A.M. Costa Rica
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Published Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 169
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Cámara de Comercio de Cartago photo
This was the scene last year in preparation for the trip by the Virgen de los Ángeles from her basilica to the Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Carmen. This year the two-day fiesta is Sept. 3 and 4. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo is supporting the event, called the Festival La Pasada.
Thousands will visit Cartago for the festival that has taken place since 1782, and merchants are gearing up to handle the crowd. One of the features is this long carpet of flowers on which the faithful carry the image of the Virgin. There also are bands, dancing and art shows.

Expats generally agree with anti-drug war editorial
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats reacted favorably Thursday to an A.M. Costa Rica editorial urging the Costa Rican government to just say no to the drug war.

Some expressed similar views while saying that they never used drugs.

This newspaper has urged since June 10, 2015 that the Costa Rican government move to legalize marijuana and cocaine. A multi-million-dollar donation by the United States of planes and boats to catch drug traffickers generated the editorial Thursday.

The article noted that hardly any of these donations will benefit the average Costa Rican while the country spends large amounts of money to comply with Washington’s wishes.

Particularly heartening Thursday were favorable comments from individuals who actually are involved in the war on drugs. Wisely they did not use institutional email accounts.

Some respondents, while favorable, doubted that Costa Rica really is spending a lot of money on the drug war. A story Wednesday noted a vice minister of security urged passage of more taxes to add police officers to the 12,500 that already are on the payroll.

The United States said in making the donations of planes and boats that Costa Rica would be responsible for their future maintenance.

But then Thursday the security ministry conveniently released a report that said that teams of anti-drug officers just chopped down  215,833 marijuana plants in Santa Rosa, Cerro Danta, Fila Coquito, San Martin, Balsar, Cajón, San Rafael de Tinoco y Sinaí de Osa, all in the southern part of the province of Puntarenas. The marijuana plantings most likely were spotted by the continual overflights by police.

The ministry said that this brought the total of
arbitrary stop
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo  
 Against the wall is one of the 95 persons
 stopped by police in 12 hours Wednesday

plants destroyed just this year to 1.8 million. It did not give the man hours expended.

The ministry also reported on the arbitrary searches of the previous night. The official report said that 95 persons, mostly young people, were stopped by police in search of drugs. In most cases, they were forced to turn out their pockets. Police said they also stopped and inspected 10 cars and a dozen motorcycles.

They call this preventative work in that there is no probable cause to stop individuals. They did confiscate some crack and some marijuana, they reported, and detained one man who was the subject of a warrant.

On a larger scale, the U.S. government has supplied financial support for the police checkpoint at Kilometer 35 on the Interamericana Sur to interdict smuggled items, including drugs. Probable cause is not a consideration there either.

Some responses from expats are HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 169
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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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Our readers’ opinions
Keep drug users from difficult jobs

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read with interest your editorial regarding the legalization of recreational drugs as this happens to be a viewpoint that I have held for years.

However, the thinking goes a little further than just the legalization and tax collection.

One of the more basic problems with drug use is it alters the perception of the world in real time. This makes common tasks difficult and sometimes impossible. Driving a motor vehicle is a case in point, but includes other areas also such as heavy equipment usage and other activities that are safe, with training, and while in control of all of ones faculties. Some of the users do not have anything resembling self control, and will attempt to perform work that is ordinarily safe but difficult to impossible when under the influence.

The tax administration is an obvious benefit to governments, and has been discussed ad infinitum, and needs no further discussion here.

But, if these substances were controlled by the state, whichever one, and administered properly, these people could be identified and kept out of jobs that affect the general public, such as bus driver, airline pilot, the list is almost endless. This benefit alone is enough to warrant serious consideration to a proposal of this kind.

Also, the price could be kept low enough to take the smugglers and traffickers right out of the business. Nearly every day we read of extremely violent acts in Mexico, as this is the portal to the biggest retail drug market in the world.

Of course there would still be a population who take their drug usage seriously, leaving them unable to perform any useful societal function, and effectively leaving them unemployed and unemployable. From that would come the remaining hard core small-time criminals, the strong arm, back alley types. Still, with modern computer techniques, these people could be identified.

I see a lot of benefits to legalizing these substances, and little downside.

For myself, I tried these drugs many years ago, and I found nothing that could replace a few beers to relax after a trying, or even a leisurely day.

Joe Sullivan

Decriminalization frees cash for treatment

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

After years of reading daily articles about cops chasing around after
small and larger amounts of cocaine and marijuana at the bequest of the U.S., I never thought I would see the day when A.M. Costa Rica finally took a position on this nonsense.

The damage caused by criminalization of drugs is tiny compared to the actual harm of consumption, both to individuals and to society. So much money is spent on trying to enforce unworkable laws that little is left for education, prevention and treatment. The harder the police try, the more violent,  damaging and ingenious is the criminal response. And experience in other countries proves that legalization does not lead to increased consumption.

The formula is straight forward: decriminalize > profits removed > criminals and crime gone > police war gone > funds available for education and treatment > safer, healthier society.

It will still be an imperfect world that requires compromises, but one that
is way less damaging. This strategy is known as harm reduction. Will we live to see the day?
Gordon Martin

There is economic benefit to legalization

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Besides showing itself to be unwinnable, the war on drugs degrades society. For a country that prides itself on human rights, Costa Rica has sided with the world's biggest bully.  It is time to stop the hypocrisy of punishing drug pushers, most of whom are as poor as their customers. 

Costa Rica should follow the enlightened lead of Portugal and legalize all drugs, not just marijuana. Legalization would reduce prison populations, provide a robust taxable industry and enable those people who need drug treatment to seek it within the national health system. Moreover, promoting the cultivation of quality hemp of both kinds would help the economy by providing employment in rural areas that are now stagnating.

James Saxon

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 169
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Two separate dance presentations scheduled for this weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One of the high points of the weekend will be the Festival Folclórico Internacional that is being held Saturday at the Centro Nacional de la Cultura from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dancers from México, Colombia, Venezuela, Perú, Ecuador and El Salvador as well as Costa Rica will give presentations ranging from the informal to a full ballet, said the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud. Admission is free.

The Centro de la Cultura is the Antigua Fábrica de Licores on Avenida 7 east of Parque España.

But there is even more dance.  The Compañía Nacional de Danza presents “Taciturno” by Adrián Figueroa tonight as part of the XV Festival Nacional de Danza Contemporánea 2016. This is in the Teatro de la Danza of the culture center at 8 p.m.

An announcement said that the presentation is a bit gray without being depressing and with great scenery. There is an admission.

San Ramón has kicked off 12 days of celebrating the community’s patron,  San Ramón Nonato. An estimated 550,000 persons visited the fiesta last year. Tonight there is  selection of the Familia Reinante and a coronation ball. Some
42 families are candidates for the designation, said an announcement. Saturday there is a band parade, concerts, traditional foods and religious services. Sunday sports competitions begin at 7 a.m.

The Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría in Alajuela is commemorating the 185th anniversary of the birth of national hero Juan Santamaría with a two-day conference on genealogy starting today at 2 p.m.

Today the first presentation concerns the use of primary sources and will be given by researcher Rodrigo Fernández Castillo. At 3 p.m. Dora Emilia Murillo Villegas will discuss genealogical information in sources held by the Mormon Church.  Saturday the topic will be sources available in the museum holdings.

Expats who understand the language can enjoy a Spanish version of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge,” tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Teatro La Aduana in the Antigua Aduana in Barrio Escalante. There is an admission.

Sunday the Banda de Conciertos de Guanacaste plans a concert at 7 p.m. in the Parque de Liberia. There is a second concert at the same time Monday in the community hall of  Santa Rosa de Santa Cruz.

New Paso Ancho underpass also can reduce a pollution health hazard
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials held a ceremony Thursday at the new Paso Ancho underpass for the Circunvalación bypass highway.  Motorists have suffered for years there when the intersection was a traffic circle called informally La Guacamaya.

Sometimes that line of waiting cars stretched for several miles at peak hours. An estimated 70,000 vehicles pass this spot every weekday.

What the motorists may not know is that the waiting in line also can be bad for the health.

The University of Surrey reported on a study Thursday that said
 pollution inside cars was found to be 40 percent higher during prolonged roadway stops.

Researchers cited World Health Organization statistics that said persons dying of air pollution caused this way were 10 times as many as those killed in road accidents. University researchers added that “in traffic jams, or at red traffic lights with other vehicles stationary in front, research has shown that if we close the car windows and switch off the fan, this gave us the lowest exposure to pollutants.  It is also safe to put fans onto the setting where they re-circulate air within the car without drawing polluted air in from outside.”

Meanwhile, the Circunvalación has two other traffic circles, and plans are to eliminate these too.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 169
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WhatsApp will give Facebook access to some of its user data
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Global messaging service WhatsApp says it will start sharing the phone numbers of its users with Facebook, its parent company. That means WhatsApp users could soon start seeing more targeted ads on Facebook, although not on the messaging service itself.

The move is a subtle but significant shift for WhatsApp, which has long promised to safeguard the privacy of more than 1 billion users around the world. WhatsApp is giving users a limited time to opt out of sharing their information with Facebook, although they must take the extra step of unchecking a box to do so. It also says Facebook won't post phone numbers online or give them out to anyone.

But the giant social network has been looking for ways to make money from WhatsApp since it bought the service two years ago, in an eye-popping deal ultimately worth $21.8 billion. At the same time, Facebook has pledged not to interfere with a longstanding promise by WhatsApp's co-founders to respect users' privacy and keep ads off its messaging platform.

WhatsApp on Thursday offered a glimpse of its plans for turning on the money spigot, releasing new documents that describe the company's privacy policy and the terms of service that users must agree to follow. The documents are the first revision of those policies since 2012, before Facebook acquired WhatsApp.

One change follows through on previous hints by WhatsApp executives, who have said they're exploring ways for businesses to communicate with customers on WhatsApp. That could include using WhatsApp to provide receipts, confirm a reservation or update the status of a delivery.

Companies could also send marketing offers or messages about sales to individual customers, according to the new documents, which note that users will be able to control or block such messages. WhatsApp says it will continue to bar traditional display ads from its service.

“We do not want you to have a spammy experience,” the company tells users in a summary of the new policies.

Another change is potentially more controversial: WhatsApp says it will begin coordinating accounts with Facebook by sharing WhatsApp users' mobile phone numbers and device information, such as the type of operating system and other smartphone characteristics. The company says Facebook will employ the phone number internally to better identify WhatsApp users on Facebook, so it can recommend friends or show targeted advertising.

The ads would come through a Facebook program called Custom Audiences, which lets a business upload lists of customers and phone numbers or other contact information the business has collected from warranty cards or other sources. Facebook matches the list to users with the same information and shows them ads. Facebook says it doesn't give out users' information to advertisers.

WhatsApp phone numbers are valuable to Facebook. While the social network already has many phone numbers, it doesn't require users to provide them, and doesn't always have the most current number for everyone on Facebook. But anyone on WhatsApp must provide a current phone number because that's how WhatsApp knows where to deliver messages.

The coordination of accounts may draw fire from privacy advocates. WhatsApp has long promised not to employ user data for advertising. Its acquisition by Facebook two years ago sparked complaints from activists who worried the new owner would start mining WhatsApp accounts. Though both companies pledged WhatsApp would operate separately from its parent, the Federal Trade Commission warned them publicly, in a 2014 letter, against changing how they employ WhatsApp user data without users' consent.

WhatsApp says current users have up to 30 days to accept the new policy terms or stop using the service. Once they accept, they have 30 more days to opt out of sharing with Facebook.

Privacy groups have praised WhatsApp for building powerful encryption into its services, making it impossible for the company or anyone else to read users' messages. WhatsApp promises that encryption will remain, so neither WhatsApp nor Facebook would be able to use message content for advertising purposes.

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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, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 169
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Axiom new ad

Presidential candidates swap
allegations of racist views

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For more than a week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been calling Democrat Hillary Clinton a racist and a bigot, accusing her of looking at African-American communities only for votes while ignoring joblessness and crime.

Trump has been telling black voters that decades of Democratic governments have failed them, asking them, "What have you got to lose?" by voting Republican in November.

After days of little comment, Mrs. Clinton hit back hard at Trump on Thursday.

Speaking in Nevada, Mrs. Clinton said Trump has been talking about black neighborhoods in insulting and ignorant terms, only seeing failure, murder, drugs and bad schools.

She said it is sad that Trump does not see the successes, such as thriving businesses, successful graduates from black colleges, and strong churches deeply involved in their communities.

Mrs. Clinton noted that the U.S. Justice Department has sued Trump for alleged racist policies in renting apartments to blacks and Hispanics, and that it was Trump who continued to insist Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than accept a black man as president.

"I read and hear some people say that his bluster and bigotry is overheated campaign rhetoric — an outrageous person saying outrageous things for attention," Mrs. Clinton said. "But look at his policies. The ones that Trump has proposed would put prejudice into practice . . . . Here is the hard truth: There is no other Donald Trump."

Mrs. Clinton said the alternative right has hijacked the Republican Party. She described it as a fringe element that rejects mainstream conservatism as a threat to white supremacy.

She said such paranoia and extremism have never had a national megaphone until now. She criticized Trump for not turning his back on far-right extremists like radio talk-show hosts, obscure politicians, conspiracy theorists and gossip-mongering tabloids, including one that said she is mortally ill and predicted she would be dead by this time.

Trump has said Mrs. Clinton does not have the strength and stamina to be president.

"His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health," she said, telling Trump to dream on.

At a New Hampshire rally Thursday, Trump said charging opponents with racism is the oldest play in the Democratic playbook when policies do not work. He called it a tired, disgusting argument. Mrs. Clinton is all talk and no action on improving the lives of African-Americans, he said.

"I don't want to dignify her statements by dwelling on them too much, but a response is required for the sake of all decent voters that she is trying to smear," Trump told fellow Republicans. "Hillary Clinton is going to try and accuse this campaign and all of you and the millions of decent Americans . . . of being racists, which we're not."

Trump said it is not racist to want to secure the country's borders from illegal immigrants, and that those afraid of radical Islam are not Islamaphobes.

Trump boasted on Twitter that his national poll numbers are "rising ... way up."

But a new Quinnipiac University survey gives Clinton a 51 percent-to-41 percent head-to-head lead, and a 7 percentage-point lead when the Libertarian and Green party candidates are included.

Trump toning down stand
on those illegal immigrants

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Republican Donald Trump is continuing to offer voters a more nuanced stance on U.S. immigration policies if he is elected president, rejecting his one-time call for mass deportation for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country but not granting them citizenship either.

Trump told Fox News late Wednesday, "No citizenship. Let me go a step further — they'll pay back taxes, they have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty as such, but we work with them."

In a series of interviews this week, Trump has abandoned his call during the months-long campaign for the Republican presidential nomination for a deportation force to return the undocumented migrants to their home countries. Instead, he proposes quickly sending convicted criminals out of the U.S., while considering other individual immigration disputes in court hearings, much like the current U.S. policy.

"Now, everybody agrees we get the bad ones out," Trump said. "But when I go through and I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and I've had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me, and they've said, 'Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person who's been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and their family out, it's so tough, Mr. Trump,' I have it all the time. It's a very, very hard thing."

Trump has continued his signature vow to build a massive wall along the southern U.S. border to thwart the stream of migrants entering the country from Mexico and Central America, a campaign pledge that critics have derided as impractical but one that drew wide support from Republican voters.

"We are building the wall and Mexico will pay for it," Trump told cheering supporters Thursday at a rally in the northeastern state of New Hampshire.

He accused his Democratic opponent in the Nov. 8 presidential election, former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of trying to smear his supporters as racist for favoring enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

"If you want to have a strong border, it doesn't make you a racist. It makes you smart," Trump said. "It makes you an American."

Russian lawmaker’s son
convicted in hacking fraud

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The son of a Russian lawmaker was found guilty Thursday in the United States on charges of organizing a global hacking ring in what a prosecutor called one of the most prolific credit card trafficking schemes in history.

Roman Seleznev, son of Russian lawmaker and Vladimir Putin ally Valery Seleznev, was found guilty in a court in Seattle, Washington, after a jury deliberated for less than two days.

The defendant was found guilty of 38 charges, including nine counts of hacking and 10 counts of wire fraud. At his sentencing Dec. 2, he could receive up to 40 years in prison.

His exploits resulted in nearly $170 million in credit card losses, according to prosecutors.

Seleznev's attorney said he was facing similar charges in the U.S. states of Nevada and Georgia. The attorney, John Henry Browne, has vowed to appeal.

Seleznev was charged with running a hacking scheme in which he broke into restaurants' computer systems and stole credit card numbers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said during closing arguments Wednesday that Seleznev had run the scheme from his base in Vladivostok, Russia, using several online nicknames.

When he was arrested in the Maldives in 2014, investigators found 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers on his laptop, along with passwords to computer servers.

Millennials duck credit cards
as some face big college debt

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Being burdened with debt from college tuition loans before they even begin their work life, is keeping many millennials wary of credit cards.

The concern about paying back student loans, among other factors, is keeping millennials, usually classified as people between the ages 18 and 35, away from credit cards. Fewer than one-third of millennials even own a credit card, a record low number, according to recent statistics.

Stefanie O’Connell, who graduated from New York University with a degree in drama and a big debt, understands the problem.

With few job opportunities, she became cautious about her finances and that led her onto a completely different career path, as a financial expert.

Through her wealth management blog, she has discovered many millennials are just like her.

Many younger people are resisting the temptation that credit cards offer to spend beyond one’s means, Ms. O'Connell said.

“They're wary of tools like credit cards,” she explained. "They're wary of taking any kind of risk, even if it is a smart risk, like investing."

What Ms. O’Connell sees among her blog readers is supported by Federal Reserve data that indicates the percentage of Americans under 35 who hold credit card debt has fallen to its lowest level since 1989, when the Fed began collecting data in a standardized way, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

Credit cards are an integral part of the U.S. financial system.

Credit expert Adam Levin said credit cards are frequently necessary for young people to purchase many services and goods that make their life easier and help the economy grow.

Building a credit history allows someone to borrow money at a preferential credit rate to buy a car or a house.

"It's critically important for a young person to build credit, to build strong credit,” Levin said. “It doesn't mean that you over credit yourself, but it means that you are wise about your credit, you are a responsible payer, and you don't get yourself in over your head."

Technology has developed tools that help the millennials manage personal finances and plan budgets.

Level Money, a smart app that’s also known as the financial GPS, is an example.

After the user adds bank and other credit card account information to the app, it then calculates income and bills. It presents the user with the available cash to spend every day and how much to save each month.

Such apps serve as an online adviser to those who use them, Ms. O'Connell said. The apps help users make better spending decisions and avoid spending habits that may make them fall deeper into debt.

CIA releases briefing texts
given to Nixon and Ford

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has released 2,500 previously classified daily foreign intelligence briefings given to presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford during the 1970s that shed new light on a crucial era of Cold War and Third World events.

Included in the 28,000 pages of documents are nuggets of fascinating information about world affairs, including the controversial Vietnam war that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 U.S. service members.

The briefings were given to Nixon and Ford when they occupied the White House during an eight-year period beginning on Jan. 20,1969. They offer insight into events such as Nixon's historic visits to China and the Soviet Union, the first such visits by a U.S. president, and Nixon's fall from grace that led to his resignation.

The briefings during Ford's years as president detail historic developments like the end of the Vietnam war and the death of the founding father of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong.

When Nixon arrived in Beijing on Feb. 21, 1972, the briefing meticulously noted which Chinese officials attended the various events, an attempt to better understand the operations of the politburo, which is still closely observed today.

The briefings, which were about 10 pages long, revealed how little the CIA knew about China, the world's most heavily populated country, which was just beginning to re-establish a global presence after more than two decades of isolation.

The CIA summary later informed Nixon that his visit to China rattled the Soviet Union and Japan and motivated European countries to engage with China. China, the briefing noted, was generally pleased with Nixon's visit.

On Aug. 10, 1974, one day after the resignation of Nixon, the briefing to the newly sworn in Ford provided details about the world's response to Nixon's exit from office.

"None of the potential troublemakers has produced even a rumble," the briefers said.

During a briefing a year-and-a-half later, president Ford was informed of the death of Mao Zedong, who was described as the dominating force in Chinese politics.

The high-level CIA briefings, released Wednesday, do not provide much insight into how much they impacted Nixon's decision-making, given that he was aloof and tended to isolate himself. Nixon chose not to get in-person briefings from CIA officials, opting to receive them, instead, from his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger.

A declassified CIA history, also released Wednesday, noted that CIA officials were discouraged at their lack of access to Nixon, who carried a grudge against the intelligence agency for his loss to President John F. Kennedy in the 1960 election. Nixon believed the CIA had failed to discredit Kennedy's erroneous assertion that the U.S. had relinquished its lead in intercontinental ballistic missile technology to the Soviet Union.

In the South American nation of Chile, the 1970 election of Salvador Allende as president worried Nixon, who thought Chile could become another Cuba, and adopt communism.

Nixon and Kissinger spent the next three years using the CIA to secretly support Allende's opponents with the intent of forcing him out of office or inciting a coup. Allende was killed in a coup in September 1973 led by army commander Augusto Pinochet, igniting decades of debate about the role the CIA had in the putsch. The briefs did not confirm direct CIA support for the overthrow of the Chilean government.

The briefings devoted a great amount of attention to developments in Indochina, where the U.S. was attempting to withdraw from the Vietnam War and support faltering governments in nearby Cambodia and Laos.

Not all of the CIA's information was accurate. As the Vietnam war was winding down, an analysis given to president Ford on March 28, 1975 predicted the U.S.-trained South Vietnamese troops would maintain stability until early 1976. The communist troops from North Vietnam captured Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, a month later.

Ford approached the daily CIA briefings much differently from Nixon, becoming the first president to receive them orally by a CIA official.

Brazilian police file case
against swimmer Lochte

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Brazilian police on Thursday charged American swimmer Ryan Lochte with filing a false robbery report.

The report was filed during the Summer Olympics, which ended Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.

Aug. 15, Lochte said that he and three fellow swim teammates, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, were robbed by gunmen after their taxi was pulled over by armed men posing as police. Rio police rejected this version of events and accused Lochte and the others of lying.

Video surveillance emerged showing the swimmers getting into a confrontation with armed security guards over alleged vandalism at a gas station where their taxi had stopped. The gas station manager accused the swimmers of vandalizing an area near the bathroom.

A conviction for filing a false crime report carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison in Brazil.

Police want to question Lochte, 32, but the 12-time medalist left Brazil the day after the incident. "If he is summoned and does not turn up to the hearing, the trial will go ahead in the accused's absence until the final sentence is given," the Rio police statement said.

Lochte's spokeswoman said Thursday that the swimmer had no comment. Lochte's lawyer, Jeffrey Ostrow, told USA Today that the swimmer had not yet heard from officials in Rio.

Lochte, who lost all four of his major sponsors Monday, picked up a new one Thursday: Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops, which makes cough drops. The company's ad says its product is "forgiving on your throat."

After the incident at the Rio gas station, Lochte returned to the U.S.

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Los Yoses
Versatile building for sale
Was a medical clinic for ambulatory surgery in Los Yoses with municipal patent. 650 square meters of construction, main floor with on-site operating room/recovery room approved by the Costa Rican board of health. Various offices and treatment rooms, 4 bathrooms/ one bedroom with bath. Second floor with 5 bedrooms/5 bathrooms for recovery/ kitchen, dining area, TV room. Basement with bathroom, laundry rooms, storage and staff use/ two 2-car garages. Building is versatile for any type of offices, hostel or B&B. $500,000. Lot across the street available at $150,000. Contact owner for appointment at: Call: 506-2281-0015.

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

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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $240,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email:
paco two

San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
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Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a three-bedroom, ine-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. Very secure & private. Police chief next door. Very easy & inexpensive to expand this house as all neighbors have done. $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 $850K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

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:

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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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, Aug. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 169
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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
truck crsh
Ministerio de  Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
This platform tow truck bumped into the concrete guardwall broke through it and plunged to the street below in Alajuelita Thursday. The driver was hospitalized. The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes is checking to see why the concrete broke so easily.

Central Pacific gets plenty of rain

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central Pacific took the brunt of bad weather Thursday with up to 2.25 inches falling in six hours, said the national weather service. Major rivers were reported rising.

Affected areas included San Cristóbal, Savegre, Santo Domingo, Sábalo, El Silencio and La Gallega. In Dominical, the Río Barú was running out of its banks, said the Instituto Meteorological Nacional.

About 15 homes were reported to have been flooded in Hatillo de Quepos.

Some slides were reported on roadways in the central Pacific region.

Rain was predicted to last into the night.

There was less rain in the Central Valley where winds were reported.

The weather institute said that the winds in the Central Valley were due to a high pressure area over the Caribbean. Winds of up to 60 kph were reported, some 37 mph. Winds also were reported in Guanacaste.

Flurry of felt earthquakes reported

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The earth was active Thursday beginning with a 4.7-magnitude quake with an estimated epicenter 16 kilometer south of  Bahia Ballena in Osa at 7:34 a.m., said the Red Sismológica Nacional de Costa Rica, which also reported these events:

At 9:33 a.m. a 3.0-magnitude quake took place about six kilometers southwest of  Ciudad Neily in Corredores. Then at 12:53 p.m. a 4.5-magnitude quake was reported 49 kilometers south of  Cobano on the Nicoya peninsula.

At 10:35 p.m. a 3.8-magnitude quake took place in the Central Valley two kilometers south of Santo Domingo de Heredia.
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From Page 7:

fast truck
Voice of America photo 
This is Volvo's Iron Knight
Volvo truck break’s firm’s own speed record

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Volvo's Iron Knight set the new unofficial world record for trucks, covering the distance of 1 kilometer (or 0.621 mile) in 21.290 seconds and reaching a top speed of 276 kph, or 171 mph.

The international motor sport association is expected to make it official.

The previous record of 21.596 seconds was set in 2012 by Volvo's Mean Green truck.

Similar to production-based automobiles used in stock car races, the super-truck's powertrain and transmission are based on the standard engine, gearbox and clutch used in Volvo's FH line of long-haul trailer trucks.

They just had to be modified to handle the enormous forces.

Iron Knight's chassis is handmade, but its 13-liter 2,400-horsepower diesel engine and the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission develop about 17 times more force than the 350-horsepower Ford Focus engine. The clutch plates had to be made of special material.