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Published Wednesday, July 20, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 142
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Law protecting small investors may generate funds
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The proposed change in the law governing investments may seem obscure, but the impact could be significant.

This is the bill that gives minority investors more power in the company in which they put their money. Until now those with a small stake in a company could be prevented from learning about conflicts of interest or the income and outgo.

The bill, No.  19.530, received strong support in the legislature with 48 votes. The bill would allow shareholders totaling 10 percent of the outstanding stock to demand a financial accounting. They also would have access to the

company books. Previously, minority investors needed to assemble 20 percent of the outstanding stock.

If minority investors suspect a conflict of interest by members of the company board or officers, they could seek an order from a judge to obtain a financial audit. Self-dealing by company officers is one way minority shareholders can be stripped of their rightful return.

The bill was put forth by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio. With more protection, officials hope that  Costa Rican companies will be able to raise more money from investors who otherwise would be leery that their rights would not be protected.

Milk: Fast, fast relief from that chile pepper pain
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This week University of New Mexico experts came out with a major finding. They determined that milk was the best way to stop the burning from eating chile peppers. They discounted the effects of water or alcohol. A close second to milk are sugar and bread, the researchers determined scientifically.

This is an important revelation to those who flirt with death by chile pepper. There are many psychological works saying why normal people would put really hot peppers into their mouths. Despite demonstrating bravery to those nearby, some chile peppers give a feel-good endorphin jolt. That, plus the excessive sweating.

So now the brave know they can hedge their bet by having some milk or even ice cream nearby.

The report on quenching chili flames with milk comes from the New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. There Paul Bosland, a professor, explained in an announcement that milk has a protein in it that replaces the capsaicin on the receptors on the tongue.

Capsaicin is what creates the burning, and it also is the active ingredient in personal safety pepper spray.

Of course, some may wish to avoid chile mouth by eating just green bell peppers that

chile peppers
 The cubanelle or Cuban peppers are a
 relatively mild variety.

have almost no ingredients that burn and rank near zero on the scoville heat units. Others may opt for the jalapeño and its dried manifestation, chipotle. These come in as hot as 8,000 heat units.

The famous habanero ranges from 100,000 to 350,000 heat units. So there better be some milk around.

Those pepper sprays can rate as high as 1 million scoville heat units.

Farmers in New Mexico plant more than 7,000 acres in peppers each year. The state also is where the famous chile pepper-producing Hatch Valley is located.

In Costa Rica some expats have been known to create sauces from chile peppers, and a few are close to rocket fuel.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 142
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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
Dental Implants and Crowns

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Our readers’ opinions
Other view on police officers in U.S.

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The comments on police Tuesday was in a reasonable, well-thought-out letter, but the writer forgot a few things:

1. Have you ever stood on the wrong side of a gun or assault rifle or someone banishing a machete?

2. Have you ever faced a person crazy on speed or another drug who wants to kill you?

3. Have you ever tried to reason with the unreasonable or separate feuding lovers?

4. Have you confronted a drug gang that has no qualms about killing you?

As for the militarized uniforms, it is well-established that uniforms equal authority. Try facing one of the above with a squirt gun and clown suit.

And, for cop speak or lack of association with civilians, cops associate with civilians every day. They see and talk to more in one day than we do in a week.

Finally, the reason police officers and their families associate with the same is that people like us cannot understand what it is like. Do you criticize doctors because they find it easier to talk shop with an associate rather than someone who fails to appreciate the help they give or the pressure they face when a mistake can cost a life? 
Ken Beedle

The letter was a case of police bashing

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I am amazed that your paper would stoop to printing a commentary solely on bashing the police in the U.S., especially since it is nothing but a complaint from a disgruntle American who judges police in total from watching his nightly news.  When this guy needs help, who does he call?  Would he put himself in harm’s way to protect anyone?  He mentions gun control and then goes right back to bashing the police. 

I am totally in favor of making necessary changes to policing which place officers much more in touch with the public they serve.  I also agree that certain military hardware has little place in municipal police agencies. However, when snipers attack officers with weapons of war, how should they respond when they are normally carrying only a handgun? 

This was a cheap attempt to condemn in total officers who put their lives on the line each and everyday to protect even people like the author of this trash article.  There are changes necessary in all professions including police agencies, however a blanket condemnation of the police at a time when they are becoming human target practice does little to improve the situation and only serves to polarize an already polarized society.

I am truly disappointed that you wasted so much space in your paper today for such a negative tirade on the people who serve others in general in a distinguished and selfless manner.
Gary E. Zavadil
San Ramón de Alajuela

Editor’s Note: Mr. Zavadil reports he is retired as a sergeant with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department after  32 years in law enforcement.

Coast guard station to enter into operation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As part of an official tour to the western part of the country, President Luis Guillermoo Solís visited the new Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas station in Cipancí at the northern end of the Gulf of Nicoya Tuesday.

An announcement said that the new station would improve response time in that area of the gulf. The area has been served by the  Guardacostas station in Golfito, at least an hour away.

Crews at the new station will have responsibility for Níspero, Costa de Pájaros, the Isla Chira, the Isla Caballo, the Isla Venado, Paquera and Tambor. They are expected to begin their duties in a month and a half with the station becoming fully functional in six months.

The station also will be used by the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación and the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura, said officials.

Tilarán chronic pain clinic in new building

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

After six years a new pain clinic has opened in Tilarán with money provided by the  Junta de Protección Social, the lottery agency.

The  Fundación de Tilarán Clínica del Dolor y Cuidados Paliativos had been working out of a converted home since 2006.

The clinic already has more than 400 patients in the area who suffer form chronic pain.

The two-story clinic cost 50 million colons or about $92,000.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 142
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Injured toucan will become a star of an Animal Planet documentary
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The once-disabled toucan that received a new beak goes on television next month on the Animal Planet network. The bird was the victim of someone who chopped most of the upper beak from its face. The beak, of course, is a principal tool of a toucan and is used to capture fruits and other foods.

The documentary follows the effort to rehabilitate the bird by providing a prosthesis that was created by 3-D printing. The  animal rescuers and veterinarians credited Charles W. Hull of 3D Systems for working with product designers, dentists and engineers to construct the artificial upper beak. The bird has been kept at  Zooave animal refuge center in Alajuela and named Grecia.

Animal Planet is a unit of Discovery Communications, and it appears that the documentary will be broadcast in English and Spanish in the first few days of August.

The documentary credit’s the injury to the bird with generating popular support for an animal rights bill, but there have been other atrocities that also have contributed, including the recent case of Duke, a dog that was slashed across the muzzle by a machete. Still the bill is in limbo in the legislature.

ZooAve photo
The rehabilitated toucan appears almost normal

Romeo is really bunco with women victimized by revealing pictures
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In less than a week judicial investigators have detained two men in separate cases in which women said money was extorted under the threat of posting revealing pictures.

Friday judicial agents detained a 31-year-old man who is accused of demanding payments twice monthly from a woman with whom he had an encounter two years ago. The man is accused of taping the encounter and then threatening to make the recording public unless he received $200 every 15 days, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Agents picked up the man when money changed hands Friday in La Sabana.

Agents detained another 31-year-old man Monday for about the same reasons. This time, agents said, the man met a woman via the Internet and said he was a photographer.

After an intimate photo shoot, the man threatened to post the photos of the woman unless he received payment, said agents.

Agents said they made the arrest after the woman delivered 160,000 colons, about   $293, at a San Pedro commercial center.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 142
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Republican speakers target Mrs. Clinton as Trump is nominated
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With Donald Trump formally chosen as their nominee for president, Republicans at their convention in Cleveland turn today to some of the party's biggest names in the 2016 campaign to make the case that he is a better choice for the country than Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence gets his chance in the speaking spotlight, less than a week after being announced as Trump's running mate.  Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who was considered for vice president, is also speaking today.

Others who battled Trump for the nomination, including those who sharply criticized his policy proposals and endured his retorts and harassing nicknames, will be giving addresses too.  They include Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Tuesday at the convention showcased the main Republican criticisms of Mrs. Clinton, portraying her candidacy as a bid to extend what they call the failing policies of President Barack Obama and calling her a liar who put the country in danger with her use of a private email server.

House Speaker Paul Ryan accused Democrats of constantly dividing people and "playing one group against the other."

"Here we are, at a time when men and women in both parties so clearly, so undeniably want a big change in direction for America, a clean break from a failed system," Ryan said.  "And what does the Democratic Party establishment offer?  What is their idea of a clean break?  They are offering a third Obama term brought to you by another Clinton."

The Clinton campaign was vocal throughout the night, offering statements and tweets in response to each of the day's major speakers.

"Despite repeatedly attacking Trump's divisive rhetoric and dangerous policies, Speaker Paul Ryan has chosen to put politics over country and wholeheartedly endorse Donald Trump and his candidacy for president," one statement read.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who also competed in the Republican race, used his convention address to give a sort of public prosecution of Clinton, drawing chants of guilty from the audience. "Hillary Clinton cared more about protecting her own secrets than she cared about protecting American secrets," Christie said.

His criticism focused largely on her time as secretary of State during Obama's first term, blaming her for mistakes regarding Libya, Syria, Russia, Iran and Cuba.

"We cannot promote someone to commander in chief who has made the world a more violent and dangerous place."

Voice of America photo
The California delegation cheers the annoucement that Trump is the nominee.

Mrs. Clinton responded by pointing to a scandal involving members of Christie's administration in New Jersey who were accused of ordering the partial closure of a bridge in retaliation against a local politician.

"If you think Chris Christie can lecture anyone on ethics, we have a bridge to sell you," she wrote on Twitter.

Mrs. Clinton will be officially nominated by her party at its convention next week, setting up the Nov. 8 showdown with Trump.

A roll call vote of Republican delegates Tuesday gave Trump the 1,237 votes he needed to seal the nomination after months of state-by-state voting.

"I will work hard and never let you down!" Trump tweeted after the vote.  He gets his chance to address the convention Thursday on its final day.

His daughter Ivanka will also speak Thursday, just as several other Trump children have done this week.

Donald Trump Jr. gave a strong speech in support of his father Tuesday highlighting how his approach to the business world would translate to the White House.

"A president who speaks his mind and not just when it behooves him to do so.  Who doesn't have to run a focus group or use data analytics to form a simple opinion.  Who says what needs to be said and not just what you want to hear.  A president who will unleash the greatness in our nation and in all of us," he said.

Trump's daughter Tiffany spoke more about the candidate's personal nature, calling him friendly, considerate, funny and real.

"He draws out the talent and drive in people so that they can achieve their full potential.  That's a great quality to have in a father, and better yet, in the president of the United States," she said.

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.

George Lundquist

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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. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 142
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Axiom new ad

China called biggest supplier
of chemicals for U.S. meth

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China has become a major source of methamphetamine transported into the United States from México, according to a congressional commission.

“While Mexican cartels produce the majority of meth used in the United States, around 80 percent of precursor chemicals used in Mexican meth come from China,” said a report issued Monday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

“Precursor chemicals are increasingly being shipped from China to México and Central America, where they are manufactured into meth, transported across the southern border of the United States, and brought into southwestern states, Texas, Arizona and California, before being shipped across the country," it said, adding that China has become a major global supplier of crystal meth precursor chemicals.

While Beijing has tried to reduce domestic meth production and curb precursor chemical exports, the report said, its vast pharmaceutical and chemical industries remain largely unregulated.

"As a result, meth precursor chemical flows — along with other dangerous synthetic drugs — from China into the Western Hemisphere continue to increase, contributing to a growing drug problem in the United States," it said.

The report recommended that U.S. legislators consider measures to encourage China to modify its laws governing chemical exports, and that they encourage the U.S. government to strengthen cooperation with China on drug control issues.

national park
Voice of America photo 
Mikah Meyer captures a shot of a sailboat from a high vantage point at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

D.C. man promises to visit
all 400 U.S. national parks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Last month, Mikah Meyer left Washington, D.C., for the road trip of a lifetime: To visit more than 400 sites within the U.S. National Park Service.

His journey,which will take him to every state in the union, has two goals: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the park service and to honor his late father, who died before he could realize his dream of traveling across America.

Before starting his road trip, he said "This national park system is way more than these capital 'P' parks. It’s everything from national seashores to national monuments to national historical sites to national battlefields. It's this entire system that's so much more than just vistas.”

Here are two he visited this month:

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor, Michigan, was recently named the "Most Beautiful Place in America" on ABC's Good Morning America. The area is as old as continental ice sheets and as young as the 1970 Establishment Act that set aside the lakeshore for preservation of the natural resources and public use.

The most prominent features, and those for which the park is named, are the high dunes above Lake Michigan. These immense sand dunes are perched atop the already towering headlands that are glacial moraines. ​

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is refuge for a wide variety of native plants and wildlife. While it is only a short distance from the big cities of Akron and Cleveland, it seems worlds away.

The Cuyahoga River winds through open farmlands, rolling hills, deep forests and spectacular waterfalls.

 Screen grab photo from his personal Web site
 shows Baton Rouge killer Gavin Long.

Baton Rouge killer claimed
to be a sovereign citizen

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Baton Rouge police shooting has focused attention on a little-known political movement that U.S. law enforcement officials say poses a growing threat. 

Gavin Long, the former Marine who killed three police officers Sunday, claimed to be a member of the United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu’ur Nation, a sovereign citizen extremist group whose supporters are black, but whose ideology, ironically, draws from a white supremacist movement of the 1960s.

"The sovereign citizen movement consists of about 300,000 people," said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. "The vast majority are not members of specific groups, and they've been growing in a huge way since 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president."

Sovereign citizens share a common belief the U.S. government is not legitimate, and while they may reside in the United States, they claim to be sovereign and thus outside the jurisdiction of state and federal laws. This means they boycott holding Social Security cards, paying taxes, carrying driver's licenses or paying traffic tickets.  They reject federal courts and instead fight legal battles in their own common law courts.

"What's interesting today is that the initial ideology that was cooked up in the 1960s was basically anti-black," said Potok.  "Today, we see groups like the Washitaw Nation, which appeal to black Americans."

The United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu’ur Nation, a group that Potok believes is relatively small, maintains that American blacks are descended from ancient Moroccans who settled the continental United States long before the arrival of European settlers.  As indigenous citizens, they also see themselves as exempt from U.S. law. 

“Sovereign citizen ideology is syncretic, which means it is a melding of beliefs from different sources,” explained J.M. Berger, a fellow with George Washington University's Program on Extremism and an associate fellow with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague.  “So the ideological elements have been around for a long time.”

So which came first, resentment of the government or the movement’s conspiracy theories?

“I don't think you can answer the chicken-and-egg question for the sovereign movement per se, but certainly for one of its important predecessors, Posse Comitatus, the grievances seem to precede the theories,” said Berger.

Posse Comitatus, Latin for “power of the county,” was a right-wing extremist group founded around 1970. The group used a convoluted interpretation of the Christian Bible to support its anti-government views.

“Not everyone is drawn into sovereign beliefs out of resentment of the government,” said Berger.  “Some are drawn in by the promise of relief from financial stress or legal problems. In the case of Moorish sovereigns, there is also a racial pride component to its appeal.”

Traditionally, sovereign citizens were little more than a nuisance, committing petty offenses such as driving without licenses or white-collar crimes, that is, selling fraudulent driver's licenses, car registrations, passports or gun permits to fellow sovereign citizens.

Lawyers have long complained that sovereign citizens congest the court system with endless and frivolous lawsuits against everything from parking tickets to dog licenses.

But today, according to the FBI, they pose an increasing threat to U.S. security.  In May 2010, for example, father and son Jerry and Joe Kane shot and killed police officers during a routine traffic stop in West Memphis, Arkansas.

“Most sovereigns are not violent,” Berger clarified. “When it does happen, sovereign violence has historically been very personal, mostly occurring while resisting arrest.”

Bergen said it’s not clear whether Gavin Long was acting on his sovereign beliefs or his anger over police violence when he ambushed police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Pokemon Go brings gamers
into the daylight to search

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It is no coincidence that more people in North America and Europe are bending over their mobile phones while walking outside. It is the effect of the free mobile game, Pokemon Go. Since its launch earlier this month, the game has gone viral, and more countries are expected to be able to access the game in the future.

Pokemon Go uses augmented reality technology. It combines a real world map, and superimposes virtual cartoon images to the physical world in the cameras of mobile phones. Players walk around hunting for Pokemons, short for Pocket Monsters. When they appear on their phone's screen, players can catch them, train them, and battle other monsters.

"I got more than a hundred creatures now, and my favorite is Pikachu," said Lin Cao, a University of Southern California student from China who was walking to the library on campus while looking for more Pokemons.

Cao was not alone. The campus this summer was crawling with people on the hunt for Pokemons.

Pokemon Go has been named by SurveyMonkey Intelligence as the biggest game of 2016 based on the number of daily active users. According to Sensor Tower, a company that monitors a mobile application's performance, a snapshot of one day showed that users spent more time on Pokemon Go than Facebook and Snapchat.

On the same day, another data analytics site, SimilarWeb, shows that 5.9 percent of all U.S. Android owners used the Pokemon Go app. It surpassed the number of people who used the Twitter app that day.

"Sometimes I feel like a lot of people just get addicted to the game. They spend a lot of time on it," Cao said, adding, "a lot of my friends, they just come to the campus every day in order to get the creatures."

Some players said there are unexpected benefits to playing the game.

"You need to walk a lot, so it actually helps you to walk and explore the surroundings you maybe haven't explored before," Cao said. "I actually plan to go to Santa Monica this weekend with my friend because I've heard that there are a lot of creatures, special creatures there."

At Santa Monica Pier, where many tourists visit, there were plenty of players in search of more Pokemons.

Adam Rose drove more than one-and-a-half hours to hunt for Pokemons at Santa Monica Pier. He met another player, Timothy Glenn. Both avid gamers, they said this game forced them out of their homes and opened up the world to them.

"It allows you to meet new people, like I just met him today less than an hour ago," Glenn said.

While many players are enjoying the game, it has dangerous consequences for some. There are reports of car accidents across the United States because of people playing the game, as well as players being robbed, and even a couple of players walking off cliffs.

"We love to be hip and cool. We love to embrace what's next, but we don't always think before we jump,” said Todd Richmond with University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. “I think that part of the power of these digital capabilities, both virtual and augmented reality, are so compelling — or they can be so compelling in some cases — that they are addictive, and they do cause you to behave in ways that you wouldn't normally do."

MasterCard introduces its way
of paying with a smartphone

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Retail and financial companies are rapidly creating new tools to manage the mobile cashless society. As these ideas spread worldwide, financial companies will be challenged by the need for accuracy and security and even the emergence of robotic transactions to make these new systems work.

Now credit giant MasterCard has introduced Masterpass as a way of combining transaction, payment and delivery of products and services in one app. The company is touting this as the next big step in managing everyday consumer decisions, as it tries to manage processing and transaction costs for purchases large and small.

These new mobile payment apps have been popular with consumers, but the adoption of Masterpass and similar apps will depend on three key factors, according to Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Retail Federation.

"For a mobile payment to be successful, it must provide value for the customer, value for the merchant and not adversely affect the pricing of goods and services," he said.

He pointed to the success of the Starbucks mobile payment app, as "It creates loyalty for Starbucks, it allows Starbucks to provide a loyalty benefit to customers, that is, free coffee or other benefits that go along with using the app." Additionally, the app does not affect the transaction cost for merchants. "It actually lowers the cost of a transaction, of a payment transaction, in a Starbucks restaurant. So you put all three of those together and you get an almost guaranteed win."

"Just about any device you can think of can become a device for conducting commerce," said Craig Vosburg, MasterCard's president of North America markets.

Vosburg was referring to the array of connected devices recently on display at a MasterCard event in New York. Among them were smartphones, connected home appliances and even robots.

In addition to unveiling a new logo, MasterCard executives were there to explain how its digital payments service, Masterpass, works in-store, in-app and online.

"What we want to do is enable our customers ... to have the ability to pay anywhere, anytime, anyway," Vosburg said.

On hand for demonstrations was humanoid robot Pepper, who took lunch orders via voice command and processed payments wirelessly.

The robots will be test-piloted in Pizza Hut locations in Asia by the end of the year.

The Samsung Family Hub smart refrigerator was used to demonstrate how one could easily order and pay for groceries directly from the fridge's touchscreen.

Using the Fresh Direct grocery delivery app integrated with Masterpass, a representative breezed through the checkout process without having to enter a credit card number.

Transactions also can occur within text messages, as representatives demonstrated how plane tickets could be purchased within messaging apps like Facebook Messenger.

Masterpass digitally stores users' credit card and shipping information, accessing it during checkout after user authentication.

In this latest expansion into the digital payment sector, MasterCard is relying primarily on partnerships with banks and their mobile offerings.

"Banks already have a fantastic digital relationship with customers today . . .  bank applications are among the most widely used applications in the app store," said chief innovation officer Garry Lyons.

Citing consumer trust and reliance on mobile banking experiences, Lyons explained how Masterpass will be integrated into existing mobile banking applications to further enhance ease of purchase and payment transactions.

Bank of America, Citi and Capital One are among the 16 initial U.S. banks incorporating the new Masterpass experience, which will launch later this month. Eventually, more than 80 million accounts will be enabled automatically through this preliminary network.

Access to Masterpass is planned for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa by the end of the year, with additional regions like Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia Pacific being added through 2017.

Sex workers say recognition
would cut spread of AIDS

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Prostitution is known by many as the world's oldest profession. However, it continues to be regarded as immoral and illegal in most countries. This has prompted sex workers, activists and lobbyists around the world to intensify their demand for an end to criminalization of their field.

Many of them are attending this year's International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, where they argue that continued criminalization of sex work could be worsening the spread of HIV.

Jules Kim, CEO of Scarlet Alliance, an Australian sex workers association, says lack of understanding of what they want has led many governments and people to resist their call to decriminalize sex work.

"I think a lot of people get confused because they think decriminalization means, ‘Ah! No regulation and everyone is going to start doing sex work and many criminals will start taking over,’ ” Ms. Kim said. “But actually, that's not the case. What happens is, it's not seen as a crime. It's seen as work."

Cameron Cox is CEO of the Sex Workers Outreach Project in New South Wales, where prostitution has been decriminalized. He says the move has put sex workers in the forefront of fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS.

"We can go to our health service and we can say what sort of work we do,” Cox, a male sex worker, said. “We can get appropriate sexual health testing for the type of work we do, and we don't have to worry about being arrested while we do it."

Kay Thi Win, coordinator at Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, says only one of the 38 countries in the Asia-Pacific region has fully decriminalized prostitution. Other countries should follow suit, she says.

"If they want to reduce HIV in their country, they should think and they should consider sex work decriminalization,” Ms. Win said. “It protects their sex workers from the violence, reducing the HIV."

African countries have also resisted efforts by sex workers to get their work accepted.

Katlego Rasibitse is an advocacy officer at Sisonke, a South African sex workers movement. He says criminalization of prostitution in his country has caused sex workers to suffer in silence at the hands of abusive police and clients.

He is very clear about the dream world they are fighting for.

"We want to see sex work as work in a way that the banks are able to say, ‘Because you are a sex worker, we classify as a working type here, we loan you money to purchase a car, home loans, personal loans, as workers,’ " Rasibitse said.

Though he admits it is still a long journey to that dream world, he says he is happy that this present world at least is aware of the dream.
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If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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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
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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:

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 142
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
University of Central Florida photo
The adult Talamancan palm-pitviper is from 24 to 30 inches long.

Talamancas have a new snake species

By the University of Central Florida news staff

An international team of scientists has solved a case of mistaken identity and discovered a new species of venomous snake.

The newly discovered Talamancan palm-pitviper is a striking green-and-black snake living in some of the most remote regions of Costa Rica. The coloring is a characteristic it shares with its close relative the black-speckled palm-pitviper. In fact, these two species look so similar that the Talamancan palm-pitviper went unrecognized for more than 100 years. It is a case of cryptic speciation, where two species look almost identical but are genetically different.

“It’s a really interesting phenomenon,” said University of Central Florida biologist Christopher Parkinson who led the team that made the discovery. “It shows some of the complexities we deal with when cataloging biodiversity and underscores the importance of maintaining natural-history collections. Discovering this species would not have been possible without the specimens housed in natural-history museums.”

The team’s findings are published in the online issue of the academic journal Zootaxa. Scientists believe their habitat to include only 100 square kilometer area in the north of the Talamancan mountains.

The team first discovered evidence of the new species in 2001. Parkinson, an expert in venomous snakes, and his graduate students noticed some unusual genetic differences among the snakes they were studying. They began questioning if they could have a distinct new species on their hands. However, these snakes live at high elevations, in low densities and are rare even in their natural habitat, making it difficult to find the samples needed for thorough comparisons.

To overcome this, Tiffany Doan, first author on the paper, turned to the University of Texas at Arlington’s Amphibian and Reptile Discovery Research Center, the Museo Zoología at the Universidad de Costa Rica, and several other museums across the country to generate the morphological data used in the project. These institutions house natural-history collections containing thousands of reptile specimens from decades of research. They gave Ms. Doan and her colleagues the ability to compare morphology of the suspect snakes to those of others, which had been placed in museum collections for 150 years.

During the past 15 years, the team also amassed tissue samples from additional specimens to compare the DNA of the potentially new snake species to the DNA from other snakes in Central America. Their findings concluded that the snake was indeed a new species.

“This discovery highlights the necessity for strong conservation initiatives,” Parkinson said. Many undisturbed areas around the world are being developed before scientists get a chance to document their flora and fauna. “There’s no telling what other species are yet to be found and how they might benefit mankind.”

While little is known above the venom of the Talamancan palm-pitviper, the black-speckled palm-pitviper was recently shown to possess an important toxin that poses an interesting evolutionary question. The toxin, called nigroviriditoxin, is similar to a neurotoxin found in some rattlesnakes and hasn’t been seen in a nonrattlesnake before.

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From Page 7:

World economic forecast cut slightly

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Monetary Fund has cut its two-year global economic growth forecast due to uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union.

The Fund said Tuesday it now expects the world's Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services produced annually by 189 member countries, to grow 3.1 percent in 2016 and 3.4 percent in 2017. Both numbers are 0.1 percent lower than April estimates.

Britain's vote to leave the EU has created a sizable increase in uncertainty that may adversely impact investment and consumer confidence, according to the Fund.

Brexit is expected to have the greatest impact in Britain, where the Fund reduced its 2016 GDP forecast to 1.7 percent, down 0.2 percent from its April projections. Britain's 2017 forecast was cut more sharply, 0.9 percent, to 1.3 percent.

The projections are based on relatively mild assumptions about Brexit, including limited political fallout and no further major financial market disruptions.

The Fund also prepared a severe projection which anticipates a messy British exit from the EU in which London loses much of its financial services sector to continental Europe. That scenario predicts Britain would fall into recession and global economic growth would dip to 2.8 percent in 2016 and 2017.

A middle downside projection shows global growth at 2.9 percent in 2016 and 3.1 percent in 2017.

Fund Chief Economist Maury Obstfeld said rebounds in global financial markets after the initial shock of Brexit helped persuade staffers to choose the most benign of the three scenarios.