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Published Friday, May 6, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 89
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axiom new d

This was the 12:05 p.m. eruption that began a chain of such events at the volcano Thursday.

Red Sismológica Nacional photo
More active Volcán Turrialba attracts attention
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano increased its activity Thursday and began emitting an average of two eruptions an hour.

The bulk of the ash fell on the nearby communities of La Pastora, Las Virtudes and El Tapojo, said the national emergency commission.

The Red Sismológica Nacional said that two of its technicians, Luis Fernando Brenes and Jean Paul Calvo, were on the summit of the volcano when the first midday eruption took place. The two men were there to maintain the automatic camera that keeps an eye on the mountain 24 hours a day.

They were not injured, but the video they took was a boon to the national television stations who have been devoting considerable air time to the activities of the mountain.

There still are persons living in the shadow of the mountain and others commute daily to take care of milk cows and other livestock. The rich soil around the volcano is great for truck farming, but all of the above-ground vegetables now have a coating of ash.

Some farmers are trying to wash off the ash, but products such as cabbage have many

surfaces, and the vegetables probably will not be marketed.

Other farmers have erected makeshift tents over some of their crop.

Ash also covers the pastures, so the emergency commission said it was going to bring in 5,000 hay bales as feed. Ash has polluted the water, so the emergency commission continues to truck in domestic water.

Schools in the immediate area of the volcano have been closed, and many of the residents have found accommodations elsewhere.

A year ago, the volcano sent up plumes of smoke, vapor and ash to high altitudes, and officials at Juan Santamaría airport had to close the strip because of the damage the tiny ash particles can do to aircraft. That has not happened this year.

Police and rangers from the national park that surrounds the mountain have enforced a 5-kilometer prohibited zone, and they are trying to discourage tourists.

The mountain is under continued surveillance, but even the experts do not dare guess the future. Typically a volcano will go back to sleep after letting off steam, and that is what those involved hope.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 89
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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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Expotur kicks off Wednesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expotur, the tourism marketplace, kicks off Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Teatro Nacional.

This is the exhibition put on by the Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo that brings foreign buyers to Costa Rica to meet representatives of some 250 firms in the tourism industry here. This is the 32nd year for the show.

The event runs through Friday, a week from today, at Centro Kölbi de Parque Viva, in La Guácima de Alajuela,

American football bowl is Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The championship game for the 2016 American football season will be Saturday at the Estadio Ernesto Rohrmoser in Rohrmoser-Pavas.

This is the American Football Federation of Costa Rica-sanctioned First Division National Championship, called the Super Tazon CR VIII. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. with general admission set at 2,000 colons.

One team is the The Cartago Leones F.C., which finished the regular season 7-1.  The Leones will meet the Bulldogs F.A, which has a 7-2 record. There were seven teams in the league this season. HERE is a map to the stadium.

Seven teams participated in the 2016.

Police officer
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública/ Humberto Ballestero
An anti-drug agent inspects the marijuana plants

Police raid small marijuana operation

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police still are making raids where they believe individuals are growing their own marijuana.

Such a raid took place Thursday morning in Los Anonos, Escazú, and resulted in the arrest of  a 55-year-old Cuban national with the last name of Ruiz.

The Policía de Control de Drogas said they found eight plants, each about a meter tall, and 690 grams of processed marijuana in baggies.

The man had a climate-controlled growing area for the plants, said agents.

A judge in Alajula absolved a local lawyer there of a similar offense on the grounds that there was no law against growing marijuana for self consumption.  That claim is the subject of an appeal.

Meanwhile, police continue to crack down even on small growers.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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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.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 89
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Tourism institute extends SavetheAmericans/Canadians campaign
By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Save the Americans and Save the Canadians tourism campaigns have been extended until the end of the year, according to Alejandro Castro, marketing director of Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

The campaign promotes Costa Rica as an escape spot for overworked Americans and Canadians. To attract visitors, it relies on videos, social network interactions and special activities like building giant sand animals in strategic cities.

It was intended to finish last January, however, it will keep running until December. By then, the campaign will have cost $6 million. From that amount, 85 percent will be invested in the United States market and 15 percent in the Canadian one, according to Castro.

“We will be extracting as much juice as possible from it.” Castro said, using common Costa Rican slang. “That's how we face the challenge of competing against countries like New Zealand and Ecuador, and the American states of Hawaii and Alaska, which are all well positioned among North Americans.” he added.

According to Alexa, an internet search engine that provides data on website traffic, has 1.5 daily page

views per visitor, who spend 2.32 minutes on it.

In the case of, the engine provides no data except that there is one daily page view per visitor.  Despite the numbers, Castro admitted that there is no way to accurately measure how many direct bookings the campaign has generated. He said that it promotes the country as a whole, for the benefit of the entire industry and not just hospitality. 

“We seek people to know about the country as a destination.” he explained.

The government said that in 2015, 2.6 million visitors arrived to the country, creating at least 150,000 jobs and accounting for 5.4 percent of the Domestic Gross Product.  However, the official data has been challenged as inaccurate, for it reports all visitors and does not filter those who are actually tourists and those who are not.

“Tourism figures are very positive and for that we all cheer, but they create a distance of what's really going on,” said Karla Prendas, legislator of Partido Liberación Nacional.

“And yes, we are going through a momentum in tourism thanks to the high value of the dollar. However, we are below the region´s tourism growth index. What´s going on,” she asked, while addressing fellow lawmakers Wednesday.

Government said shrimp fishermen subsidies reach 118 million colons
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government’s main social welfare agency said Thursday that it has spent 188 million colons, about $355,000, providing help to unemployed shrimp fishermen and their families.

The agency, the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, said there were 545 families involved. Some 500 are in Puntarenas and 45 are in Guanacaste, it said

These are the fishing crews and their families that have been forbidden to trawl for shrimp by an August 2013 Sala IV constitutional court decision. The court cited environmental reasons.

The central government has been trying to pass a bill that gets
 around the court decision, and environmentalists generally support the prohibition because trawling damages coral and kills many unwanted fish and even turtles.

The Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura, was told not to issue any more licenses and to allow existing ones to expire.

At the time the estimate was that there were 27 active licenses but not all were being used.

There still are plenty of shrimp in the marketplace, and some street vendors even sell them despite the health considerations that presents.

The Instituto Mixto said that each family of shrimp fishermen is getting 115,000 colons a month, about $217.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 89
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Worldwide annual cost of dengue put at $8.9 billion in new study
By the Brandeis University news staff

Researchers report that the global cost of dengue infections is $8.9 billion. The economic analysis comes from Brandeis University and covers 141 countries and territories where dengue transmissions have been identified.

The price tag for dengue exceeds that of several other major infectious diseases such as cholera, rotavirus gastroenteritis, canine rabies and chagas, notes lead author Donald Shepard.

Dengue is the world’s fastest growing mosquito-borne disease, currently threatening about half the world’s population or almost 4 billion people and leading to an estimated 60-100 million symptomatic dengue cases every year. The disease’s common nickname in the tropical and subtropical countries where it is found is ‘break-bone fever,’ which attests to the degree of suffering it can inflict.

Since it is transmitted by four distinct types of viruses, dengue can hit the same individual up to four times. Dengue fever is prone to resource-intensive outbreaks that tend to hit hardest in the urban growth centers of countries, like Brazil, Indonesia and India. In this way, dengue can literally break the back of local healthcare systems and lead to intensive associated costs, related both to medical care and lost productivity, said researchers.

But dengue fever is not a highly fatal disease and, therefore, it does not typically garner as much attention in terms of traditional measures of disease burden as malaria, for example, they added. Shepard and this team are an exception, however, as they published their first paper on the economics of dengue in 1993. Since then, they have also published several studies on the economic burden of dengue at the level of individual countries where dengue is a major public health threat such as India, Malaysia, Mexico, and the Philippines.

“The dearth of population-based data for many elements was the biggest challenge for us. For important parts of the tropics, especially South Asia and Africa, almost no such studies exist, in fact,” notes Shepard.

The study provides both global and regional estimates on the cost of dengue, broken down by country and various short- and long-term costs. By putting a value on the size of the dengue problem, these estimates will help governments and donors make better-informed decisions around their dengue programs, researchers said.

“In every country the public purse has more demands than it

Brandeis University graphic

can satisfy,” said Shepard. “Defining dengue in monetary terms means the disease can be compared with other economic problems. Public health systems can then leverage that information to secure resources from their Ministry of Finance – and possibly the donor community – to control the disease.”

Shepard is with the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at the 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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CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
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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.
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Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 89
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Axiom new ad

Navy officer’s hearing tape
has disputed admissions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. Navy officer with access to highly sensitive intelligence allegedly admitted to spying and patronizing prostitutes. The acknowledgement came during a two-day interrogation following his arrest at an airport in Hawaii last September.

The revelation is the latest in a series of twists and turns in the case of Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin, who has been in U.S. custody for eight months but whose case only became public following a hearing April 8.

The 39-year-old naval officer is a Taiwanese native and fluent in Mandarin who moved to the U.S. when he was 14 and, according to his family, became a U.S. citizen in 1998.

According to the charging document, Lin faces two counts of espionage and three counts of attempted espionage. He is also accused of patronizing a prostitute and adultery.

The document says only that Lin shared secret information with a foreign government, though officials suspect him of working for Taiwan or China, or possibly both.

In an audio recording of the preliminary Article 32 hearing held at Norfolk Naval Air Station in Virginia, and played for members of the media Thursday, Lin is heard saying little more than "Yes, sir" when advised of his rights by the hearing officer, Cmdr. Bruce Gregor.

Still, Navy prosecutors pushed for the hearing officer to recommend the case for a full court martial.

They said 11 hours of video from the interrogation in Hawaii, combined with information given to an FBI informant, emails and additional evidence collected from Lin's home, leaves little doubt as to his guilt.

But Lin's lawyer contended the evidence is anything but clear, alleging the government has engaged in a nefarious scheme to entrap his client.

"He was never given his rights," said Larry Youngner, with the Washington-based law firm Tully Rinckney. "Perhaps purposefully."

Youngner argued that because of the failure to advise Lin of his rights, much of the evidence, including emails collected from Lin's home, should be suppressed.

He also raised doubts as to whether the secret information Lin is accused of sharing was actually secret, saying much of it was easily available from so-called open sources on the internet.

As for what Lin supposedly told the FBI informant, his attorney said most of it amounted to standard talking points.

"He is proud to be an American citizen," Youngner said. "He was doing the same thing he was trained to do, with all of his classmates, at the Naval War College."

Neither side called any witnesses during the almost two-hour preliminary hearing, about 30 minutes of which was held behind closed doors.

Lin could face a court martial or lesser, administrative actions.

In the meantime, Lin's family has come to his defense, with a website proclaiming his innocence.

It accuses the U.S. government of concocting an "easy-to-digest, sensationalized tale of espionage, misdirection, and sexual perversion."

Sex assaults stay constant
despite smaller military

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Although the U.S. military population has shrunk by thousands, the number of reported cases of sexual assault within the military dropped by only 1 percent last year.

The Pentagon's annual report on sexual assault in the military, released Thursday, showed that service members continued to report such incidents at a high rate.

There were 6,083 total reports of sexual assault in 2015, although some incidents occurred in prior years. Service members filed 5,240 reports. Of those victims, 504 reported incidents that occurred before they entered into military service.

Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols, director of the Pentagon's sexual assault prevention and response office, said the number of reports per thousand service members remained the same.

“As you know we have a much smaller force than we had last year,” she said.

Military officials said nearly 20 percent of the reports were from military men.

“Still, men remain less likely to report crime than women. Encouraging their involvement in prevention and reporting efforts remains a high focus area for us. . . . We do continue and encourage and have massive efforts across services to get people to come forward,” Gen. Nichols said.

Military officials said reporting the crime is essential to the branches’ ability to provide services for survivors and hold offenders accountable.

Allegations of inappropriate behavior must be treated with the utmost seriousness, Gen. Nichols said.

The report called for creation of a sexual assault prevention plan of action, the increase of reporting through leadership engagement, and creation of a plan to address male victimization.

Despite the substantial increase in reporting over the past 10 years, the report estimated, a significant number of sexual assaults go unreported. Some victims may choose to cope in other private ways.

“We stay committed to eliminate these crimes from our ranks,” Nichols said.

Establishment Republicans
are slow on backing Trump

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump may have garnered enough votes in the primaries to become the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee but he can't seem to transfer that enthusiasm from the voting booth to the party leadership.

The highest-ranking Republican office holder, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he is not ready to support Trump as the nominee. Ryan previously criticized Trump for saying that if he did not win the nomination, his supporters might riot at the Republican National Convention in July.

"I hope to support our nominee, I hope to support his candidacy fully," Ryan said on CNN. "At this point, I'm just not there right now."

To which, Trump responded: "I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda. Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people."

According to the Wall Street Journal, only 12 of the 300 Republicans serving in the House and Senate, and three of the 31 Republican governors, have endorsed the New York businessman.

The party's last two White House occupants, President George H.W. Bush and his son, President George W. Bush, say they will sit out the 2016 campaign and not even comment on it.

The party's last two losing presidential nominees, Sen. John McCain of Arizona  in 2008 and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2012, both said they, like the Bushes, also plan to skip the party's July national convention where Trump will be officially nominated.

Other Republican heavyweights are going even farther than Ryan and the Bushes.

Mark Salter, an adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said on Twitter that he would rather vote for Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump.  Conservative pundit Ben Howe did the same.

Another longstanding Trump critic, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on Twitter: “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed . . . and we will deserve it.”

Trump begins major effort
to raise campaign funds

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After largely self-funding his run to the U.S. Republican presidential nomination, billionaire Donald Trump is starting efforts to raise money for his race against the likely Democratic nominee, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump said he contributed about $44 million to his months-long campaign to capture the Republican nomination, while collecting another $12 million in relatively small donations from supporters. But Thursday, he named a campaign finance chief, Steven Mnuchin, chief of a private investment firm, to oversee a national fundraising effort for what could be a billion-dollar campaign.

Trump often bragged to his supporters that he was the only 2016 presidential candidate who was self-funding, even if it was somewhat of an exaggerated claim since he also accepted donations.

Now he has acknowledged that he would have to sell some of his extensive real estate holdings, something he says he does not necessarily want to do, to muster the hundreds of millions of dollars needed for the national campaign against Clinton.

Even so, Trump said in a statement that he would be "putting up substantial money toward the general election."

Numerous wealthy individuals who normally contribute to Republican presidential candidates have been slow to embrace Trump. Nearly all of them have been supporting contenders whom Trump defeated. Trump is a political novice who captured the hearts and votes of a sizable portion of the Republican electorate in state nominating contests, but establishment party figures have given him tepid support.

Trump, a brash, onetime television reality show host, said he is putting together a committee to help him choose his vice presidential running mate.

Mrs. Clinton has not clinched the Democratic nomination, but is significantly ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her lone challenger.

​Sanders says he has no plans to quit before the final primary votes have been cast in June. He would need to win a huge majority of the vote in the remaining states in order to catch Mrs. Clinton, who leads him by about 300 pledged delegates to the party's national nominating convention and has hundreds more superdelegates, mostly party officials, pledging to support her.

A number of polls show Mrs. Clinton favored to beat Trump if the election were held now.

U.S. FDA bans e-cigarettes
for those younger than 18

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is banning the sale of e-cigarettes and some other tobacco products to people under age 18 for the first time, a move designed to prevent a new generation from being addicted to nicotine.

In addition to e-cigarettes, the FDA announced a ban on the sale of pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco and cigars to minors. The FDA already regulates cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco products.

E-cigarettes have grown into a $3 billion industry, as their use rises among middle and high school students. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA say 3 million middle and high schoolers reported using e-cigarettes in 2015, an increase from around 2.5 million the year before.

The new rules, which take effect in 90 days, require makers of the tobacco products to submit them for regulatory review, provide a list of ingredients and place health warnings on packages and in advertisements. 

If U.S. House Republicans have their way, however, the new regulations will have limitations.

A bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee on April 19 would prevent the FDA from requiring retroactive safety reviews of e-cigarette products introduced after 2007 and exempt some premium and large cigars as well.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Robert Aderhold, a Republican from Alabama, was included in an agriculture spending bill.  The legislation is akin to "driving a bus through public health protections, said Erika Sward of the American Lung Association.

Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said the FDA pre-market review requirement would hurt manufacturers of the tobacco products. "There are thousands of small business and tens of thousands of jobs on the line," Conley said. 

The FDA began focusing on e-cigarettes in 2009 as they began appearing on store shelves in the United States. That same year, President Barack Obama signed into law a measure that gave the FDA authority over the previously unregulated products.  Congress also gave the agency the authority to assert jurisdiction over them.

African health workers face
shortage of yellow fever shots

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Angola is battling a yellow fever outbreak amid a global shortage of the vaccine. Cases have also been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and China. Health experts worry about further spread. There is no treatment. Mass immunization is the only way to stop yellow fever, but producing more of the vaccine is not easy.

The Institut Pasteur de Dakar is one of four places in the world that make the yellow fever vaccine.

Recording is prohibited inside the institute, but there is nothing to hear. The halls are quiet. Two walls of windows separate visitors from the sterile labs where technicians work in head-to-toe protective gear.

Each week, a carton of special, pathogen-free chicken eggs arrives from Germany. Technicians inject the embryos, one by one, with the live virus. That’s a first step. What follows is weeks of extraction, mixing, incubation and safety checks.

It can take up to six months to produce a batch of usable vaccine.

Globally, around 80 million doses of yellow fever vaccine are made each year. The Institut Pasteur can produce up to 10 million doses.

Antoine Marie Diatta is the quality control manager for yellow fever vaccine production at the institute. He said unfortunately production capacity can’t always meet the global needs. It’s the same for other manufacturers, he said. This can be a problem when there is an epidemic, he said, because then there is an immediate need to vaccinate a large number of people.

It can be hard to predict how much vaccine will be needed.

Yellow fever vaccines can be stored for up to three years, but manufacturers can't afford to over produce, as Diatta explained.

He said money is invested to make each batch of vaccine and firms must wait for a return. It’s not easy. He said while you wait to sell, you still need to pay salaries and update equipment, but your money is tied up.
Yellow fever is endemic to 34 countries in Africa. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. A single dose of the vaccine can protect a person for life.

Nearly 2,000 cases have been reported in Angola since the outbreak began in October.

A mass vaccination campaign was launched in February, using 6 million doses from emergency stockpiles.

Increasing an additional 10 million doses were made available in late March.

While this has slowed the spread of the virus, the World Health Organization warns that if the outbreak spreads to other countries, the now-depleted stockpiles could impact routine vaccination campaigns, putting millions more at risk.

Three other labs in the world produce yellow fever vaccine. They are in Russia, France and Brazil.

The Institut Pasteur said plans are under way to open a new facility on the outskirts of Dakar by 2020 to increase production here.

New credit rule would give
consumers the right to sue

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The top U.S. consumer financial regulator proposed a rule Thursday that would make it easier for ordinary consumers to file class-action lawsuits against their banks, rather than seek a resolution through mandatory arbitration.

Most U.S. bank customers relinquished their right to sue when they signed credit card agreements, bank accounts and insurance policies without reading the fine print.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, wanting to put a stop to that, proposed a rule that would ban arbitration clauses. The ban would only apply, though, when consumers want to join or create a class-action lawsuit.

If adopted, the rule could cost the financial industry hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.

"Many banks and financial companies avoid accountability by putting arbitration clauses in their contacts that block groups of their customers from suing them," the protection bureau director, Richard Cordray, said. Such clauses effectively deny groups of consumers the right to seek justice and relief for wrongdoing, he added.

Consumer advocates say arbitrators routinely rule against consumers, but the financial industry argues arbitration is a more efficient way for customers to resolve disputes with banks.

A bureau study confirmed that arbitration is more efficient but found customers rarely filed lawsuits to settle small claims. The study also showed that when large numbers of customers were adversely affected by the same issue, arbitration hindered their ability to seek relief.

The study found that 15 of the largest 20 credit card companies had arbitration clauses in their agreements, and disputes involving about half of all large bank accounts and nearly all prepaid credit cards and payday loans required arbitration.

Once the rule is published, the public will have 90 days to comment. The rule will go into effect next year if it is adopted.

GM plans to use its Bolts
in driverless taxi program

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

According to the Wall Street Journal, American car company General Motors Co. and ride hailing service Lyft, Inc., will start testing Chevrolet Bolt cars as driverless taxis. They could be offering service within a year, the paper reported.

The first test will take place in an undisclosed city.

GM reportedly invested $500 million in Lyft, and the move is seen as a way to challenge Uber. GM also is planning to buy San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, Inc., for a reported $1 billion. The company has been developing self-driving car technology for two years, the Journal reported.

The move is also seen as a way for GM to sell the Bolt, which will be available later this year in a market for electric cars the Journal characterized as soft.

It is also seen as a way for GM to make up ground on Silicon Valley’s efforts to build driverless cars. Both Tesla Motors and Alphabet, Inc., Google’s parent company, have been developing the technology for years.

Lyft reportedly is also developing driverless cars at its own research center in Pittsburgh. The Wall Street Journal said the company is preparing for autonomous vehicles in its fleet by 2020.

The papers said the development of driverless cars is hampered by a patchwork of regulations that govern the use of autonomous vehicles and liabilities.

To overcome some of those hurdles, Lyft reportedly will have drivers in the cars ready to intervene should something go wrong.

D.C. climate session hears
alarming coal prediction

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

If the world's governments, particularly those in developing countries, continue to increase their reliance on coal and other fossil fuels, we are finished.

That was the sobering assessment of World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim during his opening statement Thursday at the World Climate Summit in Washington.

The two-day gathering, called "Climate Action 2016," is bringing together more than 700 corporate executives, government officials, academics and philanthropists. It is described by organizers as the most significant gathering of sub-national and non-governmental leaders on global climate action this year.

Kim says the goal is to move beyond "the fog of success that he said accompanied the historic climate change agreement, COP21, signed in April.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that acting on climate change promises new markets along with better jobs and better health.

The summit has a broader goal: keeping the world from reaching the 2-degree C rise in temperatures that climate scientists say is a point of no return regarding warming.

The 2-degree target was chosen because temperatures have risen or fallen within the range of 1 degree C.

Scientists say that if the average temperature rise hits 2 degrees, sea levels could increase several meters and the world's droughts, heat waves and severe weather could become deadlier and more extreme. The sea level rise would be in addition to the 120 meters of rise since the end of the last Ice Age. The sea level has risen about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880, according to U.S. government figures.

As the summit opened, the Science Based Targets initiative, a joint program put together by environmental groups released a list of 155 companies that have agreed to cut their planet-warming emissions.
Real estate-related services (paid category)
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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!
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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.

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


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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
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Luxury condominium apartments for sale in Escazú
The property located in Trejos Montealegre, has three apartments for sale. Excellent location, 400 meters east of Avenida Escazú, next to Village (new commercial and office project), Plaza Tempo, Wal-Mart, CIMA Hospital. To enter and exit Trejos Montealegre no need to pay toll. The condominium is few minutes from San José

♦ Apartment No. 1: 180 square meters, 3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 2: 180. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 3: This is the largest one. 250. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar  island kitchen furniture, 2 garages, electric gate. Total property measures 529 square meters.  Unique opportunity to buy it for $ 750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars).  For more information contact Adrian, cell phone  506-8598-9898  Email:

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. Price reduced to $45,000. 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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Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 89
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Sea Shepherd plans turtle documentary

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has announced the release of its first feature-length, in-house documentary, titled “Why Just One?” The documentary addresses the dramatic decline in sea turtles and the organization’s efforts to defend them, it said.

The announcement corresponds with the launching of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money to finish post-production on its documentary. Scheduled for release this summer, this documentary will change the way people see sea turtles and those who risk their lives to defend the turtles, the organization said.

In Costa Rica there is a war taking place between poachers and conservationists, said Sea Shepherd. The organization gave this description:

In the documentary, Sea Shepherd volunteers defend the same beach where 26-year-old Jairo Mora Sandoval was murdered in 2013 while protecting sea turtles. The Sea Shepherd crew endures attacks and braves treacherous conditions to follow in Jairo’s footsteps. They tackle a vexing paradox: trying to prevent the poaching of sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica when the activity is legal in one beach town, Ostional, on the country’s Pacific coast. This legal loophole fuels and enables egg poaching throughout in Costa Rica.

In “Why Just One?,” Sea Shepherd said it explores the widely accepted statistic that just one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings survive to maturity.  Experts, conservationists, government representatives and poachers are interviewed, including one of Jairo Mora Sandoval's closest friends, it said.

“On May 31, 2015, we launched Operation Jairo to defend sea turtles in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Florida,” said Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s founder, Capt. Paul Watson, in a release. “We named the campaign after Jairo Mora Sandoval to honor his memory and continue his work to defend turtles. Without patrolling the beaches, we cannot tackle the problems of poaching turtles and their eggs. And without tackling the problems of poaching, we cannot save turtles from extinction.”

Last year, Sea Shepherd's Operation Jairo saved more than 12,000 sea turtles and eggs in its campaign to protect the ancient mariners in Costa Rica, Honduras and Florida, the organization said. By patrolling the beaches at night, Sea Shepherd volunteers were able to stop poaching in Costa Rica and Honduras. In Florida, volunteers ensured that turtle hatchlings made their way into the ocean without being distracted by bright lights, the organization added.

Feds sanction Panamá bank and firms

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

U.S. Officials said Thursday that they have sanctioned a money laundering operation in Panamá and two of its leaders. They said that the action exposes an extensive drug money laundering network based in Panamá.
The action was by the  U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The agency named Nidal Ahmed Waked Hatum  and Abdul Mohamed Waked Fares as narcotics traffickers involved in money laundering.

The agency also targeted six associates of the organization and 68 companies tied to the drug money laundering network, including Grupo Wisa, S.A., Vida Panama (Zona Libre) S.A., and Balboa Bank & Trust, said the Treasury Department. 

The organization uses trade-based money laundering schemes, such as false commercial invoicing, bulk cash smuggling and others to launder drug proceeds on behalf of multiple international drug traffickers and their organizations, said the agency.  As a result of today’s action, all assets of these individuals and entities that are under the jurisdiction of the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them, the agency said.

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From Page 7:

U.S. jobless rate experiences a slight bump

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More Americans than expected filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, although the underlying trend still points to declining jobless claims and a strengthening labor market.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for unemployment jumped by 17,000 during the week ending April 30 to a seasonally-adjusted 274,000. This represents the biggest gain in initial weekly jobless claims since February of last year.

Despite the increase, weekly jobless claims remain below 300,000, a threshold linked to a healthy labor market.

The jobless claims report is unlikely to affect what some economists expect to be a strong monthly unemployment report on Friday.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics is expected to report a net gain of more than 200,000 jobs in April, nudging the jobless rate down to 4.9 percent, a slight improvement from the rate of 5 percent the previous month.

If the April job numbers fall in line with the first quarter monthly average of 209,000 jobs, it will be welcome news for new college graduates.  They will enter the best job market since the Great Recession, said senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick.

Although it will be easier for new college graduates to find a job, they will still confront inconsistent and underwhelming wage growth, he said.