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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 17                              Email us
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Government sets up demo site for public records
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government has put up a demonstration site to show how officials plan to deliver public information to citizens.

In addition, the central government is promoting a revision of the law to provide more access to the public.

The demonstration site is http://datosabiertos.presidencia.go.cr/.

A lot of the information there already is available at other government sites. For example, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados also has a Web site where users can report water leaks.

But what is new is that the demo site contains the salaries by name of employees at Casa Presidencial.

There is a record more than 5,000 lines long showing who received how much.

The plan is to have the entire government on the site, said officials. The salaries of public employees have been a major news thread in the last four months.

A.M. Costa Rica has long urged editorially that the government publish on the Internet every payment. Part of that concept fits into

open government

the government plans. There is a location for purchases.

The demo site is a long way from what the government promises, and there is no guarantee that this or future governments will keep the documents updated. The salaries listed on the site now are from October.

Still, the central government says it has promised to provide access to information to fight corruption and encourage the participation of citizens.

The project is part of the open government initiative, called Gobierno Abierto. Plans are to eventually have data from all ministries on the site. Eventually the site will hold reports of government audits and information on the process of hiring new government employees in the civil service ranks, an announcement promised.

The government correctly noted that transparency in hiring, issuing contracts for bridges and roads and other government activities reduces the chances of corruption.



tourists
Photo by Megan Arseneau
 

Fatal
trip

Tourists prepare to board open boats, including the ill-fated Reyna del Caribe, on Little Corn Island off Nicaragua Saturday. The red boat overturned two kilometers from the dock, resulting in the deaths of 13 Costa Ricans. The photographer, tourist Megan Arseneau, said she was sending the images because they may mean something to the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.  'It is my hope that they can be passed along to the families of the deceased,' she said. Officials said three more bodies were recovered Monday, and the search continues for the last victim.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 17
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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

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
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Psychotherapy

Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
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US (310) 827-4241
www.LucindaGray.com
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8610-8/23/15

Insurance professionals

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Residency experts

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 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
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Real estate agents and services

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colinadelsol022515c.gif
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8596-8/27/15
reflectors
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Workers will be installing these highway reflectors through the end of the week on Ruta 1 near Juan Santamaría airport, and some lanes will be closed for the work from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.


New labor code signed into law by Solís

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With great fanfare, President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a bill Monday that revises the labor code, which went into force initially in 1943.

The new law provides the use of oral arguments in labor court cases. This is expected to reduce the durations of the cases from as much as 10 years to two.

In addition, certain workers who bring a case against an employer will be entitled to free legal representation, according to the law. Eligible are employees who do not make more than 902,000 (about $1,700) a month. The amount is keyed to inflation.

The law also contains specific sections on discrimination in the workplace.


Two local Muslims to talk to Democrats

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Members of Democrats Abroad Costa Rica will hear representatives of the country's Muslim community when they meet Saturday at a new location in Escazú.

The guests are Abdulfatah Sasa, a physician and Arabic language professor at the Universidad de Costa Rica, and Omar Abdelaal Basyoni, imam of the Omar Mosque.  Sasa is Palestinian and Basyoni is from Egypt.

An announcement said that the two men will discuss the situation of Syrian refugees, the history of the Muslim community in Costa Rica and U.S. treatment of Muslims. 

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. The location is #27 Calle Rolex, San Rafael de Escazú, and directions are HERE!



Now GPS devices are hacker targets

By the Ruhr University Bochum press office

When it comes to route planning, drivers have almost blind faith in GPS. The technology plays a crucial role in identifying location and time. If hackers attack the system, they can cause great damage. Deploying several GPS receivers at the same time could solve the problem in certain areas of application, according to researchers.

If an attacker wants to manipulate the GPS, he can use a satellite simulator for the purpose, a Ruhr University Bochum study report said. That device generates fake satellite signals that appear authentic, and sends them out to receivers such as the satnav in the car.

“This is how attackers can fool the receiver, which then assumes it is located in a different position than is actually the case,” explains Christina Pöpper, who heads the work group Information Security at the Horst Görtz Institute and is developing a solution to the problem together with her doctoral student Kai Jansen.

The industry can be affected as well, because here, GPS is utilized for time synchronization of machines. Production might come to a standstill due to manipulation, the researchers noted.

When proposing their solution, Professor Pöpper and Jansen considered what happens when a vehicle or a machine uses not one, but several receivers at the same time, which are situated at a distance from each other. If they receive genuine satellite signals, the receivers’ calculated positions differ slightly from each other.

If, however, an attacker transmits signals using a simulator, the attack can be detected by comparing the individual receiver positions to each other.

According to the latest findings, the minimum distance between the devices should range between two and three meters. If the receivers are closer together, the error rate increases.
 
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New Contraloría report cites deficiencies in country's customs agency
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The latest government agency to be raked over the evaluation coals is the Dirección General de Aduanas, the customs agency.

A report released Monday by the Contraloría General de la República characterized much of the agency's infrastructure as deficient as well as the speed with which imported goods pass through the agency.

The report noted that customs generates 28 percent of the government's income.

The report covered 2011 to the end of September last year.

The evaluation said that some of the customs posts at the national borders were deficient and that a 2013 Interamerican Development Bank loan to upgrade them has not been fully expended.

These weaknesses affect the labors, limits commerce and increases the possibility of fiscal fraud, corruption and the trafficking of illegal merchandise, the report said.

Among other devices, the agency lacks scanners, security cameras, x-ray machines, adequate illumination and scales.

Sixaola
Contraloría General de la República photo
Entrance to the border post at Sixaola.

In addition, the storage areas are full, and there is the potential for health problems, said the report.  In some cases importers have to wait up to 120 hours to have their shipments processed through customs, said the report. During the entire period under study some 40 percent of the shipments were held for more than 48 hours, said the report.


Nearly 2,000 Cubans have to be relocated from school shelters
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 1,981 stranded Cuban migrants are being housed in public schools, but with classes starting in less than two weeks, the national emergency commission has to relocate them, it said Monday.

There are eight schools involved. They are in Corredores, Aguirre, Parrita, Puntarenas Centro, Valverde Vega and La Cruz, said the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias.

Currently, the agency said there are 5,348 Cubans being housed in 36 public shelters. Many more are in private situations, church shelters, homes of Costa Ricans and shelters set up by international agencies.


Meanwhile, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería said that 80 families have been selected for the next airlift to El Salvador. The families include 184 persons, including children, said the agency.

The individuals are in the process of presenting their passports for El Salvadoran and Guatemalan visas, said the agency. They are scheduled to leave Feb. 4.

The families are paying their own way, which costs $555 for adults, $350 for youngsters between 2 and 12 and $150 for those under 2. The price includes visa fees.

Once in El Salvador, the Cubans will go by bus to the Mexican border. There they have to make their own way to the United States. They have been here since at least mid-November.


Hotel header

Guanacaste Lodge

Palermo Hotel

Croc's

Vista Ballena

La Parcela

Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 17
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Upala resort now hosts
a park for scary lizards


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Perhaps inspired by the "Jurassic Park" movies, a resort in northern Costa Rica has opened Dino Park that includes 28 life-size replicas of the extinct lizards.

The resort is Hotel Blue River Resort in Dos Rios de Upala, which Banco Nacional said is on the skirts of the Volcán Rincón de la Vieja. The bank participated in the project.

The creatures were made in China, and one, a long-necked brachiosaurus stands 22 meters tall (about 72 feet), said the bank in an announcement. There also is the obligatory velociraptor, which was the villain in the movies.

The models are suppose to follow closely what scientists know about the creatures.

The resort Web site shows some of the creatures in the rain forest in scenes that look very much like the popular movies. There is an admission for the park.


flying reptile
Hotel Blue River Resort photo
The pteranodon was one of the largest flying reptiles.

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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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
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See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
HERE!

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

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

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Here's reasonable medical care
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Real estate-related services (paid category)
COSTA RICA SOLAR
Solr array
SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
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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 
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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
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Escazú rental
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8915-2/15/16

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Central Valley view

Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.
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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,
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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  
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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 17
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Axiom 890 pixels

U.S. Supreme Court rejects
life terms for jailed juveniles


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of inmates in U.S. prisons who were sentenced as juveniles to life without parole can now challenge those punishments, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday.

In a 6-3 ruling, the court extended a 2012 decision prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from being sentenced to life without parole by making it retroactive for all such offenders who were given life sentences in the past.

Monday's case was brought by Henry Montgomery, who in 1963 shot and killed a sheriff's deputy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at the age of 17.

His lawyers said Montgomery fired in panic when the officer confronted him while playing hooky from school. But the court in his trial was barred by law from considering arguments that his age should matter.

Montgomery is now 69 and says his rehabilitation in prison should make him eligible for parole. The Louisiana Supreme Court disagreed, and his challenge made it to the nation's highest judicial body.

"Prisoners like Montgomery must be given the opportunity to show their crime did not reflect irreparable corruption; and, if it did not, their hope for some years of life outside prison walls must be restored," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.

More than 2,300 prisoners across the U.S. are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for crimes some of them committed decades ago when they were teenagers, according to a report by the nonprofit law firm, Phillips Black.

Such mandatory sentences are now banned for juveniles, but this is the first time the prohibition will be applied retroactively.


Trump increases Iowa lead,
according to a Fox News poll


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Republican Donald Trump is surging in Iowa with a week to go before the first votes are cast in the 2016 U.S. presidential election process. A Fox News poll shows Trump moving into a big lead over Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas by a margin of  34 to 23 percent, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in third place with 12 percent. A new CBS News Battleground Tracker on-line poll shows Trump with a smaller lead over Cruz at 39 to 34 percent, with Rubio trailing at 13 percent.

These latest surveys show Trump gaining support with less than a week to go before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, the first official voting test of the 2016 campaign. Trump told supporters in Muscatine, Iowa, that he is making an all-out effort in Iowa. “I want to win Iowa, I want to really win it” he said.

Trump's poll surge comes after Cruz was put on the defensive when Trump raised questions about his eligibility to be president because Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother.


Opponents in firearms debate
seek state-by-state victories


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

From Gerald Stoudemire’s vantage point, as a hunter, gunsmith and gun dealer in small-town Little Mountain, South Carolina, firearms are a source of recreation, security and income. Their access by law-abiding citizens requires constant vigilance.

"The only good defense is a strong offense, is my opinion," said the longtime president of the Gun Owners of South Carolina, who has testified against many gun restrictions and last year challenged a new measure allowing police in the capital city of Columbia to arrest people suspected of carrying concealed weapons near the statehouse.

"They had to repeal the ordinance immediately because they would have been in violation of state law," he said.

From Andrew Goddard’s perspective, as a gun-violence prevention advocate heading the Brady Campaign’s chapter in Richmond, Virginia, firearms need constraints, such as strong background checks to prevent their falling into the wrong hands.

The argument against that doesn’t have a logical frame to it, said Goddard, who contends lax gun rules and poor mental health provisions enabled a gunman to open fire on fellow students at Virginia Tech in 2007. He killed 32 people and wounded 17 before turning a weapon on himself. Goddard’s son Colin, then 21, survived four bullets and today also crusades against gun violence.

Angered at congressional inaction on what he calls "our epidemic of gun violence," President Barack Obama put guns on the political agenda in January by announcing executive actions that would mildly reform gun access and how it’s enforced and tracked. But there’s plenty of action in the states, where voices such as Stoudemire’s and Goddard’s are part of the spirited debate over how to balance public safety with personal security and sport.

Last year, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence tracked 1,323 state-level bills nationwide that had gun provisions. In the past three years, 41 states have placed 125 new limits on guns, the California-based center found.

Oregon now requires background checks for all gun sales. It and Delaware blocked domestic abusers from possessing firearms. Voters in Washington state approved a ballot initiative expanding background checks to private firearms sales. An Associated Press review of legislation also found dozens of laws in states such as Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin that have made it easier to get guns, carry concealed weapons, and curb local governments’ ability to impose their own restrictions.

The legislative flurry follows a series of deadly mass shootings, most notably the December 2012 massacre of 20 young children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

"There's this whole lie that there are these mass shootings and no policy responses," said Kristin Goss, a Duke University political scientist and co-author of "The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know."

In the 20 years she has studied the gun control movement, "I think it’s fair to say there’s never been as much organizational capacity or as many resources . . . or as many different groups addressing as many facets of gun violence prevention," Ms. Goss said. There are a lot more players, a lot more money.

Pro-gun groups including the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America face growing, and more coordinated, opposition from reform organizations.

The decades-old Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has been joined by newer groups such as Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded in 2013 by Gabby Gifford and husband Mark Kelly two years after the then-congresswoman from Arizona was shot in the head at a constituent meet-and-greet. Another is Everytown for Gun Safety, backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his pledge of $50 million.

Gun control activists say they’re borrowing from the gun lobby’s playbook, trying to advance their own agendas state by state, measure by measure, elective office by elective office.

Gun rights backers are "very good at incrementalism, which is why they’re very afraid of it from our side," said Goddard, the Virginia violence-prevention advocate.

"Our opposition has been trying to find new strategies," acknowledged David Keene, the NRA’s president from 2011 to 2013.

Goddard’s side mustered enough signatures in Nevada and Maine to get 2016 ballot initiatives that would require background checks for private gun sales. But it’s not clear whether gun rights or gun control activists have the upper hand there or in other states.

Polls show broad public support for background checks for firearms purchases, though diminished backing for gun control overall in recent years. That comes even as the number of American households with guns has fallen to roughly a third, down from about half four decades ago, the University of Chicago’s NORC opinion research center found in a report last year. It cited declining interest in hunting as a big factor.

Republicans generally favor broader access and fewer restrictions than Democrats. Those lines can blur, depending on geography, urban versus rural, and culture.


Anti-abortion activists face
indictments in fetal tissue case


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A grand jury in Houston, Texas, has indicted two anti-abortion activists tied to the surreptitious recording of fetal tissue procurement talks with a Planned Parenthood official. But jurors found no wrongdoing on the part of the health care provider.

Activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merrit were indicted Monday on the felony charge of tampering with a governmental record. Daleiden, who heads an anti-abortion group, also faces a misdemeanor charge related to the attempted purchase of human organs, which is illegal under U.S. law.

Daleiden's organization last year released a series of covertly shot videos in which undercover activists discuss with Planned Parenthood the sale of aborted fetuses for research. The videos sparked widespread outrage among abortion opponents and fueled months of harsh rhetoric from Republicans in the U.S. Congress.

In mid-2015, Republicans failed in an attempt to use the videos as grounds for cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and other medical services.

Planned Parenthood has insisted it abides by a law that permits providers to be reimbursed for the cost of processing tissue donated by women who have had abortions. A spokeswoman on Monday said the anti-abortion activists "broke multiple laws to try to spread lies."

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, whose office presented the grand jury case, did not say what records were allegedly tampered with by the anti-abortion activists.


Putin says Lenin planted
seed that destroyed USSR


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the regime of  Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin and sharply denounced brutal repressions by the Bolshevik government.

During a meeting Monday with pro-Kremlin activists in the southern city of Stavropol, Putin denounced Lenin and his government for brutally executing Russia's last czar along with all his family and servants, as well as killing thousands of priests and members of the bourgeoisie.

Putin suggested that Lenin's ideology was like an atom bomb that eventually led to the fall of the Soviet Union. He said Lenin was wrong in his dispute with Josef Stalin, who advocated for a unitary state model while Lenin gave the republics the right to leave the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
 
“That right was the delayed action mine planted under our statehood. This is what caused the country’s eventual breakup," Putin said.
 
In his comments Monday, Putin said he sincerely believed in the Communist ideology while serving in the KGB, the armed wing of the party.
 
“In contrast to many functionaries I did not throw my membership card away or burn it in public. I still keep it at home,” he said.
 
He acknowledged, however, “the embodiment of these wonderful ideas in our country was very far from what the Utopian socialists had proclaimed."


Massive immigration seems
to have caused European flip


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Opinions of young Europeans appear to be hardening toward immigration.  Ask them about their lives and talk quickly turns to the challenge of finding jobs and the threat of Europe being overrun by migrants.

In Hungary, Kitti, a 28-year-old sports teacher and mother of an 8-year-old girl, says, “I went to the main railway station in the summer to help migrants."  But since then her heart has hardened. 

“I think we need to stop them coming. They think differently from us, especially when it comes to women.”

She cites the notorious drunken gang assaults on women in Germany’s Cologne and Hamburg during the New Year festivities.  She describes herself as a progressive in politics, but backs Hungary’s controversial prime minister, Viktor Orbán, in his demand that Europe staunch the flow of refugees and migrants.

To the north of Hungary, anti-migrant protesters in Poland took to the streets Sunday to echo Kitti’s fears.  The protesters at Gora Kalwaria, 30 kilometers south of Warsaw, said they feared for women and children after the New Year’s Eve sex attacks in Germany.

Others complained migrants would not be able to integrate because of different traditions.

A radical proposal to put a fence around Greece, cutting it off  from the rest of the European Union to curb the flood of migrants, is gaining traction among the continent’s political elites. 

First voiced by Orbán months ago, to widespread disapproval by other EU leaders, the proposal would exclude Greece from the border-free Schengen zone, temporarily isolating the main European transit country for war refugees from the Middle East and mainly economic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

After months of failed bids to curb the flow into Europe, more than a million refugees and migrants from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Europe last year, domestic political pressure is growing to find a solution.  Greek leaders say the proposal would turn their country into a refugee black box.

But German officials say Chancellor Angela Merkel, the architect last summer of a welcome culture for refugees, is now prepared to back the ring-fencing proposal.  German officials say some order has to be brought to the chaos of the biggest movement of people to impact Europe since the Second World War.


World Health head urges
addressing emerging disease


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The director-general of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, is calling for rapid action to tackle the growing threat of emerging diseases. At the opening of the agency’s week-long Executive Committee session, the agency chief warned some major global health threats will demand urgent, collaborative action in the months ahead.

Dr. Chan appeared chastened when she told some 1,000 delegates attending the meeting that hard lessons have been learned from the ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 11,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

World Health was slow off the mark in addressing this unprecedented outbreak, causing the deadly virus to wreak havoc in West Africa and cause panic around the world before measures to contain the disease were fully implemented.

After a lot of soul searching and advice from experts, World Health has begun a reform process. Dr. Chan said she is determined to change the way her agency responds to outbreaks and emergencies.

In the wake of ebola, Dr. Chan said health officials are more alert to alarming signals coming from the microbial world. She cited the devastation caused by last year’s MERS outbreak in Korea, a country with an advanced health system.

She said tackling emerging diseases becomes even more problematic in developing and emerging economies. She warns of the explosive spread of zika virus to new geographical areas, with little population immunity. Zika is a mosquito-borne disease that is believed to cause neurological problems in newly born babies.

Dr. Chan flagged antimicrobial resistance as a danger of the utmost urgency. She said more must be done to counter the growing threat from non-communicable diseases.

She cautioned the world to be on alert to the emerging health consequences from climate change. She said programs must be sharpened for dealing with more outbreaks of cholera and dengue. Dr. Chan said more people will suffer from indoor and outdoor pollution and be vulnerable to health problems resulting from extreme weather events.


Special prosecutor appointed
to lead water probe in Flint


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Michigan's attorney general named a special prosecutor Monday to probe the contaminated water crisis in the City of Flint, to determine whether laws were broken during a months-long period when officials failed to notify residents of dangerous lead content in the city's drinking water.

The appointment comes as Gov. Rick Snyder scrambles to address the crisis, which was triggered in 2014 when the cash-strapped Flint government sought to save money by drawing water from a local river rather than nearby Detroit's water system.

It was later found that engineers did not properly treat the corrosive Flint River water to prevent lead leaching from old pipes. Flint residents were not informed about their tainted drinking water supply for a year and a half.

Current estimates to replace the city's water pipes run as high as $1.5 billion.

Attorney General Bill Schuette tapped former Wayne County assistant prosecutor Todd Flood to lead the probe, to avoid any potential conflict of interest between the Flint investigation and Schuette's role in defending the state against water-related lawsuits.

Schuette also identified Flood's lead investigator as former FBI agent Andy Arena, who once headed the bureau's Detroit field office.

In a separate development Monday, the Detroit Free Press said independent environmental test results obtained by the newspaper show that the level of toxins in Flint's drinking water appears to be falling since the city switched back to Detroit's water system in October.

The report said 8 percent of 853 water samples drawn from Flint homes between late September and January 15 exceeded safe levels for lead. It also quotes the scientist leading the independent study as saying the current numbers appear lower than those recorded in August, before the switch back to Detroit's water system.

But Virginia Tech University Professor Marc Edwards said residents should continue using bottled water and filters until the crisis is resolved.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

COSTA RICA SOLAR
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Remax logo
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
8927-1/28/17

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
For more i
nformation 

Click
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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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AXIOM DEVELOPMENT GROUP SRL
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8906-2/21/16

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.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
8790-2/28/15

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
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* Located on 6th floor.
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        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
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Web Page: www.mafirealestate.com
8609-2/20/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Lee Lot
Panoramic Home Site.
Panoramic, rural mountain lot in Rosario, outside of Grecia in Central Valley. 25 minutes from San José and international airport. One hour from coast. Includes paved roads, electrical and water. In a development of 28 hectares, most planted in coffee. Lot is 7,300 square meters. Located adjacent to High Dreams Club, Hotel & Spa (Adults/couples www.highdreamscr.com). Excellent climate. Lot size large enough for home, garage & guesthouse/casita. Home site cleared & includes 10 maturing palm trees, with coffee trees at the base of the lot. Views to San José and include canyons. $24,900 USD. Contact: brooke@godutchrealty.com. 506 8311-5336 or U.S. 719-821-2210.
8923-2/26/16

La Uruca condo
FURNISHED  APARTMENT for SALE.
CONDOMINIO SATURNO, LA URUCA,
OUTSKIRTS of SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA,
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
Email:  BORISKOPIT@YAHOO.COM
8914-2/13/16

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
8910-1/28/15

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
8916-7/22/16

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

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:  8725-8176.  Email:  angelsdad@me.com
8883-2/26/16

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

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
This is what every gardener needs

Every garden of any size in the tropics has to have one crucial element: a hammock.

Now, ideally the hammock should be strung between two large trees
Victoria torley
 that provide not only support but shade. No big trees? A hammock on a portable base will do nicely because it can be moved from one piece of shade to another, depending on wind and time of day.

Personally, though, I prefer the stationary sort of hammock with its rope run through a piece of old
hose or tire so that it doesn’t cut into the bark  of the tree. Never, ever, screw a metal pin into the tree. Found your trees, or at least your spot in the shade? Excellent. Now the hammock.

So many hammocks to choose from, and it’s all up to you. Bright colors or muted, ropey or flat, one person or two. Again, my personal choice is a one-person hammock with a nice flat weave that lets the air through. This is the tropics. Two people in one hammock and you get too warm too fast.

We have the perfect place for a hammock, the shade garden. There is a tiny unnamed stream flowing through it, dancing over the rocks: the perfect sound to lull you into a tranquil state after all that hard work in the garden and all the frustration of what grew and what did not. Frustration cannot follow you to the hammock.  Now, just close your eyes and let me take you there.

You’ve been working in the sun. You’re hot and tired, and you head for the hammock. You stop off for lemonade or beer at the house then up a hill and down to the hammock.

Shake it once, just in case. Set your drink on that stump and ease your way into a nice restful position, head on a small pillow, ankles crossed. Sip the lemonade, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Aaah.

Listen. No traffic noise, no barking dogs, just the soft music of the stream and the drone of an occasional insect. Not a mosquito in sight, but a blue morpho floats by, languid, sailing the breeze. And the breeze, ah yes, you worked hard on that breeze. The Gongora orchid has bloomed and the air is full of the scent of cloves tinged with the sweetness of roses. You sip the lemonade once more then pull your hat down over your face, close your eyes, and drift away…

. . . every gardener needs a hammock.

Plant of the Week

My Gongora claviodora orchid is ripe for blooming; just look at these

buds. Now take a look at the orchid itself on the web. It’s a funky orchid with flowers that face each other across a stem.

Mine is not the most attractive of orchids either, unless you like reddish browns with spots.

The flowers have been described as angry wasps facing off against each other or swooping birds of prey.

No worries though because I grow them for their scent, and oh is it luscious. My Gongora will scent the garden to a radius of 8 or 10 meters.

Aaaah. That’s something to rock a hammock to.
Gongora
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

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From Page 7:

Employers use Facebook, study confirms

By the University of Ghent news staff

New research has shown that employers use Facebook to screen job candidates. In fact, a candidate's Facebook profile picture affects the chances of appointment about as much as the picture added to a resume.

Employers have limited information when they make their first selection of the candidates for their vacancies. A resume and short motivation letter are often not sufficient to gain insight in the personality of the candidates. At the same time, there's a lot of information to further refine a first impression. A potential source of information is the social networking Web site Facebook.

Researchers from Ghent University examined whether employers actually use Facebook in a first screening. They sent fictitious letters of application in response to genuine vacancies. The names of leading fictitious candidates led, via a search engine or Facebook, to just one site on the Internet: one of the four fictitious Facebook profiles under the control of the research team. On Facebook, only the profile picture of the candidates was publicly visible. The four photographs were diverse in terms of attractiveness and personality traits.

The scientists compared the chances of positive responses for candidates with different Facebook profiles. In their application letter there was no picture.

Stijn Baert, a professor, said: "The candidate with the most favorable Facebook profile picture received approximately 21 percent more positive responses to his application in comparison to the candidate with the least favorable profile picture. The difference in the chance to be immediately invited to a job interview even amounted to almost 40 percent." These differences could only be driven by the view of the Facebook profile picture, so it is clear that a significant proportion of employers screens via Facebook, the researchers concluded.