hearing.

Blazer told a U.S. judge that he and other members of the global football governing body’s executive committee accepted bribes in conjunction with the choice of France as the host of the 1998 World Cup host.

The American said he also accepted bribes over the 2010 event awarded to South Africa.

Warner makes explosive allegations

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Route 27 closed after major landslide; engineers had warned of danger

June 4th, 2015 ( Route 27, which connects the western suburbs of San Jose to the Pacific port of Caldera, remained closed Thursday morning after a major landslide Wednesday afternoon.  The highway is an important route connecting San Jose to the country’s Pacific coast.

The landslide occurred at kilometer 45 after heavy rains Wednesday afternoon.

The National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME) has repeatedly warned of the risk of landslides on the highway, including on May 24th when engineers specifically warned of the hazard on the stretch between kilometers 38 and 48 where yesterday’s landslide occurred.

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Costa Rica’s best coffee comes from this hillside in Alajuela

LOURDES DE CIRRÍ, Alajuela – Large burlap sacks of coffee, green and roasted, covered the kitchen floor in Antonio Barrantes’ home in Lourdes de Cirrí, north of Naranjo, Alajuela.

He opened one bag to sift the jade-colored unroasted beans through his hands. These pale green beans, known as “oro” in Spanish, or gold, might well be worth their weight in the precious metal. They were ranked as the best coffee in Costa Rica in May. A trophy saying so sat on the dining room table.

Barrantes, still wearing his floppy canvas hat from outside, apologized for the mess and cleared some room to sit in his living room looking out over Costa Rica’s Central Valley below. Two small dogs, Choco and Tonkey, flitted in and out the door as Barrantes explained what makes his coffee so special. To start, he lives in Lourdes de Cirrí.

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Costa Rica reports fewer cases of dengue this year

The number of dengue cases in the first five months of this year in Costa Rica dropped by 50.4 percent compared with figures from last year, the Health Ministry reported.

From Jan. 1 to May 23 the ministry registered a total of 1,254 cases, compared to 2,528 cases during the same period last year.

Coastal areas are the most affected, with Guanacaste registering 448 cases, Puntarenas with 303 and Limón with 145. San José and Alajuela saw 132 cases, followed by Heredia with 72 and Cartago with 18.

The number of dengue cases usually spikes during Costa Rica’s rainy season, which begins in May and lasts until November. Health officials are continuing to ask residents to remove tires, vases, bottles and any other objects that collect stagnant water. These objects are the main breeding habitat for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a carrier of the dengue virus, and the Aedes albopictus, which transmits both dengue and the Chikungunya virus, a disease that causes symptoms similar to dengue, but more severe, and that can last for up to 10 months.

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ICE to stop printing monthly bills

Aug. 1, customers of the state-owned Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE-kölbi) will no longer receive printed bills for landline phone service, Internet and cable TV.

Instead, ICE will send electronic invoices, and the company is asking customers to register email addresses at its website: or at any kölbi store, ICE location or via the customer service hotline 1193. Customers also can call ICE’s automated system at 1187.

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President Luis Guillermo Solís confirms new culture minister

After his weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday President Luis Guillermo Solís confirmed Sylvie Durán Salvatierra as the new culture and youth minister and appointed current Film Center Director Max Valverde Soto as the new vice minister.

Durán has been filling in as temporary minister since May 12 following the scandal involving the failed edition of this year’s International Arts Festival (FIA 2015), which cost ex-minister Elizabeth Fonseca and vice ministers Alfredo Chavarría and Luis Carlos Amador their posts.

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