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Published Friday, July 22, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 144
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Casa Canada

Casa Presidencial photo
Dancers display their costumes at the  Finca El Guaco

Government provides funds for Carrillo tourist center

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican government‘s rural development agency is bankrolling the rehabilitation of a tourism center in Carrillo.

This is the Finca el Paso, which now will be called Finca el Guaco.

The facility has a bull ring, a typical Guanacaste ranch home, an events center and stages. In private hands the finca offered shows for tourists as well as horse tours, dance shows, singing and the ambience of a late 19th century ranch.

The plan is to add a tortilla manufacturing shop and rebuild the infrastructure. Then similar shows will be offered to tourists, said an announcement.

The project is under the sponsorship of the Unión Zonal de Asociaciones de Distrito de Sardinal and the Programa Tejiendo Desarrollo of the Oficina de la Primera Dama.

Also involved are the  Cámara de Turismo de Guanacaste, the  Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, the Municipalidad de Carrillo, the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and the Dirección Nacional de Desarrollo Comunal.

The stated purpose of the purchase of the property is to rescue Costa Rican traditions and Chorotega culture, said Casa Presidencial.

The Instituto de Desarrollo Rural is paying $1.23 million to purchase the property and rebuild the infrastructure, the announcement said. The purchase is supposed to benefit 75 workers and stimulate tourism in Sardinal Centro, Playas del Coco, San Blas and La Libertad, said officials.

The inauguration Thursday of the property at El Paso de Tempique was one of a number of projects highlighted as President Luis Guillermo Solís and other officials tour the area in advance of the Monday holiday marking the 1824 Anexión del Partido de Nicoya.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 144
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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.


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Chamber plans to present franchise ideas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Cámara de Comercio de Costa Rica plans an open house today to display franchise possibilities.

This is the first open house put on by the chamber, and the organization promises representatives from such firms as Yogurtini Frozen Yogurt, Nutrisalud, Rapid Fit & Well and Wings Army.

A joint sponsor is the Centro Nacional de Franquicias, which promises some discussions, too.

Franchises, of course, are contracts with brands to sell products under their name. Many firms here are franchises, and the operators make agreed payments to the parent firm.

Some business leaders like franchises because the name already is established as are many of the operating principles.

The session today will be in the chamber parking lot adjacent to the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. office tower in Barrio Tournón in north San José. The time is from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The chamber said in a release that franchise investments range from $20,000 to $100,000.

The chamber also said that franchise operations have increased 85 percent since 2010 in Costa Rica and that 27,000 workers were employees by these firms.

Despite the hype, there also have been some spectacular franchise failures here in the last few years, mostly through failure to conduct effective advertising campaigns.

Copyright case involves Costa Rica

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man accused of using Internet domains to distribute copyrighted, first-run movies and other stolen material obtained two of those domains in Costa Rica.

He is Artem Vaulin, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, who owns and operates Kickass Torrents, or KAT, a commercial Web site that since 2008 has enabled users to illegally reproduce and distribute hundreds of millions of copies of copyrighted motion pictures, video games, television programs, musical recordings and other electronic media, collectively valued at more than $1 billion, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Vaulin was arrested Wednesday by authorities in Poland.

The man may not have ever been in Costa Rica because he used servers around the world to avoid legal entanglements. He appears to have purchased the Costa Rican domains in April 2015 after he was shut down by authorities in the Isla of Man. He or an agent obtained the domain names with the .cr suffix from the  Academia Nacional de Ciencias, which has handled domains names here since 1990.

They are not cheap. The academy charges $80 a year for a Costa Rican domain as compared to $10 or $11 for domains in other countries or a .com domain.

KAT operates in approximately 28 languages, according to the complaint.  KAT’s net worth has been estimated at more than $54 million, with estimated annual advertising revenue in the range of $12.5 million to $22.3 million, according to the federal complaint.  KAT has moved its domains many times due to numerous seizures and copyright lawsuits, and it has been ordered blocked by courts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia, the federal complaint states.

Court rejects shrimp trawling policy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Fundación MarViva is reporting that a Costa Rican court has rejected a policy to allow shrimp trawling in an area reserved for responsible fishing off San Juanillo, Guanacaste.

The decision was against the  Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura that approved the practice in February 2013.

The case was brought by fishermen in the same area who do not seek shrimp, said MarViva.

That road to Heredia to be closed again

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The highway agency is closing the road between Heredia and La Uruca again tonight at 10 o’clock. The closing will last until 4 a.m. Saturday, said the  Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.

This is the stretch where a bridge over the Río Virilla is being widened to accommodate four lanes. There have been frequent closings while crews move large steel girders.

Medical device firm opens at Avenida Escazú

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The medical device firm Getinge Group  has opened its share service center at Avenida Escazú. The firm said it is employing 59 persons to handle contacts with clients in the  United States and Canada.

The firm said it will be hiring more soon. The company has a similar operation in Poland for the European market, it said.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 144
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As president, Trump probably would review free trade treaty
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Ricans who opposed passage of a free trade treaty with the United States might have a second chance.

Costa Rican voters narrowly approved the multinational agreement Oct. 7, 2007.

Now Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for U.S. president, and he repeated his vow Thursday night to reconsider all the trade treaties between the United States and foreign countries.

He specifically mentioned the North American Free Trade Agreement, but not the U.S-Central American agreement. Trump drew cheers as he adopted a non-Republican stand against free trade. That has been one of the themes of his campaign for the nomination.

For decades, U.S. officials have seen trade agreements as a way of helping development in Third World nations.  The free trade agreement opened up the cell telephone market to private

Trump's acceptance speech

companies in Costa Rica, but United States firms did not benefit.

The agreement probably could not stand up to a critical review. For example, Costa Rica still assesses a heavy import duty on foreign vehicles. The country has claimed that the assessment is not a customs duty but an internal tax, and U.S. negotiators agreed with that position.

The proliferation of call centers and customer support jobs in Costa Rica also might get a review, as will outsourcing elsewhere because of Trump’s stress on bringing jobs back to the United States.

A Trump presidency also probably will bring stronger scrutiny on the various State Department and law enforcement programs that channel money into Costa Rica and other countries.

Plans advancing for rebuilding the iconic Black Star Line in Limón
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One of the country’s top architectural firms is preparing the preliminary plans to rebuild the Black Star Line, the historic Limón building nearly destroyed by fire April 29.

Ronald Zürcher, president of Zürcher Arquitectos, was quoted by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud saying that the firm was working for the benefit of all Costa Ricans.

Right after the fire, the firm had representatives in Limón to evaluate the damage and to meet with government officials and the building owner, the  Universal Negro Improvement Association. The ministry said Thursday that a series of architectural drawings already have been completed. What is still to be done are the construction plans.

Immediately after the fire, government officials promised to help rebuild the structure, which initially went up in 1922. The Black Star Line was declared a heritage building in 2000. The building was rebuilt once before after the 1991 earthquake. The two-story frame structure was the headquarters of the Universal Negro Improvement Association created and directed by Marcus Garvey. The name came from the steamship company Garvey created in 1919.

The second floor was a large hall that saw a number of the
Black Star
A.M. Costa Rica archive photo
The Black Star Line after the April 29 fire.

municipality’s social events. Fire fighters said they managed to save 385 square meters of the 1,525-square meter building. That’s 4,144 of 16,415 square feet.

The cause was believed to be electrical.

The association has started a campaign titles “Rebuild a Dream, Liberty Hall Black Star Line.”

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 144
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Trump promises law and order in his speech accepting nomination
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In his first speech Thursday night as the official Republican nominee for U.S. president, Donald Trump struck a tone of urgency regarding recent violent events in the U.S. and billed himself as a truth-teller in saying that under a Trump presidency the country would be one of law and order.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country,” he said.

In the wide-ranging speech, Trump also hit on his plans to fight Islamic State and other terrorist organizations inside America’s borders and throughout the world. Trump cut against the Republican Party grain in calling for an end to multilateral trade deals, advocating for the rights of the gay community and espousing a non-interventionist policy when dealing with international crises.

“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things,” Trump said.

The three things Trump referred to include having \the best intelligence gathering operation in the world, abandoning what he called the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria and suspending immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until a proper vetting mechanism can be put in place.

“I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people,” he said. “Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.”

He focused his speech primarily on fighting against illegal immigration and crime in America, comparing the threat level of illegal immigrants to that of  Islamic State. According to Trump, there are nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records who should have been deported still living in the U.S.

“The first task for our new administration will be to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens their communities,” he said. “I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.”

Trump listed a number of statistics showing an uptick in crime in several major cities, including Washington nearby and Baltimore, which Trump said have seen a rise in murders of 50 percent and 60 percent, respectively, over the last year.

“In the president’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And more than 3,600 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office,” he said.

With regards to the recent targeted shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas, Trump called them an attack on all Americans, and blamed President Barack Obama for using “the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color.”

Voice of America/Nicolas Pinault
Donald Trump at podium and on giant screen.

While Trump said several times he would restore law and order in the U.S., he provided very few details about how he plans to achieve that goal. He did say, though, that he is going to “work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done,” as well as “ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally.”

“Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child America?” Trump said.

Convention nomination speeches are generally seen as a time for candidates to put forth a hopeful and optimistic message, but Trump’s speech centered more on the fears of a tense nation facing challenges both at home and abroad.

Trump spoke generally about threats facing the U.S. and promised to “defeat the barbarians of ISIS.”

He also painted a picture of politics in Washington as an insider’s game and promised to be a president of the people.

“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” he said.

Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, seemed to take on the role of optimist in introducing Trump, calling him the people’s champion, and telling personal anecdotes to make him an empathetic figure.

She told a story about her father and her playing with building blocks in his office at Trump Tower when she was younger, and said he taught her about work ethic and that everyone has a duty to work for a better world.

She called her father famous but not well-known, and described him as a charismatic and caring man.

"I have seen him fight for his employees. Now, I am seeing him fight for his country," she said.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 144
Real Estate
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Axiom new ad

Voice of America/G. Flakus  
 The view from the Mexican side as a U.S. Border
  Patrol car passes a fence.

Wall draws mixed reviews
along U.S.-Mexico border

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Many U.S. voters support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to build a big wall along the more than 3,000-kilometer U.S.-Mexico border, but a poll released this week shows that a majority of the people who actually live along the border are against it.

The survey, sponsored by Arizona State University’s Cronkite News, the Spanish-language television network Univision and The Dallas Morning News, showed 86 percent of border residents in Mexico and 72 percent of residents on the U.S. side oppose the wall.

That result came as no surprise to people familiar with the border, where Mexican-Americans with cultural and family ties across the boundary are in the majority. People in populated areas like Nogales also complain about the wall they already have. A large metal barrier built several years ago divides Nogales, Arizona, on the U.S. side from Nogales, Sonora, on the Mexican side. Few people find the barrier attractive.

Trump has said he would demand that Mexico pay for what apparently would be a still larger wall he would build if elected. He said he would threaten to disrupt the flow of money sent back to Mexico by immigrants if Mexico balked at paying for the wall. Remittances from Mexicans living legally and illegally in the United States account for that country’s second source of income behind oil production.

The current barrier extends into the desert hills on either side of the main crossing in Nogales, and U.S. Border Patrol vehicles are a frequent sight on the roads nearby.

But most illegal entries take place farther out, where the barrier ends and there is only a barbed wire cattle fence along the international boundary. There are crossings on a nightly basis, as shown by both Border Patrol and private motion-activated cameras set up in the area.

A friend helped rancher Jim Chilton set up cameras on his 20,000-hectare ranch. Images from the cameras show people carrying heavy loads through the desert terrain.

Chilton, 77, confronted what he said were drug smugglers outside his house one night.

“I counted 17 guys in my front yard. They were obviously drug packers,” he said.  “I said, ‘Agua?’ and they said, ‘Si,' so I turned on the hose. They had their drinks, thanked me and left.”

While the encounter was peaceful, Chilton said he was holding an automatic rifle in his hands the whole time. He also sleeps with guns nearby his bed in case of an intruder. The nearest law enforcement officer is at least an hour’s drive from Chilton’s ranch house near Arivaca, Arizona.

“We are our own law; the law is in our holster,” he said.

Chilton and other ranchers along the border in Arizona have come together to ask for more protection. Two ranchers have been killed in recent years, and at least one other had to abandon his ranch after a fire allegedly started by drug smugglers burned off the grass that fed his cattle.

Illegal immigrants often cut water pipes when they are desperate to drink, leaving cattle farther down the line without water. The smugglers and migrants have also damaged fences and stolen property from ranch houses and sheds.

Chilton likes Trump’s plan to build a wall, but he thinks more could be done right now by the Border Patrol to beef up enforcement at the remote sites where people cross the border all the time, often ending up in distress.

“If they secured the border,” he said, “people would not be dying on our ranch, people wouldn’t be raped, people wouldn’t be attacked, beaten up. We have had all of that on our ranch.”

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents are charged with preventing illegal entries and all forms of smuggling, but they also go after rapists and bandits and provide first aid to injured migrants. Paul Beeson, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, said the border is not being neglected.

“We do have, on any given day, Border Patrol agents deployed all along the southwest border in the Tucson Sector,” he said.

In addition, Beeson said, the Border Patrol utilizes everything from horseback agents to helicopters to secure the border. But, he said, smugglers also are equipped with sophisticated resources that help them avoid capture.

“There are individuals who are sitting up on the high points on the mountains around here and doing counter surveillance on us, watching our activities,” he said.

But the question of what to do about border security divides opinions in southern Arizona as much as the walls, fences and other barriers divide one country from another at the border.

The Rev. Randy Mayer of the Good Shepherd Church in Sahuarita, Arizona, said the security measures implemented on the border in recent years, including the big barrier he calls the wall, have needlessly offended Mexicans and diminished the trade and commerce that might have flourished there.

Standing near the barrier, Mayer said, “This wall signifies a lack of respect for our neighbors and people we should be embracing and building bridges toward.”

Local ranchers, business owners and civic leaders also favor better relations at the border and less strident rhetoric about the situation there. But most of them also stress the need to enforce U.S. laws and to keep residents safe.

Obama praises U.S. Muslims
at a White House celebration

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama has lauded Muslim Americans as patriots and heroes, and decried discrimination and violence against Muslims in the U.S.

“This is a difficult time for Muslim Americans,” Obama said at a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, in which observers fast from sunrise to sunset.

The president said Muslim Americans "are as patriotic, as integrated, as American as any other members of the American family," and he extolled the contributions of Muslim doctors, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, athletes, police officers, firefighters and soldiers.

In a pointed jab at the anti-Muslim rhetoric by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Obama said, "Singling out Muslim Americans feeds the lie of terrorists like ISIL that the West is somehow at war with a religion that includes over a billion adherents. That’s not smart national security."

Trump has called for a ban on Muslims from entering the country, as well as putting mosques under surveillance.

This is a difficult time for Muslim Americans." Obama said, "Like all Americans, you worry about the threat of terrorism. But on top of that, you fear that your entire community will be blamed for the violent acts of a few who do not represent your faith."  The statement prompted chants of "Four more years," from the 100 guests. “No, no,” he said. “Michelle’s going to come down and scold you.”

There were about 3.3 million Muslim Americans living in the United States in 2015, according to Pew Research Center estimates, making up about 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

U.N. meteorological agency
says climate change alarming

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Meteorological Organization reported the first six months of this year have seen all previous global warming records broken.The U.N. agency said 2016 is on track to be the world’s hottest year on record with more heat on the way.

The dramatic, sweeping changes in the state of the world climate is alarming, the agency said. June was the 14th month in a row of record heat for land and oceans. It also marked the 378th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average.

David Carlson, director of the agency’s World Climate Research Program, said global warming is happening faster than predicted.

“This year suggests that the planet can warm up faster than we expected on a much shorter time. We would have thought that it would take several years to see a jump like this,” he said.
Scientists based their assessment of the rapidly changing climate on three main indicators.The first is the record-setting global temperatures, which, for the first six months of this year, averaged 1.3 degrees C warmer than pre-industrial era levels.
They noted the heat has been especially high in the Arctic, resulting in the early and fast melting of the Arctic sea ice, territories in the far Northern Hemisphere, including Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia, are setting heat records, and carbon dioxide emissions, which are driving global warming, have reached new highs.
The strong 2015-2016 El Niño event, which causes unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, is only partially responsible for this accelerated warming trend Carlson said, however, much remains unknown.

“If we got this much surprise this year, how many more surprises are ahead of us? The system cannot so far as we know, I mean, ice takes a certain amount of time to melt, the ocean takes a certain amount of time to heat up. It cannot go ballistic the way the movies have it, but this is a serious surprise even from a conservative climate point of view,” he stated.
Carlson warned the world is running out of time to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases leading to global warming. He said nations that have signed up to the Paris Climate Change agreement last year must take more aggressive action.

Twitter bans movie critic
for bashing black actress

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Twitter has permanently banned a conservative writer and provocateur for allegedly provoking online racial abuse of Leslie Jones, an actress in the new “Ghostbusters” movie.

The social media company said Breitbart senior technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos, known as @Nero on Twitter, broke the company’s rules prohibiting participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals.

The new “Ghostbusters” movie is a remake of an 1980s classic, but this time features an all-female cast, including Ms. Jones, an African-American comedian.

For purists of the movie, the remake has been criticized, while movie critics have given the movie mixed reviews. Yiannopoulos panned the movie in a review on Breitbart.

Ms. Jones accused Yiannopoulos, who had over 340,000 followers on Twitter, of inciting racial abuse. The actress shared some of the abusive tweets, which included accusing the comedian of being responsible for AIDS and comparing her to a gorilla.

Ms. Jones reached out to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to complain about the abuse before saying she was quitting the social media platform "with tears and a very sad heart. All this ‘cause I did a movie."

Yiannopoulos denied sending abusive tweets at Ms. Jones, saying, “Twitter is holding me responsible for the actions of fans and trolls using the special pretzel logic of the left. Where are the Twitter police when Justin Bieber’s fans cut themselves on his behalf?”

He did send Ms. Jones a tweet saying “If at first you don’t succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim. Everyone gets hate mail.” He also poked fun at the comedian’s grammar.

Yiannopoulos said his suspension was an attack on free speech.

"With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives," Yiannopoulos told Breitbart. "This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: You're not welcome on Twitter."

Yiannopoulos has had his account suspended before over similar charges but had always been reinstated. He did, however, lose his blue verified designator as a result of one spat.

In a statement, Twitter said it was "continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to prevent this kind of abuse." adding there was "a lot of work in front of us before Twitter is where it should be on how we handle these issues."

Supporters of Yiannopoulos took to Twitter and caused the #freemilo hashtag to become trending.

The dispute comes at a time of transition for Twitter, which is popular, but has yet to find a way to make money. Furthermore, the company has been criticized for not removing accounts promoting so-called hate speech.

The company has even reported losing users in the face of fierce competition from social media behemoths like Facebook and Instagram.

Dorsey recently returned to run the company and has rolled out some changes the company hopes will attract users and advertisers.

Fox chief leaves his position
over sex harassment claims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Roger Ailes, the founder and long-time boss of Fox News Channel, has resigned after a number of female employees accused him of sexual harassment.

Ailes' resignation, effective immediately, was announced by the network's parent company, 21st Century Fox. Two weeks ago, Ailes was sued for sexual harassment by Gretchen Carlson, a former host of Fox & Friends, who left the company last month when her contract wasn't renewed.

Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the company's executive chairman, will run Fox News and its sister Fox Business Network, which Ailes also led, until a successor can be found.

The company statement made no mention of the lawsuit or its review of the allegations.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Carlson said her career was sabotaged after she refused Ailes' sexual advances. Ailes has denied all accusations.

A former consultant to Republican presidents, Ailes, 76, had been a key figure in the media empire and a longtime Murdoch ally.

Under his leadership, Fox became home to key conservative political commentators, drawing an audience distinct from rivals CNN and MSNBC.

NBA drops North Carolina
over its bathroom measure

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The National Basketball Association is moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, because of the state's so-called bathroom bill that many say discriminates against transgender people.

The decision will cost North Carolina millions of dollars that basketball fans spend every year at the game, which showcases the league's best players. Media reports said the game would be moved to New Orleans.

NBA officials had warned for months that the league could move the game if the state did not overturn the law requiring transgenders to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates, not the one with which they identify.

Other parts of the law strip discrimination protection from gays and lesbians.

"Our weeklong schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league and the values for which we stand and to bring together all members of the NBA community," a league statement said Thursday. "We do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” meaning the law.

Basketball great Michael Jordan, chairman of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, said he regretted that efforts to work out a compromise failed.

North Carolina attorney General Roy Cooper, a supporter of the measure, criticized what he called the sports and entertainment elite for misrepresenting a law he said was aimed at protecting the privacy of boys and girls in school bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.

Several top entertainers also have canceled shows in North Carolina because of the law, including Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen and the Cirque du Soleil troupe.

Russian agent sentenced
for shipping high-tech items

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A federal court in New York on Thursday sentenced an admitted agent of the Russian government to 10 years in prison and ordered him to forfeit $500,000 in profit he'd gained from his criminal activity, which focused on acquiring and secretly shipping abroad high-tech microelectronics for the Russian military.

Alexander Fishenko pleaded guilty to all 19 charges brought by the Department of Justice. U.S. officials said a company that Fishenko had founded shipped $50 million worth of electronic products to Russia between 2002 and 2012, all in defiance of a government licensing system meant to control such exports.

"These commodities have applications and are frequently used in a wide range of military systems," U.S. officials said, "including radar and surveillance systems, missile guidance systems and detonation triggers."

Charges against Fishenko, who has both American and Russian citizenship, included conspiracy, illegally exporting controlled products, conspiring to launder money and obstruction of justice. He was indicted in October 2012, along with 10 other individuals and two corporations, both of which Fishenko controlled. Three of the people remain at large, but the others either have pleaded guilty or been convicted in court.

To evade export controls on high-tech products manufactured in the United States, officials said, Fishenko and his co-conspirators gave false information about who was buying the electronic components, concealed the fact they were exporters and falsely described the devices on records submitted to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Ultimate recipients of the electronic components acquired by Fishenko's companies, known as ARC and Apex, included a research unit for the Russian internal security agency FSB, a Russian entity that builds air and missile defense systems and another that produces electronic warfare systems for the Russian ministry of defense.

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said prosecuting those who violate U.S. export laws is "an important part of our national security framework . . . protecting national assets from ending up in the hands of our potential adversaries."


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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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    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.

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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: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach.  Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc.  Super fenced yard for dogs.  Very low electric bill even with the AC.  This is a zero lot line property but with room to expand up and out.  Very secure & private.  Police chief next door. $149,900.  Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $895K U.S.  Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

House for Sale in Escazu Downtown
Condo near downtown Escazú Centro, Country Day School and Paco Shopping Center. 2 floors, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Maid's quarters, patio, 24-hour guard,   clubhouse and pool  Price $170,000 or best offer Call Lewis at 506 2288-2250 or 506 8828-6749.
Email: or

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Luxury condominium apartments for sale in Escazú
The property located in Trejos Montealegre, has three apartments for sale. Excellent location, 400 meters east of Avenida Escazú, next to Village (new commercial and office project), Plaza Tempo, Wal-Mart, CIMA Hospital. To enter and exit Trejos Montealegre no need to pay toll. The condominium is few minutes from San José

♦ Apartment No. 1: 180 square meters, 3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 2: 180. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 3: This is the largest one. 250. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar  island kitchen furniture, 2 garages, electric gate. Total property measures 529 square meters.  Unique opportunity to buy it for $ 750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars).  For more information contact Adrian, cell phone  506-8598-9898  Email:

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

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Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
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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 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 144
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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
Ms. Figueres has weak U.N. showing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
with staff additions

Two clear front-runners have emerged from the pack of 12 candidates for the next U.N. secretary-general, according to diplomats with knowledge of the secret proceedings. And neither is the Costa Rican candidate, Christiana Figueres.

Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres and Slovenia's former president, Danilo Turk, both garnered strong support from the U.N. Security Council's 15 members on their first informal ballots Thursday to select a new U.N. chief.

The council, which recommends a finalist to the General Assembly for approval, is likely to hold several rounds of votes before making a final decision. The winner will take over from Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1.

Both front-runners have extensive U.N. experience, in addition to their political backgrounds.

Guterres, 67, was his country's prime minister from 1995 to 2002 and went on to become the U.N. high commissioner for refugees for a decade, leaving the post last December. Under his leadership, the agency managed the largest refugee and migrant crisis since World War II.

Turk, 64, of Slovenia, is a human rights lawyer who was his country's head of state from 2007 to 2012. Before that, he served as Slovenia's first U.N. ambassador and was the U.N. deputy political chief under Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Eastern Europe has never held the top U.N. post and has entered eight candidates in hopes of winning it. They had mixed results. Aside from Slovenia's Turk, who is in second place in the vote count, diplomats said Bulgaria's Irina Bokova, the head of the U.N. Educational, Educational andddd Cultural Organization, came in third, followed closely by Vuk Jeremic of Serbia and Srgjan Kerim of Macedonia.

At the bottom of the pack were the nominees from Montenegro, Moldova and Croatia.

There has been a push by more than 50 member states this year to select a woman to fill the top U.N. job. New Zealand's Helen Clark, who runs the U.N. Development Programme, and Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, placed in the middle of the group, while Ms. Figueres landed in the bottom half.

The results of the council's informal voting are not public. General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, who has shaken up the process this year by calling on governments to formally nominate their candidates and by holding public job interviews with them, took to social media to criticize the council for not making the poll results public.

"In my view, limiting the communication to the fact that the informal straw poll has taken place without any further detail adds little value and does not live up to the expectations of the membership and the new standard of openness and transparency," he wrote on Twitter.

"We are not going to preview our position on the individual candidates," U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters on her way into the vote. "But we made no secret of the fact that we're looking for somebody with great leadership skills, great management skills, someone who has a commitment to fairness and accountability, and who stays true to the founding principles of the United Nations."

France's U.N. envoy François Delattre compared the council's secret deliberations to the selection of the pope, "with the exception that the observers say there is no smoke, white or black." He added that the process is critically important, and the council must make sure it picks the best candidate.

"It's about inspiring and projecting trust, and making sure that the community of nations recognizes itself in the future secretary-general," he said.

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From Page 7:

Expat’s project is to create clinics for diabetics

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A long-time expat is trying to bring the benefits of a new diabetes treatment to Costa Rica. He is  Norman Sklar, who said he is seeking quality sponsors to pay for treatment clinics here.

The idea is fairly revolutionary although the concept has long been considered. This is the artificial pancreas that picks up where the body of the diabetes sufferer fails. The device pumps pulses of insulin into patients in a clinical setting, and this jump starts the liver to produce enzymes otherwise absent or dramatically reduced in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, according to Sklar.

Sklar said the treatment would save money for hospitals and patients alike. Now the usual treatment is either pills or insulin shots, depending on the severity of the patient’s problem.

Sklar said he received an enthusiastic reception when he presented the concept to medical professional here. He also seeks to inform the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the nation’s health provider.

The so-called artificial pancreas treatment is getting good reviews in the United States where the device used to infuse the insulin already has approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Patients only have to visit the clinic for treatment two to four times a month. Proponents of the method point out that under the treatment the body really heals itself.

Diabetes can cause sufferers to lose feeling in the limbs, suffer failing eyesight and in extreme cases undergo amputations. The treatment also is supposed to help heal diabetes wounds and reduce blood pressure.

Sklar notes that he is an agent for a large U.S. lender that could provide bridge loans to carry a clinic project to completion. He said he already has candidates for the medical staff positions at such clinics. He can be reached at