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Published Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 152
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Casa Canada

Bot fly: Is this what is starting to bug you?
By Dennis Rogers
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica got a bad rap last week when a California mom went public with her 7 year old’s bot fly problem.

The family had returned from a Costa Rica vacation, according to local news outlets. The mother was the source of a lengthy news article about the fly larva in her son’s scalp.

Most expats in Costa Rica know about bot flies. But apparently not the California’s family’s physician, who prescribed antibiotics, according to the news report.

The bot fly, Dermatobia hominis, is a parasite of mammals not restricted to humans despite its scientific name. The mechanism of infection is referred to as myiasis, where larva of a parasite burrow into the tissues of the host.

This fly is restricted to the lowlands in Costa Rica, generally around domestic animals. Locally it is referred to as tórsalo, though country people rarely are infected. Some student researchers at the La Selva biological station in Sarapiquí seem to consider it a badge of honor to have one and allow it to complete its larval development in their skin.

The bot fly has an unusual reproductive cycle. The adult is a substantial fly looking more like a bumblebee and would likely be repelled by the prospective host, so a vector is used. This is usually a mosquito, which is captured by the female fly. She lays her eggs on the mosquito. When it lands to bite, the larvae of 
bot fly
University of Florida/ Lyle J. Buss 
Adult bot fly (Dermatobia hominis)

the fly which have hatched in the meantime drop onto the warm host. After completion of
development while the larva feeds on tissue fluids, it drops off to pupate in soil. Secondary infection is rare.

Presence is usually detected by a boil in the skin with a hole that is the larva’s breathing tube. The most common remedy is to suffocate it with the application of petroleum jelly, nail polish, or tree sap. Then the worm can be carefully squeezed out or pulled out with tweezers. It is recommended that this part be done by a medical professional since if the entire worm is not removed infection may result.

The larva in the scalp of the California boy was removed with tweezers.

Another fly that uses myiasis is the screwworm, which does much more damage since it moves around thorough the host’s tissues. It causes major losses in livestock but has been mostly eliminated from north and Central America by the sterile insect technique where large numbers of male flies sterilized by radiation are released into the wild. These mate with local females which then produce sterile eggs.

There is another three-day weekend coming soon
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tuesday’s holiday may be gone, but there is another one, a biggie, in less than two weeks.

Monday, Aug. 15, is the Día de la Madre, Costa Rica’s mother’s day. Most expats know that the mother runs the Latin American home, so veneration of the mother is far stronger than for the father.

That’s why the Día de la Madre, a legal

holiday, is a great time for restaurants and retailers. And because the day is a Monday this year, there is a three-day weekend.

And it does not hurt that the day also is the traditional pay day.

It is not a coincidence that Aug. 15 also happens to be the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic, Orthodox and several other faiths. Naturally, public offices, embassies and some private businesses will be closed

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 152
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Weather experts keep an eye on Earl

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Weather experts here said they expected Tropical Storm Earl to increase precipitation in the Central Valley, the Pacific coast, the northern zone and the mountains of the Caribbean. But so far today that has not happened.

However, the U.S. Hurricane Information Center said that Earl is expected to strengthen today.  The storm was expected to pass near the Honduras Bay
Islands this afternoon and then be very near the Belize coast early Thursday.

Winds are 60 mph (95 kph) with higher gusts, said the center, adding the  storm is likely to become a hurricane.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico, southward to the Belize-Guatemala border.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Cabo Gracias a Dios westward to the Honduras-Guatemala border, including the Bay Islands of Honduras, and north of Puerto Costa Maya to Punta Allen, Mexico, said the center in its 2 a.m. forecast.

The storm is expected to move west at 14 mph (23 kph) and produce storm surges of from three to five feet, said the center.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the activity produced by Earl was expected to reinforce the rainfall in Costa Rica. The weather conditions already are unstable with a lot of humidity entering the air over the country from the oceans, it said. The weather agency warned of slides and flooding.

Casa Presidencial photo
A rocket explodes over the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles early Wednesday in advance of a Mass honoring the nation’s patroness.

Solís seeks prayers to reduce poverty

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís asked for prayers Tuesday for help in handling poverty and the influx of foreign immigrants. The president spoke during a Mass in honor of the Virgen de los Ángeles at the basilica in Cartago.

But it was the bishop of  San Isidro de El General, Enrique Montero, who urged the government to pass more taxes to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.  He also spoke against gay marriage, corruption and abortion and stressed the usual Roman Catholic position. The Catholic Church, as the official religion benefits from a range of tax exemptions.

The Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles is the destination each year for more than a million pilgrims who walk from all over Costa Rica and other Latin countries. Many stood in the hot sun to hear the president and the bishop, although the VIP section containing government officials had chairs.

Solís spoke of many citizens who are in poverty despite having jobs. He cited fishermen, farmers and factory workers. And he made special reference to those who were far from their country, meaning the migrants.

Costa Rica handled a wave of some 8,000 Cubans heading to the United States, but now seems stymied by thousands of Africans who have managed to get into the country. Panamá is having the same problem with illegal migrants trying to reach the United States.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 152
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Teams are practicing in Jacó for the weekend start of surfing games
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica’s Selección Nacional de Surf will be training this morning in Jacó in preparation for the World Surfing Games that begin Saturday with a parade of nations and an opening ceremony.

This is a big deal for Jacó and the entire central Pacific coast. Area residents and health officials worked for months to reduce the possibility of zika infections by spraying and by eliminating receptacles where mosquitoes can breed.

The health measures appear to have been a success because the last Ministerio de Salud report showed a few more than 100 cases in the canton.

The actual surf competitions begin Sunday and run through finals on the following Sunday. Aug. 14 also is when a round of drug testing has been promised for successful competitors.

Team registrations began Tuesday. Most of the action will be in the surf in front of the Hotel Best Western, said the International Surfing Association, the sponsor.

Each national team can field four men and two women who compete for individual medals. Their scores are figured to determine a team winner.

The International Surfing Association will be streaming the competitions live online HERE!

The event may be the first competition where the sport has Olympic status. The International Olympic Committee is

surf victory
International Surfing Association/Dave Nelson
Noe Mar McGonagle holds the Costa Rican flag high after becoming the open men’s gold medalist at the 2015 World Surfing Games.

meeting today in Rio to vote if surfing will be included in the 2020 Tokyo games, the surfing association has said.

Costa Rica is the reigning world surfing champions. The national team won last year when the event was held in Nicaragua.

The competition was held in Playa Hermosa in 2009 and attracted tens of thousands of fans. Jacó supporters estimated that the games will bring in around $35 million to the country.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 152
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Zika study estimates that infections are massively under reported
By the Northeastern University news staff

With the report from Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday that 14 people in the state have been infected with the zika virus most likely through mos­quito trans­mis­sion, the con­cern about out­breaks in the U.S. has intensified.

The news comes on the heels of new research by a North­eastern University pro­fessor, Alessandro Vespig­nani, that can help coun­tries in the Amer­icas plan a response.

The new study, along with inter­ac­tive maps, pro­vides cur­rent num­bers as well pro­jec­tions for the number of zika cases in the Amer­icas through Jan­uary 2017. It also pro­vides pro­jec­tions for the number of micro­cephaly cases asso­ci­ated with the disease through October 2017, a date chosen to allow for the nine months of preg­nancy. Micro­cephaly is a serious neu­ro­log­ical birth defect char­ac­ter­ized by a smaller than normal head.

The research is a col­lab­o­ra­tion over­seen by the Center for Infer­ence and Dynamics of Infec­tious Dis­eases, a Models of Infec­tious Dis­ease Agent Study Center of Excel­lence supported by the National Insti­tutes of Health.

Tack­ling zika has been a call to arms, says Vespig­nani. “We’ve been working on the mod­eling around the clock since Jan­uary,” adds Matteo Chi­nazzi a post­doc­toral research asso­ciate in Vespignani’s Boston lab­o­ra­tory and a coau­thor of the study.

The team of 14 researchers uses large-​​scale com­pu­ta­tional epi­demic models that integrate socio-​​demographic and travel data of target pop­u­la­tions along with simulations of infec­tion transmis­sion among mil­lions of indi­vid­uals to recon­struct dis­ease spread in the past and project it into the future.

Under-​​reporting is rife in affected coun­tries because up to 80 per­cent of people with the dis­ease are asymp­to­matic, says Vespig­nani. “Even of those with symp­toms, probably only one-​​third will go to the doctor and get diag­nosed,” he says.

Indeed, the number of travel-​​associated cases of zika in the U.S. reported by the Centers for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention may be just the tip of the ice­berg, according to the research.

The team, half of which is at North­eastern, pro­jected that as of June 15 there were close to 30,000 cases of travel-​​related zika in the U.S., a number 25 times greater than that reported by the Centers for Dis­ease Con­trol on the same date.

The dis­crep­ancy results from the dif­fer­ence between reported cases of the mosquito-​​borne virus, those actu­ally diag­nosed and reported to the CDC’s sur­veil­lance system, and those that fly under the radar but that the researchers’ mod­eling algorithms can project.

“We don’t project very large out­breaks in the con­ti­nental U.S.,” says Vespig­nani, whose lab has been run­ning the simula­tions of infec­tion transmission, a job that requires using some 30,000 proces­sors at once. “But there is a cer­tain set of coun­tries in the Amer­icas that has the right mos­qui­toes, the right weather, and the right socioe­co­nomic con­di­tions for major out­breaks.” Those con­di­tions include lack of air condtioning, poor san­i­ta­tion, and little access to edu­ca­tion, for example, instruc­tion on pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures such as removal of standing water, which attracts mosquitoes.

Among those coun­tries are Brazil with 15 percent of the population affected by the virus, Colombia with 8 percent and

Northeastern University/YoungHee Jang
Key countries with estimated zika infections

Puerto Rico with 10 percent. Puerto Rico is being par­tic­u­larly hard hit right now. “That’s because Puerto Rico is entering mosquito season,” says Qian Zhang, a post­doc­toral research asso­ciate and a coau­thor of the study. “The weather con­di­tions, including tem­per­a­ture and humidity, are now favor­able for the zika spread.”

Still, the risk of con­tracting zika as a result of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is extremely small, says Vespig­nani. That’s because the increase in air travel from zika-​​affected areas will be minimal, less than 1 per­cent. The number of cases in Brazil, where the virus sur­faced between August 2013 and April 2014, reached its peak in the first half of 2015 and has been declining since, affecting close to 10 to 15 per­cent of the population.

“The number of people trav­eling with zika all over the world has already been huge,” says Vespig­nani. “And Rio is not very much affected at the moment. So the half-​​million people who will travel there for the Games are just a small per­tur­ba­tion in the entire picture of the virus’ spread.”

Pro­jecting the spread of Zika has been much more dif­fi­cult than doing so for ebola or the flu, says Vespig­nani, who has mapped both. That’s because the dis­ease is pri­marily trans­mitted not from person to person but from mos­qui­toes to people, most often the species Aedes aegypti but also Aedes albopictus, both of which carry the dengue and yellow fever viruses as well.

Thus data on human mobility, socio-​​demographics, and temperature changes, the bread and butter of epi­demic modeling, must be com­pounded with data on the mosqui­toes, much of which is uncer­tain, such as their travel pat­terns, abun­dance, and life­cycle depending on tem­per­a­ture. “Unfor­tu­nately, mos­qui­toes do not have a GPS attached to them,” says Ana Pastore-​​Piontti, also a post­doc­toral research asso­ciate on the team who has also worked with Vespig­nani on past dis­ease threats such as the ebola epidemic.

In addi­tion, rel­a­tively little is known about zika itself, for example, pre­cisely when and where the virus arrived in Brazil, the length of the incu­ba­tion period in humans and mos­qui­toes, and whether humans can develop immu­nity to the virus.

Indeed, with no data avail­able specif­i­cally on the rela­tion­ship between zika and its host mos­qui­toes, the researchers had to rely on the his­tor­ical lit­er­a­ture on other mosquito-​​borne dis­eases including dengue, malaria, and chikun­gunya. “But that means that we are making a lot of assump­tions that zika is close to dengue, for example,” says Kaiyuan Sun, also a coau­thor of the zika study.

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 152
Real Estate
About us

Axiom new ad

Trump, Obama swap barbs
amid military controversies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that Barack Obama "will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States" after Obama called Trump unfit to lead.

"I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said that last week and he keeps on proving it," Obama said Tuesday at the White House.

But a former U.S. Marine attending a Trump rally Tuesday in Virginia said he thinks Trump will be a great commander-in-chief. A female Trump fan called him the real deal.

The outspoken Trump added another controversy to his growing list Tuesday when he accepted a Purple Heart medal from a retired lieutenant colonel before the rally in Ashburn, Virginia. Trump said the former soldier told him the gesture was intended to show confidence in him.

The Purple Heart is awarded to a U.S. serviceman or woman wounded in combat, or posthumously awarded to someone killed in battle. It is a sacred U.S. military tradition.

Trump, who says he regrets never serving in the military, said he was honored by the soldier's gift. The audience chuckled when he said he had “always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”

But a spokesman for the Military Order of the Purple Heart organization, John Bircher, was not amused.

"It is absolutely horrible for anyone to wear or have the Purple Heart medal who is not entitled to it," Bircher told CBS News, adding:

"Donald Trump did not get the Purple Heart and there's no easy way to get it. I don't think he has any clue as to the meaning of the Purple Heart medal."

Obama, who has endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton as his successor when he leaves office in January, challenged Republicans to repudiate Trump, saying his complaints against Khizr Khan and his wife, Ghazala, after they endorsed Mrs. Clinton at last week's Democratic National Convention were offensive. The Muslim American couple's son was killed fighting for the U.S. in Iraq in 2004.

"The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that had made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country," Obama said of Trump. "The fact that he doesn't appear to have basic knowledge about critical issues, in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia, means that he's woefully unprepared to do this job."

Gold Star families in the U.S. are those that have lost relatives while fighting in the U.S. armed services.

In response, Trump accused Obama of failed leadership. Trump said that Obama and Mrs. Clinton, his first-term secretary of State, had "destabilized the Middle East, handed Iraq, Libya and Syria" to Islamic State jihadists. The Republican nominee said they also had sent America's "best jobs overseas to appease their global interests."

"We need change now," Trump concluded.

In a highly unusual attack on his possible replacement, Obama questioned why Republicans continue to endorse Trump, even as numerous Republican lawmakers have condemned his comments about the Khans, sometimes criticizing Trump by name and other times denouncing his comments but not mentioning him by name.

Trump said the the Khans had viciously attacked him at the Democratic convention and then complained that they continued to assail his candidacy in a series of television interviews in recent days. Khizr Khan said Trump had made no sacrifice for the U.S. as great as his son, Humayon Khan, killed by a suicide bomber in 2004 while protecting other soldiers.

Trump, in one interview last weekend, said he had made sacrifices for the United States by creating thousands of jobs and providing workers benefits to improve their lives.

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential contest, said he deeply disagrees with Trump's suggestions that Muslims like the Khans should not be allowed in the country.

"It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party," McCain said. "While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us."

McCain was a Navy combat pilot during the Vietnam War and spent more than five years as a prisoner of war. Earlier in the campaign, Trump denigrated McCain's status as a war hero, saying he prefers people who do not get captured.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the families of military service members are owed "the utmost respect."

"Mr. Trump’s comments are not in line with my own beliefs about how the members of the military and their families should be treated, and respect for the people who serve our country is something both presidential campaigns could use more of," he said.

A group of 23 families of fallen soldiers released a letter to Trump calling his comments repugnant and personally offensive.

"When you question a mother's pain, by implying that her religion, not her grief, kept her from addressing an arena of people, you are attacking us. When you say your job building buildings is akin to our sacrifice, you are attacking our sacrifice," they wrote. "This goes beyond politics. It is about a sense of decency. That kind decency you mock as 'political correctness.'"

The group Veterans of Foreign Wars said Trump's comments are out of bounds.

"Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression," the VFW national commander, Brian Duffy, said.

Khizr Khan was asked during an interview Monday whether he thought anything useful will come from his feud with Trump.

"It really has come out. It really, really has come out that a significant larger number of Republicans are asking him to tone down, change those derogatory remarks about minorities, not only just Muslims but other minorities," Khan said.

He further expressed worry about the consequences if Trump becomes the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military and wondered whether U.S. forces would follow his orders.

Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, called Humayon Khan a hero and blamed the policies of President Barack Obama and Clinton for allowing Islamic State to overrun a once stable Middle East.

Trump wrote in a Twitter post Monday that the debate is not about the Khans, but about radical Islamic terrorism.

Meanwhile, some online news outlets have identified Khizr Khan as a man involved in the business of obtaining visas for immigrants and associated with a law firm that has close ties to Mrs. Clinton and Saudi Arabia.

Much of Trump's speech Tuesday in Virginia focused on the economy and terrorism.

He said it would be a good thing to partner with Russia and others and "knock the hell" out of Islamic State.

He also said electing Mrs. Clinton as president would mean four more years of Obama's policies. If that happens, Trump says, the country would be finished.

Mrs. Clinton suspended her campaign Tuesday to attend the funeral in Rhode Island of her friend Mark Weiner, a Democratic party donor and fundraiser. Weiner died of cancer last week at 62.

Mrs. Clinton plans to resume her campaign today in Commerce City, Colorado. Trump is scheduled to speak in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida.

Federal courts striking down
state voting ID measures

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A spate of federal court rulings against voting restrictions in five U.S. states will make it easier for residents to cast ballots in the November elections but may lead to chaos at polling locations, according to legal scholars.

"There may well be confusion on Election Day, even if things are implemented the way the courts have decided," said a University of California, Irvine, law professor, Richard Hasen.

In recent weeks, courts struck down North Carolina's voter identification law, Wisconsin's restrictions on early and absentee voting, and Kansas' proof of citizenship requirement. A judge blocked North Dakota's voter ID law, and an appellate court sent Texas' voter ID law back to a lower court with instructions to devise a way to allow those lacking state-approved identification to be able to cast a ballot.

"Judges are beginning to wake up and see what some of these enacted laws are doing," said Theodore Shaw, who heads the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "The lower courts and courts of appeals are finding that these voter ID provisions are discriminatory in either intent or effect, or both."

While Republican-led states insisted they sought only to guarantee the integrity of elections by verifying the identity of those casting ballots, ruling after ruling found the states had erected barriers that would impede voting by racial minorities.

An appellate court found North Carolina's voter ID law had been enacted with racially-discriminatory intent and that its provisions target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.

In Wisconsin, a federal judge wrote that "a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities."

In North Dakota, a federal judge held that voter fraud is virtually non-existent and that that state's proof of identity requirement "ensnares a disproportionate number of Native Americans, who are especially unlikely to have the documents necessary to obtain a voter ID."

The rulings have triggered fierce reactions from some state officials.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory accused federal judges of "undermining the integrity of our elections while also maligning the state." In a statement, McCrory noted that photo IDs are required to "cash a check, board an airplane or enter a federal courtroom."

"It is imperative that the state government safeguards our elections," said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. "Preventing voter fraud is essential to accurately reflecting the will of Texas voters, and it is unfortunate that this common-sense law . . .  was not upheld."

Richard Hasen said that while most Americans have a driver's license or a passport to prove their identity, many poor and minority voters have neither. He is a professor at the University of California, Irvine.

"Imagine that you are poor person in Dallas, and you take the bus to work. You don't have a passport. You don't have a driver's license because you don't drive. So you don't have the kinds of ID that the state accepts," Hasen said. "You could go and get a free ID from the state. But if you happen to live far from one of the places that issues those IDs, you are going to have to take time off from work and pay to get yourself there. And you might not have the documentation.

"So, for most of us, having the right kind of ID is no big deal. But there is a significant part of the population for which this is a big deal," Hasen added.

Several states have promised to appeal the rulings, setting the stage for further legal battles.

"It's still not over. There's going to be more fighting," Shaw said.

Hasen said he expects the rulings of recent weeks to stand at least through the November elections. But that does not preclude the possibility of chaos at polling stations.

"I think most people will be able to cast a ballot," he said. "I do think there will be problems. Some of the problems will be administrative — not because the state is trying to discourage voting."

"It takes a lot of work to run an election, and for poll workers and voters to understand what the rules are," Hasen added.

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Indiana's voter ID law and weakened critical sections of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.

But those decisions are not predictive of how the high court might rule in the future, according to Hasen.

"Laws passed in recent years in Wisconsin and Texas are much stricter than the ID law passed in Indiana," he said. "And the Supreme Court has changed. With the death of Justice Scalia, the court went from a 5-4 [conservative] majority on voting rights to a 4-4 ideological split. It's not clear that the court, at least until it gets another member, is actually going to give us any clarity on these cases." He was referring to Justice Antonin Scalia.

Shaw noted that America has seen many battles over access to the voting booth.

"It's happened going way back throughout North Carolina's history since after the Civil War. But this is another day. This is the 21st century."

Some Republicans worried
by party’s climate position

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Spencer Hartman certainly looks the part.

In a black pinstripe suit, with neatly parted hair and University of Nebraska lapel pin, the school's student body president looks 21-going-on-incumbent-senator.

He's a conservative, an exotic species among his millennial peers. Hartman was one of 120 campus leaders invited to Washington this June for a conference on climate change.

But with Republican leadership from presidential nominee Donald Trump on down denying that climate change is a problem, Hartman finds himself at a loss.

"While I'm unashamedly a conservative, I'm also unashamed to admit that science has proven these things," he says.

The issue is more important for millennials than for any other generation, and they are the largest age group in the country.

Across the board, it's getting harder to find people who don't believe that the climate is changing and that humans are at least partly responsible.

That includes Republicans. In a report last August, conservative research and lobbying group ClearPath noted, "Most voters – including most conservative Republicans – think the climate is changing and mankind is playing a role. Outright dismissal of climate change is very limited, even among conservative Republicans."

But the Republican Party generally takes a dim view of the importance of global warming. Among the party's most vocal skeptics of climate science are the chairmen of the House science committee and the Senate environment committee.

While the Democratic platform devoted one entire section to climate change, the Republican platform made only passing mention of it, mainly to dismiss the subject.

"Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue. This is the triumph of extremism over common sense, and Congress must stop it," one passage reads.

That approach hasn't hurt the Republicans so far.

"Republicans are focused on the issues that are the most important to the American people," says Jim Hobart, a Republican pollster at Public Opinion Strategies.

And polls show climate change is not one of them.

"That is why we have a historic majority in the House and why we have a majority in the Senate, and we have a majority of the governorships in the country, and we have historic control of a majority of state legislatures," Hobart adds.

ClearPath founder and CEO Jay Faison worries that's about to end.

"I do think it's a problem going forward," he says. "I think the Democrats see it as an opportunity."

Opposing action on climate change hurt hypothetical candidates in a recent Yale University and George Mason University survey. Four times as many people said they would vote against these candidates as would vote for them.

Faison says the Republican Party risks losing millennials, as well as "suburban women and a lot of the voting groups that we need to win tough general elections. This could be the deciding issue."

It may not be voters' top concern, but Faison thinks it could be an issue that peels off voters who would otherwise vote Republican. That can make the difference in a tight race.

That's why Faison wants the party to change its tune. He put $165 million of his own money into founding ClearPath.

ClearPath's political action committee is putting up to $5 million into digital ads backing five Republican candidates who support clean energy and "where we have a large percentage of persuadable voters who care about this," Faisons says.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 152
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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
Grecia death
Cruz Roja photo
Cruz Roja rescue workers are seen recovering a body of a man missing for three days after he fell or jumped from a bridge over the Río Colorado in Grecia. The body was located near the Rafael Iglesias bridge, said the Cruz Roja.

U.S. indicts top Venezuelan officials

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York, has indicted two top Venezuela officials on being part of a cocaine conspiracy. The men are Nestor Luis Reverol Torres, the former general director of Venezuela’s Oficina Nacional Antidrogas and former commander of Venezuela’s National Guard, and Edylberto Jose Molina Molina, the former sub-director of the drug agency and currently Venezuela’s military attaché to Germany.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro responded Tuesday by naming Reverol the nation’s interior minister, the leading law enforcement figure.

The U.S. Justice Department said that the indictment was returned under seal by the federal grand jury Jan. 21 and relates to Reverol’s and Molina’s alleged activities from January 2008 to December 2010, when they served as the top officials for the government agency charged with combating narcotics trafficking.

According to court documents, from January 2008 to December 2010, in their then official capacities, Reverol and Molina received payments from drug traffickers in exchange for assisting the drug traffickers in distributing cocaine for ultimate importation into the United States. 

They also took steps to stop or hinder ongoing narcotics investigations to allow cocaine-laden vehicles to leave Venezuela and arranged for the release of individuals arrested for narcotics violations and the release of narcotics and narcotics-related currency that had been seized by law enforcement, it said.  Reverol and Molina also prevented the arrest or deportation of individuals targeted by foreign countries, the indictment added.

The indictment is the second indictment unsealed in the Eastern District of New York against alleged corrupt high-level officials in Venezuela who allegedly assisted narcotics traffickers in importing cocaine into the United States. 

On March 20, 2013, a third superseding indictment was unsealed charging Vassyly Kotosky Villaroel Ramírez, a captain in the Venezuelan Guardia Nacional, and Rafael Antonio Villasana Fernández, an officer in the Venezuelan Guardia Nacional, with participating in an international cocaine distribution conspiracy between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 1, 2009. 

Both Reverol and Molina would seem to have immunity from prosecution while they continue to hold Venezuelan government jobs.

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From Page 7:

Another firm seeks to sell donuts here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another company wants to enter the Costa Rica donut market. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., said it has made an agreement with Inversiones DBA-KKD de Costa Rica, SRL, to open 10 branded shops here.

“Costa Rica’s rapid market growth and consumer demand for sweet treats makes this the perfect time for Krispy Kreme to expand in the country,” said the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, firm in a news release.

But for some reason donuts have not really taken off here as they have in other countries. There are some retail locations in the malls, and several firms, including the famous Dunkin’ Donuts, but expats might have trouble finding them, except at a few beach locations.