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Published Monday, May 23, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 100
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Turrialba Volcano continues to be a messy irritation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The ash coming from the Volcán Turrialba is creating problems over much of the country. The gritty, gray ash seems to be everywhere and defies normal cleanup.

The volcano has been continuing to emit ash and vapor since Friday morning. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional says the bulk of the ash is going to the west and northwest. There are reports that some ash has been spotted as far away as the central Pacific coast.

Many Costa Rican windows are of the louver type and cannot be closed completely. The ash permeates, covers all the flat surfaces and leaves a gray film.

Of course at points closer to the volcano the ash fall can be an inch or two deep. Schools are closed there, and farmers continue to receive hay trucked in for milk animals. There were electrical outages caused by the ash Sunday.

Costa Ricans have been using vacuum cleaners as well as manual methods to corral the ash over the weekend. There is a danger to electronic equipment. If the emissions increase, homeowners should try to eliminate a buildup of ash on the roof, experts advise.

Another recommendation is to wet down an area before cleaning up the ash to prevent the material from becoming airborne again.

At a few public places adults and children can

be seen wearing surgical masks. Some have respiratory problems aggravated by the ash.

Emergency officials were hoping that the volcano would go back to sleep. But their hopes were dashed at 7:41 a.m. Friday when a major eruption sent ash sweeping into the downtown of the capital.

Since then occasional blasts have been sending columns of ash thousands of feet into the air.

Airline traffic has been nearly normal. Juan Santamaría airport suspended flight operations briefly Saturday. Friday some inbound jets landed in Liberia insteadof Alajuela.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico said that its monitoring camera at the summit of the volcano was out of service Sunday, perhaps due to ash. There also are frequent small earthquakes associated with the volcano. Monitoring continues through a similar camera placed on the Irazú volcano nearby.

Two television stations also maintain cameras near the summit, the Observatorio said.

The emergency commission issued a statement Sunday urging residents to have the basic gear on hand in case the volcanic activity increases. The commission suggests keeping handy bottled water, food, a battery-operated radio with spare batteries and flashlights.

The commission also urged keeping ash out of the storm sewer. It can be recycled for use in the garden, the commission noted.

Osa remains believed to be of  Alaska outdoorsman
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators have confirmed the discovery of human remains in the Parque Nacional Corcovado. The remains are presumed to be those of Cody Roman Dial, an Alaskan outdoorsman who vanished there nearly two years ago.

Reports from forensic examination, including DNA, still are pending, but investigators base their preliminary identification on items found nearby.

Parque Nacional Corcovado is one of the most primitive sections of Costa Rica, and it is full of predators, human or otherwise.

The Anchorage native was confirmed to have checked out of a Puerto Jiménez hotel July 18, 2014. The last contact he had with relatives back home was through a later email he sent to his father, advising him that he would be kayaking through the park and possibly starting at Río Conte.

The Judicial Investigating Organization was quick to point out over the weekend that Dial entered the park without a guide or without informing park rangers. There were extensive searches conducted after he vanished.

His father came to Costa Rica from Alaska. The elder Dial is an accomplished explorer and biologist listed on National Geographic’s explorer program, which funds discovery projects and research across the world.

Investigators said the location the remains were near Quebrada Doctor between Cerro Tigre and Cerro Los Negritos in the heart of the park.

The younger Dial was 27 when he vanished, and he was presumed to be in good health. Pathologists will try to determine how he died.

Investigators said they were informed of the

Dial site
Judicial Investigation Organization photo
Recovery team is at the scene.

discovery of remains Friday and mounted an
expedition into the park Saturday. They reported that the team took six hours to reach the location.

The team reached the site Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning they began processing the scene. They reported they found tennis shoes, the container of a tent, a small pack and a compass, among other items.

They were supposed to leave the park Sunday afternoon. They said that one of the members of the team was from the U.S. Embassy.

There was no word on who found the remains, although the park is frequented by illegal hunters, gold panners and even drug smugglers.
The animals include pumas and jaguars.

The park is on the Osa peninsula in extreme southwest Costa Rica. Parts of the park never have been explored because of the dense jungle and wetlands.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 100
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Ruta 31 is closed to traffic yet again

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Rains caused more slides on troubled Ruta 32 north of San José Sunday. Officials closed the key roadway in both directions at 3 p.m. and promised that machinery would be brought into the area early today.

The slide happened some 32 kilometers from San José, and there were other slides reported farther to the north.

This the key link between the capital, the northern zone and the Caribbean coast.

Ruta 32 in many places is basically a shelf road with towering cliffs on the west side and a steep dropoff to the east. Highway officials have promised a redesign and mitigation of the problem. The highway frequently is closed when there are heavy rains.

A lengthy and less direct route usually is open through Turrialba.

Invasive crocs raise alarm in Florida

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those sea-going crocodiles usually have something else on their mind when they pass by surfers and swimmers on the Pacific beaches.

Genetic analyses show that there is substantial breeding between colonies of crocs that inhabit the river mouths. And once in awhile, a large river croc is seen in the sea headed to another river mouth.

Things could be worse. And they are getting that way in Florida.

The University of Florida reports that DNA tests there show the invasion of Nile crocodiles in the wild. There have been some captures of the creatures.

These are the African crocs (Crocodylus niloticus) that easily reach 18 feet and are known to eat zebras, small hippos and humans, said the university, adding that the creatures can weigh as much as a car.

“Now three juveniles of the monster crocodile, have been found in South Florida, swimming in the Everglades and relaxing on a house porch in Miami,” the university reported Friday.

Scientists have expressed their concern and suggested that the African crocs travel from their homes as part of the worldwide pet trade. Florida’s Everglades also is plagued by Burmese pythons, which also is an invasive species and responsible for feasting on a number of other species in the wilds.

Alajuela mercado blaze blamed on short

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fire investigators are blaming the electrical system in a shoe store for a blaze that destroyed eight businesses and damaged eight more about 3 a.m. Friday.

The blaze was in the Alajuela Mercado Central. Fire fighters said the blaze was contained  to 460 square meters, nearly 5,000 square feet.

Fire investigators reported that the market redid its electrical system in 2014, but each of the small stores in the facility has its own system in addition to the one maintained by the market.

Man shot fatally on Paseo Colón
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Someone cut down a 26-year-old man about 5 a.m. Sunday on Paseo Colón, one of the capital’s main street.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the motive for the shooting and what happened still is unclear.

The multi-lane street leads from Parque la Sabana to an intersection near Hospital San Juan de Dios. Recently there have been several popular bars and dance locations opened in in the area.

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, Monday, May 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 100
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Police report the mass arrest of 10 accused of being in a robbery gang
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública detained 10 persons in actions Friday and Saturday and said that the individuals made up a robbery gang.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública said its intelligence department provided the information for the identifications and the arrests. Eight arrests were made in Palo Seco de Quepos and the rest in the vicinity of the Caribeño bus terminal in San José. Officers also said they located a vehicle in the capital that contained evidence of a robbery that had taken place a few hours earlier.

Robberies usually are staged by two or three individuals.

This is the first indication that the crime had been elevated to an organized effort.

Seven of the individuals arrested were Nicaraguans, and one was a Colombian who is the subject of a murder warrant in his home country, said police.

The Fuerza Pública usually is not involved in the investigation and arrests outside of crime scenes. Normally those duties are reserved for the Judicial Investigating Organization.

That Sunday night boom did not come from the Turrialba volcano
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those sounds Sunday night were not sonic booms or the Turrialba volcano blowing its top.

Some government and police agencies reported calls of concern from the citizenry, and the Red Sismológica Nacional said that the sounds were atmospheric and unrelated to the volcano.

Such sounds sometimes are fodder for those alternative science sites that see mystery in everything. The sounds Sunday were

certainly a form of thunder, although no rain was generated.

There were at least two distinct sounds that resembled distant thunder shortly after 8 p.m.

Residents of Alajuela told the Red Sismológica that the sounds were particularly strong there.

Such naturally occurring sounds sometimes have been linked to flying saucers, terrorism or heavenly beings by those who exploit the fears of the public.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 100
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Pools, hot tubs can harbor compounds that cause mutations, study says
By the American Chemical Society news staff

Whether water is hot in a tub or cold in a pool, it can bring immediate relief from stress or summer heat. But hot tubs and swimming pools are not always as clean as bathers might think, even when disinfected. In a new study in Environmental Science & Technology, researchers found that the more these facilities are used, the more potentially harmful compounds they contain.

Disinfectants such as chlorine kill pathogens in hot tubs and swimming pools, whether they are personal or public facilities. But disinfectants also react with sweat, urine and other substances that users add to the water. Studies of swimming pools have identified many of the resulting compounds, called disinfection byproducts. And testing has shown that they can cause genetic damage to cells in lab settings.

Other reports have found that some people who swim or work in and around pools have higher rates of certain health problems, including respiratory symptoms and bladder cancer. Susan D. Richardson and colleagues took a closer look at hot tubs, in addition to pools, to help flesh out potential problems with disinfection byproducts.

The researchers sampled water from public and private hot tubs and pools from tap to basin, and after both normal and intense use. They identified more than 100 disinfection byproducts in the water and tested extracts of the samples for

swimming pool
American Chemical Society photo
Compounds that cause mutations could be waiting.

their potential to cause genetic damage to cells in the lab.

On average, pool and hot tub samples were 2.4 to 4.1 times more likely to cause genetic damage than the original tap water used to fill them. Heavy use increased the presence of undesirable compounds further.

But, the researchers say, pool and hot tub operators could reduce disinfection byproducts by cleaning facilities and changing water more frequently. In addition, they could encourage swimmers to shower before sliding in and to use toilets when needed.

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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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 100
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Axiom new ad

Right wing candidate holds
slim lead in Austrian voting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Vote counting in Austria's presidential election shows far-right candidate Norbert Hofer and independent Alexander Van der Bellen in a dead heat, leaving a winner to be determined today after nearly 90,000 absentee ballots are counted.

With virtually all of the ballots cast Sunday tallied, euro-skeptic Hofer, the nominee of the anti-immigration Freedom Party, held 51.9 percent of  the vote to Van der Bellen's 48.1 percent.

A Hofer win would make him the first far-right head of state in the European Union since the continent-wide trade and political bloc was formed in 1993.  It would also mark the best far-right showing in Austria since the end of World War II.

Sunday's faceoff came just weeks after Hofer and former Green Party chief Van der Bellen swept aside challenges from ruling Social Democrat coalition candidates Rudolph Hundstorfer and Andreas Khol.  Both Hundstorfer and Khol were routed April 24 in first round voting, with each winning about 11 percent of the vote. 

A huge influx of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia into western Europe has spawned a backlash against official EU policy that initially welcomed migrants to the relative safety and prosperity of western Europe.

Sentiment began shifting as Austria took in 90,000 asylum seekers last year, while neighboring Germany opened its borders to more than one million migrants, many of them fleeing Syria's long and deadly civil war.

EU officials have since negotiated a deal with Turkey under which migrants fleeing its shores by boat for Greece will be returned in exchange for nearly $7 billion in European aid.

New corruption site aims
to target Russian malfeasance

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Making documentary evidence of government corruption accessible to anyone with an Internet connection seems to be catching on.

Earlier this month, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists launched a searchable public database for the Panamá Papers, the more than 11.5 million documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm revealing how wealthy individuals, including government officials, used offshore accounts to hide wealth, some of it acquired illicitly.

Now comes a searchable internet portal containing thousands of documents pertaining to official malfeasance in Russia and other former Soviet states.

Launched by the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based think tank, the Kleptocracy Archive provides access to a database that it says will enable users to identify key actors in the complicated patronage and business networks that characterize kleptocracies, a term used for governments whose officials engage in large-scale misappropriation of public funds for personal enrichment.

The Kleptocracy Archive states that while the individuals of interest included in its database are associated with kleptocratic regimes for many reasons, their inclusion does not in itself imply wrongdoing of any kind, but nonetheless is critical to understanding how modern kleptocracies function and the grave threats they pose to democracy.

The database currently lists 94 individuals (although several reputed Russian organized crime gangs are listed as individuals), including two sitting presidents,  Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko.

While the individuals listed are from four countries, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Uzbekistan, the vast majority of them are Russian.

Under the portal’s recently added heading is the name of Vladimir Barsukov (also known as Vladimir Kumarin), who is described as the former vice president of Petersburg Fuel Co. and the alleged boss of the St. Petersburg-based Tambov criminal organization, which itself is also listed, separately, as a new entry).

​Last June, Spanish prosecutors filed a criminal complaint of more than 400 pages that linked close associates of President Putin, including officials in his government, with the Tambov group. Putin held several top posts in the St. Petersburg city administration before moving to Moscow in 1996.

At the Kleptocracy Archive’s launch in Washington, Karen Dawisha, author of the book “Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?” and a member of the Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative Advisory Council, said the biggest takeaway from the archive’s documents is that they provide absolute proof of the symbiosis between Russian organized crime and the Kremlin.

"What you have in the archives are documents from the FBI," Dawisha said. "You have documents from the Germans. You have documents from the Swiss. You have documents from the Austrians. And you have documents from the Spanish. All concluding this basic connection."

The Kleptocracy Archive also includes an English-language translation of a document apparently leaked from the Kremlin that was published by the Russian newspaper Kommersant immediately after Putin became president in 2000 but later removed from the newspaper’s own electronic archive.

The document detailed plans to reform the Russian presidential administration by dividing it into open and closed sections, with the apparent aim of creating the impression the government was pro-democratic and reformist, while the president and his subordinates would make all the real decisions behind closed doors.

The plan included details of possible moves against political opponents of the Kremlin and independent media similar to those Putin subsequently took.

David Satter, a Hudson Institute senior fellow and member of the Kleptocracy Initiative Advisory Council, who is also author of the book “Darkness At Dawn: The Rise Of Russia's Criminal State,” said the archive will help Western politicians and experts develop appropriate diplomatic and other relations with representatives of Russia at all levels.

"There are always some practical issues that we have to discuss with the Russian government," Satter said. "But it is literally riddled with organized crime, so the problem before us is complex.

"We cannot do without contacts with the Russian authorities, because they preside over the destinies of millions of people. The most important thing is to know who you are dealing with and to understand who you are sitting down with at the negotiating table," he said. "One of the main weaknesses of American diplomacy is that we always see in our Russian interlocutors people who are very similar to us. But this is absolutely not the case."

World War II woman pilots
regain rights to Arlington

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A rare bipartisan effort by Congress righted a wrong last week with the president signing a bill allowing the ashes of female World War II pilots to be placed with
full honors in Arlington National Cemetery outside the nation's capital.

The policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015.

Tiffany Miller and her sisters, who started an online

Lt. Harmon
Lt. Harmon
campaign to give their grandmother Lt. Elaine Danforth Harmon the right to an Arlington burial, were elated by the news, they said.

It was her last wish to be in Arlington," Tiffany Miller told CNN. "We haven't been able to hold a funeral for her because we wanted to honor that wish."

Ms. Harmon died in April at age 95. She served as a female pilot.

Miller told The Washington Post that her family would now apply at Arlington for a new funeral date, which she estimated would take about a year.

Friday, President Barack Obama signed the bill, which was passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. Congress, said she introduced the bill to honor the service and sacrifice the women pilots did in defending our freedom."

“If they were good enough to fly for our country, risk their lives and earn the Congressional Gold Medal, they should be good enough for Arlington," Sen. Mikulski told the Post.

Joni Ernst, a Republican of Iowa, was a co-sponsor in the Senate. The House bill was sponsored by Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican.

Rep. McSally, a former A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot, cited the female fliers as inspiration, according to a report in the military paper Stars & Stripes.

The women who served as Women Airforce Service Pilots have struggled to be viewed as veterans since its inception.

The program lasted two years, from 1942 to 44, and just over 1,000 women served in it. Of those, 38 died in service, 11 in training and 27 during missions.

The women pilots flew Army planes across the country, taking part in noncombat missions to free up male pilots for combat. They transported cargo, helped train pilots on how to operate the aircraft and instruments and towed targets for live-ammunition air-to-air gunnery practice and ground-to-air anti-aircraft practice.

But the female pilots also faced cultural and gender bias against women serving in nontraditional roles. They were considered civilians throughout their wartime service.

"If a girl got killed, her parents didn't get anything, not even a flag -- nothing,"  Barbara Erickson London said during an interview in 2014. "Not even any acknowledgement that their daughter had been in the military." Ms. London was an Army pilot.

It wasn't until 1977 that they were given veteran status. In 2002, Arlington Cemetery's superintendent said the women would finally be allowed to have their ashes placed at Arlington with military honors.

In 2009, all Women Airforce Service Pilots were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest honors Congress can bestow.

The policy allowing for burials at Arlington was revoked in 2015 by former Army secretary John McHugh. His memo cited Army lawyers as saying Arlington National Cemetery's superintendent did not have the authority to allow such inurnments. The Army also cited increasingly limited space in the nation's military cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery, founded in 1866, is a military cemetery located across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Monument in Washington, D.C. It is the resting place for more than 300,000 veterans of every American conflict, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are strict requirements for ground burials at the cemetery, where space is increasingly limited.

Any active duty member of the Armed Forces, except those serving on active duty for training only, and any veteran who is retired from active military service are allowed to be buried in Arlington.

The bill signed into law Friday allows all those "whose service has been determined to be active-duty service" to be buried at the cemetery, including the women pilots.

Sanders feuds with leader
of national Democratic Party

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has intensified his fight with Democratic Party leaders by supporting a challenger to the head of Democratic National Committee and accusing the party establishment of trying to anoint rival Hillary Clinton as its nominee for president.

In a series of television interviews Sunday, Sanders acknowledged he has an uphill fight to overtake Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner. He also said that if he wins the White House, he will not reappoint Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Democratic National Committee chairwoman. Instead, he endorsed a law professor, Tim Canova, who is challenging the Florida congresswoman in that state's Democratic primary in August.

"Do I think she is the kind of chair that the Democratic Party needs? No, I don't," Sanders told CBS' "Face the Nation." "Frankly, what the Democratic Party is about is running around to rich people's homes and raising obscene sums of money from wealthy people. What we need to do is to say to working class people, 'We are on your side,'" he said.

Wasserman issued a statement saying she will remain neutral in the Democratic presidential race, despite the statements from Sanders.

Mrs. Clinton has said she already considers herself the de facto nominee, and she is increasingly turning her attention to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. She calls him "dangerous."

According to the latest public opinion polls, she and Trump are locked in a dead heat, with a majority of voters viewing both of them unfavorably.

One poll released Sunday, The Washington Post-ABC News survey, showed Trump with a narrow edge, while an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had Mrs. Clinton with a slight lead.

Both polls showed, as other surveys have in recent days, Trump gaining ground on Mrs. Clinton after becoming the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in early May.

Both polls noted that voters appear energized as much by whom they dislike as by whom they like.

Analysts say Trump's surge in political polls stems from Republican voters coalescing behind his candidacy, after many of them supported one of his rivals in state-by-state nominating contests before Trump defeated them.

Mrs. Clinton remains the heavy favorite to claim the Democratic nomination on June 7, when six more states hold Democratic nominating contests.

Gun lobby endorses Trump,
who promises to defend rights

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The leading U.S. gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association, has endorsed Republican Donald Trump for president and he responded by saying he would not let members down.

Trump told the group's convention in Louisville, Kentucky, Friday that the endorsement is a fantastic honor.

The NRA opposes measures aimed at restricting gun ownership and is considered one of the most influential such lobbying groups in the United States.

Trump centered much of his remarks on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, claiming that she wants to abolish the Constitution's Second Amendment, which gives citizens the right to bear arms. Trump said Mrs. Clinton's proposals for greater restrictions on guns would leave law-abiding citizens at risk from criminals.

Mrs. Clinton has said she supports the Second Amendment, but says more safety measures are needed to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

Trump often mentions in his speeches that he has a concealed weapon carry permit, and has called for policies that make it easier for law-abiding citizens to carry guns.

Mrs. Clinton will appear Saturday in Florida with parents who have lost children to gun violence, including the mother of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager whose death in 2012 led to one of the highest-profile U.S. criminal cases in years.   

The campaign appearances by both Trump and Mrs. Clinton on gun-related issues this week highlight the prominent role the topic could play in the elections.

Friday, Trump also touted the list of potential Supreme Court nominees he released this week, saying they show his support for the Second Amendment and he called on Mrs. Clinton to release her own list.

Airport security in U.S.
being tightened after crash

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Washington is refocused on aviation security after last week’s EgyptAir disaster over the Mediterranean that killed all 66 on board the flight from Paris to Cairo. Although the cause of the deadly crash has yet to be determined, U.S. lawmakers are renewing demands that airport screening be both thorough and speedy.

The EgyptAir disaster raises questions and concerns at a time when U.S. air travelers already experience record lines and delays passing through security. Some lawmakers are pointing a finger at Islamic State for last week’s crash.

“We know they successfully took down an airliner flying from Egypt to Russia,” said Rep. Ed Royce on ABC-TV’s “This Week” program. “We know that they are working on a bomb that’s undetectable.”

If lawmakers are assuming a heightened terrorist threat until evidence proves otherwise, pressure will mount on federal airport screeners, widely reported to be understaffed and overburdened even on the best of days.

“One of the difficulties we’ve had is with a great deal of turnover at TSA, and there are certainly management problems at TSA,” Royce added.

Last year, reports surfaced that federal screeners had failed to detect fake weapons and explosives in an alarming percentage of tests. The Transportation Security Administration insists that gaps and vulnerabilities have been fixed.

“We have retrained our entire workforce, corrected procedures, improved our technology and analyzed systemic issues,” said Administrator Peter Neffenger testifying on Capitol Hill earlier this year. “I am also confident that TSA is able to deter, detect and disrupt threats to our aviation system.”

Security may be improved, but tempers have been flaring at U.S. airports with some travelers waiting hours to board their flights, or missing flights because of long security check lines.

“On the one hand, we are looking for 100 percent security,” said Sen. Ron Johnson at a hearing where TSA whistleblowers came forward. “On the other hand, we are looking for complete efficiency so that lines don’t back up. It’s an enormously complex and difficult task.”

As America enters the busy summer travel season, the White House has a simple message, safety comes first.

“Obviously, our first priority is making sure that people are safe,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Friday. “TSA must continue its rigorous security screenings and we're not going to lower our standards for the sake of convenience.”

Once pinpointed, the cause of the EgyptAir disaster may or may not heighten concerns about the ability of terrorists to down airliners. But lawmakers aren’t waiting and will be pressing for answers at hearings this week.

Obama’s Hiroshima visit
prompts debate over bomb

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

During what may be his last tour of Asia, President Barack Obama will make history as the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, the site where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb in wartime.

Even before the president sets foot on what many consider hallowed ground, the announcement has sparked new debate on the decision to drop the bomb, and whether the United States should apologize or if a U.S. president should even visit.  Obama is expected to make a statement from Hiroshima, and will likely have to navigate a symbolic minefield.

It was a moment that literally changed the world nearly 71 years ago when a mushroom shaped cloud lit up the sky over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki.  Some 140,000 people in the two cities died within the year, and survivors and their children have faced untold suffering due to radiation poisoning. 

The U.S. rationale for the decision was to bring years of Japanese aggression to a quick end, potentially saving many more lives than would have been lost in a U.S. invasion.  But many Japanese see it differently, saying innocent men, women and children were unnecessarily incinerated and poisoned.

Secretary of State John Kerry visited Hiroshima last month.  He said he was deeply moved and that every human being should visit the site.  Some experts think that should include the U.S. president, among them Chris Appy of the University of Massachusetts.  He told: “I was very pleased that he decided to go.  I think just showing up is important symbolic act that many Japanese have wanted for a long time.”

But Appy says he thinks the United States should also apologize for the atomic bomb attacks, “I am disappointed that the president appears not willing to apologize.  After all I think in our personal lives, we consider it the height of maturity when an adult is willing to take responsibility and accountability for actions.  Particularly actions that lead to the suffering of the innocent victims.”

Others strongly disagree, including Brian Harding of the Center for American Progress, who said “The president will not be issuing an apology and the Japanese government is not asking for one either.”

White House officials have made clear that the president will not apologize.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “What I think the president does appreciate is that President Truman made this decision for the right reason.”

But Earnest said the United States does have a special responsibility as the only country to have ever used an atomic bomb to work tirelessly for nuclear non-proliferation.

Others, including many older Americans and war veterans oppose Obama’s visit.

Sen. John McCain, a Republican, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who ran against Obama in 2008 for the presidency.  He said he simply does not see the point of the trip, “I'm not in the business of telling the President of the United States where to go.  But where, what is the purpose of it?  In some ways, you dredge up very unpleasant memories, but if the President wants to go somewhere he can.”

It is not yet clear whether the president will meet with any of the few remaining survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The president will be accompanied in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  They will lay a wreath, and Obama will make a statement.

The White House says the leaders will highlight the horrors of war and the need to work towards a world without nuclear weapons.

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 

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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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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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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 100
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Butterflies are great to look at, but . . . .

You have planted a wonderful garden, full of flowers and flowering shrubs, many of them planted to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Success! Your yard if full of butterflies!  And if butterflies could emit a wicked
Victoria Torley
cackle, they would, because your tenderly planted garden is about to be attacked by caterpillars!

I have frequently witnessed the mating dance of butterflies, a lovely thing, without thinking of the consequences. Yes, butterflies lay eggs, and, yes, there are caterpillars, but in my previous experience not
masses and masses of caterpillars.

This morning, Metric Man and I watched the ritual laying of the eggs on my passion flower vines. Yes, we caught them in the act, and I have pictures on the Facebook page of Arenal Gardeners to prove it. It seems to me that the first female to lay her eggs must also be exuding a pheromone that says, “Here is a nice place to lay eggs. Just enough shade, just enough sun, wide leaves and plenty of food” because the first female I saw was joined by a second, then a third, a forth, a fifth…disgusting.

I just hung around until they were finished and then removed the leaves with eggs and put them in a jar.  Later today, I will take them somewhere else – anywhere else – to hatch. Okay, if they were blue morphos, they could stay, but these are juno silverspots and they are ubiquitous. Not only that, but their favorite food is passion flower vine. Dang!

These ladies go about their life’s work with a singlemindedness that is amazing. You can get within an inch without disturbing the egg laying and, oh boy, can they lay eggs.

Hundreds (I counted) of eggs can be laid by each butterfly, and all are laid on the underside of a leaf for protection. Laying them in a group and on the same day means that thousands will hatch at the same time providing a group survival mechanism (which means more butterflies to lay more eggs, which means maybe I should plant different vines). This is the second mass laying of eggs we have had judging from the damage to my vines, and I expect we will see more.

The saddest part of the process is watching the female flutter to a lower stem or leaf, exhausted by her labors. At this point, her wings are smaller in size and won’t carry her very far. She sits and waits. She will die on that leaf or be carried off by a predator. She has ensured the survival of her species. Her life is over.

 A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley
Egg clusters and a butterfly at work

Plant of the week

The Juno Silverspot’s favorite foods are the genus Passiflora, of passion flower vine, and the genus Erblichia, also called the butterfly tree. Plant either of these, and you will be welcoming these butterflies to your yard. Since I don’t have an Erblichia to show you, here is one of the ladies laying eggs on my passion flower and a grouping of eggs on the underside of a leaf.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit
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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
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From Page 7:

Tax deadline approaching for U.S. expats

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. tax filing deadline for citizens living abroad is June 15th, a leading accountancy firm has warned.

U.S. citizens abroad can ignore the traditional April 15 deadline, but they only have two months grace.

The firm, U.S. Tax and Accounting Services in Escazú, also said that citizens and those foreigners who have to file returns with the Internal Revenue Service can apply and received an extension until Oct. 15.

The firm also noted that U.S. citizens who have bank accounts overseas might have to file another form by June 30. The form is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. Those who must do so are U.S. citizen or permanent residents who had a financial interest or signature authority in bank or financial accounts outside the United States, and the aggregate value of those accounts is greater than $10,000 at any point during the year, said the firm.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents abroad must report all their income, even that earned in Costa Rica, although, as a Sabana Este accountant, James Brohl, notes, there is a significant exclusion of overseas income allowed. For the 2015 tax year the amount is $100,800.