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Published Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 178
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Defensoría begins major study of agrochemicals
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Defensoría de los Habitantes says it is launching a major study on the use of agricultural chemicals in Costa Rica.

The Defensoría is enlisting the aid of a handful of government agencies and universities for the task. Although the specifics were not given, the study seems to be in response to long-running concerns about pesticides used in pineapple cultivation ending up in drinking water.

The state water company, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, has been asked to participate.

The Defensoría noted that Costa Rica uses a lot of agricultural chemicals.

The study seems to start with the basics, including an inventory of what kinds and amounts of chemicals actually enter the country.

The goal is to determine the impact on human health and the environment, said the  Defensoría. Current laws also will be studied, the agency said.

Among other questions will be the type of

Defensoría de los Habitantes photo
A typical day down on the farm.

insurance agricultural workers have.

Other entities that are involved are the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the Ministerio  de Salud, the Ministerio de Trabajo, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, the Universidad Nacional and the Universidad de Costa Rica, said the  Defensoría.

The outcome of the study will determine if changes are needed in national policy and laws, it added.

Some expats amused by online corruption survey
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some expats were amused and others said they were astonished that the Costa Rica government would seek public opinions on corruption.

“I almost choked on my cereal this morning reading a proposed government study about putting labels on corruption,” said one in an email. “If they do not know what corruption is then this can help?”

Another reader with tongue firmly in cheek was ready to help. Notaries, attorneys, judges, municipal police, judicial investigators and traffic police, he wrote as a response to where corruption is found.

The news story Wednesday reported that the open government initiative, Gobierno Abierto, is asking residents to give their opinions on where they find corruption in their daily lives.

An online survey has been set up.

Corruption is one factor that generates cynicism among residents. The tax collectors also blame opinions on corruption as to why some do not pay their share.

In fact, one lawyer pointed out earlier this year in a private conference that Costa Rica laws and procedures are set up with the belief that everyone is crooked. And it is true that stifling bureaucracy causes individuals to find informal ways around the logjam.

The survey itself is pretty simple and consists of some 12 questions, including age. The two key questions are where is corruption found the most and what does the respondent propose to reduce corruption. These are open-ended questions where the respondent writes anything.

The survey also asks the respondent to evaluate the efforts by the government to fight corruption and how effective are the penalties. In most cases, the average citizen would have no idea how to respond to these questions.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 178
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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
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US (310) 827-4241
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Insurance professionals

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-Correspondents of WILLIS.
-Connections in all of Central
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-Prize-winning Web site.
-English policy extracts.
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Centro Comercial El Pueblo, Local #125, San José, Costa Rica.    Phone:  ( 506 ) 2233-9520
E-mail :
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Residency experts

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A full service immigration agency
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Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore. —

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Tel: (323) 255-6116


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Take advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion.
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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

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Agencies begin to defend their budget cut

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This is the time of year when government agencies act to justify the money they are allocated by the national budget.

Wednesday the little known Ministerio de Planificación Nacional y Política Económica sent out a statement saying that it only received one colon from every 1,000 colons in the budget. The ministry is expected to receive 10.4 billion colons or about $19 million.

Among other things the ministry develops the various national development plans.

The legislature is in a cost-cutting mood because President Luis Guillermo Solís presented a budget 12 percent higher for 2017 than for this year.

Ministries that are not well known, like the Ministerio de Planificación, are likely to be on the chopping block.

Museo Nacional to honor children Sunday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional will celebrate children’s day Sunday with the Festival de la Niñez.

The event opens at 10 a.m. with sales of crafts and food along with activities for children. The museum is promising music, theater and circus acts geared for children.

Some of the music will come from the Orquesta La Libertad from the Parque La Libertad at 12:30 p.m.  The grupo Metamorfosis plans a show with clowns, acrobatics, theater and dance at 1:30 p.m.

Our reader’s opinion
Every country has immigration laws

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The United States, like every other country including Costa Rica, has immigration laws.

The outcry against Donald Trump and others who hope to enforce and not ignore these laws is confusing to me. I know of many cases in Costa Rica where they enforced their laws when Americans got into trouble or overstayed their visa, why shouldn't the United States do the same against their illegals.

Costa Rica does not give benefits to or allow freedoms, such as changing money, for people with expired visas.

Why should the United States. The outcry should not be about enforcing the laws. It should rather be about clarifying and changing the laws. 
Dave King 
Sabana Oeste

Time to register to vote

The U.S. Federal government’s overseas voting agency has issued a reminder that Nov. 8 is the 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, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 178
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Emergency commission has its eye on eight potential slide areas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Every day Mother Nature is working to make Costa Rica as flat as Kansas. The process is long, but eventually Nature will win.

And that is what worries the emergency commission which has designated eight high-risk locations in the Central Valley where massive landslides are likely.

They are Tapezco and Chitaría in Santa Ana, Burío in Aserrí, Tablazo in Desamparados, Ortiga-Potrerillos in Acosta, Pacacua in Mora, La Cascabela in Alajuelita and Agres-Lajas in Escazú.

These are not new revelations. Each of these slide locations has been in the news in the past.

In addition to being mountains with slopes, the potential slides have earth that is less cohesive, contains lots of rocks and are mechanically weak. The seasonal tropical rains are likely to bring down tons of earth in some of these locations.

Not on the list of the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias is Ruta 32 north of San José. This is a perennial slide area that frequently closes the main highway. The government is developing mitigation plans.

The commission is developing permanent surveillance plans for each location and making an inventory of the residents who might be threatened, it said. In addition, alarm systems are being developed.

The commission is having a tough time relocating some 19

National emergency commission photo
Slides also can damage highways.

stubborn families in the canton of Mora at the Altos de San Juan, also known as Quitirrisí. They live below a life-threatening mass of earth.

The commission does not want to see a repeat of what happened Nov. 4, 2010, when a slide crushed 20 homes in San Antonio de Escazú and killed 21 persons.  That was at Calle Lajas in Barrio El Carmen.

Three projects announced for isolated Talamanca communities
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The security ministry and the U.S. Embassy are showing a sudden interest in the high Talamancas.

Both the minister of Seguridad Pública, Gustavo Mata, and the U.S. ambassador  S. Fitzgerald Haney, flew to Piedra Meza and Alto Telire this week.

The area is perhaps the poorest in Costa Rica and within the native reserve inhabited mostly by Cabécars. Many make their living there growing fields of marijuana.

There also have been reports of helicopter flights into the area by suspicious individuals.

The ministry now has promised the residents the construction of schools and clinics, the presence of physicians and veterinarians and the installation of some hanging bridges to improve contact among the residents. The efforts supported by the United States were described as humanitarian.
The U.S. government will be bringing four cargo helicopters into the area to transport people and materials to the area.

Usually this region is visited by crews of the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea when an ailing individual has to be airlifted for hospital treatment.

In the initial round, an embassy spokesman said that up to 500 patients would be treated by the visiting medical staff.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 178
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Latin America is getting another serious invasive disease, scrub typhus
By the University of Oxford news staff

Scrub typhus, a disease transmitted through chiggers that kills at least 140,000 people a year in the Asia-Pacific region, may now be endemic in a part of South America, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers from Oxford University and the Pontificia Universidad Católica and Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile confirmed a cluster of cases of the life-threatening tropical disease in a large island off of Chile, more than 12,000 kilometers from its usual range on the other side of the Pacific.

Scrub typhus, caused by the bacteria, Orientia tsutsugamushi, is transmitted through the bite of an infective mite, and spreads through the lymphatic fluid and blood, causing fever, rash, and laboratory abnormalities such as elevated levels of C-reactive protein and liver enzymes.

"Scrub typhus is a common disease but a neglected one. Given that it is known to cause approximately a million clinical cases and kills at least 140,000 people each year, this evidence of an even bigger burden of disease in another part of the world highlights the need for more research and attention to it," said Paul Newton, director of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital Wellcome Trust Research Unit, which collaborated in the study.

Scrub typhus has been known for years and the bacteria that  causes it was first identified in Japan in 1930. It is spread by the
larvae of mites, commonly called chiggers. Until 2006 it was thought to be limited to an area called the tsutsugamushi triangle, which extends from Pakistan in the west to far eastern Russia in the east to northern Australia in the south.

"The cases of scrub typhus, found off of Chile's mainland, expand our understanding of the epidemiology of scrub typhus and suggest that there may be a much wider global distribution than previously understood," said study author Tom Weitzel of the Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile.

In 2006, two cases were identified outside the scrub typhus triangle. One, in the Middle East, was caused by a previously unrecorded bacteria related to tsutsugamushi and named Orientia Chuto. The second was found on Chiloé, a large island just off the coast of mainland Chile.

In January 2015 and then in early 2016, three more cases were discovered by a hospital in Ancud, a town on the northern coast of Chiloé. The hospital was taking part in a study of rickettsia bacteria infections, similar to the scrub typhus-causing Orientia.

Samples from the three patients were initially processed in Chile by the original research team at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Once scrub typhus was suspected, samples from the first patient were flown to the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand and to Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital, its Laos Unit in Vientiane.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 178
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Axiom new ad

Americans divided on terror
based on their political views

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks nearing, Americans are sharply divided along party lines about the threat of a major terrorist attack on the United States, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Forty percent of Americans said the ability of terrorists to strike the United States was greater today than it was at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to the Pew Research Center survey of 1,201 adults.

That share was up 6 percentage points since November 2013 and marked the highest percentage with that view over the past 14 years. Thirty-one percent of respondents said terrorists' abilities to attack were the same, and a quarter said it was less.

"The growth in the belief that terrorists are now better able to launch a major strike on the U.S. has come almost entirely among Republicans," the Pew Research Center said.

Fifty-eight percent of Republicans said terrorists' ability to hit the United States in a major attack was greater now than at the time of 9/11, up 18 percentage points since 2013, it said.

The poll results marked the first time that a majority in either political party had expressed that opinion, the Pew center said.

Thirty-four percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats said terrorists were better able to strike the United States today than they were then. Those views were up 2 percentage points each from three years ago, according to the survey.

The partisan divide was in line with other opinion sampling on the U.S. government's ability to deal with terrorism, Pew said.

In an April Pew poll, three-quarters of Democrats said the government was doing very or fairly well in reducing the threat from terrorism, while 29 percent of Republicans said the same.

The 9/11 attacks are a powerful memory for many Americans. Almost 3,000 people died when hijackers slammed airliners into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Ninety-one percent of the adults surveyed remembered exactly where they were or what they were doing when they heard news about the attacks. Among those under 30, 83 percent said the same.

The Pew survey was conducted by telephone from Aug. 23 to Sept. 2. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Mrs. Clinton says steadiness
is top presidential quality

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says steadiness is the most important characteristic a president must have. Her Republican rival Donald Trump says voters do not have to worry about his temperament or judgement.

Mrs. Clinton spoke first Wednesday night at an NBC News Commander-in-Chief Forum held aboard the Air Force carrier Intrepid in New York City. In a likely preview of their three upcoming debates, Both Mrs. Clinton and Republican rival Trump were appearing separately on the same stage, answering questions about national security.

They agreed not to use the forum as a place to attack each other but occasional verbal jabs crept into the discussions.

Mrs. Clinton said a president has to be someone who listens, evaluates what he or she is being told and said temperament and judgement are the keys.

She called military force a last resort and that learned that the war in Iraq was a mistake, admitting that she also made a mistake supporting it when she was a senator. Mrs. Clinton said the U.S. will not put ground forces on the ground in Iraq ever again.

She said the nuclear deal with Iran put a lid on its nuclear program, and said she would enforce it to the letter. Mrs. Clinton said the U.S has to squeeze more support from its Arab allies in the war on Islamic State.

Trump told the forum he would be very very cautious when deciding whether to send Americans into battle, accusing Mrs. Clinton of having a happy trigger.

He said he was shocked to hear in classified national security briefings given to major presidential candidates that Mrs. Clinton, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry did not follow recommendations of intelligence experts.

Trump was unashamed about his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin despite tensions between the White House and Kremlin. He told the forum he would have a very good relationship with Putin and many other foreign leaders.

Mrs. Clinton and Trump will hold their first face to face debate Sept. 26. It is the first of three scheduled debates in the weeks before the Nov. 8 election to pick the successor to Obama.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump unveiled his plans for the military.

"I'm going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody, absolutely nobody, is gonna mess with us," Trump declared on his campaign Web site.

He later told an audience in Philadelphia that he would give U.S. commanders 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat Islamic State, after boasting this week that he has his own secret plan.

Mrs. Clinton scoffed at Trump's claim, saying "the secret is, he has no plan."

She said American voters "know they can count on me to be the kind of commander in chief who will protect our country and our troops, and they know they cannot count on Donald Trump. They view him as a danger and a risk."

Trump said Mrs. Clinton's time as U.S. secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 left the Middle East in more disarray than ever before.

"She's trigger happy and very unstable," Trump said. He also accused her of being reckless in the way she handled her emails when she was secretary.

U.S. investigators concluded Mrs. Clinton was extremely careless in her handling of national security materials, but that no criminal charges were warranted.

Politicians agree that Russia
may disrupt Nov. 8 elections

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers of both political parties say they have no reason to doubt that Russian hackers are targeting America’s voting infrastructure with the possible intent of disrupting or undermining confidence in the November elections.

“I don’t think it’s a stretch because Russia’s been engaged in cyberattacks against the United States,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a Republican. “These are well known to our national security experts. So no, it does not surprise me.”

“We know Russia has been very active in cyberattacks in the United States, and we know that they mine for information all the time,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat. “Nothing surprises me about Russia.”

Federal officials believe Russian hackers penetrated voter databases in Arizona and Illinois earlier this year, and have urged all 50 states to be vigilant.

“There is an increasing level of sophistication by cyberattackers across the spectrum, whether it’s nation-state actors, plain criminals,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on MSNBC. “And so we want to inform state election officials of what we see on a national level as best practices.”

While acknowledging a threat exists, Johnson downplayed the possibility of a foreign entity managing to alter ballot totals in any state. He noted that, while the vast majority of voting machines in the United States are electronic, they are not linked to the Internet, and results are collected and reported by local election officials at polling stations.

The White House, meanwhile, has stressed that America’s decentralized elections system makes it harder to tamper with on a grand scale.

“Elections are administered and conducted by state and local authorities, which essentially means you have a patchwork of systems across the country,” said White House spokesman John Earnest. “That also makes it harder to hack the system.”

A top U.S. intelligence official on Wednesday played down the recent reports of Russian hacking into U.S. voter databases and political institutions.

“The Russians hack our systems all the time, not just government, but also corporate and personal systems,” James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said during a national security summit in Washington.

“People are feeling uncertain about what will happen with presidential transition,” he said. “I’m here with a message — it will be okay.”

Clapper stopped short, however, of placing blame for the recent Democratic National Committee hacks directly on Moscow. He said China and non-state actors also are threats in the cyber-terror world that are unlikely to go away.

“Cyber will continue to be a huge problem for the next presidential administration, as it has been a challenge for this administration,” he said.

The mere fact that Americans have been alerted to cyberattacks on voting systems, though, could be a victory for a hostile foreign entity, according to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, a Republican.

“Anything that the Russian leadership can do to cause Americans to distrust the validity of an election destabilizes our country,” Corker said. “If they can demonstrate that maybe they affected it, so that all of a sudden there is distrust in the outcome, obviously it creates instability.”

“It’s a win for them,” Corker added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any attempts to meddle in U.S. elections, and said Russia was not to blame for a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee and the subsequent release of thousands of committee emails.

Republican Dan Coats of Indiana, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see definitive proof of Russian involvement before he points any fingers.

“We are going to need to find the factual basis to come to a conclusion, but given the ability today to basically intercept anybody’s communications, we are all vulnerable to that," said Coats.

Justice Department wants
its own subpoena power

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Department of Justice says it needs Congress to grant it the authority to demand information that would disclose if people are lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.

In a report issued Wednesday, the Justice Department’s inspector general said confusion over how to enforce existing laws has led to widespread late registrations and required updates by U.S. lobbyists. This has triggered controversy around Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Manafort and his lobbying firm did not register their activities for a European research institution as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. Manafort surreptitiously ran the institution with the help of an associate who worked for a Russian-backed political party in Ukraine.

"The Justice Department has long viewed itself as being not a disclosure agency," Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a non-profit citizens advocate group, said. "It operates essentially in secrecy, and it does not appreciate having the responsibility of trying to enforce disclosure laws."

Despite the existence of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which governs the activities of foreign lobbyists, the inspector general's report noted only seven prosecutions since 1993 and that registrations have dropped sharply over the decades.

Virginia Commonwealth University professor Jason Arnold, author of “Secrecy in the Sunshine Era: The Promise and Failures of U.S. Open Government Laws,” said the report's findings reinforce earlier evidence of declining registrations and enforcement. "In order to prevent lobbying firms from exploiting what they see as loopholes in how FARA is enforced, Congress should make the registration requirements and non-compliance punishments even more explicit. “

Violations of the law are punishable by up to five years in prison, but the report said Justice Department investigators and attorneys have had different opinions over the years on what constitutes a case eligible for prosecution. They also confused the Foreign Agents Registration Act with another law, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which imposes less stringent requirements.

Department of Justice records inspectors said they were understaffed and currently search newspaper articles to get leads on illegal activities of foreign lobbyists.

Holman agrees Congress should intervene because he said the laws do not give the department the authority to issue subpoenas without the ability to prove criminal intent. "If Congress were to amend the lobby disclosure laws, giving the Department of Justice its own subpoena authority so it could go ahead and conduct investigations without having to formally press criminal charges first, that would be a phenomenal assistance for the Department of Justice to carry through with its investigations."

The report concluded that the Justice Department needs a better system to track missing records. And Holman, like Arnold, agreed more resources are needed at the agency. "If we could get just a dozen enforcement actions coming out of the Department of Justice, that would give a signal to lobbyists across the board that they’d better beware," Holman said.

U.S. lawmakers are working
to get zika funding approved

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers sought to break a logjam Wednesday over $1.1 billion in funding to combat the zika virus, with the Senate possibly considering legislation as soon as next week, even as one congressman toted a jar full of mosquitoes to the House floor to condemn congressional inaction.

"Can you imagine the fears and anxieties if the mosquitoes were not in this jar?" David Jolly, a Florida Republican, told his colleagues as he brandished the container holding about 100 of the insects in the House of Representatives chamber.

"Members of Congress would run down the hall to the physician's office to be tested," added Jolly, whose state is the first in the nation with local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Americas.

The potential Senate zika measure could advance as part of a broader legislative effort to temporarily keep federal agencies operating in the 2017 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Republicans and Democrats huddled separately in closed meetings in both the Senate and House to see if they could reach a compromise during a 19-day work session this month, before lawmakers break for a recess in the weeks before the Nov. 8 U.S. election. Lawmakers returned to work this week after a seven-week summer recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was in talks with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.

"We're looking for a way forward. And I'm hopeful and optimistic that we'll be able to do that," McConnell, a Republican, said of both a temporary agency funding bill and zika money.

In February, President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funds to deal with the zika virus, which can cause severe birth defects when pregnant women become infected.

Since then, both parties have backed $1.1 billion as the funding figure. But fights over side issues related to abortion and Obama's signature health care law have bitterly divided the two parties.
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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

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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
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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
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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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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 178
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Brown University/Justin Kerr
A detail of an image from Page 4 of the Grolier Codex with red underpainting visible.

Detailed study authenticates codex

By the Brown University news staff

The Grolier Codex, an ancient document that is among the rarest books in the world, has been regarded with skepticism since it was reportedly unearthed by looters from a cave in Chiapas, Mexico, in the 1960s. But a meticulous new study of the codex has yielded a startling conclusion: The codex is both genuine and likely the most ancient of all surviving manuscripts from ancient America.

Stephen Houston, co-director of the Program in Early Cultures at Brown University, worked with Michael Coe, professor emeritus of archeology and anthropology at Harvard and leader of the research team, along with Mary Miller of Yale and Karl Taube of the University of California-Riverside.  The paper, published in the journal Maya Archaeology, fills a special section of the publication and includes a lavish facsimile of the codex.

For years, academics and specialists have argued about the legitimacy of the Grolier Codex, a legacy the authors trace in the paper. Some asserted that it must have been a forgery, speculating that modern forgers had enough knowledge of Maya writing and materials to create a fake codex at the time the Grolier came to light.

Houston and his co-authors analyzed the origins of the manuscript, the nature of its style and iconography, the nature and meaning of its Venus tables, scientific data, including carbon dating, of the manuscript, and the craftsmanship of the codex, from the way the paper was made to the known practices of Maya painters.

Over the course of a 50-page analysis, the authors take up the questions and criticisms leveled by scholars over the last 45 years and describes how the Grolier Codex differs from the three other known ancient Maya manuscripts but nonetheless joins their ranks.

The Grolier’s composition, from its 13th-century amatl paper, to the thin red sketch lines underlying the paintings and the Maya blue pigments used in them, are fully persuasive, the authors assert. Houston and his coauthors outline what a 20th century forger would have had to know or guess to create the Grolier, and the list is prohibitive. He or she would have to guess the existence of and then perfectly render deities that had not been discovered in 1964, when any modern forgery would have to have been completed; correctly guess how to create Maya blue, which was not synthesized in a laboratory until Mexican conservation scientists did so in the 1980s, and have a wealth and range of resources at their fingertips that would, in some cases, require knowledge unavailable until recently.

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From Page 7:

Women in business get support at seminar

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Women in business in the Limón area are getting a boost with the third regional encounter of a program supported by the European Union.

This is Proyecto €mprende, which is designed to identify future business leaders and discuss obstacles that might cause problems for women to achieve that goal.

Previous sessions were held in Guanacaste and Puntarenas. The current two-day session ends today in Guácimo.