Costa Rica Elects Female President Erin Etheridge, Staff Writer On February 7, 2010, Costa Rican citizens elected a female president, the first in the country’s history. Former Vice President Laura Chinchilla will assume the presi dency of the Central American nation after receiving 46.8% of the popular vote. She defeated candidates Otton Solis and Otto Guevara, who received 25.1% and 20.9% of the popular vote, respec tively. Chinchilla will take office on May 8th, 2010, replacing current President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Laureate. Chrissie Long and Sara Miller Liana of the Christian Sci ence Monitor report in their Febru ary 8, 2010, article, “Costa Rica elects first woman president, in spiring the region,” that Chinchilla hopes to improve Costa Rican health and safety and promote the nation’s becoming carbon neutral by 2021. In a February 9, 2010, article written by Ronny Rojas and Ran dall Cordero and appearing in La Nacion, a prominent Costa Rican newspaper. Chinchilla expressed the possibility of retaining officials from Arias’ administration. Doc tor Marcelo Ardon, a native Costa Rican and postdoctoral researcher Photo courtesy of http://fotoglif.eom/f/htz9vtagkn7i/zu5xebzjfbri at Duke University, explained that many citizens believed that by vot ing for Chinchilla they could keep in place Arias’ governmental poli cies. However, Chinchilla’s abil ity to pass legislation may prove difficult, as her party, Liberacion Nacional, will occupy only 23 of the 57 seats in the Asemblea Legis- lativa, Costa Rica’s parliament. Doctor Erin Lindquist, who leads summer study abroad pro grams to Costa Rica, echoes Ardon and adds, “I hope that Chinchilla will be a STRONG female leader and not just a follower of Arias’ policies so that she paves the way for future female presidents.” (cont. from page 2) the Camry and Avalon models will have reconfig- . ured floor surfaces to increase the space between the floor and the accelerator. The second “Pedal” recall affects certain RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Tun dra, and Sequoia models. The gas pedals on some of these models are sticking when depressed. In models affected by this recall, driv ers have noticed that the accelera tor pedal difficult to press, slow to return or is not smooth while they are driving. Toyota urges drivers to stop their vehicles at the “nearest safe location, the engine shut off, and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance,” if they are experienc ing any of these issues. There is also a third recall which only affects the 2010 Prius. As re ported by Toyota, “approximately 133,000 2010 Model Year Prius vehicles to update software in the vehicle’s antilock brake system (ABS). No other Toyota vehicles are involved in this recall.” The problem with the 2010 Prius is that some drivers are experiencing inconsistencies while braking. As with the other recalls, 2010 model Prius owners are strongly urged to take their cars to the nearest Toyota dealer to have this problem resolved. Toyota is a car company that has spent years building a great reputation among owners of their vehicles, but these recent recalls has severely impacted the way people view the company. In a message from Jim Lentz, Presi dent and Chief Operating Officer of Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota promises that they are critically reviewing the company’s “quality in design, production, sales, and service” that incited the current recalls. They also assure customers that they are improving commu nication methods with car owners and promise to investigate any safety issues immediately and thoroughly “without delay.” For more information about Toyota and the recent Toyota re calls, visit or call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. News at a Glance gathered by Mengjie Zhang • On Februaiy' 21st 2010, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown denied accusations of “abusive beha\ior” and "volcanic eruptions of foul temper” which have been made by top British political journalist, Andrew Rawnsley in a book that will be released on March 10, 2010. • Flash floods on the Portuguese island of Madeira on Februarj' 21st have left 42 people dead, more than 120 injured, and an unknown number missing. • A new Saudi Arabian law' allows female lawy'ers to argue cases in court—an action previously denied to them. • Three days after overthrowing Presi dent Mamadou i’andja (who was seized on Feb. 18th, 2010), the lead ers of the militaiy coup in Niger have promised a "return to constitutional order” and fresh elections. A new federal credit-card law took effect Monday. The Credit CARD Act was signed into effect in May 2009 and most of the provisions became effective Februaiy' 22nd. New provi sions include limited interest rate hikes, limited credit to those under 21, and limited universal default Photo by Anna Turner

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