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Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 91
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Few Costa Rica firms listed in stolen documents
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

Only a few corporations set up by the Panamá  law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. involve Costa Rican entities. The question remains how many Costa Rican individuals will show up on corporate records elsewhere.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists made good on its promise to release the searchable database of 11.5 million documents involving 200,000 offshore entities linked to account holders in more than 200 countries and territories.

The database fuses basic corporate information from the stolen documents and similar data from a 2013 International Consortium investigation into international tax shelters.

This is the latest in leaked journalism, and the first to involve private documents.  Edward Snowden leaked U.S. government documents showing widespread surveillance. Even the famous 1971 Pentagon Papers case involved U.S. government documents.

In all cases, those who initiated the leak, including the anonymous Panamá Papers source, say they did it for high motives.  Snowden and The New York Times in 1971 were reporting duplicity by the U.S. government.

That is not the case with the Panamá Papers.  The anonymous source behind the leak of the Panamá Papers says "income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time," and that governments need to do more to address the issue.

Even the International Consortium admits that “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to

suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.” The organization includes a pitch for donations with the data base.

Back in 1971 editors at The New York Times wrung their hands and considered the facts at length before publishing information for stolen government documents. Not so today. The local El Semanario at the Universidad de Costa Rica gleefully published a lengthy article about a Movimiento Libertario politician whose name turned up as a notary in a Mossack Fonseca document. Some expats told reporters later that they thought incorrectly the man had done something bad.

El Semanario continues to rail about the rich and powerful.

Reporting when the documents were released selectively found involvement in offshore companies by an assortment of the powerful or prominent. Among them: 140 politicians, including 12 current and former political leaders; billionaires; sports stars; drug smugglers and mafia members. Also listed were at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government for evidence of involvement in wrongly doing business with Mexican drug lords or with rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran.

News of their reliance on tax havens led to resignations by Iceland’s Prime Minister David Gunnlaugson and Spain’s Industry Minister José Manuel Soria. British Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to answer questions about an offshore trust established by his father. Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any allegations of involvement in wrongdoing after the names of some of his friends became public.


Nation's museums will show off in a two-day expo
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

History buffs, scholars and expats have a chance to learn about the country’s 25 museums May 17 and 18.

The exposition is being put on by the  Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and the  Consejo Internacional de Museos at the Casa
del Cuño, the two-story glass showplace
behind the Antigua Aduana on Calle 23.

The time both days is from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and admission is free.

The exhibition coincides with the International Day of Museums May 18.  The culture ministry laments in the announcement that Costa Ricans are not big museum goers. And the expo is a promotional event to change that.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 91
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Page One is HERE!   Go to Page 3 HERE!   Go to Page 4 HERE!    
Go to Page 5 HERE! 
  Go to Page 6 HERE!     Sports is HERE!
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Psychotherapy

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US (310) 827-4241
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Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
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Residency experts

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Tel: (323) 255-6116
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 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
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Marlene B. Summers
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Take advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion.
 
If your filing is not up-to-date, the Streamlined Filing Procedure can be used to mitigate penalties.   Including  disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid future problems. 

File current or past due FBARs with no penalties to meet IRS requirements.
File your current or amended returns.


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U.S. Tax
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(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
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Real estate agents and services

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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
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desampa                                  workers
Municipalidad de Desamparados photo
Desamparados municipal workers clean out the gutters in Los Guidos so they flow freely and do not create breeding spots for disease carrying mosquitoes. This is a continuing ritual as the rainy season moves in.

More than 16,000 cell phones missing

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said Monday that in the first four months of 2016 some 16,702 cell telephones or other mobile devices were reported stolen or lost by its customers. A communications company official said that the number was smaller than in 2015.

The cell telephone is a favorite of street robbers, and there have been videos on television channels showing men with guns pulling up to bus shelters and relieving those there of their cell telephones.

The state communications company does not have a monopoly, so the total number of lost and stolen telephones is bound to be higher when customers of the private firms are considered.

There are some cell telephone purchasers who are open 24 hours a day in order to buy cell telephones from those who happen to have extras.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad urged those who lose a cell telephone to make a report and consider ways to make the device inoperable.


Big band to perform at Teatro Nacional

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banda de Conciertos de San José will bring its big band sound to the Teatro Nacional today at 12:10 p.m. for a Teatro al Mediodía performance.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud promises music popularized by Frank Sinatra, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The weekly midday performance is directed at downtown office workers on their lunch hours and tourists.  There is an admission.


DEA cannabis data base available

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has released a data base of some 3,000 individuals who are involved in handling cannabis. The release was made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

In 1997 the agency released a list of some 800 people, companies, organizations, universities working with cannabis, but today that list is over 3,000 long, said the individual hosting the list.

The federal agency requires a license for those who would handle cannabis legally. The data base is HERE!

News from the Spanish-language press
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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.

9002-5/26/16
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 91
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Police continue to pay close attention to Playas del Coco
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers say they detained 13 persons in the country illegally during a sweep Sunday in Playas del Coco.

Officers also gave a long list of other cases, including the arrest of 20 persons for having drugs, fighting, robbery, theft and assaults, they said.

This is a continuation of the emphasis on the Pacific coast community after an Escazú man, Alejo Leiva Lachner, 21, was set upon by a mob and stabbed fatally in February.

Since April 1, a week after the murder, police said they questioned 12,643 persons and checked 3,678 motor vehicles and 1,114 motorcycles.

Sunday they confiscated 21 motor vehicles and 35 motorcycles for various reasons. They also said they found knives and a pistol.


frisking
Ministerio de Securidad Pública photo
A woman is frisked by a female police officer.


Volcano experts say they see a reduction in Turrialba activity
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Volcano experts are announcing bravely that the Turrialba volcano has shown a reduction in activity since Sunday.

That does not mean the mountain will go back to sleep peacefully. The nearby brother volcano, Irazú, spent more than two years with eruptions off and on.

The national emergency commission said that since 9 a.m. Sunday, no more eruptions have been logged.

However, the mountain continues to emit water vapor and gases, and the plume can be seen from a distance.

The plume is believed to extend about 500 meters, about 1,640 feet, above the level of the crater.

The wind is carrying
the plume south southwest, said the commission, correctly called the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias.

Instruments on and nearby the mountain continue to detect seismic activity within.

Five schools near the volcano remain closed, and technicians are checking the quality of the drinking water. They also are checking the water in the Ríos Aquiares and Guayabito.

There are perhaps more cows than people within the

volcano
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias.
Photo from a distance shows the vapor emitted by volcano.

five-kilometer radius being maintained by police and park
rangers. There also are many truck gardens with vegetables that have suffered from the ash.

The emergency commission continues to truck in hay bales for the animals so they do not have to eat the ash covered vegetation.



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Guanacaste Lodge

Palermo Hotel

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 91
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Yikes! There is another mosquito-borne epidemic to worry about
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two U.S. medical professionals are calling for worldwide action to stem a growing epidemic of yellow fever.

An epidemic of yellow fever, first reported in January, has been spreading rapidly in Angola, according to the two physicians, adding that as of last month, the country had 2,023 suspected yellow fever cases and 258 deaths. The Pan American Health Organization has declared an epidemiological alert on April 22 for yellow fever in Latin America.

For expats and Costa Ricans there is no real emergency yet, but the same mosquito that carries malaria, dengue and now the zika virus also carries the yellow fever virus.

The two physicians are associated with the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. They are Daniel Lucey and Lawrence O. Gostin. They published a viewpoint article that appeared Monday in the JAMA journal.

Costa Rica immigration officials require proof of vaccination against yellow fever from travelers arriving from some African and South American countries. That rule does not apply to travelers from the United States.

Costa Rica also is facing an influx of illegal migrants from

Africa. Many have been detained and placed in lockups. There are many others at the southern border.

Yellow fever also is known to use non-human hosts, such as monkeys. There is no treatment for yellow fever, just prevention.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there is no risk of yellow fever in Costa Rica, although wise expats usually have received vaccinations, which are long-lasting. The same protection techniques that prevents zika and dengue infections also are successful with yellow fever. That includes using mosquito repellent.

Costa Rican health officials have an extensive program of spraying and destruction of mosquito breeding places in vulnerable areas.

One problem cited by the World Health Organization is a shortage of vaccines to fight the epidemic in Africa. However, the vaccine is available in Costa Rica, and even some pharmacies associated with the Mas x Menos supermarket chain advertise the availability.

The two Georgetown University physicians want World Health to convene an emergency committee to mobilize funds, coordinate an international response, and spearhead a surge in vaccine production, the university said in summary of the article.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden
                        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:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
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.
9008-8/4/16

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
HERE!

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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8729-12/30/15

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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

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Beautiful House Inside Gated Farm for Rent
House inside gated farm. Two bedroom, One bath fully-furnished. Close to town in Santa Barbara de Heredia.  $650 includes:  Internet, Wifi, Cable TV, Water, Electric.  Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives onsite, quiet, secure.  More information to my email: organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
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Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

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

Central
                                              Valley view

Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.
8981-5/28/16

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8998-7/18/16




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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 91
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Axiom new ad

Alberta city still survives,
overflight shows premier

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The premier of Canada's Alberta province, Rachel Notley, says 90 percent of the city of Fort McMurray was spared from the massive wildfires burning out of control.

Notley and other officials had believed nearly the entire town had been burned to the ground. But an aerial tour of the city Monday showed that while some neighborhoods were wiped out, most of the city was untouched.

"The city was surrounded by an ocean of fire only a few days ago, but Fort McMurray and the surrounding communities have been saved and they will be rebuilt," Ms. Notley said.

She gratefully credited firefighters and their quick action for saving the city, which has no electricity or running water. She said it will be at least another two weeks before authorities can start putting together a schedule for people to return home.

Officials said the wildfires were still burning out of control Monday, but cooler weather and rain have helped firefighters get a better grip on the flames.

The fires have destroyed 160,000 hectares in Alberta, home to the world's third-largest oil reserves, behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

While the flames so far have not reached any major oil processing facilities, they were still shut down Monday, causing global oil prices to climb.


Impeachment case in Brazil
continues to be a muddle

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Impeachment proceedings against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff were thrown into confusion Monday when the interim speaker of the lower house of Congress said last month's vote to send the matter to the Senate is invalid. But the leader of the Senate later said the vote will go ahead Wednesday as scheduled.

Acting House Speaker Waldir Maranhao said the April 17 vote was full of irregularities and gave Ms. Rousseff no chance to defend herself. He said the entire question of impeachment should start over and that the House should vote again.

But Senate leader Renan Calheiros immediately said he would ignore Maranhao's declaration. He accused the interim speaker of playing with democracy and said it is up to the entire Senate, and not a single lawmaker, to decide what to do.

What happens next is unclear. The Brazilian Supreme Court could step in and decide the congressional dispute.

If the Senate puts Ms. Rousseff on trial, her presidency would be suspended and Vice President Michel Temer, a former ally turned political enemy, would take over.

Ms. Rousseff is accused of manipulating state funds to hide the state of the country's finances during her 2014 reelection campaign. She accuses her opponents, including Temer, of attempting a coup.

The political turmoil is occurring less than three months before Brazil opens the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and at the same time the country is battling the effects of the zika virus.

  
Twitter-linked data sweeper
blocked from spy agencies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Twitter has blocked American intelligence agencies from accessing a service that has proven itself helpful in fighting terrorism.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday a senior U.S. intelligence official said access was blocked because Twitter seemed concerned about the appearance of being too friendly to the intelligence agencies.

The report comes after executives of a real-time information discovery company named Dataminr recently told intelligence agencies privately that Twitter wanted Dataminr to stop providing the services to the agencies.

The service provided by Dataminr discovers patterns in hundreds of millions of pieces of information transmitted daily via Twitter.  The company's Web site says Dataminr transforms real-time data from Twitter and other public sources into actionable signals.

Dataminr, 5 percent of which is owned by Twitter, alerted U.S. authorities to the November terrorist attacks in Paris shortly after the assaults began.  Dataminr also provided real-time information about Islamic State group attacks, Brazil's political crisis and other impromptu events.
 
Twitter is the latest U.S. technology company to face-off against federal intelligence agencies over how to share information to fight terrorism.

Earlier this year, after Apple refused to help, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation paid more than $1 million to a third party to break into an Apple iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino, California, terrorists who killed 14 people in December.


Trump is on campaign trail
and making the media rounds


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Donald Trump has launched a high-octane general election campaign after capturing enough electoral votes to be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Trump is in attack mode this week as he makes his rounds with the media and leverages social media platforms. Instead of attempting to heal a deeply divided Republican Party, Trump is unloading on his fellow Republican politicians, conservative activists and, not surprisingly, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

“I will win the election against Crooked Hillary despite the people in the Republican Party that are currently and selfishly opposed to me!,” Trump Tweeted Monday morning.

With the general election six months away, the Republican Party remains divided among Trump supporters and GOP traditionalists.

“It does seem like there is approximate equal division,” University of Maryland political analyst James Gimpel said.

Gimpel predicts at least a third of the Republican Party will remain opposed to Trump in the months ahead. He believes Trump opponents would either try to run their own candidate or simply not cast votes for a presidential candidate in the general election.

A stumbling block to Republican Party unity is a decision by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican officeholders not to support Trump.

“That is emblematic of where a lot of party officeholders are. They don’t know exactly what Donald Trump stands for,” Gimpel said.

And Trump’s tendency to flip-flop on issues such as taxes has not helped unify the party, either, said Gimpel. “It leaves a lot of officeholders in a quandary as to what a Trump administration might mean.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is not the only candidate who must contend with Trump’s frontrunner status. A larger-than-usual number of other Republican officeholders, like Sen. John McCain of Arizona, will have to mount vigorous campaigns to overcome Trump's controversial remarks about immigration and other issues.

Gimpel said it is “very likely Republicans could be defending an usually large number of hotly-contested seats, and added it would be best for GOP candidates to prepare “for the worst.”

A Trump presidential victory could reshape the GOP, with social conservatives likely losing much of their political clout, said Gimpel.

“Any Trump-led party is certainly going to be more concerned about economic issues and less concerned about social issues,” he said.

Despite Trump’s unconventional campaign methods and a lack of detailed policy proposals, the real estate mogul-turned politician continues to appeal to millions of Americans.

“The Republican rank-and-file are clearly unhappy with their office holders in Washington,” said Gimpel. “They feel like the Washington elites have grown increasingly out of step with them.”

The prevailing narrative that resonates as Gimpel speaks with voters and conducts research is that Trump is an imperfect candidate, but he's better than all the others.


Trump taps Christie to head
his transition organization


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is beginning to tap key advisers for a move to the White House should he win the November national election.

The billionaire real estate mogul Monday named New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, one of the Republican presidential challengers Trump defeated in his months-long campaign for the nomination, to serve as chairman of his transition team if he wins the election as the successor to President Barack Obama.

Christie, like Trump an outspoken public figure, dropped out of the presidential race in February, after finishing sixth in the party primary in the northeastern state of New Hampshire that Trump won. Christie subsequently endorsed Trump's bid for the Republican nomination and has appeared numerous times at his campaign rallies.

Some U.S. political analysts have mentioned the 53-year-old Christie, a one-time federal prosecutor, as a prominent possibility to join Trump on the Republican ticket as his vice presidential running mate, although Trump has not publicly mentioned whom he is considering.

Trump, a one-time television reality show host who has never held elective office, has also named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, publisher of The New York Observer weekly newspaper and head of a real estate development company, to map out White House transition plans.

With Trump a political novice, little is known about whom he might name to key positions if he wins.

Some prominent Republicans, including the party's last two White House occupants, President George H.W. Bush and his son, President George W. Bush, have declined to endorse him. The party's top current elected official, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, says he is just not ready to support Trump yet.

Trump has won wide support from Republican voters in the state-by-state nominating contests for his call to deport 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, a vow to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep out more migrants, and a proposal to temporarily stop Muslims from entering the U.S.

But Ryan and other Republican leaders have been slow to acclaim Trump as the party's presidential nominee because of his anti-immigration stands, his characterization of Mexican migrants as rapists and drug abusers, and his denigrating comments about some women.

Ryan says he will not support Trump until he changes his sometimes harsh campaign rhetoric and adheres to traditional conservative Republican policies. He is slated to be the chairman of the party's July national nominating convention, but said Monday he would vacate the position if Trump, as the party's nominee, wants him to.

The two men are set to meet Thursday in Washington to air their differences, but Trump says it is possible the two may just go our separate ways.

Numerous U.S. polls show Trump trailing the likely Democratic nominee, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is seeking to become the first female U.S. president. 

Clinton has yet to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination, but holds a significant lead over her sole challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.


Met adopts interactive site
as fourth museum platform

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The role of museums in the 21st century is changing. A modern museum is now a technology-infused experience with an opportunity to explore, learn and have fun. And, it has become available to the world because of the internet.

The Metropolitan Museum of New York, considered one of the world's three great museums alongside the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London, has spent millions of dollars in developing an interactive Web site that can take online visitors to all corners of the museum.

“Technology is hugely important. We think of it as our fourth platform," says Dan Weiss, president of the Met. "We have three buildings, three different museums and our Web site and online presence, it’s a huge source of an audience for us.”

The Met’s Web site alone had over 33 million visitors last year.

The overriding issue the Met grapples with is relevance. Does the modern day museum bring added value to a person’s life? Is the experience enriching? Has the Met adapted to the 21st century?

Weiss puts it this way, “Part of it is simply the quality of the offerings that we have and, in addition to the quality, just the overall strength of our collections we have been building new and more innovative programming in the last several years that interest people.”

He added, “They come to see our special exhibitions, they come to see our live performances, they come to experience what constitutes one of the great cultural centers of the world.”

The Met drew 2.5 million visitors for just three major exhibitions in the past year, and 74 percent of them came from places other than New York City. Almost half were international visitors.

The biggest exhibit in the history of the Met was last year’s “China: Through the Looking Glass.” The interactive Costume Institute presentation looked at the impact of China’s aesthetics on Western fashion by integrating couture with cinema depicting periods of Chinese history. The exhibit took the visitor into the world of China.

“Of course it’s a famous museum," visitor Massimo Carboni of Montreal, Canada, said.  "You hear about it all the time in the news about all the new exhibits they’re getting and it’s a staple of New York. You can’t see the city without seeing it.”

The Costume Institute’s spring exhibition opened in early May.  "Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology," explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine made creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It is already drawing huge crowds, as is a new addition to the roof garden: a haunted house sculpture seemingly off of moviemaker Alfred Hitchcock’s drawing board called “PsychoBarn.”

The Met's 6.3 million visitors last year immersed themselves in 5,000 years of world history through its vast collections from Egyptian temples and the ancient Temple of Dendur to old masters paintings to Greek gods and goddesses, arms and armor, arts of Africa and the Americas, and other incredible artifacts.

The Met’s current operating budget is approximately $300 million this year. It has an endowment of approximately $3 billion, and gets additional income from admissions, memberships, philanthropic gifts and grants, retail operation in the museum, and some government support.

With all that, there is a belt-tightening underway that may cost some jobs. The same is true for other museums in New York City. The Met itself estimates people who came to the museum spent more than $5 billion into the New York economy.

The Met’s permanent collection contains over 2 million works. The museum first opened its door in 1872.

  
Record number of Americans
surrender their U.S. passport


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services


When faced with the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, some Americans have threatened to leave the country, but most of that grumbling is probably just talk.

However, there is a small but growing number of Americans who are following through on a pledge to renounce their citizenship, but it’s likely for other reasons. While millions worldwide clamor for the opportunity to come to the United States to pursue the American dream, more U.S. citizens than ever are giving up their passports.

In the first three months of 2016, 1,158 Americans dumped their passports. In 2015, there were about 4,300 expatriations, a 20 percent increase over the previous year, the third record-breaking year in a row.

Why would anyone want to give up a passport that is arguably one of the most coveted in the world? Some take the drastic measure because they have deeper ties to other countries, some of which don’t allow double citizenship.

However, a complicated tax system appears to be motivating many of these defectors.

The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is global tax law enacted in 2010 after being in the works for a number of years. The law requires that banks in foreign countries disclose all Americans with accounts containing more than $50,000.

American citizens are required to pay taxes on their worldwide income, whether they live in the United States or not. For Americans living abroad, that could mean paying taxes twice, both in the country where they work and live, as well as in the United States, the country of their citizenship.

In a letter to first lady Michelle Obama published on his blog, one former citizen who gave up his passport protested the double taxation of Americans who live and work abroad.

“They are chattel. They are economic slaves,” he wrote. “Yes, no? I love being treated as a slave. I live, work, and pay taxes in Canada, yet my master needs his payment. The concept is against everything I consider American.”

And getting out isn’t cheap. While giving up citizenship is free in some countries, the fee to extricate oneself from the United States keeps going up. At last tally, it cost $2,350 to hand in the passport and walk away.


U.S. and North Carolina file
bathroom bill legal actions


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Obama administration is suing the state of North Carolina over its so-called bathroom bill, saying it breaks federal anti-discrimination laws.

The law requires transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth instead of the gender with which they identify.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday called the North Carolina law state-sponsored discrimination that reminds her of a time when blacks were barred from public facilities and states could dictate who was allowed to marry.

The federal government has named the state, its Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, the Department of Public Safety, and the University of North Carolina, which receives millions in federal funds, in the lawsuit.

"This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens," Ms. Lynch said, stressing that the law has caused "emotional harm, mental anguish, distress, humiliation and indignity" to transgender people.

Earlier Monday, North Carolina sued the federal government to keep the law in place.

McCrory said Washington is "being a bully . . . trying to define gender identity, and there is no clear identification or definition of gender identity."

McCrory and other supporters of the measure defend it as necessary to protect privacy in public bathrooms and guard against men using women's restrooms to spy and prey on women.

Ms. Lynch said the state invented a problem that does not exist as an excuse to discriminate and harass people.

In addition to possibly losing federal funds, North Carolina could also lose hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from businesses that are canceling plans to open offices in the state.

While the North Carolina law was enacted by Republicans over the opposition of state Democratic lawmakers, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, says he does not think the law is necessary.

"There have been very few complaints the way it is," Trump told one interviewer last month. "People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble, and the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic punishment that they're taking."

Trump invited the country's most public transgender person, Caitlyn Jenner, who as a man won an Olympic gold medal, to use whatever restroom she wanted at one of his New York skyscrapers.

Jenner used a women's bathroom and made a point of announcing afterward that she had not been molested while doing so.


Trick with laser opens up
brain to more treatments


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The blood-brain barrier is a natural defense system that prevents harmful substances in the blood from entering the brain.  Doctors may have found a way to get past the barrier to treat cancer patients.

Neurosurgeons have been using lasers to treat brain cancer since 2009, but now they say the technique may also allow them to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly into the brain.

The key is getting past the protective blood-brain barrier, which does its job so well it also keeps out potentially lifesaving chemotherapy drugs.

Kathy Smith has ovarian cancer that spread to her brain, a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

“There were I believe three tumors at that time, and I was not at all happy about those critters,” she said.

Ms. Smith was treated with laser therapy.  Doctors insert a tiny probe into the brain, directly to the cancer where it burns up the tumor from the inside out.

According to Washington University Neurosurgery Professor Eric Leuthardt, during the procedure it was discovered the therapy had an unintended effect on the blood-brain barrier.

“We were able to show that this blood-brain barrier is broken down for about four weeks after you do this laser therapy," he said. "So not only are you killing the tumor, you are actually opening up a window of opportunity to deliver various drugs and chemicals and therapies that could otherwise not get in there.”

In Ms. Smith's case, a powerful, experimental chemotherapy drug called doxorubicin, which has been notoriously hard to get past the barrier was delivered directly into her brain.

“What is interesting is the blood-brain barrier is a two-way street," said Eric Leuthardt. "By breaking it down you can get things into the brain, but also by breaking it down, now things can go from your brain out into your circulation, to your peripheral system, which includes your immune system.”

And the immune system helps fight cancer.

The procedure is dangerous, a compromised blood-brain barrier puts the brain at risk, but so far it has worked well for Ms. Smith.  Patients diagnosed with glioblastoma tumors usually survive just 15 months after diagnosis. 

But Smith has been fighting her cancer since 2009.

“Kind of makes you smile when they say you are a good candidate for something new," she said. "So I got worked into that study and it did work out beautifully.”

The team of neurosurgeons, from Washington University in St. Louis are hoping to publish a more formal report on their work later this year. 
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Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at SellATimeshare.com. 
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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

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

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
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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.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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8906-2/21/16


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

and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

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8953-8/29/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Condo
                                  rollover

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:  parqueos@gmail.com
8936-8/6/16

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email: jsaba00@hotmail.com.
8997-6/22/16
paco two

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

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

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

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

anothiner


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lantz
                                      home
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

8972-6/15/16

San Rmon
                                  rollover
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
8962-6/3/16

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
land
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: www.condojaco.com Contact: Frank condojaco1@gmail.com
8942-9/1/

updated
                                  photo
Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or goodbuyflorida@yahoo.com.
8933-5/2/16

La Uruca condo
FURNISHED  APARTMENT for SALE.
CONDOMINIO SATURNO, LA URUCA,
OUTSKIRTS of SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA,
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410
Email:  BORISKOPIT@YAHOO.COM
8914-2/13/16

Cohen
For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8916-7/22/16

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
8897-3/2/15

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:   djake888@yahoo.com
8846-4/10/16

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

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

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract indyj5vw@yahoo.com or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album
8844-5/11/16

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 91
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Fast, cheaper zika test announced

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A team of researchers based at Harvard University say they have developed a testing method that could quickly diagnose zika virus and do so basically anywhere in the world.

The zika outbreak first hit the Western Hemisphere a year ago with reports of infections in Brazil.  Some 57 countries and territories are now reporting cases of people being infected, most by mosquitoes that can carry the zika virus.  Several countries also have reported cases that appear to have spread through sexual contact.

The World Health Organization says there is scientific consensus that zika is a cause of both the birth defect microcephaly in infants and the nervous system disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome.  Most of the affected countries are in Latin America and the Caribbean, and World Health says if the pattern spreads elsewhere the world faces a severe public health crisis.

Building on work they did to develop a screening method for ebola, the researchers led by synthetic biologist James Collins came up with a way to screen blood, urine or saliva for zika virus.

In a paper published in the journal Cell, they said previous techniques such as looking for antibodies in body fluids are limited because people could have antibodies from similar viruses present in the region such as dengue.  Other methods are expensive and require equipment that is not readily available in many areas.

Their method uses paper cards about the size of a human hand that contain freeze-dried biomolecular components.  Because the concentration of zika virus in the blood is very low, the researchers first amplify the sample through a process that triggers the virus to multiply.  The amplified sample is then applied to the paper card, and if zika is present, the card changes color.

Samples from any positive test can then be applied to another card that is set up to determine which of the many strains of zika virus is present.

The testing can produce a result in as little as 30 minutes with the change in color easily visible to the naked eye.  An even faster result can be achieved by placing the card in a special reader, the researchers say.

"The freeze-dried molecular components remain stable at room temperature, allowing for easy storage and distribution in global settings," the paper says.

In addition to its potential application in a variety of settings, the researchers say their method is also a lot cheaper than others used to detect zika.

There is no vaccine for zika.  World Health says developers in the U.S., France, Brazil, India and Austria are currently working on 23 different projects in order to develop one.  The agency expects some of them to be at the stage of clinical trials by the end of the year, but that a fully tested vaccine may not be available for several years.

Somali trio accused of Islamic State link

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Jury selection began in Minnesota Monday in the federal trial of three Somali-Americans accused of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

Mohamed Farah, 22, Guled Omar, 21 and Abdirahman Daud 22, were among several Minnesota men who met numerous times from March 2014 to April 2015 to look for the best way to travel to Syria to join the terror group. The men were all stopped by law enforcement before they could board planes.

Federal prosecutors said the three have been charged with conspiring to commit murder outside the U.S., which if found, carries the possibility of life in prison. The men all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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From Page 7:

Facebook wins a rare trademark case in China

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Facebook has won a rare trademark lawsuit in China over the use of a version of its name by a Chinese beverage maker.

The Beijing Higher People's Court ruled that Pearl River Drinks should not be allowed to register the trademark face book and that using it on labels of foods and beverages was an obvious act of copying that hurt market competition.

Neither Facebook nor Pear River Drinks were available for comment.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives have made efforts to woo Chinese officials. Zuckerberg had a rare meeting with China's propaganda czar Liu Yunshan, suggesting a warming of relations between the social media giant and China.

Despite the court victory, Facebook and other foreign Web sites continue to be blocked in China by what has become known as the Great Firewall.

Zuckerberg has become a celebrity in China by making speeches in Mandarin and running through noxious smog in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

The Facebook decision comes weeks after a court ruled against technology giant Apple in a similar suit over its iPhone brand. Apple has said it will take its case to China's Supreme People's Court.