Costa Ricas biggest crime stories of 2015

first_imgBesides seeing a disappointingrise in its homicide rate over the last year, Costa Rica has been the site of major drug busts, a first-of-its-kind sex tourism case and the rise of a mysterious serial killer. The following were the country’s biggest crime stories of 2015:1. After three trials, Ann Patton finally ‘not guilty’ Ann Patton is comforted by friend Peter Delisi on Monday morning, Sept. 7, after a court found her not guilty of murdering her husband in 2010. It was her third trial, and prosecutors promise an appeal. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesU.S. expat Ann Patton came to Costa Rica with her husband, John Felix Bender, in 2000 looking to establish a wildlife refuge for injured animals near the remote community of Florida de Barú, in the canton of Pérez Zeledón. But that dream warped into a nightmare of illness, paranoia and ultimately the death of Bender from a gunshot wound to the neck in 2010.Patton, the only other person who was in the couple’s opulent jungle mansion at the time of Bender’s death, was charged with murder by the Prosecutor’s Office, starting a saga of trials, appeals, and prison sentences that culminated in her second acquittal in September. Patton has always maintained that her husband committed suicide.She was first acquitted in 2013, but an appellate court ordered a retrial that was held in May 2014. The 2014 trial found Patton guilty and she was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Patton served nine months in El Buen Pastor prison in Desamparados, south of San José, before an appellate court in Cartago threw out the guilty verdict in February and ordered another retrial that started on Aug. 10.On Sept. 7, the three-judge panel ruled that there was reasonable doubt of Patton’s guilt and ordered her released.The Prosecutor’s Office vowed to appeal the three-judge panel’s decision but legal experts said a fourth trial was extremely unlikely, citing constitutional limits on a prosecutor’s power to pursue cases past two appeals. According to a 2006 decision by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, “the state cannot act as a persecutor ad infinitum.”2. ‘Cuba Dave’ becomes first person charged for promoting sex tourism Dave Strecker, 65, was arrested on Sept. 4 and thrown into preventive detention. Now, more than two months later, he could finally find out his legal fate. (Courtesy of OIJ)David Strecker, known widely by his nickname “Cuba Dave,” is the first person in Costa Rica’s history to be arrested under a little known 2013 law that calls for punishment of anyone who promotes Costa Rica as a destination for sex tourism.Strecker publishes tips online for would-be sex tourists looking for women in Latin America and the Caribbean.The Key West native was arrested on Sept. 4 while attempting to depart Juan Santamaría International Airport just north of the capital. OIJ investigators, who had been following Strecker for nearly a year according to a spokeswoman, confiscated a laptop and a digital camera with pictures of women at the time of his detention.Prostitution is legal here, and a fierce debate has ensued in the expat community over Strecker’s arrest. Critics argue the new law is unconstitutional. Some point out that he was publishing blog posts and pictures on his own website with servers registered in the United States.Strecker is being held in San Sebastián prison, one of the country’s most overcrowded detention centers, located just south of San José. If he goes to trial and is convicted, Strecker could face four to eight years in jail under the previously untested law, which is part of Costa Rica’s Human Trafficking Law.3. Costa Rica busts fishmonger for allegedly running cocaine Dozens of law enforcement agents participate in seven raids across Costa Rica targeting a suspected drug trafficker on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. The Tico TimesIt was an open secret that “Macho Coca” was a drug kingpin in Limón. But the alleged cocaine runner, who is wanted by the DEA, always managed to stay one step ahead of the law — until October. Police raided one of his multi-million-dollar properties on Oct. 8 and arrested him on charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute in Costa Rica, and international trafficking. He is also under investigation for bribing police officers and money laundering.“Macho Coca,” whose real name is Gilbert Bell, 52, allegedly used a network of docks and fishermen, and bribed public officials to build himself a drug trafficking empire. According to law enforcement officials, Macho Coca made a name for himself on the narco scene by buying cocaine shipments found at Limón’s infamous Dos Aguas. Spanish for “two waters,” Dos Aguas is a spot along Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast where the ocean currents merge, carrying in floating objects from sea. Drug traffickers on the run from authorities often toss bales of cocaine overboard. These packages frequently wash ashore at Dos Aguas, where they are picked up and sold.4. Italian mafia cocaine ring busted Costa Rican and Italian agents searched yuca and pineapple packing plants on Oct. 14, 2015 as part of a crackdown on the alleged ‘ndrangheta cocaine trafficking ring. The Tico TimesA few months after U.S. law enforcement shut down a cocaine smuggling operation run out of a family-owned pizzeria in Queens, New York, another slice fell when Costa Rican authorities — in conjunction with Italian police — arrested seven suspects tied to the same smuggling network in October.Chief Prosector Jorge Chavarría said the alleged traffickers hid the cocaine in shipments of cassava and pineapple from Costa Rica. The prosecutor said the organization was working to establish markets in Europe for the cocaine, but did not say where the cocaine shipped though Costa Rica originated.Authorities linked at least four previous drug seizures to the ‘ndrangheta operation in Costa Rica, including a 3.5-metric-ton shipment of cocaine found on Nov. 28, 2014 at the port of Rotterdam in a container of cassava that came from Costa Rica.5. San José’s new serial killer After the body of Franciny Bermúdez Romero was found on the bank of this river by the Children’s Museum in northern San José in September, 2015, investigators said they again began to consider another victim found in the area in April of that year as linked to the serial killer. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesAs many as nine victims have been attributed to a serial killer on the prowl in San José in one of the most disturbing crime stories of 2015. Targeting drug addicts and sex workers, the suspected serial killer has been dubbed “Mata Indigentes” — Killer of the Poor. The suspect is believed to be the second-most prolific serial killer in Costa Rican history.All of the victims have been down-and-out women, some of them prostitutes. Plus, most have spent significant time away from their families, complicating an investigation that has had to rely mostly on addicts and homeless people in the city’s infamous drug bunkers to get leads on suspects.In November authorities said they had identified a suspect connected to at least three of the killings and were working to determine whether the suspect might be connected to others. Facebook Comments Related posts:Drug traffickers lure Costa Rica’s struggling coastal fishermen with offers of easy money Following recent crime wave, Solís announces new investment in San Carlos police force Canadian longtime expat goes missing in Costa Rica under ‘strange’ circumstances Costa Rica’s top 5 political fiascos of 2015last_img read more

Korean Englishlanguage channel Arirang TV has joi

first_imgKorean English-language channel Arirang TV has joined the Conference of International Broadcaster’s Audience Research Services (CIBAR) as a full member.CIBAR currently has 31 full, associated and individual members, including the BBC, DW, NHK and Voice of America.The organisation brings together professional researchers from public service international broadcasting organizations to promote the use of audience and media research as a tool to help them better understand their audiences, their impact and their effectiveness.last_img read more

DerryFacebookMissing Charlene Gallagher has been f

first_img DerryFacebookMissing Charlene Gallagher has been foundPSNI FOYLEsay familysay her family Missing Charlene Gallagher has now been found, say her familyTHE family of a missing Derry teenager say she has now been found.Last night, police issued a Facebook appeal to try and trace Charlene Gallagher. Officers said they were “becoming increasingly concerned about a young lady who we are now treating as a HIGH RISK MISSING PERSON.“If anyone knows of the whereabouts of Charlene Gallagher please phone us on 101 reference 1164 of 14/12/18.”However, her family later replied to the PSNI Foyle Facebook post to say Charlene “has been found”.Missing Charlene Gallagher has been found, say her family was last modified: December 17th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags:center_img ShareTweetlast_img read more

Inherited form of rickets improves more with new injectable medicine than conventional

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 25 2019Burosumab, a new injectable medicine to treat X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), an inherited form of rickets, demonstrates superior improvements in rickets and other outcomes compared with conventional therapy in an international, phase 3 clinical trial in children. Results from what investigators called the first head-to-head study comparing the new drug with conventional treatment for this rare disease will be presented Sunday at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, La.”These improvements with burosumab have the potential to change the lives of children with XLH as they grow,” said study principal investigator Erik Imel, M.D., associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Ind.XLH affects about 3,000 children and 12,000 adults in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates. Typically, XLH causes rickets, bowed legs, bone pain and short stature.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifidaNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenPeople with XLH have high levels of the hormone fibroblast growth factor 23, or FGF23, which causes low blood levels of phosphorus (hypophosphatemia). Conventional therapy has long been multiple daily doses of oral phosphate and active vitamin D (e.g. calcitriol), according to Imel.The study included 61 XLH-affected children ages 1 to 12 years who previously received conventional therapy with oral phosphate and active vitamin D but still had evidence of rickets on X-rays. Patients were randomly assigned to continue this conventional therapy or switch to receive burosumab injections given every two weeks. Radiologists who were unaware of participants’ drug assignments reviewed their X-rays and assigned a score for improvement of rickets.By 40 weeks of treatment, that improvement was more than two times greater for the burosumab group than the conventional therapy group, Imel noted. Substantial healing of rickets occurred in 72 percent of participants receiving burosumab (21 of 29), the researchers reported, versus only 6 percent in the conventional therapy group (two of 32). Burosumab also reportedly led to greater improvements in leg deformities, height and distance walked in a 6-minute test, as well as larger increases in serum phosphorus and active vitamin D levels.”We now know the magnitude of benefit from the new medication, burosumab, versus the prior approach with conventional therapy,” Imel said. “This information is critical for doctors making treatment decisions for their patients with XLH.”In April 2018, the FDA approved burosumab, which has the brand name Crysvita, for patients with XLH ages 1 year and older. Burosumab binds and inhibits FGF23, according to its manufacturer, Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., which funded the new study in partnership with Kyowa Kirin International of Japan. The study took place in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Japan and Korea.Source: read more

Pittsburgh professors receive grant to study new anticorrosion treatments on lead pipes

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 8 2019Two professors at the University of Pittsburgh received an NSF Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant for $175,000 to study the environmental effects of new anti-corrosion treatments currently being used on Pittsburgh’s lead pipes.Like many cities across the country, Pittsburgh’s water system still uses some lead pipes, and over time, those can corrode, leaching lead into the drinking water system. To combat this, the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) is introducing orthophosphate into Pittsburgh’s water system, which will coat the insides of the lead pipes and help prevent the harmful corrosion. PWSA produces approximately 70 million gallons of treated drinking water per day, which meets all EPA Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Orthophosphate is a food-grade additive that has been shown to be more effective than the soda ash and lime previously used for PWSA’s corrosion control.Sarah Haig, PhD, assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering with a secondary appointment in Environmental and Occupational Health at the Graduate School of Public Health, and Emily Elliott, PhD, associate professor of Geology and Environmental Science in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory, will evaluate water samples provided by the PWSA. They will assess and monitor changes in the microbial ecology, water chemistry and nutrient availability in the water collected from pipes and urban streams connected to the system.The grant was awarded April 1, 2019, and the project is expected to last about one year.Orthophosphate has been approved by the EPA and used in drinking water systems across the world, but there is a need to study phosphate levels in the environment.Related StoriesSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repair”Pittsburgh’s drinking water pipe system loses more than 25 million gallons per day due to leaks and other water discharges, so it’s important to understand what happens if orthophosphate enters the groundwater and surface water” says Dr. Haig. “This grant will allow us to set a baseline and evaluate any changes that the added orthophosphate causes to streams connected to the system.””NSF RAPID grants help researchers respond when data needs to be collected urgently to address an important scientific issue” said Matt Kane, a program director at the National Science Foundation, which funded this research. “Dr. Haig and her team need to respond immediately to be able to understand the impact of the orthophosphate additions on Pittsburgh’s aquatic ecosystems.”Though PWSA’s larger goal of replacing all of the lead pipes is already underway, it will take years to complete. In the meantime, the addition of orthophosphate is expected to reduce lead levels in drinking water across the system. PWSA began feeding orthophosphate to the drinking water on April 2nd.”This project will help answer fundamental ecological questions about how leaking infrastructure can impact nutrient cycling and aquatic ecosystems in urban streams,” says Dr. Haig. “Not only will this project reveal the treatment’s immediate effects on Pittsburgh’s ecosystems, but it will also provide insights that will benefit other cities implementing this treatment.”last_img read more

A work schedule patching approach for improved nursing home care

first_imgKossek and her co-authors including Purdue Krannert School of Management doctoral student Lindsay Mechem Rosokha and Carrie Leana, the George Love Professor of Organizations and Management at the University of Pittsburgh, examined work-life balance issues and schedules for eight nursing home facilities in the United States. Their work appears online in Work and Occupations. The study was partially funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health as part of the Work, Family and Heath Network Study.They found three main ways that the facilities approached worker scheduling. In the “Sharing the Pain” method, the organization randomly assigned schedules without regard to merit or length of employment. The “Reverse Status Rotation” method involved a scheduling approach where first-line managers were required to fill in for their direct reports who unexpectedly missed part or all of their shifts. For the “Work-Life Needs” method, the organizations took a more improvised approach and experimented with different ways to fill in schedules to balance the needs of the workers with patient coverage.”This last method may produce the best results for workers, the facility and the patients,” Kossek said. “Based on this, we suggest that work schedule patching approaches, which are the ongoing adjustments made to plug scheduling holes after schedules are posted, take into account how to effectively manage last minutes schedule changes on the ground in ways that support employee’s work-life scheduling by motivating coverage by co-workers who would like to work the schedule, instead of the first approaches which just force others to cover.”Related StoriesWVU researcher investigates how nursing homes can best meet obese residents’ healthcare needsMost problems with catheter use stem from poor physician-nurse communicationUAMS receives $24.2 million federal funding to accelerate researchKossek said the research suggested that similar approaches could work well for not just health care, but many industries with scheduled hourly workers ranging from retail, childcare, manufacturing, to police and security.Kossek said an initial analysis of the data from their study also showed a suggestive link between better work-life scheduling in nursing home facilities and fewer pressure ulcers in patients.”Pressure ulcers can develop from patients not being moved often, just staying in the same position in bed, or not keeping the skin clean and dry.” Kossek said. “It seems from the research that employees with better scheduling options are able to experience less strain and be able to be more focused on patient care.”Kossek has received worldwide attention for her research on work-life balance and has worked with the Purdue Research Foundation on some of her studies.The team’s work aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, celebrating the global advancements in health as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. It is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.Source:Purdue UniversityJournal reference:Kossek,E.E. et al. (2019) Work Schedule Patching in Health Care: Exploring Implementation Approaches. Work and Occupations. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 16 2019Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a traumatic experience for the entire family with concerns about the care and attention they will receive. Imagine if those concerns were eased, simply by some changes in the way the schedules are done for the staff at that facility. The work schedules for employees in these highly stressful jobs can have a significant impact ultimately on the care patients receive. Organizations should strive to do a better job in taking into account the needs of workers when creating schedules, which will lead to less stress, better patient care and less turnover.”Ellen Ernst Kossek, the Basil S. Turner Professor at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and research director of Purdue’s Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellencelast_img read more

Lab builds autopilot software allowing UAVs to soar on thermals

first_img Explore further A Navy scientist has re-engineered the software that allows long-endurance drones to powerlessly climb into the sky on bubbles of warm air. In a U.S. patent application published on May 2, Aaron Kahn, an engineer working on the Autonomous Locator of Thermals (ALOFT) project at the Naval Research Laboratory, reported that he has extensively tested the new software that detects and estimates the position of thermals, i.e., rising columns of warm air that birds use to stay aloft without flapping their wings.Unlike birds, soaring drones need the benefits of thermal detection and position estimation software as the warm air tends to drift relative to the ground due to winds.Prior systems relied on batch estimation processes that “require storing large arrays of data, which is not ideal for operation on small microcontrollers with limited memory resources.”Kahn’s new soaring software uses extended Kalman filtering, a kind of algorithm already used by the Navy for navigating submarines and cruise missiles. Now it can help orbit drones like the tiny CICADA glider or long-endurance solar-soaring UAVs that might also have photovoltaic or fuel cells feeding battery-powered propellers. The Naval Research Laboratory is building solar-soaring drones that harvest energy from the sun and thermals to stay aloft for extended time periods. Credit: Naval Research Laboratory Citation: Lab builds autopilot software allowing UAVs to soar on thermals (2019, May 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Solar-soaring UAVs don’t need large batteries because they harvest energy from the environment using intelligent software, in the case of the autonomous soaring algorithms, or lightweight, integrated solar panels that capture energy from the sun.”This technique enables an increase in range and endurance of an aircraft without having to add additional fuel/batteries,” according to the Navy’s patent application. “It is possible that the technique could be implemented in an aircraft without requiring any changes to its hardware, only software. Furthermore, the technique is applicable to both manned and unmanned aircraft. Because the method is parameterized, it can be quickly tailored to a variety of aircraft types.”Now that the patent application has been published, qualified businesses can evaluate the technology with the intention of licensing it for use in their drones.Brian Metzger, a senior technology manager at TechLink, guides businesses through Navy tech evaluation and licensing at no charge.He said there’s a handful of promising solar-soaring UAV companies that will want to evaluate Kahn’s work, but also manned aircraft and glider manufacturers.”This is really for anyone building air vehicles that can harness thermals,” Metzger said.center_img The US Naval Research Laboratory is designing long-endurance UAVs that use rising bubbles of warm air to stay aloft. Credit: Naval Research Laboratory NRL tests cooperative soaring concept for sustained flight of UAV sailplanes Provided by TechLink This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Misophonia Why Do Some Sounds Drive People Crazy

first_img What Is White Noise? Why Does the Sound of Water Help You Sleep? Could a seemingly innocent sound like someone chewing potato chips shoot up your heart rate and send your brain into a frenzy as if you were caught in a life-and-death situation? For people who suffer from misophonia, it can. Misophonia is a mysterious condition characterized by the experience of strong negative emotions, often anger and anxiety, in response to some everyday sounds other people make, such as humming, chewing, typing and even breathing. Although at first glance it may sound like an unfortunate but trivial annoyance, studies so far paint a more serious picture. “Some people doubt whether it’s really a disorder. They say, ‘Well, I get annoyed as well when I go to the movies and someone is eating crisps,'” said Damiaan Denys, professor of psychiatry at the University of Amsterdam. “There’s one important difference: These patients really suffer. We have seen divorces, we’ve seen people quitting their jobs.” Lack of awareness about the condition has even led to children with misophonia being diagnosed with much more severe disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism, Denys told Live Science. [What is the Taos Hum?]These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  Misophonia has been scarcely researched and is not yet formally recognized as a psychiatric or neurological condition. But some psychologists who have seen the intense distress it causes in their patients are convinced it should be taken seriously. “I completely believe it exists, based on the research and based on my interactions with patients,” said Ali Mattu, an assistant professor in medical psychology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City. “I’m just not quite sure what it is.” A brain that’s slightly different The underlying mechanism of misophonia is not fully known, but scientists suspect it’s caused by the way some people’s brains process particular sounds and react to them. In a new study published May 17 in the journal Scientific Reports, Denys and his colleagues monitored the brains of 21 people with misophonia and 23 healthy participants as they watched video clips of the following actions: triggering sounds, like lip smacking; neutral events, such as a person meditating; or gross scenes from movies. Only the misophonic clips caused a different response between the two groups. When watching a video of lip smacking or heavy breathing, people with misophonia felt intense anger and disgust, and their heart rates spiked. Their brain scans showed hyperactivation of the salience network, a group of brain areas that direct our attention to noticeable things in our surroundings. The study’s findings matched those from a study last year by another team, published in the journal Current Biology. That study found that in people with misophonia, trigger sounds send the salience network into an overdrive and activate brain areas responsible for regulating fear and emotions, as well as forming long-term memories. Using different brain-imaging techniques, the researchers found the connections between these brain areas are different and sometimes structurally more robust in people with misophonia than they are in the general public. These findings have led scientists to suspect misophonia is caused by a different wiring of the brain, causing the brain to perceive particular sounds as highly salient and respond with intense anxiety and distress. In other words, this brain reacts to a chewing sound in a way that’s more appropriate for responding to a lion’s roar. [Exploding Head Syndrome: A Mind-Blowing Sleep Disorder] Can a misophonic brain be calmed? Research into misophonia is so new, the condition is not well-defined and there are no standard guidelines for detecting and treating it. “The biggest challenge I have in treating it is that we just don’t have good criteria for what misophonia is,” Mattu told Live Science. “There isn’t an agreed upon psychiatric definition for it yet. There’s a lot of similarity between people who experience misophonia, but also a lot of diversity, which complicates our understanding of the condition. “Some of my patients experience anxiety in response to sounds. Some report disgust and others report rage,” Mattu said. To help patients with misophonia, therapists use a variety of techniques, often based on the type of symptoms. “What emotions are experienced and the thoughts that come up with those are key to treating this problem,” Mattu said. Those who experience fear and anxiety may respond to exposure-based treatments, in which therapists help them learn to manage their symptoms while exposing them to trigger sounds. In contrast, patients who experience anger learn to manage their distress through, for example, distraction or relaxation techniques. The most effective therapy so far appears to be cognitive behavioral therapy, in which therapists help people change the way they think about these situations and learn to shift their attention, Denys said. What’s That Noise? 11 Strange and Mysterious Sounds on Earth & Beyond Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoMarie Claire | HanacureMeet The Beauty Equivalent To TIME’s Person Of The Year AwardMarie Claire | HanacureUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndoDr. Marty Nature's Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat Food3 Signs Something’s Wrong Inside Your Cat’s BodyDr. Marty Nature’s Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat FoodUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoUltimate Pet NutritionIf Your Indoor Cat Vomits (Do This Every Day)Ultimate Pet NutritionUndolast_img read more