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Published Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 96
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axiom new d

A big nut
to crack

The Central American variegated squirrel (Sciurus variegatoides) might seem unusual to those in the north. The coloring is different, and this photo shows so is the diet.

This squirrel spent a lot of time Monday trying to crack this nut in a palm near Tambor on the Nicoya peninsula.

A.M. Costa Rica/Garland Baker

Destination of alcohol tax questioned by lawmakers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Part of the sales tax on alcoholic beverages ends up at three government-related but private organizations.

Four political parties said Monday that they would seek to reform the law and, instead, send this money directly to the country’s 81 municipalities.

This is one of those dedicated taxes that never receives an accounting in the national budget. The political parties, Frente Amplio, Unidad Social Cristiana, Movimiento Libertario and Acción Ciudadana, said the amount was 560 million colons, presumably in a year. 

That is a bit more than $1 million.

The money now goes to the Unión Nacional de Gobiernos Locales, the Asociación Nacional de Alcaldes e Intendentes and the Red Costarricense de Mujeres Municipalistas, all organizations of mayors and local officials.

The announcement of the proposal said that there was a loss of confidence in these organizations because they lacked transparency.

The announcement said that in addition to going to the municipalities, the funds would be directed to a municipal training program and the Universidad Estatal a Distancia. The money would not go into the general fund.

More dengue cases reported despite spray campaigns
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The popular Pacific coast community of Dominical has seen a doubling of dengue cases from 20 to 40.

The mosquito-borne disease spread despite four spraying campaigns by health workers, said resident Steve Fergus.

However, he was quick to praise these efforts and said that health workers have been going from house to house seeking those who are ill.

Health workers also have been spraying

heavily in the Jacó area further north up the coast where at least 11 cases of zika have been detected.

The same mosquito carries both diseases.

The increase in dengue cases was unexpected because of the abnormally dry season caused by the climate conditions in the Pacific. Now that the rainy season has arrived, more cases are expected among those who do not take preventative measures.

Some tourism operations already are reporting cancellations due to zika fears.

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Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
While the water still is low, crews and their machines can remove huge amounts of sediment from the country’s rivers to prevent flooding and damage later in the year. The scene here is on the Río Reventazón at Ruta 32.

British firm awarded Orotina airport job

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The British firm of  Británica MOTT Mac Donald has been picked to prepare a master plan for the proposed Orotina international airport.

The firm was among 12 bidders, and the announcement of the successful firm was Monday.

This is a $1.5 million contract being paid by the regional airport safety agency.

The British firm is expected to help Costa Rican officials pick exactly where the airport will be located and to sketch out designs for the terminal and other facilities.

The Orotina airport is expected to be twice the size of Juan Santamaría
airport in Alajuela with 20 boarding ramps and two runways each three miles long.

Costa Rican officials hope to open the airport sometime before 2030.

Turrialba volcano has another eruption

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano erupted again Monday shortly before noon, but experts keeping an eye on the mountain could not see it due to clouds at the summit of the mountain.

But they were able to see the ash that fell on nearby communities and also determined that the column of ash and vapor was headed to the northwest, as usual.

The Red Sismológica Nacional Costa Rica said that visibility improved around 3 p.m. and the cameras at the summit were able to show the emission of ash. The Red said that the ash was not concentrated but that it was continuing.

Legislature approves treaty against racism

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers approved for the second and final time Monday a bill that brings Costa Rica into an interAmerican treaty against racism and discrimination. The vote was unanimous.

Maureen Clarke Clarke, head of the Partido Liberación Nacional in the legislature, said that the treaty establishes duties for the Costa Rican state to eliminate and sanction various forms of discrimination. The treaty covers both public and private acts.

The treaty also creates an interAmerican committee to monitor adherence.

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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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 96
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Back in business

The rains have returned, and farmers, ranchers and many other residents are happy. In  Pavona de Pococí the transport service to Tortuguero is back in business after a four-day halt due to low water. The trip is on the rios Suerte and Tortuguero.  The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said the boats which carry passengers and cargo began working at 5:30 a.m Monday.
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo

Las Catalinas says it was not the firm involved in a Sala IV water case
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The management of Las Catalinas in Playa Potrero says its project was not the development involved in a Sala IV decision that was the topic of a news story Monday.

Michael García Rojas, Catalina’s director of environmental and community matter, said that the court decision, issued Friday, involves another, unrelated project.

The news story was based on a Poder Judicial news release, although the judiciary did not name specifically the development involved.

In the decision, the Sala IV constitutional court declined to order a local water company to provide service to a development in Playa Potrero.

The Poder Judicial released a short summary Friday that said although there is a fundamental right to drinking water, the local utility does not have to provide services if there are technical reasons in the way. The court also said that the denial of water

service was fully justified due to the fragility and vulnerability of the aquifer in the area. Exploiting the aquifer, the underground water source, might cause the intrusion of salt water, it said. The court magistrates stressed the need to take preventative measures to avoid contamination of the aquifer.

The water in this area of Santa Cruz is provided by an asociación administrador de sistemas de acueductos y alcantarillados sanitarios, basically a local organization.

“It is important to notice that the document refers to a residential condominium in the Potrero area, where there are many of these and that Las Catalinas is never mentioned in it, it is important to notice that the document refers to a residential condominium in the Potrero area, where there are many of these and that Las Catalinas is never mentioned in it,” García said correctly of the Poder Judicial summary.

“Las Catalinas has never promoted nor encouraged any action against the development and welfare of any nearby community. Any suspicion in relation to this topic is invalid and purposefully misleading,” the firm said in an earlier statement.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 96
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Special program seeks to change student attitudes about math
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fear of math may have a lot to do with early education, but there is no doubt that many Americans and Costa Ricans avoid the subject as much as they can.

Tecnológico de Costa Rica says that only 60 percent of would-be Costa Rican high school graduates pass the math section of the bachillerato exam.

By contrast, the Ministerio de Educación Pública has reported that nine out of 10 students pass the Spanish exam and the social studies exam.

Tecnológico de Costa Rica created the math help program in 2014 to give high schoolers a way to pass the bachillerato and to achieve success in university admissions tests. Tecnológico, one of the country’s public universities, is heavy with courses and programs that require good backgrounds in math.

One Tecnológico teacher, Nelson Ramírez, blames social prejudices for students rejecting math. He asserts that math really is not difficult.

Ramírez is involved in the Cartago university’s Programa de Apoyo a la Educación Matemática. He also is a student in the teacher training program for presenting math via computers.
He said that the key to success for any student is attitude.

Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo
A math help class is in progress.

So far 800 students in their last year of secondary or technical school have benefited.  The program started in Limón and then spread to Osa, Guanacaste, San José and San Carlos. Each class has nine or 10 students.

There is a special word for fear of math: Arithmophobia. And those afflicted sometimes are unable to follow the career of their choice.

Eight teachers in the program, including Ramírez, present two-hour courses twice each Saturday in various schools.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

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. 

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


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Real estate rentals (paid category)

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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 96
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Axiom new ad

Canada’s marijuana plans
called contrary to treaties

By the Canadian Medical Association Journal news staff

The Canadian government's plan to legalize marijuana contravenes its current legal obligations to the United Nation's international drug-control conventions, states a commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"The federal government should immediately take proactive steps to seek a reservation to the marijuana provisions of these treaties and/or to initiate their renegotiation in light of its legalization plans," wrote Steven Hoffman and Roojin Habibi, both with the Global Strategy Lab at the University of Ottawa's Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics. "If these diplomatic efforts fail, Canada must formally withdraw from these treaties to avoid undermining international law and compromising its global position."

Three legally binding international treaties control or prohibit access to various drugs around the world, including marijuana.

Other jurisdictions, such as Colorado and Washington in the United States and Uruguay, have legalized marijuana and violate current U.N. conventions.

The authors suggest that the most feasible option for Canada is to withdraw from these treaties. The federal government could then fulfill its campaign promise to legalize marijuana without violating international law.

"Formally withdrawing from outdated treaties like these is a country's sovereign right. It may also be a moral duty if the government believes the conventions' required policies are harmful," state the authors.

U.S. Supreme Court dodges
Obamacare-religion issue

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sister Loraine stood outside the U.S. Supreme Court last March and rejected the Obama administration's offer of compromise.

The mother provincial for the Little Sisters of the Poor joined several other religious nonprofits across the country to tell the world she refused to fill out a form that would release her from the obligation to pay for insurance coverage of employees' contraceptive use. She said the form was not, as the government claimed, an accommodation of her religious beliefs but rather a compromise of her conscience.

The highest court in the land sought yet another opportunity for compromise Monday, sending the Little Sisters' case back to the lower courts for a decision that could ultimately satisfy both sides in a divisive election year battle.

"It's a compromise and a non-decision," said Steve Vladeck, professor of law at the American University Washington College of Law. "It's a result of an evenly divided court on the merits and so the justices found a way to basically make the case go away without endorsing the other side's position," he said.

The court's opinion in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidation of cases filed by religious nonprofits that objected to the Obama administration's mandate for contraceptive funding under the Affordable Care Act, was just the latest development in a long-running battle.

"The government is requiring us to include services in our religious health care plan that violate some of our deepest held religious beliefs," Sister Loraine wrote in a statement earlier this year.

She was objecting not only to the coverage, but also to the accommodation created by the administration that would have allowed religious organizations to file a form saying contraceptive coverage violated their religious beliefs. This option would have opened the door for the government and insurance companies to separately arrange for coverage of the employee's contraceptive use. Sister Loraine and other religious organizations continued with their lawsuits, saying their religious freedom was still being violated due to the fact that employees were receiving coverage of contraceptives.

The court's unsigned opinion declined to consider the case on its merits, but the move was still analyzed for possible signs of victory or defeat on both sides.

"We're seeing the Supreme Court knock it back to the lower courts because in some way the idea is that we need to reach an accommodation with these businesses," said Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, an organization that supports women's rights to follow their conscience in matters of sexuality and reproductive health.

O'Brien said he was disappointed by the court's failure to stand up for the individual, conscience-based rights of workers." He said that "the idea that an employer can have a say in what benefits you can or cannot get, based upon their personal views on sex, sexuality or religion, I think that ultimately that is a very slippery and a very dangerous slope to go down."

But compromise in the heated battle over reproductive rights could be a victory.

"The court is calming things down and using a common sense approach," said Chad Pecknold, an associate professor at the Catholic University of America, who studies the intersections between religion and culture.

Pecknold said the return to the lower courts could favor the case brought by the Little Sisters and other religious organizations. He said changes in the way the government has argued its case necessitated the return to the lower courts so that new compromises could be considered.

"It's a prudential win for religious liberty," he said.

Ultimately, the move back to the lower courts may push the government to "work out some kind of arrangement with insurance companies so that the employees of these religious groups can be covered by the contraceptive mandate without any involvement from their employers," Vladeck said.

He added, "If that can happen, then I think these cases will all be dismissed."

House Speaker Paul Ryan called for an end to the battle in a statement released in response to the court's opinion.

"The Sisters deserve relief from this mandate, and an end to this ordeal," Ryan said. "The administration should resolve this as soon as possible."

The court's opinion was noticeably impacted by the absence of a ninth Supreme Court justice, due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. While the case will answer key questions about the debate over religious freedom and women's health in this country, it also highlights the stalemate of election year politics.

"I don't think there's any question that if Justice Scalia had been involved in this case, the matter would have gone to the merit and we would be talking about a very important ruling one way or another on religious freedom," Vladeck said.

Scalia was a strong conservative voice on the court and could have tipped the balance for a 5-4 decision in favor of the religious organizations. The court could be reluctant to rule on controversial cultural issues of this import without a full group of justices. If the lower courts do not reach a satisfactory decision for both sides, the lawsuits would not make their way back to the Supreme Court until well after the fall presidential election, which will likely resolve the impasse on the appointment of a ninth justice.

"Here's yet another indication of what happens when a Supreme Court is evenly divided," Vladeck said.

Amtrak train crash blamed
on a distracted engineer

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal investigation into last year's deadly train derailment in Philadelphia has concluded that the engineer was distracted, according to officials close to the investigation.

Officials say train engineer Brandon Bostian was distracted by radio conversations between trains and dispatchers about trains being hit by rocks, prior to the May 2015 crash that killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to announce its findings at a public meeting today in Washington.

Bostian, who suffered a concussion in the crash, told investigators he has little memory of what occurred prior to the accident. Investigators say they found no evidence the engineer was using a cellphone, or alcohol or drugs.

The Amtrak passenger train was traveling from Washington to New York when it derailed along a curve of track in Philadelphia while traveling at more than 160 kilometers per hour, more than twice the speed limit.

U.S.Senate is facing options
on paying for zika campaigns

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress is set this week to consider several measures to pay for research into a vaccine for the deadly zika mosquito virus and a plan to control mosquitoes that spread the disease.

The question remains, however, how much lawmakers are willing to spend to curb the virus that can cause the birth defect microcephaly, which leaves babies with small heads and deformed brains and impairs growth.

Three months ago, President Barack Obama proposed a $1.9 billion plan to develop a vaccine, control the mosquitoes and help other countries fight the virus. But his Republican opponents in Congress said that was too costly and balked at approving it.

Republicans in the House of Representatives offered a $622 million proposal Monday for vaccine development and international mosquito control.

The Senate is planning to start voting today on Obama's plan, a competing Republican alternative and a compromise measure costing $1.1 billion.

Even if these measures clear the two chambers, the outlines for a final accord are not clear.

To date, there have been more than 500 cases of zika contamination in the United States, all of which so far have been associated with overseas travel. Last week, Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean Sea, reported its first case of zika-borne microcephaly.

Urban U.S. murder spike
generates mixed opinions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Federal law enforcement authorities are trying to figure out why there has been a recent spike in homicides in more than two dozen U.S. cities.

Data released recently by the Major Cities Chiefs Association show first-quarter homicides increased in about half of the 63 police departments represented in the report over the same period a year ago. The other law enforcement agencies said homicide rates remain unchanged or below last year's levels.

There were sharp increases in homicides in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Authorities had no definitive explanation for the uptick.

"I don't know what the answer is, but holy cow, we do have a problem," FBI Director James Comey told reporters in Washington.

Comey suggested the homicide increases may be due to what has become known as the Ferguson effect, a term that spread after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed African-American assailant, 18-year-old Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.

The killing, and the protests that followed, helped usher in a new era of police scrutiny, which Comey believes has made police less aggressive.

Darrel Stephens, executive director of the group that released the report, acknowledged that Comey is "not the only one that has that perspective. But, he added, "it's not one that I share."

The FBI director's remarks also drew reaction from White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who, during a briefing with reporters Friday, said, "This administration makes policy decisions that are rooted in evidence, that are rooted in science."

Earnest said that while homicides have undoubtedly increased in some U.S. cities, "There's no evidence at this point to link that surge in violent crime to the so-called viral video effect, or the Ferguson effect."

Other law enforcement officials and criminologists are unsure as to why there were sharp spikes in homicides in some cities but say they believe contributing factors include a rise in heroin addiction and the accessibility of illegal guns by gang members.

Still, other experts have maintained that conclusions cannot be reached because the data represent only the first three months of 2016 and, despite the recent increase, homicides remain at historic lows.

Stephens emphasized that the numbers do not provide a nationwide snapshot of homicides because the information was compiled from 63 police agencies that represent only the largest cities and counties in the United States.

In the cities that saw the greatest surges in homicides, many were concentrated in certain neighborhoods and, thus "a problem most of America can drive around," Comey said. "It's happening in certain parts of the cities, and the people dying are almost entirely black and Latino men, and we can't drive around that problem."

Obama bathroom decree
aggravates conservatives

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Conservative critics are sharply attacking a new edict from President Barack Obama's administration that transgender students in the United States be allowed to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

"Texas is fighting this," declared Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a long-time Obama opponent.  "Obama can't rewrite the Civil Rights Act.  He's not a king."

Another state leader, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, said, "I recommend that school districts disregard guidance on gender identification in schools."

The country's Justice and Education departments last week issued what they described as a guidance to thousands of school districts around the country on how to treat transgender students and to deal with questions of what bathrooms they should use.

The order came just days after the Justice Department and the eastern U.S. state of North Carolina sued each other over enforcement of a law in that state requiring transgender people use bathrooms that conform to their gender at birth.

The country's top law enforcement official, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, said, "There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex."

Under the U.S. political system, many educational issues are decided at the state level of government, and more specifically by local school boards that govern schools in their communities.

"This guidance gives administrators, teachers, and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies," Ms. Lynch said.

But conservative leaders and lawmakers in the United States have long chafed at federal government orders issued during the seven-plus years Obama has been president as over-reaching control by Washington on policies they believe should be decided at the state or local level.

Luther Strange, the attorney general in the southern state of Alabama, vowed to fight what he called the absurd Obama order.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said Obama "is intentionally dividing America by threatening to sue or withhold funding from our cash-strapped public schools if they do not agree with his personal opinion on policies that remain squarely in their jurisdiction.  They should not feel compelled to bow to such intimidation."

A prominent conservative Christian evangelist, Franklin Graham, said, "Who does President Barack Obama think he is?  The sultan of Washington?  Does he think he can just make a decree and we will bow down and simply obey?  What about the privacy and protection of all the other students? Isn’t this discrimination against all of them?"

"This opens up bathrooms to sexual predators and perverts," Graham said.

The White House is defending the new mandate, with Obama spokesman Josh Earnest saying, "The foundation of this guidance is that people should not be discriminated against just because of who they are."

First U.S. penis transplant
disclosed by Boston patient

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Massachusetts man is recovering from the United States' first penis transplant, and doctors in Boston say they are cautiously optimistic he will make a full recovery.

The patient, Thomas Manning, 64, lost his penis to cancer in 2012 and was given a new one last week thanks to an anonymous dead donor.

Manning said he wanted to go public about his surgery, which took 15 hours, to encourage others who may be ashamed or humiliated by the loss of a sex organ.

If all goes well, doctors say Manning will regain full urinary and sexual functions. They also say they want to ensure the operation is a success before they perform it on others, including wounded soldiers.

The world's first successful penis transplant was undertaken last year in South Africa.

It was tried in China about 10 years ago, but the patient asked doctors to remove the organ because he and his wife had psychological problems.

Manning's doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital said his psychological state will play a big role in his recovery.

"Emotionally, he's doing amazing," Curtis Cetrulo told a news conference Monday. "I'm really impressed with how he's handling things. … He wants to be whole again. He does not want to be in the shadows."

The Boston Herald reported that Cetrulo was among the lead surgeons on a team of more than 50.

Space station logs a record
100,000 orbits around earth 

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Space Station celebrated a major milestone Monday, 100,000 orbits.

Those orbits around the globe add up to more than 4.6 billion kilometers or 10 round trips from Earth to Mars, according to NASA.

Since the first module was launched 17 years ago, 222 astronauts and cosmonauts from the U.S., Canada, Russia, Europe and Japan have lived aboard the space station.

Two Americans, three Russians and a British astronaut are currently up there, carrying out a variety of scientific experiments, including tests on mice that experts hope will one day prevent bones and muscles from weakening in space.

Chinese online marketer
blackballed over fakes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An anti-counterfeiting group on Friday suspended e-commerce giant Alibaba from its group after backlash from member companies that see the Chinese firm as the world's largest marketplace for fakes.

In recent weeks Gucci America, Michael Kors and Tiffany have quit the U.S.-based International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition over Alibaba's presence among the group's ranks.

The coalition also acknowledged conflicts of interest, admitting it failed to disclose to its board connections between Alibaba and the coalition’s president, Robert Barchiesi.

Earlier in the day, The Associated Press reported that Barchiesi had stock in Alibaba, had close ties to an Alibaba executive and had used family members to help run the coalition.

The coalition said it would hire an independent firm to review its corporate government policies.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Alibaba’s China marketplaces handled $485 billion in merchandise volume in the financial year ending March 31, which analysts estimated was more than Amazon and eBay combined.

Critics of the Chinese firm say Alibaba's sites are rife with fakes, which damage production companies' bottom lines, can harm consumers who unknowingly buy such products, and feed a vast underground money-laundering industry that supports criminal syndicates.

"Whether or not we are a member of the IACC, we will continue our productive and results-oriented relationships with brands, governments and all industry partners,'' said Jennifer Kuperman, Alibaba's head of international corporate affairs.

Trump tells British viewers
he’s irked with their leaders

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Donald Trump says he may end up having a bad relationship with British Prime Minister David Cameron.  The prime minister called the presumptive Republican presidential nominee divisive, stupid and wrong for proposing a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

"It looks like we are not going to have a very good relationship, who knows?" Trump told Britain's ITV network Monday.  "I hope to have a good relationship with him, but it sounds like he is not willing to address the problem either."

Cameron denounced Trump's stance on Muslims entering the U.S. last December, with Trump offering his proposal after terrorist attacks by Muslims killed 130 people in Paris and 14 in San Bernardino, California.

"Well, number one, I'm not stupid, OK?  I can tell you that right now," Trump said.  "Just the opposite.  Number two, in terms of divisive, I don't think I'm a divisive person.  I'm a unifier, unlike our president now, I'm a unifier."

Britain and the United States have what they call a special relationship, but Cameron's office Monday refused to retract his earlier comments about Trump.  The British leader has said that anyone who wins a major political party presidential nomination in the United States deserves respect.

Trump surged to the top of the crowded Republican presidential field with his call for the Muslim ban, an idea he lately has been calling a suggestion, and plans to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to halt the stream of immigrants entering the country.

The brash Trump, a real estate billionaire making his first run for elected office, rejected claims that he is anti-Muslim.

"Absolutely not.  I am anti-terror," he said.

In the interview, he also attacked London's new mayor, Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim elected to run a Western capital city.

Khan branded Trump as ignorant on Islam and said he hopes he loses the U.S. election against his likely Democratic opponent, former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump said he was offended by Khan's comments.

"I think they were very rude statements and, frankly, tell him I will remember those statements.  They are very nasty statements," Trump said.  "When he won I wished him well.  Now, I don't care about him."

A Khan spokesman on Monday again described Trump's views as "ignorant, divisive and dangerous.  It's the politics of fear at its worst and will be rejected at the ballot box."
Real estate-related services (paid category)
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 

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
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

House for Sale in Escazu Downtown
Condo near downtown Escazú Centro, Country Day School and Paco Shopping Center. 2 floors, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Maid's quarters, patio, 24-hour guard,   clubhouse and pool  Price $170,000 or best offer Call Lewis at 506 2288-2250 or 506 8828-6749.
Email: or

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


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!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 96
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disbled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Colombian police make a big coke haul

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Colombian police Sunday said they had seized eight tons of cocaine from the country’s most active criminal syndicate, the Usuga clan.

In a statement, police said they found the drugs hidden on a banana plantation near the border with Panamá in Colombia’s northwest Uraba region.

"The biggest seizure of drugs in history. A hit against criminals," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter.

Police said they arrested three people in the operation, but three more escaped. Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said nearly 1.5 tons of the cocaine was packaged and ready to go.

Each year, police said, the Usuga clan sends tons of cocaine into the United States. U.S. authorities have offered a $5 million reward for the capture of the gang’s leader.

Colombia is the leading coca growing country in the world, and produces 442 tons of cocaine from the crop each year, according to the United Nations.

Greece expects record number of tourists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Despite the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis, Greece expects to welcome a record 27 million tourists this year.

“I think it’s an achievement given the fact that we have capital controls, we still have the refugee and migration crisis, which makes tourists think twice if they want to visit Lesbos or some other places that are migration hubs,” the government’s top spokesperson, Lefteris Kretsos told reporters Monday.

“Greece is a brand name in tourism. It was always, and I think it will always be,” he added.

In part, Greece could be seeing higher tourist numbers because of the political instability and terrorist attacks that have scared off international travelers from nearby Egypt and Turkey.

Both of those nations have catered to millions of tourists in the past, but now have seen their numbers drop dramatically.

Greece has suffered a prolonged economic crisis, but otherwise has remained safe and stable. Last year the country received some 26.5 million international visitors.

“The biggest tourist agencies are confident about Greece,” said an upbeat Kretsos, who touted Greece’s many attractive qualities for tourists, including good weather, great food and ancient monuments. He also cited as enhancing Greece's international image is the way the country has handled the more than 1 million refugees and migrants who have arrived since 2015.

“The fact that ordinary people have treated migrants with a lot of support is also something that I think attracts more people to visit Greece; it’s not an obstacle at the end of the day,” said Kretsos.

Tourism is a key contributor to the Greek economy. According to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, it comprises more than 20 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and accounts for one out of every five jobs.

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From Page 7:

Buffett picks up $1 billion in Apple shares

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett appears to be giving the slumping Apple stock a vote of confidence.

The company he runs, Berkshire Hathaway, bought just over 9.8 million shares in the tech giant, according to regulatory papers released Monday.

The average price paid was $109 a share.

Apple shares are down 14 percent so far this year, and Buffett himself has already taken a loss on the purchase as shares are currently valued at just over $90.

The shares did get a 2 percent bump in early trading Monday on the Buffett news.

The billionaire investor has typically eschewed tech stocks, opting instead for blue chip companies like Kraft Heinz, Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola, among others.

Despite the purchase valued at nearly $1 billion, Buffett’s exposure to Apple is relatively small by his standards.

He also has holdings of IBM, which he has been accumulating over the past several years, and he is reportedly backing a bid to buy Yahoo.

Buffett’s move is the opposite of investor Carl Icahn, who recently sold his firm’s entire stake in Apple. Icahn was reportedly concerned about the company facing stiff competition in China’s growing market.

The big purchase and subsequent stock boost make Apple, at least temporarily, the most valuable company in the world, displacing Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google.