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Published Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 102
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Defensoría urges tighter regulations on firearms
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Defensoría de los Habitantes wants to tighten firearm regulations and estimated that there are 500,000 legal and illegal guns in the country.

Meanwhile, members of the Partido Acción Ciudadana would like to know where some 7,000 pistols and shotguns have gone. They are weapons assigned to security firms that have gone out of business.

The Defensoría said it wants better regulations for the importation, storage, registering, use and possession and carrying of arms. Citing data from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, the agency said that the acquisition of firearms increased 94.68 percent since the year 2000 while there was no similar increase in the population.  In 2014, it said there were  225,348 registered firearms in the country.

The Defensoría de los Habitantes urges that 
security firms be permitted just one firearm for each armed employee. The other suggestions basically were to tighten regulations that already exist.

The legislature’s Comisión de Seguridad y Narcotráfico is considering a bill to reform the firearms law. The views of the Defensoría were presented there, and this is where members of the Partido Acción Ciudadana wanted to know about the missing firearms.

Marco Vinicio Redondo Quirós and Marvin Atencio Delgado contended that security companies have vanished, mostly for economic reasons, but the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública has not been quick to determine the whereabouts of the registered weapons.

The lawmakers called this a risk to citizen security.  They also said they would like to find out why hundreds of security firms are behind in payments to the Caja Costarricense Seguro Social.

Archaeologists get a new tool to find hidden goodies
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A hidden stone ball might be the new discovery as archaeologists take to the field with their new ground-penetrating radar setup.

The Museo Nacional received a gift of such a device, it said Tuesday. The machine looks a bit like a lawnmower. The radar antenna is moved close to the ground for good reception and radio wave emissions register on it and a computer screen.

The device has been used extensively in archaeology, but also bridge inspection and other construction work.

The museum said that the device will be put to work first at Las Mercedes on the ground of Universidad EARTH in Guácimo de Limón, Piedra Alegre in Pital de San Carlos and Finca 6 in Palmar Sur de Osa.

Palma Sur is where the famous Costa Rican stone balls are found. One recently was located below ground by hand, so there is a good chance there are others that have been covered by the centuries.

The radar device is non-intrusive and archaeologists can get a good idea of town plans and other buried stone work quickly and without digging.

Museo Nacional photo  
The device looks a lot like a lawn mower.

Another potential target is Guayabo de Turrialba, where only a fraction of the pre-Columbian native city has been uncovered.
And then there is the Treasure of Lima, said to be buried somewhere on the Isla del Cocos.

The museum said the device is valued at $22,000 and was a gift by Bernal and Ricardo Monge Herrera. The device is made by Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc., in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Turrialba emits yet another towering blast of ash
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Exactly 24 hours after volcanic activity ceased Monday, the Turrialba volcano blasted a column of ash 3,000 meters into the sky, nearly 10,000 feet.  The Red Sismológica Nacional said the eruption lasted 20 minutes and had five pulses of activity. There was ash accompanied by seismic activity in the mountain, the Red said.

The eruption also threw boulders inside and outside the crater, the report said.

The wind at the time, 9:45 p.m., continued to be to the west putting ash up to some 50 kilometers in areas where ashfalls have become
common. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the major communities
affected are Finca Silvia, San José, Coronado, Guadalupe, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago and Desamparados.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico at Universidad Nacional said that the column of ash reached 3,500 meters, nearly 11,500 feet. The volcano summit is 3,340 meters high, some 10,958 feet, so the ash column reached about 4.2 mile above sea level.

The Observatorio also reported that an earthquake took place about three kilometers below the crater at 2:17 p.m. Tuesday.

A check of the Observatorio’s camera monitoring the crater at 12:20 a.m. today showed thick, black ash and vapor still pouring into the sky.

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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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Climate action is linked to global health

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Global health hinges on drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a chief mover in the field of climate change told delegates Tuesday at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

The speaker was Christiana Figueres, the Costa Rican executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She praised the groundbreaking Paris Climate Change Agreement signed by 177 countries and likely to come into force in the next year or two.

She says the deal is promising for both the climate and global health.

"In addressing climate change by reducing emissions, we are preventing the worsening of health conditions around the world,” she said, “and … by improving so many different conditions that can be improved through climate measures — such as improving food and water, food security and water safety — we are actually improving health conditions."

Failure to take action on climate change will cost between $2 billion and $4 billion a year in direct damage to health by 2030, Ms. Figueres warns. In addition, she says, one-sixth of all illnesses and disabilities come from vector-borne diseases, which will rise if climate change is not checked.

Those who will suffer the most are people in developing countries, she adds.

Of the 189 countries that have presented national climate change plans, only 15 percent have mentioned health as an important component, Ms. Figueres says, calling the statistic alarming.

"If, over the next five years, we do not fundamentally change what we are doing in the energy sector, in the transportation sector, in the building sector and all of those sectors that are emitting, we are in danger of reaching a tipping point in the atmosphere that will have a direct negative and profound impact on health around the planet for many, many decades," she stressed.

Ms. Figueres urged World Health to use its authority in the health sector to spread the word that climate change and health are inextricably linked.

The bottom line, she says: Whatever is good for the climate is also good for global health.

Calling in sick can be a crime

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Playing hooky can be serious if the job is a public one.

Judicial agents detained a man Tuesday and accused him of faking a doctor’s note. The man was absent form his work for three days in February. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that when the man returned to work he presented a form that said he had been under the care of a physician. The allegation is that the note was false.

The formal charge is the use of a false document. Agents did not identify the 30-year-old man or say in what agency he worked.

Intangible heritage is discussion topic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cultural heritage officials are discussing today through Saturday ways to safeguard what is known as intangible cultural heritage. That means cultural icons like the oxcart driver and his bueyes and songs like Calypso.
The Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural is hosting the discussions at its Centro de Patrimonio on Avenida Central.

Experts from Perú and Venezuela will be making presentations starting at 4:30 p.m. today.

The U. N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has a special category for intangible cultural heritage activities.

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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Some illegal African migrants seem to prefer a more speedy sea route
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

While Costa Rica tries to handle another migrant invasion, some of the travelers simply take to the seas to avoid entanglements with authorities.

Such is the case in Barra del Colorado where about 40 African migrants ended up Tuesday night after taking a boat from Tortuguero.

Costa Rican officials have agreed to allow African migrants to transit the country if they provide identification and are cleared by the International Police Agency.  But the migrants Tuesday night appear to have simply worked their way by boats up the Caribbean coast. They are mostly men with no children and just a few women in the group.

They spent much of the night huddled together on the porch of the pulpería, known locally as Ricardo’s. Barra de Colorado is a short distance from the Nicaraguan border, and the migrants were expected to enter that country sometime early today, perhaps by boat via the Río San Juan.

Although police are supposed to take an interest in illegal immigrants, a resident said that no one at the Barra de Colorado station answered the telephone about 8 p.m. And that police from other locations promised to show up eventually.

Costa Rican officials have adopted an easy handed policy with the African immigrants because they don’t want to pay to deport them to their home countries. The migrants’ goal is the United States where they will try to slip across the border with México and join the millions of illegal immigrants already in that country.

At last report there were some 300 African migrants in refugee

centers in southern Costa Rica. They had been admitted from
Panamá where they spend days stuck at the border.

Manuel A. González Sanz, the Costa Rican foreign minster, took up the matter before the Organization of  American States May 4. Among other aspects, he discussed the way Costa Rica handled an estimated 8,000 Cuban migrants who were stuck in the country last November when Nicaragua closed the border to them.

Nicaragua has been less harsh to African immigrants because they are not politically sensitive like the Cubans. The Cubans had a legal right to enter the United States by land when they arrived. But the Africans do not.

Mexican officials have reported soaring numbers of non-Latin migrants passing through that country. Like other countries, Mexican officials just want to see the migrants leave.

Typically the migrants enter the Americas by boat or plane, perhaps with fake passports. They are from a number of Asian and African countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  Some travel on foot, and can relate tales of horror as they passed through the Darien Gap to reach Panamá from northern Colombia.

The migrants are victimized along the route and usually end up paying large sums to traffickers. Robberies and rapes are common. Some of the traffickers in the current case are residents of Barra de Colorado, residents there reported.

Even when they reach the border, they will find that traffickers demand large sums to sneak them into the U.S.

In some cases, they might be required to carry backpacks of drugs. Deaths are also common in the arid Southwest desert.

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Conspiracy theories seen as danger to any zika vaccine campaign
By the Elsevier publisher news staff

Monitoring social media in real-time will be key for vaccine success.

Conspiracy theories and pseudoscientific claims rebutting the facts around zika virus vaccines could be putting vulnerable people at risk, according to a new study published in Vaccine. By analyzing social media in real time, researchers were able to identify conversations about zika virus vaccines and pinpoint the conspiracy theories being discussed.

The researchers behind the study, from George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Georgia in the U.S., say health authorities could make use of their real-time social media monitoring method to keep track of and respond to conspiracy theories that could harm public health.

So far there is no vaccine against the zika virus, but drug companies are working to perfect one.

Zika virus is found in Asia, Africa and South America, with Brazil and neighboring countries seeing a significant rise in cases in recent months. Spread by mosquitos and through sexual intercourse, zika virus has also been linked to babies being born with small heads and brains, a condition called microcephaly.

There is still uncertainty around the origin and effects of zika virus. Because of this, it has been subject to many conspiracy theories and pseudo-scientific claims. These claims, while lacking authority and easily disproven, can have a lasting effect on people's health-related decisions.

One such pseudoscientific claim was that microcephaly is caused by the MMR vaccine and that pharmaceutical companies are blaming zika virus in order to profit from selling zika vaccines. If people who are concerned and searching for information about zika come across this story, they may be led to avoid vaccination and distrust health authorities.

"Once people have made up their minds about something it's hard for them to change their opinions," said lead author Mark Dredze from Johns Hopkins University. "I'd find it surprising if this sort of story really had no impact whatsoever, and I can't imagine it would make people more likely to pursue a healthy response."

To investigate the impact of the claims, the team monitored Twitter in real-time, which meant they could identify conversations as soon as they happened. The method gave them a fast insight into what people were talking about online. They identified nearly 140,000 Tweets between Jan. 1 and April 29 that contained the keywords vaccine and zika. They observed a number of conspiracy theories, or pseudoscientific claims, questioning why governments wanted a vaccine.

"Even though the science is relatively clear, we found many conspiracy theories that could be affecting people's health-related decisions, such as whether to vaccinate," said corresponding author David Broniatowski from George Washington University. "Unfortunately, the people most affected are from the most vulnerable communities, with little access to the facts."

The researchers say public health authorities must address people's concerns and debunk unscientific claims if they are to ensure a vaccine is effective. One way to do this, they say, is using their method of tracking conversations on social media.

The method cuts the time it takes between the researcher wondering what people are talking about and them finding out, potentially making it much faster for a public health response to be mounted.

"Shortly after zika rose to prominence, we were able to track these conversations very quickly using our social media monitoring method," said Broniatowski. "This is a promising approach to the fast response to disease, and could help counteract the negative impact of these conspiracy theories in future."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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. 

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

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


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Real estate rentals (paid category)

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 102
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Baseball player's family sues
tobacco firm over his death

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The family of the late Major League Baseball superstar Tony Gwynn is suing tobacco giant Altria, alleging the company enticed him into taking up the dip tobacco habit, causing the cancer that killed him at age 54.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Superior Court in San Diego, California, alleges negligence, product liability and fraud for selling a product Altria knew was dangerous and failing to warn users.

Dip tobacco is generally sold in a small pouch or can and is held in the mouth between the lip and gum. Many users believe it is a harmless alternative to smoking.

Gwynn was given free samples of dip while attending San Diego State University. His family said he became addicted, using as many as two cans of Skoal brand tobacco a day while playing professional baseball with the San Diego Padres.

Gwynn's daughter, Anisha Gwynn-Jones, said the tobacco industry used her famous father as a walking billboard for its product.

The Gwynn family said he frequently fell asleep with a chew of Skoal stuck in his mouth, developing salivary gland cancer. He died in 2014.

Altria has not commented on the lawsuit.

Several cities with Major League Baseball teams, including Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, have outlawed the use of smokeless tobacco inside ballparks, including its use by players.

dancing soldiers
Defense Language Institute photo   
 Students perform a traditional Afghan dance
 called Attan during Annual Language Day at the
 U.S. Defense Language Institute, in Monterey.

Defense Language Institute
is source for bilingual GIs

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A tactical decision made by a solider in a war theater can have strategic political, social, and cultural implications at the national and international levels.  Though few and far between, these tactical level mistakes can take a toll on the overall mission and its credibility.

U.S. Army Col. Philip J. Deppert has the mission to help soldiers avoid these mistakes.  Deppert is the commanding officer of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.  He told a reporter that cultural education is a key component of the educational curriculum. 

“We are worldwide renowned for producing some of the best culturally and professionally based military linguists,” said Deppert.  “The United States and specifically our military understands that in order to be the best partner with all nations around the world we not only have to understand the language but the culture embedded with that as well.”

The language institute accommodates about 3,500 soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen and select civilians sponsored by their agencies.

Wherever there is a U.S. embassy, there is a defense attaché who received his or her language and cultural training at the Defense Language Institute.

Air Force Maj. Braden Coleman is a foreign affairs officer and came to the institute six months ago to learn Urdu before his deployment to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

“I am a foreign affairs officer. They are preparing me to work at the embassy and, you know, to help out with relations. So I will be in the program for at least the next four years,” Coleman said.

Students are instructed by approximately 1,800 specially trained instructors, the vast majority of whom are native speakers of the language they teach.

Isabella Christopher is an Urdu instructor who teaches students about Pakistan’s culture and language. She has been with the institute for about five years and finds the experience of teaching and learning exceptional.

“If we tell someone that our students learn a language in a nine-month period or 35 weeks or 47 weeks, nobody believes that,” said Christopher.

Every student who comes to the school is assigned a local name.

Students not only learn from native speakers, but also from U.S. military instructors who are educated in various languages.  U.S. Army Sgt. Garrick Bartlett received four years of education in Pashto before he became an instructor.

“My primary role is to help bridge the gap between Pashto and English coming from that of an English native speaker’s background,” said Bartlett.

There are various schools within the institute with focus on various regions of the world.

“With the future engagements of these soldiers going out, it helps them at least communicate with the local population and once the population feels that the soldiers are speaking their language, they will try to do the same thing and be very helpful,” said William Sameer al-Wahab, a department chairman at Middle East School II.

Besides comprehensive language training, students are also sent to what the institute calls the immersion facility where they are exposed to real-life scenarios. Once at the facility, all students leave English at the door.  They dress in local clothes and communicate in the target language.

As the Obama administration broadens the U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria by boosting U.S. special operations forces to advise local U.S. allies, the Defense Language Institute will likely have a key role to play in that mission.

“We would not send them out of here to their individual units and individual services unless we were confident that they were fully prepared.  And I will tell you, we can show proof and things going on today how well prepared our linguists are,” said Deppert, the commanding officer. “You know, we got linguists right now in Japan helping with earthquake relief in that country.”

Ardor for Pacific Partnership
seems to be cooling in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

While President Barack Obama promotes trade opportunities between the United States and Asia, U.S. senators of both political parties say there is virtually no chance Congress will approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the near future.

Speaking Monday in Vietnam, Obama said he was confident the treaty would pass Congress, a prediction Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina described as “somewhere between delusional and overly optimistic.” Graham is a Republican.

“There’s been a sourness on trade,” Graham said of Congress.

“It is a tough lift,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat of New York, who is widely expected to lead his party in the chamber next year.

Another Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said none of the remaining presidential contenders, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, supports the trade treaty.

“When you have the three leading presidential candidates of both parties opposing TPP, it’s an indication that political sentiment is not in favor of the agreement,” Durbin said.

The pact would reduce trade barriers among 12 Pacific Rim nations that account for 40 percent of global economic output. While strongly backed by most American business groups, the trade treaty is fiercely opposed by labor unions, environmental groups and some human rights organizations.

“There’s a skepticism across America about trade agreements,” Durbin added. “We’ve paid a heavy price in American manufacturing jobs going overseas. So that skepticism is well-placed.”

“There are winners and losers in every trade deal,” conceded Mark Warner of Virginia, one of only a handful of Senate Democrats openly backing the treaty. “But the irony is, a lot of this dislocation, particularly vis-à-vis trade with China, has already taken place. And TPP doesn’t even deal with China.”

Treaty supporters hope for congressional votes after the November elections, in what is known as the lame duck period. That possibility is not ruled out by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who championed so-called fast track authority to streamline congressional consideration of trade deals.

But even Hatch has reservations about the trade treaty.

“I think Republicans do want to support it, but there need to be some changes,” he said.

Hatch objects to the length of time U.S. firms would enjoy exclusive rights to pharmaceutical and biologic products.

“The most problematic area is the data exclusivity provision of only five years,” the senator said. “We need to solve some of these problems, but I think they are solvable.”

Seven years of negotiations produced the accord that was signed in New Zealand in February. Trade experts say that while amending the pact is not impossible, participating nations will be loath to go back to the negotiating table.

Warner sees the pact in economic and geopolitical terms.

“I’d rather have this multilateral, American-led effort to set the rules for the world’s fastest-growing economies, rather than default to rules or lack of rules  that would be driven by China,” he said.

Graham says he regrets that attitudes on Capitol Hill and in many parts of the country have soured on deals like the Pacific trade treaty.

“Part of what you see in American politics today is making America the victim of everything. Well, I don’t feel like a victim,” he said. “I want to shape the world, not be cowered by it. I want good trade agreements. I want them to be fair.. . . This cowering approach, fortress America, doesn’t befit a great nation.”

French raid Google again
in new tax investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A tax fraud investigation prompted French police to raid Google’s Paris offices Tuesday.

"These searches are the result of a preliminary investigation opened June 16, 2015, relative to aggravated tax fraud and organized money laundering following a complaint from French fiscal authorities," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The French daily Le Parisien reported that about 100 investigators participated in the early morning raid. Authorities believe the tech company owes $1.7 billion in back taxes.

Google issued a statement saying it complies with French law and is cooperating fully with authorities to answer their questions.

"The investigation is aimed at finding out whether Google Ireland Ltd. is permanently established in France and if, by not declaring some of its activity on French soil, it has failed to meet its fiscal obligations, in particular with regard to corporation tax and value-added tax," prosecutors said. Google has based its regional headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.

The tech giant and other multinational companies have faced criticism for basing their European subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions such as Ireland and Luxembourg, which allows them to do business with minimum fiscal obligations, a practice known as profit-shifting.

European lawmakers have continually pressured companies to meet their tax obligations in the countries where they do business.

In January, Google agreed to pay nearly $190 million in back taxes to Britain.

The raid on Google's Paris offices marks the second such action in five years. Google's offices in the French capital were raided in June 2011 in a tax investigation.

Cooperation with Chinese
suggested by NASA’s chief

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

NASA says the U.S. can someday cooperate with China as it did with the Soviet Union on the Apollo-Soyuz joint project in 1975.

Responding to questions Monday at an event hosted by the Mitchell Institute on Capitol Hill, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the U.S. should pursue such a relationship with China in human space exploration.

"We were in an incredible Cold War with the Soviets at the time we flew Apollo-Soyuz.  It was because leaders in both nations felt it was time," he said. "That represented a great use of soft power, if you will. Look where we are today. I think we will get there. And I think it is necessary" he said of China.

Current law prohibits NASA from engaging with its Chinese counterparts on such projects. But Bolden, who will travel to Beijing later this year, says Congress should consider revising the law.

Peter Huessy, a senior adviser at the Mitchell Institute and prominent defense consultant, said he is not opposed to a revision of relevant law, but cautions against any premature enthusiasm.

"We tend to engage in a lot of wishful thinking when it comes to China," he said. "We should understand China is an explicit adversary and enemy of the United States, according to their own internal documents and strategies and publications."

Brendan Curry, vice president of the Space Foundation, said that small steps can be taken in bilateral relations to calm lawmakers' fears about China's threat to U.S. space assets.

The initial steps, he said, would perhaps involve such projects as "working on weather satellite data sharing and things like that, things that will make critics on China on Capitol Hill a little bit more relaxed about the idea of cooperation."

Currently there is no strong voice on the Hill to lift the ban on space cooperation with China, given Beijing's growing military capabilities in space.

NASA's Bolden says he does not expect the ban to be lifted during his tenure.

Trump dredges up scandal
to tarnish his opponent

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Another indication that Donald Trump is targeting Bill Clinton in an attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has come in the form of a social media dispatch.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, released an Instagram video Monday that features ominous music and audio from three women who accused the former president of sexual assault in the 1990s.

As the video approaches the end, it shows a photo of the Clintons sitting together while the words “Here we go again!” appear. Hillary Clinton is heard laughing in the background.

Trump has said in recent interviews that his campaign will continue the attacks to remind voters of the controversies involving Bill Clinton.

“The intensity and frequency of Trump's attacks are almost irrelevant” to the candidates’ platforms, Frank Sesno, American University professor of media and public affairs, said, adding that "any attack will drive the media cycle.”

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told Bloomberg TV Monday that Trump’s attacks are part of a strategy to distract from an issues-based campaign.

A Marquette University political science professor, Julia Azari, said there is evidence voters care about the candidates’ positions on social, foreign policy and economic issues, so it would be wise for Mrs. Clinton “to emphasize her expertise, but even more, her policy stances."

"The smart thing for Clinton to do would be to keep issues in the mix,” Professor Azari added.

Trump’s ability to garner attention through traditional and newer social media channels has been made possible, Sesno said, by a very lengthy and intense campaign season: “There has been more horse race to cover, so the media have become ever more adept at and defined by the way they cover the horse race. And when the horse race is the focus, then every attack gets magnified.”

While Mrs. Clinton and Trump are far apart on substance and policy experience, Professor Azari said they share two things in common: very high national profiles and unfavorable ratings. Those factors, she said, would “make it easier for each candidate to emphasize the negative images of their opponent, and for those ideas to stick.”

Trump's stated commitment to continue his attacks represent a complete reversal from many of his previous public positions on the former president. Between 1997 and 2008, the real estate mogul participated in at least six interviews with major media outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and CNBC, defending then-president Clinton against allegations of sexual misconduct and touting his effectiveness as commander in chief.

U.S. to seek death penalty
in S.C. massacre case

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Justice Department will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the white man accused of last year's massacre in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Lynch said "the nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision."

South Carolina prosecutors had already said they would pursue the death penalty for Roof.

Roof is accused of killing nine persons when he opened fire inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last June 17.

He is said to have written about his contempt for blacks, Jews and Hispanics on the internet, and a friend told police that Roof talked about starting a civil war.

Along with the murder charges, Roof has been indicted on numerous federal hate crime charges that warrant the death penalty.

Airport security chief ousted
after many delay complaints

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The chief of U.S. airport security has been ousted amid widespread complaints from airline passengers about hours-long waits to get through security checkpoints at some of the country's busiest airports.

The Transportation Security Administration said it has moved Kelly Hoggan to another position after outraged flyers posted numerous pictures and videos on social media outlets in recent days showing security lines snaking through airport terminals at a snail's pace.

Sometimes the delays forced passengers to miss flights and sleep on the floor of terminals until they could catch new flights the next day, with some flyers complaining of waits that lasted three hours. Some of the worst delays occurred at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, the country's third biggest city.

The agency has promised to speed the hiring of an additional 768 security agents, possibly by mid-June, in an effort to cut the wait times at security checkpoints, even as the number of travelers increases during the summer vacation months.

Hoggan has been paid more than $181,000 a year since 2013 to manage the agency's workforce of 50,000 employees and security at the country's 440 airports. He was paid more than $90,000 in bonuses during one 13-month period in 2013 and 2014.

Aside from complaints from the flying public about the checkpoint lines, government watchdogs and congressional critics have attacked the agency's security lapses. The Department of Homeland Security found that auditors were able to get fake weapons and explosives past security screeners 95 percent of the time in 70 covert tests.

Some security agents said they were punished with reassignments to airports in other cities when they complained about the agency's management and that Hoggan played a role in sending them to new postings.

Critics of the agency say that Congress is partly responsible for the long waits in checkpoint lines by cutting funding to hire more agents in an effort to save money.

The dispute over staffing comes at a time when security regulations have been markedly tightened at U.S. airports in the 15 years since hijackers carried out the 2001 terrorist attacks in the country after walking unimpeded through airport security checkpoints.

Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson, who oversees the Transportation Security Administration, has warned that security waits at U.S. airports will inevitably be longer during the peak of the country's vacation season from June to August.

"We encourage people to have the appropriate expectations when they arrive at airports," he said recently at Reagan National Airport outside Washington. "Contemplate increased wait times as you travel."

But he said the government would not impair security to speed the checkpoint lines.

"We want to keep passengers moving, but we want to keep passengers safe," he said.

The airport security agency named Darby LaJoye to replace Hoggan. LaJoye has previously led security operations at two of the country's busiest airports, Los Angeles International Airport in California and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Real estate-related services (paid category)
Container homes
New shipping containers for sale:
20 ft. (model year 2015) Containers:  $3,500
40 ft. HQ (model year 2015) Containers: $5,000
We also have a 40-ft. HQ Shipping Container Home
for sale: $23,000

And a 40-ft HQ Reefer basic home model: $12,000.
Both with kitchen, bathroom, fully finished electricity. Turnkey.
Our Web site is
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!
Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
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BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
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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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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Axiom one

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

Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
Click HERE!

Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

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

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

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

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

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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, Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 102
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Credit card debt increases again

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The average debt of credit cards in circulation is 398,000 colons or about $750, and many Costa Ricans have many more than just one card.

That's why the total credit debt of the nation is about $1.7 billion, according to the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, which does a study of the topic every three months.

The figures released Tuesday were current up until Jan. 31. The data show more cards being issued and total debt increasing by 7.2 percent. Each report shows more debt.

The ministry noted that many credit card customers face interest charges of from 40 to 50 percent. Costa Rica does not have a usury law.

The ministry said there were 2,252,693 credit cards in use during the period of the study.

Hacker admits accessing Google, iCloud

Special to A.M. Costa Rica
A Pennsylvania man admitted Tuesday that he utilized a phishing scheme that gave him illegal access to over 100 Apple and Google e-mail accounts, including those belonging to members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.

The man, Ryan Collins, 36, faces sentencing at a date that has not yet been set. He pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge William W. Caldwell.

According to the plea agreement, from November 2012 until the beginning of September 2014, Collins engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain user names and passwords for his victims. He sent e-mails to victims that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked victims to provide their usernames and passwords.

When the victims responded, Collins then had access to the victims’ e-mail accounts, according to the agreement. After illegally accessing the e-mail accounts, Collins obtained personal information including nude photographs and videos, according to his plea agreement. In some instances, Collins would use a software program to download the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups, the agreement said.

The charge against Collins stems from the investigation into the leaks of photographs of numerous female celebrities in September 2014 known as Celebgate. However, investigators have not uncovered any evidence linking Collins to the actual leaks or that Collins shared or uploaded the information he obtained.

Many of Collins’ victims were members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. By illegally accessing the e-mail accounts, Collins accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, most of which belonged to female celebrities.

Ruta 32 closings likely in rainy season

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The highway agency said Tuesday that it may close Ruta 32 during periods of  heavy rain even if  there are no slides.

The agency, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, said that the action would be taken to save lives and prevent accidents.

Work crews have just finished cleaning up a gigantic slide some 35 kilometers north of San José on the key highway. The cliffs along the west side of the highway are unstable, and road officials admit that the entire stretch through Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo needs to be rebuilt. But the job would be massive.

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From Page 7:

Lawmakers plan Panamá Papers hearings

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

(This article was posted Tuesday afternoon)

The Asamblea Legislativa has decided to create a committee to review the current tax laws for loopholes that encourage evasion. The full assembly took the action Monday based on revelations of the Panamá Papers.

The committee will consist of nine legislators who will have 90 days to present a report. The Partido Acción Ciudadana said that the principal objective was to identify mechanisms or practices used to evade or avoid taxes. That characterization was at odds with an assembly summary that just addressed evasion, which is illegal. Avoidance is generally considered to be legal methods to reduce taxation.

The commission is expected to receive testimony from experts from the Ministerio de Hacienda, the Procuraduría de la República, and the Fiscalía Adjunta de Delitos Económicos, Tributarios, Aduaneros y de Legitimación de Capitales. In addition, testimony is expected from national and international organizations.

Few Costa Ricans were named in the hacked Panamá Papers, in part because individuals here do not have to rely on the Mossack & Fonseca Co. law firm to create an offshore entity. That was the firm whose computers were hacked. Residents here can easily open a bank account or set up a company in Panamá or a low-tax jurisdiction.

The Partido Acción Ciudadana is expected to have two members on the committee.

Costa Rica officials are quick to respond to news articles although the general situation of using offshore corporations or other entities to reduce national taxes have been well known.