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Published Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 232
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Dangerous storm expected to strengthen again
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Posted at 1 p.m.

Hurricane Otto has been reduced to a tropical storm, but forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center said that the system will be be a hurricane when it reaches Costa Rica tomorrow.

The system ran into drier air early today and the eyewall collapsed, the Miami center said. And the storm changed its course to the northwest. That gave some here the false hope that the system would not affect Costa Rica directly.

But the hurricane center said that the storm is moving over warmer water now and is likely to regain its hurricane statue.  In addition, they predict a shift to the south overnight and an increase in speed

At noon the storm was 155 miles or 250 kilometers east northeast of Limón with sustained winds of 70 mph or 110 kph.

Police officers are continuing to evict, sometimes by force, residents of the northern part of the county in anticipation of the storm’s landfall.

The map says it all. The unusual path forecast for Hurricane Otto takes it right across northern Costa Rica to the Pacific with the storm expected to make landfall Thursday afternoon at the border with Nicaragua.

U.S. Hurricane Center graphic

Hurricane Otto picks up speed and becomes stronger
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A large number of schools are closed in Limón province and the northern zone and many of the residents have been evacuated to safer locations.

Now all Costa Rican emergency crews can do is wait for the expected landfall of Hurricane Otto sometime Thursday.  At midnight the storm was about 210 miles (340 kilometers) east of Limón.  The storm had been poking along in the Caribbean all Tuesday at about 2 miles per hour on a due west course. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said early today that the speed had picked up to about 5 miles and hour and the storm was moving slightly more to the north at 285 degrees.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts with gradual strengthening expected until Otto makes landfall in Central America, the center said. That landfall is expected to be right at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border.

Then the storm is predicted to sweep over the border area through the north Pacific coast and into the ocean.

The center also warned of storm surges of from two to four feet and also of rip tides.

Rain was expected to be steady in the eastern half of the country for the next several days.

The storm is being monitored by U.S. Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the strengthened of the weather system was causing strong wind gusts in the Central Valley and the north Pacific.

Although Costa Rica has not hosted a hurricane

For updated information on Hurricane Otto and other breaking news during the year, expats should sign up for the A.M. Costa Rica daily digest that comes out early each morning. The mailing list also is used for emergency email notifications.


More hurricane news is HERE!

in nearly 200 years, emergency crews are well prepared because each rainy season brings various types of weather disasters.

Security ministry employees conducted a mandatory evacuation in places where the storm is likely to do the most damage. That effort included elements of the Fuerza Pública, the Policía de Fronteras, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea. Some evacuations were by air.

The communities included Delta Costa Rica, Calero, Las Barras, Tortuguero, Parismina and Boca Pacure. The land in northeast Costa Rica is low lying.  Tortuguero, for example, is a long strip of land between the Caribbean and the well-known canal. Barra del Colorado already is ankle deep in water from earlier rains. according to a resident.

When the hurricane hits, most of the dwellings there are expected to be demolished because they are not sturdy to begin with. There are only a few concrete block buildings in the community.

There is a good chance that many of the evacuated residents will not have homes to which they can return.

Storm refugees get a boat lift on the Río Colorado to a pickup point where they can get further away from where the storm is predicted to hit.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo

Expats have just a short time to prepare for storm
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the expected track of Hurricane Otto sweeping across northern Costa Rica, many expats are trying to prepare for the worst.

For those unfamiliar with hurricanes, the best bet is to find and be instructed by an expat who moved here from Florida, or, better yet, New Orleans.

Glenn Klima of Golfito says he lived near the Atlantic of the Gulf of Mexico for 55 years. He suggests getting cash from automatic tellers in case electricity is out for a long time.

He also said that stocking up on food is a good idea and included pet food on the list, if appropriate. Extra batteries, drinking and washing water as well as a full container of petroleum gas, if that is used as a heat source,l also are on his list.

Some who lived on Drake Bay in the Osa peninsula have freezers, and it was

finger-crossing time until the electricity came back last week. The state power company said there were thousands of outages in last week's storm. There are likely to be many more, thanks to Otto.

Dan Wise runs a fishing camp in Barra del Colorado, a place forecasters say is ground zero for the hurricane's arrival.

He was busy Tuesday issuing instructions to move boats far up the Río Colorado and stow expensive gear in a sturdy walk-in freeze.

He also noted that when residents of the community were evacuated Tuesday, crooks and other known law breakers were sent first so they would not have time to plunder homes and businesses.

He also said that those who have folding chairs and similar light furniture can keep them from the hurricane's grasp. "Throw them into the swimming pool," he said. "They will be there when the storm is over."

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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Residents of Barra del Colorado are being airlifted from their vulnerable community to Guápiles where they will either stay with relatives or in a shelter. Others left by boat.
Storm is bad news for tourism, commerce

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The commercial impact appears to be significant from the disruption caused by the approach of a potential hurricane.

Certainly there will be infrastructure damage with heavy rains and high seas pounding bridges and roadways. And tourism, mainly in the northern zone and the Caribbean coast, has come to a halt.

The InstitutoCostarricense de Turismo has been calling hospitality sites in the areas presumed to be affected. They are urging that tourists be evacuated.

Evacuation is what happened to some hotels in the southern zone when heavy rains hit there last week.

Merchants who were expecting a windfall from the traditional shopping the day ofter Thanksgiving have to make other plans.

Some are planning to move the Black Friday shopping frenzy to Dec. 2, a week from this Friday.

The big question is how strong will be the storm's impact on the Central Valley where most of the retail activity takes place. Otto is not a big storm, but it is expected to grow. And even hurricanes that come nowhere near Costa Rica frequently inflict damage with their lengthy arms.

Among commercial operations that have announced they will close is the Deposito Comercial de Golfito where many Costa Ricans go for major purchases. The Deposito provides certain tax benefits, and it is run by a government agency, the Junta de Desarrollo Regional de la Zona Sur. The stores within are under private ownership, but they have no option but to close when the Deposito management says so.

The  Ministerio de Seguridad Pública reports that it has asked the Unión de Clubes de Fútbol de la Primera División  to postpone championship games scheduled for this week.

The  Fuerza Pública provides a lot of officers as security for the soccer games, and they are expected to be busy elsewhere.


The  Asociación Club de Leones and BAC/Credomatic has begun a campaign to collect money for those who suffer damage from the hurricane. The money will go to buy food and personal hygiene products as well as prepare homes, the organizations said.

The link is HERE!

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados has formed a commission to monitor and address any potential effects from the hurricane on the country’s water systems.  The instituto said it will constantly monitor the different water treatment plants to measure quality . That information will then be passed on to the national emergency commission.


The courts and other judicial offices in Limón have suspended work. That includes the  Tribunales del Primer Circuito Judicial de la Zona Atlántica.


The  Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal is warning livestock owners to get their animals out of vulnerable locations and put them in a safe, high place with avaialbe food. The animal health agency also said that those headed to poublic shelters should not take their pets and make other arrangements.

truck lift
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
In accessible communities of Limón province, evacuations went by vehicle, including this dump truck and school buses.

Donation links open for this year's  Teletón

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tuesday all the platforms of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad opened up for donations in anticipation of this year's Teletón. The event is to be held Dec. 2 and 3 in the Banco Nacional arena at Hatillo. The organizer is the Club Activo 20-30.

Beginning in 1984, Teletón dedicates its resources and donations towards improving children’s lives. Accordingly, the program gathers together various collaborators and sponsors that include in their ranks: television channels, members of the media, artists, drivers, children, young people, and adults for the same goal.

This goal has actually become a reality with the donations funding the construction of rehabilitation centers for the disabled to the equipping of varying children’s hospitals in Costa Rica. Last year, Teletón raised 300 million colones through the platforms of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad alone. That number was around 35 percent of all revenues earned.

This year, Teletón seeks to raise 690 million colones for the expected purchase of high-tech medical equipment and varying construction needs of the Hospital Nacional de Niños particularly in the areas of pediatric and neonatology services. Those using Kölbi for their cellular service can repeatedly make donations ranging from 1,000 to 9,000 colones as much as they wish. This can be done by texting a code symbolizing the specified donation amount to the particular number. For more information and how to donate, visit

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 232
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Turrialba institution will direct regional coffee rust initiative
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A global initiative against coffee rust that should benefit more than 330,000 families of small or medium-sized coffee producers in Central America and the Dominican Republic is now being run by a local Costa Rican educational institution.

For Costa Rica, coffee represents both a major crop. In the most recent report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Costa Rica’s total coffee crop reached nearly 1,654,617 60 kilogram bags.

The actions being taken are part of the Programa Centroamericano de Gestión Integral de la Roya del Café. Under an overarching agreement between the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura and the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza known as Catie, extensive research in the management of coffee production will be conducted on a regional basis. The initiative overall is expected to be implemented until 2021.

Catie is based in Turriabla in Cartago. It is an international institute focusing on agricultural development as well as Catie is based in Turriabla in Cartago. It is an international institute
focusing on agricultural development as well as biological conservation in Central America and the Caribbean. The agreement allows Catie to take over the regional actions in activities such as: applied research, field validation, technological transport and support for coffee producers until 2020.

Catie’s efforts will focus primarily on the coffee producers in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua under the Programa. The organizers involved said they hope that this program will assist in the recovery of the regional coffee production.

These actions comes as a response to the severe outbreak of coffee rust in 2012, which led to the loss of 20 percent of coffee grain production in the countries being aided. These are: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. This fungus is devastating to coffee crops and is described by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the most important disease of coffee worldwide.

The disease prompted an emergency declaration in Costa Rica.

The European Union is providing money for the project.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 232
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Dementia declining especially among the educated, study findd
By the University of Michigan news staff

In a hopeful sign for the health of the nation’s brains, the percentage of American seniors with dementia is dropping, a new study finds.

The downward trend has emerged despite something else the study shows: A rising tide of three factors that are thought to raise dementia risk by interfering with brain blood flow, namely diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. 

Those with the most years of education had the lowest chances of developing dementia, according to the findings published in JAMA Internal Medicineby a team from the University of Michigan. This may help explain the larger trend, because today’s seniors are more likely to have at least a high school diploma than those in the same age range a decade ago.

With the largest generation in American history now entering the prime years for dementia onset, the new results add to a growing number of recent studies in the United States and other countries that suggest a downward trend. These findings may help policy-makers and economic forecasters adjust their predictions for the total impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions.

“Our results, based on in-depth interviews with seniors and their caregivers, add to a growing body of evidence that this decline in dementia risk is a real phenomenon, and that the expected future growth in the burden of dementia may not be as extensive as once thought,” says lead author Kenneth Langa, a professor in the university.

“A change in the overall dementia forecast can have a major economic impact,” he added. “But it does nothing to lessen the impact that each case has on patients and caregivers. This is still going to be a top priority issue for families, and for health policy, now and in the coming decades.”

Langa and colleagues used data and cognitive test results from a long-term health and retirement study to evaluate trends from 2000 to 2012 among a nationally representative sample of more than 21,000 people age 65 or over.

In all, 11.6 percent of those interviewed in 2000 met the criteria for dementia, while in 2012, only 8.8 percent did. Over that time, the average number of years of education a senior had rose by nearly an entire year, from 12 to 13.

“It does seem that the investments this country made in education after the Second World War are paying off now in better brain health among older adults,” says David R. Weir,

senior author of the paper and director of the health and

retirement study. “But the number of older adults is growing so rapidly that the overall burden of dementia is still going up.”

Even as these new results come out, the health and retirement study team is in the middle of another large study of dementia in the U.S. that will help refine the techniques for better understanding who has dementia in the American population, and allow them to be used in other countries around the world where sister studies are also collecting data.

Langa notes that the differences in dementia risk according to education level mark an important health disparity now and likely into the future.

“More Baby Boomers have completed some higher education than any previous generation, but the trend toward more education appears to be leveling off in the U.S. And there are clear disparities in educational attainment according to wealth and ethnicity,” he says. “These differences in education and wealth may actually be creating disparities in brain health and, by extension, the likelihood of being able to work and be independent in our older years.”

Years of formal education was the only marker tracked among the study participants. But, says Langa, it is likely that the other ways that people challenge and use their brains throughout life, reading, social interactions, what occupation they have, and how long they work, may also have an impact on dementia risk in later life.

All of these pursuits can help build up a person’s cognitive reserve of brain pathways that can survive the assault of the physical factors that lead to dementia.

Researchers hope to learn much more about the cognitive reserve concept with new funding from recent federal initiatives that aim to increase dementia-related research and discovery.

Growing evidence has shown that dementia in older adults is usually due to multiple causes, including Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by a buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain, as well as vascular dementia, which results from brain tissue not receiving enough blood due to blockages and leaks in the brain’s blood vessels.

For those who do develop dementia, Langa notes, the challenge for America going forward will be to address the need for long-term care at home and in institutions, in the face of smaller families with fewer members to act as caregivers.

Even if the slide in dementia incidence continues, the Baby Boom generation’s sheer size will mean challenges for those who fund care or provide it.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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!

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes

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

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)

Edificio Morazan
Fully furnished, American style apartments for rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amón. Cable, internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,  hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry.   Rate  $650 per month plus electricity. 1/2 month security deposit. No lease.  Larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be the best for the prospective tenants to visit the building to see the apartment.  For more information contact
Or call Hilda at 506-2221-7161.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 232
Real Estate
About us

Axiom new ad

Trump seems to back away
from some campaign themes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump appears to be backing away from some of his firmly held campaign themes, including putting his Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, in jail.

Trump met Tuesday with reporters and editors from The New York Times, the venerable newspaper he condemned during the campaign as dishonest and a failing publication, but now says he respects and reads.

Trump strongly hinted that he has no intention to call for a further investigation into Mrs. Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of State and questions surrounding the charitable Clinton Foundation.

"I don't want to hurt the Clintons. I really don't. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways ... the campaign was vicious," he said.

Trump said investigating Clinton is not something he feels very strongly about.

"I think it would be very, very divisive for the country," Trump told reporters and editors at The New York Times, "my inclination would be for whatever power I have on the matter is to say let's go forward."

Trump constantly referred to Mrs. Clinton as "Crooked Hillary" during the campaign. He stood by contentedly at rallies and listened to crowds shouting "lock her up!" He had promised to have a special prosecutor to look into her case and even directly threatened her with jail during one of the presidential debates.

Trump also told The Times that clean air is vitally important and he thinks there is some connectivity between climate change and human activity.

He once called global warming a Chinese-created hoax. But he is now backing down from his threat to pull out the U.S. from the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

"I'm looking at it very closely. I have an open mind" about the accord, he said.

President-elect says he'll dump
Pacific Partnership right away

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump says that he will withdraw from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in office, part of a series of moves aimed at putting America first.
In a video message posted to YouTube Monday, Trump called the treaty a potential disaster for the U.S. "Instead, we will negotiate, fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores," he said.

Trump continued to meet Tuesday in New York with more candidates to fill key jobs in his new government and people with expertise on policy issues facing Washington.

The president-elect said he is considering naming Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, as the Housing and Urban Development chief in his cabinet. In a comment on Twitter, Trump called Carson "a greatly talented person who loves people."
Throughout his campaign for president Trump opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves 12 Asia-Pacific nations, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. He touted his negotiating ability and said he would get new agreements that benefit the U.S.

Ministers from Trans-Pacific Partnership countries signed the agreement in February, saying their goal was to "enhance shared prosperity, create jobs, and promote sustainable economic development for all of our nations."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday the treaty is "meaningless without the United States."
"This would disturb the fundamental balance of benefits, which is also why renegotiation is impossible," he said.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said Trump's position is disappointing, but that there are alternatives available, including the other 11 countries reaching their own trade agreement.
"He campaigned against TPP, but the United States isn't an island," Key said of Trump. "It can't just sit there and say it's not going to trade with the rest of the world."

Without the U.S., the Trans-Pacific Partnership cannot go into effect. That is because of a provision that says it either needs to be approved by all 12 signatories, or by at least six of them if they together account for 85 percent of the combined gross domestic product of the entire group. The United States represents 60 percent of the combined GDP, so there is no way to meet that 85 percent threshold without U.S participation.

The Obama administration touted the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a benefit for workers in the U.S. and the other 11 countries because of new standards for wages, hours, working conditions and prohibitions against child labor.

Officials also said U.S. companies, particularly small businesses, would be able to vastly expand their exports through the elimination of tariffs, and that the deal would bring stronger standards for transparency, anti-corruption, and environmental protection.

The promises Trump spelled out Monday for when he takes office in two months did not include anything about construction of his much-touted wall at the U.S.-Mexico border to thwart the stream of illegal migrants into the United States.

The president-elect said that on his first day in office, he would tell the Department of Labor to investigate "abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker" and ask the Defense Department to come up with a plan to keep the country's vital infrastructure safe from "cyber attacks and all other form of attacks."

Trump wants to do away with regulations targeting the energy industry, including those involving shale and clean coal, which he says will create "many millions of high paying jobs. That's what we want. That's what we've been waiting for."

As part of his plan to reform government, Trump said that for every new regulation, he wants to eliminate two existing ones.

He said his transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently and effectively, and continued meeting with a parade of people being considered for jobs in the incoming administration.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii also met with Trump. She is a Democrat who endorsed Bernie Sanders during his bid for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton, but agrees with Trump's opposition to increased U.S. military involvement in Syria.

Colombia and rebels to sign
new peace accord Thursday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Colombian government and the country's largest rebel group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, known as the FARC, are set to sign a renegotiated peace deal Thursday.

The revised document will be signed in Bogota between rebel leader Rodrigo Londono and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last month for his efforts to end the conflict with the insurgent group.

The government and representatives of the FARC have been negotiating in Cuba for more than four years to bring an end to the conflict that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions in the Andean country.

Last month, voters taking part in that referendum surprisingly rejected the first accord. After it is signed, the new deal will be submitted to congress for approval, rather than put to another referendum.
Ever since the original deal's defeat at the polls, the FARC and government negotiators have worked around the clock, introducing some 50-plus changes to make it more acceptable to conservative Colombians who overwhelmingly despise the rebels.

Despite the amendments, opposition leader and former President Alvaro Uribe on Tuesday rejected the deal, saying the changes are merely cosmetic.

Uribe requested a meeting with the rebel leadership to discuss his concerns, but his overtures were soundly rejected. “Uribe governed badly, corrupted and bled Colombia during eight years and never wanted peace. He wanted to defeat the FARC, but he couldn’t,” FARC commander Pablo Catatumbo, one of the rebel commanders in Bogota, wrote on his Twitter account.

Santos has made clear there is no more room for negotiation. In a joint government-FARC statement Tuesday, negotiators said they were still working on the procedures that will be used for ratification in Congress, where the government coalition has a solid majority.

Rights groups asks Obama
to dismantle Muslim registry

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of civil rights advocacy groups have asked President Barack Obama to dismantle a program once used to register foreigners from a list of predominantly Muslim countries, in a bid to stave off efforts by Donald Trump's incoming administration to revive the system.

In a letter addressed to Obama and posted online Tuesday, 198 local and national organizations around the U.S. called for an executive action to immediately rescind the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System.

"NSEERS was a discriminatory policy that ran counter to the fundamental American values of fairness and equal protection," the groups wrote, adding that it was "ineffective as a counterterrorism tool, has resulted in tremendous harm for individuals who were directly affected, and has disrupted relationships with immigrant communities."

The post-9/11 George W. Bush-era policy, created by the Department of Justice, was gutted in 2011 during Obama's first term, but the framework remains in place. President-elect Trump and several advisers have publicly expressed interest in focusing registration and surveillance efforts broadly on Muslims, and in reviving the system.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which advocated for the suspension of it, notes there were no terrorism-related convictions among the more than 90,000 entries in the database. The list included foreign visitors arriving from certain countries where there was thought to be a terrorist threat. Mostly students, the people on the list were required to register and then check in occasionally.

A member of Trump's transition team, Kris Kobach, played a role in crafting the registry. Kobach's name has surfaced as a contender to lead the Department of Homeland Security, which oversaw the registration program.

Kobach was seen leaving a meeting with the president-elect Sunday in New York, and carrying a paper that included a top line item of update and reintroduce the system as part of a strategic plan for the first year.

The Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas, where Kobach is secretary of State, captured the picture of Kobach leaving Trump Tower and reported on the document's contents, much of which had been addressed publicly by Kobach in recent weeks. Kobach said last week that Trump's policy advisers were discussing its reinstatement.

Homeland Security effectively ended the program in 2011 by removing the countries on the list, declaring it redundant given immigration procedures, and adding that it no longer provides any increase in security. The action gutted the system, but didn't strike the program from the books, leaving the option open for a revival.

"Unless this program is rescinded, the Trump administration will come into office with a framework already in place to quickly implement a so-called Muslim registry," National Iranian American Council Executive Director Jamal Abdi said. His was one of the groups that signed the letter. "This discriminatory framework must be removed before it can be exploited and innocent people are targeted."

Trump campaigned heavily on rhetoric about Muslims, immigrants and refugees beginning in 2015. These comments were widely seen as disparaging of those groups. That talk resonated with his base of supporters, who also rallied around his declarations to build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

Trump sometimes conflated the groups, including one exchange with a reporter in which he answered questions about a Muslim registry last November with a response about illegal immigration.

Then, in December 2015, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S. until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." He erroneously cited a Pew Research Center study to support his claim that hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world have great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Pew says no such study exists.

Abed Ayoub, policy director at the Washington, D.C.-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which spearheaded Tuesday’s request to the president, calls Trump's interest in surveilling mosques and targeting Muslims for additional surveillance problematic.

"We'll fight against whatever the next administration seeks to implement," Ayoub said. "We'll make sure our voice is heard."

He's confident the work to organize the communities that would be affected by such policies are stronger now than when the program was first implemented.

"We do have strong organizations, who will fight for your rights, fight for your liberties. A lot of the things he's suggesting will be struck down in court," Ayoub said.

The following are the 25 home countries of Muslims subject to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Half of world unconnected
to internet, U.N. report says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than half the global population remains unconnected to the internet, according to a United Nations report released Tuesday.

This year, 84 percent of the world's population had access to mobile broadband networks, but only 47 percent were actually connected, mostly because high costs were a barrier to either service or owning a mobile device, according to the report by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union. The report analyzes information and communication technology development.

The report noted, however, that the cost of mobile cellular plans has decreased steeply since 2015, noting a 20 percent fall in prices across countries it deemed least developed. Broadband prices are also down, although they remained significantly high and clearly unaffordable in a number of the least developed countries, the report said.

Progress was also noted for general connectivity, with nearly all of 175 countries covered by the index having improved their values on the International Telecommunications Union’s development index.

The U.N. stressed the importance of internet and mobile access across the world, but also how international telecommunication can be an indicator of education levels and socioeconomic status.

"To bring more people online, it is important to focus on reducing overall socioeconomic inequalities," said  Houlin Zhao, the International Telecommunications Union secretary-general, "Education and income levels are strong determinants of whether or not people use the internet. ICTs will be essential in meeting each and every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals," he added, referring to a number of goals set by the U.N. to tackle poverty and inequality by 2030.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Shipping Containers and homes for sale.
New 20-foot containers and 40-foot available. Call us at 8307-8666 or visit  Stop by our workshop and walk through our model home in San Ramón.
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
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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!

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Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Sotheby logo

Costa Rica Sotheby's International Realty is a boutique residential property brokerage firm in San Jose Costa Rica dedicated to creating long-term value for its customers and assist you to reach your property goals in Costa Rica. Whether purchasing or selling, our guarantee is an amazing experience for you and your family. You can rely on bespoke advertising and discretion, independent guidance interchangeable with the brand of the Sotheby since 1744. To those who value the exceptional, Sotheby's International Realty® is identifying properties throughout Costa Rica and local Real Estate service providers that offer unrivaled access to qualified individuals. We encourage you to meet with our representatives and preview our on-line portfolio of outstanding properties in Costa Rica.
Click the link to find the finest Costa Rica Real Estate (

Sotheby's International Realty
Phone: 506 2253.5333
Phone: 506.8343.2662

                                  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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Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


Axiom one

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
Click HERE!

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:

Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579

Rich Coast
Rich Coast Realty
REDUCED by $30k! Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k.
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Panoramic Ocean View three-bedroom house on 4.7 acres, $398k, Ultimate in privacy!
Three-bedroom house and pool near the beach in Herradura, $199k.
Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Residency, etc. 12 years’ experience in Costa Rica real estate.
Have a property for sale in the Central or South Pacific, or in Guanacaste? We want to hear from you. We get results.

USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Ocean view

Vote San Ramon, New Construction, and Ocean View
Possible Owner Financing on this brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 bath all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is late November.  See the Virtual Tour:   
or click here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at
8755-6743 or if calling from the States call 509-570-1928
or email

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

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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Live the dream!
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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news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 232
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Bamboo raft
Chris Valdez photo via  Pennsylvania State University
Chris Valdez adjusts on of his bamboo plant rafts.
Soggy system designed to clean water

By the Pennsylvania State University news staff

A university student who interned at the Universidad de Costa Rica has a floating enviornmental use for bamboo. The student built rafts for bamboo to hold plants in watery areas with the goal or cleaning polluted water.

He is Chris Valdez, who worked at the  Fabio Baudrit in Alajuela over the summer break at his school,  Pennsylvania State University.

His researched focused on converting organic waste into natural energy and studying different types of plants that clean up polluted water.

“Improving environmental health has grown to be one of my biggest passions. It’s concerning to me that many people are so unconcerned about taking care of the world they live in,” said Valdez, a biological engineering senior at Penn State.

“The plants we used are mostly water hyacinth, which is pretty common,” said Valdez. “But the most challenging part was that we had to physically get into a pond to work with these big floating plants. It was fun, though.”

One valuable lesson Valdez said he learned during his internship was that research has to be presented in a way that’s both profitable to clients and also friendly to the environment.

“We have to find a way that is mutually beneficial, or it would be really hard to convince those companies to adopt new systems and greener technologies,” he explained.

Valdez’s parents had careers in landscape design, which he said inspired him to pursue a career in an environmental field. Specifically, his father previously owned a small landscape company that he ran from home.

“Thanks to my dad, I have a tremendous appreciation for plants and agriculture,” said Valdez.

Reflecting on his own experiences working in the landscaping business, Valdez said, “I saw other small businesses using careless practices with lawn care chemicals that pollute our environment. That really bothered me. If small businesses are doing this, perhaps big corporations are doing it, too. I want to help prevent this from happening.”

Nobel winner to address conference today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Robert Huber, the winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in chemistry, is offering a lecture at the Universidad de Costa Rica today. Huber won the prize in recognition for his work in examining the protein structure within bacteria that allowed the organism to complete the process of photosynthesis.

This research led to the discovery as to how bacterial photosynthesis works. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants and other organisms convert the energy produced by light into their own food.

Huber will be closing a bioltechnology conference at 4:30 p.m. today. It will be held the auditorium of the Educación Continua building. The entire symposium will also be available to watch live online through the Universidad de Costa Rica’s social media networks.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Promotional office can now be found in Madrid

by the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Spain has become the newest location for the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica, otherwise known as Procomer.

The promotional organization was first set up by the Costa Rican government around 20 years ago to formally organize the promotion of Costa Rican goods and services throughout the world. Costa Rica continues to advance their formal, commercial relationship with Spain through a series of agreements such as the memorandum of understanding signed between Procomer and its Spanish cousin ICEX. The memorandum also promoted the exchange of information on economic, legal, and foreign trade legislation as well as investments.

Procomer’s new offices in Madrid will seek to identify any Spanish buyers for Costa Rican goods and services, coordinate any trade missions or business agendas and help to participate in fairs.

“Culturally and idiomatically, Spain is a great market for Costa Rican products,” said Alexander Mora, the minister of Comercio Exterio and the president of the board of directors for Procomer.

Commercially, exports to Spain have grown by 20 percent each year according to Pedro Beirute Prada, the general manager for Procomer. Last year, Costa Rican exports to Spain amounted to $126.3 million, and Costa Rica continues to be the majority supplier of tropical fruits to Spain.

For Doris Osterlof, the Costa Rican ambassador to Spain,  the new headquarters of Procomer is an example of the continued cooperation between the foreign ministry and Procomer. “We believe in economic diplomacy as an instrument of country promotion,” she said.