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Published Friday, May 27, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 104
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Fuerza Pública officers busted up a thriving business in Filadelfia de Carrillo, Guanacaste, where residents were charging tourists $10 each to have a photo taken with this boa.

Police confiscated the three-meter snake and remanded it to a refuge because they assumed a violation against taking wildlife out of the wilds.
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo

Nine police officers face home invasion allegations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators detained nine Fuerza Pública officers Thursday and said they were members of an organized gang that invaded homes to steal and rob.

The police officers worked in Tibás, two downtown districts in San José Centro, Hospital and El Carmen, and in Aserrí. They are accused of using their status as police officers to enter homes where there were people present. They also are accused of using police vehicles and other equipment. Officials said the men used their knowledge of the areas that they gained from their police patrols.

The arrests are a major public relations blow to the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, which is seeking to have a tax on corporations renewed to provide it more funds. The ministry issued press releases Thursday saying it was working with investigators.

Gustavo Mata, the security minister, reported later Thursday that the nine had been fired from the force. That is the result of a policy that has only been in force this year. In the past, police accused of crimes were put on paid leave.  Juan José Andrade, head of the Fuerza Pública, said that four other officers have been fired this year for other breaches.

He identified the suspects by the last names of Alvarez, Mesa, López, Calderón Castro, Vargas

Ramírez, Abarca Torres, Mora Solano, Olloa Caballo and Coronado Canal. Some have worked for as long as 15 years with the police agency. Others have only two years of service, he said.

Both Andrade and Walter Espinoza, head of the Judicial Investigating Organization, provided only minimal details when they met the press.

Andrade did say that since 2013 there have been 416 complaints against members of all the agencies under the ministry. That includes the  Fuerza Pública, the anti-drug police, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the ministry’s air wing, he said.

Espinoza said that at least four other persons were sought as members of the robbery ring but they were not public employees.

Investigators were assisted by videos from cameras installed by homeowners. In at least one of the videos, the intruders are seen using a Fuerza Pública pickup truck.

When the intruders found persons at home in a targeted dwelling, they pretended they were conducting an official raid, but once inside they threatened and tied up those present and sacked the home.

Judicial investigators and prosecutors are working on a number of cases that involved alleged wrongdoing by police.

Rainbow flag going up over the U.S. Embassy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Staffers at the U.S. Embassy will raise the rainbow flag of sexual diversity Wednesday to show support to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersexuals, the embassy said in an announcement Thursday. The flag will fly for a month.

The event will be at 8:15 a.m. at the embassy in Pavas with the participation of Ambassador S. Fitzgerald Haney.

Intersex may be a term that is not familiar to many U.S. expats.  The word refers to individuals who have sex characteristics, including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns, that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

This condition is known as hermaphrodism in animals but the use of that term to refer to humans is considered inappropriate now.

The U.S. State Department has been particularly sensitive to the rights of members of these groups.

bndera arco iris
U.S. State Department photo

Secretary of State John Kerry noted earlier this month that the embassies and consulates of the United States work closely with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual communities. The department even has appointed a special emissary for human rights, Randy Berry, to raise the issue with high officials of other governments, Kerry said.

The State Department emphasis of gay rights has been credited to Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of State who is now the leading Democratic presidential candidate. However, the department has been criticized for its uneven condemnation of anti-gay laws in other countries. For example, little is said about the Saudi death penalty for homosexuality.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 104
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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Movie selection not what they expect

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Monday two government agencies and the Colegio de Periodistas will celebrate the Día Nacional del Periodista with an odd choice of films. The journalism profession has been invited to a screening of “Truth,” known as "La Verdad” in Spanish.
This is the film that chronicles the 2004 error by the CBS news show “60 Minutes.” The producer and a reporter, Dan Rather, had been taken in by what appears to be fraudulent documents that were critical of the military service of George Bush. That was at the time of the 2004 presidential elections.

Said The Atlantic magazine of the television report and the movie: “Two documents central to the news program’s contention that Bush was granted preferential treatment were subsequently revealed to be almost certainly fraudulent. This error ultimately resulted in the retirement from CBS of Dan Rather (played here with likable understatement by Robert Redford) . . . .“

The 9:30 a.m. showing is to be in Plaza Lincoln.

The invitation to the event says that producer Mary Mapes and Rather have to fight to show the truth of their news report, putting the truth above the public and economic interests behind the communications media. That characterization makes the pair sound like heroes instead of aggressive reporters who were hoodwinked.

An evaluation of the documents involved later showed that they had been made with a word processor that was not available at the time Bush was joining the Texas Air National Guard.

Cody Dial case to be discussed today

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The director of the Judicial Investigating Organization is expected to outline the status of the Cody Dial case at a session today.

The director, Walter Espinoza, has said that he doubts Dial met with foul play when he died in the Parque Nacional Corcovado, but he is expected to provide evidence today.

The session is being held in the government morgue in San Joaquin de Flores, Heredia.

Dial’s parents also are expected to attend the session. They have raised the idea that the Alaskan resident, an experienced outdoorsman, was a murder victim.

Dial was confirmed to have checked out of a Puerto Jiménez hotel July 18, 2014. His remains were found last week in the dense jungle.

Considering the length of time that Dial was in the jungle, there is a good chance that the exact cause of death never will be known.

Media giants plan cable under Atlantic

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. have agreed to build an undersea cable across the Atlantic Ocean to meet the growing demand for high-speed online and cloud services.

Microsoft and Facebook announced the move Thursday, saying the 6,600-kilometer MAREA cable, named for the Spanish word for tide, will stretch from the U.S. East Coast state of Virginia to Bilbao, Spain. From Spain, the cable would link to hubs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and other parts of Europe.

The companies said construction of the cable will begin in August and finish by October 2017. The cable is expected to carry up to 160 terabits of bandwidth per second, about 16 million times the bandwidth of a U.S. home internet connection.

Their announcement comes nearly two years after Google announced a similar deal with five Asian companies to develop a trans-Pacific cable network connecting the U.S. with Japan.

Underwater data centers are seen as a possibility for storing and managing huge amounts of data while using marine energy resources to keep the data centers cool.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 104
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Rain washes away some ash, but Turrialba volcano erupts again
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano erupted conveniently Thursday just in time for the 6 p.m. television news.

Experts are warning that the rain of volcanic ash might continue for years.

Farmers got a break Thursday when moderate rains washed the vegetables and the pastures around the volcano. In addition, the Ministerio de Agricultura y Gandería said that vegetables exposed to ash were suitable for consumption based on tests done by the Ministerio de Salud. Although gritty, the ash from the volcano does not contain heavy metals or other dangerous chemicals, the ministry said.

Agricultural officials just encouraged vegetables users to wash the products carefully.

Some of the vegetables, carrots, potatoes and onions develop below ground, so they have not been exposed to the ash.

Others like broccoli and cabbage usually are boiled anyway.

Despite the most recent eruption, volcano officials still are talking about a lessening of activity. But they also expressed concern about the emission of hot material within 500 meters of the crater. There also were eruptions Thursday at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

The column of ash dispersed to the north as well as the northwest for the first time Thursday. In the past it has gone to the west or northwest.

Ash was reported in Cartago, Desamparados, Llorente de Tibás, Tres Ríos, Barrio Don Bosco, Curridabat, Santa Cecilia de San Marcos, Tarrazú and San Ignacio de Acosta. A strong smell of sulphur was reported in Pavas, Zapote, Escazú, San Antonio de Escazú, San Francisco de Dos Ríos and Sabanilla Montes de Oca.

The national emergency commission said that ash was detected in at least 30 communities.

Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica/Geoffroy Avard and Maarten de Moor
This was how cabbage looked before the rains

Two technicians got a good look at the eruptions. They were at the summit of the mountain installing a new monitoring camera to replace one that has been out of service.

The area that is within a five-kilometer radius of the volcano remains off-limits except to those who live nearer and those involved in monitoring. Schools there have been closed again.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 104
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Contraloría finds more than half of corporations ducked special tax
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation’s financial watchdog said Thursday that from 2012 to 2015 an average of some 55 percent of corporations subject to a special tax did not pay it.

The agency, the Contraloría General de la República, noted that the tax was declared unconstitutional in January 2015, but that the Sala IV constitutional court said that operators of corporations must pay the tax for that year anyway.

The tax is the subject of a bill in the legislature that would renew it. It was unconstitutional for technical reasons.

By October last year, 365,482 corporations have not paid the tax. At the same time 23,476 corporations were listed as having failed to pay the tax for three years. The Contraloría said that at the same time 250,501 corporations were delinquent for four years, the length of time the tax had been in force.

The Contraloría urged that the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz begin steps to collect the tax.

What was not reflected in the report is that the original law
Contraloría General de la República graphic
Chart shows contributors and percentage unpaid by year.

gave those responsible for a corporation to resign without being subject to future actions.

That means many of the corporations in the unpaid category have no one in charge.

In addition, many corporate operators are waiting to see the nature of the new tax bill, if it is passed, to see if there is an amnesty or another way to duck the past-due taxes.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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, Friday, May 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 104
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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria
turns up in Pennsylvania

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States may be treading on a path to a post-antibiotics era, when more people will die from common infections.

In a study published Thursday, Defense Department researchers have confirmed the discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the urine of a Pennsylvania woman who visited a military clinic last month.

Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the discovery could mean that we are at the end of the road for the antibiotics that we have relied on for so many years. Frieden and other public health officials have long warned against the overuse of antibiotics, which has helped to breed what are known as superbugs.

He said the woman in Pennsylvania has a urinary tract infection that is resistant to every antibiotic, including the last one we have, colistin, an old antibiotic. It was the only one left for what I've called nightmare bacteria." That family of bacteria include Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, which the CDC says is the country's most urgent public health threat.

Frieden said the concern is not just for fighting bad infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, but for the thousands of particularly vulnerable patients, like the "600,000 Americans a year who need cancer treatment, for whom we just assume we'll treat infections."

For some of them, he said, the medicine cabinet is empty.

Antibiotics revolutionized medicine in the mid-20th century, making surgeries safer. If infections can't be treated by antibiotics, people could die from small wounds or minor surgery.

Bacteria are constantly evolving, so those that survive the drugs designed to kill them reproduce. That's normal, and antibiotics themselves do not cause resistance, but improper antibiotic use is one of the key drivers for the development of antibiotic-resistant germs.

To make matters worse, most people don't understand that antibiotics can be effective only against bacterial infections, not for viruses like the flu or a cold.

The Centers says more than 2 million people are infected by drug-resistant germs each year, and 23,000 die of their infections.

Nearly untreatable cases of diarrhea, sepsis, pneumonia and gonorrhea are infecting millions more globally, according to the World Health Organization.

Obama says world leaders
are rattled by Donald Trump

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama said Thursday that world leaders he had spoken with were rattled by the presence of Donald Trump as a candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential race and he offered his own harsh criticism of the billionaire.

Speaking to reporters in the coastal Japanese city of Ise Shima, after the first day of an annual summit of leaders of the world's seven wealthiest nations, the president said the world was paying close attention because the United States is at the heart of the international order.

Later in the day, Trump brushed off Obama's recounting of world leaders' views of him, saying, "If they're rattled in a friendly way, that's a good thing."

Trump has dominated the race for the Republican presidential nomination based on his controversial statements about Hispanic immigrants and Muslims. He has also called for withdrawing U.S. forces from Japan and South Korea and arming those countries with nuclear weapons to counter the threat from North Korea. 

Obama said his fellow leaders were not sure how seriously to take some of Trump's pronouncements, which "display either ignorance of world affairs, or a cavalier attitude, or an interest in getting tweets and headlines."

The U.S. president said he and the other G-7 leaders discussed the challenges facing the global economy on the first day of the summit, and ways to "sustain the momentum of the recovery that's taking place in the United States."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented a grimmer view of the global economy, comparing current economic conditions with those of 2008, when the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers triggered a global economic recession. 

Many observers believe Abe was making those comparisons to give him cover for delaying a planned increase in Japan's consumption tax. 

Today's agenda at the G-7 will include terrorism and maritime security. The last point is an obvious nod to China's increasing territorial expansion in the resource-rich South China Sea, in the face of rival claims by its Asia-Pacific neighbors. 

U.S. demographics shifting
away from white majority

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In about six months, the most diverse American electorate in history will vote for a new president, a demographic shift that analysts say is happening faster than expected.

"By the 2016, 22 states in America will be majority-minority," said Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and one of the authors of "States of Change - Demography and Democracy," a study published earlier this year.

The growing ethnic and racial diversity of America has profound implications for the country's politics, and some say it is already reflected in this year's charged presidential campaign season.

Republican front runner Donald Trump has criticized policies that have allowed millions of undocumented immigrants to live and work in America. This sharp campaign rhetoric is considered by nervous members of the Republican mainstream as a risky political strategy.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center published in February, nearly one-in-three eligible voters on Election Day (31 percent) will be Hispanic, Asian, black or another racial or ethnic minority, up from 29 percent in 2012.

Bowman points out the demographic surge of minority populations is emerging much faster than expected, based on data reported by the U.S. Census data from the year 2000 to 2010.

Non-hispanic whites remain the largest major race and ethnic group, but is growing at the slowest rate of all groups, just 1 percent from 2000 to 2010. During that same time, the Hispanic population and the Asian population grew by 43 percent.

The speed of these demographic changes has created a cultural identification gap argues Brookings Institute demographer William Frey, author of the  2014 book Diversity Explosion.

He puts it this way:

“The older population, which is largely white, has some trouble dealing with the changing demographics in the country.”

It is a polite way of saying that many who support Trump’s dramatic political rise, white with less formal education and hard-hit by the 2008 recession, according to polls, have expressed strong resentment about the explosion of minorities.

Trump’s critics are calling foul, openly accusing him of knowingly stoking anger and dangerous divisions with no concern for the possible consequences.

Among them: Charles Badger, a former staffer for Republican Jeb Bush's failed presidential campaign, and author of the article “Trump’s Secret Plan to Win the Presidency: Pitting Minorities Against One Another.”

Badger argues that a thoughtful look at history tells us much about Trump’s tactics to win the Oval Office.

“He follows a long line, a long tradition, of demagogues like him who have done exactly what he is doing now. . . . because it’s a tried-and-true model.”

Add to that, Badger said, the current alignment of the stars economically.

“These sort of demagogic figures always sort of arrive, not just in our country, but any country whenever you have the vast changes in population,” argues Badger. “The best way that Trump can be understood . . . . This wave of support he is riding is backlash support, and it’s not just immigration, it’s a reaction to changes in the country.”

The recession may be over per the measuring sticks used by top economists, but that doesn’t mean the effects of the 2008 financial crisis have disappeared.

Many Americans, and, according to pollsters, Trump’s supporters, are still struggling to make ends meet.

They work low-paying jobs with few benefits, they are saddled with debt, lack access to higher education. In short, they are living without a clear path to improve their lot in life.

Trump’s in-your-face style, not unlike Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders anti-Wall Street message, speaks directly to that segment of the voting population who live the reality of being left out of the so-called American Dream economy.

This openly aggressive pro-white strategy may not be the most effective, according to Frey.

That’s because white Americans are aging, and soon will be dying in larger numbers than producing children. In other words, whites need these young minorities because they will soon make up a big chunk of America’s working population.

Put more starkly, older white Americans will very soon need the money that Hispanics, Asians and African-Americans will generate as part of the U.S. labor force.

As to Trump’s undeniably ugly comments about immigrants and other groups, Frey is practical, pointing out that immigration is not, by far, the reason that minority communities are growing by leaps and bounds.

“Politicians always try to paint pictures that they see will help them get more votes," said Frey, who has some advice for those seeking elected office.

“Moving forward, votes are going to be with minorities, not with older whites.”

Trump would cancel treaty
reached in Paris on climate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Donald Trump Thursday pledged to cancel the Paris climate agreement and aggressively pursue U.S. fossil fuel development, during a speech at a petroleum conference in North Dakota.

He attacked Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton's positions on energy policy, drawing sharp contrasts between the two on an issue that could be a factor in the general election.

Trump delivered his remarks in a state where oil and gas production have rocketed up 10-fold over the last decade, helping make the United States the world's leading fossil fuel producer.

According to Trump, the transformation happened in spite of massive new bureaucratic and political barriers. He said President Barack Obama has "made life much more difficult for North Dakota, as costly regulation makes it harder and harder to turn a profit." And under Clinton, he said, "things will get much worse."

In his first 100 days in office, Trump said, he would roll back regulations on drilling, "cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments to U.N. global warming programs."

Environmentalists condemned the speech. "He basically said whatever the oil and gas industry folks wanted to hear," while disregarding the impact on air, water and climate, said League of Conservation Voters spokesman Seth Stein.

Trump "didn't seem to have any grasp of what is actually in the Paris agreement," said Oren Cass, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and adviser to 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He supports Trump's focus on domestic energy and reducing regulations, but said Trump shows a worrying failure to grasp "the facts and the way these things actually work."

Trump's remarks came on the day he tallied enough delegates to be the GOP presidential nominee. And by focusing on energy policy, Trump emphasized a subject that has not drawn much attention in primary contests but could be important in the general election.

"If you think about a Trump vs. Clinton, or certainly a Trump vs. Sanders race, this is going to be a very prominent area of disagreement, both in the policy specifics and the broader world view and approach to governing," he said. "It's a very sensible element in a pivot to the general election."

Mrs. Clinton called the U.N. climate agreement negotiated in Paris last December a historic step forward and a testament to America's ability to lead the world. She has advocated a transition away from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy sources in order to fight climate change.

In contrast to Trump, who has described climate change as a hoax, Clinton has said it is "clearly man-made and man-aggravated."

Recent polls show U.S. voters are coming around to Clinton's point of view.

"There are majorities that agree that this is something that's happening and this is an issue that they want action on," said Stein.

A recent Gallup poll found 64 percent of Americans are worried about climate change, and a record 65 percent say humans are responsible.

Conservative Republicans are the least likely to believe climate change is happening, according to a Yale University-George Mason University poll. But even this group is having a change of heart. Believers remain a minority at 47 percent. But that's up 19 percentage points in the last two years.

And while climate change is not a top issue on voters' minds, the survey found that opposing climate action did not win votes. Forty-five percent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who strongly opposed measures to reduce global warming. Only 11 percent said they would be more likely.

Voters also are turning against one of the techniques that has made the United States the world's top energy producer: hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Gallup found just over half of respondents opposed the practice, up from 40 percent last year.

Environmentalists criticize fracking for causing water pollution, methane leakage and earthquakes.

But experts credit the natural gas boom with helping cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas is cleaner than coal. Now it's cheaper as well.

When it comes to fracking, Mrs. Clinton faces criticism from both sides. As secretary of State, she backed natural gas development as a bridge fuel between coal and renewable energy. But she has backed away from supporting it in the United States, under fire from Bernie Sanders, who opposes the practice.

"The fracking issue is going to be a very interesting one in the general election because Clinton has been pushed pretty far to the left on it by Sanders," Cass said. "She tried to leave herself a lot of wiggle room
. . . . But I think the contrasts are going to at least feel very clear."

Wisconsin firm facing claim
of job bias from Muslims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A federal civil rights complaint against a Wisconsin manufacturing company that allegedly fired 15 Muslim workers for religious reasons is one of four such cases pending with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and one of 68 the agency has resolved over the last 10 years.

Since 2006, the commission has heard Muslims' allegations of religious discrimination against companies of various sizes and in different sectors, including corporate giants such as McDonald's, Merrill Lynch, Rite-Aid Pharmacy, UPS and Wal-Mart.

A national survey has indicated religious discrimination is increasing in American workplaces. The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding found there was an 87 percent increase in the number of religious discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between 2004 and 2014.

"Workplace discrimination against Muslims can be seen as an extension of the bias that Muslims face in society in general," said Rabiah Ahmed, spokeswoman for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a civil rights organization. A bias against a person's race, gender, religion, age or disability "could affect the way he or she is treated or judged by others in a workplace setting."

The latest complaint was submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Wednesday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim American civil rights group. The grievance was filed on behalf of 15 Muslims who were fired from a Wisconsin manufacturing company after the company stopped allowing the Muslims to take unscheduled breaks for prayer.

The complaint alleged Ariens Co., an outdoor power equipment manufacturer based in Brillion, Wisconsin, fired 15 Somali Muslims after the company stopped allowing them to take unscheduled breaks for prayer, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of religion, sex, race, color and national origin.

Ariens had allowed some Muslim workers to take brief, pre-approved prayer breaks but started enforcing a policy in January that allowed only two 10-minute prescheduled breaks, the complaint said.

Because observant Muslims are required to pray five times daily at specific times, some Muslim employees asked the company for flexibility, according to the complaint. It added that the company refused to consider the request and ultimately fired the employees.

"The dispute results from Ariens' complete refusal to engage in discussion regarding its religious accommodation policies," said Islamic council attorney Maha Sayed.

In a statement, Ariens said 27 Muslims are currently employed at the company, which "continues to accommodate them in prayer rooms. We respect their faith and we respect the work they do."

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, along with the National Labor Relations Board, will investigate the complaint. If the commission chooses not to litigate, it could give the employees the option to file a lawsuit, according to Sayed.

Meanwhile, the size of the Muslim population in the U.S. has undergone steady growth, according to the Pew Research Center, which began estimating the U.S. Muslim population in 2007. In 2015, there were about 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S., or about 1 percent of the country's total population. By 2050, Pew projects the Muslim population will reach 8.1 million, or 2.1 percent of the total population.  

As the Muslim population grows and American workplaces become more diverse, "employers must be aware of rights and obligations with respect to providing religious accommodation," wrote attorneys Robert Hutton and J. Gregory Grisham, co-authors of “Religious Accommodation in the Workplace: Current Trends Under Title VII.”

Health care workers dying
for doing job, WHO says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report from the World Health Organization says nearly 1,000 health care workers have been killed and more than 1,500 wounded in 19 countries with emergencies and that many of the incidents were intentional.

This first effort to consolidate and analyze data on attacks on health care in emergency settings around the world sheds light on the severity and frequency of the problem. The findings show widespread violations of international humanitarian law, which, if proven, could amount to war crimes.

Rick Brennan, director of the World Health's Department of Emergency and Risk Management, said the figures presented in the report are startling. He said they indicate the devastating impact that attacks against health workers have on communities.

"Every attack on health care disrupts the delivery of health services and denies communities access to essential health services in emergencies at the time that they really need them most," he said. "Perhaps one of the most concerning findings of the report is that close to two-thirds of the attacks on health care, on health facilities, on health workers, on ambulances, on patients have been deliberate."

The report says Syria had the most reported attacks on health care each year, twice as many as any other country or territory in 2014 and nearly four times as many in 2015. Syria is followed by the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Ukraine and Central African Republic in the rankings of the 19 countries surveyed.

According to the report, the Central African Republic is the only country where attacks against health care have gone down. The report attributes the drop to successful interventions by the International Committee of the Red Cross with armed groups in that country.

The report's author, Erin Kenney, said attacks that hinder the delivery of preventive or curative health services occur in many emergency settings, not just in situations of conflict.

"That is everything from the ebola health care workers who were killed in Guinea . . .   polio workers who are attacked during vaccination," he said. "So, the bombings we see are the things that get the most visibility and the most press probably. The attacks we have in this report … include looting, arson, kidnapping, torture, execution."

While this report documents attacks against health care in 2014 and 2015, the World Health Organization says the horror persists. Over the past couple of months, it notes a number of hospitals and health facilities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere have been hit with a heavy loss of life.

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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And a 40-ft HQ Reefer basic home model: $12,000.
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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:

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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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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, Friday, May 27, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 104
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Mexican director Alondra de la Parra leads the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. She will conduct tonight and Sunday morning for the fifth concert of the season in the Teatro Nacional. The orchestra is scheduled to present works of Mexican composer Javier Álvarez, and Europeans Edvard Grieg and Gustav Mahle.

Veteran honors part of weekend activities

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Deceased U.S. veterans will be honored this weekend. The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional plans its fifth concert of the season, and there are various commercial presentations to attract expats.

The Marine Corps League will conduct the Memorial Day ceremony at the Campo de Esperanza Cemetery in San Antonio de Escazú at 11 a.m. Saturday.  The names of the U. S. military veterans who had died in Costa Rica since the last Memorial Day ceremony will be read, said the league.

Mexican director Alondra de la Parra leads the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. She will conduct at 8 p.m. tonight and 10:30 a.m. both in the Teatro Nacional.

The orchestra is scheduled to present works of Mexican composer Javier Álvarez and Europeans Edvard Grieg and Gustav Mahle. The invited soloist is Venezuelan Ana Karina Álamo on the piano.

The Plaza del Sol in Curridabat plans an exhibition of the works of 50 artists beginning this morning through Sunday.

National spelling bee has another tie

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire staff

The Scripps National Spelling Bee had all of the edge-of-the-seat excitement and nail-biting anxiety of any sporting event usually seen on ESPN, the sports network that aired the annual event.

This year's competition was a repeat of last year's. Once again two Indian American youngsters were co-winners, each taking home a trophy and $45,000 in cash and prizes.

Eleven-year-old Nihar Janga is the youngest winner of the bee on record.  His winning word was gesellschaft, a type of social relationship. Thirteen-year-old Jairam Hathwar is the younger brother of a former winner.  He correctly spelled feldenkrais, an education method.

Ten contestants from several U.S. states took the stage Thursday to compete in the final round of the national bee.

Contestants advance from local contests to regional ones, and finally to Washington for a chance to compete in the prestigious competition. The spellers come from U.S. states and territories as well as military bases overseas. Most of the spellers are 13 or 14 years old.

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From Page 7:

Two speeches may signal Fed rate hike

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A series of back-to-back speeches by members of the U.S. Federal Reserve is raising the possibility that central bank policymakers may be signaling a rate increase soon.

This week, Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan said he expected at least two rate hikes in 2016. Thursday, Fed Governor Jerome Powell said that despite global risks and steady but unremarkable growth in the U.S., the improving employment picture and rising inflation suggested another rate increase may be appropriate.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is likely to weigh in Friday when she attends an award ceremony at Harvard University. 

The central bank’s benchmark rate, the rate it charges banks on short-term loans, has remained near record lows since the end of the financial crisis to stimulate the economy and boost hiring. The Fed last raised interest rates in December 2015. Since then, slowing growth around the world and increased financial volatility have delayed moves to tighten or normalize U.S. monetary policy.

Asked by a reporter whether his remarks Thursday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics were part of a coordinated effort by the Fed to signal a rate hike next month, Powell said the back-to-back speeches likely were coincidental. He said that he would support a rate hike when the bank’s policymakers meet next month, but that his vote would depend on incoming data. 

“The great thing is I don’t have to decide until June 15, and I really think you discard the opportunity to evaluate incoming information when you decide too early,” he said.

At the same time, Powell said, there is little risk to the economy if the Federal Open Market Committee waited a bit longer to normalize rates.

“This doesn't feel like an economy that’s bubbling over or threatening to break into high inflation," he said. "I think the right plan, as I said, is a gradual set of rate increases over time.”

Economists fear that a prolonged period of low interest rates could fuel high inflation, which could ultimately stall the economy. Although prices for consumer goods have been rising, inflation remains below the Fed’s target rate of 2 percent. Given the Fed’s dual mandate of steady employment and stable prices, Powell said, it faces a delicate balancing act.  

“You don't want to wait too long, but neither do you want to be in a hurry,” he said.

A growing number of economists said they believe the odds of a rate hike in June or July have risen dramatically since the start of 2016. The 17 members of the policymaking arm of the central bank meet June 14 and 15.