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Published Thursday, April 28, 2016, inVol. 17, No. 83
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Electric car buyers would get a big break with this bill
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A plan to encourage ownership of electric vehicles eliminates taxes, import fees and even the annual road tax.

The measure, No. 19,744, won approval in the  Comisión de Gobierno y Administración and now is headed to the full legislature.

The measure also provides incentives for setting up a network of recharging stations for electric vehicles and hybrids.

The proposal is designed to decrease the use of fossil fuels. Although some countries use petroleum or coal to generate electricity, Costa Rica mainly uses hydro power.

A legislative summary said that the metro area is just 4 percent of the nation’s territory but it has 75 percent of the vehicles.

If passed, the bill would eliminate 100 percent of sales tax, 100 percent of consumption tax and the 1 percent tax that usually is collected by the customs agency when an item is imported into the country.

In addition, the bill would eliminate the road tax or marchamo for five years although an electric vehicle owner would have to pay the obligatory insurance and for any traffic fines. Drivers also would not have to respect the law that restricts vehicles from entering the capital one day a week. There is a chance that electric vehicles would be spared paying at parking meter fees, too, said a summary prepared by the Partido Acción Ciudadana.

Electric vehicle owners also would not have to pay tax on certain repair parts.

The government would be obligated to replace 10 percent of its vehicles with electric ones and banks would be urged to set up special financing plans.

Electric utilities would be mandated to establish recharging stations in each province and there are requirements for such stations on national and local highways.

The action follows by a day a similar committee approval to empower the state rail agency to borrow up to $408 million to pay for electrifying the valley line.

An A.M. Costa Rica review
Duolingo turns out to be a fine language teacher
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The education ministry has selected the online language program Duolingo for use by students here. The ministry language staff appear to have made a good choice.

A two-week trial run of Duolingo shows that the five-year-old program is a good teacher.

Most Costa Rican students will want to improve their English skills or perhaps abilities in French or German.

Reporters chose Spanish and Russian, both languages in which they had been trained, to assess Duolingo. Both said that the preliminary run included words and phrases that they did not know previously even at the elementary level.

The Duolingo Web site provides free training in 23 languages with many others in beta. One could learn Welsh, Turkish or esperanto at a computer or on a smartphone in Costa Rica.

Those who select a language are given the option of testing out of basics with a placement test. Otherwise they must start at the very beginning, which usually is the alphabet and the sounds of letters.

Duolingo can be demanding. Those who fail to sign on to the site by late evening each day can expect an email reminder. And the program will not allow a learner to progress until questions

are answered correctly. And there is reading, writing and oral exercises with immediate feedback.

The Web site also contains areas where the finer points of vocabulary or grammar can be discussed.

The program may be addictive. Some users have icons that show they are learning five or even 10 languages at once. One student bragged in a discussion site that he had completed 100 days straight of online classes.

The sessions are short, and someone could decide to spend just 10 or 15 minutes a day.

Duolingo says crowdsourcing pioneer Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker created it. With over 100 million users, Duolingo says it is the most popular way to learn languages online in only two years, it said. Among the options is a language certification in English that is accepted by some educational institutions.

Test takers have to do so on camera for the full length of the test.

The program is available on the Web and on various mobile devices, such as Android, iOS and Windows Phone, the firm said.

And yes, it really is free. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, firm is supported by multi-million dollar grants including some from Google.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 83
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Real estate agents and services


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Legal Notice
The State of Utah To:  Richard Lydenberg you are summoned and required to file an answer in writing to the Petition of Divorce filed in the case number: 164900117 within 30 days after the last day of publication, which is May 26, 2016, you must file your answer with the clerk of the court at: Third Judicial District Court of Salt Lake County, State of Utah, 450 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84114 and serve a copy of your answer to the Petitioner, if you fail to file and serve your answer on time, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the Petition. The Petition is on file with the clerk of the court. You can obtain a copy of the Petition by requesting one from the clerk of the court.
drug tank
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Anti-drug police said they found 1,450 kilos of cocaine inside this underground tank after they raided a property in Miramar, Montes de Oro, Puntarenas. Two persons were detained there.

Business leader rejects salary hike idea

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The loss of thousand of jobs and a negative impact in formal employment. These are the two main concerns for employers in response to an initiative that seeks to double minimum salaries through a referendum.

According to Ronald Jiménez, president of Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado, the whole idea is an act of irresponsibility that is impossible to comply with.
“Unions are planning something that will leave families without their income. Thousands will be fired. Salaries are to be set on technical grounds and for that we have the Consejo Nacional de Salarios.” he said.

Right now, minimum wages are determined by the consejo with representatives from the government, unions and employers debating the amounts every six months. The adjustment is mainly based on accrued inflation.

However, unions plan to collect enough signatures to call for a popular approval of the so called Vital minimum salary bill, which would grant unskilled private workers with a basic income to meet the needs in housing, food, education and other aspects.

“If the referendum actually takes place, I'm hopeful that Costa Ricans will understand that, though it looks like a really beautiful idea, in reality it is a very bad one. We can not afford salary increases in a country where the inflation remains at zero. No one can.” Jiménez said.

According to Jiménez, salaries should be calculated in the same way they have been so far.

Our reader’s opinion
Doubling wage means unemployment

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

My husband and I own a small hobby farm in an area of high unemployment. We pay our worker slightly more than minimum wage and of course, we pay his social benefits. Our worker supports his wife and children, lives in his own house, has no debts and is able to put away a small sum in the bank every year.

Since he started working for us (about 5 to 6 years ago) the cost of his social benefits has nearly doubled.  If this referendum is passed, we will have to terminate his employment. We simply will not be able to afford him.  He will be unemployed and the only jobs occasionally available are cutting cane or picking coffee (which pay less than the minimum wage of salaried workers).

Doubling the minimum wage will mean higher unemployment.  Another ramification of such a wage increase is that prices for everything will increase. Please don’t support this dangerous idea.
Desiree Wyant
Tuis, Turrialba

Online freedom conference in October

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica will host a conference of the Freedom Online Coalition Oct. 17 and 18.

The organization involves 29 countries that support the concept that the  human rights people have offline also apply online.

Manuel González, the Costa Rican foreign minister, is the chairman this year of the coalition.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 83
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Colorado experts predict an average 2016 Atlantic hurricane season
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Colorado State University hurricane center predicts an average season this year with 13 named storms in the Atlantic.

The center predicts six hurricanes with two of them expected to be major.

The center at the Department of Atmospheric Science at the university said there is a 40 percent chance of a major Caribbean hurricane.

The experts, Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, said that the current weakening of El Niño is likely to change to either a neutral or a La Niña condition by the peak of the hurricane season.

The tropical Atlantic, they said, is relatively warm and the North Atlantic is quite cold. The cold creates conditions that are not conducive to the formation of hurricanes and their intensification, they said.

The forecast is based on 29 years of data. The Atlantic already had one hurricane this year, Alex, which took place in January. That was unusual because the hurricane season usually is considered to be from June 1 to Nov. 30.

However, the experts note that hurricanes can happen at any time.

The 2015 hurricane season was abnormally low, perhaps due
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration photo
Hurricanes Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena, all major hurricanes, are seen in this unusual photo from space Aug. 30 in the  central and eastern Pacific.

to El Niño. There were just four hurricanes, and two of them were major.

Costa Rica has seen very few hurricanes in historic times, but the backlash from many have caused major flooding and other problems, particularly in the western part of the country.

The eastern north Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through Nov. 30, and last year was the second most active season on record with 16 hurricanes.  Typically the storms head northwest, although some can touch México.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has yet to make a prediction.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 83
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More carbon dioxide gives a big boost to planet's plant life, study says
By the National Areonautics and Space Administration
 news staff

From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth.

Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth.

However, carbon dioxide fertilization isn’t the only cause of increased plant growth. Nitrogen, land cover change and climate change by way of global temperature, precipitation and sunlight changes all contribute to the greening effect, said researchers. To determine the extent of carbon dioxide’s contribution, researchers ran the data for carbon dioxide and each of the other variables in isolation through several computer models that mimic the plant growth observed in the satellite data.

Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect, said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. “The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. So we see what an outsized role CO2 plays in this process.”

green earth
Boston University/R. Myneni
This image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982 to 2015. Green areas are where vegetation increased. Red areas are where vegetation decreased.

About 85 percent of Earth’s ice-free lands is covered by vegetation. The area covered by all the green leaves on Earth is equal to, on average, 32 percent of Earth’s total surface area, oceans, lands and permanent ice sheets combined.

The extent of the greening over the past 35 years “has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said lead author Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from Peking University, China, who did the first half of this study with Myneni as a visiting scholar at Boston University.

Every year, about half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere from human activities remains temporarily stored, in about equal parts, in the oceans and plants.

“While our study did not address the connection between greening and carbon storage in plants, other studies have reported an increasing carbon sink on land since the 1980s, which is entirely consistent with the idea of a greening Earth,” said co-author Shilong Piao of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences at Peking University.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

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:   
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.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
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Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877

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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

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Real estate-related services (paid category)
SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
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Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090


Real estate rentals (paid category)

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:

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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:

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 or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

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

                                              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.

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:  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 83
Real Estate
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Axiom new ad

Woman reporters recount
woes of working overseas

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Arzu Geybullayeva was a correspondent for Agos, an Armenian bilingual weekly newspaper published in Istanbul, in 2014 when she faced an ugly campaign from the Azerbaijani government to hurt her credibility with the Azerbaijani people.

Authorities called her a traitor because the government was not happy with her critical reporting.

"I was doing a lot of work with Armenians at the time,” she said. “I was co-directing a small not-for-profit organization that did dialogue programs between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. But the funny thing is, when I was called a traitor and they made an enemy of the state out of me, they never mentioned anything about my critical reporting. They always mentioned my Armenian link and how I was writing for an Armenian paper in Istanbul . . . and I was selling government secrets."

This, Ms. Geybullayeva said, is still a very common method to discredit journalists in Azerbaijan.

"It's the easiest way to get public support, because we are in a war with Armenia and there are a lot of people who are fed propaganda," she added.

Her story is included in a new book released by the Committee to Protect Journalists. It brings together essays from female journalists who shared stories about the threats and online abuse they faced while reporting.

For the launching of the committee’s annual Attacks on the Press, a panel discussion was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where four journalists told their stories of sexual violence, online harassment and gender-based discrimination.

Board Chairwoman Sandy Rowe said this edition is a different approach because the committee decided to focus on the intersection of gender and press freedom.

The need for a book like this, Ms. Rowe said, became apparent five years ago when Lara Logan, a CBS correspondent, was sexually assaulted while covering Arab Spring protests in Egypt.

"Five years later, I can tell you that the landscape is better in some ways, and in some ways, it's worse," Ms. Rowe said.

Although words can change the world, Ms. Rowe said, they can also do tremendous harm. She points to the damage caused by internet trolls who target female reporters for abuse that includes threats of physical and sexual violence.

"I think online — we've seen time and time again — women are subject to so much more abuse online as a foreign correspondent. Really, as a freelancing correspondent, I'm aware that any place in the world, the situation can turn for me," said Molly McCluskey, a freelance foreign correspondent.

Ms. McCluskey has been stalked and harassed even for neutral stories such as those that give financial advice. She is now very selective about where she goes around the world to do reporting.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, platforms like Twitter allow anonymity or pseudo-anonymity for predators while Facebook prohibits anonymity, or makes it more difficult.

The women suggested solutions to resolve some of these issues, such as having managers in the newsroom who can offer better support, or even a policy change that could address online anonymity.

Ms. Logan, who attended the discussion, said she knew her story needed to be told. The CBS correspondent endured at least 25 minutes of brutal sexual assault and beating by a mob the day Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power.

An Egyptian doctor who treated her after she was safely taken to a hotel refused to listen to what had happened at Cairo's Tahrir Square.

"I wanted to tell him what happened to me, and he didn't want to know cause that was more than he could process. And he just kept saying to me, ‘Stop talking. You're lucky to be alive,' " she said.

No one would look at her. No one would talk to her. At that moment, she said, "I felt like I disappeared."

Cruz names Carly Fiorina
as his vice presidential pick

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Struggling U.S. presidential candidate Rafael “Ted” Cruz has picked the former computer technology executive and ex-foe, Carly Fiorina, for the nomination as his vice presidential running mate.

Cruz, who trails Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination, called her an extraordinary leader who has the experience and intelligence to take over the presidency if necessary.

Ms. Fiorina once headed the computer giant Hewlett-Packard before being ousted in a corporate boardroom shakeup.

She ran for the Republican nomination and appeared in a number of debates before dropping out of the race in February after winning little support from voters. After Cruz announced her as his running mate, she said she was "proud, humbled and honored" to accept.

Candidates usually wait until their party conventions before naming a vice presidential running mate.

But Cruz, who has no mathematical chance of catching Trump in the delegate count, has vowed to stop Trump from securing the nomination at July's Republican convention.

He is looking toward a deadlocked convention, and hopes that having Fiorina already on his team would help him win the nomination on a second or third ballot.

Trump mocked Cruz for choosing a running mate so early. He said the Texas senator "doesn't even have a chance" of winning the nomination.

Trump rips foreign policy
of Mrs. Clinton and Obama

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Donald Trump, the leading U.S. Republican presidential contender, called Wednesday for sharp changes in U.S. foreign policy to put American interests first, claiming that currently it "is a complete and total disaster."

Trump, a one-time television reality show host who has never held elective office, had not previously laid out his foreign policy goals in a comprehensive way. But in a 38-minute speech at a Washington hotel, he attacked President Barack Obama's handling of U.S. foreign affairs and decisions made by his one-time top diplomat, former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton is the likely Democratic presidential candidate who would face Trump if he is the Republican nominee in November's national election.

Trump charged that Obama and Mrs. Clinton have overseen a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy. He said there is no vision, no purpose, no direction, no strategy.

The White House immediately dismissed Trump's broadside, saying that the United States is safer and stronger than when Obama took office in 2009.

Trump also blamed, without naming him, the policies of President George W. Bush that led to the years-long war in Iraq after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Trump, a billionaire who is closing in on the Republican presidential nomination but has yet to clinch it, said that U.S. mistakes in the Mideast "began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western democracy. We tore up what institutions they had, and then we were surprised at what we had unleashed: civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans just killed, lives, lives, lives wasted, horribly wasted."

He vowed that if he is elected president and replaces Obama when the president leaves office in January he would destroy Islamic State insurgents in the Mideast, referring to them by one of their acronyms, ISIS.

"ISIS will be gone," Trump said. "ISIS will be gone very, very quickly." 

Trump said he is the only U.S. presidential candidate who knows how to improve the country's chronic trade deficit. He said U.S. rivals don't take us seriously, mocking the fact that foreign leaders did not greet Obama at airports as he arrived for recent state visits in Cuba and Saudi Arabia.

"America is going to be strong again," Trump said. "It is going to be reliable again. It is going to be a friend again."

Shortly before Trump's speech at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, a protester was evicted. Those who heard his speech greeted it with occasional polite applause.

In months of campaigning for the Republican nomination, Trump has often mentioned some specific measures he would undertake, saying he would build an impenetrable wall along the Mexican border to halt the illegal stream of migrants into the United States, deport the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. But he did not specifically mention any of them Wednesday.

At various times, he has said he would renegotiate an international agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program, pursue better European and Pacific trade deals than those negotiated by Obama and rethink U.S. involvement in the North American Treaty Organization, the West's military alliance since the end of World War II.

FBI won’t give any details
about hacking of iPhone

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The FBI confirmed Wednesday it will not reveal how it was able to gain access to the iPhone used by one of the shooters in last December’s terror attack in San Bernardino, California.

After failing to crack the security codes itself and seeking a court order that required iPhone-maker Apple to write new software to disable the phone’s passcode protection, officials last month paid an outside firm more than $1.3 million to gain access.

Investigators concluded they simply do not know enough about the process used to get into the iPhone 5c belonging to gunman Syed Rizwan Farook to share any more with the public.

In a statement released Wednesday, FBI Executive Assistant Director Amy Hess said the agency paid to crack the password protection but it “did not, however, purchase the rights to technical details about how the method functions, or the nature and extent of any vulnerability upon which the method may rely in order to operate.”

“As a result, currently we do not have enough technical information about any vulnerability that would permit any meaningful review . . . ,” she said.

Presumably the agency would invoke some of the many Freedom of Information Act exceptions to avoid identifying the firm to which it paid $1.3 million.

The move, for now, sidesteps a contentious debate over not just the San Bernardino iPhone, but also about how the issue will be handled in future cases.

FBI officials have said previously that the technique used to access the data would not work on other so-called smart phones.

FBI Director James Comey had hinted at the FBI decision Tuesday during a conference on cyber engagement at Georgetown University, saying “I think we’re close to a resolution."

Comey also said Tuesday he was very glad the litigation with Apple regarding the iPhone encryption was over, though he cautioned, ”it would be bad if the conversation this started ended.”
The FBI director also sought to reassure private companies that the government and law enforcement are looking for what he described as a constructive relationship, similar to what many companies have with local fire departments, which understand the layout of their buildings in case of an emergency.

Little-known flu virus
said to have major impact

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Everyone knows about the flu, and the common cold, but not as many people are familiar with norovirus, despite the fact that it runs rampant around the world, sickening nearly three-quarters of a million people each year and costing billions in lost productivity. 

Norovirus causes severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It is responsible for about 50 percent of all gastrointestinal illnesses around that world, not only in developed countries but emerging nations as well. And it kills approximately 219,000 people a year. 

Bruce Lee is a professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He and his colleagues estimated the cost of norovirus in 233 countries, regions and territories around the world. The figure they came up with: upwards of $60 billion a year in lost productivity, due to personal illness or caring for a sick child.
“We were interested in quantifying or better characterizing the impact of norovirus because it’s something that you’ve heard of, but if you think about it, you're not really sure what the impact, how often does it occur, how widespread is it.”
The actual number of people who get sick with norovirus, said Lee, may be an underestimate because a substantial number of cases go unreported.
“So people may suffer with the symptoms and they think, 'well I’ve got a stomach bug,' quote end quote, and 'I’ve got some food poisoning' and they never really report it or get diagnosed,” he said.
Researchers report their estimates in the journal PLoS One.  Their calculations are thought to be the first regarding the global impact of norovirus.

Lee said the disease is a very aggressive intestinal illness, causing the worst diarrhea most people have ever had.

While there is no vaccine for norovirus, Lee hopes greater awareness will lead to control measures. These include washing hands and disinfecting food preparation areas. He said people who fall ill should also be encouraged to stay home.

“Many times, people who work in restaurants or the food preparation industry feel obligated to show up to work even though they are sick, because many folks are on wages and they can’t afford to miss a day, even a day . . . so they’ll come in sick and then they’ll end up contaminating food and spread it to many other people,” Lee said.
Lee said there are experimental vaccines under development, although they are not funded to the same degree as drug research for other illnesses, but said he hopes one will emerge that will help contain the spread of norovirus.

Chinese investment in U.S.
expected to break record

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Chinese investment in the United States is expected to break records this year, as massive amounts of money continue to flow from China. Chinese companies looking to expand and merge with U.S. firms are expected to invest $20 billion to $30 billion in many sectors.

Sean Miner oversees the China program at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and said this is good news for the U.S. economy.

“It’s going to bring thousands of direct and indirect jobs," the company says.

Officially as the composition of the Chinese investment in the U.S. changes now, around two-thirds of that investment is in services, from entertainment, health care, IT and financial services. Chinese companies are not just going to merge with these firms, purchase these firms, but also create new investment, improve this process.”

China invested $11.9 billion in the United States in 2014. Investment grew to $15 billion last year.

These figures are just a fraction of China’s outbound capital flow, most of which still goes to Europe and Asia. Only one-eighth of China’s outbound investment went to the United States last year. Those figures are set to grow though, as concerns about China’s economic slowdown and the strength of its currency persist.

Raymond Yeung, China economist at ANZ, said, “There is also worry about weakening of the Chinese yuan, and these expectations for depreciation basically prompt investors to send money abroad in order to chase a higher yield and protect the currency value.”

While Chinese investment in the United States lags behind Japan, Germany and Britain, it faces greater scrutiny.

Many Chinese deals are evaluated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency panel that examines foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies. In this election year, the pace of Chinese investment, while reaching record highs, may be hindered by concerns over national security, and complaints that China’s markets are not open to equal amounts of investment by American firms.

A bilateral investment treaty between the United States and China has stalled, and Anbang Insurance Group’s failed acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts may be an example of the kinds of hurdles that Chinese companies face in purchasing U.S. assets. Anbang walked away from the $14 billion deal, following criticism of a lack of transparency over its ownership and financial structure.

Feds crack down on gangs
involved in New York war

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 100 gang members have been arrested in New York, in what the authorities are calling the largest gang takedown in the city's history.

"Today, we seek to eviscerate two violent street gangs that have allegedly wreaked havoc on the streets of the northern Bronx for years by committing countless acts of violence against rival gang members and innocents alike," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Wednesday.

Two gangs, "2 Fly YGZ" and "The Big Money Bosses" have been at war with each other for nearly a decade, Bharara said.

The 120 members and associates of the gangs were charged with racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses.

The early morning raids involved hundreds of law enforcement officers from the New York Police Department and federal agencies, some using helicopters and armored vehicles to round up the suspects.

Brief, intense exercises
said to rival longer efforts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Not having time to exercise may no longer be an excuse, according to one researcher.

Writing in the journal PLOS One, researchers from McMaster University in Canada say that just one minute of intense exercise “produces health benefits similar to longer, traditional endurance training.”

“This is a very time-efficient workout strategy,” says Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster and lead author on the study. “Brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective.”

For the study, 27 sedentary men were split into three groups, either performing intense workouts, doing moderate training or doing no training. The researchers monitored each group’s cardiorespiratory health as well as how well their body regulated blood sugar.

The intense training consisted of three, 20-second “all-out” cycle sprints, “including a two minute warm-up and three minute cool down, and two minutes of easy cycling for recovery between the hard sprints.”

The moderate group did 45 minutes of cycling with the same warm-up and cool down.

At the end of the study, ”the results were remarkably similar,” researchers said.

“Most people cite lack of time as the main reason for not being active,” said Gibala. “Our study shows that an interval-based approach can be more efficient, you can get health and fitness benefits comparable to the traditional approach, in less time.”

Dwarf planet is found
to have a small moon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Astronomers have discovered a moon orbiting the dwarf planet Makemake. Makemake is the second brightest dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt after Pluto.

Called S/2015 (136472) 1 and nicknamed MK 2, the moon was spotted in April of 2015 using the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers say the moon is about 21,000 kilometers from Makemake and is about 161 kilometers across.

The Kuiper Belt is believed to be made up of leftover material from the creation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago.

"Our preliminary estimates show that the moon's orbit seems to be edge-on, and that means that often when you look at the system you are going to miss the moon because it gets lost in the bright glare of Makemake," said Alex Parker of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who led the study.

Makemake was discovered in 2005 and is named after a deity of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island. It measures roughly 1,400 kilometers across. It is one of the five dwarf planets officially acknowledged by the International Astronomical Union.

"Makemake is in the class of rare Pluto-like objects, so finding a companion is important," Parker said. "The discovery of this moon has given us an opportunity to study Makemake in far greater detail than we ever would have been able to without the companion."

There is still much to learn about the moon. For example, whether its orbit is circular or elliptical.

Astronomers believe the moon orbits Makemake in a circle, making a circuit every 12 days or more. If true, the moon was probably created by a collision of Makemake and another object. An elliptical orbit would point toward the moon being captured by Makemake’s gravity.

The moon could also help in understanding Makemake, for example why some parts of the dwarf planet appear warmer in some areas and colder in others. It may be caused by the dark surface on the moon.

Why the moon has a dark surface is also a mystery. One reason may be that it lacks enough gravity to allow ice to cling to the surface.
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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


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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:

Axiom one

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

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:

Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579

Rich Coast
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
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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:
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: For more photos and info click HERE!


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:   or    Call Lia or Stanley phones:  (506) 2653-6417 /   (506) 7079-6577.

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

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

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

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

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

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq. ft. of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out. The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the backyard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden. This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town. Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small. The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate. Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José. Just reduced to $199,000. Call Jeff: 8725-8176. Email:


San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

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

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

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

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Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 83
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A little body work and some paint, and this T-72, which took a hit in the Ukraine, will be ready for Nicaragua.

It’s not the price, it’s the upkeep

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica officials are upset at the news that neighboring Nicaragua plans to buy 50 military tanks from Russia.

News reports from Nicaragua say that the government there will be paying $80 million for the tanks.

President Daniel Ortega might not be getting such a great deal. Russia, when it was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was close to giving away the T-72 tanks when the Berlin wall came down even as the socialist state did. Some Russian soldiers were caught cutting up the tanks to sell for scrap.

Although they are not showing up on eBay, there are plenty of suppliers online who can provide a Russian tank.

The Czech Republic is selling the 45-ton vehicles for $50,000 because they want to obtain newer ones from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. That price probably does not include shipping or parts.

Ortega will need the parts because the Russian tanks are generally unreliable.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís has said he is worried about more arms in Central America.

Russian tank vendors had some bad times after U.S. forces cut through the machines in two engagements in Iraq. And that was on the ground. Such tanks are highly vulnerable to hunter aircraft and even rockets from helicopters. Costa Rica probably could obtain such weapons online, too.

Nicaragua is reported ready to accept delivery next year. Ortega better pick up some tanker trucks, too, because the 12-cylinder T-72 eats diesel, about two gallons a mile. So taking the tank detachment out for a spin some weekend might burn 10,000 gallons of fuel.

Of course, Russia might be selling T-90 tanks, which are a successor to the T-72. The T-90 might be better suited for Nicaraguan swamps. And the Russians would like to dump them because the new T-14 was the star of the last Victory Day parade.  So far there are not enough of these to offer other countries.

The Russian salesman who probably got a promotion after making the deal with Ortega is not done. All current Russian tank models can carry and fire rockets and guided missiles. And there are some optional air defense systems plus systems to identify and destroy incoming anti-tank projectiles.

These obligatory options could be good for $80 million more.

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From Page 7:

U.S. Fed maintains its low bank interest rate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. central bank says its benchmark interest rate will remain unchanged to foster conditions for maximum employment and price stability.

Despite steady hiring and unemployment at 5 percent, officials from the central bank's policy making body say inflation remains below the Fed target rate of 2 percent.

That is mostly due to the earlier declines in energy prices.

But the Federal Open Market Committee, which concluded its two-day meeting Wednesday, projects inflation will start to rise over the medium term as the labor market continues to strengthen and energy prices start to moderate.

The Fed is also monitoring global economic and financial developments to determine the domestic impact of slower growth in emerging markets.

The federal funds rate, or the rate the central bank charges banks on overnight loans, remains near record lows in a range from one-quarter to one-half of one percent. The Fed's last rate hike was in December, when it raised the rate by a quarter of one percent. The Fed has not ruled out another quarter point increase in June, at the next scheduled meeting for the bank's policy-setting group.