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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 195
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Powerful storm changes course away from Isthmus
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hurricane Matthew, still a dangerous category 4 storm, did what forecasters predicted Sunday and executed a turn to the north. The storm now is headed to Jamaica, eastern Cuba, Haiti and points north. The government of  The Bahamas also has issued a storm warning.

Matthew, which once was a category 5 storm, was the lowest latitude hurricane of that category in the Atlantic on record, according to Philip Klotzbach, the Colorado State University hurricane expert.

Had the storm hit Costa Rica, there would have been devastation.

Sunday night the hurricane eye was about 540 miles east of Limón, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. The storm dipped to a category 4 Saturday and then strengthened somewhat Sunday, the forecasters said.

The storm was reported by the Hurricane Center as moving due north at 5 mph. Maximum sustained winds remain near 145 mph (230 kph) with higher
gusts, the center said.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km), said the center report. A U.S.

Air Force aircraft has been taking measurements of the storm.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas, as well as the southeastern Bahamas.

Tidal swells generated by Matthew are affecting many locations in the Caribbean, including portions of the coasts of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Venezuela, Colombia, eastern Cuba, and the Caribbean coastline of Central America during the next few days, said the center, adding that these swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Hurricanes usually form off the coast of Africa or in the mid-Atlantic. The trade winds move them west until they hit high pressure areas in the Caribbean that turns them to the north. Sometimes the change in direction is slight, and the storm may make landfall as far south as Nicaragua. Other times, such as now, the high pressure turns the storm 90 degrees. The storm may continue turning and end up out in the middle of the North Atlantic away from Florida and the rest of the United States.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that rains Saturday night in the central and south Pacific were the result of an indirect influence by the hurricane. It said the rest of the country would see little impact.

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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.


Dental                                                      Services rollover
Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
Where Science and Art meet!

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CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cell: +506-8302-5877



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California Licensed
International Practice

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US (310) 827-4241
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Insurance professionals

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Residency experts


A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices

There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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    Legal Resident (Rentista): For those with guaranteed non-salary income or savings.
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P. O. Box 86352, Los Angeles, CA 90086
U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
U.S.  Fax (323) 344-1620
Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )



U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
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Web page:

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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

Fine art restoration and conservation

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Master Art Restorer
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Real estate agents and services


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Tour desk

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Click Here:
Study finds no difference in modified crops

By the University of Pennsylvania news staff

Genetically engineered crops are no different from conventional crops in terms of their risks to human health and the environment, according to a report published by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Leland Glenna, associate professor of rural sociology and science, technology and society in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, served on the committee that authored the report.

"The study committee found no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between currently commercialized GE crops, specifically soybean, maize and cotton, and conventionally bred crops, nor did it find conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental problems from the GE crops," said Glenna. "These findings should not be interpreted to mean that there are not still many challenges related to both conventional and GE crops, just that currently available GE crops and conventional crops are not different in terms of their risks to human health and the environment."

Glenna, a sociologist who studies how social institutions influence scientific research agendas and who, for the past 15 years, has studied the social impacts of agricultural science and technology, noted that genetically engineered crops commonly are portrayed either as the solution to social and economic problems or as the cause of them.

"GE crops are also commonly presented as though there are only two sides to this debate: either you are for them or against them," he said. "But new technologies bring both promises and perils. What seems promising to some might seem perilous to others.

"However, there is still insufficient research to make conclusive statements on the social and economic impacts of GE crop technologies. I hope that those who read and discuss this report do not shoehorn it into the existing paradigm but, instead, recognize the complexity and nuances of GE crops."

The researchers used data published during the last two decades from more than 900 research and other publications to evaluate the positive and negative effects of genetically engineered crops, crops that have been engineered to resist insects or herbicides. The scientists also heard from 80 diverse speakers and read more than 700 comments from members of the public to expand their understanding of the genetically engineered crop issues.

Nearly 180 million hectares of genetically engineered crops were planted globally in 2015, roughly 12 percent of the world's planted cropland that year.

According to the report, Bt crops, those that contain an insect-resistant gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, comprise a large segment of genetically engineered cropland. The researchers found that from 1996 to 2015, the use of Bt maize and cotton contributed to a reduction in synthetic insecticide use and in crop losses. Some pest-insect populations dropped. However, insect biodiversity increased overall. Insect resistance to Bt proteins was slow to develop only when the crops produced a dose of Bt protein that was large enough to kill insects. Damaging levels of resistance did evolve in some species when resistance-management strategies were not followed.

The team found that the use of herbicide-resistant (glyphosate-resistant) crops contributed to greater crop yield by reducing weed pressure. When such crops first were adopted, total kilograms of herbicide applied per hectare of crop per year declined, although the decreases generally have not been sustained. Some weed species have evolved resistance to glyphosate. However, the team noted that delaying such resistance is possible with integrated weed management.

To examine the human health effects of genetically engineered crops and foods, the team examined animal experimental studies and found a lack of evidence that animals are harmed by eating foods derived from genetically engineered crops.

"Many people are concerned that consuming GE foods may cause cancer, obesity and disorders such as autism spectrum and allergies," Glenna said. "However, the committee examined epidemiological datasets over time from the United States and Canada, where GE food has been consumed since the late 1990s, and similar datasets from the United Kingdom and western Europe, where GE food is not widely consumed. We found no differences among countries in specific health problems."

The team also found that economic outcomes of genetically engineered crops have been favorable for most producers who have adopted these crops. However, the cost of genetically engineered seed may limit the adoption of genetically engineered crops by smaller, resource-poor farmers. Furthermore, economic benefits tend to accrue for early adopters. The team concluded that enduring and widespread use of genetically engineered crops will depend on institutional support and access to profitable local and global markets.

The report can be downloaded from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Web site

Multicultural festival is this weekend

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The culture ministry is celebrating Costa Rican identities early with the I Feria de las Etnias Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The ministry promises food, discussions, craft sales, African and Chinese dances, Calypso, theater, music, and special activities for children. The location is the Centro Nacional de la Cultura just east of Parque España off Avenda 7.

This is the first festival of its kind organized by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud, which noted that government recognizes the multicultural aspects of the population here.

The fair begins at 3 p.m. Friday with a lion dance to insure good luck produced by the Asociación de Estudiantes de Zhong San China. The time Saturday and Sunday will be from 10 am. to 6 p.m. The rest of the schedule is HERE!

The central government has changed the usual Oct. 12  Día de las Culturas to the following Monday to provide a three-day weekend.

Gunman riddles bar occupants in Alajuela

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A pedestrian with a gun stuck the weapon and his hand through an open window early Sunday and blasted away at the occupants in an illicit bar in Barrio Los Pinos, San Rafael de Alajuela. One man died on the spot and another died at a hospital. The wounded included a man who was shot on the street before the gunman reached the bar, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

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, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 195
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Warning issued to potential parents about the zika virus
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
with wire service reports

The zika virus has put a crimp into plans of those who may want to start or add to a family.

Health authorities are urging men to wait six months before trying to conceive a baby with their partner if they live in or travel to an area with the zika virus.

The Costa Rican health ministry lists just 1,151 cases of zika. But this number is of those who sought medical treatment and may represent just 10 percent of those who received the virus.
Some Pacific coast residents brag that everyone there has the virus. Consequently the virus may not cause illness in adults, but if zika is passed on to a baby at conception, there might be serious problems later on.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday extended the time recommendation for men from eight weeks to six months after researchers found the virus can linger in semen for months.

The agency recommended men use condoms or refrain from sex
 for at least six months after being exposed to zika, even if they show no symptoms of the virus.

Women have been asked to delay pregnancy at least eight weeks if they have been exposed.

Zika usually causes only mild symptoms in adults, including fever, rash and red eyes and many people experience no symptoms. However, pregnant women who are infected with the virus risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly, a birth defect that leads to abnormally small heads.

Earlier Friday, officials in Thailand confirmed two cases of babies with microcephaly that were caused by the zika virus, the first confirmed causes of the condition linked to the virus in Southeast Asia.

The Centers for Disease Control also said:

Women and men who live in areas with active zika transmission and who are considering pregnancy in the near future should talk with their healthcare providers about their pregnancy plans during a zika virus outbreak, the potential risks of zika, and how they can prevent zika virus infection during pregnancy.

More weekend eruptions produced
by the perking Turrialba volcano

y the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano erupted again about 8:08 p.m. Sunday, and the emissions of ash and gas appeared to be continuing at 2 a.m. Darkness made seeing exactly what was happening at the summit difficult, but the Red Sismológica Nacional has thermal images that showed a hot crater and gases. There also was an eruption between 4:52 and 5:02 p.m.

Sunday the wind carried the ash to the south and southwest to Alvarado, Jiménez, Cartago, Tres Ríos, Paraíso, Taras, Tejar del Guarco, Dulce Nombre de Cartago, San Rafael de Oreamuno, Alto de Ochomogo and Orosi, said the Red.

Clear skies Sunday gave opportunities for photographers. The column of ash at times rose up to 1,000 meters above the summit of the mountain, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica.

Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico photo
The volcano emitted a lot of gas and water vapor like this over the weekend, too.

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Vista Ballena
Crock's New years

Palermo Hotel




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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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 195
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Subtitled U.S. movie brings issue here of sinful Catholic priests
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The HBO channel on the various national cable television networks is showing “Spotlight” as one of the featured films for October.

The film is subtitled in Spanish and, perhaps for the first time, brings to Costa Rica a popular account of the Boston Globe’s 2002 exposé of pedophile priests in that city and the Catholic Church’s longtime coverup of the problem.

The film was named best picture of the year in February by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The screenplay received the second Oscar.

Costa Rica has not had many published cases of priests molesting children. The movie, which is a drama and not a documentary, cites a source who estimates that from 5 to 6 percent of Roman Catholic priests the United States have molested children and that 50 percent of the priests do not adhere to their vow of celibacy.

The molestations cited in the film as not just of boys, but of girls, too. Pedophilia is not restricted to gays.

The Vatican itself has been rocked by sex scandals in the last four years, in part as a result of books and newspaper articles written by Italian journalists. The current Pope Francis said in June that he is aware of the problem and that a new church law can remove bishops who cover up pedophile priests.

The Boston Globe film carries the name of its long-time investigative team. The newspaper has received criticism because a lot of the information has been published earlier in other news outlets.

However, the Globe articles resulted in a number of molestation victims coming forward in other U.S. communities and some large financial settlements by the Catholic Church.

In fact, some critics put a lot of the blame on lawyers. said in March:

“Even the Globe itself had to admit that the hugely profitable settlement in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal set a record ‘as the largest payday for lawyers who sued on behalf of abuse victims: an estimated $30 million in legal fees,’ since the attorneys were entitled to 33 percent of whatever they could extract in a settlement.”

The movie makes clear that Globe staffers gathered the information and wrote the many news stories in a heavily Catholic community. The movie and the Globe have been highly critical of Cardinal Bernard Law, archbishop of Boston, who was promoted to the Vatican after the news story broke.

But some Globe critics say that the real culprits are psychologists. Dave Pierre, who wrote a book on the topic long before the revelations by the Globe, said this in February:

A 'Spotlight' film poster

“The mainstream media won't tell you this, but the Boston Globe's reporting routinely minimized the critical role that secular psychologists played in the entire Catholic Church abuse scandal. Time after time, trained ‘expert’ psychologists around the country repeatedly insisted to church leaders that abusive priests were fit to return to ministry after receiving ‘treatment’ under their care.”

He also said that the Globe has ignored the 15 or so area educators who lose their licenses each year for sexual misconduct.

Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, may have lost the papacy because of allegations that he sheltered a priest fleeing child abuse allegations in San Carlos, Costa Rica. The allegation was that the cardinal assigned the fugitive priest to remote parishes in Honduras. That was in 2004, and the story has been the most prominent here about priestly abuse. However, “Spotlight” notes that some Catholic officials routinely send U.S. priests who behave badly to Latin America.

As a movie, “Spotlight” challenges viewers. Many of the characters look similar, and the dialogue does not always identify their roles. Making the movies was challenging, too. Director  Tom McCarthy has to squeeze more than a year of investigation into two hours and nine minutes. So viewers have to be alert all the time to plot twists.

The Vatican now also is struggling with the concept of celibacy for priests and for nuns. Other Catholic churches, including Eastern Orthodox permit priests to marry and some Roman Catholic priests have wives and children due to unusual situations, such as conversion by a married Episcopal clergyman.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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

George Lundquist

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

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

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Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica's POPULAR Tours

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

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

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Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 195
Real Estate
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Voice of America/C. Mendoza
Poll workers counting ballots in Bogota.

Santos says he won’t give up
seeking a peaceful solution

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says he is not giving up on peace after Sunday's stunning defeat of a referendum on a treaty with Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias rebels.

Voters narrowly rejected the deal 50.2 percent to 49.7. Public opinion polls going into Sunday's voting forecast the referendum would pass overwhelmingly.

Santos went on Colombian television to accept defeat of the referendum, but refused to declare that peace with the rebels is dead.

"I will not give in, and I will continue to seek peace to the last day of my mandate," he said.

Santos ordered his negotiators to return to Havana, Cuba, where four years of peace talks had taken place. Santos reassured the nation that the cease-fire with the rebels will remain.

The leader of the rebels, known as the FARC, Rodrigo Londono, who is also known as Timochenko, is also refusing to give up.

"To the Colombian people who dream of peace, count on us. Peace will triumph."

He is also expected to return to Havana.

Supporters of both sides took to the streets of Bogota after the results of the referendum were announced. The no celebrated while a group of yes voters, dressed in white from head to toe, gathered outside President Santos' home.

The peace agreement signed last week was aimed at formally ending the 52 year-old uprising by the leftist rebels. The guerrilla war in Colombia has killed more than 220,000 people and driven millions from their homes.

The Santos government had waged a fierce campaign in favor of the peace deal, appealing to the millions of Colombians who say they are sick of war and violence and terrorism.

But the no side, led by Santos' chief political rival, former president Alvaro Uribe, campaigned just as vigorously against the deal.

Many no voters were genuinely offended that nearly all FARC rebels will avoid prison time for crimes committed during the uprising and get various financial support from the government.

They are also upset that FARC would be guaranteed seats in the Colombian congress without an election in exchange for transforming FARC into a political party.

Timochenko had publicly asked for forgiveness for whatever harm was committed by the rebels during the long uprising.

The rebellion began as a simple peasant uprising in 1964 and soon grew into a major threat to various Colombian governments over the next five decades.

“No more war,” declared President Santos in his remarks following Timochenko. “I welcome you to democracy, change weapons for votes and weapons for ideas.”

The conflict since the mid-1960s displaced millions of people and left more than 250,000 dead.

The FARC has agreed to cooperate with de-mining, an effort being led by the United States and Norway.

It used drug trafficking as a major source of funding. Kidnapping politicians and foreigners and holding them hostage in remote jungle hideouts was a FARC trademark.

The United States spent billions of dollars in military aid to help the Colombian government combat FARC and bring it to the negotiating table.

Old Trump tax return brings
condemnation from Dems

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump traded fierce accusations after The New York Times newspaper published what appears to be a portion of the Republican nominee’s 1995 federal tax returns.

Sent anonymously to The Times, the documents show Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995, allowing the real estate mogul to pay no tax on income in subsequent years totaling the same amount.

The revelation came days after Clinton, a Democrat, repeatedly assailed Trump’s financial dealings and his refusal to release his tax returns at Monday’s presidential debate.

“In one year, Donald Trump lost nearly a billion dollars. A billion,” Clinton’s campaign said in a statement late Saturday.  “He apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades while tens of millions of working families paid theirs.”

"The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that The New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton Campaign,” the Trump campaign said in a statement.

"Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes,” the statement added.

Trump surrogates took to the airwaves Sunday to defend the nominee.

“This man, 26 years ago, had some failures and then he built an empire,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani on ABC’s “This Week” program. “He was a genius in being able to do that. America needs a turnaround right now, and Donald Trump is a turnaround artist.”

Nothing in the documents sent to The Times shows illegal behavior by Trump. All Americans can offset taxable gains with financial losses or property depreciation.

Supreme Court begins term
with one empty justice chair

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court will begin its new term Monday, and for the first time in 25 years, only eight of its nine seats will be filled, its future to be decided by the presidential election.

The court has been ideologically split between liberals and conservatives since the death in February of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, leaving several important cases without hope of resolution until a new justice is appointed and confirmed by the Senate.

President Barack Obama's nominee for the empty slot, Merrick Garland, has not been confirmed. Senate Republicans say they will wait until the next president is elected to consider any candidates.

That means once U.S. voters choose between two vastly different presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, the person elected will have the power to influence the direction of the Supreme Court for years ahead.

If Mrs. Clinton wins the election, Garland would most likely be confirmed, giving the court five liberal-leaning justices and four conservative ones. If Trump wins, he would probably find another conservative to replace Scalia, tipping the ideological balance of the court toward conservatism.

Meanwhile, the current justices have a month until Obama's successor is elected, and in that time, they have scheduled cases that are not terribly dependent on ideological leanings: cases about intellectual property, redistricting and insider trading.

No matter which way the election goes, the court could have more openings soon: Two justices are older than 80, and the next oldest is 78.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the oldest at 83, says she is taking her decision to retire one year at a time.

Iran unveils its new drone
based on captured U.S. craft

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Iranian news reports say Tehran has built a new aerial attack drone similar to a U.S. military aerial vehicle captured five years ago after it entered Iranian airspace from the country's eastern border with Afghanistan.

The semiofficial Tasnim news agency said the Saeqeh ("Thunderbolt") long-range drone is capable of hitting four targets with smart bombs with what it called pinpoint accuracy.

The report described the new drone as a homegrown aircraft "made by reverse engineering of  American Lockheed Martin RQ-170" vehicle that was downed in December 2011. It described the new drone as part of a broad range of unmanned vehicles with civilian and military applications.

There has been no official U.S. comment on the Tasnim report.

In 2012, Iranian media quoted a top general as saying data recovered from the seized U.S. drone showed it was used to conduct surveillance on the Pakistan hideout of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden shortly before he was killed by U.S. forces in 2011.

The Washington Post also reported that year that a CIA stealth surveillance drone had earlier flown deep over Iranian territory, capturing images of Iran's high-security Qom uranium enrichment facility before leaving the country's airspace.

During that period, Iran and Western powers were embroiled in a contentious dispute over the details of Iran's suspect nuclear program, which was widely thought to be working to develop nuclear weapons.

The dispute led to a series of crippling Western sanctions against Iran that remained in place until 2015, when Tehran reached a preliminary agreement with Western powers to redesign its nuclear facilities to curtail the production of nuclear fuels.

Carbon dioxide level in air
hits 400 parts per million

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may never fall below 400 parts per million ever again.

That's the headline from a year's worth of test results on carbon dioxide levels from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

In a study released this month, lead author professor Richard Betts of the University of Exeter blames the cyclical Pacific Ocean warming phenomenon known as El Niño in part for the grim record. In his research, published in Nature Climate Change, Betts says El Niño "warms and dries tropical ecosystems, reducing their uptake of carbon, and exacerbating forest fires."

Betts and his colleagues were able to predict this landmark. "I was looking at the numbers this morning," NASA scientist Ben Poulter said. "It is remarkable that they were able to make these predictions in 2015."

Carbon dioxide is odorless and tasteless, and it makes up less than 1 percent of the atmosphere. But this small amount of carbon dioxide has a big impact on the planet. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, without the warming of the planet that carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases provide, Earth's average temperature would fall below freezing.

But that's where the old saying about too much of a good thing comes into play, because the more carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere, the more heat will be trapped and the warmer the planet will become.

The planet didn't reach the 400 ppm mark by itself. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels were at 280 ppm. When tests at Mauna Loa began, the level was at 315 ppm. Scientists say human contributions have played a large part in pushing the level over 400 ppm.

All of the carbon people are pumping into the atmosphere is having an impact on the planet. But what exactly is that impact? That's been the challenge facing climate scientists for decades.

At the very least, according to NOAA, warming can cause "sea level rise, shifting precipitation patterns, expansion of areas affected by drought, increasing numbers of severe heat waves, and more intense precipitation events."

Some places are getting wetter, and some places are getting drier. The good news is that humans are really adaptable. The bad news is that a host of other creatures aren't.

And it gets worse: A lot of that excess carbon gets absorbed by the world's oceans, making the water less basic. NOAA says this interferes with such things as "the ability of marine plants and animals to build their shells," and that ultimately threatens "a reorganization of the entire marine food chain, which could lead to a mass extinction event."

But will all this happen? That's the part that concerns climate scientists the most. Hitting 400 ppm means the Earth is in uncharted territory. The last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were this high is unclear, but a number of competing studies put the date at millions of years ago.

Poulter says the 400 ppm level "tells us that society moving way too fast toward dangerous CO2 concentration in the atmosphere."

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says nations have to cap the amount of carbon in the atmosphere at 450 ppm. That keeps the Earth below an average global temperature increase of 2 degrees C, which was the goal set at a 2010 U.N. conference on climate change.

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San Rmon
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For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning. Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available
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paco two

Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a three-bedroom, ine-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach. Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc. Super fenced yard for dogs. Very low electric bill even with the AC. Very secure & private. Police chief next door. Very easy & inexpensive to expand this house as all neighbors have done. $149,900. Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K 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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Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
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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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Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 195
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Here are some overlooked vitamin bombs

There is a great little fruit that I mostly ignore. Let me explain. I first met cas as a beverage at a local restaurant. It was very, very sweet, so sweet that I set it aside as undrinkable. Sweet drinks seem to be a standard here,

Victoria Torley
and I like something tart. “Ah well,” I thought, “I won’t be drinking “cas-ade any time soon.”

Oops. We have a cas tree (Psidium friedrichsthalianum) on the property, and it is producing abundantly. My gardener encouraged me to try it and WOW was it tart! It was also quite tasty, so
I asked around and found out it is easy to process. Wash, peel if you prefer, throw it in a blender, then strain out the seeds as they are quite tough. Straight out of the blender, it is a great addition to a smoothie. Add a bit of sugar and some water and it is very refreshing. Or you can make a nice jam from cas, if you are a jam maker (not me, my jams never turn out quite right).

Another fruit I originally ignored is the Surinam cherry. It’s not from Surinam (originates in Brazil), and it isn’t a cherry (even though it only has one stone), so I have no clue how it got its name. We have several trees on the property and they produced so nicely that my friend (who does make jam) came over and harvested the crop. Cas was easier. Surinam cherries are small, have to have the blossom remains removed, and will quickly make your fingers prune up if you process them in large batches. But at least they don’t need to be peeled.

Like cas, they also make a nice addition to smoothies.

Now I find that I have a nance tree here as well (Byrsonima cassifolia). Another new one for me, but the fruit is also supposed to be both tasty and easy to use, just wash, blend, and strain. I like easy. It also sounds like a good one for smoothies.

Now, why am I talking about strange little fruits? Well, these fruits turn out to be both tasty and full of vitamins, especially vitamin C. That little nance fruit has 111 percent of daily requirements of vitamin C in just 3 ½ ounces of fruit while cas has 381 percent. The cherry is a piker, less than 40%. By contrast, orange juice has only 64 percent of the requirement in the same amount of juice!

Now, I love orange juice, but in the future, I may be adding some cas or nance to my morning juice glass. Care to join me?

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

There are a lot of hibiscus out there (genus Hibiscus). Locally, they are called amapola but amapola are not even in the same family as hibiscus, let alone in the same genus. Most of the local hibiscus are red and single flowered and are sometimes called roadside reds because they are so common. The flower is a double-ruffled red, less common and truly lovely. Look for hybridized hibiscus in yellow, orange, salmon, and bi-colored varieties but be ready to take special care of them as they can be finicky.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!
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From Page 7:

The fiscal year ends, but the paperwork begins

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Saturday marked the beginning of the fiscal year and the start of Costa Rican tax season.

The final income tax filings deadline for the year 2015-2016 is Dec. 15. But those in business and those who plan to have taxable income have to file a report listing their expenses and income from any source above 50,000 colons for professionals like lawyers and physicians and other independent contractors and an aggregate 2.5 million colons for purchases of supplies and sales.

Plenty of Costa Ricans do not have to pay income tax. The Ministerio de Hacienda published a statement Thursday specifying the threshold for taxes at 787,000 colons or about $1,415 a month.  Those who earn more than that up to 1,181,000 colons or about $2,214 a month have to pay 10 percent. Higher than that, and the tax bite is 15 percent.

But those who earn that money already know this because employers are supposed to withhold estimated taxes, and those independently employed are supposed to make periodic payments of taxes.

Not only salaries are taxed. Also considered taxable income are commissions, bonuses, certain expenses, pensions, overtime and rents.

Expats who telecommute and declare a U.S. tax exemption because they are overseas also are obligated to pay Costa Rican taxes.

The ministry said the tax threshold went up .6 percent this year due to the estimated change in the cost of living. This means the threshold went up 5,000 colons, about $9.

Employees also are subject to 9 percent a month withholding for payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguros Social and obligatory pension plans.