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Published Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 81
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Peace in Colombia expected to increase immigrants
By Rommel Téllez
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican officials expect a flood of Colombian ex-guerrillas and narcos once peace is reached in that country.

Ana Elena Chacón, second vice president of Costa Rica, said Monday that the amount of Colombian immigrants could increase due to a high number who know no other life but to grow and live off the drug business.

"These are people that need to be reinserted in the society under new behavior criteria, and that has a lot to do with the Colombian government's job." she said.

Peace talks in Colombia have been going on for more than three years now in Cuba promoted by the Manuel Santos presidency. Both the Fuerza Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia and the government still have differences on how to deal with the weapons of the insurgent groups and the possibility for members of both sides to be granted amnesty.

"When the amnesty is signed and people are able to go back to society, we know that there will be an immigrant population willing to come to the country. Let's not forget that we have a maritime common border with Colombia on the Limón side." Vice President Chacón said in an interview.

The vice president emphasized that the refugee status will only be granted to those whose lives are in danger and who commit to abide by the law.

"Any migrant population must arrive under the proper legal terms, and if they don´t agree, we will invite them to leave," she said.

Vice
                            President Chacon
A.M. Costa Rica/Rommel Téllez
Vice President Chacón
"However, we can't forget that the second immigrant group we have is the Colombian one." Vice President Chacón said.

Costa Rica with an estimated 25,000 Colombian refugees has received more

individuals from that country except for the
United States. Colombians in Costa Rica make up the second largest population of foreigners after Nicaraguans.

The arrivals have been continuing for at least 20 years as those displaced by fighting or threats leave their homeland.

But there have been problems. Among the refugees were members of the major rebel groups in Colombia who were setting up transportation shipments for drugs and weapons.

In 2006 investigators found a top rebel leader, Héctor Orlando Martínez Quinto, living the life of a simple fisherman in Puntarenas. Investigators have since attributed to him the organizing of the Costa Rican fishing fleet as an arm of rebel drug smugglers.

After his extradition, Martínez got 36 years and six months in prison for his leadership that resulted in what is called the massacre de Bojayá in 2002 when rebels brought mortar fire on a church where townspeople had gathered in the Choco province community in Colombia.

He presumably would be among those getting amnesty.

The Colombian connection was revealed further when $480,000 in aging dollar bills turned up in a professor's safe in Santa Bárbara de Heredia in 2008. Investigators here were following up on revelations from three computers taken from a top Colombian rebel commander killed during a raid in Ecuador.

Periodically there have been shootouts, sometimes between Colombian and Jamaican drug gangs. Colombians frequently are the intellectual authors of various drug gang operations.

Costa Rica and its Pacific Ocean are major illicit routes for Colombian drugs.

The United Nations estimates that there are a half million Colombians living as refugees in foreign countries after having been displaced by the war.


Teachers, health workers to begin two-day strike
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Teachers and health workers plan to stage a general strike today and tomorrow to underline demands made to the government.

The health workers’ union promised that critical care will continue without interruption.

The general strike is not to be confused with the traditional workers’ march Sunday, which is international labor day. That march is being organized by the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados. Although anyone can march to air their personal complaint, the public employees are protesting proposed legislation and also the possibility of more taxes.

The general strike today and Wednesday is organized by the Asociación Nacional de Educadores and Bloque Unitario Sindical y Social Costarricense, as well as the Unión

Nacional de Empleados de la Caja.

These unions, too, oppose government proposals to change the way salaries are computed and also other limits on remuneration. Another point of unhappiness is what is being called educación dual, which otherwise is known as cooperative education in which a student spends part of the time in class and then works in a job of interest.

The strike today is supposed to take place in the entire country and begin at 6 a.m.

President Luis Guillermo Solís issued a statement confirming the unions right to protest but warned against blocking streets. He also outlined projects that his administration has done.

Parents of public school children have been urged to keep their youngsters home today and Wednesday.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 81
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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.


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 Accountants

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Legal Notice
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Fire aftermath
Cuerpo de Bomberos photo
Investigators trudge through the remains of two homes.
 
Sunday blaze blamed on faulty wiring

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As expected the spectacular Sunday night blaze in Barrio Pitahaya has been attributed to faulty wiring.

The Cuerpos de Bomberos said that the blaze originated in a kitchen in one of the wood frame houses. The wiring there had been done by non-professionals and the lines had been stapled to a wooden wall. Slowly the wire became hot as the electricity was used, said a report.

No one was injured in the blaze that was in one of the city’s older neighborhoods with homes dating back to the 1940s.

Fire fighters managed to contain the blaze to the two homes despite flames shooting more than 100 feet into the air.

Wiring inside a home is not subject to inspection in the Central Valley, and the electrical companies only pay attention to the location of the meter and the wires coming to it. Even then bird nests of wire can be seen at many buildings where years of making do result in an electrical puzzle.



Dengue vaccine gets OK from experts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A French pharmaceutical firm reports that a panel of experts has recommended use of its dengue vaccine to the World Health Organization.

The firm is Sanofi Pasteur, which has been one of several firms trying to make a safe dengue vaccine.

The firm said that the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization has issued its recommendations on the use of Dengvaxia® dengue vaccine.

The expert panel advised that countries with high dengue transmission consider introduction of the dengue vaccine as part of an integrated disease prevention strategy including vector control to effectively lower their dengue cases, said the firm.

Successful introduction of dengue immunization alongside other prevention efforts should help vulnerable countries to achieve the World Health objectives to reduce dengue morbidity by 25 percent and mortality by 50 percent by 2020, said the firm.

The vaccine’s anticipated impact on dengue fever disease burden is expected to stem from its proven ability to prevent eight out of 10 dengue hospitalizations and up to 93 percent of severe dengue cases, including dengue hemorrhagic fever, in study participants 9 years and older, as demonstrated during 25 months of follow-up  studies, said the company.

The recommendations from the expert panel are based on the technical review of clinical data from 25 clinical studies conducted in 15 different endemic and non-endemic countries around the world, including more than 40,000 study participants, said the French firm.

As of March 2016, the vaccine was licensed in Mexico, The Philippines, Brazil and El Salvador, said the firm

Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccine is the culmination of over two decades of scientific innovation and collaboration, as well as 25 clinical studies in 15 countries around the world. Over 40,000 volunteers participated in the Sanofi Pasteur dengue vaccine development program, it added.


Friday is a holiday for some

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Día del Trabajo falls on a Sunday this year, so the U.S. Embassy will be taking off Friday, as will some other institutions.

Other workers have a holiday if they normally work Sundays or they are eligible for double time.

The traditional worker parade will be Sunday, as will the reorganization of the legislature. The political parties are negotiating to have some of their members in leadership positions.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 81
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Minister sees convention center as a tourism business generator
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although the contract for the long-awaiting government convention center in Heredia is expected to be awarded within days, the tourism minister admits that the project is not in itself sustainable. The minister is Mauricio Ventura, who inherited the project when he took office. He compared the convention center to a bridge.

“Convention Centers are not money-making machines,” he said. “I compare them to a bridge. The building of a bridge does not 

Ventura
A.M. Costa Rica/Rommel Téllez
Mauricio Ventura discusses the convention center.
provide profit by itself but helps connect one side to the other. In the same way, the convention center will connect business visitors to other tourism offers.”

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo is investing $23 million of money raised from tourists for the project.  The Banco de Costa Rica and Banco National are putting up $12 million. And the total price is estimated to be about $35 million.  Three bids for the job have come in around that figure.

The project has been in the works since at least 2011. Honduras, Panamá and Guatemala also are building convention centers, according to press reports there. The tourism industry is counting on the center to generate more hospitality business.

Unlike bridges, convention centers require marketing and management, qualities that are not well represented in Costa Rica. Ventura said that the tourism institute is seeking to hire an international firm with experience in sales, marketing and operating this kind of business.

Ventura declined to provide the name of the firm, but he said that it is Latin American.  The consulting group will start working along the institute in about four weeks.  The group will be in charge of positioning the Costa Rica brand in international market.

The institute also is looking for the convention center to beef up the industry with business visitors in the low season.

The site is in Barreal de Heredia along the General Cañas autopista.  Plans call for a facility that will hold 4,500 persons.

              

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Croc's Easter special

Guanacaste Lodge

Palermo Hotel

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La
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Recreo
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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Amount of plastic floating in oceans said to be grossly underestimated
By the University of Delaware news staff

New research provides evidence that the amount of plastic in the marine environment may be greater than previously thought.

A 2015 paper published in Science estimates that anywhere from 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic were dumped into the ocean in 2010 alone. One metric ton equals approximately 2,200 pounds.

But University of Delaware physical oceanographer Tobias Kukulka suggests that this estimate might be low.

Plastic in the ocean becomes brittle over time and breaks into tiny fragments. Slightly buoyant, these microplastics often drift at the surface where they can be mistaken for food by birds, fish or other marine wildlife. Microplastics have turned up in the deep ocean and in Arctic ice, too.

“You have stuff that’s potentially poisonous in the ocean and there is some indication that it’s harmful to the environment, but scientists don’t really understand the scope of this problem yet,” explains Kukulka, an expert on ocean waves and currents.

One technique scientists use to try and quantify how much plastic is in the marine environment is to drag a tow net over the surface for a few miles in one of the world’s five ocean gyres, then count the number of plastic fragments. This number is then used to calculate a concentration considered representative of the amount of plastic in the area.

But Kukulka isn’t so sure this method provides an accurate picture of what’s happening.

“My research has shown that ocean turbulence actually mixes plastics and other pollutants down into the water column despite their buoyancy,” Kukulka said. “This means that surface measurements could be wildly off and the concentration of plastic in the marine environment may be significantly higher than we thought.”

Working with collaborators at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and University of Washington, Kukulka used computer modeling to look at the effect that waves, and heating or cooling the ocean surface, had on where in the water plastic was found.

The study findings provided evidence that turbulence from waves and currents plays a critical role in whether plastics stay at the surface or get mixed deeper into the ocean. Surface heating from the atmosphere, due to seasonality, latitude or night/day cycles, also has a significant effect.

In the summer, for example, strong surface heating by the sun warms up the ocean’s top layer, decreasing the water’s density and trapping the plastic at the surface. When the surface
plastic bag
University of Delaware photo
A decaying plastic bag looks like a jellyfish and frequently is mistaken by sea turtles that feed on those free-swimming marine creatures.

cooled, the water density increased and caused the plastic to sink into the water column.

“If we really want to go after this problem and quantify the amount of plastics in the ocean and think about distribution and impact, then we need to keep in mind that turbulence is influenced by heating and, therefore, the distribution of plastics is too,” Kukulka said.

Comparing model results to actual field observations by his colleagues from the subtropical Atlantic gyre, Kukulka corrected the surface measurements taking into account turbulence models and mixing processes, revealing new measurements that are significantly higher.

While the research team’s findings shed new light on the growing plastics problem, Kukulka said the research also can be applied to oil and other pollutants, even to the distribution of nutrients in the water and phytoplankton, ocean drifters that form the base of the marine food web.

“Broadly, these plastic pieces can be used as a physical tracer to help answer bigger questions about ocean processes and their implications for other ocean pollutants,” he said.

The team reported its findings in the March issue of the Journal of Physical Oceanography, a publication of the American Meteorological Society.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


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Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

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rollover
Beautiful House Inside Gated Farm for Rent
House inside gated farm. Two bedroom, One bath fully-furnished. Close to town in Santa Barbara de Heredia.  $650 includes:  Internet, Wifi, Cable TV, Water, Electric.  Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives onsite, quiet, secure.  More information to my email: organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
8959-5/8/12686

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

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

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.
8998-7/18/16




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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 81
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Opinion
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Axiom new ad

Iran threatens to sue U.S.
over survivor compensation


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Iran has threatened legal action against the United States if $2 billion in frozen funds are diverted to compensate American families of people killed by Tehran-sponsored terrorism.

"We hold the U.S. government responsible for protecting our funds," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. "If our funds are illegally accessed, we will surely claim damages from the American government at an appropriate time."

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 2012 law concerning the distribution of the funds.  The court's ruling directly affects more than 1,300 relatives of victims, some who have been seeking compensation for more than 30 years.
      
Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said that the court's ruling is consistent with international norms and conventions.

"The U.S. law is indeed at the edge of international practice," he said. "Courts have increasingly gotten involved in what were thought to be politically off-bounds areas. This is not universally practiced, but the U.S. law is not unique."

The ruling awards damages to the relatives of 241 Marines killed in a 1983 terrorist attack in Beirut, 19 U.S. military troops killed in the 1996 Khobar Towers truck bombing in Saudi Arabia and other attacks.

Iran, which is linked to the militant group Hezbollah, denies any involvement in the attacks and has said it had no role in the deadly events in the Lebanese capital.


Millennials lack confidence
in U.S. systems, poll shows

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Millennials lack confidence in the U.S. justice system and distrust the mainstream media, according to a recent Harvard Institute of Politics poll published Monday.

Nearly 47 percent of the 3,183 interviewed indicated they have no or not much confidence in the justice system’s ability to judge people without bias for race and ethnicity. Young Americans ages 18 to 29 were surveyed between March 18 and April 3.

Broken down by race, a majority of African Americans (59 percent) and Hispanics (52 percent) said they are not confident the U.S. judicial system judges without bias. Among whites the figure is 42 percent.

These results come after the White House announced on Friday that 53 police departments across the United States have committed to an initiative designed to make local policing more transparent.

The White House had said the commitments represent concrete steps toward building trust in local communities between citizens and police, and are indicative of a larger shift in the culture of community policing.

Harvard polling director John Della Volpe said millennials are deeply concerned about the “very nature of the way we are organized as a country, and they want to be treated fairly.”

Sonya Jacobs, student chairwoman of the Harvard Public Opinion Project, said poll organizers decided to add questions about the U.S. justice system after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, a national movement of street protests that began after the 2012 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida during a street altercation with a mixed race Hispanic man.

Young Americans also distrust the mainstream media. Only 2 percent of those polled trust the media all of the time and 7 percent most of the time.

When compared to other areas of government, the U.S. military got the highest level of trust among millennials with 51 percent agreeing the military often does the right thing.  Less than half of millennials have a high level of trust for President Barack Obama and the U.S. Supreme Court, with Obama at 40 percent and the high court at 39 percent. Only 18 percent of millennials trust Congress all or most of the time.
 
The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.


Feds plan to create path
for re-entering inmates


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department says it will start providing an individualized life skills and job training program for the more than 40,000 convicts being released each year from federal prisons in hope of smoothing their re-entry into society. The convicts are being called judicially involved persons.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is announcing the plan as part of the U.S. effort to overhaul a two-decade-old sentencing law that led to mass incarceration of many offenders and now is widely viewed as discriminatory against blacks and other minorities.

Numerous government officials and lawmakers are calling for more lenient sentences and treatment of non-violent offenders at halfway houses and in other government programs, rather than putting them behind bars.

The personalized plan for exiting prisoners would include an educational road map and job training, along with substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Ms. Lynch urged the country's governors to make it easier for convicted felons leaving prison to get state-issued identification cards to ease their transition into life outside prison walls, saying it would help them obtain a driver's license.

"The long-term impact of a criminal record prevents many people from obtaining employment, housing, higher education and credit," Ms. Lynch said, "and these barriers affect returning individuals, even if they have turned their lives around and are unlikely to reoffend."

At the White House, experts analyzed the effects of mass incarceration in the United States.

Todd Cox of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, claimed that a third of Americans have some sort of criminal record and that half of U.S. children have at least one parent who has been convicted.

Other officials called for revision of the 1994 law that led to the mass incarceration in the United States.  Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called for revisions, but disagreements remain in Congress on how to shape the changes.


Court upholds suspension
in case of Patriot’s Tom Brady


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Star National Football League quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has had his four-game suspension reinstated by a U.S. Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel voted 2-1 Monday.

A case that has stretched out over 15 months could continue because the NFL Players Association can appeal to the full appeals court, which includes 13 active judges.

Brady, one of the league's marquee players, was first handed the four-game suspension by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for an incident popularly known as Deflategate. Brady was accused of being generally aware of a plot to have underinflated footballs for use in a key playoff game in January 2015, allegedly so the ball would be easier to grip and throw.

Brady has consistently denied the charges, and his legal team was able to keep him on the field for the entire 2015-16 season after fighting the commissioner's ruling.

Monday, however, the appeals court ruled Goodell properly exercised his power to levy the suspension under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.

The Patriots said they are disappointed, but not surprised, by the ruling. Brady does not appear ready to accept the court's decision, preferring to fight for his legacy. He is a four-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player.

It was the chief judge of the appeals court who gave the dissenting opinion on the case. Robert Katzman wrote, in part, "This breach of the limits on the commissioner's authority is exacerbated by the unprecedented and virtually unexplained nature of the penalty imposed."

Critics of the assessed penalty don't believe Goodell had enough evidence. In fact, last September, when a U.S. District Court judge overturned the four-game suspension that permitted Brady to start the season on the field, he wrote, "Commissioner Goodell may be said to have dispensed his own brand of industrial justice.'"

The NFL said it was pleased with Monday's court ruling, saying in a statement that the commissioner's authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association for the past 40 years.


Climate deal moving quickly
with more countries aboard

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

White House officials say at least 34 countries have either signed or committed to join the recent climate change deal, putting the agreement on a much faster trajectory.

"We are within striking distance of the deal coming into force," said Brian Deese, senior advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama.

He said the countries that have committed to the climate change deal reached in Paris in December now represent 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement will go into force when 55 countries ratify the deal, and when those countries that have joined also account for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

"It now looks like we are on a much faster trajectory," said Jonathan Pershing, U.S. special envoy for climate change. He told reporters during a conference call Monday that there is a political momentum driving things forward.

Deese said the earlier the climate agreement becomes effective, the greater the momentum will be for countries to implement the deal and for other nations to sign on.

The climate deal was unveiled Friday at the United Nations, where top officials from more than 130 countries gathered.

The target date for the deal is 2020. But if enough countries ratify, officials say the agreement could enter into force much sooner — this year or early 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the agreement as powerful, in his remarks at the United Nations before the United States signed the deal on Friday. U.S. lawmakers still need to ratify the deal before the United States can officially be a signatory.

The agreement works to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C. It also lays out a road map for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of a warming planet.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the Paris accord as a turning point in the world's response to climate change.

Many of the countries that have already signed the deal are small island states, which are most threatened by warming oceans and rising sea levels.

The climate change deal calls for developed countries to reach national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years, while developing nations are encouraged to do so.

There is no penalty for countries that miss their emissions targets, but the agreement has transparency rules to encourage countries to follow through. The deal also calls for wealthy countries to continue to offer financial support to help poor countries reduce their emissions.


Terrorists in The Philippines
behead Canadian hostage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed the beheading of a Canadian taken hostage in the southern Philippines last year and held for a $21 million ransom by al Qaida-linked militants.

Trudeau, speaking Monday, voiced outrage at the killing of retiree John Ridsdel, calling it an "unnecessary death . . . an act of cold-blooded murder."

Ridsdel was one of two Canadian nationals seized along with a Norwegian resort manager in September at a marina on the southern island of Mindanao. Weeks later, Abu Sayyaf gunmen released a video of their hostages, demanding $21 million each for their release.

The captives were seen on camera begging for their lives. The most recent video showed Ridsdel saying he would be killed April 25 if the ransom were not paid.

Trudeau's comments came hours after police on Jolo island, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold, said two unidentified people on a motorbike dropped a severed head wrapped in plastic near a government facility.

There was no word on the fate of the remaining hostages.

On April 8, government forces seeking to free hostages engaged Abu Sayyaf militants in an hours-long firefight in nearby Basilan province. A military statement said 18 soldiers were killed and more than 50 others wounded in the battle, along with at least five militants.

There was no word at that time about the hostages, and it was not clear whether Ridsdel was among them.

Abu Sayyaf, a splinter group of the now-disbanded Moro Islamic Front, was founded in 1991 with funding from al-Qaida. It has been designated a terrorist group by the United Nations, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The United Arab Emirates, Britain and the United States also have classified Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization.

Its current leader, Isnilon Totoni Hapilon, swore allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014.


Kerry deplores the murder
of gay embassy employee

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned the murder of Bangladeshi gay rights activist Xulhaz Mannan, who was an employee of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka.

Kerry said in a statement late Monday: "We are profoundly saddened by the loss of one of our own in such a senseless act of violence." He also said Xulhaz "embodied the spirit of the people of Bangladesh and the pride with which they guard their traditions of tolerance, peace, and diversity."

USAID official Mannan, who also worked as a protocol officer in the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, was at his home with his friend, Tanay Mojumdar, when five attackers arrived, disguised as couriers and pounced on them with machetes.

Mannan, 35, who was the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban, and fellow gay rights activist and theater worker Mojumdar, 26, died on the spot. 

Although police have not identified the attackers, Asaduzzaman Mia, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said it was a case of target killing.

“We have collected important evidence from the spot. We shall be able to identify the killers soon before they are arrested. …Some militants might have been behind today’s killings,” Mia said Monday.

In Bangladesh, where more than 90 percent of the country’s 160 million population is Muslim, several Islamist groups have long resorted to protests and agitation over issues they say threaten Islam.

They have called for the execution of atheist bloggers, and since 2013, five bloggers and one publisher have been hacked to death in Bangladesh. Police blame Ansarullah Bangla Team, a local hardline Islamist group, for the killings.


Trump ridicules rivals’ plan
for lessening his victories


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. billionaire Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, ridiculed his two rivals' joint effort to derail his campaign Monday, calling it a horrible act of desperation.

Trump's challengers, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, announced a plan late Sunday to try to deny the brash Trump, who has never held elective office, from winning the nomination on the first ballot at the party's July national convention, in hopes convention delegates will pick them on a subsequent ballot.

Kasich said he would stop campaigning in the midwestern state of Indiana, where Republicans vote in a nominating contest May 3, to give Cruz a better shot of winning there against Trump.

Meanwhile, Cruz agreed to halt his efforts in two western states, Oregon, which votes May 17, and New Mexico, with voting on June 7, to give Kasich more room to fight Trump for convention delegates in those states. Both Cruz and Kasich said they would continue to campaign against each other and Trump in other states.

Trump derided the Cruz-Kasich effort, saying, "It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for 10 months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination."

He said the two candidates' coordination to block him would often be illegal in corporate transactions."This horrible act of desperation from two campaigns who have totally failed, makes me even more determined, for the good of the Republican Party and our country, to prevail," he said.

Cruz said going head-to-head against Trump in Indiana, a conservative state with both rural expanses and industrial centers, will help voters there decide and also is "good for the country to have a clear and direct choice."

Kasich gave a mixed message about the coordination with Cruz, saying he would not spend resources in Indiana, but still called for people there to vote for him.

The Cruz-Kasich strategy signals a marked shift for Cruz, who has previously rejected overtures to join with Kasich to try to block Trump. The New York developer holds a commanding lead in convention delegates over both of his challengers, but is not yet assured of winning a majority of convention delegates before the quadrennial gathering starts.

Cruz has repeatedly called for Kasich to drop out, saying he was a spoiler in the race, winning votes and a handful of delegates that were denying Cruz a chance for a head-to-head faceoff with Trump.

Cruz, a conservative agitator against both Democratic and Republican leaders in Washington, has acknowledged that he cannot win the nomination on the first ballot, but says Trump, a one-time television reality show host, also won't reach the majority of 1,237 convention delegates needed to claim the nomination on the first round of voting. As its stands now, Trump has 845 pledged delegates on the first ballot, Cruz 559, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who dropped out of the race a month ago, 171, and Kasich 148.

Trump, if he does well in the 15 remaining state nominating contests, could reach the 1,237 figure. He swept to victory in his home state of New York last week and is a heavy favorite over Cruz and Kasich in all five primaries scheduled Tuesday in five northeastern states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

U.S. political analysts view the vote in Indiana, a conservative state with both rural expanses and industrial centers, as another crucial step in deciding the outcome of the Republican nomination race. Pre-election surveys show Trump with a single-digit percentage lead over Cruz, but the outcome could tip with Kasich's withdrawal from the state, assuming his supporters don't stay home and actually switch their votes to Cruz rather than Trump.

Trump scoffed at both the Cruz and Kasich campaigns, saying that about 80 percent of the Republican voters have rejected Cruz and noting that Kasich has only won in Ohio, the Midwestern state he governs, while losing dozens of other contests.

The eventual Republican nominee is likely to face the Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the November national election to pick a successor to President Barack Obama, who leaves office in January. Mrs. Clinton, seeking to become the first female U.S. president, holds a significant lead in Democratic convention delegates over her sole challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but has yet to seize a majority to claim the party's nomination.

Mrs. Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, is favored in the Tuesday voting in all five states.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

SellATimeshare.com
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at SellATimeshare.com. 
9004-4/26/17

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

Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090
OUR EMAIL: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com

VISIT OUR WEB: www.CR-Solar.com

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

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

8935-2/7/17

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

Axiom one

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

Click
HERE!
Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
Click HERE!

Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

AXIOM DEVELOPMENT GROUP SRL
Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579
sales@axiomcostarica.com
www.axiomcostarica.com
8906-2/21/16


Rich Coast
                                  Rollover
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.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
8953-8/29/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email: Jsaba00@hotmail.com.
8997-6/22/16
paco two

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: grantchy@yahoo.com For more photos and info click HERE!
8996-7/20/16

anothiner


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

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 81
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
highway work
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
This job is to replace concrete on Ruta 18 between Limonal and the Puente de La Amistad. The road surface started cracking. The job is expected to take a month, said road officials


Government cites economic recovery

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial, perhaps as a prelude to the president’s state of the state speech next Monday, said that economic growth has allowed Costa Ricans to recover their confidence.

The government announcement Monday stopped short of taking credit for the economic growth, which is said was 1.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, 3.7 percent in 2014 and 3.7 percent in 2015. It said that the Banco Central estimated that 2016 would end with 4.3 percent growth.

The announcement based its statistics on the monthly index of economic activity.

Casa Presidencial also said that the government has instituted a new system to stabilize the exchange rate with the U.S. dollar. The exchange has been about 530 colons to the dollar for more than a year.

The announcement also said that the economy added 13,000 new jobs. The consumer confidence index done monthly by the Escuela de Estadística of the Universidad de Costa Rica had reached 39.7 points compared to the previous six months where the index was 31.6.

President Luis Guillermo Solis will make his annual speech to lawmakers and diplomats Monday. Such speeches usually are optimistic.


Trafficking continues at southern border

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Human trafficking appears to be big business at the country’s southern border.

Fuerza Public officers said they detained one man in Paso Canoas after four Africans identified him as a trafficker. Police said the man made a deal for $500 to bring the Africans to Honduras after getting them into Costa Rica illegally in his taxi. But when the man spotted police, he told his passengers to scatter.

When they sought to have their money returned, he declined, so they filed a complaint, said police.

In another case, the Fuerza Pública said a man offered 600,000 colons, more than $1,000, to officers at the control post in Sabanilla de Coto Brus in exchange for allowing him to bring through a group of foreigners. Police declined to accept the money and detained the man, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

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From Page 7:

U.S. new home sales weaker in Midwest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sales of new homes in the United States fell unexpectedly in March, but the decline was limited to the Midwest, suggesting the housing market recovery remains intact and in contrast to a broadly weak economy.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reports new home sales fell 1.5 percent last month, the third consecutive month they have declined.  New home sales fell to a seasonally-adjusted 511,000 units, short of the 520,000 predicted by economists.

The report comes on the heels of last week's National Association of Realtors report that existing home sales in March rebounded by a greater-than-expected 5.1 percent, with increases seen in all four major regions of the United States.

Despite lagging sales of new homes, analysts remain optimistic about the housing market.  Monthly sales figures can be volatile, but economists say new home sales are trending higher over longer periods.

The U.S. financial markets did not appear to react to the new home sales data, as investors remain on the sidelines in anticipation of the Federal Reserve Board's policy meeting today and Wednesday.

Concerned about the strength of the overall U.S. economy, the Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged after raising them from record lows in December, its first interest rate hike in nearly a decade.