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Published Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 196
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Government to launch plan to cut off-the-books labor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials agreed Monday to launch an effort to reduce the number of employees who are working off the books in Costa Rica.
The handful of agencies have six months to come up with a plan.

The officials noted that the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos estimates that 42.4 percent of the workforce is in what is called the informal sector. That means about 825,142 persons who do not have pension, insurance and health care benefits. In many cases they are being paid under the minimum wage, too.

The meeting comes after a report on the topic by the International Labour Organization.

The Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social is spearheading the project with the support of other government agencies, unions and the private sector.

The situation is complex because many illegal workers are in agriculture which needs the labor.

About 80 percent of the independent workers are in the informal classification because they have not enrolled themselves into the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the labor minister, said that his agency has but 90 inspectors in the entire country.

A lot of the independent workers maintain their informal status because becoming legal can be expensive. In addition, some are not legally permitted to work here.

The private sector supports the proposal to level the playing field because employers who are maintaining workers off the books have an advantage in producing cheaper products or services.

Lawmakers give final OK to climate change measure
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature passed for the second and final time Monday the Paris climate agreement that enlists the country in the effort to hold the increase in carbon dioxide emissions to limit the increase in the global temperature to 2 degrees C.

The agreement also  promises that the country will work to reduce carbon dioxide to hold the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C. This is a non-binding international agreement, and it is up to Costa Rica how to enforce it.

The nation of India presented its documents ratifying the agreement Monday, and the Times of India said that officials there were promoting a Ghandian lifestyle that spurned luxury living to reduce the carbon footprints. The adjective incorporates the name of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian liberation hero who espoused the simple life.

Costa Rica already has a carbon offset program and an organization geared to assess the carbon
footprint of firms and organizations. The country has also promised to become carbon neutral, meaning producing no more carbon than it can sequester.

Another purpose of the agreement is to generate a $100 billion fund to developing countries to help limit their emissions. Presumably that money will come from First World nations.

The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere now appears to be 400 parts per million, according to recent scientific reports.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels were at 280 ppm, scientists say.

Increased carbon also increases vegetation, and some areas of the world have seen an increase in plant life.

Temperatures and sea levels began rising about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. In the last century, the sea has risen between 12 and 17 centimeters, according to the latest report. That is from 4.7 to 6.7 inches

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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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U.S. tax code generates simplistic claims

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

If anything else, the current U.S. campaign for president has pointed out the complexities and myths surrounding the federal income tax system.

In the latest emotional appeal, The New York Times revealed that an old tax return shows that Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995, allowing the real estate operator to pay no tax on income in subsequent years totaling the same amount.

Of course, the wire service report outlining the Times story also said that all Americans can offset taxable gains with financial losses or property depreciation.  But most don’t either because they have little income to shelters or they just do not know how.

Taxes also lends itself to demagoguery. Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent, and many others on the left frequently insist that the rich should pay their fair share of taxes. But they do not specify how much this should be. Some have suggested going back six decades when the top marginal tax rate was 92 percent.

The rich now pay a bit more than 40 percent of their income over $413,201.

Millions of Americans pay no income tax because they have low income or are on welfare. In fact, many receive government credits in excess of any tax they they owe.

Pew Research points out that in 2014, people with adjusted gross income above $250,000 paid 51.6 percent of all individual income taxes, though they accounted for only 2.7 percent of all returns filed.

Still another Pew survey said that six in 10 Americans said they were bothered a lot by the feeling that some wealthy people and some corporations don’t pay their fair share.

The suspicion is that there is a lot of cheating, too. The rich hire many professionals to use the existing and complex tax laws so that they pay the lowest amount. Most tax professionals would not knowingly cheat. It is so much easier to just use the existing tax code.

In fact, in years past, there were all kinds of tax shelters designed for the rich to offset large amounts of income. Some even ended up owning herds of milk cows they never saw.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service also notes that those who die with estates worth more than about $5.5 million are subject to a federal estate tax. That may seem like a lot of money but many small business operators and farmers fall into this category and their heirs are forced to sell. The top estate tax rate is 40 percent.

The government also manages to snag tax on those depreciations. Taxpayers can use depreciation to offset current income. But there are a lot of stipulations. Trump certainly has a lot of depreciation expenses.

Such expenses come from the presumed depreciation of real estate. The depreciation is figured at the purchase price. Even in today’s market real estate is bound to increase in value, so when a property is sold, the government demands a share of this inflated value. The tax on depreciation is not adjusted for inflation.

Expats who moved to Costa Rica after selling a principal residence were not hit with a capital gains tax unless they used part of their dwelling as a home office or business and depreciated the space. Principal residences usually are exempt from the tax.

But they would have had to pay on any rental property they may have sold for a profit as well as other assets.

Hurricane Matthew nears southwest Haiti

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

Heavy rains from the outer bands of Hurricane Matthew pelted Jamaica and Haiti Monday, flooding streets and sending many people to emergency shelters as the Category 4 storm moved through the Caribbean.

Two deaths were reported in Haiti, bringing the total attributed to Matthew to at least four.

Shortly after midnight today the hurricane was about 60 miles from Tiburon, Haiti, and about 165 miles from Port au Prince.

On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will pass near or over southwestern Haiti this morning, move near eastern Cuba late today, and move near or over portions of the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and Wednesday. A turn toward the north-northwest is forecast by Wednesday. 

Haiti's poverty-ravaged southwestern coast took the brunt of the storm heading into the morning, where 230 kilometer-per-hour winds and heavy rains forced the evacuation of around 2,000 people in the Grand Sud region Monday night.

Between 100,000 and 500,000 Haitian residents face serious flooding risks because the unregulated shantytowns where they live are set up in dangerous places. Forecasters predict Matthew could drop up to 40 inches of rain on some parts of Haiti, elevating the possibility of deadly mudslides and flooding the most densely populated areas.

Jamaica, where some 150,000 people could be displaced due to the impact of the hurricane and Haiti, where about 2 million are expected to be affected, continue to encourage residents in vulnerable areas to evacuate to safer areas.

Hundreds of people were airlifted out of the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba ahead of the storm.

The U.S. Navy says people staying at the base and military detention center on the eastern end of Cuba are being told to take shelter, and a mandatory evacuation of non-essential personnel was put into effect.

Scores of prisoners are still held at the detention center and about 5,500 people live on the base.

The United States Agency for International Development issued a statement saying officials are prepared to "assist governments and communities in the region." The agency has deployed two disaster response teams to Haiti and Jamaica.

Matthew is the strongest hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea since Felix in 2007.

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.

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Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 196
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Presumed rival drug gangs wage open warfare in Limón
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Attacks by warring drug gangs have shocked residents and left police uncertain about the success of their preventative efforts.

In Limón Monday afternoon four armed men tried to break into Hospital Tony Facio, presumably with the intent to finish off a man who was wounded in a beach shooting spree Sunday.

That spree was in Playa Cieneguita, Limón, where a woman passenger on a motorcycle opened fire with an AK-47 Sunday and killed a woman, a man and a child. The shooting left at least five persons injured. Most of these were hit when the killer returned a few minutes later and fired into a group that was trying to help those already hit.

The primary targets are believed to be two men who may have been involved in some sort of drug organization. One was hospitalized and is believed to be the person the gunmen were seeking Monday.

In Tres Ríos Monday morning gunmen confronted a 38-year-old Jamaican man while he was opening his store for business. Investigators said that the dead man had just been released for a prison term for drugs. The case may be related to the discovery last week of another Jamaican citizen stuffed into a suitcase.

The killing also might be related with the wounding of another Jamaican man Sunday night in Granadilla, Curridabat. The 40 year old was shot as he was riding with another man, agents said. He is in Hospital Calderón Guardia.

The man lives in Tres Ríos.

Around noon Monday in Limón two men were injured when they were attacked in the center of the community. They were in a car that was cut off by another vehicle containing the gunmen.

Investigators have identified at least five criminal organizations

operating in that Caribbean province. They also said they were getting threats of more violence, but these might have been hoaxes.

At a morning press conference Gustavo Mata, the minister of security, threatened to quit if the legislature did not pass a bill to reinstitute the tax on corporations. That measure has been languishing in committee for at least a year. Some lawmakers were not impressed. The tax would bring in about $40 million to the security agency.

Police are spread thin. Some residents of rural areas have complained about key stations being closed. They also said that police are not allowed to leave the radios unattended or to leave the police station unless they are in pairs at night. This puts a crimp in patrols at stations where there are just two policemen.

Mata’s organization also is heavily involved in trying to uncover drug shipments headed for the United States and cracking down on local growers of marijuana.

Some of the patrols by the Servicio Nacional de Guardcostas of the ministry have halted the importation by boat of Jamaican marijuana, which is a valued commodity.

The Judicial Investigating Organization is investigating the Limón crimes. They also have to handle some crimes that might not be linked to Caribbean drug gangs.

Two men were wounded in Vista de Mar in Guadalupe Sunday evening when they appear to have gotten into a discussion with a motorcyclist while they were riding in a car. Both were in  Hospital Calderón Guardia, and one suffered a bullet wound to the head, said investigators.

In the same hospital are an adult and a 17 year old who were wounded by bullets, also Sunday, in Tirrases de Curridabat. They were in a home when a masked intruder fired and then fled. The adult man also suffered a head wound, said agents.

Albanian arrest propels organ brokering into the news again
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The New York Times has featured Boris Volfman as one of the organ brokers who has been involved with Costa Rican physicians.

Volfman, 32, has been arrested in Albania. The newspaper writers seem very impressed by the man’s luxury lifestyle and his lovely Ukrainian wife.

The article reviewed the open case in Costa Rica where a Hospital Calderón Guardia surgeon was detained in 2013 along with two others on allegations that they purchased and sold kidneys. The case has yet to come to trial.

Volfman also appears to be an Israeli citizen, and some of the patients for Costa Rican transplants came from that country.

A.M. Costa Rica also reported on one elderly and infirm U.S.
 citizen who came here because surgeons elsewhere would not subject him to a transplant.

There also were two other organ brokers featured. These individuals arrange transplants from healthy and willing donors to ailing individuals. Usually the waiting list for kidney transplants is long in most countries, mainly because local law prohibits compensation for donations. Costa Rica also prohibits this, but the law was generally overlooked until the arrests. Volfman even maintains a Web site, as do others.

The Times article was very similar to one the newspaper published two years ago. It cited the same Costa Rican couple who flew to Israel to donate a kidney.

An early A.M. Costa Rica news story is HERE! The article points out that there may be legal problems because there is conflict between a 1993 law and one passed two years ago. That may be one reason why prosecutors have not gone to trial.

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University of Pittsburgh reports success with possible zika vaccine 
By the University of Pittsburgh news staff

Two vaccines against zika virus developed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have successfully conveyed immunity from female mice to pups conceived weeks after the mother’s vaccination.
When challenged with zika virus within a week of their birth, both vaccines protected the pups against neurological damage better than pups with no maternal-conferred immunity. The results are published online and scheduled for the November issue of EBioMedicine, a journal supported by CellPress and The Lancet.
“We’ve not only developed a promising vaccine candidate to move toward larger preclinical and, eventually, human clinical trials, but also a delivery format that would be inexpensive to produce and distribute to hundreds of thousands of people,” said senior author Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery in Pitt’s School of Medicine.
Zika is a virus spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. When pregnant women are infected, the virus can pass to their fetus, which can damage the developing baby and cause severe neurological birth defects, including microcephaly, or an abnormally small head.
One of the two vaccines uses a microneedle array to deliver the vaccine just below the surface of the skin through tiny crystals that dissolve after being affixed to the skin by an adhesive bandage-like patch. The technology was co-invented by Louis D. Falo, chairman of Pitt’s Department of Dermatology and co-author of the study.
The other vaccine uses the traditional needle delivery format and adenovirus, a type of common cold virus, to present zika antigens to the immune system to induce immunity.
Both vaccines used proteins on the envelope, or outer shell, of the virus as the antigen to prime the immune system so it can quickly recognize and fight off the actual virus. This approach has worked in the past to develop West Nile, yellow fever and dengue vaccines.
Three groups of female mice, with five mice per group, were immunized with either one of the two vaccines or a saline

solution with no vaccine for the control group. Two weeks after the initial vaccination, the mice received a booster of the same vaccine they originally received.
Blood tests were performed at vaccination and every two weeks afterward. The mice showed immunity against zika two weeks after immunization with the adenovirus zika vaccine and six weeks after immunization with the microneedle array zika vaccine.

Five weeks after initial immunization, the female mice were mated with unvaccinated males. Because mice do not develop microcephaly, giving the mothers zika while pregnant would be unlikely to affect the pups. So the researchers waited until one week after the pups were born and then exposed them to zika.

All of the pups from the mothers immunized with adenovirus Zika vaccine and half of the pups from the mothers who received the microneedle array vaccine survived infection. Only 12.5 percent of the pups from mothers in the unimmunized control group survived.
Furthermore, all of the control group pups showed signs of neurological damage, including loss of balance, muscle weakness and hind-limb paralysis. Five out of six of the microneedle array group pups also exhibited neurological issues, though they weren’t as severe as the control group’s symptoms. None of the adenovirus vaccine pups showed significant neurological problems.
Although the adenovirus zika vaccine definitely performed better in this study, Dr. Gambotto said it was used as a proof-of-principle vaccine in mice to quickly develop and test if the envelope protein antigen would work in a mouse model. It wouldn’t work well in humans because the vast majority have already had adenovirus colds so the immune systems would simply neutralize the vaccine and not develop proper zika antibodies.
“We decided to move forward with the microneedle array zika vaccine and have since developed a promising, second-generation vaccine,” said Dr. Gambotto. “We are hopeful, now that Congress has approved the $1.1 billion bill to provide funding for zika prevention and research, that we’ll be able to do larger-scale studies to evaluate and develop this vaccine for possible human clinical trials in the future.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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.

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PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
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Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

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

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Charming Chalet for Rent
Mountain forest and fresh air. Charming two-bedroom and two-bath chalet style home. Near downtown Heredia away from the noise and traffic in the quiet mountain setting of Monte de la Cruz. Room for parking on a large manicured garden property. Fully furnished with loft and laundry room. Property is gated. No smokers, must have references, and no more than an occupancy of two.  $550 per month. One month deposit.  Please call Leda at:  2267-6306  to make an appointment to view.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 196
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Vice presidential candidates
scheduled to debate tonight

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence will have their moment in the spotlight tonight in Farmville, Virginia, site of the only vice-presidential debate of 2016.

This faceoff comes a week after the first of three presidential debates between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, a debate that energized Democrats and disappointed some Republicans.

Opinion polls in the wake of that debate gave a boost to Mrs. Clinton and raised fresh questions about Trump’s temperament, particularly in the wake of several Tweets by him aimed at a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, who was targeted for gaining weight.

The first Clinton-Trump showdown drew a record television audience for a presidential debate. More than 80 million people tuned in.

The vice presidential debate between Kaine and Pence is likely to draw fewer viewers, if history is any guide.

The 2008 debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin drew nearly 70 million viewers, the largest audience for any vice presidential debate in history.

Pence, the governor of Indiana, has been busy on the campaign trail, but is often overshadowed by Trump. Pence is regularly asked to defend some of Trump’s claims and controversial statements, but he also tries to project a campaign image of his own, as he did during a recent rally in Mesa, Arizona.

“I promise you that the Trump-Pence team is going to work our hearts out every day of the week until we revive the American Dream for every American regardless of race or creed or color or gender. We are going to bring the American Dream back to life.”

Tim Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia, campaigns in the shadow of Hillary Clinton and often shows up in states where the Democrats’ chances of winning are marginal. He rallied supporters recently with a bipartisan pitch in Texas, solid Republican territory.

“Let’s just treat each other as equals,” he said, “and that is the kind of person Hillary is, and that is the kind of person I am, and that is the kind of person all of you are. That unifies us.”

The vice presidential debate is sandwiched between the first Clinton-Trump faceoff, which generated enormous interest, and a second presidential debate scheduled for Sunday in St. Louis.

Republicans may be looking to Pence to stem the bleeding after that first debate from which Mrs. Clinton has gotten a bump in the polls and Trump finds himself on the defensive.

“So I think this moment both gave people reason to vote against Trump, but also maybe gave young people, African-Americans, Latinos, you know, key constituencies that Hillary Clinton needs to win, more motivation potentially to turn out to vote affirmatively for her,” said George Washington University analyst Matthew Dallek.

Some analysts, including some conservatives, thought Trump made his situation worse after the first debate with his relentless focus on the former Miss Universe.

Although there have been some notable vice presidential debate moments in the past, the vice presidential contenders usually take a backseat to the party presidential nominees.

Democrat Lloyd Bentsen had a memorable takedown of Republican Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate over the issue of experience. And Mrs. Palin held her own with Biden in 2008 after asking Biden at the start, “Can I call you, Joe?”

But even though Kaine and Pence will be in the spotlight tonight, it’s likely the names Clinton and Trump will be on the minds of those watching the debate, said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

“So I do expect that both candidates will be talking more about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and taking some swings at them on things that we might expect,” he said. “But even at the top of the ticket, at least certainly in Donald Trump’s case, he is willing to do that himself. So that might not look so different than what we saw in the first debate.”

New York attorney general
threatens Trump foundation

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York state's top legal official Monday ordered the charitable foundation headed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to immediately stop soliciting contributions because it was not registered to seek public donations.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that unless the Trump Foundation files the required paperwork in the next 15 days it would consider the foundation to be a continuing fraud upon the people of New York.

For different reasons, Trump's foundation and the one operated by Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have played key roles in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Schneiderman has opened an investigation of Trump's foundation, which the real estate entrepreneur founded in 1987 and for years was its only donor. But in 2006, he gave away almost all of the money he had donated.

Since then, Trump solicited donations from wealthy individuals, with foundation records subsequently showing the charity paid off some of Trump's legal bills incurred by the billionaire's for-profit businesses.

In addition, the foundation paid $30,000 to buy two portraits of Trump.

Critics have claimed that wealthy donors to the Clinton foundation, a charity that has attempted to resolve global health problems and promote better education around the world, were given special access to officials at the U.S. State Department while she served as secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.

U.S. Supreme Court opens
but actions put off until today

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term Monday short one justice following the death early this year of Antonin Scalia and the Senate's gridlock over how to replace him.

The court had a low-key start with another three justices absent for the day to observe the Jewish New Year holiday. The court is federally mandated to open on the first Monday in October, but because of the absences of the Jewish justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court will not hear its first oral arguments until today.

The court convened Monday for only about five minutes, mostly devoted to admitting new attorneys to the Supreme Court bar. The court also rejected hundreds of appeals that had accumulated over the summer.

The Supreme Court is likely to be without a replacement justice throughout much of its term which runs through June, as the court awaits the results of the Nov. 8 presidential election and the inauguration of the new president in January. Senate Republicans have refused to move forward with President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, arguing that the next president should fill the vacant seat.

The next president might also make other appointments as several aging justices may contemplate retirement. Three justices are older than 75, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer is 78, conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy is 80 and liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83.

The court is currently divided with four liberals and four conservatives.

One of the appeals the court rejected Monday is the Obama's administration's request for the court to rehear a major immigration case that the high court had split 4-4 in June. The decision blocks Obama's plans to shield millions of undocumented immigrants who are in the country from being deported.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest expressed disappointment about the decision. "Republicans in the Senate need to confirm a ninth justice to the Supreme Court so that the business of the American people can be conducted at the Supreme Court," he said.

The justices also declined Monday to reopen an investigation in Republican Gov. Scott Walker's campaign against a recall effort in 2012.

In addition, they refused to consider an appeal from the Washington Redskins football team challenging a law that bars the team's trademarks because it is offensive to some Native Americans.

Freed newsman takes action
against his Iranian captors

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. journalist who was jailed in Iran for 18 months has filed a federal lawsuit against the Iranian government, claiming he was taken hostage and tortured in an attempt to extract concessions from the U.S. government.

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian said in the suit that he was targeted for arrest so Iran could gain negotiating leverage with the United States and to ultimately exchange him for something of value to Iran.

The suit says that Iranian officials repeatedly told Rezaian and his wife, who was also detained for more than two months, that Rezaian was valuable as a bargaining chip for a prisoner swap.

Rezaian was one of four journalists freed from an Iranian prison in January, hours before the United States and other world powers finalized a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program. At the same time, the United States pardoned seven Iranian prisoners and dropped charges against 14 other Iranians.

Rezaian filed his lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and asked for unspecified damages from Iran for cruelty, torture and abuse during his captivity.

The journalist is filing the suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The law normally bars Americans from suing foreign governments in U.S. courts, however it makes an exception for terrorist acts by countries the U.S. State Department has designated as state sponsors of terrorism.

According to the lawsuit, Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were subjected to physical and extreme psychological abuse during lengthy interrogations in which authorities threatened to main or kill them, and warned each that the other might be killed as well. The suit said the experience was so overwhelming that both Rezaian and Ms. Salehi contemplated suicide, and it says Rezaian experiences symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Washington Post says it is not involved in the legal action but says it continues to support the Rezaians through their long and painful recovery. It says Rezaian is on leave from the newspaper for a year as a Nieman fellow at Harvard University.

New approach may enhance
current HIV drug therapies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A promising multi-disciplinary approach to fighting HIV has led to an encouraging first set of results from clinical trials.

The new treatment, called Kick and Kill, comes out of a collaboration between five leading United Kingdom research establishments.

The therapy targets people diagnosed with HIV who are taking antiretroviral therapy drugs. Drugs reduce the amount of HIV in the bloodstream to such small levels that patients can't pass along the virus and their immune system is able to fight it.

The problem is that HIV is incredibly sneaky, and antiretroviral therapy drugs alone can't cure it.

A news release from the National Institute of Health Research explains it this way: antiretroviral therapy  drugs "only works on HIV infected cells that are active, and most cells infected with HIV in the human body contain resting or sleeping virus."

And that's where the idea of Kick and Kill comes in.

The treatment consisted of giving HIV patients a drug called an HDAC inhibitor, which is commonly used to fight cancer. In HIV-positive people, HDAC is the enzyme that allows these dormant HIV cells to rest. Tamping down HDAC kicks the virus awake. Once awake, the antiretroviral therapy drugs can kill even more of the virus, and could ultimately lead to a cure.

Researchers plan to try the new therapy on 50 HIV study participants.

"This first participant has now completed the intervention and we have found it to be safe and well tolerated," said Sarah Fidler, professor of HIV and Communicable Diseases at Imperial College London and co-principal investigator on the study. "Only when all 50 study participants have completed the whole study, by 2018, will we be able to tell if there has been an effect on curing HIV."

In a news release Monday, the National Institute of Health Research urged caution on reporting the study, saying "all participants involved in the study will be expected to have no HIV in their blood because they are receiving antiretroviral therapy — these are the standard drugs we use to treat HIV."

The statement goes on to say full results will not be available until 2018.

Facebook enters marketplace
for classified advertisements

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Move over Craigslist. Facebook is launching a new service called Marketplace.

The service allows users to buy and sell items over the social network.

The company says some users were already doing something like Marketplace in Facebook Groups.

“This activity started in Facebook Groups and has grown substantially. More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month — from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world,” the company wrote in a blog post.

To connect with Marketplace, Facebook said there is a “shop icon” at the bottom of the Facebook app.

From there, users can see items for sale that are nearby in a variety of categories, including household items, electronics and clothing.
Real estate-related services (paid category)
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at 

Solr Costa Rica
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
Solar logo
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

                                  Tamarindo The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices.

If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
For more i

Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
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Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

New graphic
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
Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 506- 8307-0164
Bruce Cohen

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $240,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email:
Jay Saba
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

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

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
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:

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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, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 196
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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
Rights entities seek to double budgets

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The head of the Organization of American States wants to double the budget of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Secretary General Luis Almagro said he welcomed the communiqué Friday from the commission announcing that it had overcome the immediate and severe financial crisis which threatened to limit its capacity to comply with basic duties in 2016. At the same time, the secretary general said he remains focused on the need to place both the commission and the Court of Human Rights on a sound, long-term financial footing to allow both bodies to plan and execute their work in a predictable and sustainable manner.

The commission is based in Washington, D.C, and the court is in San Pedro.

The presidents of the commission and the court jointly wrote to the secretary general Friday proposing that the budgets of the two human rights bodies be doubled. The joint proposal seeks to provide medium and long-term sustainability and ensure that the commission and the court fulfill their mandates in an effective and timely manner by increasing contributions from Organization of American States member states and relying less on contributions from permanent observers and other donors, they said.

The secretary general said he fully endorses the joint proposal, especially as it would allow the court and the commission to hold more sessions, would allow the commissioners and the judges more time to review, analyze and render judgements, would allow for the creation of a special rapporteur for economic and social rights as well as the strengthening of the existing rapporteurs, would help to ensure long-term stability for staff members of the secretariats and would lead to an increase in the number of cases resolved by the commission and the court.

Almagro said he believes that the member states have a responsibility to ensure that the Inter-American Human Rights System is adequately funded so that it can fulfill its responsibilities under the organization charter, the American Convention on Human Rights and other Inter-American human rights agreements, and hopes that member states will accept the proposal from the commission and court.

Japanese researcher is Nobel winner

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded this year's Nobel Prize for medicine for his work autophagy, the science of how cells break down and recycle their content.

"His discoveries opened the path to understanding the fundamental importance of autophagy in many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation of starvation or response to infection," the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in a statement on awarding the prize of $930,000.

Ohsumi, who is 71, is a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

"Autophagy has been known for over 50 years," the Karolinska Institute said, "but its fundamental importance in physiology and medicine was only recognized after Yoshinori Ohsumi's paradigm-shifting research in the 1990s."

"Thanks to Ohsumi and others following in his footsteps, we now know that autophagy controls important physiological functions where cellular components need to be degraded and recycled," the Institute said.

The prize for physiology or medicine is the first Nobel Prize awarded each year. The prizes for physics, chemistry, peace, economics and literature will be announced this week and next week.
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From Page 7:

Pacific trees are objects of research

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Researchers from the University of Göttingen in Germany have joined with  Tecnológico de Costa Rica to study climate variation on trees.

The researchers are sampling the limbs of trees in various locations all along the Pacific coast.

Trees are great climate indicators because they produce annular rings that correspond to the growth conditions. The researchers also are sampling sap.

The samples of branches eventually will be sent for detailed study to a French lab, said the Cartago university.

The goal is to report on methods for conservation of these species. Among the trees being studied are cedar, laurel and several native Costa Rican species, such as cortez amarillo, the evergreen cedro maría and cebo.