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Published Thursday, June 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 128
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Majestic sailfish are stacked like cord wood after their confiscation on a caldera beach Tuesday. The fish appear to be accidental catches by a commercial tuna operation.
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Sailfish called health hazard after illegal unloading
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As sports fishermen take to the Pacific today there are about 2.8 tons of sailfish they will not catch.

The fish, which are protected in part for their benefit to tourism, were confiscated by members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas when they saw them being offloaded onto a sandy beach in Caldera.

The unloading was from a large Nicaraguan tuna fishing vessel in the Gulf of Nicoya, and the procedure appeared to be designed to avoid the requirement to unload catches at government docks for inspection.

A small boat was being used to bring the fish to shore for eventual transport in a nearby truck. The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública

said that sailfish, pez vela in Spanish, are regulated due to their scientific and tourism interests.

Sports fishermen practice catch and release, so the dead fish represented many lost hours of enjoyment for tourists.

The ministry said that the fish were being placed on a beach with no regard for sanitation. An inspector from the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal declared the fish unfit for human consumption, said the ministry. The fish totaled  2,572 kilos.

Failing to unload at a government dock only is punishable by a fine, but the ministry said that the local prosecutor ordered the coast guard to take custody of the foreign tuna boat for investigation. The crewmen also confiscated the small launch.

Government says its wants to raise the retirement age
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

While teachers were protesting in the street Wednesday, and other labor groups continue to be enraged by potential salary cuts, the central government added fuel to the fire.

As an aside to a statement about luxury pensions, Casa Presidencial said that the government backs a plan to raise the retirement age to 70 and also suggested that the amount deduced from employee paychecks for health and pensions could nearly double.

The Presidencia was responding to a news article that said leading political parties in the legislature were backing away from a proposal to cut what are called luxury pensions. They are pensions that have been fixed with annual increase, and sometimes the monthly amount is

excessive. The government said it wanted to enact strong curbs. The government also said it wanted to base pensions on standards issued by the International Labour Organization.

But then the statement said that the government also wants to raise the retirement age by five years to 70, doing so over five years.

Then it also said that the monthly contribution of workers that is now 9 percent should be raised to 16 percent. The statement was unclear if the increase would be in the total social charges workers pay each month or just the part that goes for pensions.

Workers now face deductions of 9 percent that go to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, to Banco Popular and a disability and death benefit fund.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 128
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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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new bridge
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Those steel beams are the reason nighttime traffic was detoured on Ruta 3 from La Uruca to Heredia for several weekends. The steel goes into the base of a wider bridge over the Río Virilla. The route historically has been a traffic nightmare.

13-case increase in zika reported for week

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry is reporting just a 13-case increase in zika as of Wednesday. But there is another pregnant woman who has the virus.

The bulk of the increase was in the canton of Garabito where Jaco is located. There were nine new cases there bringing the total to 86, according to ministry statistics.

There also are 10 cases in Parrita, said the Ministerio de Salud. At least 11 cantons have one or two cases.

Zika has the most emphasis among the virus diseases because of the possibility that unborn children can become infected and suffer from small heads, called microcephaly.

But some doubt has been cast on zika as the primary cause. A U.S. study said that of the many pregnant women infected with zika in Colombia, there has not been a spike in microcephaly.  The study contrasted this with Brazil where there are many cases of  microcephaly. The study speculated that pesticide might be the real cause.

No infected woman in Costa Rica has shown signs that her unborn child has been harmed, said the ministry.

Meanwhile, David O’Connor, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who is working on a zika vaccine, said that to the best of his knowledge there is only one strain of zika. That is different than dengue which has at least five varieties. That means only one vaccine is needed.

“It is possible that others remain undiscovered in Africa, but to the best of our knowledge these aren't spreading in humans and definitely aren't in the Americas,” O’Connor said in an email. He was testifying before Congress Wednesday.

Dual holiday celebration set for Atenas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Canada Day is Friday and U.S. Independence Day is Monday, so Cathy Eldred and friends in Atenas are celebrating both Saturday.

The fiesta is benefiting animal castration in Costa Rica, she reported. Ms. Eldred has volunteered at Animales Atenas. She said a fiesta would be a good way to raise money for the animal organization.

“They host low/no cost spay/neuter clinics in and around Atenas as well as provide medical expense help for those who cannot afford it,” she said.

The fiesta Saturday is from 11 to 4 p.m. at Balnario el Cerro in Atenas behind the Colegio Técnico Profesional.

She is promising live music by Smooth K Productions, swimming, bingo, the sale of art works and craft items and food and drink.  Entry is 2,000 colons with kids under 10 free, she said.

Ms. Eldred said she used to put on a big safety fair in her hometown every year so she has experience in this type of event. She has been in Costa Rica since October 2014. Also sponsoring the fiesta is another Atenas resident, Knight Breckenridge, of Alajuela, who also volunteers at the animal clinic, said Ms. Eldred.

“After we got well into the planning and putting it together we realized we'd like to do this for other non-profits in the future, thus the bomberos and Cruz Roja for next year” she said.

Good weather likely for expat picnic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

U.S. expats are hoping that the Veranillo de San Juan holds through Sunday so that the Independence Day picnic is not followed by rain.

The Veranillo de San Juan are those four to 10 days at the end of June when the rain slows down and sometimes stops, and the sun dominates.  It is the last sunny break until December.

The picnic is Sunday, which is July 3, at the Cervercería de Costa Rica picnic grounds west of San José. This is the 56th annual edition. The highlight takes place when U.S. Marines raise the Stars and Stripes and the crowd sings the U.S. National Anthem.

But there also is many hot dogs and beer, of course. The idea started when U.S. expats here wanted to give their children a typical U.S. Fourth of July.

Organizers are not unaware of the weather, which is why the picnic is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are new provisions for parking this year, and there is a map available on the picnic Web page.

The American Colony Committee Web page is HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 128
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This is how the volcano looked Monday morning when scientists took a flight over the mountain.  The inset shows the thermal condition at the crater.

Volcano flight
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica photo

Wednesday was a nice day for an up and down hike to the lake
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A day at the lake can be an adventure particularly when there are occasional eruptions and intense emissions of gas.

The trip was not to just any lake. The goal Wednesday was to take scientific measurements of the crater lake at the Turrialba volcano.

No swimming, though. The pH of the water turned out to be 2, which is similar to the juice of fresh lemons but not as acidic as battery acid.

Taking the measurements were four scientists, Jairo García of the Red Sismológica Nacional and Julian Reizer, Geoffroy Avard and María Martinez of the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica.

The Red Sismológica reported that the lake water was 49 degrees C, about 120 F, and the apertures that were emitting gas were 200 degrees C or about 392 F.

The team collected water samples for laboratory analysis.  García reported on the Red Sismológica Facebook page that during the visit the scientists witnessed small eruptions.

The mountain is under close observation. 
Scientists from the  Observatorio took a flight over the volcano Monday. They
volcano trip
Red Sismológica Nacional photo
To get to the lake, the trip is up and then down.

reported that for the first time they were able to capture and analyze samples of the volcano gas in the air. Much of the volcano’s emissions is water vapor. But the scientists did find carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide as well as hydrogen sulfide, the gas with the rotten egg smell.

By studying the gas, the scientists said that they could determine that the gas came from magma and not mixed with the water vapor. They also said that between 7 and 9 a.m. they were able to determine that the plume of gas was being carried northwest.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 128
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More than 100 Nobel laureates give their support to modified crops
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 100 Nobel Prize winners are calling on Greenpeace and other environmental activist groups to cease their opposition to genetically modified foods, saying they pose no danger to health and can even be beneficial.

The group, which includes scholars from varied disciplines such as medicine, economics, literature, chemistry and physics, is set to present an open letter to Greenpeace today in Washington, D.C. In it, the group says Greenpeace should stop opposing development of a genetically engineered type of rice that supporters say could reduce vitamin deficiencies that cause blindness and death.

The Nobel laureates say Greenpeace and its allies "should re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops improved through biotechnology," and respect the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies.

The type of rice they are talking about is known as golden rice. It was designed to counteract vitamin A deficiencies that affect children, in particular. The Nobel laureates note in their letter that vitamin A deficiency has the greatest impact on impoverished people in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Speaking Wednesday to the Washington Post, organizer Richard Roberts, 1993 Nobel laureate in physiology and medicine, said Greenpeace's opposition to genetically modified organisms is anti-science. He said Greenpeace and some of its allies deliberately went out of their way to scare people about genetically modified crops, as a way to raise money for their cause.

Roberts said he supports Greenpeace on many of its other

golden rice
Voice of America photo
Golden rice can counteract vitamin A deficiencies.

activities, but said "this is an issue that they got wrong."

In their letter, the Nobel winners say, "Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than, those derived from any other means of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption."

Furthermore, fact sheets distributed with the letter say genetically modified crops can reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture by 37 percent, increase crop yields by 22 percent, and increase farming income by 68 percent.

Greenpeace, which has called genetically modified foods a form of genetic pollution, has not commented on the letter.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:
Contact us by email:
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
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Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877

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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 128
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Unhappiness with candidates
is major factor in U.S. voting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It is one of the great unknowns about the 2016 presidential race. 

How many Americans will walk into the voting booth on Nov. 8 and mutter to themselves, 'Ugh, this is the choice I have, Clinton or Trump?'

It’s a scenario that gives hope to a Trump campaign down in the polls, and it is the stuff of nightmares for Democratic strategists who worry the only thing between Hillary Clinton and the White House is an unmovable core of voters who don't trust her.

At the moment Mrs. Clinton would seem to hold some daunting advantages. Most recent polls show the former secretary of state with a steady lead over Donald Trump, on average five to six points, as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month.

Of particular concern to Republicans are some of the recent poll numbers showing 70 percent of women have a negative view of Trump, as well as his dismal ratings with non-white voters.

Mrs. Clinton’s own ratings aren’t much better. The latest Quinnipiac University poll found her with a very slight lead over Trump, 42 to 40 percent, with polls typically having a margin of error of 3-4 points.

Trump’s favorability ratings were only 34 percent positive, 57 percent negative. But Clinton wasn’t far behind with 37 percent approving and 57 percent disapproving. 

“It would be difficult to imagine a less flattering from-the-gut reaction” to Trump and Mrs. Clinton, said Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, in a statement on the survey. Malloy added that “voters find themselves in the middle of a mean-spirited, scorched earth campaign between two candidates they don’t like.”

Scorched earth is a good description of the campaign likely to come. Mrs. Clinton teamed with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at a rally in Ohio this week to go after Trump. Sen. Warren slammed Trump as a “small, insecure money-grubber who fights for nobody but himself.” She served as a warm-up act for Mrs. Clinton.

“We are not going to let Donald Trump bankrupt America the way he bankrupted his casinos!” Mrs. Clinton said to cheers at a rally in Cincinnati.

At a speech later that same day in Chicago, though, Mrs. Clinton made a rare acknowledgment of her own polling problems and the challenge facing her to win back voter trust before November.  

“And I personally know I have work to do on this front,” Mrs. Clinton said. “A lot of people tell pollsters they don’t trust me. Now, I don’t like hearing that. And it certainly is true I’ve made mistakes. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. So I understand people having questions.”

That being said, most analysts believe Mrs. Clinton’s challenges pale in comparison to those facing Trump, who is held in very low esteem by women and minority voters. The polls on Trump have Republican Party leaders worried but hopeful that the New York billionaire still has time to turn things around.  

Trump insists he’ll win because voters see him as the ultimate political outsider.

“As soon as I ran, I became an insurgent. I became an outsider. Guys who were my friends said, ‘you’re an outsider!’ And you know why? Because I am going to do what is right for you. I am not going to do what is right for them!” Trump told supporters at a recent rally in Phoenix.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell remains hopeful Trump can turn his image around.

“I think there is no question he has made a number of mistakes over the last few weeks,” McConnell told ABC’s “This Week.”  “I think they are beginning to right the ship and it’s a long time until November.”

Trump has started to use a teleprompter for some of his speeches now, something for which he used to bash Mrs. Clinton. And at times, Trump seems like a more disciplined candidate.

Many analysts still see him struggling, however, to shift from a primary contender, eager to win over conservatives, to a general election candidate hoping to broaden his appeal.

“I’ve always thought that some of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric works very well for primary audiences, but it is going to cause him a larger problem, potentially, in the fall,” said longtime analyst Tom DeFrank of National Journal.

But Republican strategists warn that Hillary Clinton’s negative poll numbers also are cause for concern for Democrats, and that she has some work to do before November.

“Independent of all of her baggage, she is a miserable candidate,” said Republican analyst Scot Faulkner. “She’s a poor speaker. She does not relate well to people. They are reintroducing her so it is like, Hillary 7.0.” 

Faulkner is one Republican who believes Trump can overcome his negative baggage and go on to victory in November, primarily because of Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses with voters.

There is little doubt that Mrs. Clinton will focus on Trump’s negatives to boost Democratic voter turnout in November, according to John Fortier with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

“She is so well known in politics that many people already don’t like her and have already formed opinions. And so for Hillary Clinton the challenge really is to be able to turn out her base, to show people that Donald Trump is not the alternative they want,” said Fortier.

But Mrs. Clinton could have a tough time matching the Democratic turnout effort that won two elections for Barack Obama. 

“They will try to get Hispanics registered to turnout. They will try to get African American turnout to be what it was when Obama was running. They will try to get young people to turn out and vote. But it’s a challenge,” said Gallup pollster Frank Newport.

Newport adds that one of the great wild cards of this election is the demand for change and how that will play out for Americans confronted with the choice of either Mrs. Clinton or Trump. 

“The public is very, very disgusted, and I would use that word with the way Congress in Washington operates, the bickering, the lack of compromise, sticking to principle rather than be willing to compromise. Americans don’t like that at all.”

Three American presidents
give support to free trade

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S., Canadian and Mexican leaders strongly rejected a wave of trade protectionism and anti-globalization Wednesday at the North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto hailed the benefits of the 22-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement at a time when international trade deals are being attacked in the United States and Europe. Together, the three countries account for almost 27 percent of the world's economic output. 

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said the meeting was a bit poignant ahead of what he termed Obama’s pending retirement.  The trio declared their close friendship and high regard for each other, reinforcing the playful "Three Amigos" nickname some in the media have given them.

At a news conference in Ottawa, the leaders were asked if they are concerned about likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant, protectionist and isolationist campaign rhetoric. The Canadian and Mexican leaders said they would respect the will of the American people and work with whoever is elected president, but they made clear they support free trade and friendly cooperation.

Mexican President Peña Nieto said some politicians look for simple solutions, turning to populism, protectionism and isolationism, not appreciating all the economic benefits they would squander.

President Obama agreed with Trudeau and Peña Nieto that an attitude of pulling up the drawbridge would be bad for the interconnected global economy.  Without mentioning Trump by name, Obama went on what he admitted was a long rant about Trump, saying he objected to calling people who are currently popping up populists.  Obama said he genuinely cares about poor people and making sure kids get an education.  But he said somebody else who has never shown any regard for workers or for helping ordinary people is not a populist. That rhetoric, Obama said, is not populism: “It is nativism, xenophobia or worse.  Or it is just cynicism to say controversial things to win votes."

Obama said he does believe that people who have complaints about trade have a legitimate gripe about globalization, but the prescription of withdrawing from trade deals is the wrong medicine.  He rejected Trump’s negative comments on Mexicans and other immigrants, saying they are not representative of America.

Asked about Britain's vote to leave the European Union, Obama said he would advise British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others to take a deep breath and to proceed with negotiations in an orderly and well thought-out way.

At least some of the voter sentiment that led to last week's British decision to exit the European Union has been attributed to anti-globalization. In the United States, Republican presidential contender Trump says he wants to renegotiate or scrap NAFTA, saying it has cost thousands of U.S. jobs and cut wages for American workers.

The three North American leaders also discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and how they plan to ratify it in their respective countries.  Trump also opposes that deal, as does Hillary Clinton, the presumptive U.S. Democratic presidential nominee, although she originally called it the gold standard of trade deals.

Obama, Trudeau and Peña Nieto agreed on a pact to try to boost North America's generation of clean electricity in the next decade, aiming to produce half of North America's electricity from non-carbon sources by 2025.

Currently, a little more than one-third of the continent's electricity comes from energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower or nuclear energy.

food bank
Voice of America/ C. Maddux
Virginia residents fill bags with free groceries at the Arlington Food Assistance Center.

Not just the jobless seeking
free groceries at local pantry

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Every Monday through Saturday, residents of Arlington county, Virginia, line up with empty bags at 10 a.m. sharp to collect free groceries at a local food pantry.

The recipients include retirees, the elderly, children, chronically unemployed and underemployed adults, the disabled, undocumented immigrants, and the working poor.

"We are dealing with people who live day to day," Charles Meng, executive director of the Arlington Food Assistance Center said. "We serve about 4,400 families, unduplicated, a year." 

According to the center's numbers, people of Hispanic descent make up just over half of the population they serve, 10 percent are African-American and the rest are white. Most live at the very bottom rung in the county with no work, no savings and completely dependent, which is provided via referrals from the county.

At the very top of his client-base is the working poor.

"And they can be food insecure, you know, not enough food on the table, once a week, once a month and they are doing bad things," Meng said.

"You know, they are not feeding themselves or their kids."

An estimated 46.7 million Americans, 14.8 percent of the population, lived in poverty in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest count. Compare that to the year 2000, when the census put the poverty rate at 12.4 percent.

About half of the poor are classified as of working-age adults 18 to 64 years of age.

"A good fraction of those workers are actually employed," said Ryan Nunn, policy director for the Hamilton Project and co-author of a recent joint survey with The Brookings Institution.

To be exact, 13 percent work more than 35 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. Nunn points out that if a person is working a full-time, minimum-wage job, making $7.25 an hour, that person's annual income will fall below the federal poverty line. 

"Dating back to the late 1970s, for instance, we know that wage growth for those at the bottom, and even pretty far up through the middle of the income distribution, has been very limited or nonexistent," added Nunn.

A fixed figure doesn't account for the complexity and complications of working above the federal poverty threshold and still not making ends meet.

Consider Ray, who has a demanding full-time job that pays above the minimum wage, but who lives right on the edge.

"No matter how much I work, I can't make enough," he said.

At 47 years old, Ray is an experienced emergency room technician at Alexandria Hospital in northern Virginia. He asked this reporter to not use his full name to keep his teenage daughter from becoming fully aware of his financial troubles.

He stares down at a cup of stale coffee in a Starbucks nearby, nervously smoothing his thick salt-and-pepper hair as he explains how he got stuck in what he calls his cash hole, his term for unpaid credit card debt and taxes, the aftershocks of the foreclosure of his townhouse about five years ago and, of course, daily living expenses. 

"I pick up extra shifts to make overtime pay all the time," he said. "I just can't get ahead no matter how many hours I work."

Ray estimates he pulls in around $56,000.00 a year, depending on how much overtime he puts in, to support himself, his teenage daughter and his 78-year-old father, who is on disability due to chronic bad health.

That is well below the average median annual income in Alexandria County of $86,775.

So, while this employed American works over the standard 40-hour week to earn a stable income, he and his family live without cable television and wireless Internet access in his home, without a computer and drives an unreliable used car.  

"We sometimes drive to Virginia Beach for a day or two," he said. "My Dad isn't very mobile right now, so . . . ." Ray's voice trails off for a moment before he forces a smile.

When asked about the presidential candidates who have promised to address income inequality, he dismisses that as noise that he doesn't pay much attention to. He's too busy working, taking his father to medical appointments and raising his child.

Senators briefed in secret
on Islamic State potential

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers emerged from a classified briefing by top national security officials Wednesday, saying Islamic State is more determined to strike soft targets around the world, including in the United States, as its battlefield setbacks mount in Iraq and Syria.

One day after deadly suicide bombings in Istanbul, Turkey, the entire U.S. Senate paused to confer behind closed doors with Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Joseph Dunford, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, and Nicholas Rasmussen, National Center for Counterterrorism director.

"As long as ISIS continues to lose ground, I anticipate you'll see more efforts to both inspire attacks abroad, like what we saw in Orlando, and to direct them, like what we saw yesterday in Istanbul," said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a Republican Senator and former presidential candidate. He is using an acronym for Islamic State. "It's a challenging task."

"ISIL is on the run, which makes it more important that we protect the homeland," concurred Chris Murphy, a Democrat of Connecticut, using another acronym for the terror group. "There is no doubt that ISIL is now more focused than ever on trying to inspire lone wolf attackers, and we can absolutely do more."

Another Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said officials made clear at the briefing that there are no easy answers.

"They talked about the fact that some people who are motivated and inspired by ISIS are inspired in their minds, reading internet posts," Durbin said. "It's very hard, unless someone sees something that is out of the ordinary, to spot that, sometimes until it's too late."

"I think we can do a better job," he added.

Earlier in the day, CIA Director John Brennan warned of Islamic State's ability to carry out attacks, saying suicide bombings are especially difficult to prevent.

Durbin said that while the group behind the attack at Istanbul's airport has not been conclusively identified, concerns have been raised about the vulnerabilities of major U.S. airports, including Chicago's O'Hare in his home state.

Several Republican senators urged greater attention to conditions in Iraq and Syria, as part of an overall strategy to keep the United States and its allies safe.

"I'm glad we liberated Fallujah. Ramadi has been liberated for quite a while," said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. But “you have to hold the territory you liberate. If we don't invest in these territories once they are liberated, they are going to fall back into the enemy's hands."

Graham said he is working with a Democratic colleague, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, on a multibillion-dollar proposal to speed U.S. aid to territories in Iraq and Syria from which Islamic State has been expelled.

Terrorist data base finds
itself leaked to Internet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A database of 2.2 million suspected terrorists and people linked to organized crime, a list used by intelligence agencies, banks and companies around the world, has been leaked onto the internet.

The database, called World-Check, was managed by the Thomson Reuters financial data firm for its clients.

However, security researcher Chris Vickery found a 2014 version of the list that didn't require a password to access information.

Thomson Reuters thanked Vickery for the discovery. The firm said it reached the unnamed third party that had posted the information and that it had agreed to remove the list from the internet.

The list collates risk profiles on individuals with alleged links to terrorist groups, corruption and organized crime.

Senators hear summaries
of zika virus assessments

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One day after zika funding failed in the Senate, U.S. lawmakers heard a sobering assessment of the virus' potential to do harm and America's lack of preparedness to fight the mosquito that carries it.

The deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Anne Schuchat, noted that more than 500 pregnant women in the United States have contracted zika, and the number is certain to rise.

"We need the states to be able to detect, respond and prevent infections," Dr. Schuchat told the Senate Homeland Security Committee Wednesday. "We need to strengthen surveillance for the disease and for mosquitoes. We need to do everything we can to control the mosquitoes."

Many U.S. states, however, lack a coordinated mosquito eradication program, according to the head of the American Mosquito Control Association, T. Wayne Gale.

"Especially for those states that don't have any existing programs, you can't stand up  mosquito control infrastructure overnight," Gale said, adding that keeping mosquitoes in check is labor-intensive and equipment-intensive, and training staff for new programs across the country takes time.

Senators also heard unsettling new medical data concerning the virus, which few researchers had focused on prior to last year.

Christopher Zahn of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted that the risk of a congenital heart defect in a newborn is about 1 percent, but the risk of a zika infection causing a birth defect like microcephaly is 13 percent or higher.

With no vaccine on the immediate horizon and America's mosquito season well underway, Zahn said, the only guaranteed way to prevent zika birth defects is contraception.

Access to contraception became a central point of contention in the Senate debate leading up to Tuesday's vote blocking the $1.1 billion to fight zika.

Democrats objected when a majority of Republicans inserted cost offsets that included a cut in funds to Planned Parenthood, a major provider of birth control to women.
Real estate-related services (paid category)
Container homes
New shipping containers for sale:
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We also have a 40-ft. HQ Shipping Container Home
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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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Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
Click HERE!

Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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Rich Coast
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

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

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
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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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Business for sale or lease (paid category)

Great opportunity for investor
Amount  $250,000, 100% ROI. Trucking company parts manufacturing and sales in Florida, proof of funds required. Call Jack Budd at La Habra, Calif., U.S.A. Phones 714-871-5821, 714-930-5265. Email:

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 128
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Five Honduran cops face bribery counts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. indicted six Honduran police officers Wednesday for allegedly conspiring with the son of former president Porfirio Lobo to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

The six officers, who have not yet been arrested, are accused of accepting $1 million in bribes from two undercover officers posing as Mexican drug lords.

Officials say they promised to give the drugs safe passage through Honduras in exchange for the bribes.

Fabio Lobo, son of the former president, introduced the officers to the two purported drug lords. He was arrested in 2015 and pleaded guilty last month.

The government of current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has declared police corruption a national emergency and set up a special investigative committee.

Omar Rivera, a member of a special Honduran commission with authority to investigate police corruption, welcomed the indictments.

"Police who dedicate themselves to protecting drug traffickers, who dedicate themselves to the drug trade, aren't police but criminals and they should be treated as such," he said, adding that U.S. collaboration is fundamental to resolving these cases.

Guzman's extradition is put on hold

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Mexican judge has temporarily blocked the extradition to the U.S. of Joaquin Guzmán, Mexico's most powerful drug lord and one of the world's most notorious criminals.

After Guzman's lawyers submitted appeals late Monday, the judge ruled Tuesday that their documents should be reviewed and their appeal arguments heard before the drug lord is extradited.

His lawyers claim that the statute of limitations has run out on some of the crimes of which he is accused in the U.S., and that some of the accusations against him are based more on hearsay than hard evidence.

U.S. officials are still confident that he will be sent to the U.S. within the year, though Guzman's lawyer said it could take as long as three years.

Guzmán is wanted in the states of California and Texas on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and murder.

Mexico had approved his extradition to the United States in May after being assured that he would not face the death penalty. Mexico no longer uses the death penalty and avoids extradition to nations where it is still in practice.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto initially opposed the extradition, favoring trying Mexico's most notorious criminal domestically.

Authorities arrested Guzmán in January after he escaped from a maximum-security prison in July 2015, in an incident embarrassing to the Mexican government.

He gained his freedom by crawling through a hole in his jail cell's shower to a 1.5-kilometer tunnel.

Guzmán also escaped from prison in Guadalajara in 2001 and remained at large for 13 years before being apprehended with information provided by U.S. intelligence agencies.

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From Page 7:

Heart valve firm to open plant here in Cartago

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. says it will open a plant next year in Cartago and hire 150 workers this year. The firm plans to double its work force once the plant is operating, said an announcement.

The firm characterized itself as the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. The firm has Latin American operations in the Domnican Republic, México and Puerto Rico and markets its products in 100 countries, it says.

The new location will be in the Zona Franca del Parque La Lima, and the investment will be $10 million, said the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior.