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Published Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 193
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Being in the wrong place
Some say fate, and others just say it was bad luck

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Crime sometimes is like a bolt of lightning, and the victims just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That was shown clearly early Wednesday when a U.S. citizen suffered a fatal gunshot wound in Jacó when he tried to protect his female companion.

That also was clearly the case about 4 p.m. in the heart of San José when two robbers held up the driver of a bus as the vehicle was making a turn onto Avenida 5.

Judicial agents also made a series of raids Wednesday in the Sept. 18 murder of a passerby who died when he accidentally found himself in the crossfire among gang members.

The Jacó murder happened about 4:20 a.m. When the American, identified tentatively as John Joseph Lonigan or Lonergan left a dance club with a female companion and hailed a taxi on Avenida Pastor, the town’s main street.

A short time later they were confronted by a man that the Judicial Investigating Organization said tried to sell them drugs. The judicial report said that the two passengers, the American and the woman, both declined to make a purchase, and the vendor appears to have become angry.

The man tried to pull the woman from the taxi, and the American came to her aid. In the ensuing fight, the American suffered a bullet wound to the chest and jaw, said a judicial spokesman. He died at the local clinic.

The man with the gun fled on a motorcycle, an investigator said. There was no immediate information on the immigration status of the victim, who many have been just a tourist.

The bus stickup happened on Calle 1. The northbound bus was making a left turn to go east on Avenida 5. There was no police report, and the information comes from witnesses.

Two men on a motorcycle pulled up and
murder arrest
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
The suspect is led to a vehicle in La Uruca.

intercepted the bus as the driver was
maneuvering the vehicle around the corner in heavy traffic. The men quickly took what they wanted from the driver and fled on the same motorcycle. Another witness, a young man, tried to chase the bandits on foot, but they managed to evade him.

Earlier Wednesday judicial agents detained two persons in the Sept. 18 death. That happened in  Bajo Los Ledezma in La Uruca. The victim was a 26-year-old man with the last name of Villalobos.

Agents said that two cars pulled up and the occupants began shooting. Some of the individuals went into a home and others remained on the street firing their weapons. That was when the victim received the fatal shot.

Agents arrested an 18 year old man in Bajo Los Ledezma and a woman, 24, in Pavas. They said the investigation showed that the victim has nothing to do with the drug activity and did not even live in that area.

During the arrests Wednesday, agents said they confiscated cocaine and marijuana.

Have you ever tried to smoke a ripe tomato?
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One argument against incarceration is that first-time criminals learn crooked ideas from hardened cellmates.

Well, they could be learning some thanks to the government, too.

The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz is sponsoring an educational program for jailed young men so they can learn hydroponics, that is growing

plants in artificial conditions.
The Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje is doing the training for 13 prisoners in the Centro de Formación Juvenil Zurquí.  The announcement said that the students would learn to grow celery, tomatoes and lettuce, mostly with a nutrient-rich water mixture.

But there is another crop technique that gets a lot of attention from police.That is the hydroponic cultivation of marijuana.

And that crop generates a lot more lettuce than lettuce.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 193
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Federal suit targets scanners at airports

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A federal court in the U.S. District of Columbia has been asked to outlaw the use of whole body scanners.

The brief, filed by the Rutherford Institute, calls the devices ineffective, invasive, unlawful and unhealthy. The institute describes itself as a non-profit, conservative legal organization dedicated to the defense of civil, especially religious, liberties and human rights.

The brief says the scanners do virtual strip searches. They are used at airports by the Transportations Security Administration.

The institute said it called the passenger screening procedures as ineffective and unlawful in the wake of reports indicating that Transportations Security Administration agents using scanners failed to detect explosive material smuggled through by undercover Homeland Security units at some of the nation’s busiest international airports, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International.

“We the people have not done the best job of holding our representatives accountable or standing up for our rights,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “However, something as expensive, invasive and seemingly ineffective as these scanners certainly shouldn’t be foisted on an unsuspecting American populace without the absolute assurance that it will not harm our health or undermine our liberties.”

The federal agency began using whole body technology scanners at airports for security screening in 2007. The devices generates a highly-detailed image that exposes intimate details of a person’s body to government agents, said the institute.

In 2009, the TSA began using scanner devices as a primary means of screening passengers, deploying the scanners at airports throughout the country, but without the support of any legislation or agency regulation, the institute added.

In May 2009, The Rutherford Institute and 30 other organizations sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding it implement rulemaking procedures in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, which requires the agency to give formal notice to the public of proposed actions and an opportunity to comment on the proposed action, in connection with the deployment of scanners.

When the agency failed to notify the public of its decision to deploy the scanners or ask for public comments on use of the use of whole body technology as required by federal law, a lawsuit was brought alleging that this failure violated the law.

In July 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the implementation of scanners without conducting rulemaking proceedings did violate federal law and ordered the agency to begin such proceedings, the institute noted.

When the Transportations Security Administration failed to issue a proposed rule for over a year, the matter returned to the court, which directed that the agency issue a proposed rule on scanners by March 2013. The Transportations Security Administration issued its rule on March 3, 2016, but the legal challenge asserts the rule is arbitrary and capricious.

More police are headed to San Carlos

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

San Carlos still is a trouble spot for police even though they report that crimes against property have decreased slightly more than 6 percent when compared to the previous year.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública officials will be back in San Carlos Monday for a meeting with residents. Wednesday Juan José Andrade Morales, head of the Fuerza Pública and a vice minister said that 20 more officers and an intelligence unit would be assigned to the area.

At least one band of robbers have been working the area. Intruders have held up a jewelry store and a restaurant in the last 10 days. Judicial investigators have video of the crooks but no arrests have been made yet.

Chinese cigarettes confiscated in Zapote

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers intercepted a small bus with more than 400,000 cigarettes aboard in Zapote. Officers said there were 42 cases of cigarettes of the Modern brand cigarette, which is made in China. Because the drivers had no authorization for cigarette import, police said they confiscated the product.

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. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 193
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San José mayor expresses his opposition to artisan market measure
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Johnny Araya, the San José mayor, expressed his disapproval Wednesday against a bill that would preserve the Calle 13 Bis artisan market.

This is the string of stalls under a tin roof that parallels the west side of the Plaza de la Cultura. The market came into being in 1994 when the vendors who cater to tourists were evicted from the Plaza de la Cultura. The Municipalidad de San José declared that section of Calle 13 the Calle Nacional de la Artesanía. But now the municipal council wants the street back.

Araya told lawmakers that the stalls are astride a public right-of-way in the center of the downtown. He was speaking against bill No. 19690 that would put the market under the control of the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio and specify the location as the existing one.

Meanwhile, the municipality has invested 1.8 billions colons,
about $3.3 million, for a structure on the east side of the Plaza Garantías Sociales. Merchants say this is off the beaten track and hard for tourists to find. The site is a bit more than one block south of Avenida 2.

The current market is between the Museo Nacional and the  Museo de Jade, a place that is being promoted as a museum corridor.

The bill still is in the Comisión Permanente de Gobierno y Administración where Araya spoke. He said the street was too narrow to put a permanent building for the market.

President Luis Guillermo Solís sided with the merchants and early in his term issued an executive order protecting the market at its current location. But the Sala IV constitutional court rejected that decree.

The municipality wants to evict the merchants before any bill is past regarding the city street.

Nation's goods and services are on display for international buyers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An estimated 660 Costa Rican business people are presenting their wares to more than 300 buyers from 40 countries today, the second day of the Buyers Trade Mission 2016.

This is the 18th annual edition of the event sponsored by the Promotora del Comercio Exterior. It is being held in the Centro de Eventos Pedregal west of the capital.

The promotional agency said that there are 120 stands showing

Costa Rican products and services and that vendors have 5,000 personal appointments with buyers.

About 120 of the firms offering goods and services showed up at the event for the first time, said Pedro Beirute Prada, general manger of the promotional agency.

Promotora del Comercio Exterior also is displaying its Costa Rican trademark, esencial COSTA RICA, in a separate stand featuring the firms that subscribe to the logo. The promotion agency evaluates firms seeking the trademark.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 193
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Turrialba volcano continues to pour ash and vapor into the sky
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Clouds covered the summit of the Turrialba volcano about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, so since then there has been no clear view of the smoldering mountain, but cameras on the summit show continued activity even though the photos are not very clear.

Emissions continued through 2:30 a.m. today.

The volcano began erupting at 12:42 p.m. Monday. Scientists have been able to approach the crater and have taken some dramatic photos.

Experts have been on the summit every day in order to keep in operation the cameras that are keeping an eye on the crater. The camera maintained by the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica is HERE!

When clouds remove visibility, scientists have a number of monitoring devices that show continued and strong activity within the mountain.

Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico photo
Ash and vapor continue to pour from volcano Wednesday.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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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.

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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 193
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Axiom new ad

Voters may become confused
with new election regulations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With more than 120 million Americans expected to cast ballots for president this fall, the nation's voting process seems more convoluted than ever and rife with potential for confusion come Election Day.

Voting rules vary widely by state and sometimes by county, meaning some Americans can register the same day they vote, while others must do so weeks in advance. Some can mail in a ballot, while others must stand in line at a polling place that might be miles from home. Some who forget photo identification can simply sign affidavits and have their ballots count, while others must return with their IDs within a few days or their votes don't matter.

Fourteen states have new voting and registration rules in place for this election, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. Legal challenges have led to a multitude of recent court rulings that have blocked or struck down some provisions and upheld or reinstated others, scrambling the picture further.

The new rules and the rapidly shifting landscape have already caused confusion, and some experts fear problems on Nov. 8.

"You would think that by 2016 we would have gotten our act together, but in fact it seems things are as litigious and confusing as ever,” said Rick Hasen, an expert on election law and a professor at the University of California-Irvine School of Law.

The battle over voting mirrors the larger battle for political power in the U.S.

While Democrats and Republicans have both supported efforts to expand access, particularly online registration, it's largely been Republicans who have been pushing restrictive laws, such as those requiring voters to show photo identification before casting ballots.

Supporters say such measures are aimed at preventing fraud. Critics say such laws fall most heavily on the poor and minorities, who might not have driver's licenses or could find it difficult to obtain the documents needed.

Recent court decisions have rolled back some of the more far-reaching restrictions but have also created headaches for state and local officials who need to make sure they are complying with the latest rules.

In Wake County, North Carolina, election officials prepared two training manuals for their poll workers, one with the state's voter ID requirements and one without. Voter ID was ultimately struck down over the summer.

Advocacy groups worry that confused poll workers might, for example, demand documents that are not required. They also fear that all the publicity surrounding voter ID laws might lead some people to stay home because they mistakenly think they won't be able to vote.

"In periods of change, it can often lead to a lot of confusion for voters as to what the rules are, and for election officials, too," said Wendy Weiser with the Brennan Center, pointing to problems in 2012 in places like Pennsylvania, where the state's voter ID law was put on hold and then struck down. "There were also voters in Ohio, New Jersey who mistakenly thought, hearing the news from Pennsylvania, that they had to show ID, too."

The Supreme Court opened the way for some of these measures in 2013 when it struck down a part of the Voting Rights Act that required certain states and local jurisdictions with a history of discrimination, particularly in the South, to get Justice Department approval of any changes in their election laws.

Soon afterward, Republicans in North Carolina passed a package of measures that not only required voters to show photo ID but also reduced early voting and eliminated same-day registration during the early voting period.

Moses Colbert, a black pastor from Kings Mountain, North Carolina, was among those who found himself unable to vote in 2014 as a result of the changes. Colbert had recently moved to Cleveland County from nearby Gaston County after his wedding.

Shortly after the move, he went to the local motor vehicle office to update his address and voter registration information. Yet when it came time to vote, Cleveland County officials told him he wasn't registered there and to go back to Gaston County. When he did, Gaston County officials wouldn't let him vote because the address on his driver's license no longer matched the address on his voter registration form. Before the changes, Colbert would have been able to update his registration during the early voting period.

"I was just numb, so we had to fight," said Colbert, 62, who became a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the North Carolina law. "I believe we are standing on the shoulders of so many who died before us for the opportunity to vote. I grew up in the 1960s. This is not something I read about in a book."

In July, a federal appeals court struck down several parts of the North Carolina law, saying they "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision." Republican officials have said discrimination was not their intent. A divided U.S. Supreme Court declined in August to take up the case.

Texas officials have agreed to spend $2.5 million on voter outreach before Election Day as part of an agreement to amend its voter ID law after a court found it discriminated against minorities and the poor.

Elsewhere, an effort by Democrats in Ohio to restore golden week, when people could register and cast ballots at the same time, failed after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene. Earlier this week, a federal judge ordered North Dakota to return to a system it had in place before the Republican-led legislature imposed a tougher voter ID requirement four years ago. Voters there who do not have a state-required photo ID can once again sign an affidavit swearing they are a qualified voter.

An ongoing Kansas court fight has focused on whether a group of as many as 50,000 residents could vote because they did not submit citizenship documents, as required under state law, when registering at motor vehicle offices or with a federal form. Federal courts had previously ordered the state to count their votes in federal elections. The secretary of state's office had sought to toss out their votes in state and local races, something a state judge has since blocked.

Confusion also persists in Wisconsin, which has been in turmoil since Republican lawmakers backed a voter ID law in 2011.

It was initially blocked by the courts, then went into effect for the presidential primary in April. In July, a federal judge left the voter ID requirement in place for the fall contest but struck down more than a dozen other election changes, including limits on early voting hours and locations.

It's been estimated that as many as 300,000 Wisconsin voters may not have the required photo ID. Molly McGrath, with the national group VoteRiders, has been working with homeless people and others to make sure they have the proper ID and are registered to vote.

"There's a tremendous amount of unawareness and confusion about the law," Ms. McGrath said. "You can't help but think: Is this confusion a bug or part of the design?"

Republicans who have pushed the various voter ID laws reject any suggestion of discrimination.

"Voters in Wisconsin support voter ID, and our administration will continue to work to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat," Gov. Scott Walker said last month.

Congress approves spending
to keep government operating

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress passed a spending bill Wednesday that will keep the government operating for another few months and provide $1.1 billion for efforts to combat the zika virus.

The measure passed by a margin of 342-85 in the House and 72-26 in the Senate.

Without the extension, many government agencies would have run out of money when the federal fiscal year ends at midnight Friday. The new spending bill runs through Dec. 9.

The breakthrough came after top congressional leaders resolved a stalemate over aid to Flint, Michigan, to help the city address its water crisis. Democratic advocates for Flint are now satisfied with Republican assurances that money for Flint will be finalized after the country's November elections.

The bill also includes $500 million for flood relief in Louisiana and other states.

Democrats in the Senate and House had vowed to oppose the bill until Republicans agreed to an aid package for Flint, a city of more than 100,000 people that has had lead-tainted drinking water for more than two years.

The deal defuses a lengthy, frustrating battle over zika spending. Democrats claimed a partial victory on Flint while the GOP-dominated Louisiana delegation won a downpayment on Obama's $2.6 billion request for their state.

Lawmakers override Obama
on 9/11 lawsuit measure

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress has voted to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow lawsuits against Saudi Arabia for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Wednesday’s tallies in both houses of Congress were overwhelming and marked the first time an Obama veto has been overturned.

In the Senate, Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was the lone member to side with the president. The House vote was 348-77.

The outcome is a major victory for the families of those killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Until now, their efforts to seek justice in U.S. courts have been stymied by Saudi Arabia’s legal immunity.

Obama told CNN television that Congress' decision to let the lawsuits go ahead is a mistake.

He said the 9/11 victims and their families deserve support and compensation from a fund set up by his administration. But he said allowing private citizens to sue a country for allegedly not doing enough to stop a terrorist could come back to hurt the U.S.

"If we eliminate this notion of sovereign immunity, then our men and women in uniform around the world could potentially start seeing ourselves subject to reciprocal laws," Obama said. "It has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we're suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work we're doing around the world."

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act permits lawsuits against foreign entities that sponsor terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Although the bill names no specific country, it is widely seen as an effort to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for any assistance the 9/11 plotters may have received from within the kingdom.

“These families will never get back their loved ones, but they deserve justice and a day in court,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a Democrat.

“The American interest here is for these victims of terrorism to find recourse in our courts of law,” concurred John Cornyn of Texas, a Republican.

The Obama administration lobbied strenuously against the bill, arguing it would endanger Americans abroad by undercutting the concept of sovereign immunity on the world stage.

“The United States of America is more deeply engaged in more countries around the world than any other country in the world,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. “So carving out additional exceptions to sovereign immunity puts the United States at greater risk than any other country in the world.”

Similarly, CIA Director John Brennan warned of “grave implications for the national security of the United States” in a statement issued as the Senate prepared to vote.

“The principle of sovereign immunity protects U.S. officials every day, and is rooted in reciprocity. If we fail to uphold this standard for other countries, we place our own nation’s officials in danger,” Brennan said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican, voted to override the veto, but said he shared the administration’s concern.

“We’ve got diplomats and soldiers and American business people all over the world. So we need to think long and hard about making sure we don’t open up Pandora’s box to our own people,” Graham said, adding that there could be diplomatic fallout between Washington and Riyadh.

“Saudi Arabia or some other country might be upset. Well, frankly, I could care less,” Cornyn said. “We’re here to represent the American people, not some foreign country.”

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens, but Saudi Arabia has long denied any role in the attacks, an assertion Blumenthal, a former federal prosecutor, finds unpersuasive.

“There is mounting evidence that the Saudi government, or at least organizations and operatives within the Saudi government, aided and abetted one of the most massive crimes within the United States,” Blumenthal said. “If the Saudi government had no involvement in 9-11, it has nothing to fear.”

“I don’t believe the government of Saudi Arabia was responsible for 9/11, but they will have their day in court,” Graham said.

Online polls are faulty,
experts are pointing out

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

"You can vote multiple times on the poll using incognito mode," an anonymous person posted on the 4Chan message board late Monday, following the first debate between U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The sentence appeared 18 times in a row and was posted at least twice in a row on a message thread devoted to support of Donald Trump. A notice attached to the thread says, "Posts supporting other candidates will be removed."

Other messages in the same thread said, "You can also vote with [sic] multiple times by voting with different browsers" and "We are losing CSNBC One. You can vote multiple times in incognito. Get on it now, f*ggots."

On Tuesday, Trump cited a number of online polls from right-wing sources that said he had won Monday night's debate.

"Such a great honor," he tweeted.

None of the polls he cited were from mainstream sources using scientifically approved polling methods.

In fact, major research companies, the ones media outlets traditionally team up with to ensure scientifically sound poll results, found a majority of their respondents cited Mrs. Clinton as the winner of the debate.

Experts say this is an example of why online polls should be viewed with caution. While there are multitudes of surveys on the internet, not all adhere to the same rigorous standards as the polling agencies that have been taking the public temperature for years.

CNN and international market research agency ORC polled 521 debate-watchers Monday and found 62 percent of them thought Mrs. Clinton had won, compared with 27 percent for Trump.

Three other polls by large research companies, all sampling more than 1,000 U.S. voters, indicated the majority of their respondents thought Mrs. Clinton was the winner. PublicPolicyPolling said Mrs. Clinton got 51 percent to Trump's 40 percent in its post-debate poll. A Politico/Morning Consult poll showed 49 percent for Mrs. Clinton and 26 percent for Trump. And YouGov, an international market research firm, said 57 percent of its respondents picked Mrs. Clinton, while 30 percent called Trump the winner.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 193
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
World tourism officials discuss access

By the United Nations news service

About 500 delegates from 60 countries convened in Bangkok, Thailand, to take part in the official celebrations of the World Tourism Day this year dedicated to the theme Tourism for all: Promoting Universal Accessibility. Policy frameworks, capacity building, business strategies and awareness raising have been some of the areas tackled during the week of events that began Monday.

During two days participants from 60 countries exchanged best practices and experiences on accessible tourism and have committed to advance universal accessibility in all components of the tourism to ensure all citizens enjoy the benefits of travel, whatever their abilities may be.

“As one billion people across the globe have some kind of disability, accessibility becomes and will continue to be a major concern for us all” said Gen. Prayut Chan-o-Cha, prime minister of Thailand who presided Tuesday. “We need to create more accessibility, for all including the aging groups. We need to provide better services for all. This is also part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals” he added.

Pro surf event set for Esterillos Este

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rica Open QS3000 surf event will be held Oct. 5 to 9 at  Esterillos Este on the central Pacific coast. This is a World Surf League  competition.

The league said it has been 14 years since World Surf League, then Association of Surfing Professionals, had a Costa Rican event. The qualifying competition this year is also called Essential Costa Rica, carrying the name of the country’s commercial trademark.

With 3,000 points on the line, some of the top men and women from the qualifying series will be on site to earn points in their Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour qualification campaign, said the league.

The event has the support from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, said the league.

Just 75 new cases of zika reported

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry is reporting 75 new cases of the zika virus this week and of them 42 pregnant women who have had the disease. Eight of the women have delivered normal babies, and there are no indications of problems with those who have not yet delivered, said the Ministerio de Salud. The new zika cases were spread rather evenly among 30 cantons.

The illness continues to be primarily a Pacific coast disease, although Bataan on the Caribbean coast reported 10 new cases in the last three weeks, said the ministry.

Lottery vendor gunned down by bandits

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bandits held up a lottery vendor in Pavas around noon, and the man died a short time later from a bullet wound, said the Fuerza Pública.

Officers said they quickly collared three suspects in the case in three different locations in Villa Esperanza de Pavas. The shooting triggered an extensive police sweep. The lottery vendor was not identified. He died in Hospital San Juan de Dios from a single bullet wound, police said.
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Competitivity ranking is about the same

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica has dropped two places in the World Economic Forum’s competitivity index. But such a change is insignificant considering the complexity of the evaluation.

Costa Rica had an overall ranking of 54 out of 138 economies for 2016. In contrast, the 2015 ranking was 52. The forum says the report remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.

Casa Presidencial quickly pointed out that the index shows the country is a leader in Latin America in health, primary education and innovation. The final ranking is the sum of 12 different categories relating to the business climate that affects productivity and prosperity.

This year’s edition says that declining openness is threatening growth and prosperity, said the forum in a release. The index also highlights that monetary stimulus measures such as quantitative easing are not enough to sustain growth and must be accompanied by competitiveness reforms, it said. Final key findings point to the fact that updated business practices and investment in innovation are now as important as infrastructure, skills and efficient markets, it added.

Switzerland, Singapore and the United States remain the three world’s most competitive economies, according to the index.