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Published Friday, July 8, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 134
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Sentencing sheds new light on Pacific coast murder
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Based on the amount of blood found in her Playa Langosta home,  Barbara Struncova most likely was a murder victim even though her body never was found, judicial investigators have concluded.

The conclusion by judicial investigators is included in a federal filing in a related North Carolina case. There William Albert Ulmer, the Czech woman’s live-in boyfriend, received a three-year sentence from a U.S. federal judge Wednesday. The charges were passport fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The man was sentenced on a charge of  aggravated identity theft for using his brother’s U.S. passport to travel to Costa Rica  March 11, 2009, and to return to Charlotte, North Carolina, as investigators here began a search for Ms. Struncova.

The North Carolina case in not directly related to the case of the missing woman, but federal prosecutors were able to provide details of the Costa Rican investigation in a motion to increase the penalties imposed on Ulmer. The man also faces three years of supervised release after the termination of his prison sentence.

Costa Rican authorities told federal prosecutor that they do not have enough evidence to extradite Ulmer unless a body turns up. Investigators said they learned Ulmer borrowed  a nine-foot surfboard bag and an acquaintance's car after the woman is believed to have been murdered.

“The facts of this case clearly demonstrate that, using his brother’s identity and stolen passport, Ulmer quickly fled Costa Rica to avoid questioning by Costa Rican law enforcement authorities regarding the disappearance and suspected murder of his then live-in girlfriend Barbara Struncova,” federal officials wrote in the brief to U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr., according to the court filing.

The court motion outlines in detail the Costa Rica case, as told to federal prosecutors.  Friends dropped off Ms. Struncova at her home at 1 a.m. Dec. 5, 2010. Ulmer returned to the United States Dec. 23, 2010.

Later in the morning of Dec. 5 Ulmer told Ms. Struncova’s Tamarindo employer, Boos Adventures, a tour company, that she would not be returning to work, said the court filing.

Ulmer later told friends that he was throwing some of Ms. Struncova’s possessions in the Río Junquillal, the filing added.

Luminol tests on the couple’s living quarters and the car Ulmer used turned up traces of blood, said the filing.

The filing also quoted a judicial investigation report that said agents hypothesize:

“’. . . that Miss Barbara Struncova would have been assassinated, carried out by force’ based on witness interviews about her ‘sudden disappearance,’ ‘lack of communication . . . with close friends and her relatives,’ ‘luminol tests carried out in the room and the car, wherein before and after the

Barbara Struncova

William Albert Ulmer, the prime suspect

application of the luminol it was observed that the amount of stains of apparent blood
was a considerable quantity, so much so that a loss of that much blood would be important to one’s physical condition, and would probably mean that person was deceased’ and that ‘the personnel of the biochemistry department said the blood corresponded to human blood.’”

Ulmer, originally of North Dakota, left the United States in 2009 before he was to attend a court hearing on a state bad check charge. He spent about 21 months in Costa Rica. He pleaded guilty to the passport charge in September and has been in custody since, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina. Federal law does not provide for parole.

U.S. Diplomatic Service agents detained Ulmer last year in Denver. He most recently lived in Colorado and was about to leave on a honeymoon with a new wife, investigators said at the time.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 134
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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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Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica photo
The initial eruptions were dark.

Volcano stages a day-long eruption

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano began erupting Thursday just before 7 a.m., and it continued through much of the day.

Aviation officials close the Tobias Bolañoa airport in Pavas three times to clean ash from the runway.

The volcano still was erupting periodically as night fell, according to the remote cameras on the lip of the crater.

The initial eruptions sent a column 1,000 meters into the air, more than 3,000 feet. The vapor was dark indicating that it contained a lot of ash. Some eruptions are mainly water vapor.

Clouds kept volcano experts from watching the entire series of eruptions Thursday. By 3:51  p.m., the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico said that the emissions were mainly water vapor. Still, the Pavas airport closed down for a third time from 5  to 6 p.m. to brush away the ash.

The wind direction changed several times during the day, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional, and there were reports of ash falls in San José, Coronado, La Uruca, Tibás, Rancho Redondo, Guadalupe, Moravia, Ipís, Sabanilla, La Guácima de Alajuela, San Rafael de Alajuela, Heredia, Turrubares, Orotina and Esparza, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico.

The Red Sismológica Nacional said that small tremors continued under the mountain  and noted that the volcano had been relatively quiet for nine days.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
A man with the last name of Chavarría is in custody facing the allegation that he killed his companion in Tamarindo.

Murders counter lawmaker’s criticism

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Wednesday probably was not a good time for legislator Óscar López to call the women’s institute the national institute of lesbians. The lawmaker did that on the floor of the Asamblea Legislativa during the afternoon session.

A few hours later two women died at the hands of their companions in Guanacaste.  Naturally the political roof fell in on López of the Partido Sin Exclusión. The lawmaker was calling for the firing of the director of the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres because of what he said was a bias toward women.

He cited some examples of the institute failing to come to the defense of men who have been victimized by women. López clearly lost any sympathy when the two murders took place, and he was facing criticism from politicians of all stripes.

The institute is known for pressing for protection of women when they are victimized.

One victim Wednesday night was Keylin Zapata Munguía. She died about 8 p.m. in  Villa Real de Tamarindo when she was stabbed in the chest by a man it appeared she knew. The killing took place in front of a supermarket. Two judicial agents who work with victims were on the way to consult with the woman’s family Thursday when they happened to see the prime suspect walking along a street in Tamarindo.

The agents made the arrest, and the Poder Judicial identified the man by the last name of 
Chavarría.  He was identified as the woman’s boyfriend.

The second victim was a 39-year-old woman with the last name of  Avendaño. She was shot about 10 p.m. in  Carrillo de Belén in Guanacaste. A 48-year-old man, identified as her companion surrendered to police a few hours later. Hehas the last names of 
Rodríguez Rodríguez.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 134
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Health officials seeking outside evaluation on aggressive virus
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Health officials are troubled because the current wave of respiratory virus is far more aggressive than they had anticipated.

Already there are 111 patients in the Hospital Nacional de Niños, and 27 of them are in serious condition. Many are on respirators.

Meanwhile, the public heath clinics are flooded, mostly with young patients, and some clinics are working 24 hours a day to accommodate the population.

The Ministerio de Salud already declared a health alert over the virus Monday. Now officials say they are sending samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta for an evaluation.

The virus is called virus sincicial respiratorio in Spanish and respiratory syncytial virus in English. The virus is common and the medical literature says that every child eventually

experiences a bout with it. But not like the current manifestation.

Health officials attribute the death of six children to the virus. They also said that older adults also can end up in a dangerous condition.

The virus fills the lungs with fluid and makes breathing difficult. A common progression is bronchiolitis.

A 2005 article archived by the New England Journal of Medicine estimates that 10,000 persons 65 and older die from the virus each year in the United States. The impact of the virus was overlooked until the 1970s when it started to be diagnosed in long-term care facilities, the article said.

The health ministry says that the traditional methods are the best prevention: hand washing and covering the nose when sneezing. Officials also suggest that children with other maladies might be better off staying home from school or other activities with large attendance. The virus is carried in the air.

Lawmakers at odds over a proposal for small business tax exemption
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers are engaged in a dispute as to whether small business should be exempt from the annual corporate tax.

That proposal was placed on the table at a legislative committee by the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana. The tax itself was ruled unconstitutional in January 2015 by the Sala IV constitutional court, but magistrates inexplicably ruled that despite the deficiency in the law, corporations had to pay the money anyway.

The  Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, and Rosibel Ramos of that party outraged some other lawmakers when she declared a recess of the Comisión de Hacendarios before action could be taken on a tax fraud bill Wednesday. She is the chairwoman.

The corporate tax bill has been rewritten and is back in the same committee.

The members of  Frente Amplio launched their criticism over the taxes on  sociedades anónimas when a motion was made to put the tax break in the current bill.

About 55 percent of the corporations have not paid the 2015 tax because their managements have been waiting to see what the legislature would do. Frente Amplio called the motion rewarding tax evasion.

Under the former and proposed law corporations that register as small businesses either do not pay tax or they pay a reduced sum.

Frente Amplio said that tax exemption would cost the  Ministerio de Seguridad Pública and the Judicial Investigating Organization 180 trillion colons or an astonishing $330 million.

The law enforcement agencies are the principal beneficiaries of the tax.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 134
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Government formally launches U.N. candidacy of Christiana Figueres
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country formally nominated Christiana Figueres to join the crowded field seeking to head the United Nations. The nomination took place Thursday at a campaign-like event in the Teatro Nacional.

This year the selection of a new secretary general is supposed to be more open and transparent with official nominations by member states and appearances by the candidates before the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly.

Ms. Figueres, well known as a workaholic and dynamo, is leaving her position as  executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change. She is credited with negotiating a climate change agreement by U.N. member countries last December in Paris.

Also Thursday, the legislature received a draft of the country’s commitment under the climate change pact in the form of a proposed law.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, will make the nomination and submit it to the General Assembly. There is some effort to have the Security Council submit two names instead of one.

There already are eight announced candidates, all with extensive political and international diplomatic experience. More nominations are likely. Security Council countries usually do not put forth their own candidates.

The 59-year-old Ms. Figueres already has ruffled the feathers of some in capitalistic countries by saying "This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.”

Although not specifically part of the climate change agreement, a global fund is envisioned to transfer $100 billion  year to developing countries to reduce their environmental impact. The United States already donated $500 million.

President Luis Guillermo Solís attended the Teatro Nacional ceremony and symbolically signed the letter to the United Nations nominating Ms. Figueres. Also speaking was Franklin Chang Diaz, the former Costa Rican-U.S. astronaut.

              and Ms.Figueres
Casa Presidencial photo
President Solís opens the nominating letter in the presence of Ms. Figueres.

The United Nations and the world need a secretary general with the ability to build bridges, who is capable of discussion and listening and prepared to help reduce differences, construct agreements and anticipate problems, said Solís. He stressed her success with the climate change agreement. Even opponents of the final agreement credit Ms. Figueres with breathing new life into climate-change negotiations.

Ms. Figueres has adopted the slogan  Sembremos esperanza, cosechemos paz, meaning sowing hope and harvesting peace. She has a Web page and a Facebook page. The effort is more like a political campaign than what in the past had been quiet diplomatic efforts.

The campaign priorities are to strengthen the United Nations, to promote collaborative diplomacy, to reach peaceful solutions of disputes in the world and to sow the seeds that would permit harvesting a sustainable peace in the future. In several of these points, Ms. Figueres points out her success with the climate-change agreement.

The Security Council was expected to make a nomination by the end of the month, but the number of candidates might delay that process. The current secretary general, the Korean Ban Ki-moon, leaves office at the end of the year.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 134
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Axiom new ad

Dallas gunmen kill five cops
and spray peaceful protest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A demonstration in the southern U.S. city of Dallas, Texas, Thursday night erupted into chaos with 11 police officers shot.  Five of the officers have died from their wounds.

Dallas police say they have detained one suspect after a shootout with the police and they were in negotiations early today with another man who was firing at them from the second floor of a parking garage. Eventually police killed the gunman to end the siege.

Two other persons, including a woman, also have been detained. Two of those arrested were caught after a car chase on a nearby main highway.

The dead include at least three Dallas police officers and a transit department officer. They were caught in a crossfire with shots coming from several elevated locations.

Officials say the attackers had intended widespread damage and a suspicious package has been secured by the city's bomb squad.

Police say snipers opened fire on police during the demonstration that was being held to protest the police killings of two black men earlier this week in separate incidents

Police described the downtown Dallas site as an active shooter situation because of the continuing fire fight and have told demonstrators to leave the area, which is just blocks away from where U.S. President John Kennedy was shot and killed in 1963.  At least two Special Weapons and Tactics teams are on the scene.

Downtown workers were being encouraged to stay home from work today.

Obama tells police to end
racial bias within the ranks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged American law enforcement to eliminate racial bias from its ranks, saying "all of us as Americans should be troubled" by the videotaped police shootings of black men this week.

"We've seen tragedies like this too many times," Obama said upon arriving Friday morning in Warsaw for a two-day meeting of North American Treaty Organization leaders. He said he felt compelled to address the shootings in a televised statement in addition to a Facebook post published hours earlier given the extraordinary interest in the incidents.

Two African-American men were fatally shot by police officers in the United States over the past two days. The shootings again have raised questions about excessive police force, particularly against minorities.

The president said all Americans should be concerned about the problem of frequent police shootings of black people, which he called "symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist" in the U.S. justice system.

He said those disparities are backed up by statistics that show African-Americans and Hispanics are treated differently by police.

"When incidents like this occur, there's a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same," he said. "And that hurts."

Earlier this week, an African-American man was fatally shot by a police officer during a routine traffic stop in the Midwestern city of Falcon Heights, Minnesota, prompting Gov. Mark Dayton to call for an independent federal investigation.

Police say 32-year-old Philando Castile of nearby St. Paul was killed after a policeman pulled over the vehicle.

They said the incident began when an officer initiated a traffic stop, but they have not further explained what led to the shooting. They said the officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in cases like this.

Dayton said he does not believe Castile would have been treated that way if he had been white.

"All the facts aren't known, but from evidence that's been presented, the video that's been taken, nobody should be shot and killed in Minnesota for a traffic, a tail light being out of function. Nobody should be shot and killed while they are seated still in their car," Dayton, who is white, said Thursday.

A child and a woman were passengers in the car when Castile was killed. Shortly after the shots were fired, the woman began broadcasting video on her cellphone, streaming it live on her private Facebook account.

Castile was shown slumped in the car and bleeding profusely with at least one officer pointing a gun through the driver's side window.

The shooting came one day after police killed 37-year-old Alton Sterling in the southern city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Two white officers, responding to a call about an armed man, had pinned Sterling to the ground when at least one officer shot him. The investigation into the shooting is being led by the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.

 William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO, said the rights organization is pushing for the passage of several pieces of legislation, including comprehensive racial profiling laws at the state and federal levels.

"The laws that govern when police can use lethal force need to be reformed and they need to be reformed now,” said Amnesty International’s Jamira Burley. “Philando Castile should not have had to fear for his life during a traffic stop.”

Samuel Walker, professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska and an expert on police accountability, said “There’s deep-seated racial prejudice” among some white Americans “and that plays out in police encounters.”

FBI chief defends decision
before House committee

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The chief of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is defending his decision to not pursue a criminal case against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified national security information while she was secretary of State, even though he said investigators found great carelessness in her use of private, unsecured email servers.

FBI Director James Comey told a House of Representatives panel Thursday that after a year-long probe, investigators decided there was no evidence that either Mrs. Clinton, now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, or her aides intended to break U.S. laws against the disclosure of classified materials. The investigators found 113 classified documents in the more than 30,000 Clinton emails they reviewed from her 2009-2013 tenure as the country's top diplomat.

Comey also said that it would have been inappropriate to charge Mrs. Clinton, seeking to become the first U.S. female president, under a 1917 U.S. law making gross negligence a crime. He said that the law had only been used once, to bring charges in an espionage case, and that Justice Department prosecutors "have grave concerns whether it's appropriate to prosecute someone for gross negligence."

Comey's testimony came two days after announcing that investigators had concluded no criminal case should be brought against Mrs. Clinton, a recommendation Attorney General Loretta Lynch accepted Wednesday, ending the case without any charges against the candidate.

Mrs. Clinton, who has yet to comment on the FBI's findings that she and her colleagues were extremely careless in the handling of the classified material, answered questions from FBI investigators for three and a half hours last Saturday. Comey said there was "no basis to conclude that she lied to the FBI."

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the panel's chairman and a Republican, said he was mystified and confused by how the FBI could find that Mrs. Clinton mishandled dozens of classified documents and then not be criminally charged. "If your name is not Clinton," Chaffetz said, "or you're not part of the powerful elite, then Lady Justice will act differently. Hillary Clinton created this mess."

FBI Director Comey testified in the midst of the highly charged national presidential campaign, with Mrs. Clinton set to face off with the presumptive Republican nominee, real estate billionaire Donald Trump, in the November national election to pick the successor to President Barack Obama, who leaves office in January.

But Comey said the investigators conducted their investigation in an apolitical and professional way. The FBI chief said he concluded that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Clinton.

Republicans on the panel noted sharp differences in Mrs. Clinton's past comments on her use of the private email server and handling of the classified material from what the FBI investigators found. The FBI determined that over four years as secretary of State, she used multiple servers positioned at her New York home, not just the one she has acknowledged.

Democrats on the panel did not defend her email practices or question the FBI findings, but rather noted that her conduct did not reach that in another celebrated U.S. national security document case, when former CIA chief David Petraeus acknowledged he leaked eight folders of secret documents to a woman who was his lover and writing a biography about him.

Comey said Petraeus' conduct was clearly intentional while Mrs. Clinton's was not.

When her use of a private email system first came to light more than a year ago, Mrs. Clinton claimed she used one phone for both government and private emails for convenience, which Comey said the FBI agreed with.

But Mrs. Clinton later acknowledged use of the single email system was a mistake, leading to the FBI investigation.

Comey said the FBI, after the lengthy investigation, concluded that Clinton was not "particularly sophisticated" in the use of electronic information.

But in the aftermath of the FBI findings about Mrs. Clinton's email records, Speaker Paul Ryan, leader of the Republican-controlled House, called on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to block her from receiving the national security briefings. Ryan said blocking her from the intelligence information certainly constitutes appropriate sanctions.

Ryan said if Clapper refuses the request, he wants the intelligence chief to provide his rationale for giving Mrs. Clinton the information despite the FBI findings.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed the Republican complaints about the FBI's decision against prosecuting Mrs. Clinton.

"We have an investigation of the investigation of the investigation," she said. "How long can this go on?"

Comey's testimony occurred a week after a political uproar over an encounter Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, had with Ms. Lynch, the country's top law enforcement official, on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona.  Both Bill Clinton and Ms. Lynch said they chatted for half an hour, although not about the email case, but subsequently regretted doing so while Lynch was overseeing the email investigation.

Trump has denounced the no-prosecution decision, saying at one point on Twitter, "FBI director said 'Crooked Hillary' compromised our national security.  No charges.  Wow!  Rigged System."

Well after Mrs. Clinton left office in early 2013, she deleted about 30,000 emails she and her lawyers deemed to be personal and turned another 30,000 official government-related emails over to the State Department, as she was required to do in any event because of government record-keeping regulations.  But Comey said thousands more emails were discovered as well.

Mrs. Clinton said she never sent or received emails that were marked as classified documents. But Comey said FBI investigators found that 110 emails in 52 email chains contained classified information at the time they were sent, with eight of the chains having top secret information in the emails she turned over to the State Department. Three other emails with classified information were found in the additional emails.

Comey said investigators do not believe that Clinton's emails were hacked by hostile, foreign interests. However, he said hostile actors gained access to private commercial interests that Mrs. Clinton corresponded with and that her extensive use of personal email outside the United States and in the territories of extensive adversaries makes it possible they gained access to her personal accounts.

National polling shows Clinton with about a five percentage point edge over Trump four months before the Nov. 8 election to pick the successor.

Republican opinions mixed
after meeting with Trump

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Top congressional Republicans claimed party unity after meeting Thursday with presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump, even though dozens of lawmakers shunned the encounter and others withheld endorsing the candidate less than two weeks before the Republican National Convention.

“We had a great meeting,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “It was an important opportunity for our members to get additional information about Mr. Trump’s campaign and ask questions about issues that matter to Americans.”

“It’s clear that our party is committed to defeating Hillary Clinton and Democrats this fall,” Ryan added. Trump concurred via Twitter.

Trump met behind closed doors with House and Senate Republicans at separate venues near the Capitol. It was Trump’s second pilgrimage in the last three months to reach out to lawmakers of his own party, many of whom plan to skip the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, that begins July 18.

Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania met Trump for the first time Thursday. He confirmed he would not go to Cleveland, saying his opinions of the nominee-to-be had not changed.

"I’ve been expressing my concerns about the many incendiary comments, the lack of policy specificity," Dent said. "The few policies that we have heard have often been contradictory and conflicted. So those have been my concerns walking into the meeting, and they’re still my concern now."

Others emerged decidedly upbeat.

“We need him to win,” said Rep. Joe Barton of Texas. “We’re tired of having a President Obama and we don’t want a President Clinton.”

Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee said Trump was engaging and made a good impression before a tough crowd.

“The most reassuring thing he said was that we needed to work together, and we do,” Roe said. “We have to if we’re going to win this race, the race for president. We’re going to have to work together as a team.”

Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina was noncommittal after listening to Trump.

“I think the room was generally receptive and there are some folks that still have some questions. I remain to be one of them,” Sanford said.

That some Republicans skipped the meeting was no surprise. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois is openly campaigning against Trump, going so far as to run television ads saying the presumptive nominee is not fit to be commander in chief.

Green Party seeking access
to ballots in all U.S. states

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the closing months of the 2016 presidential election campaign, the Green Party calls itself the real difference and has invited supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to consider the party as a political home.

The Green Party is based on green principles, those of an ecologically sustainable society, such as environmentalism, non-violence and grassroots democracy. But the party is also fighting for basic access to voters.

“We are fighting to open up the debates, so the American people can know who their choices are,” Jill Stein, one of Green Party’s presidential hopefuls, said in June. Presidential debates are usually between the candidates for the two main parties, the Republicans and Democrats.

Stein also called for state ballots to be opened to all candidates. “We’re calling for a common-sense rule for participation," she said.

As of June 2016, the Greens were on the ballot in 20 states and were working towards getting on the ballot in most others. Requirements for ballot access vary from state to state and can be stringent.

The Greens say they are committed to social justice, renewing a democracy without the support of big money corporations, and long-term environmental sustainability programs. The party also supports raising the minimum wage, election reform and addressing climate change.

“The American people are tired of the rigged economy and rigged political system that created it. The presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees are the most disliked and mistrusted of all times,” Ms. Stein said.

On foreign policy, the Green Party calls for the end of nuclear weapons by declaring a no-first-strike policy and a commitment that the “U.S. will never threaten or use a nuclear weapon, regardless of size, on a non-nuclear nation.” The party also pledges to support peaceful negotiations in the Middle East.

“We will work to demilitarize and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations,” reads the party's 2014 platform.

On the domestic front, the Greens demand universal health care with a single-payer national health insurance that guarantees treatment to all Americans, and support women’s productive rights by urging clinics to be accessible and to offer free contraceptive and abortion consultations.

The Green National Committee approved its party platform in 2014, but an official said it is being revised. The official platform is will be presented to the party’s presidential candidate during the Greens' national convention set for Aug. 4 to 7 at the University of Houston in Texas.

Besides Ms. Stein, William Kreml is also running to become the party's presidential nominee.

Two women seek position
as British prime minister

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom have been chosen to compete for the prime minister's position.

On a second ballot Thursday, conservative members of parliament cast 199 votes for May, 84 for Leadsom and 46 for Justice Secretary Michael Gove to lead the Tory Party. Gove was eliminated and the two women now have the chance to become the country's next prime minister.

About 150,000 members of the Conservatives Party across Britain will now vote by postal ballot to decide whether May or Leadsom become Britain's first woman prime minister since Margaret Thatcher was forced from office in 1990.

The result would be known on Sept. 9. The winner will replace Prime Minister David Cameron who announced his resignation after Britons voted June 23 to leave the European Union.

The new prime minister will be responsible for leading Britain's exit negotiations with the 28-nation bloc, as well as leading a country shaken by global markets' reaction to the Brexit referendum.

The 53-year-old Leadsom, who was elected six years ago as a member of parliament and backed the leave campaign in the referendum, said Thursday that her top priority would be to guarantee tariff-free trade with the EU after leaving.

The 59-year-old May, who supported the losing remain side, said she is the best person to unite a party that, like the country, is divided over the referendum result.
Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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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.
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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
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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)

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

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: 
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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:

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

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, Friday, July 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 134
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
food dellivery
Ministerio de Securidad Pública photo
The security ministry’s air wing flew in 4.5 tons of food to native communities in the Valle de la Estrella and Talamanca mountains Thursday. The helicopters and crews made multiple trips to what mostly are inaccessible areas for the at-risk populations.

Anti-bribery legislation advances

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature approved on first reading Thursday a rewrite of the bribery law to comply with the  standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,

The law, No. 19.904, will adjust the local laws to cover in more detail international transactions, said a legislative summary.

Costa Rica is seeking to affiliate with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which has been mainly for First World nations. The measure needs one more vote to go to Casa Presidencial.

Police raid seeks child pornography

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents raided the home of a child pornography suspect Thursday and confiscated 400 computers disks, they said. The property was in Aurora de Heredia.

The raid came after agents detained the homeowner, a 39-year-old man, at his workplace in la Sabana, they reported.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that they were alerted by a telephone call that someone has placed child pornography on a social network, and then they worked to identify the individual who did that.

Culture program in many communities

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud will once again offer the Enamorate de tu Ciudad program outside the metro area as well as in San José. The two-day event will be in Palmares, Cahuita on the Caribbean coast,  Paraíso de Cartago,  San Isidro de El General, Santa María de Dota, San Marcos de Tarrazú and San Pablo de Léon Cortés.

Enamorate de tu Ciudad features music, dancing, games, sales of art work and crafts as well as story-telling. In San José the events are in Parque Morazán and Parque España. The schedule is from 9 a.m. to  3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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From Page 7:

New seal promotes fortified food products

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry is authorizing a seal for products that have been fortified.  Food firms produce products such as salt, flour, sugar, corn flour, rice and milk that are fortified with vitamins and other beneficial chemicals. Fortifying many of these products is mandatory under the law.

The new seal is voluntary but firms that opt to use it

will have to follow rules set down by the  Ministerio de
The approved seal
Salud. There will be inspections.

The fortification of products and the use of the seal to some extent is a marketing decision, although the mandatory addition of such substances as folic acid  and iodine are know to improve public health.