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The Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica has issued updates that are important for Canadian tourists and for legal residents of Costa Rica.

The Health Ministry on Sunday announced eight new coronavirus cases within Costa Rica.

Here is the latest update from the US Embassy in Costa Rica.

Police in Costa Rica have made the biggest seizure of illegal drugs in the country's history - finding more than five tonnes of cocaine in a shipping container.

The drugs were hidden in a consignment of flowers headed for the Netherlands, AFP news agency quoted Interior Minister Michael Soto Rojas as saying.

A suspect has been arrested.

Central America is one of the main routes for cartels moving drugs from South America to the US and Europe.

When the authorities searched a suspicious shipping container on Saturday, they discovered 202 suitcases containing a total of 5,048 packages of cocaine weighing around 1 kg (2.2 lbs) each, AFP reports.

The arrested suspect is a 46-year-old Costa Rican, who drove the shipment to the port.

There are no details as to how the drugs entered Costa Rica or from where. What we do know is the shipments being seized are getting larger and more frequent than in past years.

The 2020 municipal elections in Costa Rica were local elections in Costa Rica held on Sunday, February 2, 2020 to elect all municipal offices in the country.

The new Board of Directors for 2020 have been elected.

This is the 40th anniversary of the Georgia Guidestones.

For those who are thinking about participating in the 2020 Olympics for this summer in Tokyo, you have another year to get in shape.

In a statement released today the IOC has postponed the Summer Olympics until 2021.

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to COVID-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

They were joined by Mori Yoshiro, the President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee; the Olympic Minister, Hashimoto Seiko; the Governor of Tokyo, Koike Yuriko; the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, John Coates; IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper; and the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi.

President Bach and Prime Minister Abe expressed their shared concern about the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and what it is doing to people’s lives and the significant impact it is having on global athletes’ preparations for the Games.

In a very friendly and constructive meeting, the two leaders praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and noted the great progress being made in Japan to fight against COVID-19.

The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is "accelerating". There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.

In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

 

Here is an rational and unbiased update on the status of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Latin America as of March 10th, 2020

The latest virus scare circling the globe is the corona virus.

At least four small rockets struck near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and an Iraqi base hosting U.S. troops Sunday morning.

President Donald Trump attends the Daytona 500 as the official Grand Marshall. The Daytona 500 marks the opening of the NASCAR season.

In true Trump fashion, Air Force One flew over the race track at only 800 feet to the cheers of those in attendance.

He arrived with the First Lady to open the race and then took a lap around the track in his 22000 pound Presidential limo known as the Beast.

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With the growth in our community here in Surfside and Potrero, home and property owners need to think about protecting their homes, business and their families from intruders.

Costa Rica Meadery has obtained the corporate license to use the "Essential Costa Rica" country brand for its products and services.  In doing so, Costa Rica Meadery has become the first craft beverage producer in the country to earn the certificate.

U.S. government officials discovered over 1,400 pounds of shark fins estimated to be worth $1 million USD, hidden in boxes in Miami, Florida, according to CNN.

In a news release, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the shark fins were hidden in 18 boxes. It is believed the dried fins arrived from South America and were likely headed to Asia, the AP reported.

Shark fin soup is awell known Asian delicacy, especially in China. To meet the demand, smugglers kill tens of millions of sharks every year, cutting the fin from a live shark, according to conservation groups, as the AP reported.

The practice of shark finning is banned in several countries because it is extremely wasteful and cruel. After the fin is cut off from the live shark, the rest of the shark is discarded. The practice has been a federal crime in the U.S. since 2000, according to the Miami Herald.

"The goal of this seizure is to protect these species while deterring trackers from using US ports as viable routes in the illegal shark fin trade," Christina Meister, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said as the Miami Herald reported.

An international agreement between governments around the world is aimed to protect vulnerable animals and plants. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) protects only12 species of sharks, which are included in Appendix II of CITES, according to CNN.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

"The shipment violated the Lacey Act and included CITES listed species," Gavin Shire, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chief of Public Affairs, told CNN. "We are limited to what we can say about this as it is an ongoing case."

While it is illegal in the U.S. to cut off a fin from a live shark and discard the rest of the animal, it is not illegal to traffic or trade shark fins in the U.S. Another issue is that shark fin imports may not be indicated on the import forms. Shark fins are often classified simply as dried seafood or frozen seafood, or as shark fins from one of the species not on the list of banned items.

"The recent seizure of more than 1,000 pounds of shark fins in Miami from potentially protected species demonstrates why we need a federal shark fin ban," said Ariana Spawn, an ocean advocate at the nonprofit advocacy group Oceana, as CNN reported. She urged the Senate to pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (S.877), which would ban the trade of fins nationwide.
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