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El Nino cycles linked to increase in snakebites in Costa Rica

Studies have found that the rise and fall of infectious diseases is linked to changing climate associated with the hot and cold phases of the El Nino Southern Oscillation. These changes in El Nino cycles are also linked to an increase in snakebites.

Member of U.S. Women's soccer team returns home for tour opener Special

Pittsburgh - A defense player for the 2015 U.S. Women's World Cup soccer team who was key to the team's 5-2 championship victory over Japan on July 5, was honored by the Mayor of Pittsburgh as thousands of fans and supporters looked on.

Costa Rica to regulate IVF after long row

San Jos - Costa Rica's president will issue a decree to regulate in vitro fertilization (IVF) after a long legal battle, he said Wednesday.

Australia's infamous, toxic cane toads hop into breeding problems

They are lumpy and bumpy, and they look like hopping clumps of mud, so "cute" isn't the word that comes to mind when describing Australia's invasive and non-native cane toads.

Op-Ed: Will the world have to kiss its favorite banana goodbye?

Guayaquil - For the last six decades, banana crops in Latin America have flourished after nearly being wiped out by a nasty disease. Now there are worries that a more virulent strain of the same disease may wipe out the world's favorite banana — the Cavendish.

Animal rights group rescue 64 dogs from Costa Rica puppy mill Special

In April, animal rights activists rescued 64 dogs from a puppy mill in Costa Rica. The dogs included poodles, Maltese, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers and Pekingese. Many of the dogs were kept in overcrowded, filthy aerial enclosures.

In a pinch: Trap jaw ants use powerful jaws to escape death traps

The trap-jaw ant has earned the reputation of making short work of its prey. With herculean, spring-loaded mandibles, it crushes its prey with ease and defends its nests. Scientists have recently discovered it has another nifty use for those jaws.

Massive toxic chemical spill off Costa Rica coast sparks alert

Puntarenas - In what may be an ecological disaster in the making, a ship carrying 180 tons of ammonium nitrate capsized and spilled the toxic chemical into the sea just off the coast of Puntarenas last Saturday.

Costa Rica's Turrialba volcano spews ash on capital

San Jos - Turrialba volcano spewed a column of smoke and ash on Monday that reached Costa Rica's capital San Jose 60 kilometers (40 miles) away, authorities said.

Costa Rica scare as ship carrying chemicals sinks

San Jos - Costa Rican authorities declared an emergency after a ship carrying 180 tons of ammonium nitrate sunk off the country's Pacific coast.

Costa Rica: Researcher discovers new species of glass frog

Heredia - Costa Rica is a tiny country that often seems cut off from the rest of the world, but sometimes it shares gifts with us, and when it does, they are amazing. Case in point: The recent discovery of a new species of glass frog, a living green jewel.

Op-Ed: Ever wonder why you're afraid of spiders? Evolution provides clue

San Jos - When you live in the tropics, the neighbors tend to invite themselves into your house. In my case, sometimes it's a two-toed sloth. Other times it's a beautiful morpho butterfly. And other times it's a large, hairy spider.

Costa Rica powered up with 100% clean energy for 75 days straight

Tiny Costa Rica has done something really big: It's managed to meet 100 percent of its power needs with renewable energy for 75 consecutive days, and it's doing this by using hydropower and geothermal energy, the state-owned Electricity Institute said.

Airport shut as Costa Rica volcano spews more ash

San Jos - San Jose's international airport was forced to close and several villages were evacuated after clouds of ash from the newly active Turrialba volcano reached the Costa Rican capital, authorities said.

Op-Ed: Climate change in Central America — Wildlife struggles to survive

Climate change in Central America is affecting wildlife in profound ways, but few places have been as seriously affected as Guatemala's Laguna Del Tigre National Park which suffered a devastating wildfire as the result of an El Niño in 1998.

Fighting animal cruelty in LatAm, one tweet at a time

San Jos - Veterinarian Carmen Soto is gently swabbing what is left of Grecia the toucan's bright beak, preparing to fit him with a prosthesis to replace the part hacked off by vandals.

'Peace between us,' Raul Castro says of U.S. ties

- Cuban President Raul Castro gave an endorsement to peace between the United States and his communist country, with the two nations in talks to restore ties after decades of animosity.

Cuban leader demands end of US embargo to renew ties

- Cuban President Raul Castro on Wednesday demanded an end to the US embargo against his country in order to make progress in talks to normalize relations.

Three dead as tourist ship sinks off Costa Rica

San Jos - A catamaran carrying nearly 100 tourists and 10 crew capsized and sank within minutes off Costa Rica on Thursday, leaving three elderly foreigners dead while rescuers saved dozens from the choppy seas.

Costa Rica deports German caught smuggling hundreds of animals

San Jos - Costa Rica is famous for its wildlife and scenic grace. The country's biodiversity is astounding, but so is its illegal wildlife trafficking. In this land of unparalleled beauty, there are car alarms in the jungle and treachery is not unheard of.
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