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Published Monday, June 6, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 110
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Mostly African migrants are registered at an immigration tent in southern Costa Rica.
The government is defending its lax treatment of migrants. Our story is HERE!

Sarchí artisans organizing to promote their products
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Artisans in Sarchí are taking steps to market their furniture products collectively.

The Cámara de Comercio, Industria y Turismo de Sarchí has joined with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio to develop a long-term marketing plan that includes a Sarchí trademark.

Also participating are the Comisión Nacional de Artesanías and the Universidad Veritas.

Like so many businesses in Costa Rica, Sarchí has relied on its long-term reputation for fine wood products to bring in the customers. A few firms advertise, but the bulk rely on walk-ins from passersby.  They also export their wares to the Central Valley where furniture is sold as being of a Sarchí origin whether it is or not.

A key element of the plan is an online catalogue that will display the works of the initial 12 artisan workshops in the region that have joined the initiative, said a summary by the ministry.

Another plan is to produce documentaries about the various artisans of the area.

In addition to furniture Sarchí is known for producing ox carts and those distinctive and colorful cart wheels.

The campaign is being called Sarchí Color Cultura. And one target is the tourists trade.

Many expat residents of the Central Valley and the Pacfic coast do not realize that some of the furniture producers in Sarchí will custom build furniture to the customer’s specifications.

The project organizers also plan to provide some training for the local business operators.

In another tourism-related announcement, the  Instituto Costarricense de Turismo said it was designating a Ruta Nacional de las Aves for birdwatchers. Costa Rica with its many avian species hosts a number of birdwatchers each year, but the tourism institute has not been aggressive in promoting the country for this purpose. The tourism institute will identify top birdwatching sites, it said.

Another rape by released inmate prompts revisions
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz said Friday it would revise the system it is using to keep track of prisoners who have been released under a new policy.

The statement came after yet another victim was raped by a prisoner who had been released to what is called a semi-institutional location, basically a halfway house.

The latest rape of a boy took place in Guanacaste and followed by a few days a rape of a young mother in Pococí.

The ministry, which is in charge of the prisons, also said that it would reaffirm the principles that neither sexual aggressors nor persons who
committed other grave crimes would be released before their sentence was up.

The ministry is trying to reduce the overcrowding of the nation’s prisons by
releasing up to 6,000 inmates before their sentences expire.

The ministry also said that the Instituto Nacional de Criminología revoked the semi-institutional status of both individuals accused of rape.

The ministry statement also included a lengthy defense of the system and the efforts to enlarge prisons. It also said that many inmates successfully complete the semi-institutional portion of the sentence without committing a new crime.

Fuerza Pública officers detained the suspect in Guanacaste. They said he was caught not far from the victim, who was under a bridge in Bebedero de Cañas, Guanacaste. Neighbors alerted the mother of the young male victim, and she alerted police, they said. The man, identified by the last name of  Marín, had two prior convictions for raping minor boys, said the Fuerza Pública.

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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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air tester
Ministerio de Salud photo
The top of the tower is from where health officials obtain samples of the nation’s air.

Officials plan to tax polluting vehicles

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nitrogen dioxide levels in 16 of 60 locations in Costa Rica are higher than health limits, and there is no secret that these are areas that have high traffic.

Officials released a report on air quality Friday and also announced that a proposal was being advanced to levy what amounts to a fine on contaminating vehicles.

The study was a collaboration by the Ministerio de Salud, the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes and the Municipalidad de San José with technical help from the Laboratorio de Análisis Ambiental de la Universidad Nacional.

Top sites with air pollution were in front of Hospital San Juan de Dios on Paseo Colón, at the la Castellana gasoline station on Avenida 10, at Walmart in San Sebastián, at the Catedral Metropolitana on Avenida Segundo and on Avenida 9 at the central offices of the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica.

The report said that air pollution was increasing by 11 to 13 percent a year.

Of course, part of the problem is the continual congestion in the central city. Officials said they plan to combat this with the electrification of transportation, the requirement of more efficient vehicles and tighter rules on new and used vehicles.  Already 20 percent of private vehicles are prohibited from entering the city center each day based on the last digit of the license plate.

The extra tax on polluting vehicles is only part of the plan.  A regulation to control vehicle emissions was published in the La Gaceta official newspaper last week that establishes the level of emissions permitted by vehicles, said officials.

The transport ministry said that the annual vehicle inspection would determine if a vehicle is a polluter subject to additional financial penalties.

The ministry also said it would support increasing the inspection fee leveled by Riteve S y C, S.A. by about $2 to accomplish this.\

Peruvian presidential race is a squeaker

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A 77-year-old former World Bank economist has a slight lead over the daughter of disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori in Peru's presidential runoff election.

With a little more than half the votes counted in early Monday, Pedro Kuczynski has 50.6 percent of the vote, compared to Keiko Fujimori's 49.4 percent.

"We are going to have a government built on consensus," said Kuczynski. "No more low blows or fights."

Keiko Fujimori urged her voters to sit tight and wait.  "We're going to wait with prudence because all night votes will be coming in from the provinces, from abroad, and from the rural voters of deep Perú," she said.

Ms. Fujimori had been leading in public opinion polls until recently, but the scandal around money laundering allegations against a senior aide has taken a toll, transforming the race into a repeat performance of Fujimori's 2011 bid when she lost by a razor's edge to outgoing President Ollanta Humala.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 110
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Government defends its lax treatment of new wave of migrants
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government defended Sunday night the way the country is handling an influx of mostly African migrants.

That was the message in the weekly televised message that aired Sunday night.

Mauricio Herrera Ulloa, the minister of communications, said that the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería had listed 1,409 foreigners in May who had entered at the Paso Canoas border. He characterized them as being in irregular condition instead of illegal.

He noted that nearly all hope to reach the United States. Although Herrera said that the migrants had not violated any laws, they appeared to have entered the country illegally. Herrera said that no country has the capacity to close its borders completely to the phenomenon of migrant.

They are human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity, said Herrera.

Several migrants were featured on the video. Two seemed to be speaking Brazilian Portuguese and two appeared to be fluent in Spanish. One seemed to speak a dialect of French.

Herrera said that some migrants in the south were being housed in the fairgrounds Paso Canoas. The Cruz Roja is providing health services while immigration officials are taking fingerprints and photos. Many migrants have been issued an immigration document that gives them the freedom of the country. Others have been put in a detention center.

Others have been hospitalized or treated at the clinic in Buenos
Aires de Puntarenas. A special facility has been set up for about 400 pregnant women and children.

A.M. Costa Rica reported May 26 that about 40 Africans passed through Tortuguero and Barra del Colorado in northeast Costa
Rica by boat and then walked into Nicaragua on foot.
Casa Presidencial photo
Migrant camp near Paso Canoas is basically a tent city.

Nicaragua has closed its border to illegal migrants, but some of the new wave of migrants are believed to have entered that country anyway at the Peñas Blancas border crossing.

Herrera said that the government would be opening up two new migrant centers near the northern border this week. They would be in La Cruz and Los Chiles, he said.

The United States has invested millions of dollars in the law enforcement infrastructure in Costa Rica to reduce drug shipments and human trafficking. These includes such facilities as a checkpoint near Golfito on the Interamericana Sur. But with the flood of African migrants and an earlier flood of 8,000 Cuban migrants these facilities have been overwhelmed.

Still an open question is what will happen to these migrants when they finally reach the Mexican border with the United States. Unlike the Cubans they will not benefit from a Cold War era law that would give them residency.

They will have to enter the United States illegally or languish as many do on the Mexican side of the border.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 110
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World Health Organization to study zika danger of Rio Olympics
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
with staff reports

The World Health Organization is studying how great a health risk would be posed by going ahead with the Rio Olympics as scheduled despite concerns about the effect of the zika virus on either athletes or spectators.

The director-general of the U.N. agency, Margaret Chan, says she has asked the agency’s zika emergency committee to evaluate the risk, considering the large numbers of people who will travel to Brazil for summer games in August, an estimated 10,000 athletes from 200 countries and 500,000 spectators.

Dr. Chan said she called on World Health experts in response to a request from a U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, from the northern state of New Hampshire, who expressed concern about public-health hazards in Rio de Janeiro this year.

“The experts, well-versed in travel medicine, the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, seasonal patterns of mosquito-borne infections, and risks communications, will meet shortly,” Dr. Chan wrote to Sen. Shaheen. Her letter, sent on Wednesday, said the emergency committee's assessment would be posted online immediately.

No date has yet been set for the emergency committee's meeting.

In a global situation report Thursday on zika and associated medical problems, World Health said the virus continues to spread around the world, and vigilance needs to remain high. Overall, 60 countries worldwide have experienced zika outbreaks this year, more than twice as many as last year, the agency said.

World Health has sent teams of senior scientists to Brazil four times to date to gather data on the situation ahead of the games. Even before the U.S. senator's request, health officials said they were planning for a meeting of experts during June.

About two million Brazilians have contracted Zika since its

outbreak in 2015, and the virus also has spread widely through other parts of Latin America. Medical experts believe Zika is responsible for a surge of serious birth defects, microcephaly, in which babies are born with unusually small heads and brains, and may well also be linked to other diseases.

The mosquito-borne zika virus directly infects the brain progenitor cells destined to become neurons, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers reported in a study published online in Cell Reports.

The team of researchers used a strain of zika currently affecting the Americas, and found that the virus infects about 20 percent of cells on average, evades immune system detection and continues to replicate for weeks.

"The cellular system we studied mirrors what pathologists are finding in the brain tissue of affected infants and will be valuable for further understanding how zika causes severe brain-related problems. The system may also serve as a platform for testing new therapies targeting the virus," said  John Schoggins.  He is an assistant professor of microbiology at  Southwestern and senior author of the study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site lists a series of unanswered questions about the virus. The unanswered questions include when during pregnancy the infection may harm the fetus and how the virus affects individual pregnancies.

"There was a suggestion that the detrimental effects of the virus might be linked to its ability to infect brain cells, specifically the progenitor cells that give rise to neurons," said Schoggins in a release issued by Southwestern.

"We showed that neural progenitors can be infected by a strain of zika virus that is currently infecting people in the Americas," Schoggins said. "We found that the virus kills some neural progenitor cells, but not all. Other cells survive the infection, and surprisingly, continue to replicate the virus for many weeks. In addition, it appears that zika virus does not stimulate much of an immune response."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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, Monday, June 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 110
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NPR journalist ambushed
with translator in Afghanistan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A veteran American photojournalist and his Afghan translator were reported killed in Afghanistan Sunday after coming under attack while traveling with an Afghan army unit in southern Helmand province.

The U.S.-based National Public Radio identified the dead as photojournalist David Gilkey and translator Zabihullah Tammana. Two other journalists in their convoy were reportedly unharmed.

No other details were immediately available, and it was not clear late Sunday the size of the military unit or whether it suffered other casualties.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Beijing, said in a statement, "This attack is a grim reminder of the danger that continues to face the Afghan people . . . and the courage of intrepid journalists."

An NPR website described the 50-year-old Gilkey as an award-winning photographer and video editor, and one of the first unescorted journalists to enter Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States.

He also covered the 2008 to 2009 conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas, known widely as the Gaza War, as well as the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in early 2010.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists on Sunday issued a statement of condolences, saying that despite waning public attention, "Afghanistan remains a dangerous place for journalists, local and foreign, working to cover that protracted conflict."

The statement cited data showing the deaths of 24 journalists and one media worker since the U.S. response in October 2001 to the al-Qaida attacks on the United States. Those numbers do not include Gilkey or Tammana.

Body of Muhammad Ali back
in his hometown of Louisville

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The body of legendary U.S. world boxing champion Muhammad Ali arrived back in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, Sunday.

Ali died late Friday at the age of 74 of complications from Parkinson's disease. A motorcade to the funeral home was led by a hearse that had met the chartered plane carrying Ali's body back from Arizona, where he passed away.

Louisville will honor him with a procession through the city Friday followed by a public funeral at a sports arena. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton is among the luminaries scheduled to deliver eulogies.

Ali's spokesman said Ali was a citizen of the world and that he wanted people of all walks of life to be able to attend. Accordingly, the service will be held at Louisville's KFC Yum! Center, a multi-purpose sports arena that seats 22,000 people. It will be open to the public and streamed on the Internet.

Sports fans and admirers of Ali remembered and mourned their hero Saturday in the hours after it was announced that the former world heavyweight boxing champion, 1960 Olympic light heavyweight gold medalist and social activist had died. A memorial service was held in Louisville where the man then known as Cassius Marcellus Clay grew up and learned much of his boxing skills.

Later, after he won the world heavyweight title for the first time as a professional fighter, Clay announced that he had embraced Islam, discarded his forebears' slave name and became Muhammad Ali.

An American boxing legend who transcended the sport, Ali was both beloved and controversial. He so dominated professional boxing that Sports Illustrated magazine named him Sportsman of the 20th Century. Known for his boastful, passionate, outspoken style, Ali dubbed himself "The Greatest," and explained his boxing style in just a few words: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

Apart from the world of sports, Ali became the center of a firestorm of controversy three years after his name change and conversion, when he refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army, based on his religious beliefs and his opposition to the Vietnam war.

He was charged and convicted of draft evasion and stripped of his boxing title and license. That action kept Ali out of the boxing ring for more than three years, a time when his career should have been at its peak, until the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1970.

Ali took up boxing as a boy, advised by a policeman to learn how to defend himself after neighborhood bullies stole his bicycle. His trainer said the young Cassius Clay mixed raw talent with determination, and his skills rapidly increased. After the Rome Olympics, when victory made him a national hero, the young boxer turned pro and moved up through the ranks quickly.

In 1964, Ali overwhelmed fellow American Sonny Liston in a major upset and became world heavyweight champion for the first time. He stayed undefeated until legal problems sidelined him, but suffered his first loss soon after returning to the ring in a 15-round match against compatriot Joe Frazier, also undefeated at the time and who had become heavyweight champion in Ali's absence. Their 1971 bout was known at the time as "the fight of the century."

In many ways, Ali's most spectacular fight was in 1974, when time had begun to slow his pace and take the edge off his boxing skills. Ali faced an undefeated heavyweight champion, George Foreman, who was seven years younger and physically bigger.

The Americans' fight took place in the former Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and was hyped as "the Rumble in the Jungle" by publicists. Again, Ali was seen as the underdog, but he used superior tactics to weaken and tire out Foreman, and eventually knocked him out in the eighth round.

After the match, Ali said proudly: "I have wrestled with an alligator. I have tussled with a whale, handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail. Bad, ain't I? Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean I make medicine sick. Bad, fast!"

Ali then met Frazier in 1975 in the Philippines, a bout dubbed "the Thrilla in Manila." Ali endured 14 brutal rounds but emerged victorious.

He retired from boxing in 1981 with a 56-5 record, several years before the diagnosis that he suffered from Parkinson's Disease, likely triggered by the thousands of punches he took during his career.

As he weakened, Ali kept a low profile in public in recent years. He won huge cheers when he carried the Olympic torch at the Atlanta Games in 1996, and again in London in 2012, when he escorted the Olympic flag into the stadium during a spectacular opening ceremony.

In 2005, former president George W. Bush presented Ali with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor.

Obama commutes sentences
of non-violent drug offender

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As his days in office wane, U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing to commute sentences of non-violent drug offenders convicted under what the White House called outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws.  It has become the centerpiece of his effort to reform the country’s criminal-justice system, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Friday, the president granted commutations to 42 convicted nonviolent offenders, bringing the total so far in his presidency to 348 commutations, more than any president has in nearly half a century.  His predecessor, George W. Bush granted clemency in just 11 cases.

It's not just Obama pushing for reform. Top Republicans and Democrats in Congress also support relaxing the sentencing laws that have tripled the federal and state prison populations in the last 30 years, reaching more than 1.56 million inmates at the end of 2014.

However in Congress, the main legislative effort for sentencing changes, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, has failed to pass either chamber of Congress. The bill would reduce long mandatory minimum sentences for many nonviolent drug crimes, give judges more control over the terms of punishment and provide inmates with more opportunities to get out early by participating in rehabilitation programs.

Failing congressional help, Obama has in recent months relied on his presidential powers to commute the sentences of non-violent offenders.

Under the Constitution, the president has the power to grant pardons for offenses against the United States or to commute federal sentences. A pardon is an act of presidential forgiveness and wipes away any remaining legal liabilities from a conviction. A commutation reduces a sentence but does not eliminate a conviction or restore civil rights lost as a result of the conviction.

The American Bar Association has joined Obama's push and put its support behind the Clemency Project 2014, a national effort by multiple justice groups to help inmates who meet U.S. Department of Justice criteria apply for sentence commutations.

However the project has been beset by problems, including a lack of resources and a cumbersome, multilevel review system. The U.S. pardon attorney at the Justice Department makes recommendations that move to the deputy attorney general, who reviews the cases and sends them to the White House counsel, who considers them again before choosing which ones go to Obama.
At this point, there is a backlog of more than 9,000 inmates still waiting for a decision.

Presidential primaries end
with California Tuesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the U.S. presidential race, state primary contests conclude this week with America’s most populous state, California, as the biggest prize.

Tuesday’s primaries could definitively settle the only remaining question in the 2016 presidential primary season: whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Mrs. Clinton defeated Sanders in Puerto Rico’s Democrat primary Sunday, inching her slightly closer to the eventual nomination.

Polls show a tight race in California, a state that Mrs. Clinton and Sanders each desperately want to win. Even so, both are focusing most of their firepower on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"Donald Trump's ideas are not just different, they are dangerously incoherent,” Mrs. Clinton said in a foreign policy address last week. “He is not just unprepared, he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”

"What you do when you don’t have any real answers to the real problems, you scapegoat people,” Sanders, a Vermont senator, said at a campaign stop Friday. “We’re not going to let Trump divide us up.”

Trump hit back, blasting Mrs. Clinton’s private email use as secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s first term in office.

“Hillary Clinton has to go to jail, okay? She has to go to jail,” the New York businessman said Friday. “I think she could make more money if she made speeches and sold them for people that can't sleep.”

Trump also grabbed headlines by saying a federal judge is biased against him due to his Mexican heritage and by calling attention to a rally attendee's race.

"Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?” Trump asked at a campaign stop, pointing into the crowd.

“The greatest” refers to the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who rejected Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States and urged a greater understanding of Islam.

Trump has received endorsements from a number of powerful Republicans in Congress and elsewhere. But many of them express unease over the businessman’s near-constant barrage of incendiary remarks.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker urged a shift in Trump’s campaign tactics heading into the general election.

“I think that he is going to have to change,” Corker, of Tennessee, said on ABC’s “This Week” program.

“It’s my hope that he’s going to transition. He has an opportunity to really change the trajectory of our country, and it’s my sense that he will take advantage of that,” he said.

Analysts say Americans should not expect an uplifting contest between Mrs. Clinton and Trump.

"Because we have two candidates who are more distrusted than trusted, more disliked than liked, this becomes a race to the bottom,” said Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute.

The delegate math suggests that Mrs. Clinton will clinch the Democratic nomination whether or not she wins in California and several other states on Tuesday.

Today is the anniversary
of allied WWII invasion

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day Invasion by Allied forces along a 50-mile stretch of the coast of France that helped defeat the Nazis in World War II.

About 160,000 Allied troops parachuted or waded onto the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, in what was the largest sea assault in military history.  Though about 4,500 died by the end of the day, the operation eventually led to an Allied victory across Europe.

More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion.

The invasion began shortly after midnight, with a perilous airborne operation led by paratroopers of the Screaming Eagles' 101st Airborne and the 82nd Airborne divisions.  At dawn, thousands of Allied troops leaped out of landing craft to storm the beaches under ferocious German defensive fire.

U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, then the supreme commander of Allied forces across Western Europe, called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”

Swiss voters veto plan
for guaranteed income

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Swiss voters have rejected a plan that would have guaranteed a basic monthly income to the whole population whether people work or not.  The controversial referendum was rejected by nearly 77 percent of the voters.

Swiss television affirms what opinion polls had predicted, that the unconditional basic income initiative has been massively defeated.

Under the proposal, which was put forward by an independent citizens’ group, adults would receive about $2,500 from the government every month and children about a quarter of that amount.  Foreigners who have been legal residents for at least five years, as well as all Swiss citizens would have been eligible for the stipend.

Supporters claimed the plan would eradicate poverty.  They say it would not cost as much as opponents fear because existing welfare payments would be cut.  But the initiative garnered little or no support from most of the political parties, the government and population.

Ralph Kundig, president of the Swiss chapter of the Basic Income Earth Network and a leading proponent of the plan, said it would act as a stimulant to the economy, because people would be less afraid to take risks and more open to entrepreneurship.

But opponents said the measure would have crippled the national budget.  They also said people should work for their money and not be given a handout, while warning a guaranteed monthly income would act as a magnet to attract millions of economic migrants to Switzerland.  

Switzerland is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but also one of the priciest to live in.  Swiss officials estimated it would take $25.6 billion to cover the annual costs of the proposal, leading to deep spending cuts or significant tax increases.

Iran rejects being called
state sponsor of terrorism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As it has in previous years, Iran Sunday denounced a recent U.S. State Department report that identified the country as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman instead charged that U.S. ally Saudi Arabia was the real leader in funding terrorist activity and claimed that Washington “turns a blind eye to the broad political and financial support by Saudi Arabia and its other allies to this ominous phenomenon in the world.”

"While U.S. allies in the region in various ways support Daesh and other terrorist groups, the Islamic Republic of Iran is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism in Iraq and Syria,” Hossein Jaber Ansari is quoted as saying on state-run Iranian television.

The U.S. State Department published its latest annual report Thursday, in which it said Iran increased its support of Palestinian militants in Gaza last year and supported Hezbollah fighters trying to bolster the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

In addition to supporting these groups, Iran also provides weapons and financial support to anti-Israel militants like Hamas, the report said.

Iran, however, defended its support for Palestinian militants, saying they have the right to resist Israel’s occupation.

Djokovic takes French Open
to earn tennis grand slam

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic completed the rare career tennis grand slam by defeating Britain's Andy Murray Sunday at the French Open.

Djokovic, the world's top ranked player, rallied from a first set loss to beat the second-seeded Murray in four sets at Rolland Garros in Paris, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

With the victory, Djokovic becomes only the third man to hold all four major tennis titles at one time. The last one was Australian Rod Laver, who did it in the same calendar year in both 1962 and 1969. The other was American Don Budge, who won all four titles in 1938. Djokovic won last year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open before winning the French title.

"It's a very special moment, the biggest of my career," said Djokovic. "I felt something that I never felt before at Rolland Garros. I felt the love of the crowd."

This was the first time Murray had reached the French Open final and he has now lost five grand slam championship matches to Djokovic and eight of the 10 he has played in.

"To Novak, this is his day," said Murray. "What he's achieved the last 12 months is phenomenal. Winning all the grand slams in one year is an amazing achievement."

The French Open was the one grand slam tournament the Serb star had not won. He had lost in three previous trips to the final.

Watching from the stands was three time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerton. Djokovic said he had permission from the former Brazilian star to copy his famous drawing of a heart on the clay court. After the victory, Djokovic used the end of his racket to etch a big heart in the clay and told the crowd, "My heart will always be with you on this court."

The 29-year-old Serb now has won 12 major titles in his career. Roger Federer, currently ranked third, holds the all-time record with 17. The 34-year-old Swiss star had to miss this year's French Open because of a back injury. He had played in a record 65 straight.

Saturday in the women's French Open final, American and world No. 1 Serena Williams was upset by Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

The fourth seeded Ms. Muguruza, who lost to Miss Williams in last year's final, won this time, 7-5, 6-4.

It prevented Miss Williams from tying former German star Steffi Graf for the most wins in a major at 22.

Army officer takes title
in Miss USA contest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An Army officer from Washington, D.C., has won the Miss USA contest and will now represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant.

Deshauna Barber is a 26-year-old logistics commander for the 988th quartermaster detachment unit at Fort Meade, Maryland, just outside Washington, and also works as an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"As a woman in the United States Army, I think . . . we are just as tough as men.  As a commander of my unit, I'm powerful, I am dedicated," Ms. Barber said when asked during Sunday's show televised on the Fox Network about women in combat. "Gender does not limit us in the United States," she 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
for sale: $23,000

And a 40-ft HQ Reefer basic home model: $12,000.
Both with kitchen, bathroom, fully finished electricity. Turnkey.
Our Web site is
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at 

Solr array
SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
* PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!
Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
Solar logo

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


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Axiom one

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $895K U.S.  Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

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

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

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 6, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 110
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Rainy season is a time to get some rest

Thank heaven for the rainy season! The dry season has been a lot of work, seven days a week work, but things have eased up a bit.

The dry season is a time to get things started for the rainy season. First there is dirt to microwave and amend so that it is fit for seeds and cuttings.

Victoria Torley
Moss has to be microwaved as well for a sterile topping on the pots. POTS! Clean all the pots and grab another half kilo of plastic planters to fill with soil. Figure out how to make some flats for massive plantings.

Collect seeds from everywhere, even if you have to buy them. Head 
to your friend’s houses with clippers and get cuttings. Make sure you have cuttings to share with them. Look for seedlings at the local viveros and buy things if you must.

Back home and fill the pots and flats with soil. More soil! Get the microwave started again. Prune the cuttings and grab the rooting hormone. Make sure you start more than you need because you know some won’t take. Put some in water overnight with some liquid fertilizer. Grab the seedlings and get them into pots.

Where did you put the seeds you gathered at the restaurant? Yikes! In the pocket of your shorts wrapped in a napkin? Get the shorts before they hit the laundry and put the seeds into one of the flats. Water everything at least once a day, sometimes twice.

Check the things you already planted. Did you remember to mark them? No? Well, better let everything grow a bit before you decide it’s a weed because you never know. Where you are sure of what was planted – large cuttings are easy to identify that’s why we love them – pull the weeds.

Got some fungus? Bugs? Get started cleaning the plants that are growing and better hit them with some fertilizer too. Better water everything again.

Start the garden beds. Get that compost (didn’t I mention composting as a dry season chore?) you have been tending and turn it into the beds. Cover them with mulch and then with black plastic and let them roast in the sun to kill any weed seeds.

Get up tomorrow and do it all over again. That’s the dry season.

But the rainy season is here. All that work has paid off. Your garden beds are ready so the seeds that sprouted all have places to go. The cuttings are so well rooted that some of them have already flowered (good thing too because you forgot what they were).

Now get those things into the ground, then go sit on the deck and have a large glass of wine. You deserve it.

A.M. Costa Ric/Victoria Torley

Plant for the Week

Here is an old friend, the daylily, genus Hemerocallis. It began, like many of our flowers, as a lowly weed and some varieties are still considered weeds, but it has undergone a transformation. Some varieties bloom for several days not just one, and the range of colors is fantastic. Plant in good well-drained soil in full sun or light shade and your lily will need little care. Leaves and roots can be tasty to some predators, so they may need to be planted in a protected area.

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From Page 7:

Although low, jobless rate in U.S. called disappointing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. companies slowed their hiring last month to the lowest level in more than five years, while the unemployment rate declined to 4.7 percent.

Many economists called Friday's unemployment report disappointing and said it is now unlikely the U.S. central bank will raise the key interest rate later this month.

Labor Department data show the economy had a net gain of just 38,000 jobs in May, far fewer than most experts had predicted. The unemployment rate declined three-tenths of 1 percent to 4.7 percent, the lowest since 2007. However, the report says much of that decline was due to hundreds of thousands of discouraged jobless people giving up their search for work, which means those people are no longer officially counted as unemployed.

The head of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman, said the jobs report should be seen in the context of other data showing improvements in consumer spending and sales of cars and homes, and rising wages, as well as strong job growth over the past few years.

The head of global economics at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Ethan Harris, said that by most measures the United States is at full employment. Nevertheless, he said in an interview, there is a widespread perception that the economy is in trouble.

Valerie Rainey of the American Institute of CPAs said the group has just surveyed its members, who play key roles in running companies across the nation. In an interview, she said these business executives have a generally positive outlook about the U.S. economy, and a growing number plan to hire more workers this year.

Republican Donald Trump, who is almost certain to win his party's presidential nomination at its national convention next month, said on Twitter that the terrible data would be seen as a bombshell.

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Bank, said the job figures were very weak and disappointing, and predicted the report would be a roadblock to raising interest rates at the Federal Reserve's mid-June meeting.

Interest rates set by the U.S. central bank were slashed to record lows to bolster economic growth during the global financial crisis. They were adjusted slightly upward late last year, but remain at unusually low levels. Since the American economy has now recovered much of the ground lost during the recession, Fed officials are debating how soon, and by how much, they should raise interest rates further.

Move them up too soon, and the economy could fall back into recession. Wait too long, and there is a risk that inflation could ignite and damage the economy.