no avatar

Costa Rica ups police presence

Staff Report • Mar 9, 2007 at 8:18 AM

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Costa Rican authorities said they will increase the number of police in the Caribbean port of Limon after a U.S. tourist killed a mugger during an attempted robbery.

Officials said the increased security measures included doubling the number of police on patrol during cruise ship stopovers, hanging security cameras around the city and asking police to keep a closer eye on vehicles used to transport tourists.

A retired member of the U.S. military put a Costa Rican mugger in a chokehold, killing the armed assailant during the attempted robbery of about a dozen tourists who were arriving at a local beach Feb. 21. The tourists were on an excursion during a port of call from a cruise ship.

Costa Rican officials did not press charges, and the unidentified tourist was allowed to return to his cruise ship.

The spokeswoman for Costa Rica's Tourism Ministry, Marcela Villalobos, said that between October and February, 40 cruise ships dropped off a total of 85,000 tourists in Limon. During that time, four security incidents were reported to authorities.

Tourism is Costa Rica's biggest source of income, generating $1.6 billion last year.

LOS ANGELES - As expected, The Walt Disney Co. is expanding its fleet of cruise ships, more than doubling the capacity of what has proven to be a highly popular - and profitable - business.

In addition, Walt Disney World also announced two new developments near its Florida parks. One will be a 900-acre luxury resort anchored by a Four Seasons Hotel, with a championship golf course, and the other will be a 450-acre retail and dining district with 4,500 time shares and hotel units

The two new cruise ships will each be two decks taller than the two existing Disney cruise ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. Each new ship will have 1,250 staterooms.

The company has not yet determined where the ships will be docked or what routes they will travel. Its current ships are based in Florida and offer three, four and seven-night Caribbean cruises.

The offerings have expanded in recent years to include trips to the Mediterranean and to Mexico from a temporary home in California. The West Coast cruises, some of which include passage through the Panama Canal, typically sell out in a matter of days.

"With a larger fleet, we'll have greater flexibility to offer a variety of itineraries," Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a statement.

DETROIT - In case you missed it, regulations that would require passports for future entry into the United States by land and sea have been modified to exempt children.

U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 15 or younger (with parental consent) will be allowed to cross borders, both at land and sea entry points, with certified copies of their birth certificates rather than passports.

The Bush administration said the change is aimed at helping families and school groups.

U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 16 through 18 traveling with school, religious, cultural or athletic groups and under adult supervision will also be allowed to travel with only their birth certificates.

The exemption is a change from earlier plans that would have required passports for land and sea entry into the U.S. for children beginning as early as January 2008.

Children traveling by air are still required to show passports for entry into the U.S. from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean (except for U.S. territories Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), under rules that went into effect last Jan. 23.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos