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Published Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 174
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Book fair is the high point for expats' weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The big event for the weekend is the opening today of the Feria Internacional del Libro which shows that books are not dead despite electronic delivery.

Meanwhile, at the Teatro Nacional the  XXXIII Festival de Coreógrafos presents a litany of performances tonight, Saturday night and Sunday.

For expats, particularly those in the tourism business, the most important aspect of the weekend is that Monday is Labor Day in the United States. For those living there, this means a three-day weekend. But for those living here the weekend means the traditional end to the Northern Hemisphere summer and growing interest by potential visitors in being somewhere warm as winter approaches.

The book fair at the Antiqua Aduana on Calle 23 really is a big event with thousands of 

visitors through the last day Sept. 11. Admission is free. The inauguration is today at
10 a.m. With poetry, book presentations, dance performance and even calypso closing the evening at 8 p.m.

Among the events today are poetry readings of works composed by inmates at the Buen Pastor woman’s prison and the men’s La Reforma.

Mary Jo Bang, a U.S. academic and poet and an invited guest, speaks at 5 p.m. The book fair is supported by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud, the Club de Libros and the Cámara Costarricense del Libro. A full schedule is HERE!

The choreographic festival is juried, and three international experts and others selected locally will be selecting winners. Five works will be presented tonight and six Saturday.

Awards are presented Sunday starting at 6 p.m. There is an admission.

The boulder is from one of the many slides that closed the Intramericana Norte Tuesday evening. The road finally opened about 4 p.m. Thursday. Some truckers spent two days waiting while crews cleared the debris.
big rock
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo

Evening rain causes another string of traffic messes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who thought Central Valley traffic was tough forgot about the rain. Heavy storms laced with lightning sowed chaos on the roadways starting about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Some streets were knee-high in water. There also was heavy rain reported in Guanacaste and in parts of the Pacific coast. There was a high probability of landsides in the mountains as well as falling trees.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the storms would continue into Friday morning with some areas getting as much as 100 millimeters of rain, nearly four inches.

Rush hour traffic Thursday night was not very

rushed at all in the capital. The trip from La Uruca to Heredia Centro was complicated by continuing construction on widening a bridge over the Río Virilla as well as the heavy rain.

Some motorists said they spent two hours traveling just a few kilometers.

Rain or no rain, that stretch will be closed periodically over the weekend for more construction, the Consejo de Vialidad said. 

The work on the bridge is 53 percent finished, the agency reported.

Thursday night the weather institute reported dozens of lightning strikes, and one electrical transformer knocked out and exploded in San Sebastián darkening that area.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 174
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
International Practice

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
New World Meditation

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
-Experience since 1980.
-Bilingual English/Spanish.
-Represent all the best insurance
       companies in Costa Rica,
       BMI, Blue Cross, Blue
       Shield, ASSA, INS, etc.
-Correspondents of WILLIS.
-Connections in all of Central
-Superb communications.
-Prize-winning Web site.
-English policy extracts.
-Helps you settle your claims.
Centro Comercial El Pueblo, Local #125, San José, Costa Rica.    Phone:  ( 506 ) 2233-9520
E-mail :
More information HERE!

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore. —

We know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.

Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116


U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
Ms. Summers
Marlene B. Summers
U.S. citizens, plan now for your tax year. Let me help you pay only the tax  you must!
Take advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion.
If your filing is not up-to-date, the Streamlined Filing Procedure can be used to mitigate penalties.   Including  disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid future problems. 

File current or past due FBARs with no penalties to meet IRS requirements.
File your current or amended returns.

Over 10 years in Costa Rica    
Competitive rates

Phone (506) 2289-6590 or (506) 8750-2316

U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
 services. Over 15 years in Costa Rica

U.S. Tax
(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2201
FAX: 506 2231-3300
Web page:

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
Uncle Sam's
IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $101,300 for 2016).
Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
Up-to-date FACTA news.
All US Tax return preparation:
individual, business, estate and trust.
eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
  Porcelain and ceramic
  Works on paper restoration
  Conservation Curatorial
  Art expert services
  Other restoration services
  Condition evaluation
  Authenticity evaluation
  Art related insurance and 
       damage evaluations
  Art collection consultation
Experts in fine art restoration and conservation for the tropics. We clean mildew, mold, etc., repair, restore and offer art expert and curatorial services.

For more information please contact Weronika Nossowicz at 8388-5328  or email HERE!
A.L.H. Enterprises S.A

Real estate agents and services


A Name You Trust, Professionalism You Deserve
Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
in CR since 1979

Residential sales
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Property management
Vacation rentals and long-term rentals
Tour desk

 Century 21 Jacó Beach Realty
Playa Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
U. S. A. phone numbers:  (213) 283-5168 
or Toll Free: (877) 746-3868
Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356

Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
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Colinas del
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* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
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* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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In Costa Rica contact Jeffrey Sandi Murray
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:
Country again rated high by expat survey

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

While Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica are among the most popular places for expats, Brazil, Argentina and Peru come in at the bottom of the international ranking.

That is the result of the the third annual InterNations Expat Insider 2016 survey. With more than 14,000 respondents, it is one of the most extensive studies ever conducted to explore the general living situation of expatriates.

While Ecuador and Mexico occupied the two top positions in 2015, they both dropped to 3rd and 4th place this year. Rather unsurprisingly, most of the Latin American countries do well in terms of friendliness, but Ecuador and Mexico also rank in the global top ten for personal finances and the cost of living.  Costa Rica was sixth overall.

On the flip side, Brazil performs particularly badly, coming in 64th out of 67 countries, and Argentina (54th) and Peru (53th) are similarly unpopular among expats, according to the survey by InterNations.

The InterNations Expat Insider survey ranks countries by a variety of factors such as the quality of life, personal finance, working abroad, and settling in. After ranking first for two years, Ecuador has been dethroned by career boosters Taiwan and Malta. While Ecuador has dropped from 7th to 30th position in the working abroad index, mainly due to heavy losses in the job security subcategory, Taiwan and Malta come in second and fifth for working abroad.

In addition to the best overall rating, Taiwan also holds first place for personal finance and quality of life, and second place for its working conditions.

Costa Rica’s sixth overall position is certainly not due to the economic situation of expats living in the country. The country comes 43rd in the personal finance index and 48th out of 67 countries in the cost of living index. Just 39 percent say that their disposable income is more than enough to cover their daily expenses, compared to 48 percent globally.

In fact, 46 percent even say the cost of living is too high. The country is not all bad news, though. Family life in the country is rated generally positively. None of the respondents rates the attitude towards families with children negatively, or do any expats say they are unsatisfied with family life in general.

Health care in the country is also considered positively by those who moved to Costa Rica: 79 percent say the quality of medical care is good, compared to a significantly lower 62 percent around the world.

Time to register to vote

The U.S. Federal government’s overseas voting agency has issued a reminder that there are less than 75 days remaining until the Nov. 8 presidential election.

“It is time for Americans living, working or traveling abroad to take steps to vote,” said the agency,” the Federal Overseas Voting Program.

Helping overseas Americans is difficult because each state has its own rule, and expats are supposed to vote in the U.S. state where they last were a resident.

Many overseas voters will receive absentee ballots from their registered county of residency. Others may elect to file a federal absentee ballot just for federal offices.

In addition to the federal program, the Overseas Voting Foundation can assist voters. The Web site gives deadlines for each state, plus other information.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 174
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Budget watchdog says that the national debt is not sustainable
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation’s budget watchdog reported Thursday that the country’s debt is not sustainable. The agency, the Contraloría General de la Repúbica, came out with the report on the same day that the finance ministry presented a 2017 national budget that was nearly 9 trillion colons ($16.5 billion) and 12 percent higher than this year.

The Contraloría said that the central government brought in 3.4 trillion colons ($6.24 billion) in the first half of the year but spent 3.7 trillion ($6.79 billion).

The income was 10.2 percent greater than in the first half of 2015 and outgo was down 1.7 percent. But the shortfall was 300 billion colons, about $550 million.

Tax income was 2 trillion. The national debt was 18.3 trillion colons, some 59 percent of gross domestic product.

The Contraloría said the national deficit was 18.3 trillion colons, about $33.6 billion.

The good news was that the agency estimated that the country’s economy would show a 4.2 percent increase this year and 4.3 percent in 2017.

The magnitude of the deficit continues to exceed the limits of sustainability and for that reason is is necessary to insist for the need to make fiscal adjustments that guarantee the stability as well as adequately provide public services, said the Contraloría.
The report is similar to what the Ministerio de Hacienda has been saying, but the figures were arrived at independently.

Prison sentence given to man in elaborate immigration scheme
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The dimensions and profitability of smuggling persons into Costa Rica were highlighted with a sentencing Wednesday in the I Circuito Judicial de San José.

A man named Jairo Peña Checo admitted his guilt and avoided a trial on allegations that he was involved in a human trafficking ring. The organization brought in individuals from the Dominican Republic and provided an array of fake documents to make it seem like the individuals were legal, according to a summary by the Poder Judicial.

Peña was believed associated with a person who was sentenced in 2014.

Among the allegations is that the pair tried to smuggle into the country $410,600 in cash in 2012 from the Dominican Republic.

Peña got seven years and four months from the court. Typically inmates serve less than half their sentence. The trafficking activities took place between 2005 and 2013, said the Poder Judicial.

Investigators said that Peña obtained naturalization documents from government agencies by using fake paperwork.

For example, he was accused of generating documents that falsely showed that a woman had lived in the country for a number of years when she did not.

When anti-drug agents confiscated the money in baggage at Juan Santamaría airport in 2012, they also found birth certificates and other documents from the Dominican Republic, investigators reported.

When agents raided Peña’s home in 2013 they found passport-size photos, passports, cédulas and documents from the Costa Rican consulate in Managua.

There also were forms from the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería involving permits for domestic workers, they said.

Peña was detained finally in January while he was on the way to the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones and the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social with individuals from the Dominican Republic, the Poder Judicial said.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 174
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New dengue vaccine found to make some recipients sicker later
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The first vaccine marketed to prevent dengue fever could be making people sick, according to a new study. The authors are urging public health officials to consider carefully which individuals to vaccinate to prevent severe illness.

An estimated 400 million people globally are infected each year with dengue fever, the mosquito-borne virus found most often in tropical regions, including Costa Rica where more than 14,000 cases have been reported this year. People who live in dengue-prone areas frequently are infected more than once, but most suffer relatively mild symptoms, including fever.

However, more than 2 million people each year develop a severe hemorrhagic case of the disease, which can be fatal.

Dengue is more severe the second time a person gets infected. About 25,000 people a year die as a result of the infection. So when Dengvaxia, the first and, so far, only vaccine against dengue, was approved by regulators, there was much excitement.

Large clinical trials involving approximately 10,000 children, ages 2 to 14 were conducted in Southeast Asia and in Latin America. Phase-three trials involved about 21,000 youngsters between the ages of 9 and 16.

Researchers found the Dengvaxia vaccine, made by pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Pasteur, reduced the number of infections by 60 percent and hospitalizations by 80 percent.

But as time went on, many of those who had been vaccinated, including the younger children, fell seriously ill with dengue.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Imperial College London and the University of Florida analyzed data from all of the vaccine trials, involving more than 30,000 people in 10 countries, with long-term follow-up of the participants.

One of the study’s lead authors, Isabel Rodriguez-Barraquer of the Bloomberg school, said it appears the vaccine acts as a silent, first infection in some people.

“What seems to be happening with this vaccine is that those

people who have never seen dengue in the past, that have never been infected in the past, if they get vaccinated, let’s say the vaccine acts like their first infection, right? So, if they ever get a second infection, or a true first infection, it would be more severe than it would have been, right? And that’s the concern,” said Ms. Rodriguez-Barraquer.

That may explain why young children, many under the age of 9, were getting severely ill. They hadn’t lived long enough to get a first infection.

The World Health Organization issued a warning not to give the vaccine to anyone younger than 9.

But after further mathematical modeling, Ms. Rodriguez-Barraquer and her colleagues learned it was not only young children who were becoming sick after being vaccinated. It was also people who simply had never had dengue before.

The data were reanalyzed, Ms. Rodriguez-Barraquer said, "and what we suggest is that … maybe having been exposed to dengue in the past, right, is more important than age itself."

The new analysis of the dengue vaccine was published in the journal Science.

In countries with a high prevalence of the disease, Ms. Rodriguez-Barraquer said, the vaccine should not be a problem. Investigators concluded Dengvaxia can reduce severe illness and hospitalizations by 20 percent to 30 percent in such places.

But in countries with a low prevalence, where only 10 percent of the population has been previously infected with dengue, the vaccine ought to be used with caution, she said.

Ideally, Ms. Rodriguez-Barraquer said, people should be tested before being vaccinated, to see whether they have been infected by dengue in the past.

Regulators in several countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Paraguay and the Philippines, have approved Dengvaxia and are in the process of determining how best to roll it out.

If used carefully, Ms. Rodriguez-Barraquer said, Dengvaxia can help control dengue, but she also is interested in seeing how new vaccines fare in clinical trials now beginning.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:
Contact us by email:  
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.

George Lundquist

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

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Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877

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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Barrio Amon
Fully furnished, American style apartments for rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amón. Cable, internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,  hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry.   Rate  $650 per month plus electricity. 1/2 month security deposit. No lease.  Larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be the best for the prospective tenants to visit the building to see the apartment.  For more information contact  Or call Hilda at 506-2221-7161.

Real Estate
About us
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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. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 174
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Axiom new ad

Hurricane Hermine makes
landfall in northwest Florida

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
with wire service reports

Hurricane Hermine made landfall early today at Saint Marks, northwestern Florida, as a category 1 storm with 80 mph winds.

The U.S. Hurricane Center said that a general motion toward the northeast is expected with an increase in forward speed through today.  On the forecast track, the center of Hermine should move farther inland across the eastern Florida Panhandle into southeastern Georgia later today, and then the center of the storm should then move near or over eastern South Carolina tonight and near or over eastern North Carolina on Saturday, the center said.

The storm was traveling north northeast at about 14 mph. It developed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott said earlier in the evening that the hurricane could create life threatening conditions as the wind gets stronger, the waves get bigger and people prepare their houses for Hermine’s landfall.

An Air Force hunter plane flying near the storm Thursday night showed the storm’s sustained winds at about 130 kilometers per hour.

"Winds are already near tropical storm strength in portions of the warning area, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous," the center said in a statement. "Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion."

Projections show the entire East Coast  all the way from central Florida past the northern Atlantic Coast state of New Jersey in the hurricane’s path.

Scott declared a state of emergency in 51 of Florida’s counties, while President Barack Obama has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to keep him updated on the storm’s progression.

"Local, state and federal officials have been working diligently to prepare for these storms and have resources on hand to respond to them as necessary," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

The center said that Hermine is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over the southeastern United States from northwest Florida through southern and eastern Georgia into South Carolina and eastern North Carolina, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches.

White nationalists use is high
for social media, study reports

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study has concluded that white nationalists and self-identified Nazi sympathizers, mostly in the United States, are using social media with relative impunity, often far surpassing the Internet interest in pronouncements of Islamic State militants.

The report by George Washington University's Program on Extremism in Washington showed Thursday that major American white nationalist movements added about 22,000 followers on Twitter since 2012, about a 600 percent growth. The study said the white nationalists surpassed Islamic State's usage "in nearly every social metric, from follower counts to tweets per day."

The research center said the most popular theme among the Twitter postings related to the concept of white genocide, the suspicion that the white race is directly endangered by the increasing diversity of society. It said white nationalist activists tweeted hundreds of times a day using repetitive hashtags and slogans advancing the notion of the diminishing fortunes of whites.

The university study described the followers of white nationalists on Twitter as heavily invested in the U.S. presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump. The report said that in April, three of the top 10 hashtags for both white nationalist and Nazi sympathizers related to Trump's campaign.

"White nationalist users referenced Trump more than almost any other topic," the report said, "and Trump-related hashtags outperformed every white nationalist hashtag except for #whitegenocide."

It said that white nationalists and Nazis had substantially higher follower counts than those following Islamic State supporters and tweeted more often. But it said that some of the white supremacists' numerical advantage was attributable to the fact that managers of some social media accounts have aggressively sought to purge links to Islamic State networks.

Georgetown plans to atone
for its sale of slaves in 1838

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Georgetown University, a prominent Jesuit school in Washington, D.C., has announced how it plans to atone for the historical role it played in America's institutionalized system of slavery, including the sale of 272 slaves of African descent.

University President John DeGioia presented a series of recommendations Thursday, including giving preferential status during the admissions process to descendants of the slaves who were sold in 1838 to help keep the university solvent. The proposal, similar to admissions advantages offered to family members of alumni, may be groundbreaking.

Craig Steven Wilder, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology historian and author of “Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America's Universities,” is not aware of any other university with historical ties to slavery offering such preferential status. Wilder attributes this, in part, to Georgetown's being a Jesuit institution that is run like a corporate body, giving it the unique ability to keep very detailed historical records.

"The record-keeping of the Jesuits actually allows you to trace the names of the people who were enslaved and also the places to which they were sold, and you can kind of do a genealogy and a biography for many of the Jesuit slaves," Wilder said,

The university also plans to issue a formal apology, create an institute devoted to the study of slavery and build a memorial to the slaves who labored for the university, including those who were sold. Also, two buildings on campus will be renamed for an enslaved man and a Catholic African-American educator.

The recommendations came after DeGioia met earlier this year with descendants in Washington state and Louisiana, to which the slaves who were sold were transported from Jesuit farms in Maryland.

University of North Carolina School of Law professor Alfred Brophy, who has studied universities and slavery, said, "This is not just an issue of descendants of 272 people owned by the Jesuits and then sold south into further slavery. It's a question about how the issues of slavery are connected to the present. And what is very positive and important is that Georgetown is not limiting the discussion to those descendants, but is trying to do something that builds out and is more comprehensive."

The proposals unveiled by the university are just the beginning. In addition to engaging directly with the descendants of the enslaved people and with those associated with the university, Georgetown says it will prioritize issues such as reparations.

"While we acknowledge that the moral debt is slaveholding and the sale of the enslaved people can never be repaid, we are convinced that reparative justice requires a meaningful financial commitment from the university," Georgetown said.

Wilder agreed that Georgetown should explore the issue of reparations as it navigates what he described as an intellectual, political and moral crisis.

"This is actually a necessary consequence of any honest engagement with the history of slavery and, particularly, with an institution like Georgetown," he said.

Some Republicans softening
on Supreme Court nominee

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

However Republican lawmakers view their party's chances of winning the White House, a key senator is speaking in terms that would seem to presume Democrat Hillary Clinton will become America's next president.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley told Iowa constituents the panel could consider President Barack Obama's long-stalled Supreme Court nominee after the November elections in what is known as Congress' lame duck session.

"I don't feel that I could stand in the way of that," Grassley said earlier this week, stipulating that confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, a federal appellate judge, would only be held if enough Republicans join Democrats so there is majority support to proceed.

For months, Grassley and other top Republicans insisted that the next president, to be sworn in Jan. 20, should nominate the successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February. Obama tapped Garland in March, but the nomination has been ignored by the Republican-led Senate. The Supreme Court has operated with eight justices since, deadlocking 4-4 on several major decisions.

Political analysts say Republicans hoped a new Republican president would nominate a right-of-center judge to replace arch-conservative Scalia and preserve the high court's ideological center of gravity, a prospect that seems uncertain as Republican Donald Trump trails Mrs. Clinton in national polls.

Grassley, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others have insisted that their opposition to considering a Supreme Court nominee during the final year of the Obama presidency is a matter of precedent and principle. They argued the process should not go forward in the heat of an election year, and that waiting would allow the American people to register their voice on the matter at the ballot box.

Trump reinforces his stand
on illegals with his speech

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Those waiting for a kinder, gentler Donald Trump on immigration, should not hold their breath. In what may have been a pivotal day in the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump doubled down on his tough stance on illegal immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, late Wednesday, just hours after presenting a more presidential persona in a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Trump outlined an aggressive 10-point plan to stop illegal immigration during his rally, reminding voters of the central issue in his rise to claim the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Trump’s main focus was on removing criminal elements who had entered the country illegally, and he reiterated his pledge to build a border wall with Mexico and have that country pay for it.

Some moderate Republicans have been pushing Trump to soften his tone on immigration, especially his previous vow to deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants who have come into the country over the past several years. Illegal immigration has been Trump's signature issue since he launched his presidential campaign in June of last year. His sometimes divisive rhetoric has also alienated large numbers of Hispanic voters, according to numerous public opinion polls. At the moment, Trump is running behind the levels of support from Hispanic voters accorded to the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, and the 2008 nominee, John McCain.

Trump seemed to take a firm line in his speech on Wednesday, harkening back to his tough rhetoric during the primary season. “For those here illegally today who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only: To return home and apply for re-entry like everybody else. We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration. We will break the cycle.”

Trump’s aggressive stance was a swift change from hours earlier when he met with President Peña Nieto in Mexico City. Trump said they discussed the border wall but not who would pay for it. Peña Nieto did not challenge Trump’s account during their joint press appearance but later said on Twitter he told Trump at the outset of their meeting that Mexico would not pay for the wall.

The Hillary Clinton campaign blasted Trump’s Arizona speech in a written statement and accused Trump of doubling down on his anti-immigrant rhetoric and attempt at demonizing immigrants.

Candidate Clinton has also been warning voters of late to beware of any Trump efforts to moderate his rhetoric or policy positions.

“And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. But don’t be fooled. There is an old Mexican proverb that says, tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are. Well, we know who Trump is,” Mrs. Clinton told supporters at a recent rally in Reno, Nevada.

Mrs. Clinton continues to lead Trump in national and key state polls, although some recent national polls have grown tighter. Trump, however, appears to be struggling to broaden his base of support beyond the groups he appealed to in the Republican primaries, according to Georgetown University analyst Stephen Wayne.

“Because he appealed to an angry segment of the Republican Party, which is not necessarily the country as a whole. This general election seems to be a referendum for or against Trump. And he won it in the primaries, and he’s losing it in the general election because of the very appeals he made in the primaries.”

Mrs. Clinton has some problems of her own. The Trump campaign hammers her on a daily basis for refusing to hold a news conference. And recent polls show an increase in voters who don’t consider her trustworthy, another factor that may explain why Mrs. Clinton’s lead may be slipping.

Both candidates increasingly are likely to focus on the coming presidential debates with the first one scheduled for Sept. 26.

More marijuana use by adults
reported in results of survey

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As attitudes about marijuana change in the United States, more adults are using the drug, according to a new study.

Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, writing in The Lancet Psychiatry, say that as more states legalize recreational and medical use of marijuana, fewer adults feel there are dangers associated with its use.

Using data from nearly 600,000 adults over the age of 18, the researchers found that from 2002 to 2014 marijuana use increased from 10.4 percent of adults in 2002 to 13.3 percent in 2014. Usage was defined as having consumed marijuana in the previous year.

The study also found that adults reporting using marijuana for the first time in the previous year also rose from .7 percent in 2002 to 1.1 percent in 2014. Additionally, those reporting daily or near daily use jumped from 1.9 percent to 3.5 percent over the same time period.

Extrapolating this data, researchers say, means that 823,000 adults reported first using marijuana in 2002 compared to 1.4 million in 2014. They estimate that during the same time period the overall number of marijuana users jumped from 21.9 million to 31.9 million. The number of daily or near daily users was 8.4 million in 2014, up 3.9 million from 2002.

These increases, researchers say, are being driven by a decline in the number of people who perceive marijuana as dangerous. For example the percentage of people who felt that smoking marijuana once or twice a week was dangerous fell from 50.4 percent to 33.3 percent.

"Although shifts in perceived risk have historically been important predictors of adolescent marijuana trends, no previous research has examined this relationship in adults,” said study author Dr. Wilson M. Compton of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. “State laws related to marijuana use in the U.S.A. have changed considerably over the past 20 years with medical marijuana now legalized in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, several jurisdictions have legalized non-medical marijuana use."

Despite the rise in number of adults using marijuana, the researchers say they did not see a corresponding rise in marijuana use disorders, such as abuse or dependence, though they add more study is needed to confirm the trend.
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 174
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Dilma Rousseff is appealing her ouster

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Dilma Rousseff, ousted this week as Brazil's president, has filed an appeal with the country's highest court to challenge the federal senate's decision to remove her from office for breaking budgetary rules.

Brazil's senate voted Wednesday to dismiss the leftist leader and confirm her conservative vice president, Michel Temer, as president for the remainder of her term through 2018.

The appeal before Brazil's supreme federal court, filed by Ms. Rousseff's attorney, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, demands the immediate suspension of the effects of the senate decision.

Cardozo's appeal accused the opposition attorneys of violating her right to due process. If the court grants the injunction, Temer would return to being interim president while the senate trial is repeated.

So far, all requests made by Ms. Rousseff's defense on the merits of the impeachment process against her have been rejected by the high court, whose chief justice, Ricardo Lewandowski, presided over her impeachment trial.

Millions took to the streets across Brazil this year to demand Ms. Rousseff's removal, less than two years after she was re-elected, as Brazil slid into its deepest recession in decades and a graft scandal at state oil company Petrobras tarnished her coalition.

March of million peaceful in Caracas

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of thousands of opponents of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, some of whom traveled from far-off villages in the Amazon, marched through the streets of Caracas Thursday.

"Venezuela is hungry!" yelled some of the protestors, all dressed in white, as they marched in the east of the capital.

Protesters are pressing for a recall referendum against the president, whose approval ratings have fallen to a dismal 25 percent this year.

The opposition was hoping for one million people weary of ongoing recession, inflation in the triple digits, and a countrywide shortage of food and basic necessities to march through the capital Thursday.

Maduro threatened to imprison opposition leaders if violence breaks out, but Jesús Torrealba, opposition party Democratic Unity Roundtable leader, has vowed that marches will remain peaceful.

"Not one stone, not one hood, not one broken bottle," he said. "What there will be is purely democratic citizens in the street."

The opposition-dubbed "Takeover of Caracas" chanted "This government will fall!" as they marched through the streets of the capital, demanding action against the president.

But the election board has dragged its feet, making a recall vote this year unlikely.

A separate protest by red-shirted government supporters was also taking place Thursday.

If Maduro were to be voted out, his vice president would assume his rule, leaving the Socialist Party in power.

Maduro has said he feels the protests are part of a coup plan backed by the United States, one similar to a short-lived putsch against his mentor and predecessor Hugo Chávez in 2002.

"I am ready for everything . . . we will not allow a coup," Maduro said in a speech late Wednesday.
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From Page 7:

Government wants to increase recycling

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Residents can expect a strong push toward recycling in the rest of the year.

The national campaign for recycling is being promoted by the Ministerio de Salud, the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía and the Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal.

The ministries and the institute outlined strategies in a meeting Thursday. The plans are part of the overall strategy that was outlined earlier this year.

A summary of the meeting said that the plan is to increase by 15 percent the percentage of material that is recycled.