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Published Monday, April 18, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 75
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Proponents want to expand medical use of marijuana
By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Activists for the legalization of marijuana seek to modify a bill to allow civilians to grow and process the plant under the concept of personal use, according to Gerald Murray, general director of Movimiento Cannábis Medicinal de Costa Rica.

This same advocacy group failed to organize a referendum on the matter in 2013 due to the costs and bureaucracy involved.  The next battle will be in the legislature, according to Murray.

He said the group is now supporting the last changes to a bill presented by legislator Marvin Atencio of the Partido Acción Ciudadana in 2014.

Those changes would allow individuals to grow and smoke the plant.

“Any use of marijuana has a medical purpose, be it for stress relief, as a treatment for anxiety, headaches, insomnia and a long list of other diseases,” he said.

If the modifications go through, every citizen interested in the cannabis business would get a special card.

These changes are facing hard opposition from evangelical lawmakers in the legislative committee. They filed more than 325 appeals last week, according to legislative records.

If all of those appeals are discussed, it will take at least 100 weeks for the bill to reach the legislative flood.

To avoid this setback, leaders of the main parliamentary groups could invoke an article of legislative regulations, said Murray.

That article would allow the legislators to take the bill from the commission and bring it to the floor.

Without the changes requested, the bill would create the Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Regulaciones Canábicas, an office in charge of granting commercial permits for cannabis products to the government and private enterprises.

In this case, Murray says his group would
marijuana
Movimiento Cannábis Medicinal graphic
The organization’s slogans says ‘We are not afraid to tell the truth.’

appeal the decision by organizing mass protests across the country.

According to lawmaker Atencio, the bill, No 19256, has other important aspects that are not often discussed. For example the bill would allow the creation of textiles and paper out of the plants. These two products could boost entrepreneurship, according to the legislator. In addition, the bill calls for the creation of a laboratory to ensure the quality of marijuana.

“When this becomes a law, it will provide people an access to better living conditions, increased income for the state and economic freedom. We want to avoid the possibilities of monopoly as much as we can.” he said.

According to the organization’s Facebook page, a demonstration has been scheduled in at the legislative complex Wednesday.

The marijuana situation is Costa Rica is confusing. A judge in Alajuela decided that the personal production of marijuana was not criminal. That was the case of the lawyer, Mario Cerdas, who grew the plants on an upstairs floor within sight of the courthouse there. That acquittal is being appealed.

Meanwhile, marijuana continues to be a major product in the black market. Police continue to detain those found in possession of large quantities and those growing the plants on their own property, sometimes with a sophisticated hydroponic system.



Cruz Roja Carrera por la Vida draws 1,200 participants at La Sabana
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja fielded 1,200 runners Sunday for its annual Carrera por la Vida which marked the aid organization’s 131 years of existence.

The organization benefited from the 12,000-colon entry fee, and runners were able 
to show their competence in five or 10-kilometer races. The location was Parque la Sabana, and the Cruz Roja also provided prizes, massages, artistic presentations and cardio dances.

Running or jogging is a popular sport, and the La Sabana area hosts a number of such races.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 18, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 75
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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
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Psychotherapy

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Insurance professionals

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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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cleanup
Comité Bandera Ecológica de San Miguel de Santo Domingo photo
Volunteers needed just three hours to pick up 18 sacks of plastic bottles for recycling along the Río Tibás in San Miguel de Santo Domingo de Heredia. The Comité Bandera Ecológica de San Miguel said that many of the volunteers were from the local Colegio Yurustí and that the cleanup was in honor of the coming Earth Day.


Nicoya hospital remodeling starts in June

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The state health authority said that the hospital La Anexión in Nicoya will undergo a complete renovation starting in June.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said its facility serves 140,000 residents in the cantons of  Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Nandayure and Hojancha.

The health agency already has built a new medical tower at the hospital, and the renovation will begin when the tower goes into service, it said. Planned are work in the pharmacy, the laboratories, medical imaging and administration. A second phase will remodel the surgeries and the nutrition facilities, said the Caja.

The new tower increases the number of beds from 105 to 136, said the Caja.


Our reader’s opinion
Primary system is useless and ineffective

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

As Mr. Trump, and Mr. Sanders, have shown, the world that the U.S. election system is slanted to the side of the powers that be in both parties. Why not just do away with the primary election entirely, and let the Democrats and Republicans simply retire to the proverbial smoke filled rooms and select whomever they wish to spew their individual phony agendas?

The only entities making any money, are the media and the parties themselves. The media of course in advertising revenues. And the party bosses, with all of that donated cash I wonder how much of that donated cash is actually spent on the election and how much simply disappears?

Let’s have a simple general election where anyone qualified and who has not sealed their past records should be able to run on whatever their platform should happen to be. And let us simple voters choose whomever we want and not whomever the party bosses push forward!

As Judge Andrew Neopolitano has said, the parties are simply clubs, each with its own agenda of course. I refuse to play the game any longer and will never choose anyone posted by any party, as long as my vote does not actually count for whomever I choose in the useless and ineffective primary election system!

Mr. Trump, if you have the most individual votes nationwide and are denied the nomination, I beg you to run as a third party choice, and screw both of the good ol’ boy clubs, then and only then can we get someone honest in office who is not beholding to anyone. Then and only then will we have a true democracy, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” And then perhaps we can actually accomplish something that is good for us all and not just for those in office and their bosses.
Glenn Klima
Golfito

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Panamá Papers  give a big boost to government's tax campaign
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For the Costa Rican government, the disclosures of the Panamá Papers could not have come at a better time. Casa Presidencial quickly integrated the reports of offshore corporations into its campaign for more taxes.

Sergio Alfaro Salas carried the message to the television Sunday. He is the minister of the Presidencia. He claimed that the papers hacked from a Panamá law firm showed the mechanisms that are used to elude the taxman, to launder money of illicit businesses and to finance criminal activities.

In explaining why the government needs more money, he said that the country has spent more over the last seven years than it took in and that plans to close this gap met with failure in the legislature,

He was speaking on the weekly television show on some of the networks.

What he did not mention is that none of the legislation that the central government has proposed would address offshore accounts.

That prominent Costa Ricans maintain such accounts is no secret. A Panamá account figured heavily in the Alcatel trial that followed a 2001 cell telephone deal in which high-level bribes were alleged.

Alfaro outlined again the measures that have been stalled in the legislature because lawmakers are pushing for budget cuts. They include a 15 percent value-added tax in lieu of the current 13 percent sales tax, a bill against tax fraud and increased income tax rates.

He characterized those using offshore accounts as the international mafia.

Meanwhile, Helio Fallas, first vice president and minister of finance said measures urged by the government were in line with a report issued by the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development which urged standards of transparency in tax matters.

So far Costa Rican law does not tax citizens’ and residents’ earnings abroad, although there have been proposals to apply a tax when the money enters the country. Panamá notwithstanding, financial experts say that the bulk of the Costa Rican offshore accounts are in the United States as investment accounts or real estate.

In addition, some sportsbooks and other large firms here use offshore accounts to pay their employees in order to avoid paying social charges, such as the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social monthly quotas. Such payments are obvious because they pass through the country’s banking system when employees go to automatic tellers to withdraw funds. But so far the tax officials have not acted on this evasion.



State telecom firm reports fire-caused internet outages are fixed
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The state telecom company said that crews have repaired a fiber optic link between Costa de Pájaros and Abangaritos in Puntarenas. The telecommunications line suffered damage from brush fires nearby.

Communities affected by the internet outage were Nicoya, Mansión, Colorado de Abangares, Punta Morales, San Gerardo de Chomes and Chomes, as well as Abangaritos and Costa de Pájaros, said the company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

The company said that 70 workers were sent to fix the line and also those damaged in Tambor, Flamingo, Cuajiniquil and La Cruz. The dry weather has contributed to a wave of forest and brush fires.

At Tambor and Flamingo mobile services were interrupted when fire damaged cables feeding a cell tower, said the company.  At Cuajiniquil and Níspero de Guanacaste cable and utility poles were fried by fires, said the company.

The company noted that its crews were working in difficult conditions with temperatures in the low 40s C.



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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
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Chemicals leaching from packaging found to be frequent in fast foods
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Fast food is known to be calorific, salty, sugary and fattening, and now new research says its consumption may expose people to certain chemicals also found in plastics.

Researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University say people who eat fast food may be exposed to high levels of harmful chemicals called phthalates, which have been linked to health problems, particularly damage to the reproductive system and possible infertility.

Phthalates are added to many kinds of food packaging, particularly plastics, because they increase flexibility, transparency and durability. Studies have shown they can leach out of the packaging materials and into food.

"People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher," says lead author Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the Milken Institute. "Our findings raise concerns because

phthalates have been linked to a number of serious health problems in children and adults."

For the study, researchers gathered data on nearly 9,000 people who answered questions about what they had eaten over the past 24 hours. Subjects were also asked to provide a urine sample to measure levels of phthalates.

Subjects who reported having the most fast food also had higher phthalate levels.

The researchers noted that “grain and meat items were the most significant contributors to phthalate exposure.” These included bread, cake, pizza, burritos, rice dishes and noodles, they said.

Another chemical commonly found in food packaging, Bisphenol A or BPA, was also higher among those who ate more fast food. BPA has also been linked to health issues.

Phthalates have been the subject of controversy before. In 2008, Congress banned their use in children’s toys due to concerns over their safety.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden
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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:
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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
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Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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COSTA RICA SOLAR
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

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Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Puriscal rental
A peaceful place near Puriscal.
Property is a small house on a 16-acre farm in Desamparaditos, a small village located 5K NW of Santiago de Puriscal. 15 minutes to Puriscal, 1 hour to San José and the airport, all paved roads. House has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, large  open kitchen/dining/living area and is fully furnished. Nice veranda with great views. Many fruit trees. Private but not isolated with all utilities. Rent $550/month long term, short term negotiable. Tenant pays for electricity and phone. Landlord pays water. No pets, please. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 7187-8577, in the USA call Pete Todd at 970-221-1457 or 720-951-7928.
Peter and Debbie Todd

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.
8981-5/28/16

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




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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 18, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 75
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Axiom 890 pixels

Ruling party concedes vote
on Rousseff impeachment


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A senior ruling party leader in Brazil conceded defeat late Sunday as the lower house of congress voted on whether President Dilma Rousseff should be impeached in the senate for alleged corruption.

One by one, the chamber's 513 deputies rose to announce their vote at a microphone, greeted by cheers and sometimes jeers from the rest of the members. A two-thirds majority, or 342 of 513 members, was needed to send the matter to the senate, which will consider whether to put Ms. Rousseff on trial.

As the vote neared 342 in favor of impeachment, the Workers' Party leader in the House, José Guimaraes, said, "The coup plotters have won." He called it a temporary defeat and said the war is not over.

"The fight will continue in the streets and in the senate," he said.

Opposition to Ms. Rousseff has increased in recent months with accusations that she illegally covered up government budget shortfalls in 2014 to increase her chances for reelection.  She denies the accusations.

Her critics blame her for the country's recession and a massive corruption scandal involving state oil company Petrobras.

The 68-year-old leader was first elected in 2010, then again in 2014, continuing 13 years of leadership by the leftist Workers' Party.

The first in line to carry out the remaining two years of her mandate would be Vice President Michael Temer of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, whom Rousseff has accused of being part of the movement to remove her from office.


Quake toll in Ecuador
reaches 246 by Sunday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The death toll from Saturday's powerful earthquake in Ecuador reached 246 late Sunday with thousands who lost their homes facing another night on the streets.

Vice President Jorge Glas says more than 2,500 people are injured. He is overseeing the relief efforts until President Rafael Correa arrives after cutting short a visit to Italy.

The strong 7.8 magnitude quake struck along Ecuador's Pacific coast and was said to be felt throughout the entire country.

The tourist city of Pedernales and coastal area of Manta are among the hardest-hit areas. Rescuers were digging through the rubble with their bare hands looking for anyone who might be buried under collapsed homes and buildings. 

Glas said Pedernales is destroyed.

"The country is in a state of disarray," said Denis Suarez, a journalist from Teleamazonas. "The aftershocks have affected people not just physically, but emotionally. I was at the supermarket when the earthquake began. The cans fell on the floor, people ran, the electrical wiring was moving, we lost electricity. That night a lot of people were unable to sleep."

​Canada's Global Affairs department, which handles the country's diplomatic relations, says two of its citizens are among the dead.

There was hope amid the destruction, as firefighters dispatched to Manta from the capital rescued one woman trapped in rubble.

The earthquake was felt 170 kilometers away in the capital Quito, where it knocked out electricity and cell phone coverage in several neighborhoods.  Buildings swayed for about 40 seconds, causing people to rush into the streets.

Quito-based journalist Luis Alberto Otero said residents in the capital are used to earthquakes, but it was how long Saturday's shaking lasted that scared him.

"Everything moved," he said. "I had to hold up the TV so it wouldn't fall."

"As soon as it was over, I got in my car. People were fleeing to the streets for safety. The power went out for a few hours and the phone lines were down. Even today, a day later, it's hard to get a line out."

A bridge collapsed in the port city of Guayaquil. 

Glas says the national guard has been mobilized to maintain public order.

An early tsunami alert has been suspended.


U.S. Supreme Court hears
case on immigration today


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

America’s highest court will consider the fate of as many as 4 million undocumented immigrants Monday when Supreme Court justices hear opening arguments in a landmark case debating the legality of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The justices’ decision will have far-reaching implications on executive actions by future presidential administrations and comes at a time when the nation’s flawed immigration system is a constant focus of election-year debate.

The lawsuit in U.S. v. Texas asks the court to consider whether the president’s 2014 executive actions deferring deportations for some undocumented immigrants are within the government’s authority to direct immigration policy, or whether the president exceeded his constitutional authority by making new immigration laws.

A decision in the Texas lawsuit will affect pending lawsuits in 25 other states opposing the president’s immigration actions.

Government lawyers are expected to argue that the federal government has the authority to direct immigration policy and can exercise its discretion in deciding priorities for the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

“It is exclusively the domain of the federal government to decide who gets to stay and who gets to go,” said Angela Kelley, the executive vice president at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

President Obama’s November 2014 executive actions expanded and created programs deferring deportation for the undocumented parents of legal U.S. citizens and residents, and for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children.

The programs open up the opportunity for legal work permits but do not give applicants a path to permanent residency or citizenship.

Kelley said Obama’s executive actions build on decisions from past Democratic and Republican administrations to prioritize the deportation of undocumented immigrants with criminal histories rather than deporting undocumented children and immigrants with ties to the U.S.

Opponents say the Obama administration has not made a convincing constitutional argument for its actions.

“What the president is doing here is without historical precedent in the history of the country,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform. “You have one political party that is saying, 'We’re going to double down and exclude Congress, exclude the American people and not worry about what they’ve said about the rules.' ”

Obama said his 2014 actions directing immigration enforcement priorities were a result of Congress’ failure to act on immigration reform.

But Stein said a Supreme Court decision in favor of the federal government would disenfranchise Congress and the American people.

“All the states are trying to do is ask the federal government to carry out its obligations faithfully under the Constitution,” he said. “To say no one person can be a judge, a jury and also a lawmaker at the same time, as well as claim their actions are not reviewable.”

Earlier in the year, Congressional Republicans filed a brief with the Supreme Court supporting the lawsuits, writing “neither any immigration law now on the books, nor the Constitution empowers the executive to authorize, let alone facilitate, the prospective violation of those laws on a massive class-wide scale.”

Representatives for House Republicans will have 15 minutes on Monday to present oral arguments.

The absence of a ninth Supreme Court justice after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February could result in a split 4-4 decision that just decides the Texas lawsuit.

Only a majority decision of the Court can set a precedent so the other 25 lawsuits would work their way through lower state courts for individual decisions.

While the case hinges on interpretations of U.S. Constitutional law, Kelley said the human impact of a decision will be measured internationally.

“This is where we could really shine as a nation and show leadership at a time when the world is really grappling with what we do with undocumented populations and refugees,” she said.

The Supreme Court will announce the decision in June.


Battle for GOP delegates
focuses on technicalities


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Americans are increasingly focused on the mechanics of the presidential nominating system as Republicans confront the possibility that no candidate will have won an absolute majority of delegates to the party’s national convention in July.

That possibility was underscored Saturday when contender Rafael “Ted” Cruz won all 14 Republican delegates up for grabs at Wyoming’s state convention.

“We have got to unite. We have got to come together and stand as one,” the Texas senator said.

While both Democratic and Republican presidential contenders aim to win popular vote totals state-by-state, they are also wooing delegates who ultimately pick their party’s nominee at the convention.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump is heavily favored to win Tuesday’s primary in his home state of New York and boost his delegate lead.

“I’m right now millions of votes ahead of my closest rival, millions of votes,” the business mogul said at a recent campaign event. “You know, people don’t talk about votes anymore. They talk delegates. And by the way, I happen to be hundreds of delegates ahead, too.”

But Cruz is mounting an all-out effort to recruit delegates loyal to him and siphon as many away from Trump as possible.

Cruz traveled to Wyoming to appeal directly to the Republican state convention.

“We’ve got a slate of delegates who are committed to supporting me in Cleveland,” Cruz said. “If you don’t want to hand the general election to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to support the men and women on this slate.”

Trump is crying foul.

“So the system is rigged. It’s a bad system. It’s a dirty system,” Trump said. "The  bosses are picking the delegates, and it’s a very bad thing.”

Trump has hired veteran operatives to help him in the delegate fight.  But party officials reject Trump’s complaints about the delegate system.

“The system has been around for a long time,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “It was good enough for Abraham Lincoln. I think it’s good enough for whoever our nominee is going to be.”

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are also competing for delegates. But unless Sanders wins virtually all remaining states by wide margins, Mrs. Clinton is heavily favored to go to the Democratic National Convention with the delegate majority she will need to secure the nomination.

“I value every voter,” Mrs. Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “I’m not writing off any individual, and I’m certainly not writing off any state or region of our country.”

On the Republican side, should Trump fall short of an absolute majority, the votes of more than 100 uncommitted delegates will be key, as well as the loyalty of all delegates, many of whom can vote as they see fit if no nominee is chosen in the convention’s first round of balloting.


Nine more inmates leave
Guantanamo Bay facility

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nine Yemen nationals have been transferred to Saudi Arabia from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the Obama administration pushes to close the controversial facility despite strong opposition from congressional Republicans.

Television footage late Saturday showed the detainees, captured in the U.S.-led war on terror, arriving in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where they underwent medical exams and where a top Yemen official awaited their arrival.  Several detainees thanked the Saudi government for taking them in.

"We are looking to carry out a genuine program that gives them hope and a window into the future . . . part of this society, one that is based on peace," said Yemen Human Rights Minister Ezzeldin Al-Abahi.

The transfer, announced by the Pentagon earlier Saturday in Washington, came just weeks after President Barack Obama announced an accelerated plan to try to shutter the prison before he leaves office in January 2017. It also came days ahead of Obama's scheduled arrival in the Saudi capital for a summit of the six-nation security and economic forum known as the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The transfer followed extended negotiations with Saudi officials, who eventually agreed to take in the detainees and put them through a government-run rehabilitation program that seeks to reintegrate militants into society.

The Obama administration has ruled out sending Yemenis to their homeland because it is engulfed in civil war and has an active branch of al-Qaida.

Saturday's transferred prisoners included Tariq Ba Odah, a hunger-striking inmate whom the U.S. military began force-feeding in 2007.

At its peak, Guantanamo housed as many as 780 inmates. With the latest transfers, the Pentagon said the prison population now stands at 80.  The remaining prisoners include 26 detainees already cleared for release in the coming months by a U.S. government interagency task force.

Obama is seeking to make good on a 2008 campaign promise to close the facility, a vow that has met stiff opposition from Republicans both inside and outside the government.  Republican 2016 presidential hopefuls have vowed to send more terror suspects to the facility rather than close it.

Guantanamo is a U.S. naval base on the southeastern Cuban coast that former President George W. Bush designated as a prison for enemy combatants just months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The designation classified the detainees as unlawful combatants, who were not afforded legal protections under the Geneva Conventions.

Since then, the inmates' legal status has been challenged in numerous court cases.


Space probe near Saturn
captures interstellar dust

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Cassini space probe, which has been circling Saturn since 2004, has detected interstellar dust, according to a new study.

Cassini is equipped with a cosmic dust analyzer, which has sampled millions of ice-rich dust grains. According to NASA, the overwhelming majority of the millions of dust grains come from Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, which has been shown to have active jets spraying into space.

However, a mere 36 grains appear to come from interstellar space.

In the 1990s, NASA and the European Space Agency made the first observation of interstellar dust and determined its origins were in the local interstellar cloud, “a nearly empty bubble of gas and dust that our solar system is traveling through with a distinct direction and speed.”

"From that discovery, we always hoped we would be able to detect these interstellar interlopers at Saturn with Cassini. We knew that if we looked in the right direction, we should find them," said Nicolas Altobelli, Cassini project scientist at ESA, and lead author of the study. "Indeed, on average, we have captured a few of these dust grains per year, traveling at high speed and on a specific path quite different from that of the usual icy grains we collect around Saturn."

According to the study, the dust particles collected by Cassini were traveling at 72,000 kilometers per hour, which is fast enough to avoid being trapped inside the solar system by the gravity of the sun and its planets.

Unlike the discovery in the 90s, the Cassini probe was able to determine what the dust is made of. Researchers found that the particles were all similar and contained magnesium, silicon, iron and calcium in average cosmic abundance.

This is in contrast to the stardust found on some meteorites, which is “generally old, pristine and diverse in their composition.”

"Cosmic dust is produced when stars die, but with the vast range of types of stars in the universe, we naturally expected to encounter a huge range of dust types over the long period of our study," said Frank Postberg of the University of Heidelberg, a co-author of the paper and co-investigator of Cassini's dust analyzer.





Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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Rich Coast
                                  Rollover
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

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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8953-8/29/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Dorn Home
Beverly Hills Style House for Sale on Pacific Coast, Guanacaste

Lot of 2,866.33 square meters with three terraces, inside luxury house  property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000.   We have another extra large lot (next to the main property)  priced at $75,000.  For more information, please contact us: Emails:  stanleystephendorn@yahoo.com   or lyacmurillo27@yahoo.com    Call Lia or Stanley phones:  (506) 2653-6417 /   (506) 7079-6577.
8983-5/6/16

Grecia
                                  rollover
UNIQUE OFFER !!!!
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
FINANCING AVAILABLE !!!
 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
Email:

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

Lantz
                                      home
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: angelsdad@me.com

8972-6/15/16

San Rmon
                                  rollover
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!
8962-6/3/16

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
land
                                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: www.condojaco.com Contact: Frank condojaco1@gmail.com
8942-9/1/

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

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

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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A.M.
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 18, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 75
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Sometimes playing hooky is a good idea

You just woke up – mostly. Outside in the early morning sun the birds are singing, and there is a light breeze ruffling the curtains. You close your eyes and just breathe. Relaxed, but awake, you realize that the last thing

Victoria Torley
you want to do today is work in the garden. You don’t even want to get up, you just want to lie there and enjoy the breeze and the bird song. Maybe your other half could be persuaded to bring you a cup of coffee . . . .

But we remember the to do list. The fence needs to be repaired. That pile
of soil for the garden isn’t going to move itself. The tomatoes really need to go in the ground. And what about that ugly pile you promised to burn? No, there will be no spontaneous combustion.

Now you start to feel guilty, but not guilty enough to get out of bed, so you just hunker down and try to get back to sleep. But it’s not happening. It weighs on you – the perfect day for gardening, and gardening is the last thing you want to do.

It’s okay, relax. We all feel this way from time to time. We know there are things to do out there. Weeds to be pulled out, things to be watered, transplanting to be done. Gardening is endless. The garden is never perfect, never done. Lie back and listen to the birds for a while.

Gardening arouses a lot of emotions, good and bad. Tranquility as you garden in the shade with the brook dancing over rocks. Anger when you see that the leaf cutters have stripped the gardenia bush – again. The thrill of watching seedlings push through the soil after you thought the rain had washed them out. The frustration (“They said they’d deliver today”) when a project is being held up – again. And guilt. Yes, you promised to fix the shade cloth or transplant that tree, but, dang it, you just want to listen to the birds and maybe take a nice long walk . . . . 

That’s IT! A nice long walk! You shout to your spouse, “Honey? Remember that you wanted to go to (insert something nice – Rio Celeste, the chocolate tour, La Paz Waterfalls)? Let’s do that today!” That’s using the ol’ noodle! Your other half has been talking about that for weeks, and now you are going.

Forget the garden and the yard work for a day. You’ve earned a rest, but if it makes you feel better (?) you can be a little bit guilty all day long.

Plant of the Week

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ plant, is a great indoor plant up north and a great outdoor plant here in Costa Rica. Partial shade is a good spot for this slow grower as the sun can burn its leaves.

The ZZ takes little care and can get a meter tall.  Propagate by leaf cutting or by dividing the rhizomes, then share with friends.
zz plant
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/ Arenal-Gardeners/413220712106845.
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From Page 7:

Effort urged to avert world economic slowdown

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Financial officials from around the world are pledging a stronger effort to stimulate the sluggish economy.

In a communique issued Saturday, members of the International Monetary Fund said they would work toward strong, sustainable, job-rich and more balanced global growth.

The comments came as part of this week's meetings of the Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington. The top financial and economic officials called for continued low interest rates and additional government spending to boost growth.

They also called for financial reforms in many areas, including banking, and steps to make it harder to hide wealth from tax collectors in the wake of the Panamá Papers scandal.

Monetary Fund experts said the global economy was continuing to expand modestly, with an outlook that has weakened in recent months.  They warned that a significant slowdown in trade persisted. 

They also warned that falling commodity prices, including oil, had hurt exporters and had done less to help countries that import commodities than economists expected.

The head of the United Nations, meanwhile, said economic troubles, violence and hunger were creating a refugee crisis of epic proportions around the world.

In a Washington speech Saturday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said more than 60 million people had been forced to flee their homes because of conflict.

He urged member nations of the World Bank and Monetary Fund to support nations receiving vulnerable people and to counter xenophobic narratives. 

The U.N. chief said social and economic development in troubled nations was the long-term solution to refugee flows, but better organization, cooperation, funding and loans were needed in the meantime.