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Published Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 192
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Those U.S. tents to be used to house illegal migrants
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government said that it will begin moving illegal migrants to two new and temporary camps near the country’s northern border.

These camps will house the migrants in large tents that have been donated by the United States.

The government outlined its plans Tuesday, and said it would begin moving 50 migrants today from a squatter’s village, called Parqueo Deldu along the Nicaragua border, to the new setup in Santa Cecilia, La Cruz.

Officials said that this new wave of illegal migrants totaled about 10,900 as of last Friday. Migrants, mostly Haitians, Africans and other unknown nationalities are still coming into the country. The informal camp at the northern border has about 1,500 persons.

Two twin tent cities can hold 750 persons and can be enlarged to hold 1,000.  Some 141 tents were donated to the national emergency commission, but officials declined to say at the time that the tents would house migrants. They said they would be used in the event of natural disasters.

The numbers of migrants still in Costa Rica 
Santa Cecilia
Casa Presidencial photo
This is the tent city known as Santa Cecilia 2

suggest that at least 5,000 have found their way north eventhough Nicaragua has closed its borders to them. Most have come to Costa Rica from South America.

There is a steady flow of Haitians to Brazil. Costa Rican officials said they are in the process of deporting eight Haitians, but they did not say why.

There is a political reference in naming the two camps after the district of the canton of La Cruz where they are located. The Roman Saint Cecilia had nothing to do with immigration, but a popular Mexican band by that name promotes immigration reform in the United States, a favored initiative of President Barack Obama.

Tax collectors lack a sense of humor over sales levy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tax collectors have their backs up because some merchants are advertising products as tax free.

The Dirección General de Tributación said that such offers can be found on the Internet.

In many cases, the businesses simply are discounting their product the amount of the 13 percent sales tax, and shoppers think they are getting a deal.

Actually evading the sales tax in Costa Rica is a continuing problem for officials, but using the lack of a sales tax as a come-on is the least of their problems.
The crucial point is if a
merchant lists the sale each month and remits the appropriate tax to the government whether or not the shopper has been charged the tax specifically. Of course,  Tributación does not like this either. Officials insist that the tax be listed in a separate line an official receipt.

At the very least, offering a product tax free highlights the fact that the government is getting 13 percent on a transaction. Frequently this is more than the merchant nets after expenses. The Solís administration is trying to raise the percentage to 15 eventually.

Meanwhile, if shoppers think they have been cheated because they were not charged the sales tax, they have been invited to contact the tax agency.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 192
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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.


                                                      Services rollover
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bridge                                      work
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
A lane of the bridge is blocked off at the joint

Oh, no! Not another bridge joint problem!

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican highway officials have another bridge problem. This time it is the metal of an expansion join on the La Amistad bridge over the Río Tempisque in Guanacaste.

This is the bridge that was donated by the Taiwanese shortly before then-president Óscar Arias decided to dump them in favor of the People’s Republic.

Costa Rican highway workers are not good with expansion joints. The one on the General Cañas highway has defied being fixed for six years despite major efforts. In fact, the government is about to rebuild the entire bridge to somehow solve the problem.

Traffic police have closed off part of the La Amistad bridge because pieces of metal are protruding and could do damage to a tire. An inspection is planned for today.

The bridge is the most direct route to and from the commercial center of Nicoya on the peninsula of the same name. However, in addition to the expansion joint, there have been claims that maintenance is not being done effectively.

Turriallba continues to emit vapor

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano continued pouring out vapor and ash early today through 2:30 a.m. That meant more than a 26-hour stint.

The summit of the volcano is hard to see, but cameras installed there showed early today vapor still pouring from the crater backlit by household light below. In addition, some residents said they smelled sulphur.

The emissions early today did not go as high as had been seen during Tuesday when the plume reached at times 2,000 meters above the crater.

The dense, black vapor and ash began at 12:42 p.m. Monday. There were many surges from then until the last daytime report at 5 p.m. Scientists also were recording many tremors within the mountain.

Tuesday morning the winds carried the ash to San Gerardo de Irazú, Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo, the Barva y Poás volcanoes and Sarapiquí, said the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

In the afternoon, the winds changed and the ash fell south southwest of the crater, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica.

The locations getting the bulk of the ash over the last week were those north of the capital and in Coronado. Some school children are wearing masks there.

Scientists are making sophisticated calculations and measurements of the volcano output.

The gases include sulphur trioxide and sulphur dioxide. Both are irritants and can do damage to the lungs and mucous membranes, said officials. Precipitation would generate acid rain. There was no rain in the metro area Tuesday.

More airlines sought at China transport fair

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo said it has representatives at the World Routes transportation fair in Chengdu, China, this week. The goal is to have more airlines fly to Costa Rica.

Now 22 airlines provide service at Juan Santamaría in Alajuela, and 11 do so at Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia.

Representatives from 300 airlines and 700 airports are attending the fair, the tourism agency said.

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, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 192
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Former president Juan Mora is getting more popular each year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 Shakespeare is incorrect when he says of Caesar that the good is oft interred with their bones.  Juan Rafael Mora Porras is getting more and more popular.

The former president was the one who launched the country on its campaign against the U.S. Filibusterer William Walker in 1856. But in doing so, he also triggered a cholera epidemic that ravaged the country when the returning troops brought back the disease.

Yet Friday, the 156th anniversary of the former president’s execution, there are a lot of activities. The Museo Juan Santamaría in Alajuela plans a ceremony at 2 p.m.

President Luis Guillermo Solís has another on his scheduled Friday morning.

The Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal is having a conference on Mora at its offices in San Vicente de Moravia at 7 p.m.

Also being honored and discussed is José María Cañas Escamilla, who also died by firing squad two days later, also in Puntarenas.  Cañas was a leading general in the battle against Nicaraguan forces and Mora’s brother-in-law.

Last year was the 150th anniversary of the deaths, but this year seems to be a continuation of the celebration. The reason may be that Mora was deposed in Aug. 14, 1859, and presidential coups are in the news now after the impeachment of Brazil’s

From the Minsterio de Cultura y Juventud collection
Artist Carlos Aguilar Durán depicted a brave Mora at his execution in this 2006 painting.

president. The reasons are about the same: economic interests.

The Museo Juan Santamaría noted in announcing its event that Mora wanted to create a state bank, was involved in awarding a concession to the Fábrica Nacional de Licores and also wanted to privatize some land near the capital. And he wanted to impose a tax on coffee producers, the most powerful social and political force at the time.

José María Montealegre and associates engineered the coup and  Montealegre became president. When the plotters heard that Mora was returning from exile in 1860, they acted to intercept him in Puntarenas and eventually sent him to the firing squad.

Montealegre and his associates are now being branded as assassins.

Bold downtown robbery frustrated by a hail of police bullets
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Brazen robbers tried to stage a jewelry heist at closing time Tuesday, but they were met by Fuerza Pública officers as they tried to make a getaway. One robber died at the scene from bullet wounds. His companion is in critical condition.

The men appear to have arrived at the jewelry store at Avenida 6 and Calle 8 on a motorcycle. The location is at the heart of the capital’s commercial district just two blocks south of heavily traveled Avenida 2.

The crooks managed to grab some jewelry because a briefcase with the loot was at the scene.

There were persons inside the store when the pair barged in.

Each carried a firearm. Still unclear is how Fuerza Pública officers responded so quickly, but the use of a silent alarm has not been discounted.

Police said that the robbers opened fire on police officers as they exited the store. There were no reports of police being injured.

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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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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 Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 192
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Murder anniversary again puts expat here in the news headlines
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An expat businessman now in Guanacaste has been thrust into the limelight again because the murder of his wife in Georgia reached its 10th anniversary.

The case is getting good play in the Spanish language media mainly because a U.S. Internet outlet that specializes in crime produced a report full of innuendos.

The man is Jon Worrell. He is still considered a suspect even though Douglas County, Georgia, police arrested two other men and then had to let them go due to lack of evidence. Spouses usually are suspects in cases like this.

The dead woman is Doris Worrell, who was 39 when she died Sept. 20, 2006, at the sports park in Douglas that she and her husband owned. The woman suffered a bullet wound while she appears to have had her hands locked on her head surrender style. The bullet that struck her in the head also severed part of her finger.

The internet report made much of the fact that the couple had befriended a 15-year-old Venezuelan illegal immigrant in Georgia, and the girl, Paola Yarberry, quickly became live-in nanny to the family’s three children.

The local prosecutor and U.S. immigration agents pressured the girl because she also was at the sports park when the murder

took place. She was found cowering in a location distant from the murder scene. She said she heard a dispute and then a shot.

The husband was reported elsewhere on an errand.

Clearly Coffee County sheriff’s investigators were trying to get her to implicate the husband. But she did not, and then agents deported her in March 2008 to her native Venezuela.

Local suspicions already had driven the husband and his children out of Georgia the year before, and they had settled in Florida.

The Costa Rican development is that in August 2008 Worrell moved himself and the children to Costa Rica. He operates an ice delivery business in Carrillo. With him now is the woman who used to be the nanny.

There are no pending charges, although the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lists the case as one of the state’s unsolved crimes.

One of the two men who was detained for five weeks used to work at the sports park. The other man was working there when arrested. They declined to be interviewed by investigators. There are multiple theories about what happened, from gang revenge to a robbery, but there is no gun or other significant evidence.

Ms. Yarberry is an unlikely suspect because police taped her being carried from the murder scene hysterical.

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About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 192
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Analysts generally agree
that Mrs. Clinton prevailed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump headed back to the campaign trail Tuesday, a day after their contentious debate that independent analysts largely agreed she won and could give her a national polling boost six weeks ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

Political surveys before the debate showed the two candidates locked in a tight contest, with Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic contender, holding a narrow 2-percentage-point advantage.

But political scientist Alan Abramowitz of Emory University in Atlanta and poll analyst Nate Silver both said Mrs. Clinton could add another two points to her edge after she kept Trump on the defensive through much of the debate, attacking him for refusing to release his U.S. income tax returns, for failing to pay some contractors he hired to build his golf courses and casinos, and for his lengthy history of slurs against women.

​"I wouldn't be surprised if her poll numbers move up a little," Abramowitz said. "I think it might go up a couple points. I think it makes it a little more difficult for Trump," the Republican nominee, to reach a majority in the electoral college where U.S. presidential elections are decided based on state-by-state results rather than the national popular vote.

He called Mrs. Clinton's debate performance "calm, cool and collected" and said she was able to talk about the issues. He described Trump as "rather bombastic and superficial. I think he got in a lot of trouble on race and gender issues."

Emory professor Andra Gillespie said, "I think his campaign will try to regroup and he might practice a little bit more before the next debate, as opposed to bragging about how he may not have been practicing going into the debate."

Silver, who runs the election prediction internet site, wrote that the contrast between Clinton, seeking to become the country's first female president, and Trump "might be expected to produce a swing of 2 to 4 percentage points in the horse-race polls" in her favor.

Another analyst, John Sides, a George Washington University political scientist, said "My initial sense is that most reporters and commentators think that Clinton outperformed Trump. Since there is evidence that any media consensus can shape how voters also perceive the debate, that suggests that Clinton is more likely to benefit than Trump."

In the hours after the debate, Trump, a brash real estate mogul seeking his first elected office, touted several unscientific instant polls of debate-watchers showing him the winner, all except one conducted by the CNN cable network that said Mrs. Clinton won.

But early Tuesday he blamed the debate moderator, NBC news anchor Lester Holt, for purportedly aiming harder questions at him than Clinton and what he claimed was a terrible debate stage microphone that he said was set to a lower volume than hers.

Mrs. Clinton, as she headed to the crucial, mid-Atlantic battleground election state of North Carolina for a political rally, scoffed at Trump's microphone complaint.

"Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night," she said.

According to Nielsen Company ratings, preliminary estimates show 81.4 million people watched the debate on 11 networks. Millions more watched online.

His advisers hinted that he might skip the next debate with Mrs. Clinton set for Oct. 9 in the Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, but Trump said he plans to attend both of the remaining matchups with her.

Trump said he might hit her harder the next time they meet.

"I really eased up because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings," Trump said, saying he would have "brought up the many affairs that Bill Clinton had," but did not because the Clintons' daughter, Chelsea, was in the audience at Hofstra University, outside New York City.

"I didn't think it was worth the shot," Trump said. "I didn't think it was nice."

President Clinton was impeached over lying about an affair he had while in the White House, although the Senate did not convict him and he finished his eight-year tenure in early 2001.

Asked about the possibility that Trump might bring up her husband's infidelities, Hillary Clinton told reporters, "He can run his campaign however he chooses."

Trump headed to Florida in the southeastern part of the country for a Tuesday rally in another key election state where both candidates have made numerous appearances.

Democratic committee phones
maybe were hacked, FBI says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

FBI investigators believe foreign hackers have targeted mobile phones used by a small number of Democratic Party figures, possibly including elected officials, four political and government sources said Tuesday.

The hacking attempts occurred within the last month or so, the sources said.

Two sources said investigators believe the attacks were carried out by hackers connected to the Russian government. One source said the FBI asked some of those whose phones were targeted to turn over their devices so that investigators can look at them.

This follows an attack by hackers on the central data servers of key Democratic Party organizations, including the Democratic National Committee.

Thousands of the committee's emails and documents were hacked earlier this year. They revealed that the committee gave preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton over her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin maintained in an interview with media outlet Bloomberg that Russia had nothing to doing with the hacking of the U.S. Democratic National Committee.

U.S. government again faces
shutdown due to funding fight

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress lurched closer to a government shutdown Tuesday as the Senate failed to advance a short-term spending bill.

Democrats blocked a bill that would extend federal spending authority into December. Unless Congress acts, that authority expires at midnight Friday, the end of the current fiscal year, and non-essential government services would be suspended, less than six weeks before the November elections.

Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the turn of events, which saw the stopgap spending bill fall 15 votes short of the three-fifths backing needed to advance in the Senate.

“Can it really be that Democratic leaders have embraced dysfunction so thoroughly that they’d tank a noncontroversial 10-week funding bill over what, exactly?” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. “Does anybody know what the issue is? Do they even know? The rationale seems to change by the hour.”

“The Republican legislation misses the mark,” asserted Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Democrats objected to a provision that would weaken disclosure requirements for corporations that contribute to political campaigns. They also complained that the bill contains no funding to eliminate lead contamination from drinking water in Flint, Michigan, a hazard that began two years ago.

“One hundred thousand people ingesting lead,” said Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin. “Imagine 9,000 children in Flint poisoned with lead-contaminated water. That happened. In that poor city they are still drinking water out of bottles every single day.”

Republicans countered that they fully intend to provide funds for Flint, but will do so in separate legislation that deals specifically with water safety, not a short-term spending bill for the entire government.

Republicans see election-year politics in play, alleging that Democrats believe their chances of winning control of the Senate will be boosted if Republicans are seen as unable to fulfill basic legislative functions.

“Democrats are marching us down a path that leads to a shutdown in order to gain some sort of political advantage,” said Texas Republican John Cornyn. “What a terrible thing to do to this country.”

Fiscal drama is nothing new in Washington, where federal shutdowns have either been threatened or actually occurred in five of the last six years.

Funding the government is supposed to be an orderly process in which Congress appropriates year-long federal spending in a series of bills covering a multitude of departments and agencies.

With Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on spending levels, Congress has been forced to enact catch-all bills weeks or months into the new fiscal year, and often needs a stopgap funding extension to get the work done.

Baby produced with DNA
donated by three parents

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists have announced the world's first baby born with DNA from three people.

A report in New Scientist magazine says the baby boy was born five months ago in Mexico to Jordanian parents and is in good health.

U.S. fertility doctor John Zhang turned to Mexico for the birth because the technique is still banned in the United States.

The baby's mother carries genes for a fatal nervous system disease called Leigh syndrome. She had passed on the illness to two previous children who died shortly after birth, and had suffered four miscarriages.

Zhang isolated the disease-causing DNA from the mother's nuclear DNA, injected her healthy DNA into a donor's egg, and fertilized the egg with the father's sperm.

Zhang plans to make a full presentation of the case at a medical meeting next month in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Federal health officials have banned the technique in the U.S. because earlier experiments resulted in babies with genetic disorders.

Roller coaster ride urged
to eliminate kidney stones

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Passing a painful kidney stone may be as simple as taking a ride on a roller coaster, according to new research.

Researchers from Michigan State University say riding helps patients pass the stones with a 70 percent success rate.

David Wartinger, who led the study, says he was initially intrigued after hearing many stories of people who’d passed stones after a roller coaster ride.

“Basically, I had patients telling me that after riding a particular roller coaster at Walt Disney World, they were able to pass their kidney stone,” Wartinger said. “I even had one patient say he passed three different stones after riding multiple times.”

To test whether these claims were true, Wartinger used “a validated, synthetic 3D model of a hollow kidney complete with three kidney stones no larger than 4 millimeters inserted into the replica.”

He then placed the model into a backpack, which was then put on the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster for 20 rides.

“In the pilot study, sitting in the last car of the roller coaster showed about a 64 percent passage rate, while sitting in the first few cars only had a 16 percent success rate,” Wartinger said.

In an expanded study, multiple researchers rode the same ride with multiple kidney models. When sitting in the back of the roller coaster, the success rate of passing the stones was 70 percent.

Stones located in the upper chamber of the model kidney were passed at a 100 percent, researchers said.

Not all roller coasters appeared equally effective, however.

“In all, we used 174 kidney stones of varying shapes, sizes and weights to see if each model worked on the same ride and on two other roller coasters,” Wartinger said. “Big Thunder Mountain was the only one that worked. We tried Space Mountain and Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and both failed.”

Wartinger said the other rides were too fast and too violent, and caused the stones to be pinned to the side of the kidney.

“The ideal coaster is rough and quick with some twists and turns, but no upside down or inverted movements,” he said.

Around 300,000 people in the United States go to the emergency room with kidney stones each year.

One common treatment, lithotripsy, breaks up larger stones, but Wartinger says that can often lead to more stones.

“The problem, though, is lithotripsy can leave remnants in the kidney which can result in another stone,” Wartinger said. “The best way to potentially eliminate this from happening is to try going on a roller coaster after a treatment when the remnants are still small.”

Wartinger said that a yearly ride on a coaster could even prevent stones from developing.

“You need to heed the warnings before going on a roller coaster,” he advised. “If you have a kidney stone, but are otherwise healthy and meet the requirements of the ride, patients should try it. It’s definitely a lower cost alternative to health care.”

Musk outlines his plans
to colonize the Red Planet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Tuesday that his company was building a powerful reusable booster rocket and a spaceship with its own engines that would eventually be able to take as many as 100 people and their equipment to Mars.

The U.S. entrepreneur, speaking at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, is not letting the explosion of his space exploration company's Falcon 9 rocket a few weeks ago dampen his enthusiasm for interplanetary travel. Instead, he unveiled new details about his long-standing plan to start colonizing Mars.

The per-person cost of the flight will be lowered by full reusability of rockets and spaceships, he said, along with the capability of refueling in orbit and the production of methane and oxygen on Mars for fueling the return flights. Mars' lower gravity cancels the need for booster rockets.

Musk said a self-sustaining colony on Mars would need about 1 million people, which would take between 40 and 100 years, or about 10,000 flights with 100 people per flight, to build.

Depending on the year, the trip would last between 80 and 150 days, and Musk said it would cost about $200,000 per person.

No date is set for the first flight, but Musk said he wanted to send the first manned mission to Mars by 2024 and planned to start delivering supplies to the Red Planet as soon as 2018.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 192
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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
Measles reported eliminated in Americas

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Pan American Health Organization says endemic measles has been eliminated from the Americas, all the countries in North, South and Central America. The achievement comes after years of intense efforts to vaccinate children under the age of 5.

Countries in Latin America reported their last endemic cases of measles in 2002. A country is considered disease-free if there have been no new cases for three years, and the report had to be certified by the International Committee of Experts for Documentation and Verification of Measles, Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Elimination in the Americas.

The committee received evidence from all countries in the region between last year and this past August. The committee also found the Americas has been declared free of another childhood illness, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, since 2015.

Internationally, the effort was assisted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross, and the March of Dimes.

The goal now, said officials, is to maintain the gains through the widespread vaccination of youngsters beginning at the age of 1, and making sure they get a booster shot at 18 months.

But officials warned that cases of the highly-infectious childhood illness could still be brought into the region by people traveling from other countries where the disease continues to circulate.

Panamá says it wants Martinelli back

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Panamá has formally asked the United States to extradite former president Ricardo Martinelli to face charges of tapping opponents' and journalists' phones and emails while in power, a spokesman for Panama's foreign ministry said Tuesday. The foreign ministry said it had formally filed the request with the State Department through the Panamanian Embassy in Washington.

Martinelli, a wealthy businessman who was in office from 2009 to 2014, is accused of using public money for illegal surveillance of more than 150 people. The former president said he was the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt. He left Panamá in January of last year and is believed to be living in Miami, Florida.

Obama promotes diplomat in Cuba

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama has tapped the highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in Cuba to be the first ambassador to the island in more than 50 years.

But the appointment of Jeffrey DeLaurentis, which still must be confirmed by the Senate, is likely to set up a fierce fight with Republicans opposed to the normalization of relations with the Communist nation.

DeLaurentis has been working at the new U.S. Embassy in Havana since it opened in July last year. Obama said there is no better qualified public servant.

Cuban-American Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, both Republicans, tried to limit funding for the U.S. Embassy in Havana and said they would oppose any ambassador named by Obama.

DeLaurentis, a career diplomat, has served in Havana during the major transition of the one-time Cold War foes to a new relationship that includes re-opening embassies in Washington and Havana, and resuming travel and trade on a limited basis so far.
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From Page 7:

Report singles out low Latin income tax rates

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Taxes on the salaries of the average worker in Latin American and Caribbean  countries totaled 21.7 percent of total labor costs in 2013, one-third lower than in First World countries, where the average was 35.9 percent, according to the first edition of “Taxing Wages in Latin America and the Caribbean.” More than 90 percent of the difference between Latin America and countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is due to personal income tax, which is 13 percent of total labor costs, according to the report.

The report, covering 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, was produced jointly by the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Development Centre and the Centre for Tax and Policy Administration, both of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The report was made public Tuesday in Buenos Aires during a forum hosted by Argentina’s ministry of treasury and public finances.

The tax amount for the average one-earner married couple with two children in Latin American and Caribbean countries was 21.4 percent, only 0.3 percentage points less than that of the single worker, according to the report. The corresponding difference in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, where working family benefits are substantially higher, was 9.5 percentage points. 

The so-called tax wedge measures the difference between an employer’s labor costs and an employee’s corresponding net take-home pay. It reflects very low average personal income tax rates.  In fact, Mexico was the only country included in the report where workers had to pay income tax at the average wage level.

In comparison, income tax represented 13.3 percent of the labor costs of an average worker in Organisation countries. The prevalence of informal labor markets and tax evasion contribute to the low levels of income tax revenues in Latin American and Caribbean countries.