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Published Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 103
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Not a police officer to be found
African migrants walked to Nicaragua, observers say

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

About 40 African migrants managed to cross the Río Colorado by boat in extreme northeast Costa Rica Wednesday morning. Then they walked unmolested by any police agencies along the Caribbean coast into Nicaragua.

Residents of the area said that the drought that has been affecting Costa Rica lowered water levels enough to make the trek possible. Residents also wondered how migrants from Africa would know this.

Although the migrants are gone, Barra del Colorado residents are worried about what they may have left behind. The Africans remained huddled in the open for some time Tuesday night and were assaulted by uncountable mosquitoes.

That means mosquitoes in the area might be carrying any diseases contracted from the migrants. One resident pointed out that although the area is coastal lowlands with the Río San Juan and Nicaragua to the north, there have been few cases of dengue or similar mosquito-born ailments.

But residents now are worried that this no longer is the case, and they point out that the African migrants underwent no health checks in Costa Rica.

Residents have contacted the Ministerio de Salud to ask for a priority assignment for a fumigation team to spray for mosquitoes in the areas.

A.M. Costa Rica graphic

Of course, their concern about imported diseases also is true for places elsewhere in the country where migrants are being housed.

Many have passed through deep jungle to arrive in Costa Rica.

Some Barra del Colorado residents say they are surprised that the Fuerza Pública, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the Policia Turistica did not respond physically to many telephone calls Tuesday night.

No one answered the police telephone in Barra de Colorado, but the area is near where Nicaraguan troops invaded in 2010, and there still is a heavy but hidden police presence.

The speculation is that the 40 or so migrants were the same individuals stopped by police hours earlier near Sixaola in southeast Costa Rica. They made their way north with the knowledge and perhaps the assistance of police, they suspect.

The migrants came to Barra de Colorado on a boat operated by a local who picked them up in Tortuguero. So there must have been a series of boat rides to bring the migrants that far.

And when the migrants left on foot for Nicaragua, they had to pass right by the local coast guard station in Barra del Colorado.

More cases of the zika virus reported around Jacó
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Home-grown reported cases of the zika virus now number 58, according to the Ministerio de Salud. There are 44 cases in Garabito, the canton that includes Jacó. But the latest report also said that one case turned up further down the central Pacific coast in Parrita.

A report a week ago said there were 31 zika cases in Jacó

Many persons who contract the zika virus from a mosquito bite do not show symptoms, so the real number of those who have been infected many be much more.

There also is one reported case in Carrillo, seven in Sámara and one in Nosara, the ministry said in a report released late Wednesday. Those locations are on the far Pacific coast.

In the Central Valley the only area with zika so far continues to be the Concepción section of Alajuelita with four cases.

The ministry also said that 418 patients who thought they had zika were not infected, according to tests.

The symptoms for zika, dengue and other viral diseases can be similar.

In the same report, the ministry notes a big drop off in new dengue cases and of chikungunya. The canton of Atenas still leads the country in the number of reported dengue

cases with 1,466. Parrita was second with 1,418 cases, said the ministry.

The ministry said there were 1,420 cases of  chikungunya reported this year and 6,746 cases of dengue.

The impact of the zika virus on tourism still is to be determined. There are anecdotal reports of tourists canceling reservations at Pacific sport fishing firms.

Women of child-bearing age seem to be the most reluctant to visit Costa Rica, one operator said.

Costa Rican health officials are now monitoring three pregnant women who have zika, but no abnormalities have been reported.

Also being treated are nine patients who tested positive for zika but are believed to have contracted the virus elsewhere.

Health officials report more than 300,000 homes have been visited to be checked for mosquito breeding places and perhaps fumigated. They also have eliminated hundreds of thousands of breeding spots, the ministry said.

Of particular concern in Jacó are the World Surfing Games scheduled for August. That is expected to bring in $36 million to the local economy.

Health crews have been working long hours in fumigating suspected mosquito locations.

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British expats can vote in referendum

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

British citizens here are eligible to vote in the European Union Referendum June 23 if they have been registered to vote at a United Kingdom address in the last 15 years, the embassy here said.

Those who wish to appoint someone else to vote for them need to apply for a proxy by June 15, said the embassy. There also is the possibility of a maIl ballot, said the Gov.UK Web site.

The referendum question is should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? The vote is being called  Brexit, and the question has become a heated one splitting leading British politicians.

Last month, during a visit to London, U.S. President Barack Obama urged the British to vote to remain in the European Union, only to provoke sharp-tongued responses from campaigners and Britain’s press.

British Prime Minister David Cameron set the date for the referendum, although he opposes leaving the European Union. Cameron promised to set up the referendum if he was reelected in 2015 to appease the Conservative Party and undermine EU opponents.

Conservatives, now in the majority, have been split on the question of EU membership for some 40 years. Grassroots Conservatives generally favor leaving the EU.

Proponents of a British exit believe it would free Britain from rules that are adverse to job creation and allow the country to choose its laws and trading partners. EU advocates contend Britain should maintain its membership in a bloc of like-minded countries, a move they say would help sustain the country's global influence and military and economic security.

Many foreign leaders want Britain to stay in the EU.

With Britain, the less statist EU members, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Scandinavian and Baltic states as well as Germany, are able to block proposals they don’t like on the EU Council. Without Britain, they would fall short of the necessary 35 percent of votes needed to veto measures.

Brexit would also deprive Germany of an ally in trying to keep EU spending down.

Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, alluded recently to Britain’s key role when it comes to free-market ideas.

“Thanks partly to the British, the European Union has less wasteful agricultural and fishery policies, a liberal single market, a commitment to free trade,” he said. “Without the U.K., the EU will be less liberal, less efficient and less influential on the world stage," he warned.

Cancer deaths blamed on 2008 recession

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study says the global economic crisis of 2008 may have caused 500,000 cancer deaths.

The study in the medical journal Lancet says a loss of jobs and cuts in health care shut out people seeking help for such easily diagnosed and treatable cancers as prostate cancer for men, breast cancer for women and colon cancer for both genders.

The authors of the study reached their conclusions by calculating the rise in cancer deaths for every 1 percent rise in the unemployment rate combined with the drop in health care spending.

Lead author Mahiben Maruthappu says one conclusion from the study is that cuts in universal health care spending cost lives.

"If health systems experience funding constraints, this must be matched by efficiency improvements to ensure patients are offered the same level of care regardless of economic environment or unemployment status," he said.

The study concludes that the association between the rise in cancer deaths and unemployment disappears when universal health care is available.

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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Presidential aides doing lots of legislative arm twisting for tax fraud bill
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Legislative liaisons from the Presidencia are trying to make deals with political parties in the legislature so some tax bills can be passed.

Discussions have been held with the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana and with the Partido Liberación Nacional.

Representatives of President Luis Guillermo Solís are known to be pushing a tax fraud measure that seems to have gained traction in the wake of disclosures of the Panamá Papers.

Although the documents stolen from the Panamá law firm did not involve many Costa Ricans, the concept of hiding money in offshore corporations is a hot-button issue.

There are no measures in the legislature to address this point, but administration officials are at least using the disclosures to suggest massive offshore hoarding.

Casa Presidencial workers have hopes of getting the tax fraud

bill passed with a requirement that all corporations report the names of shareholders or other beneficial parties.

Many firms already make their shareholders public because that is a requirement of doing business with the government or to participate in some government small business programs. Another Costa Rican law requires newspapers to publish the names of their shareholders, which is why La Nación runs full pages of names once a year.

There is a lot of resistance in the business community to providing these lists even though the government is promising to keep them confidential. Some investors fear the names will fall into the hands of criminals.

So far the central government is promising to make the lists available only to the tax agency, the Dirección General de Tributación, and the Instituto Costarricense sobre Drogas.

President Solís is hoping for some kind of legislative victory, and the tax fraud bill is the best bet. He is in Europe now, but his aides are hard at work.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 103
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New device can show if water is fit to drink in 30 seconds
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new device can reveal in a matter of seconds whether a desperately needed drink of water is contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms or ready to drink.

The device, called Duo Fluor, can in about 30 seconds test for organic material like decaying plants and animals, and bacteria, including pathogens that cause cholera and dysentery.
John Bridgeman is with the University of Birmingham’s Department of Civil Engineering in England who led a team that developed the device.
“It does not require any chemical, any reagents," Bridgeman says, "and will give you an indication of water quality within just a few seconds.”
The device works by shining a high frequency light into a water sample.  If microbes are present in the water, they absorb the photons and emit a weak light back.  A thin optical LED instrument detects the fluorescence, which is then processed by a laptop.
The method is especially sensitive to fecal matter and results are almost immediate, compared to the 12 hours it now takes to analyze drinking water.
Its application is evident to the 663 million people the United Nations says don't have ready access to safe drinking water.
And even if the water is running, another 2.4 billion are without adequate sanitation, which makes the water they do have risky.
One of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals is for all people to have access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030.

University of Birmingham photo
The prototype causes organic matter to emit fluorescence

Bridgeman says he hopes Duo Fluor helps the United Nations get there.
“Up until this point,” said Bridgeman, “most of these analysis have been done in the laboratory, using expensive research-grade equipment, which costs tens of thousands of dollars.  What we have done is produce an instrument that is smaller than a standard piece of paper.”
The University of Birmingham researcher believes Duo Fluor could be particularly useful at natural disaster sites and refugee camps.
The international aid agency Oxfam is partnering with Bridgeman’s team to help promote and eventually distribute the water tester.

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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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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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 103
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The week for Hillary Clinton
was a very challenging one

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hillary Clinton hasn’t had an easy week.

Between Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders’ request for a recount in the Kentucky presidential primary and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s revival of scandals from her husband’s presidency in the 1990s, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination has faced numerous challenges.

The latest blow landed Wednesday when an internal State Department audit found that the former secretary of State’s use of personal email to conduct government business was not appropriate, and that she failed to follow guidelines intended to prevent cybersecurity risks.

Congressional Republicans said the report showed Mrs. Clinton isn’t fit to be president, while Democrats downplayed the implications for national security and the general election in November.

Trump opened a campaign rally in California on Wednesday by calling Mrs. Clinton “as crooked as they come,” and said the inspector general’s report was not good.

Sanders had previously said he didn't want to talk about Mrs. Clinton's “damn emails,” but that could change as he continues his primary election fight despite trailing in the delegate totals.

Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a senator from Florida, said the report was “along the lines of what we’ve been warning about for quite a while. She violated State Department policies and she didn’t cooperate with that investigation."

Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, reacted to the finding by noting that the public had learned about the emails only because of congressional oversight.

Gowdy has conducted a two-year investigation into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012. In the course of investigating Mrs. Clinton’s role in the incident, the committee uncovered her use of a private email address and storage of government emails on private servers.

“If anyone wonders why the investigation is not yet complete, the malfeasance and numerous problems identified in this report are Exhibit A,” Gowdy said in a statement Wednesday.

Dan Donovan, a Republican from New York, said he had not had a chance to read the full report, but that the findings, if true, were disturbing and should play a role in the general election.

“People should realize she’s untrustworthy, she’s dishonest and one thing that we have to have in the White House is integrity, and this is another display of her inability to be honest with the American people,” Donovan said.

Rep. Steve Russell, a Republican from Oklahoma, said that Mrs. Clinton’s use of email was “troubling on several accounts. No accountability, no admission that putting state secrets on a public server could absolutely be used by our enemies.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat of Virginia, said he didn't think there was any evidence that Mrs. Clinton's email practices had any consequences for national security. "The Obama administration has tried to be very scrupulous about rules. Every administration, especially an eight-year administration, you see some questionable things. But I think they have run a very clean ship,” he said.

Rep. Steve Israel, a Democrat from New York, noted, “This problem predates Secretary Clinton and was a problem for years before her.”

The report found a pattern of confusion regarding State Department email procedures among previous secretaries of State.

The internal audit found that former secretary of State Colin Powell “installed a laptop computer on a private line,” and that he used the laptop to send emails via his personal email account to his “principal assistants, individual ambassadors and foreign minister colleagues.”

The report also found the State Department labored under outdated technology and was "slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership."

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, "We are already working to implement numerous improvements to our email and records management systems, many of which were underway before the IG review began."

But the report singled out Mrs. Clinton’s use of email to conduct government business as an area of particular concern.

"By Secretary Clinton's tenure, the department's guidance was considerably more detailed and more sophisticated," the report found. "Secretary Clinton's cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives."

Mrs. Clinton has previously said her decision to use private email was the wrong choice. In a statement released by her campaign Wednesday, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said, "Contrary to the false theories advanced for some time now, the report notes that her use of personal email was known to officials within the department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the secretary’s server."

Mrs. Clinton also is the focus of a separate FBI investigation into whether her use of private email servers endangered government secrets.

Many states now require
photo IDs at the ballot box

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When voters head to the polls Nov. 8, 17 of America's 50 states will have voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election.

Since the 2010 midterm election, a total of 22 states passed new voting laws.

"What we are seeing is a pattern emerging across the country that will make it harder for people to access the ballot box," said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Other new state voting laws were passed after a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively eliminated a key part of the Voting Rights Act. The high court ruling eliminated the need for states with a history of voter discrimination to get federal approval prior to changing voting laws that impact minorities.

The new laws come at a time when the U.S. ranks near the bottom in voter turnout compared to its peers in developed democratic nations. The U.S. ranked 31st among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to a study done in 2015 by the Pew Research Center.

States with new voting laws have taken a variety of approaches to regulating the voting process. In addition to adopting laws that require voters to present a photo identification and other types of IDs, Clarke said some states have eliminated or reduced early voting opportunities, removed same-day registration programs, terminated pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and even purged registration rolls, resulting in the removal of eligible voters.

The laws make it more difficult to exercise the fundamental right to vote, Ms. Clarke said, and "have the effect of suppressing voter turnout and participation," particularly among African-American, Latino and poor people.

In the U.S., about 11 percent of Americans do not have a government photo ID, according to New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice.

A study conducted recently by the University of California at San Diego found significant declines in minority voter turnout in 2008 and 2012 in states with strict voter ID laws.

In Texas, which has what is considered the most stringent voter ID law in the U.S., more than 608,000 registered voters do not have the types of IDs required by the law, a federal court has found.

The Texas law has already been struck down by three courts, which determined it discriminates against African-American, Latino and poor voters, who are less likely to have IDs required by state law.

Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in the City of New Orleans held hearings Tuesday on the legality of the Texas law. The court left the law intact, but the Supreme Court expects the lower court to decide by July whether the law should remain on the books.

The new voting laws are necessary, according to the Heritage Foundation. On its Web site, the conservative think tank said, "The United States has a long and unfortunate history of election fraud" and "preventing, deterring and prosecuting such fraud is essential to protecting the integrity of our voting process."

In addition to Texas, voter ID laws are being litigated in North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin, all of which were swing states in the 2012 general election, which Democrat Barack Obama won over Republican Mitt Romney.

Barring appeals, the new voting laws will be in effect for the November presidential election, when the ramifications of any judicial rulings could be significant.

Trump is beginning to seek
donations for his campaign

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Billionaire Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the U.S. presidency, is starting to ask donors for campaign contributions, as the heretofore self-funding candidate attempts to close the wide money gap with his likely opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump, the brash first-time politician who surged to the top of the once-crowded Republican field of candidates, headed Wednesday to a $25,000-a-head fundraiser outside Los Angeles, following months of bragging to his supporters that he was self-funding his campaign. Trump said he could not be bought and was not beholden to the special interests and big donors who regularly fund U.S. presidential campaigns.

In all, campaign records show Trump loaned his campaign more than $43 million since he first declared his candidacy nearly a year ago. While he also accepted smaller donations from supporters, he shunned overt fundraising.

But after his last challengers dropped out of the nomination contest in early May, the one-time television reality show host said he did not want to sell some of his vast real estate holdings to fund his general election campaign. Instead, he reached an agreement with national Republican Party officials to jointly raise the expected billion dollars he will need heading to November's national election to pick the successor to President Barack Obama, who leaves office in January.

But Trump faces a daunting task in trying to catch up with the fundraising operations for Mrs. Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of State who is looking to become the first female U.S. president.

Campaign records show she has raised nearly $300 million, often at fundraisers held to tap the pockets of rich donors, compared to Trump’s $59.4 million total, a figure that includes the money he has loaned his campaign.

At the end of April, Mrs. Clinton had $30 million in her campaign account, compared to Trump's $2 million.

Now, as Trump starts to ask other wealthy individuals to fund his campaign, numerous corporate titans, but by no means all, who have donated millions of dollars to Republican presidential candidates in recent elections say they are sitting out the 2016 presidential campaign.

Some say they are disgusted by Trump's demeanor on the campaign trail, as well as his calls to ban Muslims from entering the country, deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States and build a wall on the Mexican border to thwart the flow of more migrants into the U.S.

The national Republican Party, however, released a list of corporate executives this week who have agreed to help Trump raise money.

"Clearly, she's going to have massive amounts of money," Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said, referring to Mrs. Clinton. "The difference is Mr. Trump has funded his campaign.  What we've been able to do in this campaign cycle is to generate earned media based on Mr. Trump's ability to be a straight talker, and genuine and authentic, and I think that's what drives the news cycle."

James Gimpel, a political science professor at the University of Maryland, said, "The Trump campaign needs to go out and hunt for large and small donors. I suspect he'll be able to replace those donors, but it will take some time."

Gimpel said that what some major donors "are waiting for now is to see whether he'll be competitive with Hillary Clinton, making a judgment about his viability."

Some would-be donors may not decide until late August or early September, much closer to the Nov. 8 national election, whether to write big checks to Trump's campaign, Gimpel added.

"These investors are smart," he said. "They want to go with a winner. People will want to be associated with him if the race is competitive."

At the moment, numerous national political surveys show Trump and Mrs. Clinton in a dead heat, with her earlier double-digit percentage lead over him evaporating within days of Trump becoming the presumptive Republican nominee. Mrs. Clinton is expected to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination June 7 over her sole challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders, when six more states hold nominating contests.

As for Mrs. Clinton's fund-raising effort, Gimpel said, "She'll do absolutely well."

11 states sue Washington
over federal bathroom rule

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Eleven U.S. states are suing the Obama administration over guidelines covering which school bathrooms transgender students can use.

The federal guidelines recommend that public schools let students use the bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, instead of what is on their birth certificates.

The lawsuit by 11 states, led by Texas, accuses the Obama administration of conspiring to turn schools into "laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights."

Neither the White House nor the Justice Department has commented on the lawsuit.

Critics of the administration's policy argue that it marks a significant change to settled law that should be left up to Congress, not the White House. The Justice Department has rejected that argument, saying that federal civil rights laws, which bar discrimination on the basis of sex, provide the legal foundation for the department's guidance.

When announcing the guidelines this month, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, "There is no room in our schools for discrimination."

The department's guidelines say a school "must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity." The guidance is non-binding, but school systems could lose millions of dollars in federal aid if they fail to follow it.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Wednesday that the Texas lawsuit was aimed at protecting a school district that has crafted a bathroom policy at odds with the Justice Department regulations, setting it up for possible retribution. 

"We're taking this action to protect Harrold Independent School District, which on Monday night fulfilled a responsibility to their community by adopting a bathroom policy that puts the safety of their students first," he told reporters at a news conference announcing the lawsuit.

That legal rationale is similar to the argument made by North Carolina lawmakers who passed a law restricting access to restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms, in part to protect against sexual assaults.

Gay rights activists say they also care about safety and privacy, but that the concerns about the bathroom issue are overblown and end up further stigmatizing or perpetuating violence against transgender people.

Jay Brown, director of communications at the Human Rights Council, said this week that people on all sides care about safety and privacy.

"There's not been a single increase of incidences in any bad behavior in bathrooms in any of the places where positive nondiscrimination laws have been passed," he said.

Wednesday's lawsuit opened a second legal challenge to the Obama administration's bathroom guidance. This month, the Justice Department and North Carolina sued each other over the state's new law curbing restroom access for transgender people.

TSA chief is predicting
bad time for air travelers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration admitted Wednesday that this summer would be a trying time for air travelers.

Peter Neffenger said at a congressional hearing that the agency was taking several steps to try to ease the congestion plaguing the nation's airports ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and summer travel season.

Neffenger told lawmakers the agency was sending new screeners to the nation's busiest airports in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other hubs. The TSA also has increased the use of overtime, converted some part-time workers to full-time status and increased the use of bomb-sniffing dogs to help with security lines, he said.

Neffenger's appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee came just days after he ousted TSA's head of security, Kelly Hoggan, and put in a new management team to speed up screenings. Hoggan was replaced by Darby LaJoye, a former federal security director in Los Angeles and New York.

Neffenger declined to explain why he removed Hoggan, saying only that "I needed a new direction going forward.'' Hoggan, who received more than $90,000 in bonuses in 2013-14, remains at the agency on paid administrative leave.

Long lines have been plaguing major U.S. airports since early spring, but the issue came to a head this month when thousands of passengers in Chicago missed flights because of lengthy waits at security checkpoints.

Lawmakers remain skeptical
over nuclear deal with Iran

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nearly a year after world powers announced the historic Iran nuclear deal, and four months after the agreement was implemented, U.S. lawmakers remain deeply skeptical of the deal and its broader implications.

Concerns about Iran’s long-term commitment to the deal, and the U.S. response to Iranian activities outside the scope of the agreement, were among the issues raised Wednesday as a House panel questioned State and Treasury department officials.

“What is astonishing is the length that the Obama administration has gone to accommodate Iran,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, a California Republican. He said the administration has hardly responded to recent Iranian missile tests and has gone beyond the nuclear agreement to purchase nuclear-related material from Tehran.

Earlier this month, Iran said it test-fired another ballistic missile, the latest in a string of tests since the nuclear agreement was implemented in January.

The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, does not prohibit such tests. However, a U.N. Security Council resolution urges Iran not to engage in such action, which is considered provocative by the U.S. and some of its Middle East allies.

“How can we possibly trust such a regime that makes such a defiance in the aftermath of this dangerous deal?” asked Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican.

“I don’t trust them further than I could spit,” replied Thomas Countryman, assistant secretary of State for international security and nonproliferation.

Royce also raised concerns about a U.S. decision to purchase from Iran heavy water, a key component in developing atomic weapons.

A State Department official called the April purchase a commercial transaction that is allowable.

Responding to issues raised by lawmakers, Stephen Mull, the State Department's lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, acknowledged that the nuclear pact, by itself, could not address all of Tehran’s unsatisfactory behavior.

While the agreement removes nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, other U.S. penalties on Iran remain in place. However, in recent weeks, U.S. officials have offered guidance to foreign entities interested in conducting business with Iran without running afoul of U.S. law.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry offered assurances to top European bank executives in London. “We want to make it clear that legitimate business, which is clear under the definition of the agreement, is available to banks,” he said.
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
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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
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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. 
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Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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!
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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)

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

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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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 103
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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration photo
These thresher sharks were unwanted bycatches

Swapping info reported to save sharks

By the James Cook University news staff

Tuna fishers who network with their competition may be able to stop thousands of sharks a year from being accidentally captured and killed in the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and the University of Hawaii found if fishing captains communicated more with their rivals, it could lead to more sustainable fishing practices.

“Forty-six thousand sharks could have been saved if information about avoiding sharks was shared freely between fishing groups,” says lead author Michele Barnes.

Ms. Barnes interviewed nearly every single Hawaii-based longline tuna fisher and found there were three distinct groups, based on who they shared information with.

“To use the phrase, ‘birds of a feather flock together,’ we definitely found that to be the case here, fishers primarily shared information with those most similar to themselves.”

The research team found that these cliques prevented communication to come up with strategies to catch fewer sharks and more tuna.

Bycatch, which is the accidental capture of non-target species, is a big global problem. In longline tuna fisheries, where fishing crews hang thousands of hooks from a mainline stretching up to 45 nautical miles, 100 sharks can be caught on a single line.

“Shark bycatch has significant ecological implications because many species of shark are in sharp decline, but when sharks are accidentally caught there are also economic implications because it takes time for fishers to cut them off the line, they risk losing their gear, and it can be dangerous,” says co-author John Lynham.

“It’s unclear whether fishers are even aware that some groups have learned how to avoid sharks more effectively, so sharing this information with them is the first critical step,” says Ms. Barnes.

“Sharks are vital to the health of the oceans, and fishing supports the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe. So when we can find simple, low-cost ways to reduce the number of sharks that are accidentally caught, it’s great for fishers, and for the oceans.”

The paper entitled “Social Networks and Environmental Outcomes” has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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From Page 7:

Study says China had beer 5,000 years ago

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Chinese were brewing beer 5,000 years ago, according to a new study.

U.S. and Chinese researchers say they have discovered brewing equipment with traces of ancient beer ingredients dating back 5,000 years in what were once underground rooms in China’s central plain.

This pushes back the date beer was likely first made in China by thousands of years, as the first reference to beer in Chinese literature is seen in writings from the Shang dynasty, which existed from about 1250 to 1046 BC, according to CNBC.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers say the newly discovered beer equipment has traces of broomcorn millet, barley, a grain called Job’s tears, also known as Chinese pearl barley, as well as some form of tuber.

The artifacts suggest Chinese brewers were using techniques not all that different from today’s.

"All indications are that ancient peoples, applied the same principles and techniques as brewers do today," said Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, who was not involved in the study, in an interview. McGovern is considered the Indiana Jones of ancient fermented beverages.

The presence of barley was surprising because grain wasn’t thought to have appeared in China for another thousand years. The researchers think barley may have been brought to China specifically for beer brewing.

“Early beer making may have motivated the initial translocation of barley from western Eurasia into the Central Plain of China before the crop became a part of agricultural subsistence in the region 3,000 years later,” the researchers wrote.

Jiajing Wang of Stanford University, who headed the study, told the French News Agency the beer might have “tasted a bit sour and a bit sweet.”

“Sour comes from fermented cereal grains, sweet from tubers,” he said.