A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 229                               Email us
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Five with faked passports passed through Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
And A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. and Honduran officials are trying to determine the correct identity of five men who arrived at Toncontín airport in Tegucigalpa Tuesday night.

The five appear to have spent nearly a week in Costa Rica after having arrived here from Argentina. They are believed to be Syrian.

The five young men were traveling on what police in Honduras said were doctored passports. The Dirección Policial de Investigaciones appear to have been tipped off and were awaiting the arrivals. The men spent the night at the airport and went to the offices of investigators Wednesday.

The men appear to have passed through Costa Rican immigration controls on arrival and when they left, although those actions may have triggered the alert.

The men are believed to have told investigators that they planned to travel from Tegucigalpa to San Pedro Sula and make their way to the United States by land. Local media

said that a sixth man with a doctored Greek passport had arrived in the country Friday and was detained.

Honduran investigators said that the passports had been reported stolen in Greece.

U.S. investigators are trying to determine if the men are simply refugees from the troubled Mideastern country or have other intentions.

The passports have been doctored to remove the photos of the Greek owners, and the photos of the men had been inserted. Police managed to determine that the men did not speak Greek.

The detention of the men became an international news story because of the Islamic State attacks in France Friday and the fact that one of the assailants entered that country as a Syrian refugee. There also is a political controversy in the United States over the desire by President Barack Obama to admit thousands of Syrian refugees.

A.M. Costa Rica has frequently reported that Central American intelligence agencies lack the resources to handle terrorism. That latest story is HERE!

National emergency commission photo
There probably is more of this on the way.
Pacific coast expected to see more rain this week
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission has declared an alert for the central and south Pacific due to heavy rains and flooding.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional reported that more rain is on the way, and the Weather Underground, A.M. Costa Rica's featured weather service, predicts afternoon thunderstorms through Monday.

The emergency commission said that the soil is saturated and that additional rain will run off quickly.

There has been flooding in seven cantons. They are Corredores, Golfito, Osa, Buenos Aires, Quepos, Parrita and Garabito. There is one shelter with 12 persons in Ciudad Neily, the agency said.
In  Corredores there are 11 communities with flooding problems. In Golfito there are five.
The Río Térraba in Osa is at flood stage, and there are problems in some communities with drinking water.

The Instituto de Acueductos y Alcantarillados is trucking in supplies.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said it was stocking more potential shelters in case the flooding increases.

The weather institute said that up to two inches of rain might fall overnight in the affected areas.

There also were thunderstorms in the mountains of the Caribbean, the Talamancas and the Central Valley. Fog was predicted.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 229
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Insurance professionals

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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
commercial, and family law.  
Phone: ( 506 ) 8839-5010 
Address:  150 meters southwest from
the Goicoechea court, San José.

Business specialist
Lic Matta

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Legal – Financial Adviser

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Phone number: (506) 8853-0000

Land surveying services

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30+ years of experience in:

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Calculations of terrain

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CR Cell phone number: +506-8383-0083

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Watson files claim against Costa Rica

Special to A.M. Costa Rica
from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Capt. Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights accusing Costa Rica of using the judicial system to violate his rights and derail his conservation efforts.

If successful, this petition could bring an end to a lengthy battle between Watson and the Costa Rican government, including potential dismissal of the Interpol red notice it issued in 2012 requesting his arrest and extradition.

Filed by Costa Rican attorney Abraham Stern Feterman, the petition alleges that the Costa Rican judicial system has deprived Watson of access to justice and violated his rights to due process and consular assistance.

Feterman says he hopes this filing will mark the beginning of the end of Watson’s problems in Costa Rica.

“Captain Watson has suffered many injustices at the hands of the Costa Rican government, which for 13 years has engaged in a politically motivated campaign aimed at obstructing one of the world’s foremost marine conservationists, and protecting the lucrative poaching trade in the region,” Feterman said. “We look forward to seeing justice served and Captain Watson cleared of all charges.”

The petition asserts that “legal proceedings against Paul Watson [in] Costa Rica are the direct result of a political maneuver to disable one of the most renowned conservationists in the world and free Costa Rica to continue the traffic of shark fins, a practice that violates environmental stability of the planet and the natural balance of the marine ecosystems.”

The Costa Rican government has sought Watson’s extradition based on an event that occurred in April 2002. At that time, Paul Watson was captaining the Ocean Warrior when it encountered the Varadero I, a Costa Rican vessel that was conducting illegal shark-finning operations in Guatemalan waters. Under the authority of Guatemalan law, Watson attempted to arrest the Varadero I, but the poachers broke free and fled toward Costa Rica.

Nevertheless, later that month the Costa Rican authorities filed a criminal complaint alleging that Watson and his crew threatened and attempted to murder the seven crew members of the Varadero I, as well as damaging their vessel. This complaint was based on testimony supplied by the Varadero I crew.

A local foundation offered Captain Watson local counsel, yet neither he nor his appointed counsel were provided timely notification about a preliminary hearing on the matter in December 2002. Although the allegations of attempted murder were later dropped, when Captain Watson did not appear for trial, the Costa Rican court declared him a fugitive and issued a warrant for his arrest on the charge of violation of ship traffic.

This matter escalated on May 13, 2012, when German authorities arrested Watson in Frankfurt on this charge. Six weeks later, Costa Rica submitted a modified extradition request alleging “shipwreck endangerment and aerial disaster,” a far more serious offense typically associated with terrorism.

Two days after that, Japanese authorities formally requested Watson’s arrest on conspiracy charges stemming from a 2010 incident involving Sea Shepherd’s campaign to stop Japan’s illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean. In August 2012, Interpol issued a red notice on Watson for the Costa Rican charge of shipwreck endangerment.

The petition claims that the Costa Rican courts have committed a number of serious errors in the legal proceedings against Watson, including ignoring the fact that they do not have jurisdiction because the events in question took place in Guatemalan waters, failing to inform Watson of his right to consular assistance and allowing the case to proceed to trial with inadequate evidence.

The petition follows a request for precautionary measures that Watson filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Sept. 25. It calls on the commission to open a case to allow Watson to establish Costa Rica’s responsibility for violating his rights under the Hague Convention and the Vienna Convention, and to order Costa Rica to pay reparations.

The request for precautionary measures could be resolved sometime in December, while the petition to the Costa Rican government may take years to resolve.

Said Watson:

“In 2002 I intervened against a documented illegal shark finning operation in the waters of Guatemala at the request of the government of Guatemala. No one was injured and no property was damaged. I interfered with poaching profits and so I angered some well-placed individuals. We filed this case with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights because my human rights have been violated by a politically motivated campaign to prevent my conservation efforts to defend endangered and threatened marine species,” said Watson.

The encounter between the two boats was filmed and became part of a popular anti-shark finning documentary.

Prisoners will show their arts and crafts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Prison inmates will be exhibiting their crafts and displaying their talent through Saturday at the Antiqua Aduana on Calle 23 in east San José.

This is the third annual edition.

The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz, which runs the prisons, said that the exhibition allows prisoners to see their families and to generate income to support them.

The prisoners also are presenting artistic performances during the event.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

Don't miss our restaurant specials HERE!
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 229
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Aguinaldo makes sure Christmas is a time of giving for employers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Oh, no! It's that time again.

The Ministro de Seguridad Pública said it would announce today its plans for safeguarding Christmas aguinaldos.

Aguinaldos are wonderful for employees, who get an extra twelfth of their annual salary.

For those running businesses the payments that are due by the middle of December are an added and painful expense of doing business.

Store operators love them. So do crooks, which is why the ministry will outline its plans to keep shoppers safe.

Time was when shoppers would go to the downtown with pockets stuffed with cash and present themselves as likely targets. These days, the credit card is the usual method of payment.

But there still are those with cash, and these are the people the police will seek to protect.The other crimes are more likely to be of the white collar variety.

The police towers in the downtown are a continuing feature now, but more will be set up in other communities to give officers a nearly bird's eye view.

Expats are expected to make aguinaldo payments to their employees, and those who receive in-kind payments, like meals, are suposed to receive a twelfth of their fair value, too.

Police raid 20 dwellings in notorious La Tabla de Desamparados
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública, judicial investigators and prosecutors mounted a military-style operation Wednesday morning and detained three men who now face murder allegations.

The law officers raided 20 dwellings in San Rafael Abajo de Desamparados in a section known as La Tabla, said the Poder Judicial. They also detained a woman who was accused of having a stash of drugs in her dwelling. The locations raided included what is known as a bunker, a fortified dwelling used for the storage, sale and consumption of drugs.

Detained were men identified as Segura García, Salas Barley and Flores Umaña, said the Poder Judicial. Salas has the full name of Jordan José Salas Barley. He is accused of being one of two triggermen in the murders of a man identified as Kevin Díaz Moraga Sept. 10 and one identified as Cristian Rodríguez Flores, Oct. 23.

The Poder Judicial said that the murders were carried on the orders of the man identified as Segura García. Díaz died on public street, and  Rodríguez died while in a vehicle. A companion escaped.

The woman who was arrested was identified by the last names of  Mora Céspedes. The Poder Judicial said she had cocaine and marijuana in her home. The Fuerza Pública said they confiscated crack there, too, and said she was 27.

Drugs were found in other locations as were firearms, including an AK-47, a homemade shotgun, four handguns and a machine pistol.

Informal sources said that police were forced to kill a pit bull at one location and then located, tranquilized and removed about 40 other dogs.

Judicial Investigating Organization photo
These are the confiscated weapons and drugs.

This is not the first time that police raided the notorious LaTabla. Last month they did not find those there were seeking.

Prosecutors also are investigating other crimes, including the harboring of a teen runaway.

Hotel header

Tarpon Lodge

Vista Ballena

La Parcela

Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

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. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 229
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More Cuban migrants enter country from the border with Panamá
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nearly 200 more Cubans entered Costa Rica Wednesday at the southern border. They joined the estimated 1,600 Cuban migrants already here.

The foreign ministry said that the minister, Manuel González, has met with Costa Rica's Roman Catholic bishops in an effort to enlist the church in helping with the Cuban migrants.

Other Costa Rican officials are trying to prevail on other countries for help with the migrants.

Nicaragua closed its border to the migrants Sunday, and reports from Peñas Blancas in the north said that all border traffic is slowed there.

The Cubans are hoping to take advantage of the U.S. Cuban Adjustment Act, a 1966 piece of Cold War legislation that gives special treatment to Cuban migrants.

Still the migrants are illegal in Costa Rica, which requires a visa issued in the home country for Cuban visitors. The Direccion General de Migración y Extranjería issued the migrants seven-day visas, an emergency measure when they

turned up Thursday at the southern border. That was before Nicaragua closed the northern border.

That action is interpreted as an effort by Cuban authorities to prevent any more mass exits from the Communist country.

Ecuador allows Cubans to enter without much red tape, so those who fly there from Cuba can get land transportation through Colombia and into Panamá.

The migrants are in a series of shelters put up by the national emergency commission. Many are young men, but there are some families with children.

Still unknown are the attitudes of other countries to the north. The migrants would have to pass through Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and México to reach the United States if they managed to get though Nicaragua.

Immigration officials say that as many as 4,000 Cubans passed through Costa Rica this year. The current situation came into public view because the migrants lost their local connections when Costa Rica rolled up a human smuggling ring earlier this month. The ring charged $5,000 plus other fees to shepherd Cubans to the United States.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; 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.


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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
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Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
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Unfurnished 400-sq. ft. apartment, with modern kitchen, located on beautiful Junquillal Beach is waiting for you. Sea Turtles are common to this beach. Great area for surfing one of C.R.'s premier surf spots or boogie boarding. Close to a market, restaurants and more touristy areas - Playa Negra and Tamarindo, if you want shopping, etc. This area is a great community. If you are looking for a nice relaxing area, this is it. $500 month + electric, visit our Web page -  - for more info, photos and to view a video. Or call (506) 5004-3473.

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
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Real estate for rent

house for rent
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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 
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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 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

Real Estate
About us
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 229
Real Estate
About us

New Islamic video issues
threat to New York City

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Islamic State released a new video Wednesday evening threatening New York City.

It shows what appears to be an explosive device, which is then zipped inside someone’s leather jacket. Next, the video shows shots of New York’s famous Times Square.

The New York Police Department was quick to point out that some of the footage used in the video was old. 

“There is no current threat to the city at this time,” tweeted J. Peter Donald, police director of communication. But he added that the propaganda video is a reminder New York City remains a top terrorist target. He said the city is on alert.

“We will remain at a heightened state of vigilance and will continue to work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the entire intelligence community to keep the city of New York safe.”

The threat to New York follows one made against Washington, D.C.,  Monday in an Islamic State video which also threatened all countries “that take part in the crusader campaign.”

President Barack Obama’s top adviser on counterterrorism told MSNBC Wednesday that there is no “credible threat” against Washington, D.C.

Some Turkish soccer fans
boo brief silence for France

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Booing and chants were reportedly heard at a soccer game Tuesday in Istanbul during a pre-match moment of silence for the victims of last week’s Paris attacks.

Thousands of Turkish soccer fans at a match between their national team and that of Greece drowned out the memorial with jeers and chants that included "Allahu Akbar," which means "God is great.”

After the game, the Turkish team's manager, Fatih Terim, slammed his own supporters.

“We're staging a moment of silence for people that have died,” he said. “Can't we be patient for one minute? When we go abroad, we're not able to explain this. It doesn't reflect well.”

This was not the first such incident. In October, soccer fans chanted pro-Islamic slogans during a moment of silence for the victims of twin terrorist bombings in the capital, Ankara. The attack was blamed on the Islamic State.

Researchers with Asian roots
claim discrimination by U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Some Congressional members and Asian American groups are calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate what they say is a trend of Asian American scientists being suspected of spying for China.

A Temple University physics professor, Xi Xiaoxing, and Sherry Chen, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, were accused of spying for China. The government later dropped the cases against them.

At a news conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Xi and Ms. Chen, both naturalized U.S. citizens, told their stories of being arrested by the FBI in front of coworkers and family members. Both said they are innocent and were unfairly targeted because of their race.

The U.S. government accused Xi of scheming to violate a non-disclosure agreement by sharing U.S. company technology with Chinese entities. Xi was arrested on May 21 and charged with four counts of wire fraud.

Ms. Chen was arrested in October 2014. She was accused of downloading sensitive material and providing it to the Chinese government. Although the charges have been dropped, she has not been allowed to return to work.

U.S. must correct mistakes, Ms. Chen says.  She called for the government to admit its mistake.

"If they are wrong, they should correct it,” she said. “There is no reason not to allow me to return to work," she said.

There has been an increase in the number of Chinese Americans accused of spying for China in the last few years.

Peter Zeidenberg, the lawyer for both Xi and Ms. Chen, said he believes it has a lot to do with the cyber issues between the U.S. and China.

"There is tremendous concern in our government about perceived cyberattacks and economic espionage that they attribute to China, and as a result they are under a great deal of pressure to do something," Zeidenberg said.

"When you are under pressure to do things, sometimes you don't take sufficient care, you do due diligence, and you move too quickly,” he said. “You don't move with the appropriate care that you should take before you indict.  I think that's what happened with these cases."

Some members of the Congressional Asian Pacific Americans Caucus called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether Asian Americans are unfairly targeted as spy suspects.

Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, said it appears to be more than a coincidence.

"If it is just one case, that might be a mistake,” he said. “But when it's multiple cases, you now have a pattern. We deserve an explanation from the Department of Justice."

The chairwoman of the Asian Pacific Americans Caucus, Rep. Judy Chu, another California Democrat, raised the two cases with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who defended the way investigations are conducted.

“I can state to you unequivocally that the Department of Justice does not focus investigations on any individual on the basis of their race or their national origin," Lynch said.

2020 census might contain
Middle Eastern category

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For 71 years, the United States has classified Americans of Middle Eastern and North African ancestry as white, but the federal government is now considering a plan to give this group of Americans its own classification on the next U.S. census.

It’s a move Arab American civil rights groups have spent decades advocating for because, while people of Middle Eastern and North African ancestry are legally white, the reality is that, in everyday life, this population is rarely perceived or treated as white.

“You have popular perceptions of Middle Eastern and North African Americans as non-white and more than just non-white, but as prospective terrorists, national security threats, subversives,” said Khaled Beydoun, an assistant professor of law at Barry University in Florida. “You have this rift between legal status and popular and political conceptions of Middle Eastern and North African Americans’ identities.”

A new classification, Middle East or North African, is currently being tested and could make its debut on the next census in 2020. It will be listed as  MENA.

The U.S. census, which takes place every 10 years, seeks to count every resident in the United States. States use the census information to redraw their congressional districts, while communities use it to plan where to build schools, roads, and hospitals. The data is also useful to governments when it comes to the allotment of funds and support.

No one knows exactly how many Arab Americans there are. The U.S. Census estimates there are 1.9 million. However, the Arab American Institute puts that number at 3.7 million. Hassan Jaber, executive director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Dearborn, Michigan, thinks the true number could be closer to almost 6 million.

The majority are concentrated in 10 states, including California, Michigan and New York, according to statistics from the American Community Survey.
The first Arabs to immigrate to America came in the 1880s.

Th Arab American Institute has long advocated for a special category for the Arab-American community, which it believes has been severely under-counted.

“The undercount, apart from stemming research on these communities, has severe consequences on access to certain services from language assistance at polling places to the enforcement of equal employment opportunities that are based on census data,” the organization's Margaret Lowry wrote on the institute’s blog.

A stand-alone designation could also lead to other legal benefits, such as access to government-based grants and loans, and race- and ethnicity-conscious affirmative action in higher education.

The proposed reclassification of Arab Americans is perceived by many to be a significant moment of racial progress.

However, it comes during a time of increased state surveillance and the emerging Countering Violent Extremism program, a new national security effort steered by the FBI, which works in conjunction with local police departments to combat terrorism. The effort, in effect, localizes national security and anti-terror policing, says Beydoun.

“If you have this MENA box which passes in 2020, the ability of the government to collect more precise and comprehensive data about communities that it associates with terrorism is greatly enhanced,” he said. “Even though that is a possible peril that arises from the MENA box, I’m still a strong supporter of it.”

Beydoun succinctly summed up the dilemma facing Arab Americans in an essay he wrote for the Michigan Law Review.

“For a population boxed out for decades,” he wrote, “closer scrutiny reveals that being boxed in may be an even more perilous position.”

House plans vote today
to block Syrian refugees

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. House of Representatives is planning to vote today on a bill sponsored by the Republican majority that would pause the Obama administration's program to resettle Iraqi and Syrian refugees to the United States. The president is threatening to veto it.

On Wednesday, new Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke on the House floor about last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

“All of us were shaken by the events . . . but the world community will rally together and terror will not prevail,” he said.

Ryan said the attacks are a reminder that there is evil out there and it cannot be ignored or contained.

He said the American people are uneasy after the attacks and need reassurance that the United States is doing all it can to vet asylum seekers from the violence in Iraq and Syria.

In a statement issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the White House said the House bill would add unnecessary and impractical requirements to the screening process for refugees.

"Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis," the statement says, the president would veto the bill.

The bill already faces Democratic opposition. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats have come out strongly against any measures to block Syrian and Iraqi refugees, saying they already are rigorously vetted under the present system. 

The ranking Democratic member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, said the United States should not slam the door on those who are facing the same terror from Islamic State militants as the Paris victims.

Survey documents a lack
of global financial literacy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two out of three adults worldwide are financially illiterate, according to a report published Wednesday.

The 2014 Gallup survey of 150,000 people in 148 nations asked people to answer questions about risk, inflation, and compound interest.

Researchers from the World Bank and Georgetown University analyzed the data, and found most people got at least half the answers wrong. Men generally got slightly better test scores than women.

Respondents in Scandinavian nations were the best in the world with around seven out of ten people getting mostly correct answers. At the bottom of the list came Yemen, Albania, and Afghanistan where only about one in seven people passed the test.

Residents of the United States scored an unimpressive 14th place in the rankings, with 57 percent of people passing the brief exam. Compound interest was the topic that caused the most problems for Americans.

Study authors describe it as the largest and most comprehensive global measure of financial literacy to date.

Financial skills make a practical difference in peoples' lives, according to a separate study by the University of Kansas. It shows knowledgeable people are far more likely to save for emergencies and less likely to be carrying a burdensome level of debt.

Researchers report success
in growing vocal cord tissue

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Most people have temporarily lost their voice at some point due to laryngitis, a throat infection, or from too much screaming at events such as football games or concerts.

But for millions of people worldwide, damage to their vocal cords is permanent, according to Nathan Welham, a University of Wisconsin speech-language pathologist.

“Certain congenital problems or scarring or tissue loss following surgery … can cause substantial voice loss that can be very challenging to treat with our current methods,” he said. “These types of voice problems can have a devastating impact” on people’s personal and professional lives.

New research by Welham and his colleagues, documented in the journal Science Translational Medicine, involves growing vocal cord tissue in a laboratory.

To do this, larynx tissue was taken from a cadaver and from four individuals who had had their voice boxes removed for reasons other than cancer. The specialized cells were extracted and coaxed to grow on a three-dimensional collagen scaffold.

After about two weeks, the tissue had grown enough to implant into the cadavers of dogs. Once transplanted there, the regenerated vocal folds were grown to human size, which is between 15 to 18 millimeters in length and about one millimeter thick, Welham said.

The newly grown tissue was tested by attaching the engineered vocal chords to an artificial windpipe. Researchers then blew humidified air through the larynxes.

The engineered vocal tissue made an unnatural but encouraging sound, according to Welham.

"The voice sounds a little bit like a kazoo, kind of robotic sounding like, ‘Eeeeeee,’ “ he said. “Something like that. So, you would hear that sound and think, 'Gosh, that sounds synthesized or robotic. It doesn't sound so human.' But that's how it should sound in this context."

The new vocal cord tissue doesn't seem to trigger the body's immune response, according to researchers. That creates the possibility of transplanting the new vocal cords into humans.

In addition, the tissue may be naturally protected against attack by the body's immune system. There are some tissues, such as the corneas in the eye, that do not stimulate an immune rejection.

Human trials, however, are years away, Welham said.

Protesters are in evidence
at Manila trade summit

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of protesters clashed with anti-riot police Tuesday while attempting to march toward the U.S. embassy in Manila.

The protesters gathered just a few hours before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting began late Tuesday.

They attempted to march to a major road leading to the venues of the summit, but were blocked by police who erected impromptu fences.

Riot police scuffled with the demonstrators, who were chanting activist slogans and waving banners. Some of the protesters fainted in the ensuing melee.

The demonstrators criticized what they said was the organization's imperialist agenda.

A spokesman for the protesters accused the Filipino government of being a puppet of the United States and President Barack Obama.

Human rights and pro-labor groups have been protesting against the summit, saying it is a vehicle for corporations and rich nations to protect their interests at the expense of smaller economies.

The 21 member countries accounts for 60 percent of global output and nearly half of world trade
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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 sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)


There are many good reasons for moving to or investing in Costa Rica

Are you worried about the safety of the money in your 401k?  Do you think your government has painted a bullseye on all of your assets?  Do you believe it might be time to consider moving some money overseas just in case?  This property, at a distress sales price of only $140,000, should gross a 7-10% return this year and the bookings for this season aren’t all in yet.  The best part from a buyer’s standpoint is that it is utilizing only a fraction of its potential.  What’s wrong here?  Divorce, and a lack of funds needed to make the necessary value-added improvements.  Rental manager says rents could double with moderate invesement, but the current owners are unable to resolve those problems, so selling is their only way out.  This extra-large lot with its modern 2-bedroom home was intended to service a dozen or more apartments to be built on the rear, a really great plan, but that was before the wheels came off of the marriage.  It is a really good investment property in a very desirable location, earning a much better safe return than stocks and bonds, but it is also perfect for buyers who only want to follow the original plan and live in the existing home while building out the rest for a comfortable retirement.  Perfect, too, for the person who intends to move to Costa Rica in the future and wants to buy at today’s prices, but needs a property which will carry itself until that time comes.  To find out more about this opportunity contact: or phone 506-8377-8402.

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Fonseca two
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email:

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

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.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Pacific Sur montagee

These 2 lots are in the Pacific southern zone,
Tres Rio/Coronado de Osa. 

Will give a great deal on one of these lots, only $29,990.  Both of these lots have water, phone lines, Internet accessibility, electricity, easy 3 kms. access to the Costanera.  2-wheel drive accessible.  Close to new hospital, beautiful beaches and county services.  Financing available.   Lote 234, This corner lote is excellently located in lower Tres Rios.  Has 2 well-sculptured lots for 2 houses or one for multiunit cabins.  Lote 236,  1 1/2 hectare.  Big lote for building a grand house, with a smaller plantel for a cabin.  Small ocean view with great sunsets.  Watch the videos for more information, Planos,  and details.   Email: CR phone   2786-5555. USA call  760-536-4717 YouTube link for more real estate deals. 

Escazu villa
Escazú villa. spectacular 360 degree city and mountain views.
Enjoy the sunsets along with the sunrise

There are special properties, which are more than mere houses. Where you can appreciate moments where you build memories. Relaxing reading in the garden of 5000 sq. m. Places to enjoy moments with family or friends with large heated pool. Beautiful city views of San José with mountain view. Places, where you can enjoy the comforting warmth of the sun throughout the day with cool nights of living 1,300 meters up on your own Mountain Noel. You are away from all the noise of San José, yet you are only 15 minutes drive there. Costa Rica largest mall is also only 15-minutes drive away.
The main house four bedrooms with four bathrooms, large office with built-in wood cabinets, and beautiful hardwood ceilings throughout the whole house. The main house is 330 sq. m. For your guest, there is a self-contained apartment of 100 sq. m. consisting of two bedrooms and two baths. Nice layout with a living room and dining room and kitchen all have views. For being so near to the city and to have that much land is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The selling price is land value will throw in the house and the apartment. Price is $690,000. Contact

Osa home
Costa Rica Tropical Paradise Beach House For Sale
Tropical 5-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, South Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.

Located 8 km south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $775,000. Contact:
Watch this video for full details.

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

San Ramon
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!

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $380,000. Click HERE!

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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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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 229
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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
Taxi fare will be going down

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The price regulating agency is going ahead with a reduction in taxi fares even though industry representatives have protested.

The rate for the first kilometer will go from 645 to 625 colons, a cut of 20 colons or about four U.S. cents. The additional kilometers will be charged at 600 colons instead of 625 colons.

Rural taxis also will see a fare reduction, as will taxis designed for the disabled.

The Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos said lower fuel prices and the fact that the taxi fleet averages 10 years of age were reasons behind the cut. The agency also cited lower costs of repairs and a more favorable dollar exchange rate.

The decreases come despite a rule that taxi drivers must have an audible taxi meter for the benefit of the blind. Those cost more than $500 instead of the tradition meter, called a maria, which goes for a bit more than $200.

The new fares go into effect the day after publication in the official newspaper, La Gaceta.

Despite raids, kidnap victim still missing

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators say that an Heredia senior citizen was kidnapped for ransom because a family member lost a quantity of drugs.

Agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization staged seven raids and detained six persons Wednesday morning in Guápiles, Heredia, Guácimo and Tres Ríos.

The kidnap victim has the last name of  Bolaños. He is 71 and vanished Nov. 3. Despite the raids, agents have not located the kidnapped man, the agency said.

His family members told agents that they had been paying small sums to the kidnappers and had given them about $14,000 but that Bolaños has not been liberated. He is involved with industrial mechanics and left his home for his workplace in Santo Domingo de Heredia, said agents.

Agents confiscated two firearms and some 15 million colons in the raids, they said.

Five of the six made a court appearance Wednesday afternoon where prosecutors sought preventative detention.

New scanner will see whole body

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new full body PET scanner is being developed that could revolutionize how scientists see the inner workings of the human body, possibly leading to the development of better and safer drugs to target diseases such as cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.

Unlike X-rays and magnetic imaging, which provide images of bones and organs, PET scans are used to diagnose and track diseases by illustrating how organs and tissues function. But current PET scanners image only parts of the body.

A research team from the University of California Davis has received a $15.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build this first supersized PET scanner called Explorer.

PET scans use a radioactive substance to locate tumors and evidence of other diseases. Explorer employs much less radiation than the current PET tests, and captures images more quickly.

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From Page 7:

Bill designed to regulate online commerce

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers are considering a proposed law that would elevate and regulate electronic communications. Agreements reached via email, for example, would have the same status as those on paper, according to a draft of the bill.

The measure also restricts spam emails, includes privacy protection and outlines responsibilities of those firms providing Internet service and those making commercial offers electronically.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio would be in charge of enforcing the 39-article measure. The bill is modeled after similar legislation in Europe, and was written by Vilma Sánchez del Castillo, an expert in electronic law who is associated with the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, Spain.

The measure, No. 19012, is now in the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Económicos where it was praised Wednesday as legislation that would help small business and development. That praise came from Otto Rivera, executive director of the Cámara de Tecnología de Información y Comunicación.

To some extent the measure is a consumer bill because it outlines the rights of those doing business online.