Posts Tagged ‘ticosland.com’

A Great Show by Eduardo Aguirre in Latin American Idol

December 1, 2009

Eduardo Aguirre is flying high.  The Costa Rican representative finally hit its stride and got the best judge comments since he has been competing in “Latin American Idol.”

The unplugged concert really favored, and he even got a second “Bien Cantao” during this fourth season from judge John Secada.

“It was so wonderful.  It was a magical night.  It was time to transmit emotion and I did it,” said Aguirre to national newspaper right after the show in Argentina.

He did so well that even Oscar Eduardo Mediavilla had no negative comments which to direct at the singer.  “It was very funny when I said I had thrown him off,” recalled the young Costa Rican while laughing.

If Eduardo obtains the necessary amount of votes, then he will arrive in Costa Rica the following day to record a special segment for the final.

“I hope they are proud of me because everything I do is with my heart and thinking of my country,” said the singer, who also lamented the passing of Froilan Bolaños.

Therefore, if Costa Ricans give Eduardo Aguirre their support, then he will surely be in the finals.  It remains to be seen whether there will be a Costa Rican in the finals for the second consecutive year.

Great Deals for Those Traveling to Costa Rica

July 29, 2009

The world financial crisis is not all bad news.  There have been some sectors of the economy that have not been affected and others have even managed to grow.  For Costa Rica, as we have stated time and again in our TicosLand.com Internal Costa Rica blog, it is a fact that tourism has declined in a big way.  While this is bad news for Costa Rica, it should not be bad news for those thinking about traveling to Costa Rica for vacation.

The fact is that there are great deals to be had because of the low occupancy rate in hotels.  From now until the middle of November, which is the tourist low season, you are likely to find deals that might include up to 50% off some hotel rates, even those that offer everything included in the price of the room.  Some hotels, such as the DoubleTree by Hilton in El Roble, Puntarenas and Barcelo in Playa Tambor are offering great reductions in their prices in order to fill room vacancies.  If you are more adventuresome, there hotels near the volcanoes that are offering great reductions.

Therefore, take a look at Costa Rica if you are planning to take a tropical vacation.  You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.  You might also want to visit the TicosLand.com internal Costa Rica blogs and read more about what is going on with the Costa Rican economy and see if there is further news about rate reductions or travel packages.

Farrah Fawcett’s Cancer has Spread to her Liver

April 6, 2009

According to the Associated Press, actress Farrah Fawcett is being treated for anal cancer that has spread to her liver, a producer who worked with the actress said Monday in detailing a more serious situation than has previously been described.

Fawcett’s producer and her doctor said that Fawcett is in a Los Angeles hospital, recovering from complications from a medical procedure in Germany, and is “not on death’s door,” as the producer put it, in separate phone interviews with The Associated Press.

“She had a minor procedure. That procedure led to a small amount of bleeding into a muscle in her abdominal wall,” which created a sac of blood that caused pressure and pain, said her Los Angeles cancer specialist, Dr. Lawrence Piro. It was “a simple procedure” and a standard one, although Fawcett also has pursued experimental treatments in Germany, he added.

“She’s on the mend and will be going home very shortly,” said her producer, Craig Nevius. “She’s doing fantastic. Her fight goes on. … She’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”

However, confirmation that the cancer had spread to such a distant site was dire news. The 62-year-old “Charlie’s Angels” star was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, and originally was treated at UCLA with chemotherapy and radiation — not surgery as some have reported, Nevius said.

She was declared in remission on Feb 2, 2007, but three months later, scans showed “not only had it recurred, it metastasized to her liver,” Nevius said.

The latest treatment in Germany tried to address the cancer’s spread to that organ, he said.

Nevius would not say where in Germany she was being treated, just that it was a clinic affiliated with some hospitals. He also would not give details on her treatments there, but said media reports that she was getting stem cell treatments were false.

“It’s never had anything to do with stem cells,” or alternative treatments like shark cartilage, coffee enemas or unproven “detoxification” diets, Nevius said.

“It’s much more scientific than that. It’s not a fringe treatment,” he said, and the doctors have “multiple, multiple degrees.”

An upcoming documentary Fawcett has worked on for several years, “A Wing and a Prayer,” co-produced with Nevius and others, will air on NBC soon and give details, he said.

After the procedure in Germany, Piro said Fawcett flew back to Los Angeles because she was anxious to come home. “It turned out that the procedure caused a small amount of bleeding in one of the muscles of her abdomen, making a hematoma, which was quite painful.”

Piro, who said he regularly consults with her doctors in Germany, said in a statement released on Monday that Fawcett was using a wheelchair because it was painful for her to walk. “That pain, which was coming from the hematoma, had nothing directly to do with the cancer.”

Added Piro: “She remains in good spirits with her usual sense of humor. She’s been in great shape her whole life and has an incredible resolve and an incredible resilience.”

Nevius said Fawcett is expected to leave the hospital in a few days. He said her support system includes former partner Ryan O’Neal , her father and “Charlie’s Angels” co-stars Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith.

“Let me tell you what she’s not,” Nevius said. “As previously reported by everybody, she’s not unconscious. She is not on death’s door. The family has not gathered to say goodbye.”

Anal cancer is relatively uncommon, but occurs a little more often in women than men. An estimated 5,070 cases were diagnosed in the United States last year, leading to about 680 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.

Meanwhile, Redmond O’Neal, Fawcett’s son with Ryan O’Neal , was arrested Sunday on suspicion of bringing narcotics into a jail facility and was being held on $25,000 bail.

A deputy at a jail in Castaic, north of Los Angeles, was doing a security sweep of the jail’s parking lot when he stopped the 24-year-old, who admitted he was carrying drugs and was apparently at the jail giving a ride to a friend, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

A phone message left for O’Neal’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned.

O’Neal was arrested along with his father last year at the actor’s Malibu home on suspicion of having methamphetamine while on probation for a previous drug conviction. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

At Ticosland.com in Costa Rica, we will never forget her for her work in Charlie’s Angels and we wish her the best in these trying times.

Chrysler in Global Alliance with Fiat

March 30, 2009

In an effort to try to rise from the ruins once again, Chrysler LLC has reached a framework agreement on a global alliance with Italian automaker Fiat SpA (FIA.MI) which has the U.S. Treasury’s support, Chrysler’s CEO Bob Nardelli said on Monday.

Nardelli said in a statement, “We appreciate the willingness of the (autos) Task Force, along with industry and financial experts, to consult closely with us in order to achieve this significant step.”

Private equity Cerberus Capital Management owns Chrysler, but it was deemed not viable as a stand-alone company by the task force and was given 30 days to complete an alliance with Fiat or be cut off from U.S. government funding.

The U.S. Treasury would consider investing up to another $6 billion, if Chrysler can complete an alliance with Fiat and cost-saving arrangements with creditors and its major union.

People who have knowledge of the discussions have said that the boards of Chrysler and Fiat have given executives approval to complete an alliance that now hinges on the terms for additional aid for Chrysler.

For those who don’t remember, Chrysler was saved from the brink of bankruptcy in the period from 1979-1981 and perhaps reshaped the automotive industry and business-government relationships, which is perhaps we are right back where we started from.  In July 1979, then Chrysler Chair man John Riccardo went public with Chrysler’s problems.  He admitted in a press conference that Chrysler was so deep in the red that Chrysler owed nearly 10% of all US corporate debt ($4 billion).  We all know the ending, losses kept mounting, Chrysler cars remained unsold in car lots, and in stepped Lee Iacocca to save the day.

Perhaps that oversimplifies things, but it gives a general idea of the situation which is really not that far from what is going on today.  It was Jimmy Carter who had to fight with Congress over the amount of the bailout bill.

One can look at Iacocca’s warnings back then…”the need for assistance is very real” and it is essential that the legislation move through Congress as quickly as possible,” and see them reverberate globally.  Lest we forget, it was then GM Chairman Thomas Murphy who said, “I do not think that is (the bailout) in accordance with what made this country great,” but they came calling at the government’s door some 30 years later.

At TicosLand.com, we like to keep our readers in Costa Rica and all over the world informed.

Farrelly Brothers to Make Three Stooges Movie

March 26, 2009

According to the London Times online, Sean Penn is set to perform slapstick as one of The Three Stooges.  The two-time Oscar winning actor is said to be in line to play the part of Larry Fine in a feature about the famous vaudeville trio.  The Three Stooges have always been popular with kids and adults alike who never get tired of watching Moe poke, slap and otherwise try to maim Larry and Curly, yet never managing to do so.

It is alleged that Penn will appear with Benicio de Toro as Moe and Jim Carrey as Curly.  We don’t know how likely that is, but it sounds like a stellar cast.  However, it leaves TicosLand.com wondering just how well the Stooges’ slapstick and inimitable timing will carry over to this new age of gizmos and effects.  The Stooges were not about effects.  They were about as vaudeville and slapstick as you could possible get.

In any event, the film is set to be directed by the Farrelly brothers of Dumb and Dumber, Stuck on You and There’s Something About Mary fame, among others.  They are said to have wanted to make this movie for more than a decade.  It was originally intended to have three Stooge-type shorts, but it appears that they are going to make it a feature film.  However, it will not be a biopic but a comedy based on the lives of the popular trio, Variety magazine said.

It’s still up in the air as to who will play Curly because Jim Carrey is still in negotiations to star as the Stooge of Stooges, who was known for his hitch-pitched voice and his “nyuk nyuk nyuk” catchphrase.  However, at TicosLand.com Costa Rica, we are hoping that everything comes together and he takes the part of Curly because we believe he would be someone who could possibly do justice to the role.  It might help that Carrey has done movies with the Farrelly brothers twice before.  He is reported to have begun planning to gain the 40lb needed to play Curly.

I am sure that we all remember the fantastic scenes with Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) and Mr. Arnold Hand (Ray Walston, My Favorite Martian) in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Even though Penn has been playing in dramas since 1989 (We’re No Angels), he is a comedic talent.

Decisive Vote to Tax Bonuses Paid by Insurance Giant AIG

March 19, 2009

Lawmakers voted decisively Thursday to impose a 90 percent tax on millions of dollars in employee bonuses paid by troubled insurance giant AIG and other bailed-out companies while at the same time denouncing a “squandering of the people’s money.”  In the House of Representatives, the vote was 328-93. Meanwhile, the Senate introduced similar legislation and President Barack Obama quickly signaled general support for the concept.

President Obama said in a statement, “I look forward to receiving a final product that will serve as a strong signal to the executives who run these firms that such compensation will not be tolerated.”

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House and D-Calif, told colleagues, “We want our money back now for the taxpayers. It isn’t that complicated.”

Even though the outcome may not have been complicated, the lopsided vote failed to reflect the contentious political battle that preceded it.

The contention was that Democrats were taken to task by Republicans for rushing to tax AIG bonuses worth an estimated $165 million after the majority party stripped a provision that could have banned such payouts from last month’s economic stimulus bill.  In fact, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed that it was Sen. Chris Dodd who put the loophole in the stimulus bill which allowed the bonuses in the first place. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, acknowledged his role in the controversy on Wednesday, after previously denying having anything to do with crafting language that permitted the bonuses.

House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio said, “This political circus that’s going on here today with this bill is not getting to the bottom of the questions of who knew what and when did they know it?”  He voted “no,” but 85 fellow Republicans joined 243 Democrats in voting “yes.” It was opposed by six Democrats and 87 Republicans.

The bill would impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses given to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at American International Group and other companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money. It would apply to any such bonuses issued since Dec. 31.

After just 40 minutes of debate, the House vote showed how quickly Congress can act when the political will is there.

At TicosLand.com in Costa Rica, we continuously speak out against corrupt politicians and heads of large corporations who benefit from unscrupulous and sometimes downright criminal behavior.  It is we, the people, who must say enough is enough and put an end to corruption.  We can do it if we remain strong, united and speaking in unison against things we know are wrong.

Edward Liddy, AIG CEO, to Get Grilled Before Congress Today

March 18, 2009

Today, AIG CEO Edward Liddy will step into the public eye over $165 million in bonuses paid to his company’s executives when he testifies on Capitol Hill.  It is going to be really interesting to hear how he is going to justify the way he used public funds to pay bonuses.

The problem isn’t only that he paid bonuses to executives at AIG; it’s that some of the bonuses went to the very executives whose chancy financial schemes caused the collapse of the company in the first place.  The paying out of such astronomical fortunes has provoked intense tax payer anger and resentment this week, and such negative sentiments will be aimed at Liddy, who is scheduled to take his seat before the House Financial Services Committee at 10:00 a.m.

Liddy’s appearance gives the members of Congress on the committee a chance to voice their anger before a national television audience over the more than $170 billion in bailout funds the company has received.  It should not stop there because this is also a great opportunity to get answers to some of the important questions at the heart of the AIG scandal.  There are five questions which, according to Eamon Javers, Liddy is likely to face when he testifies.

Eamon Javers poses the folloing:

1. Can AIG survive without additional government money?

Liddy’s answer will be telling. After the pounding the company has taken over the executive bonus issue, it may be politically impossible for Congress to approve any new bailout funds for AIG.

But if the company can’t survive on what it’s already received, that’s a huge problem. The government bailed out AIG in the first place because it feared AIG’s collapse would trigger a global economic meltdown. If AIG needs more money, the U.S. could be about to find out whether those fears were valid.

Some close observers of the company think the answer to this question is no, AIG can’t stay in business without another infusion of government cash. But if none is coming, “AIG is done now, finished, and cannot survive,” said one financial expert.

2. What did Geithner know and when did he know it?

The only person more on the hot-seat than Liddy these days is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who was in contact with Liddy several times in recent days – but wasn’t able to head the bonuses off at the pass.

But Liddy would have first-hand knowledge of their conversations and probably will be pressed to explain his side of what he told Geithner.

A new White House timeline released Tuesday night shows that Geithner learned of the payments last Tuesday and called Liddy at 6 p.m. last Wednesday to tell him the payments are unacceptable and need to be renegotiated. By Friday, Liddy and Geithner had agreed to cut the bonuses in half and stretch executive bonuses out over time. President Barack Obama asked his team on Sunday to find a way to get the bonus money back.

But the White House has sent mixed signals about Geithner’s efforts to recoup the money, saying on Sunday that he had exhausted all legal means to do so only to come back Monday and say he’s still trying.

3. Can’t AIG do anything to pay back the taxpayers?

Some in Congress have floated the idea of asking the AIG executives to voluntarily give back the bonuses, or whacking them with a massive bonus tax of at least 70 percent. Liddy almost surely will be asked to take that let’s-do-it-the-easy-way message back to company HQ, in no uncertain terms.

But there’s a larger question here. In the past, AIG has said it will sell assets – pieces of the company — to raise money to pay back the government for the bailout. Yet it’s possible that the company’s assets are worth much less than the $170 billion taxpayers have handed to the company so far.

In fact, at close of trading Tuesday, the stock market valued the entire company at a paltry $2.6 billion. So is there any realistic scenario in which taxpayers get their money back, or are they in the hole on AIG indefinitely?

4. Are you sure you really want this job?

If public anger over AIG doesn’t die down, Liddy might decide that he doesn’t need the aggravation. Maybe Congress or the White House will want a scalp at some point. But Liddy’s departure, either way, could further complicate efforts to bring this company back to life.

Liddy was installed by the federal government to run AIG in September after the company was effectively nationalized, with the U.S. government now owning an 80 percent stake. He has said the bonuses were required to be paid out by contacts that were in place before he got there.

But amid the controversy, even Geithner felt Liddy needed some bucking up, saying in a letter to congressional leaders, “I know that much of the public ire has fallen on Mr. Liddy, which is understandable, since it is his name on the door. But it also is unjustified.”

For all the heartache, Liddy annual salary is $1 for 2008 and 2009, with no bonuses in those years. But he may also face questions about whether AIG has revealed the full extent of his pay package – with the company saying his “future compensation will be tied to success of restructuring plan.” That sounds like he’ll get stock. How much?

5. Was Goldman Sachs treated any differently in the AIG bailout than any other investment bank?

There’s a conspiratorial edge to this question: many have muttered that Goldman Sachs got preferential treatment because the company’s former CEO Hank Paulson was Treasury Secretary at the time of the initial bailout and because Liddy himself served on Goldman’s board.

But there’s enough data out there to merit a serious question: AIG long tried to keep hidden its clients who benefited from the taxpayer bailout, companies that bought AIG’s insurance for their exotic investments. But it finally disclosed the information on Sunday.

And it turns out that among the biggest beneficiaries of taxpayer money from AIG was … Goldman Sachs. Someone on the panel surely will ask why.

It will be interesting to know the outcome of what is surely to be a grilling today by the Congress of the United States.  At TicosLand.com and all over Costa Rica, it seems as if it’s always the top people who benefit no matter what, and it’s the common people, Joe and Jane Taxpayer who end up getting the worst of it all through taxation, inflation and higher prices.  Who is going to end up paying for the now more than trillion dollars which has gone to try to pull the American economy out of its stagnation and recession?

It not only affects the American people.  What happens in the US directly or indirectly affects the rest of the world.  Until the US gets its house in order, the rest of the world will not be able to begin the road to recovery.  At TicosLand.com, we continue to wonder when Costa Rican people and people all over the world are going to say that enough is enough, rise up and get rid of all of these corrupt people and charlatans who see it as a God given right to steal from the common folk.

How to Tell if Your PC Has Been Infected or if You’ve Been Hacked

March 16, 2009

Most computer-virus infections will not cause your machine to crash anymore.  The criminals who are engineering and sending out the infections now usually want your computer operating in top form so you don’t know something’s wrong.  If they can achieve this, they will log your keystrokes and steal any passwords or credit-card numbers you enter in Web sites, or they can link your infected computer with others to send out spam.

There are some signs that you need to look for to see if your computer is infected or is being used in a “botnet” army run by the tech criminals.  Be on the lookout for one or more of the following symptoms:

  • You experience new, prolonged slowdowns. This can be a sign that a malicious program is running in the background.
  • You continually get pop-up ads that you can’t make go away. This is a sure sign you have “adware,” and possibly more, on your machine.
  • You’re being directed to sites you didn’t intend to visit, or your search results are coming back funky. This is another sign that hackers have gotten to your machine.

So what do you do?

  • Having anti-virus software here is hugely helpful. For one, it can identify known malicious programs and disable them. If the virus that has infected your machine isn’t detected, many anti-virus vendors offer a service in which they can remotely take over your computer and delete the malware for a fee.
  • Some anti-virus vendors also offer free, online virus-scanning services.
  • You may have to reinstall your operating system if your computer is still experiencing problems. It’s a good idea even if you believe you’ve cleaned up the mess because malware can still be hidden on your machine. You will need to back up your files before you do this.

How do I know what information has been taken?

  • It’s very hard to tell what’s been taken. Not every infection steals your data. Some just serve unwanted ads. Others poison your search result or steer you to Web sites you don’t want to see. Others log your every keystroke. The anti-virus vendors have extensive databases about what the known infections do and don’t do. Comparing the results from your virus scans to those entries will give you a good idea about what criminals may have snatched up.

At TicosLand.com in Costa Rica, we recommend that you do a thorough scan with a good anti-virus program.  You should also clean your registry as often as possible.  While you are at it, go ahead and defrag your computer.  It will help it run much smoother.  There are great programs that you can download for little or no cost which will really help protect your pc from people who want to do you harm.

Companies that Rely on Consumer Spending Have it the Worst

March 13, 2009

Experts are predicting that many more companies will go bankrupt before the economic crisis is turned around.  However, the industries that rely on consumer spending are definitely going to feel the brunt of the crisis before it’s all said and done.  Most represented on the list of companies expected to fail are media, automotive, retail and manufacturing.

Companies in the most immediate danger are those with reduced cash flow and a high debt load. There are a lot of big, well-known companies in danger.  The list includes: Advanced Micro Devices; AirTran; AMR (parent of American Airlines); Chrysler; Duane Reade; Eastman-Kodak; Ford; General Motors; JetBlue; Krispy Kreme; Palm; R.H. Donnelly; Reader’s Digest Association; Rite-Aid; UAL (parent of United Airlines); Unisys; and US Airways.

Many of the other firms on the list are second- or third-tier suppliers to automakers, airlines, and other troubled firms. Being on the list doesn’t mean a firm is destined for bankruptcy. But it does mean the company faces severe constraints in terms of raising new capital, making new investments, and hiring. Instead of expanding, it may be far more inclined to sell assets, streamline or close divisions and lay people off to cut costs and raise cash.

We are seeing many companies lay people off and cut costs at TicosLand.com in Costa Rica.  It is a sad fact that many companies will go under and many more people will be laid off before the effects of the economy crisis lessen or turn toward the positive.

Shooting Rampages in Europe and the United States Shock the World

March 12, 2009

It is usually a quiet, close-knit farming community near the Florida border.  This is the kind of place where people usually know one another either by face or name.  They say “Hello!” to strangers and are quite warm and friendly as Southern towns tend to be.  It’s a welcoming place that suddenly erupted in gunfire that left ten people and the shooter dead.  But none of them knew yet that the heavily armed gunman was someone who grew up among them, playing youth baseball, graduating from the local high school and working by their sides at local factories.

Michael McLendon, 28, grew up in Samson, graduating from Samson High School in 1999.  It was a class of about 50 students, very typical of a small, southern town.  He was said to be quiet, nice and polite.  He didn’t like to join the other boys when they were pulling pranks.  His classmate from kindergarten through high school, Jessica Wise, remembers that he always had his shirt tucked in.  In other words, he didn’t stand out much in the small community.  Those who only knew his name or face couldn’t believe the bloodshed that left five of McLendon’s relatives and five bystanders dead.

Wise said, “You never saw him out at parties. He never got in trouble.”  She added that McLendon played football and baseball in elementary and middle school, was a member of Future Farmers of America and talented in welding and woodworking.

The shooting rampage began about 10 miles from Samson, in Kinston, Coffee County, where McLendon burned down the home he shared with his mother, killing her and ended about an hour later with him taking his own life after a shootout with police in nearby Geneva at Reliable Metals, where he worked until 2003.  Samson Police Department Corporal, Darrell Smith, said,

“We are just a small town and we were not prepared for anything like this,” he said.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the worst killing spree.  In Germany, A 17-year-old gunman dressed in black opened fire at his former high school in southwestern Germany on Wednesday then fled in a hijacked car, killing at least 15 people before police shot him to death, state officials said.

The mass murderer entered the school in Winnenden and opened fire, shooting at random, police said.  The gunman killed nine students, three teachers and a passer-by outside the building, officials said.

Regional police Chief Erwin Hetger said, “He went into the school with a weapon and carried out a bloodbath.  I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”

“The shooting rampage triggered a land and air manhunt, the gunman hijacked a car, freed the driver and drove about 25 miles (40 kilometers) before police found him.  He killed two bystanders in a shootout with police before he was slain,” said Baden Wuerttemburg’s Governor, Guenther Oettinger. Two officers were seriously injured, but there was no immediate information on other casualties.

Four hours after the shootings began police announced the teenager’s death.

Police have identified the gunman only as Tim K, who graduated last year from the school of about 1,000 students.

In their hunt for him, police searched his parents’ home in a nearby town. The suspect’s father, who is a member of a local gun club, had 16 firearms and one was missing, police said.

Authorities have said the weapon was not a rifle, but have otherwise only called it a “high caliber” firearm.

Police had said that a 10th student died of injuries in a local hospital, but spokesman Klaus Hinderer later changed that report saying that it was wrong and blaming an internal police “communications error.”

The death toll brings the killing close to that of Germany’s worst school shooting.

In the 2002, 19-year-old Robert Steinhaeuser shot and killed 12 teachers, a secretary, two students and a police officer before turning his gun on himself in the Gutenberg high school in Erfurt, in eastern Germany.

Steinhaeuser, who had been expelled for forging a doctor’s note, was a gun club member licensed to own weapons. The attack led Germany to raise the age for owning recreational firearms from 18 to 21.

German Chancellor Angel Merkel called the shooting “a horrific crime.”

“It is hard to put into words what happened today, but our sadness and sympathy goes out to the victims’ families,” Merkel said at a news conference.

The European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, France, stood in silence for a minute, to honor the victims.

“It is our task as responsible politicians in the European Union and, indeed, all member states should do our utmost so that such deeds can be prevented,” said EU assembly president Hans-Gert Pottering, a German.

From TicosLand.com in Costa Rica, we send our deepest condolences to those affected during this time of grieving.  These shooting rampages shock the conscience and make people wonder how something like this can happen.