IN THE NEWS
Time Out for World Cup
Honduras, Central America’s only contestant in the World Cup soccer tournament starting today in South Africa, will grant around 200,000 public employees time off to root for their team, The Associated Press reported. The event is being touted as a possible unifier for a country that’s been deeply divided since last year’s coup. In Costa Rica, whose team missed out in this year’s games, schoolchildren will be permitted to watch the World Cup’s opening ceremony and will participate in a lesson related to the event, according to the Education Ministry.
4Lobo Fears Coup Part Two
Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said he’s informed of opponents who are plotting to overthrow him, CNN reported. Claiming to know the names of the plotters, he warned them not to attempt a coup. His warning came as Honduras is still healing from a coup less than a year ago, which toppled President Manuel Zelaya and sent him into exile. Despite Lobo’s recent offer for Zelaya’s safe return, the ousted leader has refused to go back to Honduras, where he faces charges of attempting to change the Constitution among other allegations.
4IMF: Rebound ‘Firming Up’
The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has upped its projection for Costa Rica’s gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.3 percent to 3.8 percent. In a June country report, it said “Costa Rica’s economic recovery is firming up,” citing a broad-based rebound in activity. However, the IMF advised this country to start withdrawing fiscal stimulus to avoid risks of prolonged, strong public spending.
4Ask Laura, Online
President Laura Chinchilla will answer questions from citizens via the Internet on her office’s website, www.casapres.go.cr, in the latest show that she’s determined to be Costa Rica’s most accessible and tech-savvy presidents to date. Her 2009-2010 campaign tapped into the Web’s potential early, and she now announces important presidential moves, even vetoes, over online social media sites. According to a Casa Presidencial news release, Chinchilla will propose a talking point of the week and citizens can send in their questions through the Casa’s website. They can then vote on the most pertinent questions. The president’s answers will be posted on her Facebook page.
4Steven Seagal Sparks Media Frenzy
The recent visit by Steven Seagal stirred a media circus here after questions arose as to why a U.S. martial artist/actor who plays tough law enforcement agents in the movies should be coaching Costa Rica on real-life security. On Friday, Seagal met with Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro, Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Director Jorge Rojas, and Security Minister José María Tijerino, who “let him know his ideas are not compatible with our country,” according to La Nación. Seagal also had hoped to meet with President Laura Chinchilla, according to various sources.