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Published Friday, April 1, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 64
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Sports and music liven up the agenda for the weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats have plenty of activities to enjoy this weekend. They include the symphony orchestra, national sports day Sunday and even an American-style football game Saturday.

The only requirement is to wear a hat and bring plenty of sunblock to some events.

The orchestra

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional features works by Costa Rican composers in its performances tonight and Sunday morning.

Vinicio Meza, who plays the clarinet in the orchestra, composed “Episodios para fagot y orquesta,” which features the bassoon. Featured soloist will be Carlos Ocampo, also a member of the orchestra.

Sergio Delgado, 23, has his debut as a composer with the work “Preludio Fantás Tico.”

This is the second concert of the season for the orchestra, which will be under the direction of Costa Rican Alejandro Gutiérrez for the two performances.

The Centro Nacional de la Música said that 30 children from the Orquesta por la Vida from the Hospital Nacional de Niños will participate in the Sunday 10:30 a.m. performance. The concert tonight is at 8 p.m.

Also on the program is “Ciranda” or “Cirandinha” by the famous Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. This is a work inspired by a children’s song and will be presented for the first time in Costa Rica, said the orchestra.

Also planned is “Symphony No. 6” by Ludwig van Beethoven. This also is known as the “Pastoral Symphony.”

The performances are in the Teatro Nacional with ticket prices ranging from 4,000 to 18,000 colons with discounts for students and seniors.

American football

The Toros Football Club meets the Bulldogs Football Association in a game Saturday that might decide the national championship.

The American football teams met once before this year and the Bulldogs prevailed by one

Universidad de Costa Rica photo
The group Sonsax
New work
Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional photo
Sergio Delgado's work that will debut

point, 27 to 26. A loss to the undefeated Bulldogs would put the Toros out of contention for the championship.

The game is at 2 p.m. in Estadio Ernesto Rohrmoser in Pavas. There is a 2,000-colon admission.

Aperitivo Musical

The program Aperitivo Musical will be inaugurated Saturday at 4 p.m. In the foyer of the Teatro Nacional with the group Sonsax.

The group dominated by saxophones plans a Latin program ranging from cha cha to mambo to calypso. The group was formed at the  Escuela de Artes Musicales de la Universidad de Costa Rica Escuela de Artes Musicales de la Universidad de Costa Rica.

The theater plans two such programs a month.

Alajuela art workshops

The Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría and the Asociación Costarricense de Artistas Visuales will host 20 artists Saturday starting at 9 a.m. in workshops featuring various types of creativity.

The event is in advance of the Día Mundial del Arte 2016, which is April 15.

Sports day

Parque la Sabana is a busy place on weekends, but this Sunday is the Día Nacional del Deporte. So the Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y la Recreación has scheduled events and exhibitions ranging from horseback riding to cheerleading and lacrosse.

The day begins with a skating competition at 8 a.m., and then there are dozens of events and presentations all over the park. Similar activities are supposed to take place at the central parks in the capitals of other cantons, said the sports institute. More information is HERE!

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Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Workers replacing a bridge on Ruta 304 between Desamapardos and Aserrí expect to have the 400-million colon ($760,000) job done sometime in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, there will be periodic delays and possible detours. The bridge is over the Río Guatuso in San Miguel de Desamparados.

Beekeepers getting modern honey facility

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Beekeepers on the Nicoya peninsula are getting a state of the art honey processing facility, due in part to an investment of some 111 million colons ($210,000) by the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería.

The beekeepers themselves through their organization, the Asociación de Apicultores de Jicaral, are putting up 400 million colons or about $756,000.

The location, Jicaral, is on the east coast of the Nicoya peninsula overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya.

Initially the honey processing plant will service 32 small producers who have 4,300 colonies of bees. The plant will be able to handle the honey production of up to 20,000 colonies, said Casa Presidencial in a release.

Government officials are taking a tour of the area through today.

The processing plant will allow the honey to meet various international standards for hygiene, said officials. They also noted that the bees do double duty. In addition to collecting honey they are important pollinators for the local agricultural products.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacosta fish cocaine from the Pacific after their agency and the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea ran down a boat some 150 kilometers off  Quepos. The boat carried 601 kilos of cocaine, including that in the sea, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 1, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 64
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Lawmaker vows to send the cops after any no-show cabinet ministers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Relations between the executive branch and the legislature may have reached a new low Thursday. A lawmaker threatened to send the Fuerza Pública to bring in government ministers if the executive branch officials declined to appear before committees on their own.

The lawmaker is Juan Luis Jiménez Succar of the Partido Liberación Nacional. He said that some legislative committees were studying proposed laws and they needed the input from various government ministers.

He said that lawmakers cannot just wait until the ministers decide to show up. He said that some ministers, all members of

the president’s cabinet, have declined to confirm a time when they had been asked to appear by lawmakers.

He made his comments at a meeting of the Comisión de Asuntos Internacionales Thursday. He also extended his threat to vice ministers and other high officials in the executive branch.

“If the minister declines to come, we ought to then ask the police to bring him in,” he said in a summary prepared by the political party.

Relations between the executive branch and lawmakers have been in decline since it became obvious that most legislators would not support President Luis Guillermo Solís in his effort to pass laws calling for more taxes.

Sidewalk drinking generates tougher proposal for neighborhood stores
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A proposed law would punish store operators because customers buy alcohol and then drink it outside on the street and aggravate the neighbors.

Javier Cambronero Arguedas of the Partido Acción Ciudadana said that his bill also would prohibit the sale of alcohol in residential zones and within 100 meters of schools, day care centers, hospitals and clinics. He said that the current law contained an error in not establishing these distances.

A summary of the proposal said that persons consuming alcohol in front of stores where it is sold is a continuing problem in residential areas.

Frequently on the sidewalks near minisupers alcohol that is sold in closed containers to take out is consumed, he said. “What we have then is a terrible combination of factors that provoke problems in residential areas and near educational centers and hospitals,” he said, according to the summary.
He said the purpose of the bill was to protect youth and public health.

Lawmakers passed the last alcohol law in 2012. In it supervision of advertising for alcoholic beverages was turned over to a committee.  Cambronero said that he wants to undo that decision and revert control of advertising to the Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia. He said the mistake was putting members of the industry on the control commission.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 1, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 64
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Apple started the computer revolution 40 years ago with simplicity
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When co-founder Steve Wozniak brought the very first Apple computer to a meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club in 1976, everyone was impressed, but not excited.

"We all thought it was great, a nice job," said Bob Lash, an engineer, inventor and original member of the Silicon Valley hobbyist club. Wozniak's elegant design fit all the computer's workings onto a single circuit board.

"But we were all building our own designs at the time, so it wasn't all that unusual," Lash added. "And nobody at that time had any idea where any of this was going to go."

Apple didn't invent the personal computer. Or the mp3 player. Or the smartphone. That's not how it ended up as the world's largest publicly traded company.

"What is invention?" asked Dag Spicer, curator at the Computer History Museum. "Do you always have to invent something new, or can you take something that exists and rearrange it and make it beautiful?  In a sense, I would argue, that is also invention."

It's a form of invention at which Wozniak and co-founder Steve Jobs excelled, Spicer said.

Apple turns 40 on Friday in a world it helped create, where computers have been welcomed into our homes, offices, cars and pockets.

Beauty and ease of use were Jobs' imperatives, Spicer said. But, that often meant making them hermetically sealed universes of hardware and software that ultimately lost market share to more open ecosystems.

The Macintosh is a prime example. Apple didn't invent point-and-click computing. Xerox did, but was slow to make it commercially available.

Jobs saw the potential. Working with a computer had meant typing lines of text, and often involved special programming languages. Macintosh's graphical user interface brought the mouse to the masses. It was the computer anyone could use, Apple's ads said.

When it came out in 1984, "It was just amazing. Here it was, a sandbox for the mind," said Bruce Damer, who has stuffed practically the entire history of 20th century computing into a barn outside Silicon Valley, called the DigiBarn.

The interface was only part of the package, though. The Macintosh also looked different.

"It's like a toaster," Spicer said. "It's not like a big, scary computer. It doesn't even look like a computer, really. That was a big psychological decision, done on purpose, very consciously, to make it as welcoming and nonthreatening as possible." A smiling little cartoon Macintosh even greets the user on startup.

The Macintosh was designed to change human relationships with computers.

Voice of America photo
The Mac 128 easily captured the newspaper industry.

"This is your friend," Damer said.

The Macintosh was a friend who expected to be accepted as it was.

"The Mac was deliberately designed to be a closed system. Steve Jobs did not want people going in there and pulling out parts or replacing boards or upgrading it. … You can't even get into the case" without a special screwdriver, Spicer said.

"That was the flip side of the easy-to-use equation," he added. "If you limit people's choices, it does make it easier for them."

Then Microsoft Windows brought point-and-click computing to IBM PC-type computers. They were more common and cheaper. More companies made them. And more companies made software for them. Microsoft systems took over and Apple was left with a shrinking market share.

Then, Apple invented the iPod and, later, the iPhone.

It's "an ecosystem that's controlled and beautiful," Damer said. "But then you have Android coming out, which is an open source, and anyone can make an Android handset."

And the same thing is happening. Apple is losing market share.

Apple won't be celebrating its 40th birthday Friday. Co-founder Jobs once said, "If you look backward in this business, you'll be crushed. You have to look forward."

The Los Altos garage where Jobs and Wozniak built the first Apple computers is now an unofficial tourist attraction. In a tribute that's fitting, if not entirely welcomed by the current residents, as a steady stream of visitors goes to take pictures of it on their iPhones.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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!

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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 1, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 64
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Axiom 890 pixels

soldierVoice of America photo
This is Dan, a veteran from Michigan.

Ex-GIs join Christian forces
to counter Islamic State

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Directly north of Mosul and face-to-face with Islamic State is a small pocket of bombed and abandoned Christian villages. But across the gravel track from one of the empty villages, abandoned when militants stormed the area in 2014, is one row of houses that still is occupied.

Here, a small but determined group of armed Christian fighters are defending what they say are the rapidly dwindling traditionally Christian areas of Iraq.

And with them are two Americans. James is a former U.S. infantry soldier from Colorado Springs who arrived about a month ago. Dan is a veteran from Michigan who said he had been deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006 with the U.S. Military. He has been here two weeks.

Guns in hand and dressed in camouflage fatigues like their militia hosts, they are part of a group of foreign fighters who have come to boost the Christian defense line. There are also four Frenchmen. The one New Zealander who had joined had already left, the militia leaders said.

Getting to the militia, known as the Dwekh Nawsha, an Aramaic term for self-sacrifice, required a long ride in a pickup truck past multiple checkpoints.

A small cross hung from the truck’s rear-view mirror and the driver and escort proudly wore their Dwekh Nawsha patches on their left arms. James and Dan sat in the back, squeezing their legs around sacks of potatoes and boxes of canned meat.

“I came here to hopefully take Mosul back and push Daesh out of Iraq,” Dan said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Once at the village, he walked up to the roof of the militia’s main house and looked in the distance where dark smoke poured into the sky. The Islamic State was apparently burning tires to hide their movements from coalition aircraft.

He pointed to a deep trench a few hundred meters in front of the house, saying it was to keep any Islamic State vehicle-borne suicide bombers from reaching them. Kurdish Peshmerga forces were also nearby, providing firepower.

Rusting carcasses of spent homemade rockets line the gravel road in front of the abandoned village like a decorative necklace. 

Islamic State fighters constantly probe the front line here, and rockets land almost daily at the next village along the line. But the Christian militia members say they won't leave.

“This is our land," Col. Sameer Oraha, a militia commander, said in Kurdish. "We have to protect it. We have to keep it from Daesh’s hands because this is our motherland and we have to protect all the lands to get our people back to their homes.”

Oraha had previously served with the Iraqi army, and had lived in Mosul, now the Islamic State stronghold in Iraq less than 40 kilometers away.

In the faded living room of the house, Oraha and his fighters sat and smoked as they talked. A flag of the Assyrian Patriotic Party, the Christian bloc, covered one wall. In the corner on the table was a small Christmas tree festooned with decorations.

On the floor are two of their machine guns. The militia lack both equipment and experience, James said. “They are regular people, some of these people have regular jobs, they come out here . . . they are trying to save their homeland.”

And he wants to be part of it, retaking all the land that extremists seized when they stormed the area in 2014.

“I have experience, I was infantry for several years and whatever I can do to help them, any knowledge, or with equipment they may have and maybe later tactics on movements, when we slowly move into Mosul, I am here to help,” James said.

Ramen Khoshaba, like others who are younger fighters, said he had joined “so people can get to their home, because there are a lot of people . . .  have no home now.”

“We are here to tell them that the Assyrian guys are here, and we will fight for our land.”

U.S. and China plan to sign
Paris climate accord in April

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States and China have announced they will sign the Paris climate accord in April, a step they hope will spur other countries to formally join the landmark agreement.

In a joint presidential statement, Washington and Beijing said Thursday they hope their move will help bring the Paris agreement into force as early as possible.

The deal was crafted by nearly 200 countries in December but does not enter into force until it is signed by at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions.

The U.S. and China, the world's top greenhouse gas emitters, will join other nations in signing the bill on April 22, Earth Day, the earliest day that countries may sign the deal.

U. N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said earlier this month that he expects more than 120 countries will participate in the signing ceremony at U.N. headquarters.

The agreement aims to limit the warming of the planet to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It adds that nations should try to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.

The deal was lauded as historic, but its impact is not yet clear. The accord is legally binding, but does not include an enforcement mechanism or penalties for noncompliance.

The Union of Concerned Scientists Thursday praised the U.S. and Chinese presidents for signaling their intent to sign the deal quickly.

"Their joint commitment to ensure the Paris agreement enters into force as early as possible this year sends a strong signal to other countries," said Alden Meyer, the union’s director of strategy and policy.

The organization also praised both countries for announcing additional efforts to steer investment flows away from carbon-intensive technologies like coal and toward renewable energy alternatives.

California minimum wage
will climb to $15 an hour

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

California's hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, to take effect over the next six years, could help more than five million workers as its effects ripple through the economy, says supporter Ken Jacobs of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Business groups oppose the increase, and analysts are divided.  Some say small businesses will struggle with the increase and consumers will be hit with higher prices, while others say the pay raise will boost the economy.

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced the agreement between labor and legislative leaders Monday, and legislators are soon expected to pass the bill, and the governor will sign it into law. 

The measure would raise minimum pay for the state’s workers in increments to $15 an hour by 2022 for large businesses, and 2023 for smaller ones.  That's more than double the current national minimum of $7.25 an hour.  Cities and states can set their own base wage, and California's is now $10 an hour.  Brown’s office says more than two million workers in his state are paid at that rate, and that the pay hike is a matter of economic justice.

The agreement is the latest victory in the drive by labor activists to raise the pay of the nation's lowest-paid workers, who are often employed in fast food restaurants or at other service jobs. The effort began with protests and marches in 2012, and has been successful in such cities as Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  California is the first U.S. state to raise its minimum wage to the $15 level, and New York is debating a similar proposal.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups say a higher minimum wage will hurt low-skilled workers by forcing companies to eliminate jobs.  They say wage inequality is a complex issue that is better addressed by improving workers' skills to make them more competitive in a global marketplace.

Fast food restaurants in California could see their operating costs increase 13 percent as the raise is implemented, said analyst Shon Hiatt of the University of Southern California.   He said restaurants owners have three options: raising food prices, shrinking portion sizes, or increasing automation to reduce their labor costs. He says we will likely see a combination of all three.  He adds that increased costs for food production on California farms could drive up costs further and that agricultural jobs could be lost from California to Mexico.

Analyst Ken Jacobs said the higher wage will keep worker turnover low and productivity high.  In a conference call with reporters, he said the net effect will be positive, as workers pay more taxes, contribute to the economy and reduce their need for public benefits.

Others say a one size fits all solution does not take account of varying conditions in different communities.   The state of Oregon, to the north of California, will raise its minimum wage to just under $15 by 2022 under a law signed March 2.  The highest rate applies only to the major urban region of Portland, however.  Mid-sized counties and rural areas will have lower minimums, which is important for communities that are struggling economically, says economist Tim Duy of the University of Oregon.  He questions whether $15 an hour is the right minimum wage for a more rural community in northeastern California?

Lisa Scott, a home care provider for the elderly and disabled in California's rural El Dorado County, earns $11 an hour and says the increase will let her save to visit her 5-year-old grandson in Arizona for the first time.  Long Beach janitor Esperanza Velasquez says the pay hike will help pay a $21,000 bill for cancer surgery.  Both have been active in the campaign for the wage boost.

The national minimum wage has been locked at $7.25 an hour for more than six years, and Republicans in Congress have opposed efforts to raise it, concerned about a dampening effect on the economy.  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has embraced the $15 dollar minimum and Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton supports $12 an hour as a national base.

The economic effects are far from certain, insists Tim Duy of the University of Oregon, who says there has been so much conflicting research on the actual impacts.  In fact, he says, “the fastest way to start a fight in an economics department is to talk about the minimum wage.”

The drive for a $15 an hour minimum is spreading around the country.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has included the proposal in his annual state budget, and New York lawmakers are now debating the issue.

Voice of America photo
Donald Trump doing what he does best.

Trump’s foreign policies ideas
are making people nervous

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Deploring the raw deal he believes the U.S. is getting from the framework of international alliances forged after World War II, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is vowing to make major changes if he is elected president in November.

If he were to follow through, analysts say, he would bring about a revolution in U.S. foreign policy.

Trump says the United States is a nation with crumbling infrastructure that can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman. Wednesday he disparaged the Geneva Conventions, which he says make U.S. troops afraid to fight. At a recent CNN town hall meeting, he challenged another bedrock alliance:

"Let me tell you, NATO is obsolete. It was 67 years, or it's over 60 years old. It is — many countries, doesn't cover terrorism, OK? It covers the Soviet Union, which is no longer in existence. And NATO has to either be rejiggered, changed for the better," he said. "I'm not saying — the other thing that's bad about NATO, we're paying too much. We're spending a tremendous — billions and billions of dollars on NATO."

Foreign policy expert Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution, a Washington public policy research group, said Trump’s comments belittling NATO and others about the U.S. “paying too much” for Japan's and South Korea’s security were not just casual remarks, but reflected passionate views he has held for decades.

“He has a big problem with America’s alliances in Asia and Europe and in the Middle East," Wright said. "He's got a big problem with all of the trade deals and different types of economic engagement the U.S. has engaged with in recent decades. And he’s looking to develop closer ties to authoritarian regimes like Putin's Russia. So that would amount to a revolution, really, in U.S. foreign policy.” Putin is President Vladimir Putin.

Trump also startled many when he refused Wednesday in an MSNBC interview to take the use of nuclear weapons off the table in any situation. He has said he might hit the Islamic State terrorist group with tactical nuclear weapons.

At a time when President Barack Obama is holding a summit with global leaders in Washington to try to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, Trump said it might be better if countries like Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia had their own nuclear weapons so they would not have to rely on the U.S. for protection.

While often expressing resentment of close U.S. allies such as Germany and Japan for not paying for their security, Trump has spoken warmly of Putin: “Putin says very nice things about me. … I think that’s very nice. It has no effect on me, other than I think it’s very nice. If we can get along with Russia, that’s very good.”

Trump said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama heads his team of foreign policy advisers, but he has been slow to release names of a full team. Wright said there is one simple reason: ”It’s that the Republican foreign policy establishment does not agree with him. They are shocked and opposed to what he is proposing, and so they don't want to sign on with him. So he's finding it hard to find people, and because of a legitimate disagreement.”

Wright argued that, if elected, Trump’s isolationist views could remove a pillar of world stability: U.S. leadership.

If former secretary of State Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, she will, he said, “find herself in the position in the general election of being the flag-bearer, not just for Democratic Party foreign policy, but for bipartisan American foreign policy since World War II.”

Nuclear plant cyberattacks
called substantial and growing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The threat of cyberattacks on nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities is substantial and growing, according to a report this week by a prominent industry group.

Experts at the Nuclear Industry Summit, gathered in Washington, say attackers are becoming more skillful and dangerous, meaning companies, governments and regulators must make cybersecurity an industry-wide priority.

"Cyberattacks on nuclear facilities have happened,” said Anno Keizer of the Nuclear Industry Summit, who is vice chairman of the working group on managing cyberthreats. “It is not a fantasy; it is not a hypothetical situation; it's what happens in real life and which we need to manage in real life. We have also seen that the consequences of an attack can be substantial, both in damaging equipment and disturbing the services that the company delivers to society."

A cyberattack against Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power in South Korea saw hackers steal and release information, Keizer says, in what published reports say might have been a bid to raise public concern about the nuclear industry.

Other attacks on non-nuclear, major industrial targets also raise concerns. An attack on Ukraine's electric grid left thousands of people without power. That attack used a sophisticated program called BlackEnergy that targeted industrial control systems, according to the report.

Hackers also caused massive physical damage to a German steel mill by taking over control processes and blocking the company's efforts to shut down the facility.

Experts at the Nuclear Industry Summit say hackers focus on systems that control industrial and safety processes in important industrial facilities because that is the key to causing chaos and damage.

The most successful publicly known cyberattack on a nuclear facility saw malware cause serious damage to production equipment at an Iranian plant that was enriching nuclear materials. The virus was called Stuxnet, and apparently prompted the facility's centrifuges to spin out of control and break down.

Computer security experts say the Stuxnet incident shows how a determined hacker can overcome cyber protection efforts by taking advantage of vulnerable employees.

In this case, small thumb drives, or small data storage devices, loaded with the virus were scattered in areas near the targeted facility. Apparently, someone picked up one and, curious about its contents, put it in a computer that controlled production processes.

Like many nuclear facilities, the Iranian one was protected against cyberattack by an air gap, meaning critical computer systems are isolated, and have no physical connection with computers that are connected to the Internet, which are used for routine communication, billing and research. With no connection to the outside world, critical computers were mistakenly thought to be safe from hacking attacks.

Ryan Kalember, of the cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, says, "The lesson from that is that people are always the weak link in the chain."

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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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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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

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Photo montage of penthouse
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* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
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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
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016

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 backyard 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:


San Rmon
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: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. $50,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

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

La Uruca condo
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

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.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

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: Watch this video for full details.

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: 
Check out slide show HERE!

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:

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
- 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

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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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:

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 1, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 64
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
turtle eg thefts
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas personnel detained these individuals along with two others on beaches in Limón province. There are 64 turtle eggs in this plastic bag.

Two projects support U.S. war on drugs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Southern Command is investing $1.85 million for a new station for the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas in Golfito.

There was a ceremony Thursday for laying the cornerstone. The facility is expected to be ready by January.

The facility is being built on land owned by the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of supervision. The work is being done by the Honduras firm Grupo Eterna, said an announcement by the U.S. Embassy.

An additional $968,000 of U.S. taxpayer money is going into an addition to the police control point at Kilometer 35 on the Interamericana highway. The United States already paid for a modern facility, but this new work is for inspection areas for containers and other vehicles.

Industrias Bendig, S.A. of Costa Rica is doing the job, said the U.S. Embassy.

Unlike in the United States, Costa Rican police can inspect vehicles without probable cause, and the Kilometer 35 site is where many persons are caught trying to smuggle alcohol or other goods into the country from Panamá.

The U.S. Southern Command and the embassy have an interest in the coast guard station and the highway inspection point for interdicting shipment of drugs.

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From Page 7:

New blood test shows if patient has concussion

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new blood test has been developed to tell doctors whether someone has had a concussion up to a week after the injury.  Head trauma symptoms can often be subtle, and even delayed, especially in children.  Treatment in the form of rest is important in helping to heal the brain after injury.

The blood test, developed by physicians at Orlando Health system in Florida, detects a biomarker called glial fibrillary acidic protein or GFAP.  GFAP is unique to the brain and nervous system and is released after a concussion.

Researchers analyzing the blood of 600 patients, found the biomarker was present in those who had sustained a head injury.

Concussion, without rest for a few days, can lead to long-term bouts of dizziness, headaches and insomnia. Memory loss, cognitive difficulties and even anxiety have also been reported in concussion patients who try to resume normal activities, like school or work, too soon.

Concussion is a common injury in contact sports, and a blood test soon after a head injury could help doctors detect the condition that might otherwise go undiagnosed.
A study describing the blood test is published in the journal JAMA Neurology.