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Publihsed Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 5
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axiom new d
Casa Canada


Certainly
not Kermit

This figure with the jaguar head is called Dular, and he is supposed to be a representation of the Bribri culture of southern Costa Rica with his green color (for the jungle), jaguar head, and a quetzal bird totem at the top of his staff. Meet some of his friends

Green guy
A.M. Costa Rica/Conor Golden


Government plan to reduce traffic jams moves slowly
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government keeps grinding toward a system where bus passengers will pay their fares electronically.

A report Thursday said the project had completed the first phase, which was discussions of the ideas among bus firm operators, local government officials and others who are interested. That took three months.

This is a major project because buses move about 2.2 million passengers every working day in the greater metro area, and central government officials see the plan as a way to cut traffic congestion.

The program has been designated Costa Rica Se Mueve by the central government. That means Costa Rica moves. But traffic really does not.

Traffic jams are a fact of  life, and some rush hours result in metro area gridlock.

There are 1,856 buses running on 85 routes each day, and the government plan would have them dump their passengers outside the downtown area. There also is a plan to use minibuses to handle short routes.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes also is trying to restructure the bus routes, but this has drawn opposition from bus company owners.

The government's theory is that people are declining to ride the buses because the system is inefficient.

The second stage of the plan is to put to public comment the outline of the transport plan. The comment period began a week ago.

The idea of improving public transportation is not new. There have been similar plans for 30

buses
Casa Presidencial photo
Two of  the 1,856 buses that travel the metro area each day.

years. But now the central government calls the need urgent.

Finally, later this year, the plan is to make bus transportation quicker, fix up the bus stops and install electronic payment.

Initial plans call for letting passengers use credit cards to pay the fares. There also has been talk of creating a special bus card for those who do not have credit cards. One such card already is on the market.

The government said it is hoping that by removing money from the control of bus drivers the number of stickups will decrease. Criminality is another reason individuals decline to ride the bus. Bus stops also are prime spots for stickups, particularly at night.

The proposal also includes plans to integrate bus transportation with that of the trains and also bicycles and other alternative methods.

The project has not been easy. One vice minister already lost his job due to opposition to the way he planned to restructure the bus routes. The current vice minister in charge of the project is  Liza Castillo.

The government timetables might be set back years if some of the individuals affected by the decisions decide to go to court. One reason might be because transportation users will be asked to pay more for electronic devices.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 5
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Dentistry


Dental                                                      Services rollover
Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
Where Science and Art meet!
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Psychotherapy

Dr. Gray
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California Licensed
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US (310) 827-4241
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Insurance professionals

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Residency experts

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JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA
A full service immigration agency
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There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
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Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )

Email:  javier@residencyincostarica.com
Web: www.residencyincostarica.com
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 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
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U.S. Tax
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(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
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James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
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Fine art restoration and conservation

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Real estate agents and services

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Century
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Tour desk

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Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356
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Eco
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Colinas del
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Virilla bridge lanes being closed Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The eastbound lanes of the Río Virilla bridge on the General Cañas autopista will be closed for 41 hours starting at noon Saturday. The lanes are scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Monday.

This is another challenge for motorists who are driving the main road from Juan Santamaría airport to the capital.

The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles said it was running trains from  Belén, Río Segundo and Heredia to San José Saturday.

This is one of a long string of closings on the bridge while work crews maneuver steel girders into place. The project is to widen each side of the bridge from two lanes to three. Closings of the westbound lanes are planned in the future when work moves to that side.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes created massive traffic jams with each daytime closing. The bulk of the closings have been during the night.


Low-level alert issued over volcano ash

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials issued a low-level alert for residents of the Central Valley Thursday due to the recent rumblings and dustings from the Turrialba volcano.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias issued the alert for the next few days in an attempt to raise awareness within the affected areas particularly if there is a presence of ash fall. The committee included a set of general guidelines on preparation for and removal of ash if it becomes present in the area.

This included bagging it instead of sweeping it down the drain, washing vegetables extensively before consumption, keeping a mask handy to avoid contact with one’s mouth, and storing water in an enclosed source among other recommendations. It also recommended not to cause panic or spread rumors and use just official sources for information.

Low amounts of rainfall and a huge mass of dry air was reported by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. This could aggravate the dust situation in the Central Valley as Turrialba continues spitting out more gas, ash, and vapor. The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico says the wind was moving dead east at a rate of 25.8 kilometers per hour. The observatory’s station at Turrialba reported a temperature of around 43 degrees F or about 5.5 C.

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados said that the water treatment plants are prepared to decontaminate any water from the rivers and streams that may have ash particles. In addition, the Laboratorio Nacional de Aguas consistently monitors the quality of drinkable water, officials said.

The institute warns the population to not drain the storage tanks for the communities of the metropolitan area. The recommendation is simple: use water as sparingly as possible. It also recommended that people do not use water for washing the ash off their cars or sidewalks and houses.

Air traffic also continues to be normal on Thursday as flights continue in and out of Juan Santamaría airport with no delays due to ash from Turrialba. Flight schedules can be checked HERE.


Four detained after robbery in Jacó

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police officials apprehended two men, a woman, and a minor after a robbery attempt at Jacó.

Fuerza Pública officers arriving on the scene were provided identifying characteristics of the getaway vehicle and the crooks. After police gave chase to a car leaving the area, officials managed to stop it and confiscate a firearm for which none of the suspects had a permit, they said. The robbers attempted to knock out the victim in order to steal his belongings, police said.

In another case that occurred in El Roble, the Fuerza Pública apprehended a suspect who was firing off a gun and trying to enter a house. According to officials, the man did not have permission to carry a firearm. Police confiscated the gun.


Two held in Sámara shoplifting case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police arrested two suspects Thursday accused of stealing from a supermarket in Sámara de Nicoya, Guanacaste.

Police officials said that these two men are apparently repeat offenders who have been consistently detained for the same crime. Individuals entered the supermarket and took away a smart phone as well as a flat screen TV, according to officials.

Officers of the Fuerza Pública who were making rounds along the nearby beach saw the two persons flee and made the arrest. Police confiscated several tools that the subjects were carrying on their persons including a four-way tire iron, a crowbar, a screwdriver and kitchenware.  



Trump pulling plug on ambassadors

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. ambassador here has received a mention in The New York Times because he is out of a job Jan. 20 when Donald Trump assumes the U.S. presidency.

Consequently, the ambassador, Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, his wife, a rabbi, and their four children will have to leave the ambassadorial residency in Los Laureles, Escazú. The Times reported that the Haneys also are concerned because their children will not be finishing their grade in school for five months.

Trump, a Republican, told all politically appointed ambassadors to leave their posts in cables issued two days before Christmas. Haney is not the only one facing housing and problems with children's schools,.

In the past, ambassadors sometimes were able to remain at their post until a successor was appointed. That is not happening this year. Ambassadors who are professional diplomats are not affected by Trump's edict.

Haney, a New York businessman, was a fundraiser for President Barack Obama. Presidents usually appoint their supporters to plum assignments like Costa Rica. Trump probably will do likewise. Haney would have lost the post even if fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton won the Nov. 8 election, but she might have allowed him to remain for a few months more.

Haney has mentioned that he and his wife were discussing where they would live. The family lived in Englewood, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

However, Haney is unlikely to be on the unemployment line. During the year and a half he was in Costa Rica, he showed he was personable and a competent defender of U.S. interests. He also is fluent in Spanish as well as Hebrew.

Having the word ambassador on the resume is a big plus, and Haney most likely will resume his life as an international businessman. The second in command at the embassy will take over until Trump names a new ambassador.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 5
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protectors
Instituto Nacional de Seguros graphic
Each of these are unique characters created by the designers at the state insurance company.
Yes, there is life (sort of) after a Festival de la Luz appearance
By Conor Golden
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Superheroes are now hanging around the plaza of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros building.

The figures are what remains on display from the state insurance giant’s parade float from the 2016 Festival de la Luz. Company representatives said these pieces will continue posing at the Museo del Jade, which is an affiliate, starting next week.

With the work it took to design and construct those figures as well as the creation of the marketing campaign related to the figures, the insurance company reasoned it made sense to give the concept a farewell display, workers said.

Diego Valverde, who works in the insurance agency’s communications department and is a member of the float design team, emphasized the intense effort taken in fashioning the complete scene. This included: creating the characters from scratch, designing a story surrounding them to give the figures a purpose, turning that story into an actual comic strip and even some cartoon shorts, and then turning paper designs into large models put in the public eye.

It was not all for fun and games, however. Valverde confirmed there was a marketing strategy detailing everything such as the design of the figures’ costumes, the color choices, and even the names attached to the figures. The ultimate purpose, he said, was to emphasize an image of the insurance company as a protector among the Costa Rican public. That was the theme: protection.

The characters range from a brawny, green figure from Bribri mythology to a yoga-like character striking a tranquil pose representing empathy. There also is a figure representing the insurance company's health services. 

Another figure with a mechanical arm represents strength.

The interesting factor is the brevity of the entire experience. 
Yoga girl
A.M. Costa Rica/Conor Golden
Sintonía is supposed to symbolize empathy.

This year’s result was apparently popular enough for the institute to win the 2016 prize for best parade float in the Festival de la Luz. Next year will likely present a new theme and a new design and new figures when the state insurance company decides to participate in this year’s parade.

It took three months to complete the float for the festival parade this year, according to Valverde. From creating a concept to evolving it into a theme and then actually doing the nitty gritty construction, the insurance company opened up its arsenal of manpower and money among its employees to get it done.


Hotel header
 
Crocs
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Palermo 900
 
La
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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Retaining brain volume in elderly is linked to Mediterranean diet
By American Academy of Neurology news staff

A study shows that older people who followed a Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over  three years than those who did not follow the diet as closely. The study is published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Contrary to earlier studies, eating more fish and less meat was not related to changes in the brain.

The Mediterranean diet includes large amounts of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans and cereal grains, such as wheat and rice, moderate amounts of fish, dairy and wine, and limited red meat and poultry.
 
“As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells which can affect learning and memory,” said study author Michelle Luciano of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. “This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health.”

Researchers gathered information on the eating habits of 967 Scottish people around age 70 who did not have dementia. Of those people, 562 had an MRI brain scan around age 73 to measure overall brain volume, gray matter volume and thickness of the cortex, which is the outer layer of the brain. From that group, 401 people then returned for a second MRI at age 76.

These data measurements were compared to how closely participants followed the Mediterranean diet.

The participants varied in how closely their dietary habits followed the Mediterranean diet principles. People who didn’t follow as closely to the Mediterranean diet were more likely to have a higher loss of total brain volume over the three years than people who followed the diet more closely. The difference in diet explained 0.5 percent of the variation in total brain volume, an effect that was half the size of that due to normal aging.

The results were the same when researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect brain volume, such as age, education and having diabetes or high blood pressure.  There was no relationship between grey matter volume or cortical thickness and the Mediterranean diet.

The researchers also found that fish and meat consumption were not related to brain changes, which is contrary to earlier studies.

“It’s possible that other components of the Mediterranean diet are responsible for this relationship, or that it’s due to all of the components in combination,” Luciano said.

Luciano noted that earlier studies looked at brain measurements at one point in time, whereas the current study followed people over time.
 
“In our study, eating habits were measured before brain volume was, which suggests that the diet may be able to provide long-term protection to the brain,” said Luciano. “Still, larger studies are needed to confirm these results.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:  www.HiddenGardenArt.com
Contact us by email: info@HiddenGardenArt.com  
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.
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Georgre Lundquist header

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

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See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
HERE!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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George Lundquist

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Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

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Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877
Email:  info@travelinparadisecr.com
Web:  www.travelinparadisecr.com
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Howard
                        rollover
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COSTA RICA SOLAR
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solar two
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    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

farm house
Beautiful Home for Rent.
2-bedroom, 1-bath, furnished house inside gated farm. Close to town. No dogs. $650  includes electricity, internet, WiFi, cable TV, water. Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives on site. Quiet, secure. 
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xxxx-2/5/16

Tropical Homes

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
9055-2/23/17

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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9049-7/31/17





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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 5
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Axiom new ad

Intelligence chiefs are certain
Russia meddled in election


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The evidence is firm that Russia interfered with the November presidential election, America's intelligence chiefs testified Thursday, but there is no way to tell whether the actions helped Donald Trump win.

"The Russians have a long history of interfering in elections, theirs and other people's," National Intelligence Director James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee,"but we have never encountered such a direct campaign to interfere with the election process as we have seen in this case."

Clapper told the senators that Russia undertook a multifaceted campaign that included not just hacking and leaking Democratic Party emails but also issuing classical propaganda, misinformation, fake news.

Clapper said he could not know for sure whether the Russian leaks of sensitive information influenced the choices voters made on Nov. 8, but he did say Russia did not interfere with the vote counting or the final result.

Many Democrats think the Russian hacking was specifically aimed at helping Trump win the White House over Hillary Clinton. Some Republican lawmakers say outside interference targeting any U.S. political party is a crime.

Clapper joined National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers and other senior U.S. officials Thursday in saying there was no way Moscow could have meddled in the election without the direct approval of Russia's most senior officials.

Clapper provided little concrete evidence against Russia, saying public disclosure would damage U.S. intelligence operations.

"We have invested billions, and we have put people's lives at risk to glean such information," Clapper said. He told the senators an unclassified version of the top-secret report would be released next week.

"I think the public should know as much about this as possible, and so we'll be as forthcoming as we can. But there are some sensitive and fragile sources and methods here," Clapper said.

Trump, who has made no secret of his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has said he has serious doubts Russia was involved in the hacking. He plans to get an intelligence briefing Friday, but has not spoken highly of the U.S. intelligence community.

When asked about Trump, Clapper said he thought that policymakers should always have healthy skepticism about intelligence, but thinks there is a difference between skepticism and disparagement.

Trump has repeatedly expressed doubt that Russia meddled in the vote, though he appeared to backtrack slightly Thursday morning, tweeting that he was a big fan of U.S. intelligence while taking a swipe at the dishonest media for misrepresenting his views.

"The dishonest media likes saying that I am in Agreement with Julian Assange — wrong. I simply state what he states, it is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth. The media lies to make it look like I am against 'Intelligence' when in fact I am a big fan!" Trump said in back-to-back tweets.

Clapper, during Thursday's hearing, said he didn't think Assange was a credible source, noting that the WikiLeaks founder had, in the past, put the lives of U.S. intelligence operatives at risk.


Trump attacks Toyota's plan
to sell Mexican-built cars


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is attacking Japan's Toyota company, the world's biggest automaker, for its plan to build its Corolla model in Mexico and then sell the compact car in the United States.

"NO WAY!" Trump said in a Twitter message Thursday. "Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax."

Trump's attack on Toyota came two days after he criticized the biggest U.S. automaker, General Motors, for its plan to build its Cruze compact cars in Mexico and then sell the vehicles in the United States. Both General Motors and Toyota can make their cars with cheaper labor in Mexico and then take advantage of Mexico's free trade agreements with 40 countries, including the U.S., to ship the cars to overseas dealers.

Trump, who assumes power in 15 days, assailed U.S. trade deals during his lengthy presidential campaign, including the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement the U.S. has with Mexico and Canada. He says the trade deals have cost American workers their jobs.

The president-elect has vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on products U.S. companies make overseas and then send back to the United States for sales to American customers. But he would need congressional approval for the tariff and risks starting a trade war with other countries if a sharply higher levy is imposed and higher costs for American consumers buying foreign-made goods.

Toyota says that starting in 2019 its new $1 billion plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, will produce about 200,000 Corolla compact cars a year for the North American market. It is the second-best-selling compact car in the U.S., with 360,000 sales last year trailing only those of Honda's Civic model.

Toyota already builds the Corolla in the southern U.S. State of Mississippi and in Ontario, Canada, two of 15 manufacturing plants it operates in North America.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda told reporters at a New Year's gathering Thursday that the company wants to grow employment in whatever countries it operates manufacturing plants, including the U.S. Toyoda said he "would like to closely watch various decisions" Trump makes, including whether he renegotiates the terms of the U.S. trade deal with Mexico and Canada.


Released prisoners receive
warm reception in Arabia


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Pentagon has identified the latest group of detainees released from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as four Yemenis, all of whom had been in custody for at least 14 years as suspected members of the al-Qaida terror network.

The four arrived Thursday in Riyadh, capital of the Saudi kingdom, where they were reunited with family members in a gathering that was both tearful and joyous.

The Saudi interior ministry said King Salman has decided the four men will live in the kingdom and take part in a rehabilitation and de-radicalization program. No specific charges were ever brought against them during their time at Guantanamo.

Fifty-five prisoners now remain at the U.S. detention center on Cuban soil, which President Barack Obama had promised to close down when he took office eight years ago. Disputes over how to handle the prisoners' release, or where to house them, blocked many efforts to thin the camp's population.

U.S. officials reportedly plan to transfer abroad up to 15 other prisoners before Obama leaves the White House on Jan. 20, but it appears the president's goal of closing down the detention camp completely will not be met.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress rebuffed a series of attempts to move detainees from Cuba to maximum-security prisons in the United States, and president-elect Donald Trump has said he intends to keep Guantanamo open and filled.

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted his opposition to further prisoner transfers: “There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”

If any more detainees are transferred abroad during the two weeks before Obama's term expires, news reports suggest they could go to Italy, Oman or the United Arab Emirates.

A Pentagon statement issued after the prisoners arrived in Riyadh said: “The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”

U.S. and Saudi officials ensured the transfers took place with appropriate security and humane treatment, the statement added.

Saudi Arabia's state news agency identified the freed detainees as Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanem, Salem Ahmed Hadi bin Kanad, Abdullah Yehya Yousef al-Shibli and Mohammed Bawazir.


robot
Voice of America photo  
Jackrabbot interacts with a Stanford student

Robot trying to learn manners
during Stanford campus travel

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There is a student on the campus of Stanford University in California’s Silicon Valley that is getting lots of attention.

The student is a robot named Jackrabbot, after the jackrabbit, a relative of the rabbit and found in California. The Jackrabbot has been roaming the university campus to learn social skills so it can be polite in human company.

The robot moves on a Segway platform and has multimodal sensors to help it learn. On this day, Jackrabbot is dressed in a hat and tie, causing people to stare or pull out their mobile phones and take its picture.

“I thought it was really cute,” said Stanford University student Michelle Li, who crossed paths with the robot. “I didn’t know what it was, but I saw the hat and the tie and thought it was really cute”

One of Jackrabbot’s teachers is research scientist Alexandre Alahi of Stanford’s Computational Vision and Geometry Lab directed by Silvio Savarese.

“We basically want to develop a more polite robot that will understand how people behave,” said Alahi, who has always been interested in developing intelligent machines that can help humans.

“We want the robot to able to, for instance, help elderly people to move around,” he said, adding, “Help blind people also to move, assist humans in their shopping, guide them around. Guide them in terms of evacuation and really share any social scene with humans by getting along well with them.”

Alahi said that could include service robots offering drinks at a party. Mark Trenchard, who works with the web and technology on campus, met the robot and says a service robot would work if done correctly.

“If it works then it becomes kind of invisible,” he said. “It’s just like a service to me, but if I see it doing weird things and like kind of getting in my way of getting that drink or whatever then I start to think I could just get it myself. Why do we have this robot slowing me down?”

Alahi says safely and seamlessly interacting with humans in dynamic and often crowded environments is what Jackrabbot is trying to learn through what’s called a data-driven approach. Instead of writing rules in code for the robot to follow, Jackrabbot is learning by collecting data or experiences, to understand human behavior so it can predict what humans will do next.


Kerry won't express his views
about politics until he leaves


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Have tweets on world affairs by president-elect Donald Trump since his election in November undermined the end of the tenure of the incumbent secretary of State?

John Kerry on Thursday, at what he termed his final State Department news conference, declined to directly comment on what he said is effectively still politics.

With two more weeks in the job, Kerry said, "I still have a couple of trips which are important and conversations I intend to be having on behalf of our country, things we still want to get done."

After Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, Kerry added that he would have plenty of opportunity to speak out and to do so at what he defines as an appropriate time, he added.

Kerry spent the bulk of his time at the State Department podium Thursday afternoon touting what he regarded as the administration's wide-ranging top foreign policy accomplishments, from the Iran nuclear deal to the Paris climate change agreement.

"Nobody can predict what choices this administration is going to make," Kerry said. "I think the question a lot of people ask is, ‘Do they know?'"

Trump has made almost daily policy pronouncements, some of them radical departures from existing U.S. positions, on the Twitter social media platform, unsettling diplomats at home and abroad.

The Trump tweets are the antithesis of the traditional bureaucratic method of nuancing foreign policy through carefully written speeches and lengthy papers.

Kerry, who chaired the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations for four years, expressed hope that solid thinkers and patriots would come forward and put their ideas on the table for the new administration.

In his most direct public comment yet about Trump's surprise victory over Hillary Clinton, who was Kerry's predecessor as secretary of State, the former senator said, "It was a lot about people's disappointment with government, writ large."

Asked if he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin directed the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the presidential campaign, Kerry replied, "I accept the judgment of the intelligence community that this went to the highest level" of the Russian government.

Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson to succeed Kerry at the State Department.

Tillerson, who spent his entire career at one company in the oil and gas industry, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, would become the first secretary of State with no prior government or military experience.

Tillerson is certain to be grilled during his Wednesday confirmation hearing about his ties to Putin, about which powerful lawmakers from both parties have expressed concern.

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                                  graphic
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solar two
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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Real estate for sale (paid category)


Samara
                                  acreage
Sámara titled land for sale by owner
5.7 acres. Only 150 meters to beach: $275,000
Less than $12 a meter

Fully titled, held by corporation. 150 meters to beach! Paved road frontage. Electric, phone and broadband internet at the road. Year-round water on property for well. 3 -minute drive to Sámara center and a 3-minute walk to Playa Sámara. 23,561 square meters / 5.7 acres. Property was purchased on 2005 with plans to develop 21 villas on the property. Project was halted due to real estate market collapse in 2007.  We are no longer interested in developing due to age, health and motivation!  Priced well below market value for quick sale.  More info click HERE! Email: darrandall@yahoo.com    Phone: 506-4033-6695.
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Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean
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San Rmon
                                  rollover
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
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New graphic
For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning. Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 506- 8307-0164
Bruce Cohen

Penthouse
                                  rollover
Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
9132-6/1/17

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Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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A.M.
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 5
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
cell phones
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Each of these cell telephones represents a theft or a robbery.  Fuerza Pública confiscated them from a couple in Pococí just after a man there lost a phone.


Arrest report was overstated, cops say

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Tuesday arrest report by police turned out to be a false alarm.

Fuerza Pública and Policía Turística officers announced then that Youssef Khater, a Danish citizen of Lebanese origin, was arrested in Puerto Viejo on an allegation of conducting a scam upon a victim in Quepos. Khater had two 2014 complaints made against him for charges of fraud involving taking other persons' money.

Thursday the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública readjusted the report. Khater was merely held by police on the street in one of their random stop-and-frisk searches for around two hours, the ministry said. The police claimed the purpose of this stop was to confiscate any illegal items such as drugs. Officers also said they were attempting to verify the identity of Khater.

Rafael Araya, the regional director for the Fuerza Pública in the Caribbean zone, insisted that Khater was not formally arrested on any charges. Araya also quickly confirmed that Khater was released upon finding nothing incriminating and verifying his identity. He was not, as the Tuesday report suggested, turned over to judicial agents and detained in a Limón cell.

The Judicial Investigating Organization confirmed Thursday that the woman in question who brought formal charges against Khater in this instance is the same person as from the 2014 complaint and that both complaints are inactive.

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From Page 7:

batteries
Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure photo
This is the battery storage set up at Veragua

Jungle tourism site decides to use solar

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A respected Caribbean coast tourist location has opted for a solar electrical system to replace the current diesel.

The tourism site is Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure, which is in the jungle about 26 kilometers from Limón Centro.

A firm called Sunshine Solar Corp. put in 176 solar panels with 24-battery storage. Sunshine is a subsidiary of  Losko S.A., a long time operator of hydro projects.

The tourism operation expects to save money on the changeover and also eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, said Marti Jimenez, Veragua president, in a release.

Among other visitors, Veragua hosts day tripper from cruise ships that put in at Limón.