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Published Friday, June 24, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 124
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Voice of America photo/A. Barros
Americans all

Pro-immigration demonstrators in Washington, D.C., declare their preferred citizenship after the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on President Barack Obama’s relaxed policies.

Our story is HERE!

Exchange rate main short-term impact of British vote
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite the British vote Thursday, the European Union still is Costa Rica’s second largest trading partner. The decision by British voters to leave the European Union is not expected to have a short-term trade impact.

Expats and business operators here with accounts in Euros or British pounds will be feeling the impact of the vote this morning. Both currencies dropped after the results of the vote became known.  The euro was down about 3 percent, but the pound was flirting with 10 percent. Speculators were blamed.

In the long run, if the decision sticks, Costa Rica will have to make additional trade agreements with London to replace those now with the entire European Union.

Analysts in Europe attributed the surprising British vote to feelings about immigration and sovereignty.

There also were concerns about a more intrusive European Union bureaucracy and its many regulations.

The analysts also say that disengagement may
Wire report from Britain

take two or more years to complete, according to wire service reports.

Final votes were posted shortly after midnight Costa Rican time. Those wanting to leave the European Union were about 52 percent.

Costa Rica exports coffee, bananas and pineapples to the European Union.

Exports of electronic components have suffered with the decision of Intel Corp. to begin manufacturing in Vietnam.

Trade between the European Union and the entire Central America was 11.6 billion euros in 2014, according to EU sources. That is nearly $13 billion. Central American exports more than it imports. The EU has offices in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, as well as Costa Rica. Britain also maintains embassies in most of those countries.

By early morning, there were no statements from Costa Rican officials on the vote.

Another rainbow at the U.S. Embassy in Pavas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Embassy will be bathed in the rainbow colors signifying the gay and lesbian movement.

That will take place at dusk Tuesday during an official ceremony, the embassy announced Thursday. Staffers there already said May 26 that the rainbow flag symbolizing sexual diversity will fly over the Pavas complex through the month of June.

The embassy announcement said that members of the Costa Rican lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual communities have

been invited for the event.

The purpose, according to the announcement, is to emphasize U.S. support for human and civil rights.

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

An embassy spokesman was not able to confirm last month that other nearby U.S. embassies also were flying the rainbow flag. However, A.M. Costa Rica has been able to determine that at least some were elsewhere in the world.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 124
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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
A fisherman clings to a picnic chest as he is rescued by crew members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas near Chacarita de Puntarenas. The man was one of two dumped into the sea when their boat sank after being hit by a strong wave.
Maritime zone moratorium gets an OK

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers passed for the second and final time Thursday a bill that places a moratorium on evictions and demolitions in the maritime zone.

Lawmakers agreed that this was not a final solution but a way to delay evictions until a better solution won approval. The bill requires the signature of President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The moratorium is for two years, and it does not stop judicial processes, just the actual evictions and demolitions. The moratorium would not be applicable to cases where there is environmental damage, danger of environmental damage or illegal occupation. Those in the zone would be prohibited from constructing new projects. The bill, No. 19.139, received backing from 34 of 40 lawmakers.

The maritime zone is the coastal land that is considered property of the state. There have been a procession of laws that would provide security to those living there, but they have been challenged successfully by court actions.

40,000-plus want Día del Padre June 17

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Organizers of a campaign to establish a fixed date for father’s day say they have obtained 43,940 signatures in 19 days.

The campaign seeks to make June 17 the Día del Padre instead of the third Sunday of June, as it is in the United States and Canada. El Día de la Madre now is a fixed date, Aug. 15, in Costa Rica.

The campaign is being sponsored by the Gollo home products chain, which sent out a release Thursday. The firm said that signatures were mainly gathered in its 130 stores.

The chain said that more than 40,000 signatures could put the question to a public referendum or that bill No. 19.985 in the legislature could do the same thing.

Our reader’s opinion
Government is not capable of action

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
Would be nice if a little more attention was placed on the economy in Costa Rica at this time since the government has no leadership and no direction. 

Unlike some who live in the clouds in Costa Rica, some of us have substantial investments and, unfortunately, spend half of our time simply protecting them from the numerous pitfalls and the day-to-day indecision of simple issues facing this current government.

Can no one in this country make a decision? There is no way in Hell they will meet this deadline of passing a law [to prosecute financing of terrorism as a crime], absolutely no way. They are too busy trying to find ways to withhold information to cover their asses. 

They can never tell the truth about anything. It is amazing. Well, boys and girls (I use this term as the people in charge are really children in adult bodies), in about 24 days Solís will get neutered by the international banking system because he simply can’t act or he is afraid some more dirt will be exposed.

It will be worth the price of admission to see the look on the government’s faces when they finally tell all the high-priced help and institutions we are broke: “there is no salary for anyone" 

What do you think will happen if one day the police don't receive their salary?  They already rob and extort with a salary. This is a case of why a country needs a military: If the police are criminals, the OIJ arrest them. If the OIJ are criminals, the government arrests them. If the government is criminal, the military arrests them.
But if this were true, Costa Rica would only have the janitor and the woman who received $104,000USD for last December salary at the Universidad de Costa Rica running the country.
Maybe the reason you don't pursue  these issues is you are afraid of being censored by the government?
Maurice Aerts
Editor’s note: Mr. Aerts refers to the possibility that if the legislature does not pass a law against financing terrorists, the country will be put on a gray list that would impose criminal penalties. There was testimony to that effect before a committee investigating the Panamá Papers.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 124
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Another Orquesta Sinfónica perfomance highlights weekend events
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Bulgarian-American violinist Bella Hristova will be the soloist when the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional performs tonight and Sunday morning at the Teatro Nacional.

The woman will perform the popular Violin Concerto Op. 64 by Félix Mendelssohn. The orchestra performances lead a list of other cultural events for the weekend.

The program  Enamorate de tu Ciudad takes place again Saturday and Sunday in the central parks of  San Marcos de Tarrazú, Santa María de Dota, San Pablo de León Cortés and Paraíso de Cartago.

There are games, dancing, exhibitions and items for sale.

Expats who can follow a dialogue in Spanish might be interested in others who are sick of their cell telephone. The work “Barco, Papel, Pirata” is being presented by the  Compañía Escénica Juan Cuentacuentos in the Teatro 1887.

The show is Saturday and Sunday and on future Saturdays and Sundays until July 17. Shows Saturday are at 4 p.m. Sundays performances are at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The story line involves adults sick of cell telephones controlling their lives who embark on a magical adventure that includes pirates.

The Teatro 1887 is in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura downtown east of Parque España on Avenida 7.

The combined Bandas de Conciertos de San José and of Alajuela will present concerts tonight at 7 p.m. in the Catedral de Alajuela and Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Museo Nacional. The combined bands number 70.

The program includes works by Venezuelan and Belgium composers, said the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.

Ms. Hristova uses a violin built in the workshop of Nicolò Amati in 1665. Amati is believed to have been the master who invited Antonio Stradivari into his shop to learn the trade.

viilinist photo

The Banda de Conciertos de Limón also plans a concert tonight in the Casa de la Cultura in that community at 7 p.m.

The orchestra performance tonight and Sunday again is in the Teatro Nacional.

Ms. Hristova is using a violin built in the workshop of  Nicolò Amati in 1665. Amati is believed to have been the master who invited Antonio Stradivari into his shop to learn the trade. The Indiana University grad is married to U.S. composer David Ludwig. This is her first performance in Costa Rica.

The director is Carl St. Clair.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 124
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Britain's historic decision seems based on immigration and sovereignty
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Britain has made a historic decision to leave the European Union in a referendum that stoked passions on issues of immigration and sovereignty, and prompted the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron.

“The British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction,” Cameron told reporters outside 10 Downing Street today.

Cameron said that transition should happen in October.

Analysts say voters’ stunning decision to quit the EU meant Cameron lost his mandate. The man who led the Leave campaign, former London mayor Boris Johnson, also of Cameron’s Conservative Party, is widely expected to replace Cameron as prime minister.

With all counties reporting results this morning, the 'Leave' cause won 51.89 percent of the vote. The news prompted a negative reaction in Asian markets and the British pound tumbled to a three-decade low.

Turnout was high, at 72 percent, the highest in a national poll in more than two decades, despite torrential rainstorms on referendum day, reflecting the strong feelings that the debate evoked in a nation whose immigration rate has doubled in the past 16 years.

The vote appeared to be driven by anti-establishment sentiments and the feeling the EU governing structure has taken too much control away from the common British citizen.

“Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day,” anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage, told supporters in Westminster early Friday. Farage heads Britain’s UK Independence Party, which favors implementing tough immigration restrictions. He said the election predictions would be “a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people.”

The decision to quit the EU opens a new chapter of uncertainty for Britain, which must now forge new trade relationships with continental Europe and begin the process of disentangling from the 28-member bloc, reversing a process that began more than four decades ago when Britain joined what was then the European Economic Community.

Revelers celebrated outside 10 Downing Street early today as passing cars honked in support of the decision.

Analysts say that disengagement may take two or more years to complete.

Voters appeared to have defied calls by government and business, which forecast dire economic consequences for Britain. The British treasury predicted that leaving the EU would cost the average family nearly $6,000 a year.

Today Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the bank is prepared for the shock, and said it is making available nearly $345 billion in financial support.

Business leaders warned that new immigration restrictions that could result from a Brexit would cause them to transfer thousands of British jobs to countries still in the EU.

In the end, British voters appeared to choose the risk of independence over what many Leave supporters view as overreach by an undemocratic EU governing apparatus that is only getting bigger and more intrusive.

“The EU has just gone into every nook and cranny. It started off as a trade agreement. It moved towards a community. It now is a union and
memorial service
Voice of America photo
A photo of slain Jo Cox dominates this photo of a memorial service Thursday at Trafalgar Square

it wants its own currency and now wants its own defense forces.  Well, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a country,” Lord David Owen, a former foreign secretary, told a reporter.

"Counting officers have verified that a total of 33,568,184 ballot papers will be included in the count for the referendum. Based on a confirmed electorate of 46,500,001, turnout at the referendum was 72.2 percent," Britain's electoral commission said in a statement. The final total turned out to be a few votes less.

The final vote was 17,410,742 to leave the European Union against 16,141,241 to stay.

Polls closed as scheduled Thursday, despite heavy rain and flooding in southern England that snarled traffic and prompted the closure of parts of London’s tube system, making it difficult for some evening commuters to make it to polling stations. Flooding forced at least two polling stations in the London area to move.

For some braving the rain, the decision boiled down to the ideal of peace on which the European Union was founded.

“We have for the first time in hundreds of years, we’ve had peace in Europe for over 50 years. I’m a man of a generation who hasn’t had to go to fight a war in Western Europe and I think that’s a wonderful thing that is worth celebrating,” said Chris Kenyon, 41, one of the first to vote at a polling station in the north London borough of Islington.

A bitter, two-month campaign centered largely on immigration, a highly sensitive and divisive issue in a nation whose immigration rate has doubled since 2000.

Polls showed the Leave campaign lost some support following the June 16 murder of anti-Brexit lawmaker Jo Cox. The killing, allegedly by a right-wing extremist with a history of mental health problems, prompted the temporary suspension of campaigns on both sides and caused many British voters to pause and reflect on the bitterness surrounding the vote.

“This referendum has been very divisive and I think that’s completely unnecessary. We ought to be able to work forward on issues of the economy and migration and security, those issues, without being so divisive,” said Kimberly Griffin, a Remain supporter attending a memorial for Ms. Cox Thursday at Trafalgar Square. “We never should have had this referendum, and I think this is a tragic consequence."

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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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.

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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 124
Real Estate
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U.S. Senate passes a bill
for giving GMO information

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Senate has reached a deal on labeling foods that have genetically modified ingredients, just a week before a harsher law is to go into effect in the northeastern state of Vermont.

The federal legislation cannot be approved by the House of Representatives until after members return from their summer recess July 5. But if passed, the law would supersede Vermont's law, establishing a rule that is easier for food companies to meet.

Vermont companies have a year to comply with the new state law that takes effect July 1. The year's grace period means a federal law could take effect before companies have to change their packaging in Vermont.

The Vermont law, applicable only to products sold in that state, would require producers to label foods with genetically modified ingredients with the words produced with or partially produced with  genetically modified ingredients.

The federal law, which supporters say would prevent a confusing patchwork of state laws, would allow food producers to use words, a federally produced symbol, or a bar code or telephone number that provides a link to the information.

Critics of the federal legislation say it limits accessibility to the information by not placing it directly on the label. They say some people will not follow up on an electronic link and therefore might miss the information.

Food products can be genetically modified to make them more resistant to disease or to produce more food. Most of the corn and soybean crop produced in the United States is genetically modified. Federal authorities have ruled the practice is safe, but skeptics say eating genetically modified products could have consequences that are not yet known.

Foods labeled organic in the United States are required to be free of genetically modified ingredients or have only a tiny percentage, enabling consumers to maintain a genetically modified-free diet if they wish.

Voice of America/A. Barros  
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision stirred this emotional reaction outside the court building Thursday.

Emotions follow voiding
of Obama’s policy on illegals

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

They were hugging each other. Some were crying. Others said they could not believe what had happened.

The large crowd of immigrants, advocates and politicians gathered Thursday outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the justices' tie vote left in place a ruling that blocked President Barack Obama's plan to extend deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants.

The 4-4 decision, advocates say, produced tears and disappointment but also will motivate people to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

“Now, I don’t feel defeated. I feel disappointed. But, fortunately, I have relatives who are American citizens, and more than ever I will work hard with all my friends and family, and they will see the answer in November,” said Hilaria Bonilla of Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Ms. Bonilla is one of the 4 million undocumented immigrants who would have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States without the constant fear of deportation, had the court overruled an earlier decision.

The United States v. Texas case focused on Obama's 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and the expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA.

The lawsuit brought by 26 states, led by Texas, as well as congressional Republicans, challenged the executive orders and argued that Obama did not have the power to effectively change immigration laws.

A lower court previously struck down Obama's action as unlawful and issued an injunction on its implementation until the Supreme Court ruled in the case. With the high court evenly divided on the case, the lower-court ruling stands.

Obama called the decision “disappointing.”

“Today, the Supreme Court was unable to reach a decision," he said. "This is part of the consequence of the Republican failure so far to give a fair hearing to Mr. Merrick Garland, my nominee to the Supreme Court. It means that the expanded set of common-sense deferred action policies, the ones that I announced two years ago, can’t go forward at this stage until there is a ninth justice on the court to break the tie.”

Isabel Aguilar, who said she was running away from gang violence when she left El Salvador, said she still had hope for the future.

“We can’t give up. I have three kids, and I tell them every day that we shouldn’t cry. We have to keep moving forward, and I always have this positive attitude, and today I can’t give up,” she said.

A tearful Ms. Aguilar added that although the family was not wealthy, her husband was an industrial engineer and she studied law in El Salvador. People like her husband, she said, would be an asset to this country.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, spoke to those gathered in front of the Supreme Court and sent a message to opponents of Obama’s proposals

“Every time you stop us, you encourage and motivate us to vote," he said. "You will reap what you have sown. Justice for our community comes next November.”

The call to vote also is what encourages people like Juan Ramos, who was brought to the U.S. in 2008 when he was 15 from Honduras. Ramos, however, did not qualify for the original 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order.

“I feel like this could have a relief not just for me, but also 5 million parents that had hope that something was going to change for them, and now we have to wait and wait again," Ramos said. "My hope is always to go back to school. Help my parents. Get a better job.”

Ramos lived with relatives in North Carolina and was accepted to five different colleges, but was not allowed to attend any because of his immigration status. As of now, he will continue to work in the restaurant industry and fight for immigration reform.

“Since I was little, I loved building, so I wanted to go to school for architecture. I promised my parents that I was going to build a house for them,” he said.

Voice of America photo  
Nancy Pelosi, the top ranked Democrat in the House, leaves the Capitol to thank supporters outside.

House Democrats end sit-in
seeking firearm restrictions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

House Democrats chanted, shouted appeals to their Republicans colleagues and, finally as they ended their 26-hour sit-in outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday, they sang.

Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, led Democrats out to the Capitol steps where they were surrounded by supporters chanting "Thank You! Thank You!" The protesting lawmakers responded by breaking into the song they sang on the House floor hours before, the civil rights anthem, "We Shall Overcome."

But this time they added words looking ahead to the next session of Congress: "We shall pass the bill."

The song ended a day and night of unprecedented and often intense firsts in the U.S. House of Representatives, as the Republican leadership shut down cameras showing the House floor, causing Democratic lawmakers to turn to social media and live video on the internet via Twitter to stream their protest.

Rep. Debbie Dingell's very personal experience with gun violence was one of the most emotional moments streamed live during the sit-in.

​"I know what it’s like to see a gun pointed at you and wonder if you were going to live," Ms. Dingell, of Michigan, said on the House floor late Wednesday. She said she grew up in a home where "the man who was my father shouldn't have had access to guns."

"It's not easy," she said in a phone interview Thursday about sharing her story. "It was a very difficult night, and I didn't know what I was going to say, and that was a speech that just came from my heart."

Ms. Dingell said she has lived the tension between Democrats and Republicans on the gun issue. She said the experience with her home life growing up has deeply impacted how she feels about guns. But she is also married to a former National Rifle Association board member and "a responsible gun owner and deep believer in the Second Amendment and the delicate balance of that in terms of our civil liberty."

Ms. Dingell said she ultimately decided to share her story because "this shouldn't be a partisan issue. I just felt the need to get people to understand there are issues we need to talk about, and every time something awful happens, we have the same old dialogue."

She said there is a way to have a discussion about keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

Like Ms. Dingell, Raine Koch personally experienced gun violence as domestic violence. She joined the hundreds of supporters gathered outside the Capitol Wednesday night and into Thursday.

The protesters chanted the same slogans that came from the House floor: "No Bill No Break," ordered pizza and waited out sometimes rainy conditions.

Members of Congress came out from the House floor to thank the crowd for their support. Koch, watching many of them speak, cried.

"I saw my father put a rifle to my mother's head,"  Koch said.

While Koch, her mother and her sisters eventually made it out of the home safely, she said the issue has always remained important to her.

"When those kids were killed in Sandy Hook, it broke my heart, and I have a lot of friends who are in the LGBT community," she said, referencing the latest shooting in Orlando.

"Something has to be done with guns in this nation, and I come from a family of hunters, so it's not even like I'm anti-gun. But something has to be done," Koch said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said the sit-in was not about emotion. It was about money.

In a briefing with reporters Thursday morning, Ryan held up printouts of emails he said showed House Democrats using the sit-in as a fundraising stunt.

Ryan said he was very worried the sit-in set a precedent for future actions by lawmakers who were unable to achieve their goals by bringing up legislation through the normal course of action in the House of Representatives.

"This is the people's house. This is Congress, the House of Representatives, the oldest democracy in the world, and they're descending it into chaos," Ryan said. "I don't think this should be a very proud moment for democracy."

Ryan said there were no plans to bring gun control legislation up for a vote, just as legislation was brought up for a vote following a filibuster in the Senate. He said gun control amendments have already been brought up in House committees and failed, and cited FBI concerns about ways gun control legislation could compromise terrorism investigations.

"We want to get it right while protecting people's Constitutional guaranteed rights and not violating the due process rights," he said.

But Democrats vowed to come back after the Independence Day holiday recess to renew the fight.

As the sit-in came to a close Thursday afternoon, Lewis told about a hundred Democrats assembled on the House floor, "When you want to do something about gun violence, it is not a struggle that lasts one day, one week, one month, one year, it is a struggle. But we are going to win the struggle."

Ms. Dingell agrees. "The sit-in for today is over," she said. "But the effort to get people to keep people out of the hands of terrorists, or convicted felons or domestic abusers is still a very real and ongoing effort."

Marine Corps confirms ID
in iconic Iwo Jima flag photo

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday that it had misidentified one of the men in an iconic photograph showing the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima during World War II.

The Marines created a review panel this year after two amateur historians working for the Smithsonian Channel raised doubts about the identity of one of the Marines.

The panel agreed with the historians that Private First Class Harold Schultz of Detroit was in the photo and that Navy Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class John Bradley was not. Schultz died in 1995.

The other Marines in the photo were Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Harlon Block, Michael Strank and Franklin Sousley.

"Our history is important to us, and we have a responsibility to ensure it's right," Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said Thursday in a statement.

The well-known image shows six Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi during a bloody battle on the Japanese island. The photograph, taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal in February 1945, also was used as the basis for an enormous bronze statue at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

"Although the Rosenthal image is iconic and significant, to Marines it's not about the individuals and never has been. Simply stated, our fighting spirit is captured in that frame, and it remains a symbol of the tremendous accomplishments of our Corps — what they did together and what they represent remains most important. That doesn't change," Neller's statement continued.

Bradley's son, James Bradley, wrote the best-selling book “Flags of Our Fathers” about the flag-raisers. It was later made into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

Bradley, who expressed shock in May when the Marine Corps began its investigation, declined to comment to the AP on Thursday when reached by phone.

His publisher, Random House, released a statement Thursday saying Bradley would update an afterword for his book that explained the new information.

The historians found the discrepancy after viewing photos from an earlier flag-raising and a second one, which Rosenthal captured.

In May, Bradley had told AP he believed his father confused the first and second raising of the flag.

Iwo Jima is part of the cluster of Japanese Volcano Islands south of Tokyo. It was the site of an intense 36-day battle that began on February 19, 1945, and involved about 70,000 U.S. Marines and 18,000 Japanese soldiers. More than 6,500 U.S. servicemen died in the battle.

The capture of Iwo Jima was strategically important to the U.S. because it prevented Japanese planes from taking off from there and intercepting American bombers.

Baltimore cop acquitted
in death of prisoner in van

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A police officer was acquitted Thursday of all charges in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, who died in April 2015 in the back of a police van, sparking the worst riots in decades in the Mid-Atlantic city of Baltimore, Maryland.

Six officers were indicted in Gray's death, but officer Caesar Goodson faced the most serious charges, including depraved-heart murder. Goodson was also found not guilty of manslaughter, assault, misconduct and reckless endangerment.
Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams delivered his verdict after hearing five days of testimony in the non-jury trial. Williams ruled state prosecutors failed to show that Goodson, 46, gave Gray a rough ride as Gray was left unbuckled in the back of the police van.

Gray, 25, was fatally injured en route to a police station after officers bound his hands and feet in the van without securing him with safety belts.

Prosecutors said Gray was left unprotected and that belts would have prevented him from slamming into the vehicle's metal walls.

Goodson's acquittal jeopardizes the remaining court cases. Other police officers face similar, but less serious, charges.

The first trial of officer William Porter ended in a mistrial last December. Officer Edward Nero was acquitted last month.

Solar Impulse 2 lands in Spain
after long crossing of Atlantic

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An airplane powered entirely by the sun landed in Seville, Spain, early Thursday after a 71-hour journey across the Atlantic from New York.

The one-seat Solar Impulse 2 took off from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport early Monday morning on the 15th leg of its journey around the world.

The solar-powered plane was piloted on this leg of its around-the-world journey by Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard, cruising at an average speed of 70 kilometers an hour.

The carbon fiber Solar Impulse 2 has a 72-meter wingspan, which is longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747 and weighs about as much as an automobile. The 17,000 solar cells built into the wings harness the sun's energy and charge onboard batteries.

Piccard's compatriot and business partner Andre Borschberg will pilot the final leg of the trip from Seville to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where the trip began in March of 2015.

Monetary Fund’s  director
cuts U.S. economic forecast

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecast for U.S. economic growth this year, but Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde still said the world's largest economy is in good shape.

In its annual assessment of the U.S. economy, the Monetary Fund predicted 2.2 percent growth this year, down from last year's 2.4 percent figure, and also lower than the 2.4 percent projection for 2016 the Washington-based agency made two months ago. Ms. Lagarde predicted the U.S. unemployment rate would remain below 5 percent.

The U.S. economy is off to a slow start this year, up only eight-tenths of a percent in the January-to-March period, with weak consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy, one of the prime factors in narrowing the economic advance.

Ms. Lagarde said she sees four forces holding back U.S. economic growth: declining labor force participation, falling productivity, income inequality in the country, and high levels of poverty.

"The workforce is aging," she said, adding that the productivity that once advanced by 1.7 percent annually before the 2008 recession now is only edging ahead by four-tenths of a percent each year.

She said there is growing income insecurity in the United States, a decline in living standards that has left nearly 15 percent of the population, about 47 million people,  living below the poverty line.

Ms. Lagarde said if the problems are left unchecked, they will corrode the underpinnings of U.S. growth.

She called for U.S. officials to boost the official $7.25 national hourly minimum wage, a figure some states and cities already are increasing to as much as $15 an hour. Ms. Lagarde also called for paid maternity leave, noting the United States alone among the world's wealthy nations does not provide such a benefit.

Real estate-related services (paid category)
Container homes
New shipping containers for sale:
20 ft. (model year 2015) Containers:  $3,500
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We also have a 40-ft. HQ Shipping Container Home
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Solr array
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If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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

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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
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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.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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    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.

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq. ft. of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out. The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the backyard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden. This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town. Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small. The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate. Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José. Just reduced to $199,000. Call Jeff: 8725-8176. Email:


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

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!


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

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

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 124
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
big wall
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Workmen plan to finish this $1 million wall at a washout site on the Interamericana Norte within two weeks. The wall provides support to an area where crews have simply filled depressions with asphalt for years at kilometer 61 between San José and Puntarenas.

Colombian cease-fire finally signed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Colombian government and leftist rebels signed a cease-fire and disarmament deal Thursday, bringing Colombia a major step closer to ending more than 50 years of guerrilla warfare and terrorism.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, leader of the Fuerzas Armadas Rrevolucionarias de Colombia, signed the agreement in Havana, Cuba, which has hosted four years of frequently difficult peace talks.

Cuban President Raúl Castro and Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, whose countries mediated the talks, watched the events with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. envoy Bernard Aronson and several other Latin American presidents.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement, calling the cease-fire welcome news for the people of Colombia and everyone who desires peace.

"The United States has supported Colombia in its efforts to strengthen its democracy and safeguard the security of its people. That friendship will continue as Colombia's leaders strive to complete the peace process and take steps to recover from the many years of division and conflict," Kerry said in the statement.

The cease-fire is the last major step before both sides sign a final peace agreement. Santos said he expects that to take place July 20, the day Colombia won independence from Spain in 1810.

A few final minor issues need to be worked out before the peace deal is put to the Colombian people in a referendum. Along with a cease-fire and rebel disarmament, the deal includes land reform and will give former rebels some political power. Ex-fighters can also avoid jail time in exchange for community service and travel restrictions.

Both sides had expected to sign the final agreement in March. But questions remain on exactly how the conditions in the peace deal will be implemented and who will preside over a special war crimes tribunal to consider charges against fighters on both sides.

The most important question is how the deal will be implemented legally and whether it would fall apart if a more conservative government succeeds Santos in 2018.

The Marxist rebels, known as the FARC, launched their uprising as a poor people's rebellion in 1964 and grew into a dangerous fighting force. It turned to drug trafficking and kidnapping to fund its guerilla war.
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From Page 7:

New power control center to be ready in 2017

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The state power company said that it plans to have a new, $59 million electrical control center finished by next year. The site is in Santo Domingo de Heredia.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that its current control operations are in Sabana Norte but that the space in Heredia will be more strategic. The money is mostly from the InterAmerican Development Bank, the firm said.

The center will provide work for 200 employees, it added. The technology will be the latest, said the firm.

The Sabana facility came online in 1983 and the equipment there is past specified useful life, said the firm known as ICE.

The firm said that a stable electrical grid can attract more transnationals to Costa Rica and that the new center will be important in transferring power to other Central and Latin American nations.