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Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation photo
Marlin fishing is among the main events at the upcoming tournament.
Flamingo Fishing Rodeo coming up at end of July
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Registration for the Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo is now open for any interested anglers.

The tournament is going on from July 28 to July 30 at Playa Flamingo in Guancaste, according to organizers. $100 enters a team of four to participate with the funds going to support various conservation projects in Costa Rica, Joan Vernon, the tournament coordinator, said.

"Long before other parts of the country became well-known for their sport-fishing, Flamingo was attracting anglers from all over the world to Costa Rica" a statement from the Presidential Challenge foundation said. "The fishing's great year-round here but it's especially good in the summer, when the blue water moves in close to shore. Flamingo is an idyllic, laid-back beachfront community"

The group said that several several local restaurants and bars would be offering specials for tournament participants wearing their wristbands.

In addition to the tourney, there will be an auction opened to support billfish conservation in Costa Rica via the Billfish Foundation and prizes for the top teams as well as top lady and junior anglers. Some of the species that could be targeted at the event will be: marlin, sailfish, mahimahi and roosterfish among others.

Tournament funds are also going to the Abriendo Mentes group that helps with education and training opportunities in Guanacaste.
Tuna catch
Presidential Challenge courtesy photo    
Wrestling out some tuna from the water.

The main headquarters for the tournament will be Marie’s Restaurant with the host hotel being the Paradise Flamingo Beach Hotel and Casino.

Organizers said that the hotel plans to offer special room rates for either single and double occupancy.

To register for the tournament, one needs to visit the Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation website HERE.

Entry fee can be paid through PayPal. Private boats are welcome to attend but local charter boats are available to use for fishing simply by contacting Ms. Vernon.

UCR teams with Kansas University on age study
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Do Gringos age better than Ticos or vice versa? What are the variables that make a group of U.S. seniors from Kansas have some advantages and disadvantages when compared to their fellow Tico elders? What measures should be taken into consideration to improve the quality of life from both populations?

The quest to answer those questions is the reason why scientists from Universidad de Costa Rica and Kansas University are carrying out a joint research to understand how nationals of both countries are affected by the aging process.

Thanks to the funding of the CRUSA foundation, both universities are partnering to determine what environmental, genetic and social conditions influence the most the quality of life after age 60.

To make the analysis, 100 Americans residing in Kansas and 78 Ticos from the Gran Área Metropolitana are attending regular physical and cognitive evaluations in their respective universities.

The tests applied are standardized, so the the sharing of information between the researchers are easier. Even though the study is an ongoing one, interesting results start to show up.

"We have noticed that respiration and oxygenation capacity of both populations are very similar at an elder age," said José Moncada, lead researcher of the project. "That leaves us with big questions to work on, because in the past Americans have shown better results in their physical fitness."

"Now, we don't know if Ticos are doing better or gringos are doing worse,"jokingly added Moncada.

In terms of mental health and cognitive capacity, Moncada explains that gringo subjects perform better when test in speech capacity and slightly better in the reaction time before stimuli.

"One of the tests we run includes having the volunteer say out loud the print color of a word that means another color," he explained.

Universidad de Costa Rica photo       
Here's one volunteer for the gringo side.

"There we measure reaction times and the capacity to focus."

On both sides of the joint work, there is a team of physical health specialists and psychologists who work together to determine how living conditions have shaped the capacity to age well.

"Some of our gringo volunteers have faced war, recession, terrorist attacks, four seasons weather and other stressors." explained Moncada. "Ticos have a very different upbringing and their stress is just different, so we want to know what conditions are positive of negative after a certain age."

Knowing those conditions will allow to create better living conditions for an aging population in both countries, a population that will likely work more years and be ready for it, according to Moncada.

The study will continue at least until 2020, since one of the goals is to keep track on how the same volunteers change over time.

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Replacing the copper
ICE photo       
Crewmen working on replacing the copper network.

Quepos to have full fiber optic network

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad will begin replacing the copper network to make Quepos the country’s second 100 percent fiber optic zone.

This will affect the communities located between Quepos and Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, the institute said in a statement. “We expect that by March of next year we will have completed the first stage of replacing the access network in this area, so we can provide ultra broadband service,” Diego González, the director for the Proyecto Sustitución de la Red de Acceso.

The fiber optic network consists of 11.2 kilometers of primary network and about the same for the secondary network going from the center of the canton to Manuel Antonio. The second stage is in the process of technical and commercial study, ICE said.

“In Quepos and Manuel Antonio, 1,087 customers will have the replacement and will be able to acquire new and better services offered by Kölbi,” Oswaldo Blandino, the head of ICE’s delivery and underwriting division, said.

The next area of the country about to experience this shift toward fiber optic will be Barva in Heredia province, ICE said in a statement. The first communities impacted by the project were Santa Teresa, Mal País and Carmen de Cóbano.

“With the implementation of this fiber optic network, we will be able to offer our customers greater bandwidth with speeds of up to 100 MBps, high definition television and other services that previously could not be provided,” Rigoberto Marín, the head of the Región Comercial Brunca, said.

Dota fair draws attention to local brand

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

High altitude coffee, peaches, strawberries, avocados, apples, handcrafts and culture are all expected for the Fería Agroturística at Santa María de Dota on July 21.

According to the Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal, the fair is part of the celebration for the founding of the canton more than 92 years ago. The event is being organized by the One Village, One Product movement led by the economic and cultural ministries along with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and the Instituto de Desarrollo Rural.

“We will have an important variety of products and services available to our visitors,” Mary Marín, the deputy mayor and leader of the local canton OVOP movement, “ It will be a very special occasion to promote the sale of coffee from small producers, wine, handicrafts, honey, jams, cheeses, breads soaps and other agribusiness products.”

Friday July 21 at 6:30 p.m. will also see the municipality’s saxophone ensemble perform and the next day at noon will be a folklore event by the Panorama Cultural group, organizers said. Sunday will include even more music from the Filarmónica Municipal among others.

“This fair is being created with the aim of getting Costa Ricans to know the local products and services of the Dota canton, but also as a way of supporting local producers who, with great effort and creativity, carry out these projects,” Ms. Marín said.

Dota is a canton of San José  province very close to the Pacific coastal towns of Parrita and Quepos. It  is probably more well-known for holding within its boundaries part of the Parque Nacional los Quetzales and forms part of the Ruta de los Santos. Additionally the canton is known for its good coffee.

Caja wards standardize childbirth care

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social will standardize the care that pregnant women and their families receive during childbirth and postpartum.

This announcement came Thursday following a workshop on skilled care in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care that had the participation of officials from the 25 maternity hospitals in the country. “With this model, we are transcending the biological attention, with which as doctors we have formed, an integral care in which the woman and her family will receive full human care,” María Eugenia Villalta Bonilla, medical manager for the Caja, said.

The new model was derived from the work carried out by a multidisciplinary group that visited each Caja maternity hospital. They looked at the results and experiences from using music and aromatherapy to reduce stress or the possibility of having the permanent accompaniment of someone that the mother chooses in addition to the use of water birthing, the Caja said.

“The time has come to take the vital step and standardize the experiences that we have already been able to build in some maternities, so that good care with quality, timeliness and warmth is not the exception, but the institutional norm,” Dr. Villalta said.

Lidieth Carballo Quesada, the coordinator for the Committee of Integrated Care and Qualified Childbirth at the Caja, said that part of the work already carried out in the last two years is make improvements in the equipment and physical aspect of the maternity hospitals. Qualified care delivery, Ms. Carballo noted, was having an enabling environment and to have qualified personnel.

To improve the maternity hospitals, the Caja has invested about 850 million colones in the past year for mainly beds, fetal monitors, vacuum cleaners, nurseries and pulse oximeters among others. The Caja also said that at least 900 personnel developed a process of empathy toward the respectful treatment of pregnant women.

Some hospitals already applying the changes toward fitting this strategy include: Hospital Monseñor Víctor Manuel Sanabría, México, San Carlos, San Vicente de Paul and the Hospital de las Mujeres, the Caja said.

Five suspects sentenced for cop beat-up

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff 

The five suspects who were detained for assaulting and taking a firearm away from the two Fuerza Pública officers in San Carlos were convicted Thursday by the criminal court in San Carlos.

The five were previously detained after getting a little too rowdy following a soccer game in Santa Clara, according to reports from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública at the time. The incident was captured on cell phone video at the time and later broadcasted on Teletica. It occurred back in late June.

One suspect was condemned to almost six years in prison while another one sentenced to two and a half years, the ministry said. The other three were sentenced to one year each but, due to the legal norms in Costa Rica, they will not go to jail, police said.

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Zarcero gardener reinstalled after intervention of Alajuela bishop
By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In just one week, life changed twice for Evangelista Blanco, the 79-year old landscaper in charge of the Zarcero park in Alajuela.

Just this Monday, A.M. Costa Rica reported how a wave of outrage took over the local social media outlets when this man was fired from the job he had been doing for over 50 years.

Blanco was dismissed by the Zarcero priest, under the argument he might be too old for the job and that climbing a ladder could be potentially fatal should he fall down. The priest also said the man was very sick. However, Evangelista denied those claims and expressed deep grief for losing the job he calls his wife and children, since he never got married nor had any kids.

After the much publicized case hit all conversations and broadcasts, the bishop of Alajuela, Ángel San Casimiro, and the priest met with Evangelista at his home last Wednesday, just 72 hours after he was let go.

Not only did the man get his job back, he was also assigned a more supervisory post with the help of two new trainees. The priest who ignited the situation asked to be transferred to another parish.

Pictures of the meeting were sent to the media. In those the priest, the bishop and Evangelista appear as good friends, with some Costa Rican food at the top of the table.

"Sometimes it is not what you do, but how you do it," said San Casimiro on a video statement sent to the press. "I'm quite certain the priest acted in good faith but it was not the way to let Evangelista go."

Apparently, the Catholic Church’s authorities pondered their decision and rectified. Or did they not? Likely, the image crisis that fell on the institutions was just unbearable at a time Costa Ricans seems less interested in the Catholic faith. To repent was a coherent decision both in faith and public relations.

"Traditionally, the Church does not handle image crises in the best way" said Christian Laidley, a communications and public relations consultant. "They tend to be reactive rather than proactive and this case is a good example. As in any crisis, this situation produced a transformation, but the damage is done. The image has been shattered once again.

Friendly meeting
Prensa Conferencia Episcopal de Costa Rica photo   
It's all friendly between Bishop San Casimiro and Evangelista Blanco.

If the church image was struck to an unknown degree, the legal consequences of sticking with the dismissal of Blanco could have impacted the church's money. In Costa Rica, people cannot be forced to retire, so a dismissal based on age and the perception of a bad shape of a workers could end up in a very expensive lawsuit.

"People have the right to work as long as they want, even if they have reached a retirement age, "said Denia Fernández, director of the Centro de Investigación Jurídica of Colegio de Abogados. "Employer's cannot unjustifiably force some one out" she added.

Ms. Fernández explained that in Evangelista's case, a more appropriate protocol could have been to present a medical report of a real doctor who would assess the real health conditions of the worker.

Aside from that, labor authorities should have provided a technical report clearly showing a link between the job duties and a potential risk to the worker, according to Ms. Fernández.

"Another possibility was to just transfer the worker to another post, should the danger and health problems have been proved," the lawyer added.

So, at almost 80 years old, Evangelista not only improved his circumstances, but unwillingly also sent a clear message: assuming a worker is unhealthy and unfit to work based on his age is discriminatory, can cost very expensive and does not look good at all.

Central America's first scientific computer was here in Costa Rica
By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For Ticos, the first Iron Lady was not named Margaret but Matilde, and she also attained fame and respect back in the 60s among the students of the Universidad de Costa Rica.

Matilde happened to be the first scientific computer not only in Costa Rica but in Central America, and also the first computing machine ever owned by the Universidad.

Even though she is already retired to a quiet corner in the Biblioteca Carlos Monge, in the university campus, back in her day she captured the attention and curiosity of the press, citizens and information technology students, as well as scientists and the government.

Matilde's real name is IBM-1620, a second generation computer bought in 1968 by the initiative of the then-rector Carlos Monge. The equipment was bought by means of a loan of $76,000, a price that already included the 60 percent discount applied by IBM.

Today, only its central unit remains, because all its parts reached a combined weight of three tons and the size of a whole classroom. Matilde only spoke the FORTRAN programming language.

In the second semester of 1969, the first batch of engineers who started learning that language, came up with the idea of baptizing the machine. Everyone proposed a name and Matilde was by far the most popular.

She was part of what was called the second generation of computers.  She was so smart that she was able to perform mathematical operations at a speed never seen before, for example three thousand sums in a second, all without human intervention nor mistakes. All she required was the proper use of punched cards to read instructions.

Matilde's first home was located in the Center of Electronic Calculation of the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering where she offered her capacities to researchers, the university's  department of Registry and Financial Administration and also some government institutions.

When Matilde was no longer able to work, her younger sister Clotilde arrived in 1974. It was a new IBM 360.40 computer of the type 360-370, which dominated 70 percent of the world's computer market in the second half of the 1960s.

Universidad de Costa Rica archive photo     
Matilde investigators on the machine then.

Matilde now
Universidad de Costa Rica photo      
The beloved Matilde computer now.

Clotilde was more advanced and faster than Matilde and had a cost $1 million, however, IBM let the Universidad use it for free.

Upon the arrival of Clotilde, Matilde continued to be used in secondary tasks and was finally retired in 1980. Students at the time organized a goodbye parade across the campus with Matilde riding in the back of a car. People paid her their last respects.

A less charming ending faced Clotilde, which was returned to the manufacturer and replaced by a newer, more modern computer equipment when her time was over.

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Hydrologist claims problems exist with country's water monitoring
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is not a single map of the whole country that shows the subterranean water supplies of Costa Rica nor how much is left, according to one hydrologist from the Universidad Nacional.

Ricardo Sánchez is conducting a policy on water sustainability and security for the Central Valley of Costa Rica. “We do not have a clear identification of the critical zones of water recharge,” he said in a statement to the university.

“Costa Rica does not have high resolution water balances in time and space. In other words, we do not know month by month how our water bill is handled, how much water comes in and out and how much is left.

The hydrologist said that the country has 14 adequately measured basins while 20 are still without any respective hydro-climatic water monitoring. This has led to 719 conflicts over water between 2005 and 2015 representing a dispute every five days. This could mean that some of the water being drunk is over 100 years old, Sánchez said.

“Water has a chemical memory, something like a chip,” he said.

“Its molecules are their story so that any change in the climate and in the hydrological cycle will remain recorded in that memory. The methodology that we are implementing allows us to explore that chemical signal and to understand precisely how surface and groundwater behaves, where it comes from, its age and other key characteristics to know how to protect it.”

The hydrologist has been in the field and the lab throughout Costa Rica analyzing this issue for the Sostenibilidad y Seguridad hídrica project. So far that analysis has taken four years. Universidad Nacional believes that the new data presented could become a decisive input in shaping public policy on the issue of water scarcity.

The Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia is one of the governing bodies beginning to take note of the hydrologist’s work. According to the water resource advisor at the Empresa, Franz Ulloa, the company is investing more in its research to strengthen water services to people in Heredia.

Ricardo Sánchez
Universidad Nacional photo
No matter rain nor shine, Sánchez is still tracking water.

“We must understand, for example, that the surface and ground basins, in the great majority of cases, do not agree with the political-administrative boundaries of the cantons so their attention must be a multi-municipal task,” Sánchez said.

“Consider the case of the Colima and Barba aquifers, which supply water to much of the Central Valley. Both run through the cantons of Belén, Heredia Centro, San Rafael, San Isidro, Santa Bárbara, Alajuela, Moravia and Vásquez de Coronado. These municipalities should work together, as they share a common water resource.”

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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, and Lifestyle Guide. Email :

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Let’s discuss your tax situation.

The IRS has become more aggressive and if you have not filed, you must do so.  However, there are solutions to problems and your situation may be better than you think.

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Side of Pura Vida

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page

Salsa Lizano
Published || Weekend Edition, July 7, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 134
Real Estate
About us
Violence in assembly's hall
repudiated by Venezuelans

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Americo de Grazia, an opposition lawmaker injured when armed supporters of the president stormed the National Assembly building Wednesday, vowed that Venezuelans would continue to fight for the recovery of democracy and freedom in their country.

“This fight doesn't end today,” de Grazia said shortly before he was discharged Thursday from a hospital here in the capital. He was treated for three fractured ribs and a head wound, as well as bruising from multiple blows elsewhere.

De Gracia was among at least 12 people injured in the fracas after dozens of supporters of socialist President Nicolas Maduro carrying sticks, metal pipes and homemade explosives burst into the building Wednesday during a special session marking Venezuela's Independence Day. Five of the wounded were opposition lawmakers.

The armed gangs, or colectivos, left the building but surrounded it for hours, taking hostage at least 112 lawmakers, staff and journalists, including this reporter.

The violent encounter followed three months of almost daily street protests, which have led to almost 100 deaths, mostly of civilians. Maduro's foes, angry about Venezuela's collapsed economy and increasingly authoritarian rule demand that he schedule democratic elections, release political prisoners and allow access to humanitarian aid.

Maduro's most ardent supporters, including the colectivos, have called for dissolving the opposition-led assembly.

Maduro has scheduled an election July 30 to choose members of a constituent assembly to rewrite Venezuela's constitution the only way, he says, to fix the country's problems. Opposition leaders, who contend Maduro ordered the revision to tighten his grip on power, have called for an unofficial referendum July 16 so Venezuelans can indicate whether they want a new charter.

At a rally Thursday to defend the constituent assembly, Diosdado Cabello, a prominent pro-Maduro member of the National Assembly, endorsed the colectivos' actions.

“Yesterday, the people defended themselves … from the constant aggressions of the Venezuelan right,” Cabello said, criticizing right-leaning opposition lawmakers and their backers. At the event, broadcast on state-run television, he added that the people will continue to defend Maduro in the streets.

Also Thursday, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States urged its permanent council's current president to convene an emergency meeting as early as Friday to address Venezuela's political crisis. He wrote to Brazil's ambassador to the OAS, Jose Luiz Machado Costa, to formally request the meeting.

Foreign ministers of the OAS's 34 member states have met several times about the crisis most recently in Mexico mid-June but have not reached consensus about whether or how to intercede.

Alfredo Romero, executive director of the rights group Venezuelan Penal Forum, said that the colectivos' attack constituted a gross violation against the National Assembly and the country's sovereignty.

Dozens injured as clash
continues in Hamburg

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Dozens of people were hurt as German police and anti-capitalist demonstrators clashed Thursday in Hamburg during a march protesting the upcoming Group of 20 summit.

Thousands of people are taking part in protests against the G-20 economic summit, which will be held Friday and Saturday.

As U.S. President Donald Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday afternoon, thousands of protesters gathered in the historic Hamburg Fish Market and confronted police, some tossing bottles. Police responded with water cannons, pepper spray and batons.

Nearly 75 police officers were injured throughout the evening, with three requiring treatment at a hospital, police said. The pilots of a police helicopter sustained eye injuries when laser pointers were directed at them, police said.

Medics were also seen assisting injured protesters on the sidelines of the march.

Video footage showed masked protesters blocking streets with construction material and setting small fires. Local media reported some property damage, including burning cars and smashed shop windows.

Hamburg police also tweeted that the protesters were throwing bottles and objects at them.

In all, more than 100,000 protesters are expected in Hamburg for the summit, with some 8,000 considered part of Europe's violent left-wing scene, according to police.

The northern port city has boosted its police with reinforcements from around the country and has 20,000 officers on hand to patrol Hamburg's streets, skies and waterways.

After the rousing welcome Trump got in Poland, he arrived in less friendly territory in Hamburg to face tough issues of trade and climate, as well as his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Protesters had been camping out since the start of the week, waiting for the U.S. leader.

Hamburg has historically been a hotbed of left-wing, anti-capitalist protests — a symbol of openness that Merkel wants to showcase as she makes her case against protectionism.

France vows to end
sales of gas cars by 2040

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

France will stop selling gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.

The move, announced by the country’s ecology minister Nicolas Hulot, is part of a plan to meet emissions targets set forth in the Paris climate accord.

Saying the goal would be tough to accomplish, he added that French carmakers such as Peugeot-Citroen and Renault would be able to handle the changes. France is the biggest manufacturer of electric cars sold in Europe.

France is the latest country to focus on electric cars. India has said it wants all cars sold there to be electric by 2030. Norway has said it will stop selling gasoline and diesel cars by 2025, and Germany is aiming to have 1 million electric cars on its roads by 2020.

In 2016, the largest market in the world for electric cars was China, where more than 500,000 were sold.

On Wednesday, Volvo announced it would stop producing cars with conventional engines by 2019.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, only 3.6 percent of cars sold in Western Europe in 2016 were hybrid or electric.

Hulot said getting conventional cars off the road was important to public health as several French cities, including Paris and Lyon have recurring issues with air pollution. Hulot said the move was part of the country’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2050.

To that end, he announced last month that France would no longer give licenses for oil and gas exploration in France and its overseas territories.

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris pact saying it would be unfair to American businesses and too expensive for taxpayers.

Republicans pushing bills
hold few town hall meetings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As Senate Republicans struggle to finalize a health care reform bill, most are not holding the types of freewheeling town hall encounters with constituents that could draw protests over their plan to dismantle major portions of former President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

During the current weeklong congressional recess, the Senate's 52 Republicans have held or scheduled seven town hall meetings, compared with 30 by Democrats, according to, which tracks and publicizes events where Americans can speak directly with their elected representatives.

Republicans may be cutting back on open-forum events, but demonstrators are undeterred.

"Health care is a human right!" protesters shouted Tuesday in McAllen, Texas, during an Independence Day speech by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cruz later spoke about military veterans' health care needs at multiple events hosted by Concerned Veterans for America. Entry was limited to ticket-holders, keeping protesters at bay, and the forums' primary focus was not the Republican push to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania fielded questions on health care Wednesday from a panel of local residents chosen by a Harrisburg television station. In what proved to be a highly structured event, some participants read their questions from cards, and none were allowed follow-up time to challenge Toomey's answers, which included a denial that the Republican plan would cut funding for a federal health care program benefiting the poor and disabled.

"The federal government will spend more money on Medicaid each and every year, indefinitely, under the Senate plan. But it will grow at a slightly slower pace, and that makes it sustainable," Toomey said.

Republicans relied heavily on open forums in 2009 to mobilize public sentiment against the Affordable Care Act, which came to be known as Obamacare. John Barrasso, a physician and U.S. senator from Wyoming, led a group of Republican lawmakers who blasted the Democratic bill at a series of town hall meetings across the nation.

For years a leading proponent of repealing Obamacare, Barrasso helped craft the current Republican health care proposal. No speaking events were listed this week on the senator's website or his Twitter feed. Efforts to reach his spokespeople were unsuccessful.

In 2009, it was Democrats who found themselves the target of fierce protests.

Now, with polls showing fewer than 1 in 5 Americans supporting the Republican health care plan, Democrats are on the offensive. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill scheduled 10 town hall meetings this week across her state. Democrat Jeff Merkley is holding six in Oregon.

"How about universal, totally affordable, quality health care just by the fact that you are an American citizen?" Merkley said to hearty cheers in Eugene, Oregon, on Wednesday.

Republicans may not be holding many town halls, but they are far from silent. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is running advertisements against Democrats up for re-election next year, attempting to tie them to the policies of one of the chamber's most liberal members, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Republicans are also speaking out on social media.

But some efforts have backfired. Indiana's Republican Party asked people on Facebook to post their "Obamacare horror stories." Scores responded with praise for the law.

Vice President Pence vows to put the U.S. on Mars

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence pledged to usher in a new era of American leadership in space during a tour of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Thursday.

“Our nation will return to the Moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars,” Pence told the cheering crowd of about 800 NASA employees, space experts and private contractors, but gave no specifics.

The pledge comes almost a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order reinstating the National Space Council, which had been dormant for nearly 25 years. He named Pence to serve as its chairman.

Once it is operational, the council will review current space policies and long-term goals for national space activity, Pence said.

“Under President Donald Trump's leadership, we will re-orient America's space program towards human space exploration,” Pence said. “We will return our nation to the moon, we will go to Mars and we will still go further, to places our children's children can only imagine.”

Trump's proposed budget, released in March, called for $19.1 billion for NASA, a 0.8 percent decrease from 2017. It also called for NASA to abandon plans to lasso an asteroid and cut several missions to study climate change and Earth science.

Lawmakers are still hammering out their adjustments to the proposed budget, which should be decided on later this year.

Islamic State Cubs
Video grab photo         
Child executioners for the Islamic State.

Cubs of caliphate groomed
for a jihadist legacy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

They are known as the cubs of the caliphate, youngsters enlisted by the Islamic State, which views them as the generation that will conquer Baghdad, Jerusalem, Mecca and Rome.

The West and the Middle East communities from which they have been recruited see them as a grim threat, the deadly legacy of a murderous caliphate on the brink of military defeat.

As the terror group’s territory shrinks in the face of offensives on IS strongholds in Syria and Iraq, the militants have highlighted in a series of chilling videos in recent months what they hope will be in store for their enemies. The militants are counting on the revenge of the lion cubs, the child soldiers they have been enlisting in northern and eastern Syria and western Iraq, and grooming determinedly since Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself the emir of all Muslims in June 2014.

Steeped in a culture of martyrdom, the threat posed by the cubs is worrying de-radicalization experts, who fear Western governments are not giving enough thought about what to do with them.

Western governments are the most likely to come up with the resources, analysts say, needed to rehabilitate IS’s cubs. There is little in the works, though, being planned to shape or establish rehabilitation programs, according to rights groups and charities working to reintegrate child soldiers in other conflict zones.

They say that when they raise the issue of the cubs, they are battling a prevalent attitude among Western officials that these child soldiers are different from those in other conflicts and maybe beyond rehabilitation.

Experts point to the successes achieved by clinical psychologist Feriha Peracha, who has been overseeing a project partly funded by the Pakistani Army to de-radicalize and rehabilitate young Pakistani militants recruited by the Taliban.

When Ms. Peracha first got involved in rehabilitation efforts in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2009, she was terrified, fearing initially the radicalized youngsters could kill her at any moment. But she quickly began to sympathize with the boys, aged between eight and 16, who she saw were brainwashed, had been taught by rote the Koran in Arabic, and trained to be killers.

Her deprogramming efforts have drawn wide praise since then.

"We have reintegrated 192 without any recidivism,” said Ms. Peracha. She said the two most important aspects that have ensured success are maintaining “monitoring up to five years after reintegration, and ensuring alternative life opportunities and goals for the boys.”

Ms. Peracha says it can take six months to four years to reintegrate a young militant depending on the factors that pushed them into militancy. Teenagers take longer than pre-teens. Each student costs approximately $200 to $350 per month.

In Syria and Iraq, the challenge is even greater. The Islamic State has enlisted thousands of youngsters, some as young as four years old, in northern Syria and Iraq, indoctrinating them ideologically, and training them as suicide bombers, spies and as executioners.

And there has been no let-up in the effort. In March, the militants’ weekly online magazine, Al-Naba’ highlighted IS’s determination to continue to groom youngsters even in the face of battlefield losses.

If anything, there seems to be a greater urgency in the militants’ recruitment efforts. The high casualties IS has sustained partly explains the continued enlistment of kids.

Many cubs will survive the offensives currently underway against the terror group. 2,000 suspected cubs currently are in detention in Iraq. Rachel Taylor of Child Soldiers International, a nonprofit based in London, says throwing cubs into detention centers isn’t an answer.

Ms. Taylor says that doesn't mean refraining from punishing those who are guilty of war crimes, but not all of them should be treated as terrorists.

“They need education, jobs and a role; you have to offer them stable, productive alternatives to violence, otherwise you will add another cycle of violence,” she warned.

Ms. Taylor disputes the idea that somehow the cubs of the caliphate are different from child soldiers in the Congo or Colombia. When it comes to recruitment, the drivers are the same, she argues.

That certainly seems the case in Syria and Iraq. According to several studies, and from anecdotal information gathered from refugees since 2014, youngsters who joined IS were often coerced to do so in different ways, ranging from being cajoled by parents, to kidnappings from orphanages. Some parents were eager for at least one of their children to enlist because of the monthly payments IS paid the families of cubs; but others did so because they agreed with the terror group’s ideology.

The role of families in the recruitment complicates rehabilitation. The standard practice for reintegrating child soldiers is to reunite them with their families as quickly as possible; there are dangers, though, if the parents were complicit in the recruitment. One answer would be to require whole families to go through a rehabilitation program.

Doing that while conflict rages will be impossible, de-radicalization experts say. Trying to do it even post-conflict will be a challenge, especially in wrecked communities, where families will be mourning the deaths of relatives amid an atmosphere of anger and grievance.

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Beautiful Home and Land for Sale

Atenas home
Atenas Best climate, best views. Top of the mountain, Nestled on a two acre coffee farm with tropical gardens and fruit trees. 1200 meters. 

This home has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with outdoor bathtub in master bedroom, Solar hot water, well, pool, indoor courtyard with fountains, living room has a fireplace. All rooms have outside sitting areas.

Private and secluded, cannot be seen from the road.
SANCTUARY OF PEACE!!! Price $750k call for viewing. phone 506-8831-8086  Email

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Penthouse For Sale

 Enjoy the most spectacular views in the valley in this 5 -story Penthouse.  One of a kind property on top of the Corobici / Crowne Plaza 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 plus other businesses.  Large Living Room, Elevator goes directly inside Penthouse.  Private hot tub deck and Dance floor with Spectacular views!!!  All exterior walls are glass or have windows. Commercial license is in place.  Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $695K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,500 per month on an annual basis.  This is a private condo residence and is Not associated with the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  

Go to  
U.S. contact: Carl Stratton, cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email
Costa Rica contact:  Dan Wise, phone numbers:  2232-4063 / 2232-8610  Email:

Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
in eco properties, eco consulting and green living.

Eco graphic
   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of Realtors, to find your dream
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Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
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Telephone: +506 2637-6285
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In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR

Rich Coast Realty
Rich Coast Realty
Real Estate and Construction in the Central Pacific
Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k. Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000! Beachfront Lots from $35,000!Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Construction, Residency, etc.
12 years’ experience in Costa Rica Real Estate.

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

San Ramon home
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:  (please link that email)
Check out slide show HERE!

Santiago de Puriscal
A little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal,
Costa Rica.

16 acres (approximately).  Price: $425,000 USD

We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 km.) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos. We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. Have surveyed plans for possible subdividing.

For more information:  In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 970-581-4826 or email In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 506-7187-8577.
CODE: 9216-8/11/17

Puriscal home
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
Video Tour:
Community Web Site:
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email

COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here:

Etlinger Farm
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is and photo album can be found at

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. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email 

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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:

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
in CR since 1979

Buying? Selling? Renting?
We Can Do It!
Let us help you live your dreams!
Beachfront, Views, Mountains,
Beaches, Houses, Condos,
Hotels, Restaurants, Projects,
Commercial, Investments and more

 Century 21 Jacó Beach
Playa Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
U. S. A. phone numbers:  (213) 283-5168 
or Toll Free: (877) 746-3868
Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356

Tamarindo 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 Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

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


Real estate-related services (paid category)

A-1 graphic
SMALL and LARGER jobs welcome !!!. We can build from any plan you bring us all work done by USA codes master electric and plumbing Better quality and lower prices than USA. We do it all Right  + Reasonable.
Call us: Toll Free 877-778-8515   
     Text from US: 804-313-6382 
     CR phone: 506-8307-0164
     For more info also see our sites: 

Costa Rica

Serving Atenas and Surroundings Areas

BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill. More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.  Fully Guaranteed!

Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398



Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let help you find a buyer or renter.

Real estate services
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A.M. Nicaragua
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Published || Weekend Edition, July 7, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 134
Real estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC newsfeeds are disabled on archived pages.
Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Police wake up sleeping thief suspect

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police officers gave a rude wake-up call to a man who fell asleep in an armchair Thursday morning. They may have been in the right, however, as the man was not in his apartment.

Fuerza Pública in Alajuela detained the man on suspicion of attempting to steal from the apartment when he was found sound asleep at the scene.

The call came in by the owner of the property located in Río Segundo, according to a report by the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. Police found the suspect and also two suitcases apparently filled with the stuff he was allegedly stealing.

The suspect has a prior criminal record for property-related crimes, police said. The tenant for the apartment had apparently went to Guanacaste a few days ago. The suspect was sent to the prosecutor’s office in Alajuela. He was not carrying a gun.

Radial Ciudad
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo      
Night work continues on Ciudad Quesada.

Work continues on Punta Norte project

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes announced that the new road La Abundancia-Florencia-Ciudad Quesada has reached a 41 percent completion. This infrastructure project is also known as Punta Norte.

The project has a total length of 6.8km, and will have four lanes. It was conceived in the National Transport Plan of 2011.

According to the Ministerio, the road between La Abundancia and Florencia will be ready before May 2018. On the other hand, the road to Ciudad Quesada has completed 34 percent of its construction.

In addition, it will have two bridges, one on the Río Peje and another on the Quebrada San Pedro.

The project is financed by Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo and the Ministerio. The cost is $36 million. It also includes planting 300 trees and partnerships with local schools in order to promote the donation of trash cans and the implementation of recycling initiatives.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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Real Estate
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From page 7:

Expo Franquicia gives business startup advice

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those with the craving of starting their own business without the hassles of incertitude may pay a visit to Expo Franquicia 2017, which will be held at the Hotel Real Intercontinental on July 27 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

During the event, visitors will be able to get in touch with valuable business contacts and analyze the franchising options of at least 120 companies willing to partner their business model, according to the event's website.

Expofranquicia will also include several talks with experts in the field. On July 27 visitors can learn about how to manage a micro-franchise, the Legal Elements of a Franchise and the Legal Elements to grow a Franchise in Costa Rica.

On July 28, there will be talks on how to sell this business model, Branding techniques and Best Practices on how to develope an operations manual.

The cost to attend the event is $200 for one day or $250 for two days. Attending each separate talk will cost $35. A special price will be applied to those who register in advance.