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(506) 2223-1327                             Published Friday, March 18, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 55                         Email us
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Hundreds of children remain missing, new report says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In a little more than two years 259 minors have gone missing and have never appeared, according to judicial investigator statistics.

During that same time through Feb. 29 there were 915 missing children, but 656 of them turned up at some point, said a statistical report.

The report covered 2014, 2015 and the first two months of this year. Just in February the Judicial Investigating Organization said it received 56 reports of missing children.

The statistical report is broad. It says that 51 percent of the children were fleeing the home. One child is reported to have left the country. The disappearance of a few are blamed on drugs. Of the 656 who returned home, judicial investigators reported they had no idea of the circumstances regarding 283. Only 11 of those located had been victims of violence, including five rapes, two murders, a drowning and an accidental death.

Some of those reported as still missing may have returned but the parents or guardians did not clear the report with law enforcement, agents said.

One who did not return home is Francisco Sánchez Potosme, who vanished when he was 6 on March 28, 2001. He still is missing, agents reported. The child vanished while on his way to school in San Rafael Abajo de Desamparados. A judicial artist has created a sketch of what the child may look like today when he is 22.

Three girls, 14, 15 and 16 were reported as missing from different parts of the country just Thursday. They are Melanie Monge Rodríguez, 14, of Alajuelita, Mileide Mora Gómez, 15, of Caracol Norte, Ciudad Neily, and Jennifer

missing kid
Judicial Investigatin Organization sketch
Sánchez Potosme as he might appear today. He went missing in 2001 when he was 6.

Scarlet Bustillos Espinoza, 16, of Linda Vista. They disappeared either Tuesday or Wednesday, said agents.

Investigators blame the bulk of the cases on the rupture of the relationship with parents, although running off with an older boyfriend also has been cited.

Still, there are three girls who have been missing for at least a week just this month. One is  Britany Michelle Calvo Mora, 13, of San Sebastián who vanished March 2.  Another 13-year-old, Genesis Guzmán Mejía of Tejarcillos de Alajuelita vanished March 3.  The third is Kimberleen Tatiana Rodriguez Reyes, 16, of Liberia, who vanished March 9.

There also are missing persons cases involving young men and adults, including seniors, but girls appear to dominate the reports.

Rainy season expected to start a bit later this year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The rain in the capital Thursday settled the dust but it was not the start of the rainy season. In fact, the Instituto Meteorological Nacional says that the advent of the annual rains will be a bit later than normal this year.

The prediction is for warmer and dry weather on the Pacific coast to last through the middle of the year. The 2-year-old El Niño and drought conditions are expected to begin to give way to a wetter La Niña at that time.

The weather institute still is predicting less-than-average rainfall in the north Pacific and the northern zone with precipitation elsewhere in the normal range. Daytime temperatures about one or two degrees C above average also are predicted for the Central Valley and the Pacific coast. The Caribbean is expected to have normal temperatures, the institute said Thursday.

Estimated arrival of rainy season*
South Pacific
April 11 to 15
Central Pacific
May 1 to 5
Central Valley
May 11 to 15
Northern zone
May 11 to 15
North Pacific
May 20 to 30
*Instituto Meteorological Nacional

More normal rainfall is predicted for the central and north Pacific coast after August. The south Pacific coast may see rain up to 25 percent above normal, the weather institute predicted.

The signs are that this may be an unusual weather year. There already was an Atlantic hurricane, and that was in January. Alex was only one of four recorded hurricanes in that month.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 18, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 55
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Police raids snarl traffic in capital

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A law enforcement raid Wednesday near the Museo de Niños threw vehicle traffic into chaos.

Judicial agents supported by the Fuerza Pública closed off major streets, including avenidas 5 and 7 while they conducted searches of the businesses on those avenues and also on calles 2 and 4.

Police simply cordoned off Avenida 7 with a thin piece of plastic ribbon and then parked their vehicles across the roadway. Some three blocks of the busy street were blocked to traffic from about 11 a.m. to after 4 p.m.

Officers made no effort to reroute traffic. Thousands of motorists were forced to find a way around the unexpected barrier. There were no traffic police in evidence. Most found they had to double back to the five-corner intersection in Barrio México.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that nine men and a woman were detained as drug vendors. Police confiscated 100 crack rocks, 47 baggies of marijuana and 91,300 colons (about $172) in cash, they said.

This was the second time in a year for a massive police operation in the area known as Tierra Dominicana. There is a high percentage of Haitians in the area now.

Tonight is tango night for orchestra

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional plans a tango night tonight under the direction of a conductor from Uruguay.

The director, Gisele Ben-Dor, said that she has selected works of Astor Piazzolla, Alberto Ginastera and Luis Bacalov.

Juan José Mosalini from Argentina will perform with the orchestra Piazzolla piece  “Adiós Nonino.” This is a work for the bandoneón and orchestra.

A second piece on the program, “Estancia,” is not a tango, but it was written by Ginastera. The conductor noted that this year his 100th birthday is being celebrated. She said it demonstrates another area of Argentinian music.

The performance tonight is at 8 p.m. in the Teatro Nacional. As is traditional, the performance will be repeated at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Walk will mark Santa Rosa anniversary

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría will be marking the 160th anniversary of the Batalla de Santa Rosa with an historical walk through Alajuela Saturday. Leading will be researcher Ronald Castro and architect Francia Espinoza, both of the Alajuela Histórica organization.

The Batalla de Santa Rosa was the first engagement in the Campaña Nacional March 20, 1856, when Costa Rica moved against the filibusters of William Walker.  Most of the subsequent fighting was in Nicaragua or along the Río San Juan.

The historic walk begins at 2 p.m. at the museum. An announcement said that many of Alajuela’s historic buildings will be visited.

At Santa Rosa the Costa Rican army surprised four companies of about 240 men loyal to Walker. The French and German soldiers were forced to retreat.

Worn-out tires soon to be regulated

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry has established and published a regulation that makes importers responsible for vehicle tires even after they are worn out.

The regulation is designed to keep old tires from dotting the landscape and the lakes and rivers. The tires also are perfect breeding spots for mosquitoes that carry virus diseases.

The regulation goes into effect in April, and established accountability via reports from tire producers and importers.

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Four Fuerza Pública officers detained in pedestrian shakedown probe
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents detained four policemen Thursday on the allegation that they shook down a pedestrian on Avenida  Segunda Dec. 15.

The allegation said that the four officers stopped the pedestrian for questioning and a search. Police here do not require probable cause to order an individual to turn out pockets. Young men, particularly those not well dressed, are the usual target.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the Fuerza Pública officers did not find anything criminal, but then they demanded money from the pedestrian.

The shakedown victim did not have any money and suggested going to an automatic teller machine. But at 6:30 a.m. the machine was out of service. So the man surrendered his cell telephone to the officers, said the judicial report.

Judicial agents said they managed to trace the cell telephone to find the men.

officer arrested
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
One of the three detained police officers is going for a ride.

Bill restricting rent increases receives first legislative approval
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers have approved on first reading a more restrictive policy for landlords to raise rents.

The proposed law does not affect the current prohibition that rents may not be raised when payment is in a foreign currency, such as dollars.

The proposal would reduce from 15 to 10 percent the annual increase for homeowners who pay in colons when the inflation rate is 10 percent or less.

Home rental agreements are, by law, for three years, so landlords can raise the rent at the end of the first year and the end of the second year. A modest 200,000-colon monthly rent would be 264,500 colons at the end of the second year of the contract if the increase were 15 percent.

The summary of the bill said that landlords were taking

advantage of the 15 percent rule, and that tenants need security.

The summary also pointed out that the 18-year-old restriction on raising rents excessively has been approved by the Sala IV constitutional court.

The measure is No. 18.067.

When the inflation rate is greater than 10 percent in a year, the  Ministerio de Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos is responsible for setting an approved rental increase maximum, according to the text of the law.

The minister of the Presidencia, Sergio Alfaro, said that the revised rule would generate conditions of greater social equity. Lawmaker have said that renters do not have a strong position to negotiate rents.

Lawmakers also noted that the annual rate of inflation has been less than 10 percent in recent years.

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Flash of blue light reported to be effective to restore lost memories
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Alzheimer’s patients may be able to recover lost memories, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writing in the journal Nature, say that in the lab, mice with early stages of the degenerative brain disease form new memories. So do mice who are disease free, but are unable to recall things days later.

Using a technique called optogenetics, the researchers were able to coax those memories back. The researchers say optogenetics is still not approved for use on humans.

“The important point is, this is a proof of concept. That is, even if a memory seems to be gone, it is still there. It’s a matter of how to retrieve it,” said senior author Susumu Tonegawa from RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics.

He added that in the future, technology could be developed that could spur memory recovery in humans.

For the research, Tonegawa and his team placed mice in a chamber where they would receive a foot shock. All the mice showed fear when placed in the same chamber, but after several days, only the healthy mice still displayed fear. The mice with Alzheimer’s did not appear to remember the shock.

However, using flashes of blue light to stimulate the brain’s hippocampus region, the mice with Alzheimer’s appeared to remember the chamber and showed signs of fear. This study builds on previous research that has shown that Alzheimer’s destroys synapses, but not necessarily memories.

“As long as the neurons are still alive, the memory will still be there, which means you may be able to recover some of the lost memories in the early stages of Alzheimer’s,” said researcher David Glanzman.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        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
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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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Two bedrooms plus additional on loft, furnished condo with garage, half block walking distance to Costa Rica international Academy. Gated compound on Country Club grounds across Fairway Five. USD $850 plus utilities. Info: US 925 755-4645 or  Note:

 CR house telephone number 2654- 4145  We will be in our house in Flamingo,  March 11 thru April 30.

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Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 18, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 55
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Axiom 890 pixels

Voice of America photo   
The 10.10-carat internally flawless blue diamond.

Flawless blue diamond due
to go to auction April 5

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An internally flawless blue diamond, weighing 10.10 carats, was the star attraction at a recent press event in London.

The largest oval blue diamond ever to appear at auction is to be sold April 5 in Hong Kong.

"Blue diamonds are extremely rare, and when they are over 10 carats and flawless, they are quite special," Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman for Asia at Sotheby's auction house, said at the press event.

According to the Web site, most diamonds used as gemstones are colorless or have a very faint tint. However, colored diamonds, known as fancies, can be extremely rare and valuable. The most valuable gemstones ever known have been fancy diamonds.

"This is a beautiful sky blue, baby blue shade of blue, and the shape is very rare,” said Chin Yeow. The gorgeous color, and the fact that it's an oval, "will make it a little different from everything else that's sold before and to come," he added.

The diamond, mined in South Africa, is one of a collection of 11 cut by luxury jewelers De Beers in London in 2000.

"De Beers cut these to celebrate the millennium here in London. So to have it offered here 16 years later now in Hong Kong for the private Asian collection, it is extremely wonderful," said Chin Yeow.

Only one of the diamonds has previously appeared on the market before, selling at Sotheby's in Hong Kong for more than $6 million in April 2010.

This rare gem will lead Sotheby's Hong Kong spring sale after being exhibited in London, Geneva, New York, Singapore and Taipei.

It is estimated to sell for $30 million to $35 million.

With three candidates in race
the focus now turned to math

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Donald Trump is the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, but, with more than half of the nominating contests already completed, he may not have enough time left to secure that all-important number of delegates needed to win the party’s nomination outright: 1,237.

Why is 1,237 such an important number?

Candidates don’t secure the nomination by winning state by state votes. They win by securing enough delegates who will vote for them at their party’s convention.

Larry Sabato, the director of the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia, said Trump's chances are good but not certain. There are about 1,061 delegates still to be awarded. Trump would have to win almost 60 percent of those delegates to secure the nomination.

The two remaining candidates in the field, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have even fewer numbers of delegates so their chances of winning the nomination are even smaller.

“Mathematically at this point, only two of the candidates have the chance to amass the 1,237 that are necessary to win on a first ballot at the convention, and that’s Ted Cruz and Donald Trump,” said Craig Sautter, a DePaul University professor who has written several books about presidential conventions.

What happens if Donald Trump is close to having 1,237 delegates?

It’s very hard to predict what will happen. In previous recent presidential elections, candidates have always won the nomination outright. but, in this year’s divided field, said Sautter, “it could be very messy.”

If Trump is very close to having 1,237 delegates, Sabato said it’s technically possible to deny him the nomination but it would have very serious consequences for the survival of the Republican Party.

Trump has threatened to run as a third-party candidate if he feels he is not treated fairly by Republicans and said there would be riots if the people who voted for him are not represented at the convention.

What happens if Trump doesn’t end up close to 1,237 delegates?

This is what candidates Cruz and Kasich are hoping will happen. It’s a big reason they are both still in the race even though they have smaller numbers of delegates.

“The Republican leadership, both elected and appointed, and the candidates and their delegates, will swing into action and at that point, it will be difficult for Trump to succeed,” said Sabato.

That battle could lead all the way to Cleveland in July when the Republican Party and all of the delegates for each candidate meet to select their nominee for the general election.

Sabato said Cruz and Kasich are thinking, “If it’s not Trump, then why not me?”

Who are the delegates? Do they have to stick with their candidate at the convention or could they move over to Cruz or Kasich?

Delegates are a mix of party activists, state and local politicians and sometimes even representatives of the candidates themselves.

They have to vote for the candidate they have pledged to support during the first round of voting at the convention.

If no candidate has 1,237 delegates pledged to vote for him, the delegates will have to hold another round of voting and that’s when they’re allowed to vote for any candidate. This is called a contested convention.

A contested convention is very unusual - the last time it happened to the Republicans was in 1948.

After the first ballot, the delegates are unbound, meaning they can vote for whomever they want in the next rounds of voting. The voting goes as many times as needed until a candidate has 1,237 delegates.

Sautter thinks there may be several rounds of voting because delegates are loyal to the candidates themselves. Some delegates may wait for a candidate to quit and support another candidate before changing their vote.

Or, candidates will have to find a way to make deals with each other to combine delegates and get to that all-important number of 1,237.

“I think it’s going to be Cruz or Trump who makes a deal with Kasich to pile up their delegates together,” said Sautter.

Then there are the delegates who were pledged to Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the candidate who dropped out after voting on March 15.

Sautter thinks Trump could look to pick off a few of those. “So if he’s very close, I’m sure he could convince a few of those people with enticements.”

He also said Kasich has a longer-term strategy “that after several ballots, people will begin to ask themselves who is the best candidate today to put up against Hillary Clinton.”

In short, a contested convention would be very unpredictable.

There are still many primary contests that could bring Trump close to the numbers he needs. California has the last vote of the primary contest season on June 7. Its 172 delegates could be very important in tipping the balance.

Then, said Sabato, there is another important number: 40.

That’s the number of days between the last vote in California and the beginning of the convention. The candidates may look to make deals with each other to avoid a messy, unpredictable fight at the convention.

Said Sabato, “They’ll have 40 days to iron this out before disaster befalls them.”

Trump painted as big threat
by British research group

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Donald Trump presidency is the sixth biggest threat facing the world, tied with the prospect of terrorism destabilizing the global economy, according to an assessment by British research group EIU.

Its latest ranking of global risks has a sharp economic slowdown in China at the top.  That is followed by Russia's actions in Syria and Ukraine bringing a new cold war, a corporate debt crisis in emerging markets and the fracture of the European Union.

EIU says it does not expect Trump to win the November election, but that there is a moderate probability he will and a high impact if he does.

The group cites his hostility toward free trade, advocacy of the killing of families of terrorists, support for ground troops in Syria and alienation of both China and Mexico that could result in trade wars and fueling terrorist groups.

Trump has promised to drive hard deals in international negotiations, particularly with China.  One of his most repeated campaign pledges is to build a fence along the southern U.S. border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants, a project he says Mexico will fund itself. 

EIU's says the probability of a sharp economic slowdown in China is high and would come with a "very high impact."  Too much of a slowdown, the group says, and already slumping prices for commodities like oil and metals will drop further, while markets in the United States and European Union will have a tougher time expanding sales with Chinese customers.

China also features just behind Trump and terrorism on the list.  It's disputed activities in the South China Sea pose a risk of armed clashes, EIU says, and while the prospects of that happening are low, any military buildup brings the chance of even an accidental incident escalating into a high impact event.

Fourth graders like Hillary,
use big words for Trump

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Meet the youngest and brightest critics in politics today: Fourth graders. Unafraid and underage, some precocious children at Cold Spring Elementary School in Potomac, Maryland, had plenty to say about the presidential candidates when they were visited recently by author Cynthia Levinson.

Levinson shared one of her books with the students, “Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can.” “I wanted to create sort of a hologram of Hillary right in front of kids, so kids could feel they have a dialogue about issues in American politics,” she said.

And the dialogue was enlightening.

Some students said it would be “cool to have a girl president” and that Mrs. Clinton was “pretty nice.”

But others were skeptical.

“I’m more on Bernie Sanders’ side," said Tianlai Yang, 10. "Hillary Clinton is less direct than Bernie Sanders.”

Opinion polls indicate some voters are worried that if the former first lady wins, the result will be like a third term for the Obama administration. Kyle Baer, 9, agreed.

“I like Hillary Clinton’s ideas," he said, "but the only thing I have against her is that she’s already been a resident of the White House before, and I don’t think she should be a resident again.”

The young students also expressed opinions about the Republican presidential candidates, especially Donald Trump.

Katherine Pease, 9, wrote a letter pleading with him to drop out of the race "because he lies, he’s a hypocrite, he’s a megalomaniac and he’s delusional, which really, those four qualities aren’t good for a president.”

These students are well on their way to becoming informed, engaged voters, even though they won't be able to cast a ballot until 2024.

Scans show hidden rooms
in King Tut’s burial complex

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Egypt's antiquities minister said Thursday that radar scans of famed King Tut's burial chamber showed the likely existence of two hidden rooms that could contain organic material and metal.

King Tut died in 1324 B.C. and archaeologists drew worldwide attention when they found his tomb filled with stunning artifacts in 1922.

A British archaeologist believes an extra room in the tomb contains the remains of Queen Nefertiti, the wife of King Tut's father.

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said there is a 90 percent chance the scans located new chambers. As for Nefertiti, he believes the tomb could be holding a female from the family, but not her.

Additional scanning of the tomb area is planned for the end of this month.

Computer again is winner
in ancient board game

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Google's go-playing computer program has again defeated world champion Lee Sedol in the final round of a five-game match that sealed its 4-to-1 victory.

"I am disappointed that the matches are over, and also disappointed that I could not end the series on a high note," said Lee during a news conference following Tuesday's game.

The South Korean, who has won 18 international go titles, said he is not sure he would be able to win even if  he was able to compete against AlphaGo again due to what he said was the machine's high level of concentration.

"Certainly, humans cannot catch up in terms of concentrating ability, rather than playing capability," Lee said. 

Lee and AlphaGo played a best-of-five-games, human vs. machine challenge of the ancient Chinese game go, considered one of the most complex board games.

Go, which originated in China more than 2,500 years ago, is a complex game with an almost incalculable number of move options.  The game involves two players who take turns placing black and white stones on a grid-shaped board.  The winner is the player who manages to seal off more territory.

The most famous AI victory to date was in 1997, when the IBM-developed supercomputer Deep Blue beat then-world class chess champion Garry Kasparov.

AlphaGo is an artificial intelligence program developed by Google's DeepMind team.  It uses reinforcement learning, meaning the program plays against itself and adjusts its own neural networks based on trial and error, its creators said.

DeepMind says the technology has far-ranging, real-world applications from making smartphones smarter to health care.

Governor and EPA chief
accept some blame for Flint

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The governor of the U.S. state of Michigan and the country's top environmental official took the blame Thursday for the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan, that has left many children with lead poisoning in their bloodstreams.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder told a contentious congressional hearing in Washington, "This was a failure of government at all levels, local, state and federal officials. We all failed the families of Flint."

Gina McCarthy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, laid the blame on Snyder's officials who in 2014 switched the city's water system to save millions of dollars, moving it from the safe supply it was receiving from the nearby city of Detroit to water from the Flint River that courses through the city. That allowed lead to leach into the Flint water supply from the city's corroded pipes, which could have been chemically treated but weren't.

Michigan officials declared the city's water safe to drink, but McCarthy acknowledged that her agency had oversight over the state's monitoring of the Flint water and "should not have been so trusting of the state."

In the midst of U.S. political campaigns, the hearing was consumed with partisan attacks.

Flint has now switched back to the Detroit water system, which draws its supply from Lake Huron. Government agencies and charitable groups have sent thousands of bottles of water to Flint and doctors are monitoring the health of its 100,000 residents, more than half of them black and many of them impoverished.

Lead poisoning is particularly harmful to children, affecting their neurological systems and leading to permanent learning delays and behavioral problems.

The USA Today newspaper said its investigation showed that 2,000 water systems throughout the U.S., affecting six million people, have elevated lead levels above that considered safe by federal environmental standards.

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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: 
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Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
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Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

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- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
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Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 18, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 55
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
drug boat
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas officers keep watch on some of the 25 packages of suspected cocaine intercepted in the Pacific Wednesday night along with two boats and five suspects.

Parents of very sick kids to get a break

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers are in the process of giving parents with very sick children the same right to take off work as those caring for the terminally ill now have.

The benefit is called a license, and the money to be paid in lieu of salary would come from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

The Asamblea Legislative passed the measure, No. 19433, on first reading Thursday.

The law provides for a 30-day renewable leave from work and payment. Such payments usually are about half of an employee’s salary.

A summary of the bill said the measure grew out of the case of a woman who had a child with grave vision problems.

A physician would have to certify the illness of the child, under terms of the bill.

A law that gives caregivers leave to attend to a terminally ill individual has been on the books since 1997.

Today is historic for Montes de Oca

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Montes de Oca inaugurated its first municipal building 100 years ago today. The canton was created Aug. 2, 1915, and the next year the seat of local government was ready.

Montes de Oca includes San Pedro, which is just east of the central canton of San José.

The current mayor, Fernando Trejos B., pointed out the historical significance of today in a news release.
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From Page 7:

Caldera-El Salvador ferry to start in July

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials say they expect the proposed El Salvador-Puntarenas ferry to go into service in July.

This is a project of  Naviera Española Odiel that has been in the works for some time. The ferry is expected to make three trips a week from El Salvador and three trips a week from Costa Rica to El Salvador.

The seagoing ferry is designed to hold 100 tractor trailers, and Costa Rican officials expect that the use of the ferry will reduce truck congestion at the Peñas Blancas border crossing with Nicaragua.

The voyage is expected to take about 16 hours one way. The usual land route can take up to five days depending on the border situations.

A spokesman for the ferry firm said that in the first three months of operations, passage will be limited to 60 trucks.

The ferry is scheduled to dock in Caldera and unload its cargo at the port of La Unión in El Salvador.