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Published Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 210
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Methane: A plentiful, overlooked greenhouse gas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

While Costa Rica seeks to put a lid on carbon dioxide emissions, tons of much more powerful methane gas are being liberated each day from the nation’s oceans.

Methane usually is associated with gas emissions from livestock. And ocean researchers have become excited over the last two decades about unusual creatures that live near undersea hot water vents and also methane seeps.

A study released last week by the National Ocean Exploration Forum noted that there are about 1,000 methane seeps or vents along the U.S. West Coast. The forum was reporting the discovery of 500 new ones.

In Costa Rica there most likely are plenty of such vents because they are associated with the edges of continents and subduction zones where one tectonic plate meets another.

One vent has been identified at a location called the Jacó Scar, which is at a seamount offshore from the central Pacific community of that name. Another is in the Golfo Dulce off Golfito where researchers captured and tested methane for ignition.

The researchers were from the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology in Bremen, Germany, Jacobs University, Bremen, and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, at the Universidad de Costa Rica. Although many methane vents are below 1,000 meters in the ocean, the one off Golfito is a mere 100 meters, the researchers said. This allows closer study.

One study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and other California researchers said that the bulk of Costa Rica’s seeps and vents were between 730 and 3,800 meters deep, 2,400 to 12,500 feet. A lot of the research is done with submersible vehicles.

Although some sea creatures subsist on methane, much of the gas eventually makes its way to the surface and into the atmosphere. The Gulfo Dulce researchers photographed bubbles of gas rising from the seep.

Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology photo
 Methane bubbles from a vent off Gofito in
 this photo taken by German scientists.

The process has been studied by researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara. One researcher there estimated that offshore methane vents put 50 tons of gas a day into the local air or 18,250 tons a year. And some of the methane is reduced to carbon dioxide as it moves upwards through the water.

Environmentalists say that methane is from 20 to 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

There are methane seeps on land, too, and the gas is a major danger in coal mines. The gas also is associated on land and in the sea with petroleum emissions.

At great depths the pressure seems to force the emitted methane into a solid methane hydrate. Some scientists say they believe that massive release of methane from this solid material has caused rapid climate changes in the ancient past.

As expected, true pumpkins carry a Gringo price
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Pumpkins are one of those products for which expats have to pay a premium.

In the north, pumpkins usually are offered as loss leaders to draw in shoppers at supermarkets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that the price of pumpkins has dropped slightly this year even though production is lower. The latest average is 12 U.S. cents a pound at the farm. High end retail prices range from 25 to 50 cents a pound.

In Costa Rica, the price is double. A decent jack-o’-lantern pumpkin will set an expat back about $10 in one of the chain supermarkets. Although the pumpkin is a squash of which the country has plenty, the pumpkin species is grown infrequently.

Growers seem to prefer the dark colored Asian pumpkin as a food crop.

There are no industrial uses for pumpkins

A.M. Costa Rica graphic
The pumpkin also makes a nice soup.

here as there are in the United States. About 80 percent of the pumpkin crop goes to a food processor there to be turned into pies and similar, said the agriculture department. In 2015 U.S. farmers produced 753.8 million pounds of pumpkins, said the department.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 210
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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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Dental Services Costa Rica

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



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Insurance professionals

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Residency experts


A full service immigration agency
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There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
U.S.  Fax (323) 344-1620
Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )



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Cruz Roja photo
This is one dog expats do not want to meet on a professional basis. The dog is one member of the Cruz Roja rescue dog corps, animals specialized in searching collapsed buildings. The Cruz Roja trainers spent the weekend seeking certification from the International Rescue Dog Organisation.

Woman faces abortion allegation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents detained a 38-year-old Desamparados woman on the allegation that she was running a private abortion clinic.

The arrest was made at the woman’s home on Calle Fallas en Desamparados.

Abortion still is illegal in Costa Rica.

The woman is accused of counseling women and providing them with pills that would cause a miscarriage.

The woman had medical devices including an ultrasound machine in a clinic in her home. Agents said she was promoting her business on the internet. They added that if the pills provided for those who sought her services did not work, she was prepared to conduct an actual abortion by suction.

Many Costa Rican women seek abortions overseas in countries where such a procedure is legal. But there are a number of individuals like the woman who was detained who offer these services to women who do not have the means to travel.

Bus death toll is increased by one

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 58-year-old woman died early Saturday in Hospital México, bringing to 13 the death toll in the Thursday bus mishap near Cariblanco in the mountains north of Heredia.

The Judicial Investigating Organization identified the woman by the last name of Carranza.  She was one of the victims airlifted from the scene to the hospital.

 Series pits two teams with long dry spells

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The two teams squaring off in Major League Baseball's World Series, which begins Tuesday night, have not won the fall classic for a combined 176 years.

The Cleveland Indians, which will host the first two games in the best-of-seven series, last won the World Series, the annual championship of Major League Baseball in North America, in 1948. The Chicago Cubs have not won the fall classic for 108 years, since 1908.

The Cubs rewarded their faithful followers at their iconic stadium, Wrigley Field, Saturday night by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-0, to win the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, four games to two. They had not won the National League title since 1945. Cleveland advanced by winning the American League Championship Series last week in five games over the Toronto Blue Jays.

It is no surprise that many Cubs fans are finding it hard to believe that their team finally has a realistic chance of being World Series champions for the first time in more than a century. But throughout the season, this looked like it might be the year the Cubs could do it. They have a good mix of talented young and veteran pitchers and hitters, and they dominated their opponents.

The Cubs were the only team that won more than 100 games during the season, going 103-58. The next best team won 95 games.

Casa Presidential photo
The president makes a point during his economic message.

Solís says his plan stimulated economy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís said Sunday that it was his Impulso economic program that raised the country’s growth from 2 percent to 4 percent.

The president gave the summary to the nation on television. He was accompanied in the message by Helio Fallas, the vice president and also minister of Hacienda.

The president announced the program a year ago, and this was the second television segment in which the administration claimed successes.

The president said that his program made easier constructing public works, reduced the interest rate for loans to families and the productive sector, reduced paperwork for businesses and provided more resources for small firms via the Banca para el Desarrollo. He also said that the administration saved from bankruptcy a section of the Consejo Nacional de Producción.

Fallas said one reverse was the failure to put into service a cargo ferry line between el Salvador and Costa Rica in the Pacific. That project is mired in paperwork.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 210
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Museo Nacional getting unclaimed items from Banco Anglo customers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When Banco Anglo Costarricense collapsed in 1994, individuals who had rented safety deposit boxes still were able to retrieve their possessions.

But not everyone did.

The Ministerio de Hacienda has been hanging on to jewelry, replicas of archaeological pieces, coins and many other objects. The ministry said that the owners never responded to messages that they had to claim their possessions.

So now, 22 years later, some items are headed to the Museo Nacional. All of them may not be museum quality in themselves, although some pieces are. But they do represent the leftovers from the state bank disaster, an historical event in itself.

The failure of the bank has been blamed on self-dealing and

Ministerio de Hacienda photo
Here are some of the coins going to the museum

fraudulent administration.The former home of the 131-year-old bank is now the offices of the ministry.

The ministry said that the numbers of items total 359. They had been in the custody of the Banco Central de Costa Rica until 2001 when the ministry took over. There still are 400 items in the hands of the ministry whose future is uncertain.

Tamarindo chamber wants to have local crocodiles relocated
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Tamarindo chamber of tourism and commerce is asking the courts to require the relocation of the community’s crocodiles.

The action before the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo  follows the attack of a surfer by one of the reptiles.

Tamarindo in Guanacaste has had a love-hate relationship with the creatures.  They have proliferated and spend most of their time at the mouth of an estuary there. Residents have been cautioned not to feed the creatures, but many do.

The Cámara de Comercio y Turismo de Tamarindo said that it is demanding that the Ministerio del Ambiente y Energía relocate the offending crocodiles. The attack happened July 22, and the victim was a U.S. man who suffered a leg injury.

Hernán Imhoff, the president of the chamber said in a statement that three months have elapsed since the attack and, although there has been contact with the conservation area officials, there has been no action.

Tamarindo residents fear an impact on tourism. Crocodiles are a protected species in Costa Rica.

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Vista Ballena
Palermo Hotel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 210
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Large-scale series of cyberattacks make internet use sluggish
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Eleven hours after a cyberattack first hit the United States Friday, the internet traffic company Dyn said the issue had been resolved.

The disruptions began in the United States, then spread into parts of Western Europe, causing an internet outage that affected several popular Web sites, including the social network Twitter, money transfer service PayPal, music-streamer Spotify and the discussion site Reddit.

Dyn, a New Hampshire company that manages crucial parts of the internet’s infrastructure, said it was under attack around 1100 UTC.

Dyn, whose servers reroute internet traffic by hosting the Domain Name System, said it had resolved the first attack, only to face a second one around 1700 UTC. After fending off that second attack, Dyn said it was again experiencing problems Friday evening. At the time, the company said it was investigating several attacks.

Those were reported to be resolved around 2200 UTC.

Internet users affected by the outage experienced sluggish surfing.

The attack, called a distributed denial of service attack, occurs

when hackers flood particular servers with internet traffic until they cannot handle the load and shut down.

Such attacks are relatively common, but the unprecedented scale of the latest one indicates that they are becoming more powerful and sophisticated.

Dyn chief strategy officer Kyle York said that some of the traffic which caused the attack was from devices such as baby monitors, webcams, home routers, and other devices which can connect to the internet. Security experts have long warned that the increasing number of devices which have internet access, or The Internet of Things will lead to new and challenging security risks.

None of the Web sites which became slow or inaccessible were affected themselves. Targeting host companies such as Dyn can cause more damage and on a larger scale than attacking single Web sites.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it is investigating all possible causes of the outage.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the attack malicious, but said he had no information about who could be behind it.

The attack also affected Airbnb, Netflix, Etsy, SoundCloud and The New York Times.

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).

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Contact us by email:  
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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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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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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Charming Chalet for Rent
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 210
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Axiom new ad

Younger Americans turning
to socialism, new survey says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A survey of younger Americans who have grown up since the Cold War ended shows a surprising level of support for socialism and communism, according to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which commissioned the opinion poll.

The report found that 53 percent of Americans younger than 35 are dissatisfied with the current economic system and think that socialism may be good for them. About 45 percent of young people say they would be willing to vote for a socialist candidate for president, a trend the Victims of Communism group calls the Bernie Sanders bounce, referring to strong support among young people for the unsuccessful presidential candidacy of the Vermont senator, who describes himself as a democratic socialist.

Marion Smith, executive director of the Washington-based foundation, said the growing acceptance of socialist viewpoints among members of the millennial generation, those who have come of age since the year 2000, is a result of a lack of basic knowledge of communism and how it operated during the 20th century.

The foundation said the report it issued this past week is the first of its kind. The mention of growing support for socialism measures the differing responses of survey participants differentiated by age, listed as Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Matures. In general the broadest support for socialist ideas was found in the youngest group, with the lowest support among so-called matures, those of retirement age.

"The millennials are sadly unaware of the history of communism in the last century and of the crimes committed by the Communist Party in the last 100 years," said Smith.

"As a result, the younger generation is not looking for ways to improve the existing system of free enterprise, the rule of law, democratic government, and respect for human rights, but want to try a completely different system. They are interested in the socialist system, which we think is dangerous."

The foundation said its survey, entitled "American Attitudes Toward Socialism," will be repeated annually. It was conducted by YouGov, an international market-research firm, through internet interviews with 2,300 Americans aged at least 16.

Smith contended that young Americans support socialism because they confuse the concept with liberalism. He said U.S. educators should present modern history to young people in a way that will enable them to understand "the crimes committed in the name of socialism and communism."

The survey also found that surprisingly large numbers of young Americans said they were not familiar with many of the headline names of both international politics and tyranny over the previous 100 years, including Mao Zedong (42 percent), Che Guevara (40 percent) and V.I. Lenin (32 percent). About one-quarter of the millennials surveyed said they were not familiar with Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. president, who left office in January 1953.

The Foundation for the Victims of Communism was established in 2003 with assistance from the U.S. Congress, with a mission of showing the American people the history of tyranny committed by Communist regimes throughout the world in the last century. The Foundation believes that Communist tyranny has killed about 100 million people worldwide.

Millions already have voted
in U.S. presidential elections

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Millions of Americans have already cast their votes for the next U.S. president, more than two weeks before Election Day Nov. 8.

New data from the Pew Research Center indicated that more than 4 million ballots had been cast by Saturday, and that before Nov. 8 arrives, the advance voting total may well swell beyond 50 million, the most ever. That would be a significant proportion of the overall voter turnout, which probably will be at least 130 million ballots.

In 1996, about 10 percent of voters used alternative voting methods, either voting early or casting absentee ballots, according to U.S. census data. Four years ago, in the last presidential election, that proportion was nearly 33 percent.

And in some states, that percentage is much higher. More than half of ballots cast in the 2012 election in Nevada, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, Montana, New Mexico and Tennessee were either early or absentee, according to Pew researchers.

Unlike most democracies, the U.S. does not have a centrally administered electoral system, meaning each state and in some cases, even each county determines how and when residents can vote. Rules and dates differ by state, but more than half of the 50 states allow some form of early voting, either in person or by mail-in ballots.

Oregon, Washington, and Colorado conduct their elections entirely through posted ballots.

California and the District of Columbia allow their residents to vote early either in person or through the mail, while others allow only one method.

Absentee voting began more than a century ago, during the American Civil War, as a way soldiers in combat could send their ballots back home. By the mid-20th century, most states had adopted some form of absentee voting, although it was restricted, usually requiring specific evidence that a voter was unable to cast a ballot in person on Election Day.

California, Oregon, and Washington were among the first states in the 1970s and 1980s to allow voters to cast absentee ballots without providing a specific reason, such as out-of-town travel on Election Day, temporary residence abroad, physical infirmity or job requirements. Today, 27 states and the District of Columbia allow no excuse absentee voting for their residents.

Regardless of how or where they vote, more Americans are acting early on their electoral choices. This has begun to alter political parties' traditional campaign exhortations for everyone to go to the polls on Election Day.

Apart from the convenience early voting offers to most people, the trend can either help or hurt candidates whose campaigns peak just before Election Day. Rhetoric during the last weeks of the campaign this year will have little or no effect on large numbers of voters.

Though the early votes won't be counted until on or after Nov. 8, exit polling and demographic analysis of who voted early (such as how many Republicans vs. Democrats did so, or how many men compared with how many women, the number of ballots by whites vs. minorities, etc.) can give a better idea than many public opinion polls about candidates' chances of winning. That depends, however, on how much information each state divulges about its early voters.

Compared with the last presidential vote in 2012, more Democrats are requesting absentee ballots or voting early in critical swing states this year. In North Carolina and Florida, in particular, the number of Democrats voting early is much higher than it was in 2012, although Republicans still are the most frequent applicants for early ballots.

Women are also disproportionately voting early, particularly in these two states, though analysts said it was too early to tell just how much this would benefit Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who is generally thought to have greater support from women than Republican Donald Trump.

California bus crash claims
13 lives and injures 31

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A tour bus traveling along a California highway slammed into a tractor-trailer early Sunday, killing 13 people and injuring at least 31 others.

The bus, operated by USA Holiday, was returning to Los Angeles from the Red Earth Casino in Thermal, California, Jim Abele, a chief of the California Highway Patrol said at a press conference. The crash occurred near Palm Springs.

It's unknown if drugs, alcohol or fatigue were factors in the accident, Abele said. But the speed of the bus was so significant that when it hit the back of the big rig, the trailer entered approximately 15 feet into the bus.

The bus driver was killed, and the truck driver received minor injuries.

Passengers told officials that most people were asleep when the crash occurred at 5:17 a.m. Abele said he didn't believe the 1996 bus had seat belts and likely didn't have a black box data recorder with which newer vehicles are outfitted.

Site located where Mars probe
crashed from rapid descent

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Space Agency says it has found the crash site of its ill-fated Schiaparelli probe on the surface of Mars.

"I believe we have found where Schiaparelli landed,” said ExoMars Flight Operations Director Michel Denis. “This didn't land softly as we would have liked to because the final phase of descent and landing did not function nominally.”

He added that many aspects of the descent went as planned, but that the parachutes were released early and the engines designed to help slow down the craft only fired for a few seconds, which, in his words was also too little.

“So basically Schiaparelli has reached the ground with a velocity which was much higher than it should, so several hundreds of kilometers per hour and is unfortunately then of course being, well, destroyed by the impact," he said.

Denis said the probe impacted the surface very close to its planned landing site, which allowed NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to take a picture of the crash site.

A roughly 15 meter by 40 meter dark patch is visible in the orbiter photo. The impact site is about eight kilometers west of the planned touchdown spot near the equator at the Meridiani Plain.

“One can see clearly the parachute, which landed after it was released at the right place and the place where Schiaparelli should have landed softly but unfortunately did not land softly,” he said. “But one can see this clearly in the pictures."

Engineers continue to study the data to try to find the reason things went awry.

The probe was released from its mother ship, the Trace Gas Orbiter, Sunday, and over the ensuing days, it positioned itself for a landing. The agency lost radio contact with it about 50 seconds before it was scheduled to land.

As with any landing on such a distant body, it’s tricky, with some calling the descent six minutes of hell, as the craft plunges toward the red planet at 21,000 kilometers per hour.

The ExoMars program is a joint effort with Russia and seeks to determine if there is or was life on the Red Planet.

Two senators plan bill to force
tech firms to unlock devices

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two U.S. senators are working on legislation that would pressure technology companies to unlock privacy controls on their smartphones, when requested by law-enforcement agencies or face the possibility of court-ordered penalties.

The proposed legislation, still in its early stages, is sponsored by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican. The lawmakers say their bipartisan bill would respond to increasing concern about criminals who use encrypted communications to evade prosecution.

Technology experts say attempting to control cellphone manufacturers' encryption techniques is a dangerous intrusion on corporate affairs and also disregards individuals' right to privacy.

Kevin Bankston of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, told Wired magazine that, based on what he has heard about the Feinstein-Burr legislation, “This is easily the most ludicrous, dangerous, technically illiterate proposal I’ve ever seen.”

The White House has held off on taking a position on the issue while the senators' offices work toward a final draft of the bill. A spokesman for the lawmakers declined to discuss the language of the proposed legislation, but said "there has never been any talk about imposing fines on companies."

The action on Capitol Hill apparently was sparked by a lawsuit brought against the Apple company by the FBI, which asked a court to force the iPhone manufacturer to break into one of its devices, a phone that had been used by one of the terrorist attackers involved in the assault last year in San Bernardino, California. Federal agents said they were unable to unlock the phone's protected data themselves. Apple said the phones had been designed to resist intrusion, and it, too, had no way to break through the encryption.

The government action aroused immediate protests by privacy advocates and appeared headed for a protracted battle in court, but the case was dropped when federal officials abruptly announced they had found a way to access information on the phone. It is not known how they managed to circumvent the phone's software, or what sort of data they gleaned from the phone, which had been used by San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook, a supporter of the Islamic State group, until he died in a shootout with authorities.

An early draft of the Senate bill that has circulated among news media says, in part: ". . . All persons receiving an authorized judicial order for information or data must provide, in a timely manner, responsive and intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information or data.”

A spokesman for Feinstein and Burr said Friday: "We're still working on finalizing a discussion draft and as a result can't comment on language in specific versions of the bill. However, the underlying goal is simple. When there's a court order to render technical assistance to law enforcement or provide decrypted information, that court order is carried out. No individual or company is above the law." The senators' joint statement said they hope final language of the bill will be ready soon.
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 210
Real Estate
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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
There is nothing like the great indoors

Drat! The sugar snap peas didn’t do well in all this rain. They obviously needed some sort of protection.

A friend of mine posted a great little sign on a gardening page: “This is the
Awning of the Cage of Asparagus”. Hmmmm. We could have built an
Victoria Torley
awning, but Metric Man is opposed to hard labor.

We could build a greenhouse, but the same reason applies. Luckily, another friend sells ready-to-set-up greenhouses. Evidently, it’s just what you need in the tropics.

Ah, the tropics. Paradise on Earth, 
unless you want to plant all your veggies like you did at home. Then, not so much paradise but paradox. Yes, we get sufficient rain for good veggie growing. Yes, it is warm all year ‘round. Yes, we have lovely sunny days. The problem is, we don’t get them all at the same time.

When the days are sunny, there isn’t enough rain. When there is enough rain, the sun doesn’t shine. It is warm all year, but sometimes too warm for some things (like head lettuce) and not warm enough for others (like tomatoes). And it is really way too rainy for the snap peas although the sweet potatoes are doing well.

Sorry to moan and complain, there really are solutions, like the asparagus awning and the greenhouse. When I was a kid, we called it a hothouse but we don’t need that here. What we need is something where the temperature is reasonable and the rain isn’t unreasonable. So here’s the plan.

The greenhouse will go where the failed veggie garden is right now. Yes, the garden has failed so many times that I almost despaired. After all, I write a garden column and hate to appear ignorant about gardening. In my defense, my flowers are doing extremely well and my tomatoes have been happy since I moved them out of the rain (although now they don’t get enough sun….duh).

When the greenhouse arrives, I will pop the new tomatoes onto the elevated trays in its nice warm and un-rainy space. Then I will build an awning for shade and less rain and plant some more peas. With any luck, the protection and warmth of the greenhouse will give seedlings and cuttings a good start.

A good start . . . that’s what my plants need. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

A couple of helpful hints. Looking for something gardening related? Gardening Classified is HERE! For plant identification, try where you can find a helpful listing of tropical plants by category and color.

Plant of the Week

Gloxinia sylvatica, Bolivian sunset, likes a partly shaded spot in the garden with moist soil rich with organics. Its dark foliage is a great contrast to the brilliant flowers. Bolivian sunset grows to 24 to 36 inches in height.

If not kept well-watered, the plants tend to die in the dry season, so keep that in mind when planting. Bolivian sunset looks fantastic as a specimen but even better in a mass planting.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley
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From Page 7:

Senate to hold hearings on Time Warner sale

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Senate plans to hold hearings next month on telecommunications giant AT&T's plans to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion in cash and stock.

Republican Mike Lee and Democrat Amy Klobuchar of the antitrust subcommittee say the merger of the two communication behemoths would potentially raise significant antitrust issues.

Both senators say they have carefully examined consolidation in the cable and video content industries to ensure that it does not harm consumers.

The merger has also become an issue in the presidential campaign.

A spokesman for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said there are a lot of questions and concerns and a lot more information on the merger needs to come out.

Republican nominee Donald Trump said Saturday he would block the deal if he is elected.

"It's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few," he said. Trump has accused big media of plotting with Mrs. Clinton to steal the election from him.

But there is nothing a President Clinton or a President Trump could do to stop the merger. It is eventually up to the Justice Department to determine if the deal breaks antitrust laws.

AT&T is one of the world's pioneering telecommunications companies, whose roots go back to the invention of the telephone in 1879.

Time Warner is another communications and entertainment giant whose holdings include HBO, CNN and the Warner Brothers film studio. Those were separate publishing and entertainment corporations before merging in 1990.

This is a perfect match of two companies with complementary strengths," AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephens said in a statement that went on to say that "the new company would deliver what customers want."

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said, "Combining with AT&T dramatically accelerates our ability to deliver our great brands and premium content to consumers on a multiplatform basis and to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities created by the growing demand for video content."

The boards of directors of both companies have already approved the merger. Time-Warner shareholders also must vote on the deal.