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Published Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 156
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Casa Canada

Asociación Sindical de Empleados Industriales de las Comunicaciones y la Energía photo
Some marchers Monday actually had the benefit of motorcycles.
Protest today expected to make driving unbearable
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today appears to be a step toward anarchy as taxi drivers once again block the highways and key intersections. The day-long strike follows a march by electrical and telecom workers who took to the streets Monday.

Taxi drivers have had a lot of practice in blocking roadways. This is a long-standing method of protest, but this time they really are angry. The basic target of their unhappiness is the Uber ride service that they feel is taking business from them illegally.

Uber has replaced the many unlicensed pirate taxi drivers as the prime focus of the drivers of the red cabs.

In a larger sense, the protest is about money with the perception that living is harder now. That was a motivation for the workers at the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad who marched to Casa Presidencial Monday.

The ICE workers are upset at some staff and budget cutbacks. The march shows the unwillingness of Costa Ricans to recognize the difficult financial position of the nation.

Taxi drivers were caught flatfooted by the Uber

technology that unified requests for cabs. There have been similar systems available here, but they had not been promoted well.

So it took Uber to come and ignore completely the extensive and expensive bureaucracy the government had erected around the taxi business.

The ICE workers are members of the  Asociación Sindical de Empleados Industriales de las Comunicaciones y la Energía. Their leaders were upset that no one from the government received them at Casa Presidencial Monday. They want the president to fire the state firm’s administration.

The firm said that just 11 of its 135 offices for the public were closed due to absenteeism Monday.

Taxi drivers are likely to get a similar cold shoulder today from top officials. On the job will be hundreds of Fuerza Pública and traffic officers. The government has said it will not allow the drivers to block completely the highways and intersections. 

Usually the drivers are careful to keep one lane open, although that is almost as bad as a complete blockade.

Researchers turn up new passion flower species here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three researchers have added a new Costa Rican species to the Passiflora genus.  The plant,  Passiflora chimuensis, comes from the Chimú mountain in the Talamancas.

In the world’s tropics there are about 500 species of passion flower, including the plant that produces the maracujá fruit. Some 53 species are found in Costa Rica, and five of these, like chimuensis are native. The new species is described in the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

The discovery came from a survey as part of the Limón Ciudad Puerto project, which seeks to catalog all the biological resources of the province.

Museo Nacional photo
This is a blossom of  Passiflora chimuensis

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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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Federación de Surf/Alfredo Barquero
Emily Gussoni handles the shifting waves

Costa Rica fares well in the surf

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Male surfers from Costa Rica, France, Perú and Portugal advanced Monday in the World Surfing Games in Jacó, the national surfing federation reported. The Costa Ricans are Carlos Muñoz, Noe Mar McGonagle and Tomás King.

Costa Rican women, Emily Gussoni and Leilani McGonagle, also stayed alive in their first heat on the water, the federation said.

Playa Jacó showed the international field of surfers the wide range of conditions that it can feature, said the International Surfing Association, the games sponsor. There were 12 heats of open men round 2 and 12 heats of open women round 1. Competitors faced Jaco’s extreme tide swings and moody weather, with conditions varying from glassy and sunshine to gusty rain squalls.

The association said that France’s Pauline Ado was the standout performer of the day with a decisive victory in her Round 1 heat. Ado’s heat total of 17.77 and single wave score of 9.27 were the highest of the day for any man or woman, allowing her to comfortably cruise into Round 2 along with Peru’s Analí Gomez (14.20).

Muñoz continued his strong run and obtained the highest wave score (9.17) and heat total (16.50) in the open men division, finishing ahead of Peru’s Alonso Correa (10.54), Argentina’s Felipe Suarez (10.00) and Panama’s Oli Gonzalez (7.10), the association reported.

Leandro Usuna, the men’s 2014 World Surfing Games gold medalist, passed through his round 2 heat in second place with a score of 11.53, ahead of the 11.20 heat total that landed Costa Rica’s Anthony Fillingim in third place.

Surfline, the official forecaster, is predicting that two- to three-foot southwest swells will continue with some reinforcements today. Wednesday a new southwest swell is expected to begin to creep in and fill in fully on Thursday.

Section of Interamericana will be closed

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Highway officials said they are closing a section of the Interamericana Norte tonight at 9 o’clock so that broken concrete can be replaced. The work will be between 4 Cruces and Aranjuez de Puntarenas north of Puntarenas Centro.

The work is expected to be finished by 4 p.m. Wednesday, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad. A 19-kilometer detour will take motorists on Ruta 609, a gravel road.

Two quakes reported in southern zone

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake took place 25 minutes after midnight today, said the Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica at the Universidad de Costa Rica. The epicenter was 28.8 kilometers south of Laurel de Corredores, it said.

That followed a 3.7 magnitude quake that the Laboratorio said was epicentered 14.8 kilometers east of Santa Maria de Dota  at 9:54 p.m.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 155
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Law enforcement having trouble getting a grip on the migrant invasion
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica officials probably wish the country had a wall at the border.

Most Latin Americans were offended when Donald Trump suggested such a construction at the U.S.-Mexican border, but now Costa Rica is being invaded by migrants.

Hundreds of Haitians a day are managing to find their way across the southern border of the country, most likely with the help of human traffickers.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública said that its Fuerza Pública and the Policía de Fronteras are working to prevent migrants from entering Costa Rica.

Meanwhile at Casa Presidencial, officials there finally admitted that the bulk of the migrants are not really Africans as they claim but actually from Haiti.

In any case, their goal is to enter the United States as illegal aliens. Costa Rican officials seem to be prepared to help them do this on the grounds of humane treatment.

About 100 migrants a day are applying for and getting 25-day transit visas in the southern part of the country. Many more are evading police and immigration controls.

A.M. Costa Rica reported as long ago as May 25 that groups of migrants were making their way to Nicaragua by foot along the Caribbean coast.  The newspaper also reported on the

complicity of local Costa Ricans in moving the group by boat from further south in Limón province.

The newspaper also reported that police in two nearby stations declined to respond to the matter.

There was an additional report Monday that Nicaragua has agreed to allow migrants to pass through that country. Lake Nicaragua was the scene of eight drowning deaths of migrants a week ago.

Unlike the 8,000 or so Cubans who headed to the United States from Costa Rica earlier this year, residents of Haiti have no legal right to cross the U.S. border.

That country has been suffering since the 2010 earthquake, mainly through mismanagement and corruption.

Another troubling aspect is that Casa Presidential officials speculated that the latest wave of migrants began their trip north in Brazil where they most certainly were exposed to the zika virus.

Under rules set forth Thursday, Costa Rican police officers are supposed to detain any migrants who do not have a temporary visa. So far there have been no reports of such detentions. But it is obvious that some migrants have official help. There also have been reports that some migrants have been able to obtain documents saying falsely that they are Costa Rican.

There are large numbers of Cubans and other migrants stalled in Colombia and also in Panamá.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 156
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Democratic National Committee hack illuminates dark cyber wars
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Inside the secretive world of cybersecurity experts is a phrase that quickly determines the severity of a cyberattack: Is this mischief or calamity?

For the higher-ups at the Democratic National Committee, hit by a cyberattack that vacuumed up thousands of emails, which WikiLeaks then leaked, it sure felt like a calamity.

It was the night before the opening of the party convention, and the world had an up-close peek at the rough-and-tumble world of American politics: emails that showed party leaders were doing everything they could to ensure that former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, would win the party's nomination for president.

The hack was quickly laid at Russia’s doorstep, which prompted some mudslinging by Donald Trump, who had just become the Republican presidential candidate at his party's convention the week before. Trump grabbed headlines again when he called on Russia to find “the 30,000 missing emails” that Mrs. Clinton's staff said they had deleted because they were purely personal.

​The Democratic National Committee tried to ignore the controversy, but just hours into day one of the convention, the party's national committee chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, stepped down.

For cyber experts, this was small stuff . . . mischief. No one died. No sovereign nation was violated. No infrastructure destroyed. Cyberattacks happen all the time, all over the world. The Democratic National Committee was embarrassed, but that’s nothing compared to a loss of life.

However, the connection with Russia hung around. Not because of Trump, but because of the implication that President Vladimir Putin was meddling in U.S. political affairs — a presidential election, no less.

President Barack Obama, hosting Prime Minister Lee Hsien

Loong of Singapore at the White House, was asked how the alleged Russian connection to the Democratic National Committee hack might impact America’s already strained relations with Putin.

“In terms of how it affects our relationship with Russia, look, I think we’ve already got a lot of differences with Russia on a whole bunch of issues," Obama said. “If, in fact, Russia engaged in this activity, it’s just one on a long list of issues that me and Mr. Putin talk about and that I’ve got a real problem with. And so I don’t think that it wildly swings what is a tough, difficult relationship that we have with Russia right now.”

He reiterated that the United States is ready to “impose potentially certain proportional penalties.” Obama gave no specifics, but said the FBI is still investigating.

That Russia was behind the Democratic National Committee breach is widely accepted. Shocking as it may sound, China routinely hacks the United States and has done so successfully, said Fred Kaplan, a columnist for and author of "Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War."

“The distinction between China and Russia when it comes to cyber activities is that China is kind of indiscriminate about it," Kaplan said Wednesday, during a radio appearance. “Russia tends to be a bit cagier about it, and some of their hacks are much harder to trace. They’re subtler and they cover their tracks well.”

Scary? Yes, with scenarios of blacking out the power grids of entire countries swirling around one’s head.

Kaplan says the United States employs some of the world’s brightest cybersecurity experts at the National Security Agency, the most secret of all U.S. intelligence services.

Those who are in charge of U.S. cybersecurity are focused on three key aspects of cyberwarfare: deterrence, detection and resilience. And Kaplan’s well-placed sources tell him “we are the best at this.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 156
Real Estate
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Axiom new ad

50 GOP ex-security advisers
reject Trump as a candidate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Fifty former Republican national security advisers, intelligence chiefs and trade representatives have signed a letter saying, "None of us will vote for Donald Trump."

They have served every U.S. Republican president from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, and include former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security directors Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, former Trade Representative Carla Hills and a number of ex-deputy secretaries of State.

It is some of the bitterest commentary on the Trump campaign by members of his own party to date.

The strongly worded letter not only says Trump is unqualified to be president, but that he would be a dangerous commander-in-chief and "the most reckless president in American history."

"He lacks the character, values and experience . . . he weakens U.S. moral authority . . .  he lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior."

They accuse Trump of displaying "alarming ignorance of the basic facts of contemporary international politics" and say he shows no willingness to learn.

"All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be president and commander-in-chief with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal."

Trump was equally as harsh, calling the 50 part of the "failed Washington elite,"  insiders who, along with Hillary Clinton, made "disastrous decisions to invade Iraq, allow Americans to die in Benghazi and . . . allowed the rise of ISIS," meaning the Islamic State.

But his focus Monday was on the economy, and he unveiled his latest plans in the struggling Midwestern city of Detroit, headquarters of the U.S. car industry.

Trump's plans include large tax cuts for individuals and corporations, suspending regulations he says stifle business, and reviving the controversial Keystone oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

He also said he would rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement and pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the Senate has not yet passed.

He calls both trade agreements bad deals that give all the advantages to all signatories except the U.S.

"We now begin a great national conversation about economic revival for America," Trump said. "It's a conversation about how to make America great again for everyone ... especially for those who have the very least."

In a rare moment at a Trump rally, the sharp-tongued candidate stood by quietly as police escorted protesters out of the hall, instead of his making wisecracks and encouraging the audience.

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Democrat Hillary Clinton assailed the Trump plan, saying he is trying to make "old tired ideas sound new."

She said Trump is repackaging trickle-down economics, a term used for benefits for the wealthy and corporations with the view that they will help the middle and lower class by reinvesting in the economy and creating jobs.

Historians say trickle-down economics has never worked, and Mrs. Clinton cited economists who believe Trump's tax breaks for the wealthy would bring back recession.

Mrs. Clinton plans to release her economic plan later this week. She already has said she would create millions of jobs by focusing on rebuilding crumbling infrastructure and making the rich pay their fair share of taxes.

Also Monday, a former CIA official and Republican congressional aide announced plans to run for president as what he calls a conservative alternative to Trump.

"America deserves much better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton," Evan McMullin said Monday.

green beard
Voice of America/G. Flakus  
Ryan Trundle of Shreveport, Louisiana, a former Bernie Sanders delegate at the Democratic convention, dyed his beard green to show his enthusiasm for Jill Stein.

Green Party hopes to cash in
on Bernie Sanders' supporters

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Green Party is appealing to disgruntled supporters of  Sen. Bernie Sanders and millions of young voters saddled with student loan debt in an attempt to challenge the two-party dominance of U.S. politics. 

Political experts and pundits see little hope the small party can achieve that goal, but these same experts admit to having been confounded by many of this year’s developments.

At the Green Party national convention Saturday in Houston, delegates nominated Massachusetts physician Jill Stein for the presidency, amid chants of “Jill, not Hill,” a reference to Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who was described by speakers as an oligarch, a tool of Wall Street and a warmonger.

Many of the people on hand at the convention wore Sanders T-shirts and buttons. They were disappointed by Mrs. Clinton’s eventual victory and angered when the Wikileaks group released emails showing Democratic leadership favoritism toward Clinton.

Graham Cabrera, who was at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, said he saw party officials suppress the Sanders supporters.

“I saw firsthand what happened,” he said. “It was complete control, it was complete censorship, it was complete disenfranchisement of Bernie supporters and Bernie delegates.”

Democratic Party officials deny there was any fraud at their convention, and Sanders endorsed Clinton and spoke at the convention.

Ryan Trundle, who was a Sanders delegate at the Democratic convention, wore a Bernie cap to the Green Party gathering in Houston and dyed his beard green to demonstrate his enthusiasm for Stein.

“She has the same values and morals as Bernie Sanders and stands for the same things,” he said.

Trundle said he was part of a network of 5,000 Sanders supporters, 90 percent of whom, he said, planned to vote for Stein.

But recent polls showed that more than 80 percent of Sanders supporters nationwide were planning to vote for Mrs. Clinton. Many said they still disliked Mrs. Clinton but saw her as the lesser of two evils when comparing her with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Stein rejected the idea of voting for Mrs. Clinton just to defeat Trump.

“We are saying no to the lesser evil and yes to the greater good,” she said.

Dr. Stein is on the ballot in only 21 of the 50 states, and although she expects that number to rise, it is already too late for her and running mate Ajamu Baraka to be included in at least three states. But Dr. Stein sees an opportunity this year to attract not only Sanders voters, but also young people who carry loads of student loan debt and often work at low-wage jobs despite having college degrees.

Speaking at the end of the convention, Dr. Stein told of her plan to eliminate student debt.

“There are 42 million people who are locked in predatory student loan debt,” she said, “That is enough to win the election, right there.”

Sanders supporter Veronica Triagle, 25, said she thought the Green Party could attract many of those voters. If they listen to Dr. Stein, she said, "people are going to see that they actually have a lot in common with her beliefs.”

The biggest impact the Green Party had in a presidential election occurred in 2000, when it nominated activist Ralph Nader as its presidential candidate. Although he won less than 3 percent of the national popular vote, he may have won sufficient votes in some key states, notably Florida, to allow Republican candidate George W. Bush to defeat Democratic candidate Al Gore.

In the 2012 election, however, Dr. Stein was the candidate, and she won just 0.36 percent of the nationwide popular vote.

But given the unpopularity of the two major party candidates this year, some political observers see the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, the largest of the minor parties in the United States, in a position to expand their voter base in preparation for the next presidential election in 2020.

Some recent polls have shown the Libertarian presidential candidate, former New Mexico gov. Gary Johnson, with 8 percent support and Stein with around 5 percent.

Neither party is close to the 15 percent needed to be allowed into the presidential debates scheduled for September and October.

But if a party wins more than 5 percent of the national popular vote in this year’s election, it would qualify for public campaign funds in the next election. The Green Party accepts no corporate donations and relies on individual contributors, so gaining several million dollars in this way could have an impact four years from now.

U.S. displays its unhappiness
over insults in The Philippines

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States summoned the envoy of its close Asian ally, The Philippines, on Monday to clarify what were called insulting and inappropriate comments made by President Rodrigo Duterte about U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, according to the State Department.

"We have asked the Philippine chargé to come into the State Department to clarify those remarks," said Elizabeth Trudeau, the department's spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate on conversation details between senior U.S. officials and Patrick Chuasoto, the charge d'affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Washington.

Duterte, in his meeting with soldiers at a military base last week, was reported to have singled out Goldberg and lashed out with personal attacks. Goldberg has been critical of Duterte's remarks about sexual violence. 

Meanwhile, Washington is alarmed by reports of extrajudicial killings as a result of Duterte's anti-drug campaign. 

The new Philippine leader, who developed a get-tough-on-crime image as mayor of Davao City, took office in May. Since then, media reports say, hundreds of people with suspected drug links have been killed, some allegedly at the hands of vigilantes, and half a million have surrendered. 

"We are concerned by these detentions, as well as the extrajudicial killing of individuals suspected to be involved in drug activity in the Philippines," said Trudeau.

She added, "We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts comply with its human rights obligations."

A spokesperson from the Philippines' presidential office said the United States has committed $32 million in the form of training and law enforcement since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Philippine President Duterte in late July.

Reading correlated with life
in Yale research analysis

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

That reading is good for your brain has been known for a long time, but a new study shows that picking up a book regularly could lengthen your life.

Writing in the journal Social Science and Medicine, researchers from Yale University said it doesn’t really matter what you read, as long as you read. The longer, the better.

Researchers reached their conclusions by looking at data from 3,635 health survey participants. They were broken down into three groups, those reading up to three-and-a-half hours per week, those who read more and those who didn’t read at all.

After factoring in age, gender, education and economic status, they found that readers lived two years longer than non-readers.

Furthermore, they found that those who read up to 3.5 hours were 17 percent less likely to die over the next dozen years with those reading longer than that were 23 percent less likely to die.

Russian monopoly agency
claims Apple fixes prices

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russia has accused American technology giant Apple Inc. of allegedly fixing retail prices of its iPhones in the country.

Russia's federal anti-monopoly service said Monday an investigation found that retailers set identical prices for iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and other iPhone models and kept the prices at that level for a certain period of time.

Targets of the investigation are Apple's Russian operation, known as Apple Rus, Apple Inc., three other Apple business entities and 16 of the company's primary resellers in Russia.

MTS, one of the resellers targeted by FAS, declined a request for comment. Another firm, Euroset, denied allegations of price fixing.

Apple, which was not immediately available for comment, has previously been the target of a Russian price-fixing investigation. As a result of the probe, two Russian mobile businesses were fined for fixing prices for iPhone 4.

The anti-monopoly service said it launched the investigation in response to a complaint from a consumer who noticed the prices remain unchanged since the 2015 introduction of the two new models in Russia.

Delta cancels some flights
in wake of computer problem

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Delta Air Lines expects to cancel about 100 flights this morning and delay 200 more as it continues recovery from a computer systems failure Monday.

The airline blamed the outage on a loss of power at its hub in Atlanta, saying some of its critical systems failed to switch over to a backup that would have kept them running.

Without a functioning computer network, Delta grounded all flights for hours Monday, eventually canceling more than 870 flights across the United States and beyond.  Thousands more flights were delayed.

Flights were operating again by Monday night, but Delta said the lingering recovery efforts would lead to more cancellations and delays Tuesday.

Industry experts have begun linking airline computer system failures to corporate mergers that require integrating older computer systems from rival companies into a single, expanded system operated by the new corporation.

Analysts say such outages in older systems also are becoming more common as carriers continue to automate flight-related services and a host of behind-the-scenes activities involving everything from worker schedules to electronic arrival and departure displays.

Last month, Southwest Airlines issued formal apologies and a host of rebates to passengers affected by 2,300 cancellations and 8,000 delayed flights when its computer systems, already taxed by an airline merger in 2010, collapsed. The company has since begun investing millions of dollars into new technology. 

United Airlines had similar problems last year.
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 156
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Lawmaker says tax fraud bill being gutted

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers from Movimiento Libertario and Partido Unidad Social Cristiana declared a three-hour committee recess Monday, and a Frente Amplio member of the same committee claimed the goal was to remove the teeth from a bill against tax evasion.

The unhappy lawmaker is José Ramírez,  the Frente Amplio representative to the Comisión de Hacendarios. The committee is studying a bill characterized as reducing tax fraud.

Ramírez said that other committee members have 25 points of disagreement with the bill as written, but the principal complaint is the requirement to provide a confidential list of shareholders and others who have a beneficial interest in a company.

The bill, as written, would require operators of various types of corporations to submit to the Banco Central a list of all shareholders and others who benefit from the financial activities.  Ramírez and fellow lawmaker Frank Camacho said the other legislators want to restrict this requirement to firms owned by Costa Ricans. Exempted, he said, would be firms that have foreign ownership.

That would promote offshore ownership by parent firms located in so-called tax paradises, Ramírez said.

He said in a release that offshore firms already have to disclose their shareholders when they open bank accounts, so this would not be a burden on firms with foreign ownership.

Although the bill is said to be against tax fraud, the specifics set up access for the government into the financial operations of all companies. Some of the measures have generated objections in the business community.

University council opposes trawling

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The council of  Universidad Nacional in Heredia has urged lawmakers to reject a bill that would reestablish trawling for shrimp in Costa Rica.

The trawling concept got an adverse ruling from the Sala IV constitutional court, but the central government and President Luis Guillermo Solís are trying to circumvent the court ruling with a new bill.

Trawling damages the coral and also sweeps up many unwanted fish.

The university’s decision was reported by Fundación MarViva, which also opposes shrimp trawling.

Furniture fair begins Friday in Sarchí

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A furniture fair in Sarchí starts Friday for a 10-day run. The Feria de Muebles y Artesanías Sarchí is sponsored by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, the Universidad VERITAS and the Cámara de Comercio, Industria y Turismo de Sarchí.

The community is well-known for its fine furniture, and it also is the cradle of the Costa Rican oxcart.

About 50 local artisans are expected to show their works at the local fairgrounds, said the ministry. The university is expected to have a mobil laboratory there, too, that can provide information and workshops on digital fabrication and other new technologies.

This is the fourth annual edition of the fair.
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From Page 7:

U.S. added 255,000 jobs in July, feds say

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. economy had a net gain of 255,000 jobs in July, and wages rose a bit.

Friday's report from the Labor Department also says the unemployment rate was steady at a low 4.9 percent.

U.S. unemployment hit a peak of 10 percent in 2009 during the recession. White House economic adviser Jason Furman says U.S. businesses have created 15 million jobs since 2010, at an average pace of 186,000 per month. He says that is enough to maintain a stable and low unemployment rate.

Job gains occurred in business services, health care and financial activities. Mining, which includes the oil industry battered by recent low prices, continued to decline. The data show 7.8 million Americans still unemployed, and another 5.9 million part-time workers who want full-time employment.

Economist Beth Ann Bovino of S&P Global Ratings says the steady pace of hiring, along with improving outlooks for consumers and producers, paint a brighter U.S. economic outlook.

The chief economist of the job Web site Indeed, Tara Sinclair, calls the report good news, but says there was too little progress in the middle-income job areas of construction, manufacturing and trade. She says many of the gains were in low-wage hospitality and service jobs, which is a concern about long-term economic strength.

A separate government report showed the U.S. trade deficit rose to its highest level in 10 months caused partly by weak overseas economies that buy fewer American-made products. The deficit was also fueled by a rebound in the cost of imported oil and a strong dollar that means U.S.-made products are more expensive and less competitive on foreign markets.