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Published Wednesday, June 8, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 112
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Trump's impact here is likely to be negative
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Donald Trump presidency in the United States likely will be bad news for Costa Rica.

Trump has made his opposition to trade treaties a centerpiece of his campaign. And as the owner of casinos he certainly is not a foe to gambling as have been other U.S. administrations.

That might be good news to Costa Ricans who opposed the Central American Free Trade Treaty. A little known fact is that this really is not a treaty. Under the U.S. Constitution, a treaty needs approval from two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.

The so-called CAFTA agreement is really what is known as a congressional-executive agreement that has the strength of law.

Both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House approved CAFTA by a very narrow margin, and it basically is just another law and not a treaty. That means the deal can easily be changed or revoked by a president and the majority of both houses of Congress.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís might not be unhappy if that happens. He is on record of opposing the free trade agreement before and after he was elected.

U.S. officials generally tout the benefits of the trade treaty for Costa Rica, but there are plenty of critics, too. Subsidized farmers here fear U.S. imports. The treaty has done little for the average U.S. expat. Requirements to protect investors have not helped those who have had their land invaded or stolen. Major complaints are being adjudicated by the arbitration arm of the World Bank and not under CAFTA.

And curiously, U.S. officials did not seek to eliminate the massive import tax Costa Rica puts on motor vehicles. That would seem to be a big point for U.S. exports, but officials here said they considered the tax at the dock to be a local matter.

Those who favor trade see Trump and the Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders as delusional. That was the characterization in April by writers Will Marshall and Ed Gerwin in a publication called America’s Trade Policy. They said:

“In this campaign season of populist anger 

free trade protest
A.M. Cost Rica file photo 
Uncle Sam was portrayed as a pirate with a vulture companion in a trade treaty protest May 1, 2005.

and demagoguery, bad ideas are bubbling to the surface like marsh gas. Among the worst is protectionism, which would wreak havoc on a U.S. economy that’s finally picking up steam."

Trump sees his goal as halting the flow of jobs from the United States to overseas locations. Costa Rica has benefited from many call center jobs, although it is hard to see how a president can prevent a company from setting up overseas when the product is not being imported to the United States.

Gambling is another matter. The U.S. government has been on the attack against offshore gambling operations for years but jumpstarting the industry in the United States would have many benefits.

The United States would have a windfall in taxes and more jobs. Gamblers would have a degree of safety not found overseas. U.S.-licensed and operated online casinos would have a marketing advantage.

Costa Rica, after all, has not exploited the presence here of gambling houses for fear of losing them or for other reasons.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 112
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Celebrity's murder blamed on revenge

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Gerardo Cruz, made news when he photographed and posted a shot of a man also taking a photo of the backside and legs of a woman as she strolled on the downtown pedestrian walkway.

That raised a ruckus even though the man was not doing anything illegal. Cruz became a celebrity.

Then Cruz made unexpected more headlines when he was knifed a few days later in San Sebastián. The wound eventually proved fatal.

The rumor mill quickly put the two incidents together and suggested that the 22-year-old baker was killed over the photo he posted.

The man who appeared to be fascinated by the legs and rear end of a pretty woman declared his innocence. He turned out to be a Ministerio de Hacienda employee, and investigators cleared him quickly.

Still Cruz was converted into a type of hero by those who decried street harassment of women.

Investigators proved Tuesday that they had not dropped the matter. They detained four persons and accused two women as being the intellectual authors of the murder. They said the motive was a busted romance.

In addition to a 41-year-old and 19-year-old women in Guadalupe, agents also detained a man in San Francisco de Dos Ríos and one more in Alajuelita. Another Alajuelita man is a fugitive, they said.

Investigators said that Cruz had been involved with the 41 year old. They said the two women prevailed upon the Dos Ríos man to arrange the killing, and the pair from Alajuelita, both convicted felons, did the crime.

The women are accused of paying for the crime and also in enticing Cruz to a meeting at a park in San Sebastián where he was the victim of a knifing. Walter Espinosa, the director of the Judicial Investigating Organization, said that the women lured Cruz there on the pretext of yet another television interview.

A surveillance camera shot of Cruz and of one of the murder suspects was key to solving the crime. That video generated multiple responses from the public.

Cruz was stabbed the night of Oct. 7 but did not die until Nov. 19. He is survived by a live-in companion and a child.

Sea Shepherd plans new campaign in Jacó

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says it will launch a campaign in Florida Aug. 15 to protect green, loggerhead, and leatherback sea turtles.

From Sept. 1 to Dec. 1, the campaign will move to Costa Rica where campaign volunteers will work in Jacó to protect primarily olive ridley and green sea turtles, said Sea Shepherd, adding that police are teaming up with volunteers to protect nesting females and nests from poachers. Nests will be relocated to a hatchery run by the local police force, the organization said.

The campaign is called Operation Jairo II in honor of  Jairo Mora Sandoval, a Costa Rican turtle defender who was murdered May 31, 2013, in Moín while attempting to protect leatherback turtle nests, said the organization.

The campaign was announced today, which is World Oceans Day.

The organization said that Operation Jairo II, will span three countries including the United States, Honduras and Costa Rica. The launch comes on the heels of Sea Shepherd’s announcement of its first full-length feature film, “Why Just One?,” chronicling the organization’s successful 2015 Operation Jairo campaign, it said.

The crowd-funded documentary “Why Just One?” raised its goal of $18,000 in one day to complete the production, the organization added.

The Honduras campaign will be held in Utila from Aug. 1 to Nov. 1, where Sea Shepherd volunteers will protect hawksbill, green, and loggerhead sea turtles.

Cigarettes and alcohol confiscated by police

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Policía de Fronteras said Tuesday that in the first five months of the year, its officers had confiscated 32,000 packs of illegal cigarettes and 36,000 loose ones. They also said they confiscated 13,465 cans or bottles of alcohol.

The bulk of the confiscations were made at a checkpoint on the Interamericana Sur at Kilometer 35 in Guaycará de Golfito.

Among the smuggling cases is one of a truck headed north from Paso Canoas that contained 2,543 bottles of alcohol, said the agency.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 112
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Legislature approves up to $440 million in debt for rail institute
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature Tuesday gave final approval to a plan to let the nation’s rail institute borrow up to 40 percent of its gross worth.

The positive vote for bill No. 18.252, will allow the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles to borrow up to $440 million to install an electrified transit system in the Central Valley.

The rail line now goes from Alajuela to Cartago but the motor power is diesel.

Some 46 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill. The value of the company is based on an estimate of its assets, which include rail lines, bridges and tunnels.

The measure also provides for a public-private partnership to launch the electrified service. Lawmakers favor electricity to avoid carbon dioxide emissions.

Lawmakers were told that the rail line currently moves 4 million passengers a year. The Heredia-San José alone moves 6,000 passengers a month. Based on that figure the gross income of the rail service would be just 7.4 percent of the amount borrowed.

A.M. Costa Rica has editorialized that the proposal for $440 million in debt for the rail institute appears to be a financial train wreck.    HERE!

The measure survived a constitutional review in a decision reported Friday by the Sala IV constitutional court.

The measure also calls upon the rail institute to reactivate the lines that would connect the Atlantic and Pacific coast with cargo service. This is the long-sought dry canal that could move cargo from one port to another, presumably at a substantial savings from tolls levied by the Panamá Canal or a proposed canal in Nicaragua.

The improved rail service also is seen as a way to combat the gridlock that is the daily traffic situation in the capital. Rail passengers are hoping that the institute will buy some new cars quickly. The current cars on the Heredia line are filled to more than capacity at rush hours, and the institute has promised to add more trips, although there is a shortage of engines and cars now.

The death of neoliberalism appears to have been exaggerated
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The big news is that neoliberalism has failed. Or at least that is the tale being promoted by a union leader.

Albino Vargas published an opinion piece Tuesday and then distributed it. The article cites a research report in an International Monetary Fund magazine, and he wrote that the account said that the benefits of neoliberalism have been exaggerated. He is secretary general of the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados. The organization opposes privatization and reducing the size of government.

In English the title of the article is “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” The research article is Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani and Davide Furceri, all of the Monetary Fund staff.

The authors explain that the term neoliberalism is a label used more by critics than by the architects of the policies. Vargas is one of those critics, and the thrusts of his article must be music to the ears of those who are not fond of capitalism.

The authors point out that the so-called neoliberal agenda rests on two main planks:  The first is increased competition achieved through deregulation and the opening up of domestic markets,

including financial markets, to foreign competition. The second is a smaller role for the state, achieved through privatization and limits on the ability of governments to run fiscal deficits and accumulate debt.­

The article is far more upbeat than Vargas would recount. “There is much to cheer in the neoliberal agenda,” said the authors. “The expansion of global trade has rescued millions from abject poverty. Foreign direct investment has often been a way to transfer technology and know-how to developing economies. Privatization of state-owned enterprises has in many instances led to more efficient provision of services and lowered the fiscal burden on governments.”

The authors make their case about problems caused by these policies by focusing on the movement of money across national borders and what they call fiscal consolidation, which is paying down the national debt. Basically they say that a flood of new money into a country creates problems as does taking a hatchet to the budget.

Of  course these are narrow, technical objections that worry economists more than others. But by cherry picking this academic discussion, Vargas can suggest what he calls the death of this ideology.

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Research uncovers major flaws in European online privacy law
By the New York University news staff

Under Europe’s Right to be Forgotten law, citizens there can petition internet search providers such as Google to remove results linked to personal information that is negative or defamatory. In many cases, these links lead to information about accusations of criminal activity or financial difficulties, which may be delisted if the information is erroneous or no longer relevant.

But gone doesn’t always mean forgotten, according to a new study by researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, New York University Shanghai, and the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.

“The Right to Be Forgotten has been largely working and is responding to legitimate privacy concerns of many Europeans,” said New York University’s Keith Ross. “Our research shows, however, that a third-party, such as a transparency activist or a private investigator, can discover many delisted links and determine the names of the people who requested the delistings.”

Ross, a professor of computer science and dean of engineering and computer science at the Shanghai campus, led the research team.

They focused only on requests to delist content from mass media sites such as online newspapers and broadcast outlets. Although the law requires search engines to delist search links, it does not require newspaper articles and other source material to be removed from the Internet.

A hacker faces a fairly low bar if he or she knows a particular URL has been delisted. Of 283 delisted URLs used in the study, the authors successfully determined the names of the requesters in 103 cases.

But the authors also demonstrated that a hacker can prevail even when the URL is unknown by downloading media articles about topics most commonly associated with delisting, including sexual assault and financial misconduct, extracting the names from the articles, then sending multiple queries to a European Google search site to see if the articles were delisted.

The researchers estimate that a third party could potentially

determine 30 to 40 percent of the delisted mass-media URLs, along with the names of the people who made the delisting requests. Such hackers do exist and have published the names of people who requested delisting, thereby opening them to even more public scrutiny, the so-called Streisand effect, a phenomenon, named for the reclusive star, whereby an attempt to hide a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.

Their results show that the law has fundamental technical flaws that could compromise its effectiveness in the future.

Demographic analysis revealed that the majority of requesters were men, ages 20-40, and most were ordinary citizens, not celebrities. In accordance with the law, Google delisted links for persons who were wrongfully charged, acquitted, or who finished serving their sentences, among other privacy issues.

This distribution of the topics most often associated with links delisted by Google under Europe's Right to be Forgotten law are serious and troubling, including assault and sexual assault, murder, terrorism, financial misconduct, and drug use, the researchers said.

The researchers believe that defenses to these privacy attacks are limited. One possible defense would be for Google to never display the delisted URL in its search results. Currently, Jane Doe’s delisted robbery article would not show up when her name is used in a search, but would do so if the name of the bank were searched, for example. This defense is not only a strong form of censorship, but can also be partially circumvented, they said.

A French data protection authority recently ordered Google to delist links from all of its properties including, in addition to its search engines with European suffixes. Google has so far refused, and the dispute is likely to end up in European courts.

“Even if this law is extended throughout all of the Google search properties, the potential for such attacks will be unchanged and they will continue to be effective,” said Virgilio Almeida, a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a team member.

The researchers said they informed Google of the results.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 112
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Mrs. Clinton makes history
as first female U.S. nominee

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hillary Clinton claimed the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, which would make her the first woman to represent a major party in the race for the White House.

Her democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, won North Dakota Tuesday, but Mrs. Clinton won New Jersey.

Mrs. Clinton maintained a lead in Montana and South Dakota. Preliminary California results suggest she will win there, too. Sanders has pinned a lot of hopes on gaining a major share of California's delegates, previously hopeful that they could keep him in the race long enough to battle for the nomination at the Democratic convention.

Mrs. Clinton addressed a crowd of screaming fans waving American flags in Brooklyn Tuesday evening.

“The first time, the first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee for president of the United States,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton will not be the party's official nominee until the voting at the Democratic convention in July.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke earlier in the evening, also addressing an enthusiastic crowd.

He strongly attacked Mrs. Clinton, accusing her of selling access to the State Department when she was secretary.

The sharp-tongued Trump said Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have "turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves."

He said his goal is to bring people together and he promised to never back down from a fight or let his supporters down.

“Together we accomplished what nobody thought was absolutely possible.  And you know what that is. We’re only getting started and it’s going to be beautiful.  Remember that," he said.

U.S. media say Mrs. Clinton already has the support of the 2,383 delegates she needs for the nomination. This includes the 571 so-called superdelegates who are free to support any candidate, but already have pledged their backing to Mrs. Clinton. Superdelegates rarely change their minds.

Sanders has given no sign that he is ready to quit the race while campaigning in California Tuesday, saying he thinks he has a shot.

He said declaring Mrs. Clinton the winner before the superdelegates, who conceivably could change their minds, cast their votes at next month's convention is a rush to judgment. He may be counting on a possible indictment of Mrs. Clinton, who is being investigated by the FBI for email and financial irregularities.

Hillary Clinton congratulated Sanders on a strong campaign on Tuesday, though Sanders has not conceded.

“We believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls," she said.

Along with New Jersey and delegate rich California, voters went to the polls in Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.

These are the last major primaries before the conventions.

Jersey City is not happy
with claims of 9/11 fiestas

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When Jersey City, New Jersey, residents were voting in Tuesday’s presidential primary, they could call to mind seven words uttered by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump last November:

“Thousands and thousands of people were cheering.” Trump was referring to the 4 percent of Jersey City residents that are Muslim, whom he targeted as having celebrated when the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, from across the Hudson River, a vantage point that peers east, directly into the architectural magnificence of lower Manhattan.

Trump’s claim that thousands and thousands of persons cheered the collapse of the World Trade Center towers is incorrect, but there were at least two small celebrations by Muslims in Jersey City, according to a December article by Mark Mueller of The site is affiliated with 12 New Jersey newspapers.

The news site conducted an extensive investigation, and the results are HERE! The news report cited interviews with police and residents who said they saw small celebrations.

But Michael Thulen, a Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Young Republican and councilman said he doubts Trump’s description of what happened in New Jersey on 9-11. He was in college at Montclair State University at the time."I don’t recall seeing people cheering myself, not to say it didn’t happen, but days after I traveled through Jersey City helping people out like everyone else, and I don’t recall anybody rejoicing.”

Thulen, who will be attending the Republican convention in Cleveland in July, describes himself as a Trump supporter, but a reluctant one.

In an impromptu news conference at a New Jersey primary day polling station, Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, rejected accusations that Trump is racist by saying, “I’ve known Donald Trump for 14 years and Donald Trump is not a racist."

Before the Twin Towers collapsed, Rafik Chaudry, a Pakistani-American and longtime resident of Jersey City, remembers feeling as though he were directly underneath, given Jersey City’s proximity to lower Manhattan’s skyline. He was both shocked and concerned when they came down on 9/11.

When Chaudry first learned of Trump’s statement against the city’s Muslim community, he said he hoped Trump would simply admit that he had made a human error.

“After finding the facts, he should have said ‘I am sorry, my facts were not right,’” said Chaudry. “He never admitted he was wrong. How could I vote for a president like that?”

“I am sure if I sat back and thought about it that there would be times that I would think that there were things that he said that he shouldn’t have said," Christie replied when asked if he thought at any point Trump’s rhetoric had gone too far. "Quite frankly he has admitted that over time there are things that he said that he should not have said.  . . . so that happens to anyone in politics who speaks their mind.”

“When you make up lies and try to use your influence and your power and the media to make those lies facts, that’s what gets people angry,” said Abe El-Dewak, a Democrat at Jersey City’s Al Tawheed Islamic Center.

His mosque, according to El-Dewak, simply encourages the community to vote, no matter the candidate. However, he adds, Trump has a long way to go in clearing up his comments.

Chaudry says he will be crossing party lines this November to ensure Trump does not ascend to the nation’s highest office.

“I’m going to change parties as soon as I get my hands on that phone,” said Chaudry.

Chaudry, a registered Republican, supports former secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president. But because New Jersey operates under a closed primary system, in which registered voters can only cast ballots for candidates within their party, he will have to wait until the general election in November, when Mrs. Clinton is likely to be the official democratic party nominee.

Egyptian-American Ahmed Shedeed, president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City agrees, but says what’s more concerning to him is Trump’s rhetoric against minorities everywhere.

“When you hate somebody, you hate everybody,” said Shedeed. “It’s the attack on women, the attack on Mexicans, the attack on immigrants. This is not American at all.”

Shedeed, like Chaudry, is a registered Republican who is likely to vote for Mrs. Clinton in November. But in the meantime, he planned to vote in New Jersey’s Republican primary, just so that he can cast a ballot against Trump. Still, late election reports said that Trump got more than 80 percent of Republican votes in the primary and won all of the state’s 51 convention delegates.

California man is facing
lottery scamming charges

Special to A.M. Costa Rica
A South Los Angeles, California, man was arrested Tuesday on federal fraud charges for participating in a lottery scam that targeted elderly victims with promises of cash prizes and cars as long as they paid taxes and fees.

The man, Carl Dean Bullock, 65, was arrested at his residence this morning without incident by inspectors with the U. S. Postal Inspection Service. Bullock was to be arraigned on a 20-count indictment in U. S. District Court.

A federal grand jury Friday returned an indictment that charges Bullock with 13 counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

Bullock allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud mostly elderly victims in the United States. Using false promises that the victims had won large lottery or sweepstakes prizes, members of the scheme fraudulently told victims that, in order to obtain their winnings, they would need to send money to pay for taxes, fees and other expenses.

Hoping to collect the winnings, victims sent money to members of the scheme via wire transfer, money orders and cash. The money was sent through the U. S. mail, as well as through the Western Union and MoneyGram systems.

Bullock allegedly received some of the fraudulently obtained money, and then sent a portion of it to his co-schemers, most of whom were in Jamaica.

The investigation, so far, has uncovered 25 victims, one of whom was 88 years old,  who sent nearly $200,000 to obtain their non-existent prizes.

“Fraud schemes like the one charged in this indictment, which promise large rewards in exchange for fees and taxes, harm vulnerable members of our communities and potentially jeopardize the victims’ ability to make ends meet in retirement,” said U. S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious because he assisted criminals outside of the United States to target elderly victims here.”

“Foreign lottery and sweepstakes fraud cost Americans millions every year,” said Robert Wemyss, Los Angeles postal inspector in charge. “When one family member is harmed, the impact can be felt by all. Losses can be monumental, and entire fortunes, inheritances and retirement security can be wiped-out. This arrest demonstrates the commitment of postal inspectors to protect our seniors from these unscrupulous scam artists.”

British exit from the EU
generates strong warnings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Future trade with the European Union is a major issue as British voters decide this month whether their country should remain in the bloc, and there are concerns about the future of the U.S. trade relationship, Britain's most important.

Opponents of a Brexit, a British exit from the EU, have for months warned of dire consequences in terms of losses in exports and productivity. The British Treasury has estimated those losses at $6,200 per British household, figures that Brexit proponents say are the work of scaremongers. 

Those who favor leaving the EU argue that a Britain outside the European Union can easily negotiate new trade agreements with EU members and others. 

But that notion was challenged by President Barack Obama during his visit to Britain in April, when he warned that Britain would go to the back of the queue on trade agreements if it left the European Union. 

That statement angered many Britons, who saw it as disrespectful of their nation's sovereignty. Some accused the U.S. leader of meddling in Britain's internal affairs. 

But Richard Pears, owner of a startup software solutions provider in southwest England’s Cornwall region, said he took the threat at face value. 

Pears’ company operates in Britain and in Germany, and he said EU membership allows it to have servers in both countries. He fears that in the absence of a common market, that could change.

“If we pull out of Europe, there’s a lot of rules and regulations in Great Britain that will mean we can’t actually address customers over here,” he said.

Some analysts say Obama’s warnings were based more on politics than on the laws of economics and trade.

The United States is negotiating an agreement on tariffs with the European Union known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Obama’s warning suggested that if Britain left the European Union, the British would lose their preferred position in that negotiating process, said Shanker Singham, director of economic policy and prosperity studies at the Legatum Institute in London who also serves as an adviser to the U.S. government on trade deals.

“I think the problem with that characterization is it doesn’t really understand how trade is negotiated between countries,” Singham said. “Trade is not negotiated between countries because heads of state say it should be negotiated. It’s negotiated between countries when there’s a business need and a commercial need for it.”

Britain and the U.S. already have a strong trade relationship, and analysts say that in itself could be a guarantee for continued robust trade. The U.S. is Britain’s top export market, accounting for more than one-sixth of British exports in 2015.

The two economies are deeply intertwined, and U.K. businesses provide the U.S. with massive levels of direct foreign investment, said Tim Evans, professor of business and political economy at Middlesex University London.

“Sharing important bonds of history, language, common English law and a commitment to open and free trade, neither side would ever allow a democratic mandate to legitimate the other going to the back of any substantive economic queue,” he said.

The U.S. and Britain are also closer on some of the stickier regulatory issues preventing the conclusion of a trade agreement. The negotiations with the EU at large have been stuck on regulatory matters that analysts say can only be resolved if either the U.S. or the EU changes its system to adopt the other's, something analysts say is unlikely to happen.

That impasse may give Britain an advantage, Singham said. “Britain, in this particular case, if they were to be outside of the EU, would be able to negotiate an agreement with the U.S. relatively quickly,” he said.

Anti-Brexit campaigners say dealing with the European Union after a split would be a different matter, and some doubt it would be easy for Britain to renegotiate separate trade deals with every EU member. 

“That’s somewhat of a fantasy to me because it suggests that basically after leaving the union, every single country will be happy to just sign a free-trade agreement with the U.K.,”said Jeremy Ghez, professor of economics and international affairs at the HEC Paris business school.

That is a big concern for business people like Pears, who said he and others who have deep business ties to the EU are bracing for an uncertain future.

“Nobody knows what is going to happen, and the worst thing is that up until recently, it looked like Brexit was not going to happen. So plans are not in place for the eventuality of coming out of Europe,” he said.

“Trade deals are massive, they’re complex. We’re going to have a minimum of five or six years of economic uncertainty.”

EU court says countries
cannot jail illegal migrants

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Court of Justice, in a ruling released Tuesday, said European Union countries cannot jail illegal immigrants simply for crossing borders inside the continent's 26-nation passport-free area known as the Schengen zone.

The court in Luxembourg said EU rules prevent such arrests, unless non-EU migrants are suspected of having committed a crime or already have been subject to deportation procedures. It also ruled against arrests made at Schengen borders as migrants head elsewhere on the continent.

The impact of the court decision was not immediately clear.

The ruling, issued as Europe grapples with a massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, came in the case of Ghanaian national Selina Affum, who was detained in 2013 by French police at the Channel Tunnel. The detainee was traveling by bus from Belgium to Britain, using someone else's passport.

French police charged her with illegal entry into France and then asked Belgium to take her back. Her lawyers challenged the arrest, saying it violated standard EU rules and procedures for member states when removing non-EU migrants who were in their territory illegally.

With the influx of more than 1 million non-European migrants in the past 18 months, laws governing the Schengen zone have come under intense scrutiny from governments seeking to curb the migration.

Some Schengen countries, including Balkan nations, have addressed the crisis by reinstituting border controls that were scrapped more than a decade ago.

Ryan unveils poverty plan
giving states more flexibility

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan has unveiled a plan intended to alleviate poverty in America.

The program would revise food, housing and other anti-poverty programs, increase work requirements and give states more flexibility about how to distribute federal money.

Speaking Tuesday in Washington, Ryan said, "What you are getting here is a new approach at fighting poverty, at reigniting this beautiful concept of upward mobility at going at root causes of poverty."

But some Democrats, academics and experts dismissed Ryan's proposal.

"Sadly, beneath the sugary rhetoric of the poverty proposal unveiled today, Republicans are advancing the same callous, trickle down policies they've been pushing for years," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Melissa Boteach of the Center for American Progress said: "Speaker Ryan's blueprint is unfortunately a plan to exacerbate poverty and inequality, because what you are seeing is different lipstick on the same pig."

Ryan's plan calls for the creation of incentives for states to improve aid programs, for more beneficiaries to get jobs, and for employers to provide them. 

It also suggests the consolidation of some federal food and housing programs, although it does not specify how it would occur or which programs would be involved.

But poverty expert Sandra Danziger of the University of Michigan said many of Ryan's proposals such as his work requirement will not be effective.

"Seventy percent of families who are poor have someone who is employed in the household," she said. "It is not a matter of work requirements, it is a matter of making the jobs work better and looking at the benefits that people have."

There were 46.7 million people, or 14.8 percent of the U.S. population, living in poverty in 2014, the latest year for which data is available, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  It was the fourth year in a row the number of people in poverty in America was not different from the previous year's.  But between 2013 and 2014, poverty increased for two groups: people with a college degree and married-couple families.

For U.S. children, the Census Bureau said the poverty rate in 2014 for children under age 18 was 21.1 percent, higher than any other age group.

"While poverty at any age imposes hardship, I have a particular concern about poverty among children, particularly young children," said Julia Isaacs, a poverty expert at the Urban Institute, a Washington-based research group.

"Poverty in childhood is troubling, partly because we do not like to think of children facing hardship, but also because of the long-term negative effects of growing up in poverty," she added.

Ms. Danziger said a very dangerous phenomenon has been occurring during the past 20 years or so: the growth of extreme poverty.  In 1996, she said 635,000 people in the United States were living at a level of $2 per day.  By 2011, she said the number had grown to 1.5 million.

The World Bank has set the global poverty line at $1.90 a day, and says 900 million people globally live under its poverty line.

Ryan's anti-poverty proposal, titled "A Better Way,” is the first of a series of larger agenda items he will introduce as a way to offer voters a coherent policy message across key legislative areas for 2017.  Proposals on regulation, constitutional authority, healthcare and tax reform are expected in the coming weeks.

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


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

Axiom one

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach.  Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc.  Super fenced yard for dogs.  Very low electric bill even with the AC.  This is a zero lot line property but with room to expand up and out.  Very secure & private.  Police chief next door. $149,900.  Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.

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

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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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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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Transplant tourism data base urged

By the Canadian Medical Association Journal news staff

Creating a confidential reporting system in Canada about organ transplant tourism could help reduce the practice and disrupt international networks, argues a commentary published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Despite global laws to combat organ transplant tourism the practice persists and has implications for care in countries like Canada.

The article suggests several ways that physicians can help discourage transplant tourism. For example, if a physician thinks that a patient is considering going outside Canada for a transplant, he or she could discuss the risks with the patient, which include postoperative complications, lack of continuity of care and potential harms to the donor.

"Physicians faced with a patient contemplating transplant tourism may encounter various legal and ethical challenges in determining how much and what kind of care and support to provide, both pre- and postoperatively," write Timothy Caulfield and Amy Zarzeczny.

He is of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, and she is from the University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Physicians cannot disclose a patient's intent to pursue transplant tourism under Canada's patient confidentiality laws. However, reforming the law to allow creation of a reporting system to collect information about transplant tourism could help curb the practice.

"The goal of a reporting system about transplant tourism would be twofold: first, to collect valuable data needed to improve the understanding of the scope of this phenomenon, and second, to help disrupt the transplant tourism industry through sharing of information with law enforcement in the jurisdictions implicated," write the authors.

Guanacaste road improvements promised

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation’s road agency said that it will be investing 1.3 billion colons, about $2.3 million, to improve gravel roads in Guanacaste.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said that the roads include Mansión-Casitas, Hojancha-Lajas, Piave-Corralillo y Corralillo-San Lázaro, Quebrada Honda-Corralillo, Portegolpe-Caimito and Potrero to the Santa Cruz Carrillo line and Quebrada Nancital-Nuevo Colón.

The road agency said that improvements already have been made to roads in Tilarán and Nicoya.

Where’s the money, lawmaker asks

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Karla Prendas Matarrita said Tuesday she thinks the government used tourism money from the government of Japan for another purpose. She is a member of the opposition Partido Liberación Nacional.

Ms. Prendas told other lawmakers that the government of Japan agreed in 2011 to provide $2 million for work at the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Isla San Lucas. The Gulf of Nicoya island is the location of the historic prison and is a tourism attraction.

She said the money was supposed to go for a floating dock for universal access, a training center, rehabilitation of wells and a system to generate electricity as well as homes for those public employees who live on the island.

She asked that the government ministers involved be called to testify on the status of the money.

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Major hotel firm seeks additional locations

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An Atlanta, Georgia,-based hotel chain plans a $200 million investment in its Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand in the Americas.

The chain is InterContinental Hotels Group, which already operates 400 hotels in the world, including the Real InterContinental Hotel & Club Tower Costa Rica in San José.

The firm will focus on increased sales and marketing efforts and continuous improvement of the guest experience, it said. In addition, InterContinental will continue to selectively invest to secure high quality hotels in key markets throughout the region that showcase the future of business travel.

The project is for three years, the firm said.