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(506) 2223-1327                              San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 4                            Email us
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Those who died from flu had little in common
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who have died of swine flu in December ranged in age from a 3-year-old male patient at the Hospital Nacional de Niños to a 77-year-old woman from Ciudad Quesada.

A summary of the 14 victims so far failed to disclose any geographical similarities. Although six persons died in the Hospital de San Carlos, their homes were in six separate communities.

There was one deaths at Hospital CIMA, that of a 41-year old woman listed as being from India. There was one death at Hospital Clinica 
Católica, that of a 21-year-old who was suffering from convulsions.
All seemed to have some medical condition in addition to the flu. Three were listed as drug addicts.

Four had heart disease, including the child at the Hospital Nacional de Niños. Three were listed as obese.

Only two of the dead had received vaccinations.

This was the information provide by the Ministerio de Salud Wednesday.

Health officials are trying to ease public concern and note that some deaths take place each year due to respiratory problems. Five cases still are under investigation to see if AH1N1, swine flu, is involved.


French center
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
The Alianza Francesa building includes a variety of styles.
More work planned to maintain historic building
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The impressive green building and wrought iron fence are hard to miss when traveling east on Avenida 7 at Calle 5. Not everyone realizes that the structure is more than 100 years old.

This has been the headquarters of Alianza Francesa, the French cultural center, for the last 50 years

Keeping a primarily wooden building  in good condition in the tropics is not easy. So the latest project is getting some 16 million colons (about $30,000) from the  Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural.

Alianza Francesa recently completed internal restorations of the roof framework. Now the work will center on the six dormer windows, the brick front and the window and door
frames. The roof will get a paint job, as will most of the exterior wood trim. The unique metal decorative items also will be spiffed up, said the Centro de Patrimonio, part of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.

The structure, built in 1896, is a snapshot of how a coffee baron lived. The building went up as a home for  Manuel Sandoval Jiménez. This is when Costa Rica and San José were developing European tendencies, and down the street the Teatro Nacional was being erected. The location, of course, is in Barrio Amón, once the home of the rich and famous.

Alianza Francesa gives many lessons in French in the building, and it also is a stop on the Art City Tour.  Expats who are interested in the building's history and architecture are able to drop by for a visit and perhaps refreshments at the cafe.

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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

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 Accountants

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Legal services

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Our readers' opinions
U.S. not near top in gun killings

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

After reading Mr. Kantrowitz's comments in the Wednesday edition, I was left scratching my head as to why it is that liberals seem to think it is ok to totally fabricate information to suit their positions. 

So Mr. Kantrowitz, you stated that right wingers kill more people than suspected Muslim terrorists in the U.S., but such a statement is totally unfounded. In fact the mass shootings were pretty much all done by liberals or people with Democrat roots.

As far as the false statement you made that the U.S. leads the industrialized world in firearm homicides at a rate of 3.5 per 1,000, you forgot a few zeros. It is actually 3.5 per 100,000 per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for 2014, and per a Washington Post article dated 17 December 2012, the USA isn't even close to the top in gun homicides.

At that time the USA was at 3.2 per 100,000 and showed over 270,000,000 firearms were owned by private citizens, a ranking of No. 1 in the world for private firearm ownership.   Costa Rica's gun homicide rate was 4.59 per 100,000. Brazil's was 18.1. Mexico was 9.97. Belize was 21.82. South Africa, 17.03, and pretty much all of Central and South America and many other parts of the world, despite their gun regulations, were much higher than the firearm homicide rates of the U.S.A.

By the way, most reasonable people believe in some degree of gun control, background checks, keeping them out of the hands of mentally ill and criminals, and the reason there are many opposed to new controls is that they feel that once liberals chip away at gun rights it's only a matter of time before they try to abolish private gun ownership completely.  Criminals and terrorists don't care what kind of gun laws there are, they don't follow any laws and can easily get black market weapons.
Jim Day
Playas del Coco  


What will happen in Europe in five years?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

To preface, this is not a dissertation on whether President Obama is right on wrong in his recent efforts on gun control.

It's obvious Mr. Kantrowitz enjoys taking numbers at face value and portrays the distinction between industrialized and non-industrialized as somehow noteworthy or, that it gives  credence to his comparative observations.  Fact remains, murder is murder, and dead is dead
regardless where it takes place. 

Given that Mr. Kantrowitz is into generalizations, I would suggest that the U.S. propensity for accepting immigrants from here, there and everywhere throughout its existence, speaks for itself.  It would be interesting to fast forward five years to compare murder statistics for
European (industrialized) countries given the migration that has recently occurred.

Would be curious to know the source in support of the following statement made in his letter "More people are killed by these right wing terrorists then the Muslim scare we keep being told about."
J. H. Penner
Richmond, British Columbia


statistics
Data supplied by Bob Normand

The U.S. problem is in large cities

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I enjoyed reading Henry Kantrowitz’ letter to the editor in today’s A.M. Costa Rica. I do believe a great deal of gun violence relates to drug use and trafficking as well as crimes committed under the influence of a drug or alcohol.

But Mr. Kantrowitz should be more careful about using statistics. His numbers are off in several ways. Murder rates are quoted as a ratio of occurrences per 100,000 population not per 1,000. In murder rate, the U.S. ranks only 121 out of 216 as shown above. Unfortunately, the Americas (North, Central and South) as a group has the highest murder rate in the world. This is particularly true in Central America. Even though Costa Rica is the lowest murder rate in Central America, it’s still twice the U.S. rate (new data for 2015 is likely to spike the Costa Rica rate to 12+). Look up the data, I did (Wikipedia).

Numbers from the World Bank or CIA data show somewhat different absolute numbers but give the same overall comparison.
 
In the U.S., the most serious problem seems to be in large, sophisticated cities, and it’s been increasing in 2015. Chicago’s rate through August projects to be 14.5, Baltimore will be 34.7, and Milwaukee is shooting for (pun intended) 17.4. These are closer to Central American rates.
 
Mr. Obama would do better to confront the big city murder problem in the U.S. rather than worry about tightening background checks, which have been shown to be meaningless (e.g., San Bernadino). The Wild West may be over but it’s obvious that today’s wild west is keeping the murder rate average in the country suppressed from achieving even higher numbers.
 
Bob Normand
Quepos

Editor's Note: A sharper editor would have caught the honest statistical error by Mr. Kantrowitz and brought it to his attention.
 

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Plan to transport Cubans does not include those waiting in Panamá
By the A.M. Cuba staff

Costa Rica will not admit Cuban migrants who are stranded in Panamá adjacent to the country's southern border, the foreign minister, Manuel González, said Wednesday.

He said that those migrants have to make their way to the United States other than under a transportation plan Costa Rica has in mind.

The foreign minister made this comment while discussing what he called a pilot project to send 180 Cubans by air to El Salvador Tuesday. The airlift will be from Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia via Avianca.

The plan is to transport the migrants by bus to the northern Mexican border from El Salvador.

González noted that the Cubans are likely to face some resentment as they travel by land because they are the only national group that gets preferential treatment from U.S. immigration authorities. He noted that in the countries to the north, El Salvador, Guatemala and México, there are individuals who have been deported from the United States.

Each of the adults involved in the pilot project will pay $550 to a private travel firm for the trip.

That amount also covers the $29 exit tax from Costa Rica, the $60 visa for El Salvador and the $10 visa for Guatemala, the foreign ministry noted.

Ironically, $1 of the Costa Rican exit tax goes into a fund for victims of human trafficking.

González emphasized that the Cubans here are legal because they have government-issued visas. His ministry also is backing away from the details of the pilot project by saying that none of the governments of the countries involved and none of the international organizations will assume the cost of the trips and that payment is a private transaction.

Those selected for the trip will be those with the longest time in Costa Rica with the capacity to pay, said a ministry announcement.

Based on the capacity of the pilot project aircraft, some 44 flights would be needed to move the 7,800 Cubans already in Costa Rica to El Salvador. And that also would represent a charge of $4.3 million.

González really did not have an answer when asked about those migrants who might be unable to pay the requested fare.

In addition to the visas, the fee is supposed to cover food,

Gonzalez
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo
Manuel González  gives details with aid of sign translator

travel insurance, bus fares, lodging along the way and other expenses.

The International Organization for Migration will be the agency that evaluates and picks the travel firms, it said.

González said that after the first group reaches México, representatives of the governments in the region will meet to evaluate the entire project.

If the plan is adopted for the rest of the Cubans, the government envisions flights from Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela as well as the Liberia airport.

Most of the Cubans flew from their island to Ecuador and traveled by land to Costa Rica. They seek to take advantage of the 1966 Cold War era U.S. law that gives them immigration preference.

The Costa Rica situation is similar to the situations elsewhere as Cubans seek better economic conditions in the United States before the U.S. welcome mat is withdrawn due to that country's rapprochement with Cuba.

The Pew Research Center said it filed a public record request to learn from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that 43,159 Cubans entered the U.S. via ports of entry in fiscal year 2015.



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Radiocarbon dating found to be effective in studying sea turtles
By the Duke University news service

Radiocarbon dating of atomic bomb fallout found in sea turtle shells can be used to reliably estimate the ages, growth rates and reproductive maturity of sea turtle populations in the wild, a new study led by Duke University and U.S. government researchers finds.

The technique provides more accurate estimates than other methods scientists currently use and may help shed new light on factors influencing the decline and lack of recovery of some endangered sea turtles populations.

“The most basic questions of sea turtle life history are also the most elusive,” said Kyle Van Houtan, fisheries research ecologist at Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and adjunct associate professor at Duke.  The research center is a facilty of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Van Houtan and his colleagues analyzed hard tissue from the shells of 36 deceased hawksbill sea turtles collected since the 1950s. The turtles either died naturally or were harvested for their decorative shells as part of the global tortoise shell trade. The researchers worked with federal agencies, law enforcement and museum archives to obtain the specimens.

The scientists were able to estimate each turtle’s approximate age by comparing the bomb-testing radiocarbon accumulated in its shell to background rates of bomb-testing radiocarbon deposited in Hawaii’s corals. Levels of carbon-14 increased rapidly in the biosphere from the mid-1950s to about 1970 as a result of Cold War-era nuclear tests but have dropped at predictable rates since then, allowing scientists to determine the age of an organism based on its carbon-14 content.

Van Houtan and his team were able to estimate median growth rates and ages of sexual maturity in the collected specimens by comparing their radiocarbon measurements to those of other wild and captive hawksbill populations whose growth rates were known. 

This is the first time carbon-14 dating of shell tissue has been used to estimate age, growth and maturity in sea turtles. Previously, scientists employed other, less precise methods such as using turtle length as a proxy for age, or analyzing the incomplete growth layers in hollow bone tissue. 

hawkbill shells
Duke University/Kyle Van Houtan
These are some of the Hawkbill shells used in the study

The researchers published their peer-reviewed research in the Proceedings of Royal Society B. 

Aside from giving scientists a more reliable tool for estimating turtle growth and maturity, Van Houtan believes the new technique sheds light on why some populations, including Hawaiian hawksbills, the smallest sea turtle population on Earth, aren’t rebounding as quickly as expected despite years of concerted conservation.

“Our analysis finds that hawksbills in the Hawaii population deposit eight growth lines annually, which suggests that females begin breeding at 29 years, significantly later than any other hawksbill population in the world. This may explain why they haven’t yet rebounded,” Van Houtan said.

The bomb radiocarbon tests also indicate another red flag, he said.

“They appear to have been omnivores as recently as the 1980s. Now, they appear to be primarily herbivores. Such a dramatic decline in their food supply could delay growth and maturity, and may reflect ecosystem changes that are quite ominous in the long term for hawksbill populations in Hawaii,” he said.  

Although the new research focused primarily on Hawaiian hawksbills, bomb radiocarbon dating could be used to study other hawksbill populations, or populations from other sea turtle species, worldwide.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8840-2/2/16

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
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See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
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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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Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090
OUR EMAIL: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com

VISIT OUR WEB:
www.CR-Solar.com

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
8766-7/30/16

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
tropical homes
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
8784-2/19/16


Real estate for rent (paid category)
Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $600-$650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8909-4/17/15



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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 4
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18th century boat turns up
under Virginia building site


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At a construction site in the port city of Alexandria, Virginia, close to Washington, archaeologists are carefully digging out by hand an 18th century ship.

The find was discovered in December as excavation began for a new hotel. Three-D scanning imagery has indicated that the underground vessel was about 15 meters long, but that may only be one-third of its actual length when it was at sea.

Calling the discovery an extremely significant find, the Alexandria’s city archaeologist, Francine Bromberg, said the ship calls back the time when Alexandria was a major East Coast port.  Europeans settled in Alexandria with their ships in the late 1600s. 

Ms. Bromberg said the location probably once was the local landfill, filled with water, where the ship was deliberately sunk. She said the wood did not decay because it has been buried underground.
    
“But as it’s exposed to the oxygen, the wood begins to deteriorate,” she explained, "and we can already see cracking occurring.”  For now, the heavy timber pieces will be preserved in tanks with plain drinking water, she said, until a preservation lab can be found.

How it was used is a mystery, said Bromberg, but it was probably a military ship or a trade ship that traveled along the United States East Coast.  As naval archeologists help disassemble the ship, they search for markings or artifacts to help identify it.

Ms. Bromberg said other ships have been discovered in Alexandria, but they usually are not as old. The hope is that this ship can go on display in the future.


Two more from Guantanamo
sent overseas, Pentagon says


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Pentagon has announced that two inmates from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba have been transferred to Ghana.

The decision to move the two suspected terrorists from the prison was based on several factors, including security matters, after a comprehensive review of their cases, officials said.

Ghana's foreign ministry identified the two former prisoners as being from Yemen and says they were cleared of all terror charges.

It says Ghana, as a member of the international community, has a responsibility to assist in what it calls the international crisis situation, including accepting refugees from Syria.

The Pentagon says 105 prisoners remain at Guantanamo.

President Barack Obama has made closing the military prison one of his goals before he leaves office.

However, many in Congress are reluctant to approve shuttering Guantanamo because some of its inmates would be transferred to federal prisons across the U.S.


California terrorists' friend
denies guilt in court visit


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The man accused of supplying guns to the killers in the California terror attack pleaded innocent Wednesday to conspiracy and other charges.

The man, Enrique Marquez, Jr., is the first person arrested over the deadliest terror attack in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.  He faces two charges of firearms violations for being the so-called straw buyer in the purchase of two assault rifles used in the Dec. 2 attack in San Bernardino. Marquez is also accused of conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012 to provide material support to terrorists.

Two other charges, fraud and making false statements on immigration documents, are related to an alleged sham marriage. His trial is set for Feb. 23.

According to the FBI, Marquez and Farook were friends who grew up next door to each other in Riverside. Farook introduced Marquez to Islam as a teenager a decade ago and indoctrinated him in violent extremism.

Marquez is not charged with direct involvement in the attack last month that left 14 people dead and more than 20 wounded, but officials say his purchase of the guns and his failure to warn authorities about Farook had deadly consequences.

Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, died in a shootout with police a few hours after they opened fire inside a holiday party attended by Farook's co-workers.

According to the criminal complaint, Marquez phoned the authorities hours after the San Bernardino shooting and told the dispatcher that the attackers used my gun.

Marquez told investigators that he and Farook had planned to launch attacks at Riverside City College, where they attended classes, and on a notoriously congested section of highway without exits.

Several pipe bombs were used in the San Bernardino attack. However, none exploded.


Writer in Islamic State Syria
believed to have been executed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Islamic State group has executed what is believed to be the first female citizen journalist for reporting inside its territory, Syrian activists reported.

The woman, Ruqia Hassan, 30, wrote about daily life in Raqqa, the Islamic State's Syrian stronghold and the frequent target of coalition air strikes against the group. Her frequent Facebook posts appeared under the pen name Nissan Ibrahim.

The exact date of Ms. Hassan’s execution is unknown, but her presence on social media stopped abruptly in July 2015.

News of her death was confirmed this week by Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group exposing human rights abuses from within Syria.

The group's founder Abu Mohammed tweeted Ms. Hassan’s last known message: "I’m in Raqqa and I received death threats, and when #ISIS [arrests] me and kills me it’s ok because they will cut my head and I have dignity its better than I live in humiliation with #ISIS."

Ms. Hassan was an independent reporter who studied philosophy at Aleppo University and joined the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government when the revolution began in Raqqa.

After the Islamic State entered the city, she refused to leave and began reporting on the human rights abuses occurring there.


North Korea's bomb claim
stirs up the political waters


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

North Korea's claim to have carried out a successful hydrogen bomb test quickly played its way Wednesday into the 2016 U.S. presidential contest.

Several Republican contenders blamed the feckless and failed foreign policy of Democratic President Barack Obama and the leading Democratic presidential candidate, his first-term secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, for allowing Pyongyang to reportedly carry out its fourth nuclear test in the last decade.

One of the leading Republican contenders, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, said, "Our enemies around the world are taking advantage of Obama's weakness."

He accused Obama of sitting idly by, while a lunatic leader in Pyongyang, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, imperils international peace.

Another Republican candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said the test "underscores the gravity of the threats we are facing right now and also the sheer folly of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy."

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two U.S. presidents, said, the "North Korean nuke test shows danger of continuing feckless Obama-Clinton foreign policy."

Billionaire real estate titan Donald Trump, currently leading the Republican presidential field in U.S. political surveys, said China should solve the problem of North Korean nuclear tests.

"And if they don't solve the problem," Trump said, "we should make trade very difficult for China. ... North Korea is totally under their control. Without China, they wouldn't eat," said Trump, who called Kim a madman.

Even Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders called on the U.S. to press China into forcing North Korea to abide by international norms.

Mrs. Clinton called the North Korean nuclear test a provocative and dangerous act, which the U.S. should meet with new sanctions against the reclusive Pyongyang government and strengthened missile defenses.

In a statement, Mrs. Clinton said, "North Korea must have no doubt that we will take whatever steps are necessary to defend ourselves and our treaty allies, South Korea and Japan."

State-by-state Republican and Democratic political contests start next month in the U.S. to pick the parties' presidential nominees, with the national election coming in November. The winner will replace Obama as he leaves office next January.


Petitions to ban Trump
scheduled for a UK debate


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

British lawmakers have scheduled a debate for later this month on a petition signed by more than 500,000 people seeking to ban U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from Britain.

Last month Trump, a billionaire real estate developer and frontrunner among Republican candidates, prompted international outrage by calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States "until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on."

He proposed the ban after a Dec. 2 mass shooting that killed 14 people in California by two Muslims whom the FBI said had been radicalized.

The debate, called by the Petitions Committee of the lower house of Parliament, will be held Jan. 18 but any conclusion reached by the lawmakers will not be binding.

"By scheduling a debate . . . the committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the government should exclude Donald Trump from the UK," House of Commons Petitions Committee Chairwoman Helen Jones said. "As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the committee has decided that the subject should be debated.

"A debate will allow a range of views to be expressed," Ms. Jones said.

In the past, people have been banned from entering Britain for fostering hatred that might provoke inter-community violence.

Anti-Muslim American speakers such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been blocked from entering the country by these rules before, as have extremist Islamic preachers and others whose presence the home secretary has decided would "not be conducive to the public good," the Washington Post reported.

In December, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Trump's comments were "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong."

Finance Minister George Osborne said Trump's comments flew in the face of the founding principles of America but that banning him from Britain was not the best way to respond.

The petition was launched by long-time Trump critic Suzanne Kelly, a Scottish-based campaigner, who said, "The U.K. has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the U.K. If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the unacceptable behavior criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”

The British government responds to all petitions that gain more than 10,000 signatures, and topics are considered for parliamentary debate if they reach 100,000.

A separate petition, which opposes banning Trump from the country, has been signed by nearly 40,000 people. It will also be debated.

Helen Fenwick, a professor at Durham Law School, said that some supporters of the Trump ban say that the American businessman should be banned from the country because he has incited hatred on the grounds of religion, something made illegal by Britain's hate speech legislation. However, Ms. Fenwick said she doubts that Trump's comments would fall within that definition. His comments were insulting rather than threatening, she noted to the paper.


U.S. education department
encourages school tolerance

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Will the new year bring peace to the world and more tolerance and goodwill among its citizens? The U.S. Department of Education certainly hopes so.

In the wake of extreme acts of violence and the ongoing worldwide refugee crisis, the department is trying to do its share to promote peace and understanding in the U.S. It is reaching out to schools to ensure they are maintaining safe, respectful and nondiscriminatory learning environments for all of their students.

Catherine Lhamon, the department's assistant secretary for civil rights, noted that as the U.S. welcomes refugees into the country, there will be "more and more conversations about who we are as a nation and what takes place in schools."

"And we want to make sure that all of our schools remember that they need to serve all of our students,” she added.

So outgoing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and incoming acting Secretary John B. King Jr. signed off on a Dear Colleagues letter to schools and universities across America, encouraging classroom and campus environments that are free of bullying and other forms of discrimination.

The three-page letter reminds schools of their responsibility under federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination based on race, religion or national origin.

It states, in part, “These refugees have captivated so much attention and are fleeing precisely the type of senseless and violent attacks that have occurred here in the United States and elsewhere recently. The United States must continue to welcome these refugees seeking safety and a new start in life. At the same time, we remain deeply committed to safeguarding the safety and security of the American people. We can and must do both.”

The letter also includes links to resources designed to help school officials, educators, students, families and communities promote positive school climates.

The strategies include "making sure that there's somebody who is assessing the campus climate and ensuring that students feel comfortable reporting that they do feel safe, that the schools know what's happening and that they have a process in place to respond to any incidents that may come up,” said Ms. Lhamon.

The goal of the letter, she added, is to ensure that all U.S. schools can be safe places where students can focus on learning.

“We are really excited about the ways that we have seen our schools try to make sure that all students can be safe, and we wanted to send a reminder to make sure that no one is unclear about that message and that we remember to deliver for all students,” Ms. Lhamon said.


Rhode Island put at bottom
of charity donations listings


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In general, Americans are generous people. So much so that 95 percent of U.S. households donate to charity, contributing an average of $2,974 each year.

The United States comes in second (behind Myanmar) in the World Giving Index, with Americans giving more than $358 billion in 2014. Seventy-two percent of that amount came from individual donors.

“Giving has been part of our fiber since the beginning of our country,” Aggie Sweeney, vice chairperson of the Giving USA Foundation, said back in June 2015. “Americans have always seen giving as an important part of what makes our communities work. In America, we’ve had a belief of taking care of our own and wanting to be able not to only have government take care of things, but to invest in what we feel is really important.”

But some states are more generous than others when it comes to donating time and/or money.

Residents in Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Oklahoma are among the most giving Americans. Of all the U.S. states, residents in those states donate the highest percentage of their income.

States that give the lowest donated income include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New Jersey, with New Hampshire coming in dead last.

To determine the most generous states, financial Web site WalletHub assessed the volunteer rate, percentage of the population who donated time and money, and the median contribution to charity.

When assessing all of the above factors, Utah remains the most generous state, while the least charitable state is Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders apparently give the lowest percentage of their income while also donating the least amount of their time.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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CALL US TODAY!

Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090
OUR EMAIL: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com

VISIT OUR WEB: www.CR-Solar.com

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
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www.RichCoastRealty.com
8790-2/28/15

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you tired of wasting time searching for your home…..with no results?
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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
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* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
           furnished.
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
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If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
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Email: mfiatt@mafirealestate.com 
Web Page: www.mafirealestate.com
8609-2/20/16

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com
8583-1/27/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Cohen
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.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
907-2/21/16

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
e-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es 
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408
Web   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8902-3/4/16

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8901-1/24/15

Blakesmore one

Blakemoret  two

Costa Rica tropical paradise beach house for sale

Tropical five-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, south Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.  Located 8 kms. south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $750,000. Contact Roger. Phone number  (506) 6142-7228   Email:  osaroger@gmail.com. Watch this video for full details.
8898-xxxx

San
                          Ramon
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!
8897-3/2/15

Lantz
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:  angelsdad@me.com
8883-2/26/16

Safe house
The Safest Place in The World
Residencial La Jolla, Asuncion de Belén
Casa 7 of 19 luxury homes in exclusive gated community.
3 bedroom, 3.5 baths, home office with private entrance.
332 m2 construction. 2-car garage. Central A/C
Lease $2,750 USD per month. Purchase $449,000.
Contact: rafa@rafacr.com. Phone 8309-2000.
8876-1/4/16

ocean-view home
GREAT DEAL $250,000. NICE OCEAN VIEW
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
8859-112/26/15

windows

Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife. House 240 mts. sq, 2,400 sq ft. Lot 1,850 mts. or 19,000 sq. ft. Price $179,000. Very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or scottlandtodd@live.com.   More photos HERE!
8858-1/16/16

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:   djake888@yahoo.com
8846-4/10/16

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
       door.
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees
     planted.

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract indyj5vw@yahoo.com or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album
8844-5/11/16

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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A.M.
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Rica
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news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 4
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News from the BBC up to the minute









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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Safer polio vaccine prevents resurrection

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers in Britain have come up with a safe polio vaccine strain that would prevent polio reinfection.

Polio vaccines are stockpiled for use into the foreseeable future to prevent another epidemic of paralytic polio, once the disease is officially eradicated.

Experts say there is always a chance the live, weakened virus used to make the warehoused drugs could escape factories, risking new cases of polio.  There have also been instances in which mutated viral strains survive in the gut of immune-compromised people after they have been vaccinated.

At the urging of the World Health Organization, British researchers have developed safe seed strains from which to make polio vaccine.  They modified viral RNA to make the resulting strains genetically stable. The strains that are now used have in rare cases mutated into dangerous forms.

Vaccines made from the new seed strains would not pose a health hazard at manufacturing facilities, nor be dangerous if they entered into the environment, according to British National Institute for Biological Standards and Control Virology Division head Philip Minor. He helped develop the new strains for polio vaccine, which researchers describe in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

“In the very end-game period, more inactivated polio vaccine will be used because that is what you need to do to make sure . . . you have not missed anything, if you like. . . . So, if you do that, and you use a very much safer strain, I think you are a bit more secure than if you go with what we have at the moment,” Minor said.

Vaccine is now made from live, weakened virus. Minor said the new vaccines would be as effective, but safer than current vaccine.

"And after polio is declared eradicated, I think inactivated polio vaccine will continue to be used for some time because of the possibility that you are wrong, that you have made a misstep, you have got chronically excreting, immuno-deficient people out there somewhere.  I think there will be a need to carry on vaccination against polio until you are really sure what has happened, I think,” Minor said.

An expert panel will make the final determination which new strains of inactivated polio virus are safe to put into new vaccines in the post-polio era.


Inmate accused of making sexy calls

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents are accusing an inmate in a medium security section of La Reforma prison of making at least 17 sexy calls to youngsters.

The agents entered the prison Wenesday and said they found cell telephones and other evidence, including telephone numbers.

The 56-year-old suspect had been jailed for similar crimes, said agents.

The man is accused of making telephone calls to minor girls and engaging them in increasingly sexy conversations involving body parts and underclothes, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Investigators are seeking to have the man remanded to maximum security, they said.

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Search system improved for archives
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Readers who conduct searches of A.M. Costa Rica content now have a better system.
Because back editions are archived as a single page, some readers have had trouble finding the news story or photo that they sought even though they knew the date.

Now five years of news stories and photos have been added to the search system from 
A.M. Costa Rica Archives, a site that provides unique identification to all local news stories.

A consolidated search provides results from the archive Web site and also from the 15 years of archived pages on A.M. Costa Rica.