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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 40                             Email us
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Government makes a double effort for new taxes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government came out Thursday with a two-pronged effort to get new taxes.

On the one hand, the Ministerio de Hacienda warned of the impact of a credit downgrade by Standard & Poor's. Then the same ministry unveiled the draft of a proposed law that would restrict government spending, if passed.

The ministry said that Standard and Poor´s said the probability was high that there would be a  new reduction in the country's credit rating in the next 18 months. The rating agency said that Costa Rica's rating was now BB- with a negative perspective.

Another rating agency, Fitch, affirmed the country's unsecured foreign- and local-currency bonds at BB+ in January. That rating on a different scale is classified by Fitch as non-investment grade speculative.

Ratings are important, particularly for a country like Costa Rica where half the annual budget is borrowed money. A poor credit rating means high interest rates demanded by lenders.

Helio Fallas, first vice president and minister of  Hacienda, predicted big repercussions from the credit rating cut. Standard and Poor's said the change in the rating reflected the continuing deterioration of the country's

financial situation, citing continued expenses
and the absence of fiscal reform.

The Luis Guillermo Solís administration has been trying to win passage of a legislative package containing new taxes since the president took office. There is resistance in among lawmakers.

Also Thursday the ministry presented a draft of  a bill that was designed to control the increase in the central government expenditures.

The draft was presented for discussion.

The announcement also pointed out that the legislature has been performing in an unconstitutional manner. The ministry cited Article 179 of the Costa Rican Constitution which says budgetary expenses of the executive branch cannot be increased if there is no evidence cited of new income to support them.

This article has been widely disregarded. The draft contains a proposal that future expenditures be accompanied by an explanation of their long-term sustainability.

Many lawmakers have been critical of the executive branch seeking new taxes without any effort to make significant budget cuts.

Right now the package for new taxes is held up in committee.

The new bridge will be six lanes instead of the current four and designed to last for 75 years, said officials.
bridge
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes graphic

Work resumed on autopista bridge over Río Virilla
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Work has begun again on the Río Virilla bridge that carried the Autopista General Cañas west of San José. This is the infamous platina bridge that has defied repairs since 2009.

The $14 million project involves strengthening the existing bridge and adding a third lane on each side. The money comes from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica.

For the next eight months, the work will be under the bridge and there will be no interruption of traffic, promised Carlos Villalta Villegas, minister of  Obras Públicas y Transportes. The entire job is expected to take a year.

The contractor suspended work after completing about 90 percent of the reinforcements under the bridge. There was a dispute over additional expenses. Basically work crews built another bridge underneath.

The bridge began developing cracks in 2009 and a metal plate was installed over an expansion joint, hence the name platina.

The plate refused to stay flat after a handful of repair attempts. At one point the then-public works minister said a new bridge would have to be built. The consensus was that the bridge structure was too flexible.

The bridge has a key role in plans for additional highways coming from the capital.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 40
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
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Psychotherapy

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

The Garrett Insurance Group
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Residency experts

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 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
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Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
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Take advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion.
 
If your filing is not up-to-date, the Streamlined Filing Procedure can be used to mitigate penalties.   Including  disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid future problems. 

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Master Art Restorer
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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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Zika battle now a national emergency

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry and the national emergency commission declared a national emergency over the zika virus Thursday.

The decree involved mainly 31cantons and also directed at dengue and chikungunya, other viruses carried by the same Aedes Aegypti mosquito vector.

Fernando Llorca, minister of Salud, characterized the declaration as preventative. He said the country has the infrastructure, human resources, training and experience to handle mosquito-borne diseases.

The cantons are: San José Central, Santa Ana, Desamparados, Alajuelita and Pérez Zeledón, in the province of San José; Alajuela Central, Atenas and Orotina, in the province of Alajuela; Sarapiquí in Heredia; Liberia, Carrillo, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Cañas, La Cruz and Abangares in the province of  Guanacaste; Puntarenas Central and the districts of  Cóbano, Lepanto and Paquera, Esparza, Montes de Oro, Garabito, Parrita, Quepos, Golfito, Osa and Corredores in the province of Puntarenas; Limón Central, Pococí, Guácimo, Siquirres and Matina in the province of Limón, and Turrialba in the province of Cartago.

The emergency declaration is more technical than a call to action. Just about every government agency, national and local, are working to eliminate mosquitoes and places where they breed. Even the schools have programs to do so.

The declaration does allow the emergency commission and the ministry to collect money from private sources and to move budgeted money around to handle the emergency.

The declaration also provides the legal framework to pressure businesses and homeowners to take action against mosquitoes.

The declaration was prompted by the discovery that two women in Sámara have been infected by the virus.  There has been a lot of fumigating activity on the Nicoya peninsula and in the community of Nicoya. There also has been extensive fumigating in Nosara where a Texas man might have contracted the virus in December.

The presence of zika has tourism operators nervous because of the potential impact on visitors.

Meanwhile, fear of the zika virus is intense in Brazil because of its apparent link to a birth defect. After a fact-finding mission in Brazil, Margaret Chan, who heads the World Health Organization, said the situation "can get worse before it gets better."

Dr. Chan called the zika virus a much bigger menace than the ebola epidemic in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people, given the magnitude of zika's spread and its possible link to microcephaly, a birth defect involving brain growth that leaves babies at risk of a host of long-term developmental issues.

Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health stressed the need for special funding to continue research on the disease, work on a vaccine against it, and help U.S. states and territories prepare for the virus's spread. They spoke before committees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

"We need to prepare to respond in Puerto Rico," Dr. Schuchat said. The zika virus is circulating in Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory. "We need the rest of the U.S. to be ready, because travelers will be returning from these affected areas. And we need to work with international partners on the ground to learn as much as we can so that we can protect Americans."

Forty million to 50 million people travel between the U.S. and Latin America each year, and the type of mosquito that carries the zika virus lives in much of the United States. While U.S. public health officials expect some transmission in the southern part of the U.S., they don't expect zika to be a major worry. Most of the cases of zika in the U.S. have been in people who traveled to the affected regions. The Centers is investigating sexual transmission and has confirmed that a woman in Texas got the virus from a male sexual partner.


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, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 40
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Weekend high seas alert directed primarily at northern Pacific coast
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is another alert out for high seas for the weekend. The big waves are accompanied by high winds.

The national emergency commission joined with the University de Costa Rica experts in issuing the warning. The summary cited high pressure in the North Atlantic and over North America for generating the heavy seas.

In the north Pacific of Guanacaste, the waves are expected to reach four meters by Sunday, said the summary. And wind gusts
were predicted to be at least 75 kph or about 47 mph.
The university experts are from its Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología.

The size of the waves are diminishing further south on the Pacific coast, but the winds were predicted to continue to be strong.

On the Caribbean coast the waves are expected to range as high a 2.5 meters and begin to return to normal by Monday.

The winds were expected to be weak.

There were small boat warnings issued for both coasts.


Wetter La Niña expected to follow the current record El Niño
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Weather experts say the current El Niño conditions that have caused drought in Guanacaste and on the Pacific coast probably will dissipate by July.

But there also is a good chance that the exiting El Niño will be followed closely by La Niña.

The current El Niño is the strongest ever recorded. And other Central American countries also have felt the drought.

Central Panama is currently suffering the most severe three-year drought in its history, according to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. 2013 to 2015 constitute the driest three consecutive years recorded on Barro Colorado Island, in the middle of the Panama Canal, where data has been collected for almost a century, the institute said.

El Niño generates drought in Central America, but La Niña is expected to be very wet. Both are products of changes in the distant Pacific. La Niña does not always follow El Niño, but the weather experts see signs that it will this year.

Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, gives this explanation:

“El Niño is a natural phenomenon that occurs every two to seven years, and is created through a shift in wind and ocean circulation. In normal, non-El Niño conditions, Pacific trade winds near the equator blow from east to west, moving warm surface water with them. During an El Niño, trade winds move from west to east from Southeast Asia to South America moving warm water to the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The warm ocean water evaporates, adds moisture to the air and falls as precipitation over nearby regions.”

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration agency keeps close track of the world's weather from space. The agency notes that the Niños do not create more moisture. They just move it around.

There also is a good chance that a growing La Niña will influence the Atlantic hurricane season, said Goddard. La Niña is characterized by colder surface water near South America. La Niña can also spur abnormal weather patterns across the world, it adds.


Hotel header

Croc's Easter special

Guanacaste Lodge

Palermo Hotel

Vista Ballena

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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, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 40
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Fitted Egyptian dress turns out to be an incredible 5,000+ years old
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Science is an incremental business, as the long voyage of the Tarkhan Dress shows.

This fitted, pleated bit of linen, was found by archaeologists in 1913.  It was lying among a pile of discarded linens left behind at a ransacked tomb in an ancient Egyptian cemetery about 50 kilometers from Cairo.

It found its way to the Victoria and Albert Museum's Textile Conservation Workshop where it sat until 1977 when workers begun to painstakingly clean the fragile piece of cloth.

What they discovered was that this piece of cloth was tapered, and pleated around the neck and sleeves.

From its discovery, the Tarkhan Dress stood out as one of the oldest examples of sewn, tailored and fitted clothing ever found.

"The garment had clearly been worn in life," according to Rosalind Hall from the museum, writing back in the 1970s, "because it was found inside-out, as it very well might have been after having been pulled over the head with distinct signs of creasing at the elbows and under the armpits.

But was it the oldest?  That wasn't clear until this week when radiocarbon dating definitively placed the age of the dress at somewhere between 5,000 and 5,400 years old.

The research was reported in the February edition of the Antiquities Journal and authored by Alice Stevenson, curator of University College of London’s, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, and Michael Dee of the University of Oxford.

Previous dating had set the age of the dress in a broad 1,000-year range that wasn't narrow enough to say that it was,

old
              dress
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology photo
The Tarkhan Dress courtesy of Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College of London.

in fact, the oldest tailored garment ever found.

But the new tests on a single two-centimeter-long piece of thread were done in 2015, and these came back with the more precise answer.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden
                        Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
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:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
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Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
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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.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

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

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
8784-2/19/16

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  
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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 40
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Axiom 890 pixels

Obama orders ramping up
fight against Islamic State


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama says although the U.S.-led effort to combat Islamic State has made progress, the fight remains difficult and he has instructed his security team to ramp up efforts.

"This is a tough situation with a lot of moving parts," Obama said after meeting with top security officials at the State Department Thursday.

Obama was updated on efforts to counter Islamic State during a meeting with senior officials from the White House, State Department, intelligence community, Defense Department and Treasury Department.  It is the latest in a series of updates on the multi-pronged U.S. campaign to counter Islamic State.
 
“The situation in Iraq and Syria is one of the most complex the world has seen in recent times,” said Obama.
 
However, after intensifying efforts that were yielding results in the last few months, the president said the U.S. had succeeded in squeezing Islamic State’s core in Iraq and Syria. 

Obama said the U.S. will also continue efforts to push back Islamic State as it reaches beyond Iraq and Syria into countries where there is political chaos and turmoil, such as in Libya.
 
“Today I directed my team to continue accelerating this campaign on all fronts,” Obama said. 
 
In recent months the intensification effort has included the use of additional U.S. special expeditionary forces to carry out raids, free hostages, capture Islamic State leaders and gather intelligence.
 
The flow of foreign fighters to Syria is slowing, Islamic State is having a difficult time replenishing its ranks, morale sinking and civilians are rejecting them, Obama said. “They’re not winning over hearts and mind, and they’re under severe pressure.”
 
Critical to the effort, Obama said, is the implementation of a cease-fire agreement he reached with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week. The U.S. has said the fighting in Syria between troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting to oust him has allowed Islamic State to flourish amid the chaos and instability.
 
But Obama seems cautious about whether the cease-fire deal will hold up.
 
“If implemented, and that’s a significant if, this cessation could reduce the violence and get more food and aid to Syrians who are suffering and desperately needed.  It could save lives.”
 
The White House has accused Putin of fueling the civil war by helping to prop up the Assad regime with air strikes targeting opposition rebels.
 
The cessation agreement calls for an end to attacks and aerial bombardment and for the flow of humanitarian aid to areas under siege.
 
"A lot of that is going to depend on whether the Syrian regime, Russia, and their allies live up to their commitments," Obama said. "The coming days will be critical, and the world will be watching."


Kansas factory shooting
leaves 3 dead and 20 hurt


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At least three people were killed and up to 20 were wounded Thursday in a series of shootings in and near a factory in the Midwestern U.S. state of Kansas.

Law enforcement officials said the gunman was among those killed in the shootings, which occurred at several locations near the city of Hesston.

The gunman, described as an employee at Excel Industries, which makes lawn mower products, was killed by the authorities, Sheriff T. Walton said.

The sheriff said a shooting also took place in the plant parking lot and two other locations nearby.

The shootings came less than a week after authorities said a man opened fire at several locations in Kalamazoo, Michigan, leaving six people dead and two severely wounded.

Walton said a lot was still unknown about the Kansas attacks. He did not explicitly say whether the shootings were related.

"I don't have a lot of answers,'' he said.

Hesston is a community of about 3,700 residents about 35 miles north of Wichita.


Apple asks U.S. magistrate
to reverse hacking order


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Apple has filed a motion in court asking a federal magistrate to reverse her order that the company help the FBI hack into a killer's locked iPhone.

The computer giant rejected the government's request to create new software that would allow law enforcement officials to break into the iPhone 5c belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, Tafsheen Malik, killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last year.

In court briefs filed Thursday, lawyers for Apple argued that the government's request "creates an unprecedented burden on Apple and violates Apple's First Amendment rights against compelled speech."

Apple has said the FBI is asking for what amounts to a back door 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.

"No court has ever authorized what the government now seeks, no law supports such unlimited and sweeping use of the judicial process, and the Constitution forbids it,'' the company's lawyers said.

In Washington Thursday, the head of the FBI acknowledged that forcing Apple to help investigators access the locked iPhone would set a legal precedent, and he could not promise that it would be the only time the bureau would request such help.

James Comey called the standoff with the company "the hardest problem I've seen in government."

The dispute 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.


Front-runner Trump faces
criticism from competition


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Real estate billionaire Donald Trump took center stage again at a crucial Republican debate in Texas Thursday, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas looking to curb the electoral momentum of the front-runner.

Rubio was on the attack against Trump as the nationally televised debate began. Again and again, the Florida lawmaker brought up the businessman's history of hiring immigrants who are in the country illegally to work on his properties.

Joining in, Cruz criticized Trump for suggesting he alone had discovered the issue of illegal immigration.'

Trump shot back, "I hired tens of thousands of people. You've hired nobody.''

The flamboyant Trump, who has never held elective office, has won three straight primary election contests in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. This debate preceded next Tuesday's party primaries and caucuses in 12 states, the single biggest day so far in the months-long, state-by-state races to pick the Republican and Democratic party presidential candidates.

An online Bloomberg Politics poll released Thursday found Trump, a twice-divorced New Yorker, with 37 percent of the vote in seven Southern states, home to some of the nation's most conservative voters.

Both Rubio and Cruz sharpened their attacks on Trump in recent days, with Rubio contending that Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan is empty rhetoric without many specific policy proposals.

"The vast and overwhelming majority of Republicans do not want Donald Trump to be our nominee," Rubio said Wednesday, suggesting that Trump has won only because the Republican opposition to him has been splintered.

Two other candidates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, remained in the race and were on the debate stage, but it was the first candidate face-off without former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who dropped out after a disappointing fourth-place finish last weekend in South Carolina.

Cruz, a conservative agitator in Washington against Republican and Democratic leaders, on Wednesday attacked Rubio and Trump as Washington dealmakers. He said Rubio had collaborated with Democrats on immigration policy changes that Congress ultimately abandoned, while Trump has made campaign donations to Democrats in past elections and at times supported their policies.

Cruz is looking to win his home state of Texas Tuesday and do well in other nearby states in the southern part of the country. But surveys show Republicans favoring Trump in those states and pulling close to Cruz in Texas. Rubio also faces a key contest in the southeastern state of Florida, his home state, March 15, the same day Kasich is on the ballot with the other candidates in Ohio, the Midwestern state he governs.

As he celebrated his victory this week in Nevada, Trump suggested to supporters he could take a commanding lead for the Republican nomination with more victories in March, when voters will pick hundreds of delegates to the party's national nominating convention in July.

"It's going to be an amazing two months," Trump said. "We might not even need two months, folks, to be honest."

Trump has predicted he will face off with former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential contender, in November's national election to replace President Barack Obama, whose eight-year tenure in the White House ends in January.

Mrs. Clinton has won two of the three Democratic state contests over her remaining rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described democratic socialist. Mrs. Clinton, the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, is favored in Saturday's primary election in the Atlantic coastal state of South Carolina, and the two are battling in 11 states on Tuesday.


Kelly in space
National Aeronautics and Space Administration photo
Astronaut Scott Kelly made this inspection on the International Space Station in November.

After a year on space station
U.S. astronaut returning home

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The first International Space Station crew to spend almost a year in space is about to return to Earth.

As U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly levitated gently in the middle of a room with walls covered in equipment, cables, scientific instruments and several high-end cameras, he talked about his life on board the International Space Station and the prospects of much longer space missions.

"I'd like for the legacy of this flight to be that we can decide to do hard things, and hard things that will take us farther away from the Earth, and this is one of them,” he said. “And I'm hopeful, and I think we will learn a lot about longer-duration space flight and how will it take us to Mars someday."

The most difficult aspects of living in space, Kelly said, are the lack of gravity and the lack of running water. Not surprisingly, the first thing he wants to do when he gets home is to jump in his pool.

The astronaut said he feels very good physically, but admitted that it might be a subjective impression.

Asked about the psychological difficulties, Kelly said the only thing he really misses is physical contact with his family.

"I don't know if I'd necessarily call it the psychological aspect, but there's certainly, you know, a loss of connection with the folks on the ground that you care for and love and you want to spend time with. That, I think, is a challenge," he said.

The purpose of the year-long experiment is to collect data to help astronauts prepare for deep space missions, such as a visit to Mars. When Kelly returns to Earth, scientists will compare his physical data to that of his twin brother, now-retired National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut Mark Kelly.

What has Scott Kelly learned from his time in space?

For future long-term missions, he said, the living quarters would have to be much better designed.

"On a trip to Mars, we're not going to have this much space, obviously,” he said. “You're going to be in much tighter quarters. You're going to live, you're going to use the restroom, you're going to exercise, all within, you know, a few square meters of one another. It's not going to be like science fiction spaceship going to Mars."

But a trip to Mars is possible in the near future, Kelly said.

"After being here for so long, that's one thing I definitely realize that, you know, if we can dream it, you know, we can do it if we really want to," he said.

Kelly and his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Kornienko, are scheduled to land at Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Tuesday.


U.S. High Court will hear
Texas abortion law appeal


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court could either affirm or set back abortion rights this year, depending on how the justices rule on a restrictive law enacted two years ago in Texas that has led to the closing of more than half of that state’s abortion clinics.

Only eight justices will hear arguments Wednesday in the case of Whole Women’s Health versus Texas after one chair was left empty by the recent death of justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative who the law’s supporters believe would have sided with them.

The remaining justices are evenly divided between those who lean conservative and those who lean liberal, with at least two of them sometimes serving as swing votes.

But the real question in this case is not the legality of abortion, which some conservative justices may oppose, but to what degree a state can impose restrictions on the practice.

Marcela Howell is executive director of In Our Own Voice, a black women’s advocate group that has filed an amicus brief supporting the challenge to the Texas law. She says it puts an undue burden on poor women who cannot afford to travel long distances to a clinic, especially since Texas is one of 32 states that has rejected the use of federal government-provided Medicaid funds for abortion.

She said, "If they are under Medicaid they are not able to use Medicaid health insurance to cover abortion care, which adds the additional burden of figuring out how they are going to pay for an abortion.”

Ms. Howell says the law is a thinly veiled attempt to undermine the right to abortion established by the court in the 1973 Roe versus Wade decision.

“Politicians should not have a right to put up those kind of barriers to women seeking what is a constitutionally protected health care service,” she said.

A study released last month by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project documented some of the negative impacts of the abortion law on women, especially those who are poor or live in areas far from the only abortion clinic still in operation.

But such findings are irrelevant, according to John Seago, a legislative assistant who helped write the law. He argues that the hardships some women face are the result of abortion providers choosing to close clinics for financial reasons.

“This is a choice that the abortion industry is making, specifically, Whole Women’s Health, the plaintive in this lawsuit,” Seago said. “This is a decision they are making not to invest the money in complying with the law, but rather to challenge it in court.”

But David Brown, staff attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, says the law’s provisions impose medically unnecessary and burdensome requirements on the clinics.

“Particularly, there are two: there is one that requires clinics to convert themselves into mini hospitals and another that requires physicians who provide abortions to essentially join the staff of a nearby hospital.”

Seago contends that such requirements are similar to those imposed on clinics that perform plastic surgery or other elective procedures and the requirement for abortion doctors to be accepted at a local hospital helps prevent malpractice.

David Brown, however, says such requirements are transparent attempts to impede access to abortions in Texas.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

COSTA RICA SOLAR
Solr array
SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
* PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!
Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090
OUR EMAIL: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com

VISIT OUR WEB: www.CR-Solar.com

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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.

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456
Email: michael@costarica-realestate.com

8935-2/7/17

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com
8927-1/28/17

Axiom one

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

Click
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?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!


Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

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

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
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

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
Businesses for sale

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
A.M.
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M.
Costa
Rica
sixth
news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 40
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Band
                      headquarters
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
The Banda de Conciertos de Guanacaste plans an open house Sunday at 6 p.m. at this, its new headquarters in Liberia. There will be a concert and festival activities. The new location is on the north side of the Liberia fire station.


Housing bond properties to be restricted

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers have passed for the second and final time a bill that puts more restrictions on homes financed with public housing bonds issued by the  Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda.

The bonds are designed so that low-income residents can purchase homes.

However, some homes have been abandoned and others have been rented or sold to third parties who may or may not qualify for the bonds.

The bill says that homeowners must live in the houses for 10 years and cannot mortgage them, rent them or transfer them without permission. The Registro Nacional would be empowered to reject filing any sales involving such property that are not accompanied by official authorization.


Freak accident claims boy's life

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 15-year-old Cartago boy has died as a result of a freak accident in  Ciudad Colón. The boy was seated watching a soccer game Saturday and a car parked nearby began to roll and ended up hitting him.

Judicial police said the cause is under investigation but there was no one in the car. The youth died Wednesday in Hospital San Juan de Dios.


Turkey takes step to help tourism sector

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu this week unveiled a financial package aimed at boosting the country's flagging tourism industry, including an $87 million grant and a facility to allow tourism firms to restructure debt.

Turkey's tourism, the lifeline of the country's fragile economy, is facing one of its most difficult years because of multiple security threats.

Turkey is especially popular with German tourists, but has seen bookings fall after a suicide bomber killed 12 Germans in Istanbul in January.

Meanwhile, Moscow has told Russians not to travel to Turkey after a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane along the Turkish-Syrian border last October. And now, a Kurdish rebel group is warning tourists not to visit Turkey.

One of Europe's largest travel companies reports that bookings to Turkey are down 40 percent.


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Global digital trade reported to be soaring

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The flow of digital goods and services across borders is surging globally, while trade in traditional goods and the flow of international finance has stopped growing.

That's the conclusion of a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute, which said this huge change offers both opportunities and risks for companies and countries, particularly small ones.

At a presentation at the New America Foundation in Washington, McKinsey experts said the destination of trade, as well as the content, is changing. For the first time in history, emerging economies participate in more than half of global trade. The study also shows that trade between Southern Hemisphere developing nations is the fastest-growing connection.

Some 900 million people have international connections on social media and 360 million take part in cross-border e-commerce.

The report says small businesses around the world can now use platforms like eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, and Facebook to connect with customers and suppliers in other nations, becoming micro-multinationals.

Digitalization is cutting the cost and complexity of international transactions, allowing small and medium-sized firms to reach customers and reap profits that were once the province of huge firms from developed nations.

The authors argue that companies and nations cannot afford to ignore the opportunities beyond their own borders.

Experts at the presentation also warned that the flow of digital goods and information that brings these benefits faces threats as some nations try to censor content, demand that data be stored locally or otherwise block the flow of information, searches, video, and other communications.

This disruptive technology has a downside for established companies that may see new types of competitors emerge quickly from anywhere in the world. And companies that enter new markets hunting for customers and profit are also exposed to aggressive global competition, pressures to cut prices, and threats from cybercrime.

The same digital communications that help companies sell products also make it easier for extremists to offer their ideologies to audiences around the world.