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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 38                             Email us
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Axiom


Sala IV rejects appeal
opposing
finca evictions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Sala IV constitutional court has rejected an appeal to stop the eviction of some 100 families on Finca Changuina in Palmar Sur.

The court last week froze the police action until a final decision could be made. Now police are likely to proceed to remove the families and destroy their dwellings.

The families are among a larger group whose members invaded the land as squatters.

An afternoon report Tuesday by the Poder Judicial said that the court made the decision at 2:50 p.m. But there was no report of the votes by individual magistrates.

The court decision said that the appeal was inadmissible because the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública and its police force were executing a judicial resolution.

The anticipated police action is likely to cause violence on the finca or on the Interamericana Sur where those who have been evicted and supporters gather to protest and sometimes block traffic on the Río Térreba bridge.

There were scuffles on the bridge Feb. 16 after protesters sat down and blocked traffic. A Fuerza Pública officer read them a script that gave them five minutes to leave, but they did not. Six persons were detained.

 The dispute over land goes back years. There may have been up to 400 families living on land they do not own. Many are former banana workers who lost their jobs when a
grower of that fruit collapsed. The properties
protest
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Police officer reads a warning to protesters seated on the Interamericana Sur Feb. 16.

have been through bank auctions and sales. Some land also is on the site where a new international airport has been proposed. The land is now owned by Oscar Echeverría Heigold.

There have been smaller evictions in the past, and some residents have returned to their land afterwards.

The evictions, ordered by the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, have become a political issue.

The central government has made efforts to find land for the evicted families and to provide them subsidies. The Defensoria de los Habitantes even filed an appeal on behalf of the squatters.


Most public employees will have Semana Santa off
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government has declared all of Semana Santa to be vacation. That means most public employees will begin their week off at the close of business March 18 and return to work March 28.

Casa Presidencial said that the decree is designed to give a boost to tourism. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are legal holidays, so public employees really are only getting three extra days off. Many apply vacations to the first three days of the week anyway.

This year the vacation is mandatory. Those workers who already have expended their vacations will lose three days next year, according to the government.

Private employees frequently get the same time off, and some firms close all of Holy Week.

Mauricio Ventura, the minister of  Turismo, was quoted saying that Semana Santa is a period when families vacation the most.

Officials said they hoped for a 5 percent bump in tourism during the week.

There was no mention of the impact of a health alert for parts of the Pacific coast due to the zika virus. That is expected to reduce tourist numbers on the Nicoya peninsula.

Essential services are suppose to be maintained, but expats will find doing any kind of government business difficult during the last half of March.


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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 38
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Dentistry

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Psychotherapy

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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
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Real estate agents and services

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Presidencia counters negative poll results

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial quickly responded to a poll that put the president in a bad light. Workers for the Presidencia also put a positive spin on a fairly negative poll produced by Cid Gallup.

The main findings were that a large majority of Costa Ricans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Casa Presidencial said, however, that the poll showed that concerns about the cost of living were voiced by fewer persons in the latest poll and that only 17 percent of the respondents said that their households had experienced a robbery or similar crime in the last four months. That was down from 26 percent in 2008 and 2009, Casa Presidencial said.

As to the highly negative opinions expressed by respondents about the work President Luis Guillermo Solís has accomplished, Casa Presidencial said that all presidents receive such poor evaluations at this point in their terms.

Casa Presidencial also came out with a summary of 10 signs that the national economy is recovering.


Challenge to Cuban flights rejected

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has rejected an appeal by a travel agency that wanted to participate in flying Cuban migrants to El Salvador and México. No specific reason was given.

The travel firm was identified as Meridianos S.A. by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.  José Montoya, the legal representative of the firm asked the court Monday to suspend the air flights of the Cubans that has been in effect since Feb. 4, the ministry said.
 
Some travel agency operators have been unhappy with the plan because they were not given the chance to participate. The ministry said that 3,000 Cubans remain in the country.


Bank to use cell phone selfies as ID

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Banco Nacional says it soon will be instituting facial recognition software for cell phone customers.

The customer's face will serve as sort of a PIN number.

The bank said that it will establish a data base of customers that will be compared with the one seeking access to an account via a cell telephone. The customer's cell telephone will take a selfie, which will be mathematically digitized. That information will be sent to the bank for comparison with the data base.

The bank said that makeup, haircuts or a beard will not impede identification.


Faked credit cards were of Americans

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cloned credit cards of U.S. citizens have been used to make purchases here, even though the cards' real owners never have been in the country.

The fact launched judicial agents on an investigation in December. The detective work climaxed Tuesday with the arrest of a man in Concepción de Tres Ríos. The initial complaint had been filed by a bank.

Agents said they found 400 fake credit cards, two skimming devices used to extract electronic data from cards and various computer equipment. Also found were fake passports and driver licenses, they said.


Deadline set for expressing political views

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Readers are invited to express their preferences for party nominations and the elections for U.S. president, national level lawmakers and other officials.

This newspaper will publish these preferences as letters through Friday, Oct. 14. The U.S. general elections are held on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Each letter should be of reasonable length and free standings in that it should not dispute the comments of a previously published letter. The letter should make and support its own arguments. Letters will be published with the name of the writer and the community in which the writer lives.

Sometime in the third week of October, A.M. Costa Rica will publish its election endorsement and have the last word. There will be no further campaign letters published.

Those supporting a candidate are reminded that U.S. voters in Costa Rica need some lead time to cast their ballots and send them in to be counted.

 
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 38
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Evil in various forms continues to stalk the Internet connections
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There are certain advantages to spam emails. How else would one receive a nice letter from the Easter Bunny?

The message probably was not from the real Estate Bunny. It was just another commercial trick marketers and crooks use to get users to read their messages.

There is something evil about people who would assume the names of Santa, the Easter Bunny and other characters revered by children.

And evil abounds. Trend Micro reports that emails in Costa Rica contain an average of 77 percent spam.

Spamhaus.org, a site set up to fight spams, said that the worst spammars are in the United States, followed by China and Russia. Not all anti-spam organizations agree, and some say that China leads the pack. Spamhaus includes photos of the world's top spammers on its Web site.

Spanhaus also is where users go to check Internet blocklists to see if their server is blacklisted for spewing spam.

Frequently this is without the user's knowledge or consent. The use of worms and other malicious software to take over computers is well known. An infected computer can put out up to a quarter million spam messages an hour, according to industry sources. Some of these so-called botnets are capable of sending 30 billion spam email messages per day.

The problem for computer users is how to block the unwanted spam but not trash real messages or even unexpected commercial messages that might be useful.

Spamhaus suggests using blocklist technology on servers to filter out about 85 percent of the spam and then use a more intense filtering program at the computer. There also are other commercial solutions.

The problem no longer is limited to PCs. Mobil devices are
bunny
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
He's sending spam emails now!

getting their share of spam now, and Macintosh computers also are vulnerable.

Time was when Macintosh devices were immune because there were so few and spammers did not bother creating software to interface with the Mac operating system. Now there are so many Macs, including mobile devices that viruses for them are on the upswing.

There was one report this month of an extortive spam that hit a Mac in the Central Valley. This is one of those viruses that captures the computers and puts up a black screen with instructions to send money to the spammers for a release code. There may have been others.  Spammers using this so-called Ransomware are believed to have taken in millions in the last two years.



Outbreak of bat-transmitted cow rabies reported in southern Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal says it has encountered bovine rabies on a southern Costa Rica finca with 200 cows.

Two cows have died of the paralytic disease on the finca in La Palma, Corredores, the agency said.

The disease appears periodically in Costa Rica and is spread by vampire bats. The animal health agency has quarantined the

finca and is seeking to reduce the number of bats.

Animal health workers also will check adjacent properties for other possible sick cows. There are about 500 cows in the area. The virus also affects dogs. A vaccine is available for cows, other animals and humans who work with animals

As rabies takes hold, the afflicted animal will exhibit impeded coordination, difficulty walking, increased salivation and paralysis of the lower legs, making it unable to stand upright. 



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Palermo Hotel

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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. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 38
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Donald Trump appears to be the winner in Nevada's caucuses
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Billionaire Donald Trump won Tuesday's Republican presidential caucus in the western U.S. state of Nevada.

The win is his third straight victory after taking primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina earlier this month. 

It also gives him momentum going into an important week in the campaign with more than a dozen states voting March 1.

Trump gave a victory speech, saying that despite pundits predicting his campaign would not go far, he is now winning the country. He also said that when more Republicans drop out, he will pick up a lot of their supporters.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas were locked in another close battle for second place with precincts in Nevada still reporting results.

Cruz, who won the first nominating contest in the state of Iowa, told his supporters he is the only candidate who has and can beat Trump.

Retired surgeon Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were far behind, as expected from pre-vote polls.

One-time favorite Jeb Bush dropped out of the race following a poor showing in the South Carolina primary, while Kasich and Carson have continued on.  The diminished field of candidates potentially benefits Rubio, who has received a number of party endorsements in the days leading up to the caucus, including the backing of former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.

Cruz had a difficult week ahead of the caucus, losing the evangelical vote to Trump in South Carolina and facing accusations that his campaign plays dirty tricks on his opponents.  Cruz had to fire the public face of his campaign, communications manager Rick Tyler, for social media posts falsely alleging Rubio mocked the Bible.

Cruz doubled down on his approach to illegal immigration Monday when he said he would send federal agents to arrest undocumented immigrants.

In his victory speech, Trump claimed he had won the evangelical vote and the hispanic vote.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
8784-2/19/16

Escazú
                                              rental
Escazú.
Fully furnished and equipped three-bedroom townhouse. Small, quiet, owner-administered complex. Terrace, balconies, and green area. Adults only. 6-month to one-year lease. $1,300 monthly. condorents44@gmail.com. 011 506 2228-0915.
8948-3/16/16

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.
8921-3/25/16

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




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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 38
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Axiom 890 pixels

Kerry says he's off to Cuba
to discuss human rights

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he plans to travel to Cuba in the next week or two for talks on human rights.

Kerry made the statement before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"I may be down there in the next week or two to have a human rights dialogue, specifically," he said.

Kerry, who went to Cuba last August to raise the U.S. flag over the American Embassy in Havana, told the committee that concerns about the human rights situation in the Communist-ruled island still remain.

The secretary's trip comes ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to the nation next month, when he will become the first sitting U.S. leader to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years.

"The president hopes to press forward on the agenda of speaking to the people of Cuba about the future, and, obviously, he is anxious to press on the rights of people to be able to demonstrate, to have democracy, to be free, to be able to speak and hang a sign in their window without being put in jail for several years," Kerry said.

In December 2014, Obama announced the U.S. would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and begin the process of normalizing relations more than 50 years after they severed ties.

Diplomatic ties were formally restored on July 20, 2015.


Guantanamo plan appears
to be highly controversial


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama outlined his administration's plan for closing the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying the facility "does not advance our national security, it undermines it."

"If, as a nation, we don't deal with this now, when will we deal with it?"  Obama asked at the White House, after the U.S. Defense Department delivered the plan Tuesday to Congress. He appealed to Congress to be on the right side of history and asked that the nation act on the lessons learned over the past 15 years.

Republicans already have criticized the Pentagon's proposal.

"Congress has left no room for confusion. It is against the law, and it will stay against the law to transfer terrorist detainees to American soil," Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said. "We will not jeopardize our national security over a campaign promise."

“We are at war, yet incredibly the president is more focused on relocating and releasing enemy combatants than on detaining new ones, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul added.

However, a senior administration official said closing the prison is a national security priority, adding that the facility has inspired jihadists and served as a recruiting tool for terrorists.

The president stressed the importance of closing the facility when he took office in 2009, but with less than a year left in his presidency, some 91 detainees remain. Obama said that when he took office there had been bipartisan support for closing the prison, but that over time lawmakers had become worried about the politics of it.

“It’s purely politically driven,” Gary Solis, a law of war professor at Georgetown University, said. “There are individuals who are so opposed to the Obama Administration, and I believe Obama personally, that they are simply unwilling to participate in any activity that might further his goals.”

The Pentagon plan to close the facility includes discussion of 13 potential sites within the United States where the military could transfer a group of about 30 to 60 detainees. However, it does not recommend which U.S. site should be chosen. Potential sites include federal prisons in Kansas, Colorado and South Carolina, as well as military facilities.

The Obama administration's efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility include: Identifying transfer opportunities for eligible detainees, reviewing by fall 2016 the threat posed by detainees currently not eligible for transfer and those who are not facing military commission charges and continuing military commission prosecutions for those currently charged.

Even with these efforts, the administration expects that there will be a limited number of detainees who are deemed too dangerous to release. The administration said it will work with Congress to relocate those detainees who are not eligible for transfer or who are not candidates for prosecution to a secure detention facility in the continental United States while continuing to find other appropriate and lawful non-U.S. dispositions.

A senior administration official said moving the prisoners from Cuba to the U.S. will save the Pentagon between $65 million and $85 million per year, and would offset the initial cost needed to move the prisoners within three to five years.

“As the detainee population goes down, the per-person/per-man cost goes up dramatically, of course. So, it’s well over a million dollars a year per person at Guantanamo now,” Solis said.

Obama added Tuesday that the overall savings from the move would amount to $1.7 billion over the next 20 years.

The proposal does not include an exact cost or location for the replacement facility, which Republicans, including Speaker of the House Ryan, used to slam the plan.

Senior administration officials, however, pointed to the restrictions made by Congress as to why they were unable to provide more specific costs and locations.

Of the 91 detainees, a U.S. official said that 35 have been approved for transfer, and they are expected to be transferred to other countries by this summer. Another 10 are somewhere within the military commissions process, the official said.

Current U.S. law bans the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to locations within the United States. Some say those transfers could bring security concerns. 

The White House has left open the possibility Obama could use an executive order to close Guantanamo.

The Guantanamo facility opened in 2002 under the administration of former president George W. Bush following the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington. Nearly 800 detainees have been held there at some point since then, many for long periods without being charged or put on trial.

Most of the detainees have been transferred back to their respective home countries or other nations willing to take them in.


Mars issues recall of candy
in 55 European countries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Confectionery maker Mars has issued a recall of its candy bars across Europe over fears that plastic pieces could be found inside.

The recall covers 55 countries and comes after a German man reported finding a small piece of red plastic inside a Snickers bar in January.  The company traced the plastic to a piece of machinery found in its factory in the town of Veghel, in The Netherlands.

A spokesman said the recall only involves candy products that were manufactured at the Dutch plant.  They include Mars, Milky Way, Snickers, Celebrations and Miniatures with best before dates ranging from June 19, 2016, to Jan. 8, 2017.

Mars says the recall was an isolated incident. It was unable to give the number of products expected to be removed from shelves.

The U.S.-based Mars is one of the world's biggest food companies, with 29 chocolate brands including M&M's, Galaxy, Twix, Bounty and Maltesers.  The company also owns Wrigley gum, Uncle Ben's Rice, Dolmio pasta sauce and Pedigree pet food.


Republicans harden stance
against Obama judicial pick


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Numerous Senate Republicans have hardened their stance against any Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Barack Obama for the remainder of his term in office.

“No hearings,” said Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma as he emerged from a weekly gathering of the Republican caucus.

“I’m not going to meet with the nominee,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “There will be no hearing, no vote. We’ll let the next president decide.”

For more than a week, most Republicans had argued that the next president, not Obama, should pick a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this month. But until Tuesday, few had spelled out whether that meant voting to reject a nominee after confirmation hearings or an absolute refusal to grant any consideration whatsoever to an Obama nominee.

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky confirmed the prevailing sentiment after the caucus meeting.

“My view, and I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that . . .  this vacancy should not be filled by this lame-duck president,” McConnell said.

Democrats met separately behind closed doors and signaled no retreat from their insistence that Obama is both entitled and duty-bound to fill judicial vacancies throughout his term, which ends in January 2017.

“I would hope that Republicans will relent from a position that is unconstitutional and unsupported by the vast majority of the American people,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. “My message to Republicans is: Do your job.”

“I’ve talked with the president, and I know he will fulfill his constitutional duty. He will nominate an individual to bring the Supreme Court back to full strength. And of course, he should,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The next nominee to the Supreme Court deserves full and fair consideration by the Senate. That includes a timely hearing and then an up-or-down vote,” Leahy added.

Obama could name his pick for the high court any day. Some of his Senate allies are urging a moderate jurist who will be difficult for Republicans to stonewall.

“Justice Scalia was one of the most conservative justices in American history,” said Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware. “I do not think President Obama should seek to replace him with a comparably outspoken progressive nominee. I don’t think this moment calls for that. I think this moment calls for balance and for challenging Republicans to put principle and our Constitution ahead of partisan advantage.”

Asked whether a moderate selection would alter his opposition to confirmation hearings, Republican Inhofe gave a succinct response: “No.”

A few Republican senators have said an Obama nominee deserves Senate consideration and an up-or-down vote. But they are too few to help Democrats overcome a filibuster of the nomination, if it ever reached the Senate floor.

For now, both sides appear to be banking on public support for their stances, with Republicans seemingly eager to cast this year’s elections as a referendum on the future of the Supreme Court.

“Who will Americans trust to nominate the next Supreme Court justice?” McConnell said. “Will we allow the people to continue deciding who will nominate the next justice, or will we empower a lame-duck president to make that decision on his way out the door instead?”


Gates breaks with Apple
on FBI hacking demand


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Giants of the technology industry have begun adding their voices to the dispute between Apple and the U.S. government, with Microsoft founder Bill Gates seemingly differing from the pack.

While many tech executives have voiced their full support for Apple CEO Tim Cook, Gates took a decidedly different view of the issue Tuesday.

During an interview with The Financial Times, Gates disputed concerns voiced by Cook that creating software to break into the phone of one of the killers in the San Bernardino, California, mass shooting would become a master key for access to any iPhone.  "They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case," he said.

His comments put him at odds with other top names in Silicon Valley including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who have stepped forward in support of Apple.

Later in the day, Gates told Bloomberg news that the courts will ultimately make the decision in the Apple case. "In the meantime, that gives us this opportunity to get the discussion, and these issues will be decided in Congress."

Meanwhile, supporters of Apple planned to protest in more than 40 cities. A digital rights group called Fight for the Future is organizing the events at Apple stores in places such as New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Hong Kong and London.  It says it is critically important to support efforts to keep personal information safe, and that devices will become more vulnerable if the government wins its legal battle with Apple.

U.S. authorities want Apple's help to unlock a phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who, along with his wife Tafsheen Malik, killed 14 people last year in San Bernardino, California.

Apple has refused, saying the FBI is asking for what amounts to a backdoor around the company's security measures, and that, in the wrong hands, in the future that software would make countless Apple users vulnerable to searches of their phones.

A federal magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI last week, and the government filed a motion asking the court to force Apple to comply.  The order says Apple must help authorities bypass an auto-erase feature that wipes out data when 10 incorrect passwords are entered.  The FBI does not know Farook's password, and needs the auto-erase feature disabled so it can repeatedly try password combinations to find the right one.

Apple has until Friday to file its opposition to the government's motion, and a hearing in the case is scheduled for March 22.

The Pew Research Center released a survey Monday of more than 1,000 people with 51 percent of them saying Apple should unlock the iPhone and 38 percent siding with the company.  Eleven percent had no opinion.

A lawyer representing some relatives of the 14 people killed in San Bernardino said he would soon file a statement supporting the judge's order requiring Apple to help authorities.

The case is the latest to showcase the frustrations of law enforcement officials who complain that newer encryption methods used by companies like Apple make it harder to carry out investigations involving the use of technology by criminal suspects.  Apple strengthened encryption of its phones in 2014 amid increased public concern about digital privacy.


Young, radicalizes Muslims
spawn strategic concerns


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Even as U.S. officials highlight military gains against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria, there is a growing sense of unease among former officials and analysts that the current strategies are not enough.

Their fear is that while the U.S. and its coalition partners are degrading Islamic State's abilities on the battlefield, planners have yet to hit upon any coherent strategy to stem the tide of young people who are willing to fight and die in the name of Islamist extremism.

"The threat of violent extremism is growing, casting its shadow over ever larger parts of the globe," former British prime minister Tony Blair warned an audience Tuesday in Washington.

"How do we defeat something that is plainly much bigger and more pervasive than the small number of those attracted to groups like Daesh?" he said. "There is a justified anxiety."

Blair is joining a growing list of former officials trying to find answers and, along with Leon Panetta, a former CIA director and U.S. defense secretary, is co-chairing the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies' newly launched Commission on Countering Violent Extremism.

The commission's goal is to provide Western policymakers with a strong, clear and realistic plan by July to combat the growing threat.

Blair said Tuesday that while a military component is critical, he believes what has been lacking is a way to undercut the ideology that allows violent extremists to thrive.

"It has, unfortunately, a reach way beyond the activities of a few fanatics measured in the tens of thousands. The ideology, or at least significant parts of it, are accepted by those measured in the tens of millions," he said.

"Some of those people actually oppose violence, but that worldview is, in my view, the soil in which the violence breeds," the former British prime minister added.

Complicating matters further is the success Islamist extremist groups, and especially Islamic State, have had in tapping into Muslim youths who feel isolated and disenfranchised, whether living in Muslim-majority countries or in the West.

"Muslim millennials are facing a crisis of identity," said Farah Pandith, a former special representative to Muslim communities who is now with the Council on Foreign Relations.

"They are seeking answers about navigating their identity and they're getting those answers from Shaikh Google," she said.

For its part, U.S. officials say they have long cautioned that the effort to defeat Islamist extremist groups like the Islamic State would be long and complicated.

"This administration recognizes that the threat posed by violent extremism extends far beyond any one region and it's not going to be addressed solely or even primarily by military means," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers Tuesday. "The approach that we've adopted is comprehensive and it's long term."

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Re-Max
If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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8935-2/7/17

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

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HERE!
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.
For more information
Click HERE!

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!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

AXIOM DEVELOPMENT GROUP SRL
Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579
sales@axiomcostarica.com
www.axiomcostarica.com
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
Are you tired of wasting time searching for your home…..with no results?
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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

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

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

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
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If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
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Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
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Email: mfiatt@mafirealestate.com 
Web Page: www.mafirealestate.com
8609-2/20/16

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 38
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orchid
University of Oregon/Aleah Davis
Real orchid is at left with 3-D copies made with parts of real flowers for field experiment.

Fake orchids trick pollinating flies

By the University of Oregon news staff

A team of scientists has unlocked the mystery of the mimicry used by dracula orchids to attract flies and ensure their survival. The scientists used a 3-D printer to spoof the insects.

The research, done in Ecuador, is a win in the field of evolutionary biology, and the approach used in the project is readily applicable to studies of other plant-pollinator systems, said Barbara Roy, a professor of biology at the University of Oregon. Information gleaned from such research, she added, should help improve conservation efforts in endangered habitats. The findings are in a paper for the journal New Phytologist.

"Mimicry is one of the best examples of natural selection that we have," Professor Roy said. "How mimicry evolves is a big question in evolutionary biology. In this case, there are about 150 species of these orchids. How are they pollinated? What sorts of connections are there? It's a case where these orchids plug into an entire endangered system. This work was done in the last unlogged watershed in western Ecuador, where cloud forests are disappearing at an alarming rate."

Dracula orchids grow in Central America and the northwest reaches of the Andes Mountains in South America. The dracula label literally means little dragon because of a face-like feature in the flowers. Many observers say they see Count Dracula as a bat the way he appears in vampire depictions in literature and the movies.

"Dracula orchids look and smell like mushrooms," said the study's lead author, Tobias Policha, an adjunct instructor and plant scientist. "We wanted to understand what it is about the flowers that is attractive to these mushroom-visiting flies."

The researchers closely studied 22 orchids, looking piece-by-piece, to determine where specific scents are produced in the flowers and which ones possibly lure pollinators, in this case 11 species of fruit flies that thrive among wild mushrooms that grow near the orchids.

To test their work in the forest, the researchers turned to odor-free, silicone copies of orchids made with a 3-D printer.

The 3-D copies, the same shape and size of real ones, allowed team members to apply various color patterns and extracts of the various scents. Among the mix of experiments they also used chimeras, 3D-based copies with real and artificial parts, enabling them to disentangle which parts were attractive. Flies were drawn to the fabricated plants as if they were real.

The study determined that the key part of the orchids' mimicry is the mushroom-like labellum, which is attached to the plant's narrow reproductive column.

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From Page 7:

Rules posted for generating home power

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's energy authority published technical information and methodology in the la Gaceta official newspaper Tuesday, and the tariffs will be subjected to a public hearing March 17.

The published material includes the methods and rates of homeowners who want to connect their energy generating system to the national network.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos set up the material in conjunction with the Intendencia de Energía.

The rules establish the conditions and access and interconnections by producers-consumers of electricity. The idea is that when a solar system is generating unwanted electricity, the excess can be put in the national network. When a home system is not generating sufficiently to fill demands, power will be taken from the network operated by the local utility.