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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 15                                  Email us
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Sala IV affirms rights of those living along the coasts
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has rejected an appeal that could have jeopardized the property rights of occupants along the coasts.

The appeal has been opposed by the Cámara de Turismo del Caribe Sur, the Cámera Nacional de Turismo and the Cámera Costarricense de Hoteles.

The appeal sought to annul a provision of Law No.  9221 that was passed in 2014 to give some protection to those who live long the coast in what is called the maritime zone.

The Poder Judicial press office supplied a copy of a summary Thursday.

The appeal claimed that the maritime zone could not be tampered with. Opponents said that if the appeal succeeded communities like Puerto Viejo de Talamanca would be subject to demolition.

The court, however, affirmed that the law created a process for an urban use in the maritime zone. The law provides for a
municipality to create the urban zone and
issue concessions for occupancy. That was the concept that was the target of the appeal.

The law guaranteed a home of dignity and a means of a dignified subsistence and recognized historic occupancies along the coast, said the summary. The law was designed to solve the problem of the many homes and businesses that predated the declaration of the maritime zone in 1977, even though many of the properties infringe on the 50 meters above mean high tide on which nothing may be constructed now.

A lot of the property owners do not have paperwork showing legal title to the land even though families have lived there for generations.

The decision also said that public access to the beaches is guaranteed for present and future generations.

Only Magistrate Fernando Cruz Castro voted to accept the appeal, said the Poder Judicial summary.

Teatro Nacional planning a fundraising evening
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's cultural elite will gather Thursday at the Teatro Nacional to mark a bit early the building's 120th year. Expats can be among the elite, too, for a $200-a-couple donation. This is a major fundraising event for the theater.

The Orquesta Filarmónica under Marvin Araya will be performing, and each couple will receive a copy of a new book titled “El Centro Nacional de la Cultura (CENAC) — De la Fábrica de Licores a la Cultura.”

The book is described as seven chapters compiled by professionals and researchers in the fields of music, song, architecture, dance, history and sociology.

There is no doubt that the Teatro Nacional is the center of the nation's culture, and the Centro Nacional de la Cultura, the former national liquor factory, is the site of the
culture ministry. The theater's birthday is in October.
Teeatro Nacional
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Theater decked out for independence day.

The 7 p.m. event is unique because theater performances usually are priced modestly.  An announcement said that officials were seeking the financial collaboration of those who love the theater.

Following the performance a cocktail gathering is planned, said the theater.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 15
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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.


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Valdivieco header
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driving location
Consejo de Seguridad Vial  photo
This is a motorcycle test in progress in Sandoval, Limón, where the testing area surface has been rebuilt. The other test area that received a makeover is in San Ramón, said Hugo Jiménez, director of educación vial.

Magistrate's name being used by scammers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents are warning about Internet scams, including one where crooks used the name of a constitutional court magistrate.

One gang of fraudsters has been using social networks to advertise the sale of driving licenses and school diplomas provided without any exams.

Appropriately, the crooks are issuing fake documents to those who apply, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The name of Magistrate Fernando Cruz Castro was used by another gang of crooks who purported to buy items. The judicial police said the crooks also used the names of other judicial figures as well as prominent physicians.

This is the time-worn scam of promising to purchase an item and then beating the seller out of money by the use of a supposedly innocent third party, like a taxi driver. But some people still fall for the scam.

Overcrowding blamed for prison murders

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The minister who supervises the prisons blamed overcrowding for two murders that took place at La Refoma in Alajuela this week.

The minister is Cecilia Sánchez of Justicia y Paz. She said that over the last five years there have been just 29 murders inside prisons. She said this amount was low considering the number of inmates.

She said that the 13 prison centers house 13,243 inmates with capacities for just 9,130.

As a result of the violence some of the inmates will be relocated, officials said. In addition there are more shakedowns of the prisons where weapons and other prohibited items turn up.

Our readers' opinions
Crossing a double line is very serious

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Concerning your reader’s report from Thursday: Crossing a double yellow line in Costa Rica is indeed among the most serious of infractions as well as quite dangerous. This is a Class A infraction resulting in a fine of ₡306,000 (~$570). This can be found in the traffic laws, Article 143 (Ley de Transito, Articulo 143).

I understand that admitting to paying a bribe may also result in a significant fine. And, according to the story, the bribe paid was $300, not $650. It is unclear from the article whether the additional $50 requested was paid.

Drive safe and bring ’em home alive.
Patrick Johnston

Try taking some photos of cops

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I had a similar experience in Mexico and learned a great defense is to take out a cell phone and tell the officers you are taking pictures of them, their car and the exchange of money to prove to your attorney that you paid the fine for the violation so the attorney can prove it to the court. 

The police usually pass on everything or will give out a legitimate citation.  Even taking a video levels the playing field.  Also, don't try to speak Spanish as them trying to explain anything frustrates them, and they'll likely just give a warning. 

Bill Oswald
Santo Domingo de Heredia

News for the Spanish-language press
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 15
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Road agency blistered in report by Contraloría General de la República
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's budget watchdog has issued a negative evaluation of the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, the agency that builds the highways.

The Contraloría General de la República periodically reviews the work of government agencies, but only infrequently is a report so negative.

The Consejo was an agency that Luis Guillermo Solís promised to abolish when he was running for president. The Consejo is part of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. The minister in charge just announced his resignation.

The Contraloría noted that the construction and improvement

of infrastructure was highly important for the nation's development. 

The agency further said that of five construction projects evaluated, four showed levels of efficiency below global standards and one was average. Of 14 projects studied in July all included work that had not been contemplated or considered in the design, it said.

The evaluation also determined that of 49 projects designed in 2000 to 2014 some 65 percent had not been put out for construction bids. That cost the Consejo nearly $6 million, the Contraloría estimated.

The Contraloría also said that the Consejo is more interested in the price of projects and not the quality.

Back to school
Government helping some students
with supplies and even a backpack

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 140,000 students will get a little help as they head back to classes next month.

The Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social said Thursday that it is distributing that many educational care packages to some 2,486 schools.

Each package is a backpack with school supplies and notebooks. The anti-poverty agency said that 30,000 more such packages were being delivered this year than last.

There are 75 districts in the country where 70 percent of the students are eligible for such help, the agency said. The agency said it spent more than a trillion colons for the school materials, but parents know that there are a lot more items to purchase.

Each school has a list by grade, and students are supposed to have all their supplies on the first day of classes. And that

Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social photo
A typical assortment of school supplies

includes the appropriate uniform.

The teachers and public school administrators will be choosing the students to receive the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social backpacks and supplies. The agency said that each has to be signed for by a parent or guardian.

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Palermo Hotel


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Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 15
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DNA evidence shows British ancestry is a third Anglo-Saxon
By the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute media team

For the first time, researchers have been able to directly estimate the Anglo-Saxon ancestry of the British population from ancient skeletons, showing how Anglo-Saxon immigrants mixed with the native population.

Human remains excavated from burial sites near Cambridge provided the material for the first whole-genome sequences of ancient British DNA. Using a new analysis method to compare these ancient genomes with modern-day sequences, researchers have estimated that approximately a third of British ancestors were Anglo-Saxon immigrants.

What was the scale of the Anglo-Saxons migrations, how did they mix with the native population and how did they contribute to British ancestry? This has been a long-standing topic of debate among historians and archaeologists. Recently excavated skeletons dating to the late Iron Age and from the Anglo-Saxon period gave researchers the opportunity to solve this question.

“By sequencing the DNA from ten skeletons from the late Iron Age and the Anglo-Saxon period, we obtained the first complete ancient genomes from Great Britain. Comparing these ancient genomes with sequences of hundreds of modern European genomes, we estimate that 38 per cent of the ancestors of the English were Anglo-Saxons. This is the first direct estimate of the impact of immigration into Britain from the 5th to 7th centuries AD and the traces left in modern England.”

Previous DNA studies have relied entirely on modern DNA and suggested anything between 10 per cent and 95 per cent contribution to the population. One such study suggested that Anglo Saxons didn't mix with the native population, staying segregated.

However, this newly published study uses ancient genetic information and disproves the earlier idea, showing just how integrated the people of Britain were. The ancient skeletons
University of Central Lancashire/Duncan Sayer
One of the ancestors who contributed DNA

from Cambridgeshire were carbon dated, proving they were
 from the late Iron Age (approximately 50 B.C.) and from the Anglo-Saxon era (around 500-700 A.D.).  Complete genome sequences were then obtained for selected DNA samples to determine the genetic make-up of these Iron Age Britons and Anglo-Saxons.

“Combining archaeological findings with DNA data gives us much more information about the early Anglo-Saxon lives," said Duncan Sayer, archaeologist and author on the paper. "Genome sequences from four individuals from a cemetery in Oakington indicated that, genetically, two were migrant Anglo-Saxons, one was a native, and one was a mixture of both. The archaeological evidence shows that these individuals were treated the same way in death, and proves they were all well integrated into the Oakington Anglo-Saxon Community despite their different biological heritage.”

Sayer is from the University of Central Lancashire.

Researchers discovered that the Anglo-Saxon immigrants were genetically very similar to modern Dutch and Danish, and that they contributed 38 per cent of the DNA of modern people from east England, and 30 per cent for modern Welsh and Scottish. The Anglo-Saxons first settled in the southeast of England so this pattern is consistent with their migration pattern.

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:   
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.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

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.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 15
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Axiom 890 pixels

U.S. tightens visa waivers
for those visiting Middle East

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States Thursday tightened its Visa Waiver Program, ending easy access to the U.S. for travelers who have been in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria in the last five years, as well as for citizens of those four countries.

The changes in the Visa Waiver Program were enacted by Congress late last year and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The implementation of the new regulations Thursday comes as the U.S. ramps up its border security in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in November and a December assault in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead. The U.S. attack was carried out by an Islamist American and his Pakistani wife, who was cleared to enter the U.S. on a fiancee visa with the promise that she would soon get married.

Under the new rules, those traveling from Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria who previously were able to secure visa waivers may still be able to enter the U.S. by obtaining a visa through the regular immigration process at U.S. embassies or consulates, or if the U.S. determines on a case-by-case basis that there is a special reason why they should be allowed into the U.S.

The U.S. Homeland Security agency said it does not expect that the great majority of travelers to the U.S. using the Visa Waiver Program will be affected by the new rules. The program allows travelers from 38 countries to enter the U.S. without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.

It is estimated that about 20 million visitors come to the U.S. each year under the Visa Waiver Program.

Alaska Airlines pilot faces
drunk flying criminal count

Special to A.M. Costa Rica
Federal authorities have arrested a former captain with Alaska Airlines on federal charges of piloting a plane with passengers while under the influence of alcohol.

The pilot, David Hans Arntson, 60, a resident of Newport Beach, California, was arrested Wednesday morning and was arraigned on the felony charge  in federal court in Los Angeles.

Arntson was released on a $25,000 bond and was ordered to appear for an arraignment Feb. 10.

According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in U. S. District Court, Arntson was the pilot of two Alaska Airlines flights on June 20, 2014. The first flight was from San Diego International Airport to Portland, Oregon. He then flew a plane from Portland, Oregon, to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California.

After landing at John Wayne Airport, Arntson was selected for random drug and alcohol testing by Alaska Airlines. A technician for Alaska Airlines performed two tests on Arntson and received results that the pilot had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.134 percent and 0.142 percent. After the technician informed Alaska Airlines of the test results, it removed Arntson from all safety-sensitive duties.

According to federal law, a person operating a common carrier, such as a commercial airliner, is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol when his or her blood alcohol content is 0.10 percent or higher.

Arntson’s co-pilot on the two flights on June 20 remembered seeing the drug tester when the plane landed at John Wayne Airport and recalled Arntson saying “I bet it’s for me,” according to the complaint.

Following the June 20, 2014, incident, Arntson retired from Alaska Airlines.

As expected, British judge
blames Putin for assassination

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A top British government investigator said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably personally approved the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian spy-turned-dissident who was exiled in Britain after criticizing Putin and accusing him, among other things, of being a pedophile.
Robert Owen, a retired judge serving as the inquiry's chairman, announced that his year-long inquiry had confirmed the Russian state was responsible for the November 2006 poisoning by polonium of Litvinenko, carried out by two Russian agents at the Millennium Hotel in central London just a few meters from the U.S. Embassy.

For nearly nine years since her husband's death, Marina Litvinenko has been demanding answers. Thursday brought some vindication for her. Speaking to reporters outside the Royal Courts in London, she said she was of course very pleased by the outcome.

"The words my husband spoke on his deathbed when he accused Mr. Putin of his murder have been proved true in an English court with a high standard of independence and fairness,”she said.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zhakarova said, "We regret that a purely criminal case has been politicized and has darkened the general atmosphere of bilateral relations.''
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the case showed Russia's "willingness to flout basic conventions around human rights and free speech" and that the worrisome "political environment that currently exists in Russia seems to also extend, at least in some occasions, beyond Russia's borders."

Litvinenko was an agent of the Russian Federal Security Service, the spy agency that came after the Soviet-era KGB. But after becoming an outspoken critic of Putin in 1998, he fled Russia and sought asylum in Britain.

He continued to anger the Kremlin with criticism of Putin that included personal attacks, such as an article in which he accused the Russian leader of being a pedophile.

In early November 2006, Litvinenko agreed to meet with Russian agents Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, who British officials say laced his tea with radioactive polonium, a substance experts say is made in Russia. Lugovoi and Kovtun returned to Russia.

Litvinenko quickly became ill and died at a hospital 23 days later. Photos of him on his deathbed show him emaciated and having lost his hair. His wife said he asked to be photographed to show what Putin had done to him.

With radioactive contamination spreading from the hotel to the streets of London, investigators described it as a nuclear attack in the heart of England's capital that put its population at risk.

Litvinenko's widow on Thursday called for all Russian intelligence operatives to be expelled from Britain, and she, like some British lawmakers, said she wanted sanctions imposed against individuals named as culprits in the inquiry.

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokeswoman said that he found the findings "extremely disturbing" and that the government was considering what actions to take.

Test telling bugs from viruses
praised as reducing antibiotics

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem worldwide. One of the biggest culprits is treatment for routine colds. Experts say doctors often send their patients home with prescriptions for antibiotics because they can not determine the source of the illnesses.

Researchers concerned about the overuse of antibiotics have developed a blood test to help physicians determine whether patients' colds are the result of bacterial or viral infections.

Ephraim Tsalik, a professor of medicine at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and an emergency room physician, said viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, and if such drugs are prescribed unnecessarily, there is the risk of creating resistance to antibiotics in the patient over time.

“When you magnify that against millions of people who are getting antibiotics unnecessarily, what might have been a small risk becomes a very real one across the population,” Tsalik said.

The study by Tsalik and his colleagues, described in the journal Science Translational Medicine, involved 31 people, 10 with bacterial pneumonia and 21 with a flu virus. 

From these, investigators developed the profiles of about 20,000 genes. The gene activity is different, depending upon whether someone is infected with a bacterium or a virus.

Then, the researchers tested the blood samples of 300 sick patients. The microbes included rhinoviruses and strep infections.

Tsalik and his team compared the results to the gene profiles of people who were not sick, "and we found we got an accuracy of 87 percent" in distinguishing noninfectious from infectious illness and bacterial from viral causes, "which we were very excited to see, considering there is really very little out there and just about any ability to discriminate between these different groups is an improvement over the current state.”

Currently, it takes one day for the gene expression test to yield a result. Tsalik said researchers are trying to whittle the processing time down to an hour or less.

Physical stores taking steps
to compete with online sites

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The convenience of shopping from the comfort of the home is here to stay. And that has offline retailers worried.

While retailers remain focused on meeting demand for a seamless mobile shopping experience, offline stores are finding new ways from using the latest in smart fitting room technology to interactive home remodeling to engage customers and remain profitable.

Mobile shopping leads the retail market, currently projected to generate $630 billion in annual revenue by 2018, an increase from 27 percent to 47 percent of online spending. Online shopping, overall, has pushed the offline experience against the wall.

But the traditional warehouse store should not be counted out yet.

Take what Intel has coined the supermarket of the future in technological collaboration with Microsoft designed to provide an interactive shopping experience for customers, while providing cloud-based store management for retailers. Shoppers can pick up an item and view its origin, nutrients, carbon footprint, and recommended combinations.

Stores can now employ camera sensors and perceptual computing technologies from Intel to engage and learn from customers, who need only to respond with a simple sign of approval or disapproval.

Of course, there's also virtual reality. The realm of retail technology now extends to more complicated endeavors such as remodeling a home. Sales associates can use miniature physical objects to create 3-D models of room layouts, using Intel's RealSense  camera and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Michelle Tinsley, director of mobility and secure payments for Intel's Retail Solutions Division, says the corporation is focused on bridging the gap between online and in-store experiences by helping the retailer to better understand the customer, and provide a better experience in return.

"The workers can then focus on the more loyal customers, and it also gives them insights around what might be the next product I am likely to buy: What are the brands that I'm a fan of? What did I purchase last and what might go great with it?"

Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation, says offline retailers must become more service oriented with customers in order to create lasting relationships.

U.S. issues advice on zika
for women who are pregnant

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. health officials have issued new guidance for women who might have been exposed to the zika virus, a mosquito-borne infection that can cause brain damage in a developing fetus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday warned that the virus is spread through mosquito bites, and there are no vaccines to prevent the spread nor drugs to treat those infected.

The agency issued a warning to pregnant women to avoid travel to 14 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Latin America affected by the virus. Those countries are Puerto Rico, Martinique, Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, French Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and Mexico.

It said that while there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are more susceptible to zika virus infection, they can be infected in any trimester.

"We are quite concerned about the potential complications to the fetus of a zika virus infection of pregnant women, and so we really are advising that pregnant women seriously consider postponing travel to these areas if possible," said Beth Bell of the Centers.

Pregnant women traveling to impacted areas should take precautions to limit their exposure to mosquitoes, the agency said.

"Mosquitoes bite not just at night, but also during the day,” Dr. Bell said. “And so the measures that people need to take to prevent mosquito bites, they have to use all the time, not just at night."

Travelers also are advised to stay in places with screens on their doors and windows, wear protective clothing and use insect repellents such as DEET.

The virus has been linked to a rising number of cases of microcephaly, a condition associated with small head size and brain damage. Brazil and Colombia lead the countries with the most reported infections, but it is spreading rapidly in neighboring countries.

Last week, U.S. health authorities confirmed the birth of a baby with microcephaly in Hawaii to a mother who had been infected with the zika virus while visiting Brazil last year.

The Centers urged doctors to ask pregnant women about their travel history. Women who have traveled to regions in which zika is active and who report symptoms during or within two weeks of travel should be offered a test for zika virus infection.

The symptoms for zika include mild fever and rash. An estimated 80 percent of people infected with the virus have no symptoms at all, making it difficult for pregnant women to know whether they have been infected.

Bell stressed that there are still many unknowns about the zika virus.

"This is an emerging situation, it's an emerging virus and things are definitely going to change," she said.

Scientists first discovered the virus in Uganda in 1947 while studying monkeys, and isolated it in the 1950s in a human in Nigeria. But medical historians say confirmed cases were rare until 2007, when an outbreak was identified in the South Pacific Federated States of Micronesia.

Ahead of the current Latin America crisis, cases have been identified in Polynesia, Easter Island, the Cook Islands and New Caledonia.

Members of Congress press
Obama on Iranian violations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Days after President Barack Obama hailed the fruits of diplomacy with Iran, Republican lawmakers pressed for tougher sanctions on Tehran for recent missile tests and other actions.

"We need to stand up to this Iranian regime, their illegal testing of ballistic missiles, their continued support for hostage-taking," said Sen. Kelly Ayotte at a news conference at the Capitol. "We're going to impose tougher sanctions."

"This president and this secretary of state have pandered to the Iranians, no matter what they have done, no matter what offense they have committed," said fellow-Republican Sen. John McCain. "They won't do a damn thing. And we will have to try to act as a Congress."

The lawmakers did not spell out the punitive measures they had in mind, but voiced blistering criticism of the Obama administration's engagement with Iran.

"Our president and our secretary of State have negotiated the worst deal since Munich," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, referring to the short-lived accord between Britain and Germany before World War II. "There is no requirement for the Iranians to change their behavior. They have a pathway to a bomb, a missile to deliver it, and money to pay for it."

Sunday, Obama hailed implementation of last year's nuclear pact with Iran.

"Under the nuclear deal that we, our allies and partners reached with Iran last year, Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb," the president said. "We've achieved this historic progress through diplomacy, without resorting to another war in the Middle East."

While noting that Iran is now entitled to billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Obama noted that differences remain between Washington and Tehran and announced new sanctions for Iranian missile tests.

"We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support of terrorism, and for its ballistic missile program," Obama said. "And we will continue to enforce these sanctions, vigorously.  Iran's recent missile test, for example, was a violation of its international obligations. And as a result, the United States is imposing sanctions on individuals and companies working to advance Iran's ballistic missile program. And we are going to remain vigilant about it."

Republicans view the new sanctions as a mere slap on the wrist, and argue that stronger measures are required to curb Iranian behavior. In particular, they slammed Iran's brief detention of U.S. sailors last week, and expressed dismay that John Kerry, the secretary of State, thanked Tehran after their release.

For any sanctions bill to pass Congress, a handful of Democratic senators would have to join Republicans in backing the legislation. Congressional rejection of the nuclear pact was blocked last year when minority Democrats prevented Republicans from getting a three-fifths vote required to advance the resolution.

Not all Democrats supported the deal and, among those who did, some are voicing concerns about recent Iranian behavior, including missile tests.

"I'm a strong supporter of the deal," Sen, Tim Kaine said. "But the deal only works if there is tough implementation, and includes not only the four corners of the deal, but in other areas that are subject to international law.

"If Iran cheats and gets away with it, then that will likely affect how they treat this deal."
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
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Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
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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.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
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Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
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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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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

ocean-view home
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:

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.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

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
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

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:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

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: Watch this video for full details.

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: 
Check out slide show HERE!

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:  8725-8176.  Email:


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   More photos HERE!

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:

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
- 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

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 or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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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:

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A.M.  Costa Rica sixth news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 15
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water boys
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias
Water has to be carried to the Isla Caballo.

Water, water and not a drop to drink

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sometimes when a Central Valley resident turns on the tap, there is no water. Rather than griping, thoughts should turn to the Isla Caballo and some of the other populated islands in the Gulf of Nicoya.

Residents there have to lug water from the mainland when there is no rain. There are about 300 persons living on the island, and the situation becomes a bit rough in the dry season.

Emergency commission officials say they are planning to put a barge with two water tanks in service for the island. Until then, a tap on dock at Puntarenas provided by the Instituto Costarricense de  Acueductos y Alcantarillados will provide free water.

Emergency officials just toured some of the islands to learn about conditions there.

High labor court upholds firing of lawyer

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A decision to fire an employee who was caught working while enjoying sick leave would seem appropriate to most.

But not in Costa Rica and especially not if the employee is a lawyer. Such a case reached the Sala Segunda of the Corte Suprema de Justicia, which is the final level for labor cases.

The woman in question was not named, but a summary of the case said that she worked for a municipal government, which also was not named in a summary provided by the Poder Judicial.

The court said that leave was designed so the employee would recuperate and is not compatible for other work for hire.

That is not what lower courts said. The case was decided in favor of the employee in the Juzgado de Trabajo, which ordered her reinstatement.

On appeal, the Tribunal de Trabajo upheld the initial decision.

The woman lawyer argued that she worked for the municipality as a lawyer but that she worked while on leave as a notary, which was described as being different from her day job.

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From Page 7:

Dry canal proposed across northern zone

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nicaragua says it is building a canal from the Caribbean to the Pacific.

Panamá is about to inaugurate a third lane for its canal.

A Costa Rica lawmaker says the time has come for Costa Rica to create a dry canal from Moín on the Caribbean to La Cruz on the Pacific in northern Costa Rica. There would be no deep ditches or water. The idea is to use the existing rail service to move shipping containers back and forth.

The lawmaker put a motion to that effect into a pending legislation to strengthen the existing Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles. The measure also promotes the creation of an electrified urban train.

Rail lines already exist and are in service from Moín to Guápiles as well as part of the way down the Caribbean coast.

The Partido Liberación Nacional lawmaker said that the project would spur development and tourism in this region.

A dry canal has been suggested in the past, but the valley line that runs to the Pacific also runs through downtown San José, and the cost of obtaining land to bypass the city would be expensive. And the rail institute now is expending its effort to bring passenger service to Alajuela Centro.