The Tico Times to display photo exhibit at Cultural Center

first_imgRelated posts:Flamenco superstars, Soda Stereo tribute, and other happenings around Costa Rica Art fair, Renaissance artist, and other happenings around Costa Rica Bullfights, punk bands, and other happenings around Costa Rica Festival of Light, Egyptian dancers, and other happenings around Costa Rica “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”– Robert CapaOf all the visual arts, photojournalism is by far the most thrilling to create. You don’t see sculptors darting through crowds. It’s rare that a painter charges a celebrity with an easel. There’s a lot to be said for patiently drawing with pencil and pastel, but photojournalists are outdoor people, treating the entire world as their canvas. Their job is intensely physical: They climb streetlamps, lean out of moving cars, dangle over balustrades, and crawl across gravel – anything to “get the shot.”We should know: The Tico Times has been photographing daily life in Costa Rica since 1956.Two weeks ago, we turned our office in Barrio Amón into a makeshift gallery for the Art City Tour. Droves of people showed up and perused our archives. We chatted with visitors, played some music, and shared some sangria. It was a really fun night.But that was just a warm-up. This month, we are overjoyed to present our new exhibit, “58 Years of Costa Rica, Through Our Eyes and Yours.” We are happier still to collaborate with the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center in Los Yoses, one of the most distinguished educational institutions in the country. The exhibition opens to the public Thursday, Dec. 4, and continues through the end of January.This is a brand-new endeavor for The Tico Times, and we hope you’ll stop by. While the display in our offices incorporated decades of photos and covers, the Cultural Center will also showcase the finest work of our current staff photographers. You’ll see street scenes in San José, small-town life in the countryside, celebrations, protests, portraits, landscapes, action shots, and homages to the 2014 World Cup.The Tico Times staff has long believed that photography is more than a storytelling device. A great photograph often outlives the article it illustrates; the best photographs require no captions at all. Capturing a moment through the crosshairs of a telephoto lens is an audacious craft, and if one of our photographers has bumped your shoulder or stomped your foot in a crowd, we hope this exhibit will partly explain why. We love snapping those images, and we love to bring them to you every day. To celebrate the end of an extraordinary year, we look forward to sharing some our favorite photographs at the Cultural Center.So take some time off this December and see our work – and as ever, thanks for reading!“58 Years of Costa Rica, Through Our Eyes and Yours” will be displayed Dec. 4 through Jan. 30 at the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, San Pedro. Free. Info: Cultural Center website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Guatemalan exdictator Ríos Montt to undergo new pyschiatric tests to determine whether

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — A Guatemalan court on Thursday ordered former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt be admitted to a public hospital to undergo new psychiatric tests to determine whether he is intellectually fit to face trial for genocide.“The accused José Efraín Ríos Montt’s admission to the National Mental Health Hospital Federico Mora is ordered for Saturday, July 25 of this year, at 9:00 local time,” said Judge María Eugenia Castellanos, who presides the court.The former dictator must remain hospitalized until August 3 “in order to determine with medical evaluation his medical and physical condition,” the court ruled.The judges had scheduled Thursday as the start of the second trial against Ríos Montt for genocide, but oral arguments were delayed because of the prosecutor’s request to send him to the hospital for testing.The court summoned the parties for August 4 to “learn the results of the test.”The defense tried to change the decision by requesting the defendant’s admission to a private hospital, but the request was turned down by the judges.“The ruling goes against my client’s health,” because being transferred to a hospital could cause him irreversible damage, Ríos Montt’s attorney Jaime Hernández told AFP.Read all The Tico Times Guatemala coverageJosé Rodríguez, former intelligence chief during Ríos Montt’s de facto government, will be tried at the same time. Rodríguez arrived in court in a wheelchair after undergoing surgery on his left knee.Ríos Montt, 89, is again facing justice after Guatemala’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest legal body, annulled an 80-year prison sentence ordered on May 10, 2013. The high court alleged procedural errors and ordered a new trial.A new hearing was set for January 5, but the military’s defense requested that Judge Jeannette Valdez, a member of the court, be removed from the case for having issued an opinion about genocide in an academic thesis in 2004.Ríos Montt and Rodríguez, who was absolved during the first trial, are accused of killing 1,771 Ixil Maya indigenous people in the country’s north during the dictatorship which ruled the country between 1982 and 1983.Ríos Montt’s régime is considered the bloodiest of Guatemala’s armed conflict, which left more than 200,000 people killed and disappeared between 1960 and 1996, according to a UN report.Ríos Montt’s mental healthThe request by the prosecutor’s office to transfer Ríos Montt to a mental hospital for new medical tests was in reaction to a July 7 forensic report which declared him unfit to face trial.Hilda Pineda, the prosecutor in the case, told AFP she believes the evaluation was inadequate because the former ruler was sedated with medicine he had taken.Because of that, judges also ordered urine tests to detect three medications that could affect the octogenarian former military leader’s mental state.The prosecutor said that in order to guarantee a new, impartial evaluation of Ríos Montt’s mental condition, a new team must be set up with several specialists, among them psychiatrists and psychologists.Héctor Reyes, attorney for the Center for Legal Action in Human Rights, which is an adjunct prosecutor in the case, said it was necessary to carry out other mental test before deciding to suspend the trial.Luis Rosales, one of Ríos Montt’s defense attorneys, criticized the request and said the new tests must be performed at the former ruler’s home, not at the hospital.“The request is legally and logically unfounded. What matters here is compliance with the law, and the (official forensic) report must prevail,” he said.According to Rosales, the law that created Guatemala’s National Forensic Science Institute, which issued the initial report, established that the institution’s duty is to “settle such doubts and produce scientific medical reports that are above any other document.”In theory, the new report ordered by the court will be decisive in determining whether the former dictator can or cannot face the new trial for genocide, the first against a Guatemalan high official for this crime. Facebook Comments Related posts:Former Guatemalan police chief to stand trial for 1980 Spanish Embassy fire that killed 37 Guatemalan ex-police officers accused of assassinating Myrna Mack investigator to finally stand trial Guatemala high court paves way for new genocide trial against ex-dictator Ríos Montt 26 lawyers have been murdered in Guatemala in the past 3 yearslast_img read more

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This week in the Peace Corps Bricks to Bread – A success

first_imgRelated posts:This week in the Peace Corps: Celebrating a scout anniversary This week in the Peace Corps: Building sustainable recycling projects This week in the Peace Corps: Connecting with the community, one goal at a time This week in the Peace Corps: Cooking like a Costa Rican In July 2017, Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) Brian was introduced to Nancy Fitzimons Alvarado, a 1989 Peace Corps Volunteer and the co-founder of the non-profit organization, Bricks to Bread.Brian partnered up with Bricks to Bread with the hopes of bringing a great — and delicious — opportunity to his community. Their mission is to support Costa Rican women entrepreneurs develop a sustainable source of income for themselves and their families.They work with local partners like the Peace Corps, bring volunteers from abroad to help build a brick oven and work alongside the women and their communities. The outdoor brick ovens are used to make and sell pizzas and fresh baked goods to each community. After almost a year of back-and-forth communication and planning, PCV Brian and Nancy found a more than deserving person to be the organization’s second ever oven recipient, Daysi. Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa RicaIn July 2018, a crew of wonderful volunteers from the United States spent two weeks of their summer helping build the oven. While the work was rewarding, what the group cherished the most was making relationships here in Costa Rica that will last a lifetime.The volunteers were also able to understand better the day-to-day life of a Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer, as Brian was there helping every step of the way.Every day, rain or shine, volunteers and local community members worked to make this family’s dream a reality. All of their efforts helped make a real impact for a family and community in rural Costa Rica. While volunteers helped build the oven, they also shared ideas, stories, jokes and food. They also built a bridge between two cultures and all participants left with a deeper understanding and respect for their fellow mankind. Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa RicaThese exchanges highlight the importance of volunteerism and community development on the international level. It all boils down to one thing, world friendship. Bricks to Bread is already planning their next build for early 2019 in the Talamanca region. The organization is looking forward to continuing strong relationships with Peace Corps Volunteers and changing lives with a brick and a loaf.“If pictures could tell our story, this one says so much of what Bricks to Bread is meant to accomplish: build relationships and change lives,” said Nancy Fitzimons Alvarado. “The special relationships that all 14 of us volunteers gained during the build will last a lifetime. The cultural experiences we encountered has opened our eyes and deepened our love and respect for our own culture and that of our fellow Costa Ricans.“The ability to give back to humanity and help another fulfill their dreams is priceless. We are all changed and look forward to our next adventure, our next build.” Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa RicaFor potential recipients and to learn more:Nancy Fitzimons AlvaradoFounder and President, Bricks to Bread Internationalinfo@brickstobread.orgwww.brickstobread.orgThe Peace Corps photo series in The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), a proud financial supporter of Peace Corps Volunteer projects nationwide. Learn more here. To donate to support the Peace Corps Costa Rica, visit the official donation page. Volunteers’ last names and community names are withheld from these publications, per Peace Corps policy.Connect with the Peace Corps Costa Rica on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Courtesy of CRUSA Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Buchón cantina Spritz cocktails to dine for

first_imgBuchón was the first place I tasted the Aperol Spritz, months before it became fashionable around San José.In fact, I tried it before they even officially opened their doors in May 2017. Their first guests were friends, and friends of friends, like me. The memory of that first Aperol Spritz is so vivid that I can still taste the cocktail’s bubbly tanginess.The Spritz is fizzy because of prosecco — Italian white wine that’s usually sparkling — and you can keep it casual and mix it with some other Italian aperitivos like the Aperol, Campari or a digestive like the Lazzaroni… or you could misbehave with some classic recipe and add it to an American Negroni.“A Spritz is a cocktail with low-alcohol. You could use any amaro, or almost any liquor. There’s not a fixed formula, you can bend the rules,” said owner and chef, Luis Protti. “A little prosecco can water down the drink, and make it refreshing and bubbly.”Those bubbly memories also include the bocas I ordered: a cheese and meat platter, toast and pâté and some olives.It’s easy to write about drinking without having to write about the food at most bars, but I can’t explain the Buchón experience without mentioning the food. I eat a lot in there — and I mean it in actual quantity, not frequency. Photo courtesy Diego Matarrita“We still don’t know if we cook food to drink or we mix drinks as an excuse to eat,” Protti saidSo, last time I went over for a drink I asked for the steak and fries — they recommend you add a fried egg over most of their hot dishes and I usually like to follow sound advice. But I didn’t order alone: I invited two friends who had never visited Buchón.One of them ordered their special meatballs in tomato sauce over fries, wisely accompanied by the fried egg topping. The other friend asked for chorizo and toast with Brie cheese and homemade red onion jam. We shared the whole feast, which later included an order of fries and fresh burrata with bread.Then came the cocktails: the now famous Aperol Spritz, a gin and tonic, and, for me, a Lazzaroni Spritz. The latter is a not-yet-on-the-menu cocktail that uses prosecco and soda just like the Aperol Spritz, but the Aperol is replaced with Lazzaroni amaretto and tangerine juice.All three are delicious to savor while dining.Right after we finished eating, we continued drinking some of their most popular cocktails. The waiter, Javier, brought an Americano, an old-fashioned and a Negroni, all of them prepared with Protti’s three-ingredient rule — classic cocktails don’t need anything more than the best few ingredients, he insists.I seldom complain out loud that I don’t like that much the Negroni but this time I said it: it’s too sweet and too bitter. I was hoping for the waiter to frown, but all he did was bring prosecco to mix it with. The negroni at Buchón (Photo courtesy of Diego Matarrita)“It’s called Negroni sbagliato,” Protti later said, adding that it translates as “imperfect” or “incorrect” Negroni.Protti hopes they will have five new cocktails over the next few weeks. Even though not all of them will have bubbles, they were all designed to be the perfect companion to a hearty meal with a fried egg on top.“We want more bubbles,” Protti said about Buchón’s mission.“Maybe, for generations, we have kept them for special occasions. Now we realize there is a whole range of bubbles we can’t drink whenever we want to.”I’m not speaking for every palate, but for me and my friends, bubbles were all we needed to have a lovely dinner with plenty of Buchón’s greatest dishes.My take on fizzy cocktails is that they are great for dining, that’s about it.Natalia Diaz is a freelance journalist. She likes her reading the same way she likes her music: with a side of gin tonic. Natalia just started this new liquid diet and she’s writing all about it. You can follow her on Twitter @natdiaze. Facebook Comments Related posts:Can it still be agua de sapo if El Portón Rojo mixes it with rum? Cabra Negra’s warm rompope foams its way until Christmas Two winning drinks with Costa Rica’s best bartender at Mil948 A hangover, brunch and a classic bloody mary at Mazalast_img read more

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Bosnian police arrests 7 war crimes suspects

first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Over 100,000 people were killed during the war, which also turned half of the country’s population of 4.3 million into refugees.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) – Authorities say police have detained seven former Bosnian Army soldiers who are suspected of having killed 20 Bosnian Serb civilians during the country’s 1992-95 war.A statement from the prosecutor’s office said Friday the suspects attacked a group of civilians as they were fleeing fighting in 1992. The statement describes the killings of mainly women, children and elderly people, as the worst wartime killing of Serbs in eastern Bosnia.last_img read more

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UN chief urges all nations to help end Ebola in West Africa

first_img Comments   Share   UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday that as long as there is one Ebola case in West Africa “all countries are at risk” and urged all nations to support the final battles to wipe out the deadly disease in Sierra Leone and Guinea.“We are on the home stretch now and what happens now is critical,” the U.N. chief told a General Assembly meeting on efforts to end the Ebola epidemic that has killed over 11,100 people mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since it was first reported in March 2014. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Liberia, once the worst affected country, is now Ebola free, but Ban warned that in Sierra Leone and Guinea “the battle has not yet been won” and “any lapse in vigilance could allow the virus to spread.”Dr. David Nabarro, the U.N. Ebola chief, told the assembly that the priority is to ensure the outbreak ends as soon as possible “which will take several weeks and may take a number of months.”“But everybody should be ready in case the disease recurs and needs to be controlled, especially in the coming 12 months,” he said.The secretary-general said U.N. agencies who will be taking over responsibility for tackling Ebola as the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response known as UNMEER scales down “will need considerable resources to go the distance and support recovery” in the three hardest-hit countries.UNMEER’s acting chief Peter Jan Graaff said UNMEER’s Mali office closed on March 31, its Liberia office already handed over operations to the U.N. country team and the Sierra Leone office is expected to end operations by the end of June.“UNMEER could complete its transition by July 31 and be closed by the end of August,” he said. Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories If the situation deteriorates, however, Graaff said, the timeline could be changed “to ensure that the U.N.’s political leverage and convening power is maintained.”Ban said he will convene an International Ebola Recovery Conference in New York on July 10 to mobilize resources to start early recovery in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.“We must also translate lessons learned from this Ebola outbreak into stronger national and international systems to prevent and respond to health crises,” he said.Last week, the World Health Organization’s decision-making body examined how the response could have been improved to reduce suffering, deaths and other consequences including serious economic damage. Ban has also commissioned a high-level panel on improving the Global Response to Health Crises led by Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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Auto sales plummet in Brazil hamstringing key industry

first_imgIn this June 11, 2015 photo, new cars sit parked in rows at the General Motors car park in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. Behind the worst crisis in more than a decade for the world’s fourth-largest auto market is the “uncertainty surrounding the country’s sluggish economy, reduced access to credit and a drop in consumer confidence,” said Rodrigo Baggi, an auto industry analyst at Sao Paulo’s Tendencias Consultancy. “Purchases of nonessential durable goods like cars, motorcycles and electrical appliances are being postponed.” (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine) SAO PAULO (AP) — Plummeting auto sales in Brazil amid the nation’s worst economic crisis in a decade have battered the industry that makes up one-fourth of the country’s industrial gross domestic product and has led to widespread layoffs and mandatory leaves.At least 6,000 workers in auto factories have been laid off since January, officials say, and another 20,000 put on furlough. Those add to thousands of jobs lost last year. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “I saw my dream crumble,” he said. “I started out with a lot of hope and now I am unemployed, in debt and without any hope that one day things will get better. I have put my apartment and car up for sale and my daughter won’t be able to study in a private school anymore.”Mercedes-Benz said in a statement that “the sharp drop in bus and truck sales” forced it last month to rescind the contracts of 500 workers who had been furloughed several months earlier.Workers at General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen also have been forced to take leaves.Rafael Marques, president of the Metalworkers Union that represents the Sao Paulo area, said he thinks “the worst has already passed and things are beginning to come under control, as we negotiate job stability agreements with Volkswagen, Ford, Scania, Mercedes and others.”___Associated Press video journalist Alexandre Rampazzo contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Additionally, Fenabrave, an association of auto dealers, said 250 of the country’s 8,000 dealerships have gone out of business this year, resulting in 12,000 lost jobs.Behind the worst crisis in more than a decade for the world’s fourth-largest auto market is the “uncertainty surrounding the country’s sluggish economy, reduced access to credit and a drop in consumer confidence,” said Rodrigo Baggi, an auto industry analyst at Sao Paulo’s Tendencias Consultancy. “Purchases of nonessential durable goods like cars, motorcycles and electrical appliances are being postponed.”It’s another sign of the serious trouble facing the Brazilian economy, which is forecast by most economists to contract by more than 1 percent this year, with consumer spending dwindling, unemployment hitting a five-year high and inflation soaring about 2 percentage points above the government’s target ceiling of 6.5 percent.The Brazilian Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association estimates that vehicle production will drop to 2.6 million units in 2015, about 18 percent less than last year’s output as a result of the lower demand, said the association’s president, Luiz Moan. Comments   Share   That’s a severe blow to automakers, who for a decade have enjoyed booming auto sales in Brazil and consider the nation vital to their overall bottom lines. Carmakers maintain a 10-percent profit margin in the South American nation, as compared to the global average of about 3 percent. But it’s also putting stress on a massive supply-chain industry that employs more than 200,000 people.Moan said that during the last 12 months, roughly 10 percent of the automakers’ labor force of 138,000 had been dismissed — many taking early retirements offered by auto companies trying to cut costs.Marcos Aurelio Prado Araujo, a welder for the past decade at a Mercedes truck and bus chassis plant in the Sao Paulo suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo, where much of Brazil’s auto industry is centered, was given his pink slip in late May.He said that he and his wife, Erika, who also worked on the bus assembly line at Mercedes, brought home the equivalent of $3,500 a month — enough to buy a used car, put a down payment on a small apartment and enroll their daughter in a private school.But late last year, his wife was fired and in May he received a telegram from Mercedes Benz saying that he’d lost his job, too. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Men’s health affects baby’s health too Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

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Drinks on us Sheratons celebratory shout

first_imgSheraton on the Park celebrated a successful year and the end of a well-timed refurbishment at the launch of its newly kit out Conservatory Bar on Wednesday night. Key sponsors and partners supped on delicate canapés and fruity cocktails while grooving to pianist Gregg Arthur and watching Yves saint Laurent make up artists paint the faces of some lucky guests.Overlooking Sydney’s Hyde Park, the Conservatory Bar’s AUD250,000 refurbishment realised the vision of international designer Joseph Pang, its completion heralding an end to the hotel’s AUD40 million refurbishment.“This is only one piece of the puzzle, but it’s the last piece,” Starwood Pacific Hotels regional vice president and Sheraton on the Park managing director Sean Hunt said of the bar’s completion.Mr Hunt told e-Travel Blackboard the “timing was perfect” for the hotel to refurbish given the global financial crisis (GFC).“90 per cent of Sheraton’s refurbishment was completed in 2009 and then the GFC happened and we paused,” he said“We completed the refurbishment this year, working from the top down…[from] the roof top to the tea lounge.” According to Mr Hunt with Sydney currently in such strong demand, Sydney hotels which hadn’t already undergone renovation would find it hard to do so.“We’ve had a great year,” Mr Hunt said, telling e-Travel Blackboard together with the Westin, Sheraton on the Park is leading Sydney’s five star hotels, running at over 90 per cent occupancy.“Room rates are growing with the compression of Sydney,” he said and added that as the trend looks to continue, Starwood have set their sights on expanding their portfolio.“We would dearly love more hotels.” Earlier this year, also part of its refurbishment, Sheraton on the Park was one of the first in Starwood’s global portfolio to introduce state-of-the-art Cisco TelePresence technology allowing guests and corporate clients to meet their overseas partners in a true-to-life setting. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Former Ten News anchor Tracey Spicer, Sean Hunt and Starwood Sales Director Daniella Tonettolast_img read more

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