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(506) 2223-1327                               Published Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 28                             Email us
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Lawmakers urge president to act on financial crisis
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers, even a member of the president's own party, are expressing concern now that Moody's rating service has changed the country's debt outlook from stable to negative.

Frank Corella Vargas, a lawmaker with the Partido Acción Ciudadana, called upon the president to withdraw all legislative proposals that are not involved with improving tax collection, fighting tax fraud and cutting costs.

Karla Prendas Matarrita of the Partido Liberación Nacional was more blunt. She said in a speech at the Asamblea Nacional that the government is incapable of solving the financial crisis and this puts at risk the nation's economy.

The change in the rating, she said, is a severe warning that means more expenses for the country. And she blamed the poor management by the government.

Both lawmakers called for a broader discussion of the problem.  Corella made his comments in a letter to the president.

He said that the president was quoted saying that the financial situation of the country would provoke an undesirable condition which would result in a sea of misery, social unrest, institutional retreat and political chaos. The lawmaker said that such a prediction deserves drastic action.

The president, Luis Guillermo Solís, has staked the financial health of the country on a
package of tax bills that now are in the legislature. However, there is strong opposition to them.

Solís seeks a value-added tax that quickly
Lawmaker
Partido Liberación Nacional photo
Karla Prendas Matarrita  makes a point.


would rise to 15 percent. He also seeks higher income tax rates and a strengthening of measures against tax fraud. The Ministerio de Hacienda also seems to confuse tax fraud, which is illegal, with tax avoidance, which is legal. Avoidance means structuring business or personal affairs so that the tax bite is as little as possible.

Some who have studied the president's tax package have said that the measures would fall far short of putting the country in the black.

Half the budget is borrowed money and, as  Corella pointed out in his letter, the national deficit is 5.7 percent of the gross domestic product, soon to reach 6 percent.


Former liquor factory's tower gets a makeover
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The culture ministry is housed in what for years had been the state alcohol producer.

The sprawling facility now is called the Centro Nacional de la Cultura.

The 160-year-old complex is in constant need of repair and restoration. The latest job was the restoration of the distillation tower.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud's own  Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural did the work to make the tower look the way it was when the complex began producing guaro in 1856.

Steps also were taken to reduce the humidity captured by the stone blocks, the ministry said.

In addition to ministry offices, the former  Fábrica Nacional de Licores houses gallery space, stages and other facilities that support the culture mission.

tower
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
This is the restored tower.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 28
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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

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Psychotherapy

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

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 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
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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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utoppista work
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Workmen already have installed 15 kilometers of barriers in the median of the Autopista Florencio del Castillo between Curridabat and the Taras intersection. The work is being done at night. This is a $2.8 million job.

First storm of year also brings winds

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Parts of the country got the first big storm of the year Tuesday.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that from 100 to 125 millimeters of rain were recorded at Cariblanco and Sarapiquí. That's about three to five inches.

The precipitation in the lower levels of the Central Valley were limited to what Costa Ricans call pelo de gato, something slightly heavier than a fine mist.

But there also were significant winds generated by a new cold front that swept over the country, according to the institute. The winds at times exceeded 60 mph.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias issued a warning for both coasts because of expected high seas and the wind. Pacific waves and those in the Caribbean are predicted to be high and strong.
 
The commission urged extreme precautions for both coasts at least through Sunday.

There were reports of some landslides and downed trees in the country due to the second day of strong winds.


Popular Art City Tour returns tonight

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Art City Tour returns this evening for the sixth year. Participants will be able to visit a number of galleries, museums and other culture destinations without charge. And free bus service is being provided.

Some bikers also participate with their vehicles. And walking also is possible.

Among the featured locations are the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, the Museo Nacional, the Museo del Jade y la Cultura Precolombina, the Museos del Banco Central, the Museo Dr. Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia and the Museo de Arte Costarricense.

The event begins at 5 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m.

More information, a list of pickup points and registration is available at the Art City Tour Web site.



Ottón Solís wants APM money for rail line

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Ottón Solís proposed Tuesday that the central government should control the money that is generated by the terminal port in Moín.

Now the plan is to remit about 7.5 percent of the income of APM Terminals to the agency that runs the ports, the Junta de Administración Portuaria y Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica.

Solís, a Partido Acción Ciudadana lawmaker, suggested that giving the money to the Junta would result in it being used for small projects and administrative costs.

Instead he proposed that the money be used to rebuild the Caribbean railroad from Limón to Rio Frio and beyond. He estimated that the first year payment by APM Terminals would be about $12.5 million.

The goal would be to invest the money in projects that would have a strong economic impact, he said.


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Cuban travel plans become a controversial issue for government
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The transport of Cuban migrants picked up speed Tuesday after a newspaper report suggested that the scheme blocked other and cheaper alternatives.

President Luis Guillermo Solís, Manuel González, the foreign minster, and the local office of the International Organization for Migration all rejected the allegations of a travel agency operator that were featured in the El Diario Extra news article.

But González also threatened to pull the visas from Cubans who do not make an air trip north when they are supposed to do so.

The government reported that 98 Cubans declined to complete the exit process with Costa Rican immigration officials Tuesday because they thought there might be more economical options.

Solís said that this attitude put in jeopardy the entire plan to transport some 4,000 Cubans to the U.S. border.

And then the government revealed that 236 Cubans were supposed to leave Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia on two flights today to Laredo, México, which is right on the U.S. border.

The Cubans will not land in El Salvador, and they will not have to pay for a Salvadoran visa and one for Guatemala. And they will not have to pay for bus transport through México.

Both González and Solís said that Costa Rica is not receiving any money from the airlift.

José Montoya of  Viajes Meridianos told La Extra that he tried repeatedly to contact government officials to offer economical travel services to help the Cubans move north after Nicaragua closed its border in mid-November. He said his firm did not participate in what was called a market study by the immigration organization in late January because it lacked a license from the International Air Transport Association, something the immigration agency required.

Solis and gonzalez
Casa Presidencial photo
President Luis Guillermo Solís and Manuel González

He said other firms did not participate either because of the license requirement, which he said is not needed to operate a travel agency.

The International Organization of Migration agreed in its press release Tuesday that only Vacaciones Diseñadas Terranova S.A. and one other company participated in the selection of the travel firm. The contract to Viajes Ejecutivos Mundiales S.A. was a direct award without bidding.

The air lift was a project set up by the Central American governments with the help of the immigration organization.

 The organization also defended the plan as one that guarantees the protection of the human rights of the migrants.

The Cubans will be allowed to enter the United States and seek residency under a 1966 Cold War era law as long as they arrive by land.



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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, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 28
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Curiosity video gives 360-degree panorama of the Martian landscape
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. space agency has released a stunning 360-degree video of the surface of the planet Mars.

The video was taken by the Curiosity rover’s Mast Camera Dec. 18. The graphic is posted to YouTube, and viewers can manipulate the view.

“This view of the downwind face of Namib Dune on Mars covers 360 degrees, including a portion of Mount Sharp on the horizon,” according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's description of the video. “The site is part of the dark-sand Bagnold Dunes field along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp.”

NASA says the bottom of the dune nearest the rover is about 7 meters from the camera. The center of the scene is toward the east. Both ends are toward the west.

A color adjustment has been made so that rocks and sand appear approximately as they would appear under Earth's sunlit sky.

Mars
NASA photo
Click the photo for the video.

"The mission's examination of dunes in the Bagnold field, along the rover's route up the lower slope of Mount Sharp, is the first close look at active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth," says NASA.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden
                        Garden 2016
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Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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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:
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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.
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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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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Solr
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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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Real estate for rent (paid category)
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8909-4/17/15




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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 28
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Axiom 890 pixels

U.S. High court puts freeze
on carbon emissions plan


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has put on hold President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's power plants.

Obama announced the regulations in August as a way to fight climate change, saying states had until next September to come up with their own plans to meet a target of reducing emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels.

But a group of 27 states balked at the Clean Power Plan and filed a lawsuit, saying it amounted to an overstep by the Environmental Protection Agency and would unnecessarily hurt businesses and cost jobs.

The Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday saying the new guidelines must be suspended until the legal challenges are resolved.  A lower court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, is due to hear arguments in the case in June, and the Supreme Court itself could end up considering the matter later.

Texas and West Virginia, which are two of the leading carbon-producing states, led the legal challenge.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the Supreme Court's action a major victory for people who feared losing their jobs or seeing energy prices rise.

"The Obama Administration clearly exceeded its authority in imposing this plan, which would cost taxpayers and consumers alike hard-earned money in exchange for less reliable service," Paxton said.

West Virginia's Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the ruling protects workers while saving countless dollars.

The White House said in August its projections showed the plan would save average households $85 dollars a year on their electric bills by 2030.  In addition to cutting carbon emissions, the program would increase the amount of energy that is produced by renewable sources such as solar and wind.

In a statement Monday, spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House disagrees with the Supreme Court order and remains confident it will prevail in the legal battle.

"The Clean Power Plan is based on a strong legal and technical foundation, gives states the time and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions, and will deliver better air quality, improved public health, clean energy investment and jobs across the country, and major progress in our efforts to confront risks posed by climate change," he said.

Environmental groups also expressed their support for taking further action against climate change following the court's ruling.

"Tonight's Supreme Court decision has delayed the implementation of the Clean Power Plan while we are running out of time to combat climate change," said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth Action.

Even before the president issued the new regulations, power companies across the U.S. had already begun converting their energy generation away from coal to rely more on natural gas, solar and wind.

As a result, carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants fell by 13 percent nationwide between 2011 and 2013, according to government data.

   
Obama proposes new $10 tax
on a barrel of crude petroleum

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama has proposed a controversial new $10 a barrel tax on crude oil sold in the United States in the budget he presented to Congress Tuesday.

He says the tax revenue would accelerate a transition toward a cleaner energy economy by improving transportation and boosting research and investment in energy sources of tomorrow.

Obama recently told journalists that oil prices are certain to eventually rise from their current low levels. That means investments in alternative fuels and more efficient methods of transportation could protect Americans from the kind of economic shock seen in many previous times of soaring oil costs.

The proposal drew strong criticism from the head of an oil industry trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, who called it a radical, anti-energy agenda of tax hikes and new regulations that could harm consumers, destroy jobs and raise energy costs.

Institute President Jack Gerard called the tax an unprecedented action that would boost the cost of crude oil by 30 percent. He said that would raise gasoline costs by around seven cents a liter. Gerard said the tax hike would raise the cost of food and everything that relies on transportation to get to consumers.

The environmental group Friends of the Earth said it is time to build a sustainable transportation system and Big Oil should foot the bill. In a note to journalists, Friends of the Earth campaigner Lukas Ross said "Oil companies have profited for generations from government-funded roads as well as from billions of dollars of tax breaks every year. Putting a fee on oil and other dirty fuels is exactly the mechanism we need to transition the U.S. towards a new energy economy and avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, from the oil-producing state of Alaska, called the proposal disappointing but not surprising. Ms. Murkowski heads the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and called the tax proposal Obama's latest effort to damage our nation's oil production. Other Republican members of Congress also oppose the new tax.

Analysts quoted in the financial press say a tax on crude oil has no chance of getting through Congress where Obama's Republican political opponents control both the House and the Senate. Republicans favor lower taxes and fewer regulations.

The debate comes as oil prices have fallen from above $100 a barrel to around $30 a barrel. The sharp decline has brought thousands of job layoffs to the oil industry, reduced the number of drilling rigs deployed, and cut investments in energy exploration and infrastructure.


U.S. President seeks to unify
country's cybersecurity efforts


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday announced a national cybersecurity plan, calling cyberthreats among the most urgent dangers to America's economic and national security.

The Cybersecurity National Action Plan is the administration's attempt to build a broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats. It calls for an increase in spending on cybersecurity across all U.S. government agencies to $19 billion, an increase of 35 percent over last year.

The plan includes a $3 billion fund to kick-start an overhaul of federal computer systems, Obama wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.

The plan calls for the creation of a new high-level federal position to coordinate cybersecurity across civilian agencies and working with military and intelligence counterparts in tracking down cyber intruders in federal networks. Private-sector businesses have long had positions similar to the one proposed by the administration.

"The nation's cyber adversaries getting more sophisticated every day, developing new botnets, spyware, malware and ransomware. We have to be even more nimble and resilient, and stay ahead of these threats," Obama wrote.

The goal of the cybersecurity plan is to provide every American a basic level of online security, he added.

The budget proposal also calls for $62 million to expand efforts to attract and retain qualified cyber professionals working for the government. It would also include more training for the private sector, emphasizing measures such as password and pin authentication to sign onto tax data and government benefits.

Additionally, Obama's budget proposal urges the government reduce the use of Social Security numbers for identification.

Cybersecurity has become a top public issue following several high-profile hacks of private companies, such as the Target retail chain stores, and federal agencies, such as the breach last year of the personal information of 21 million current and retired federal employees held by the Office of Personnel Management.  

U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott would supervise the new cybersecurity position inside the Office of Management and Budget. He said today's federal model has every agency, and in some cases sub-agency, "building their cyber defenses pretty much on their own. That's just, frankly, a bad model of how to defend against these critical adversaries."

The position of chief information security officer was posted Tuesday, Scott said, and he expects it to be filled in 60 to 90 days.

Jacob Olcott, a former congressional legal adviser on cybersecurity, said, "It's great to have more senior executive-level attention on the issue, but the challenge is whether that person will almost certainly be vested with any actual authorities and so it always kind of boils down to that."

The White House expects broad support for what has not been a partisan issue, but it is unclear whether the Republican-controlled Congress will approve the increase.

Obama also established two groups to respond to cybersecurity.


Denver fans turn out to cheer
Super Bowl victor Broncos


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An estimated 1 million football fans gathered Tuesday afternoon for a parade and rally in downtown Denver to celebrate their NFL's Denver Broncos' 24-10 victory Sunday in Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.

Denver schools offered students excused absences if their parents let officials know they would be attending the ceremonies.

The team's players rode on firetrucks in front of the spectators, who were packed deep along the nearly 2-kilometer parade route, while others watched from above on balconies and rooftops.

The first firetruck bore the number 18, which is the jersey number of the Broncos' star quarterback, Peyton Manning. Linebacker Von Miller, the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player, also was in the lead truck, as was the Lombardi Trophy, awarded annually to the National Football League champions.

Just like after Sunday's game, Manning refused to address whether he would return for another season. He turns 40 next month, which is well past the age for successful professional American football quarterbacks. He was the oldest player ever to quarterback a Super Bowl win.

President Barack Obama passed along his congratulations via Twitter to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, and in his tweet he said, " . . . see you at the White House."

The president is a big sports fan and typically gives the nation's major sports champions, professional as well as collegiate, a reception at the White House.

While the Broncos and their fans were celebrating their big title, the quarterback of the losing Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton, did not apologize for acting like a sore loser after the game.

He told reporters Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

Newton, who had been named the regular season's Most Valuable Player the day before the Super Bowl, was widely criticized for how he conducted himself at his postgame news conference. He gave mostly one- and two-word answers, appeared to sulk and walked off the podium after only about three minutes.

Newton, who led Carolina to its best regular-season record at 15-1, said he thought the story of his postgame behavior was being overblown by the media.


Sanders
Voice of America photo  
Bernie Sanders delivers his victory speech.

As expected, Sanders, Trump
win
New Hampshire primaries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and outspoken billionaire Donald Trump have won their respective New Hampshire primary contests, according to media projections, securing their first U.S. presidential primary election victories.   

Minutes after polls closed Tuesday, virtually all major media declared Sanders and Trump the winners, both holding their leads as the votes were counted.  In another closely watched battle, Ohio Gov. John Kasich was projected to finish second in the GOP race, behind Trump.  

The results were in line with recent opinion polls, which showed Sanders and the New York billionaire Trump with comfortable, double digit leads over their rivals in the northeastern state.  

“We are going to make America great again,” a triumphant Trump told supporters during a victory speech. “But we’re going to do it the old fashioned way. We are going to start winning again, and we are going to win so much, you are going to be so happy,” Trump added.  

The quick victory for Sanders was in stark contrast to last week’s first nominating contest in Iowa, which ended in a virtual tie between him and ex-secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  

​Mrs. Clinton, appearing alongside her husband, former president Bill Clinton, was upbeat and confident as she conceded defeat.  

“Here’s what we’re going to do. We take this campaign to the entire country. We fight for every vote in every state. We are going to fight for real solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives,” she said. 

It is still unclear just how big of a lead Sanders and Trump will earn.  

Meanwhile, the soft-spoken Kasich, whose campaign has focused on issues rather than personal attacks, put nearly all his resources into doing well in New Hampshire. 

“Maybe, just maybe, we are turning the page on a dark part of American politics, because tonight the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning,” Kasich said after the vote during what felt like a victory speech. 

Bunched up a few percentage points behind Kasich were ex-Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.  

It is not clear whether the result will further narrow the Republican field. But many analysts now say that Trump appears to be the consensus GOP frontrunner.  

“When you consider all the negative comments that are made about him, all the attacks. If he can survive it, and beat all these guys by 10 points or more, then he’s clearly the frontrunner,” conservative pollster Frank Luntz said.

There had been questions about whether Trump’s frenzied wave of support, which showed up in opinion polls and at massive rallies, would translate into votes.

In Tuesday, New Hampshire voters seem to have answered that question, for now. 

“I voted for Donald Trump because the economy is so bad, and I think he could probably be the best man to help,” said Roberta Latour from Merrimack, New Hampshire.  

Voters across the state braved snowy conditions and waited in long lines at polling stations, turning out in what was expected to be record numbers.  

Oscar Villacis is a Clinton supporter from Nashua. “My heart was telling me Bernie Sanders, but my mind was telling me Clinton,” he said.  

The campaign now heads to South Carolina, where both Mrs. Clinton and Trump have substantial leads.


Sikh who had airline trouble
getting social media support

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Sikh American actor and designer who was barred from boarding a flight from Mexico City to New York because of his turban and beard is finding support from other Sikhs and celebrities.

Waris Ahluwalia was wearing a traditional religious Sikh turban when he tried to board an Aeromexico flight Monday as he was returning to New York for fashion week.

He said he was barred from boarding because he would not remove the turban.

As news of the incident spread, prominent Sikhs, celebrities and civil rights groups took to Twitter to support Ahluwalia.

The Sikh Coalition also posted a list of demands, including requesting more training for staff screening passengers.

Aeromexico released a statement Monday saying it "renews its commitment to transport all passengers regardless of their religion, social status or gender.  The airline, however, is required to meet the federal safety requirements outlined by the United States' Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for review of selected passengers traveling to the United States. The airline regrets any inconvenience any passenger could perceive due to the application of these procedures."


Mardi Gras in New Orleans
has its roots in 17th century


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of people gathered in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tuesday to partake in the annual celebration of Mardi Gras and watch as world-renowned parades marked the end of the Carnival season.

Each year, people from across the U.S. and the world gather to witness the festivities of Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. Its name refers to the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Many tourists arrived in the city of New Orleans at the start of the past weekend for Carnival festivities that led up to the big parades Tuesday. Fat Tuesday also is a day full of parties, rich food and drink.

Of all the parades that happen throughout the city, the most famous include Bacchus, Endymion, Zulu and Rex.

The Zulu parade is put on by a historically black organization in New Orleans called the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, and it dates to around 1910.

The Rex parade dates to 1872.

During the parades, visitors stroll through the streets waiting to catch trinkets. Riders on the floats typically dress in costume and throw beads and other items to people along the route. These trinkets also may include stuffed animals, hats, and other decorated items.

Celebrated in France since the Middle Ages, the origins of Mardi Gras in America date back to the 1600s, when a French explorer by the name of Sieur d’Iberville sailed into the Gulf of Mexico and launched an expedition along the Mississippi River.

The explorer set up camp along the river on March 3, 1699, the same day on which Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France. He named the site Point du Mardi Gras in honor of the festival.

The parades that are now characteristic of the New Orleans celebration have become etched into the city’s culture and are similar to those put on in other countries.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hundreds of thousands of tourists and residents come together for one of the world’s most famous celebrations. People anticipate the parades and the street parties that can be found in a number of neighborhoods.

Festivities of Fat Tuesday, for this reason, have moved away from the religious origins of the festival into a mostly secular celebration.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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Real estate for sale (paid category)


updated
                                  photo
Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or goodbuyflorida@yahoo.com.
8933-5/2/16

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.
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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
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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
bones
Judicial Investigating Orgnization photo
Medical experts have some boots and bones as clues to figure out the identity of a person finally located under a tree trunk in Llano Verde de Pocosol de Cutris en San Carlos. Technicians here are removing the remains. Law enforcement agents have some suspicions.

El Niño linked to dengue outbreaks

By the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement news staff

The dengue virus affects 390 million people globally every year, and fears are that early 2016 will see an epidemic, particularly in Southeast Asia, due to the predicted extreme intensity of El Niño. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed the significant role that this monster climatic phenomenon plays in the outbreak of hemorrhagic fevers.

Reviewing health reports from eight Southeast Asian countries, spanning a period of 18 years, the research group in question developed models for dengue fever transmission across the entire region and highlighted the correlation between the most serious epidemic waves and the abnormally high atmospheric temperatures associated with intense El Niño events.

The number of cases of dengue fever throughout the world is rising rapidly, propelling it to the status of a re-emerging disease. Many countries in the intertropical zone see the number of cases of hemorrhagic fever peak during the rainy season each year. But when and why do these annual peaks turn into real outbreaks, spreading beyond borders, like the viruses rife in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2010 and 2013? Up to now, it has been difficult to understand and predict these major epidemic waves.

To lift the veil on this question, an international research group collected and analyzed 18 years of monthly dengue fever monitoring reports from eight countries in Southeast Asia. This enabled them to identify very pronounced trends in the transmission of the virus across the entire region.

Researchers observed a period of high incidence throughout Southeast Asia from 1997 to 1998. This coincided with the most intense El Niño event of the 20th century. For them, the link was unmistakeable: this climatic phenomenon, originating from the Pacific Ocean around every five years, plays a key role in the development of major dengue fever epidemics, as it brings abnormally high atmospheric temperatures. These temperatures allow the vector mosquitoes to reproduce more quickly and proliferate, increasing the spread of the virus.

Now that climatologists have announced the most intense El Niño since 1997-98, these findings have led to fears of a major new dengue fever epidemic in Asia in early 2016. However, by sounding the warning bell in advance, this work will enable the introduction of immediate health measures.


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From Page 7:


Health ministry says it is cutting approval time

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Salud said Tuesday that it has reduced the cost of obtaining a sanitary permit for small business food establishments.

The ministry also said that is it trying to simplify paperwork and is instituting a Web-based approval process.

The ministry requires that foods and cosmetics as well as medicines be subject to approval. Sometimes this is a long process.

The ministry is following up on two presidential directives. In the case of food products, the approval time is to be cut from 22 to five days. Cosmetic approvals, which now take an average of 44 days, will be also cut to five, said the ministry.

And the cost of enrollment for small businesses is being cut to $20 from $100, it added.