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Published Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 237
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Hurricane victims now face challenge from diseases
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cantons hit by Hurricane Otto now face a spike in illnesses in the aftermath.

The Ministerio de Salud said Tuesday that it had stemmed an outbreak of diarrhea in one of the public shelters. The ministry urged those seeking to help to abstain from sending prepared foods or foods in coolers. 

The outbreak in Upala may have been caused by food. The ministry has sent 91 more staffers into the zone, including some experts in epidemics, bringing the total to 376 health workers. Among these are about 250 workers from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Many of the ministry workers are in the disaster zone to spray for mosquitoes.

Although diseases carried by the mosquitoes

had been on the decline, health officials are expecting a spike in these, too.

Upala now is one of the four cantons that are on high alert. The other in the northern zone in  Bagaces. Two southwest Costa Rican cantons,  Golfito y Corredores, also are in that category.  A lesser alert still is in effect for La Cruz, Los Chiles and Guatuso in the north and Osa in the southwest.

Each faces similar health threats. So do cantons such as Liberia, Cañas, Tilarán, San Carlos, Sarapiquí, Pococí and Matina where there was less damage from the hurricane.

The work of assessing damage in the hard-hit areas continues six days after the hurricane left Costa Rican territory. The government still is prohibiting visits to the heavily damaged areas, and private air flights are restricted, too, in favor of emergency craft.

Christmas season begins at Teatro Nacional Thursday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Teatro Nacional will be holding the inauguration of its portal or nativity scene at 5 p.m. Thursday with the participation of the Instituto Nacional de la Música choir.

Three days later on Saturday, the theater will also play host to various choir groups from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The choir groups participating include the: Escuela Buenaventura Corrales Choir, the Estudio Coral Armentum, the Rondalla de Veteranos de la Universidad de Costa, and the Divertimento Choir. This is the event before the opening night of a contemporary ballet of “Alicía en el país de las maravillas” or “Alice in Wonderland.”

This ballet is the brainchild and under the direction of María Amalia Pendones. According to the Teatro Nacional’s information about the event provided on its web site, the work is a two-act ballet which expresses the story in multiple forms of dance from classical ballet to contemporary dance and hip hop as well as through video animation.

The theater says that the cast is split three ways with a total of around 200 persons involved. It includes many figures in the dance and theater worlds, the Web site says.

The contemporary and simple design for the show is by Oscar Soto, who the theater said has worked on several musicals including :West Side Story." Meanwhile, all music is the original work of Fabián Arroyo.

The ballet is set to open at 8 p.m. Saturday and will run at different times and dates until the closing show on Sunday Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. The Teatro Nacional’s Web site contains a calendar and showtimes HERE!

At the Teatro Melico Salazar on Avenida Segunda in San José the “El Cascanueces”or

A.M. Costa Rica/Conor Golden
Workman adds some decor to the nativity scene at the Teatro Nacional.

"The Nutcracker" begins a run Friday until Dec. 11.

In addition, registration to the portal competition is open this week for residents of San Ramón until Saturday.  There will be four categories in this years’ edition and a 125,000-colon prize given to the best portal in each category: traditional, artistic, biblical, and institutional.

Meanwhile, police presence will be increased throughout the capital and especially on the roads as the holidays represent some of their

most demanding periods in terms of resource allocation and use of manpower according to Mario Calderón, the director of the Policía de Tránsito. The plan includes a night and day, 24-hour presence to reduce the number of deaths in comparison to last year’s holiday season. Fuerza Pública officers also are out in holiday strength.

Other events happening around the capital include the Iluminación Ciudad de San José Friday at the Plaza de la Cultura where the Orquesta Sinfónica Infantil is expected to play from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There is also the Festival Cultural Navidad en el Parque happening on Dec. 4 in the Parque la Bolvia-Hatillo 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Former president Monge dies at 90

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Former president Luis Alberto Monge Álvarez, 90,  died late Tuesday night. The death was confirmed by the Partido Liberación Nacional of which he

was a co-founder in 1951.

Monge served as president from 1982 to 1986. He had been elected a member of the Asamblea Nacional at age 24 and later served as a minister and as ambassador to Israel. Perhaps his legislative contribution with the most impact was sponsoring a bill that created the system of Christmas bonuses or aguinaldos.

Monge took office in the wake of the troubled presidency of  Rodrigo Carazo
Odio. The Nicaraguan Contra war was waging in the north, and the economy had crashed under Carazo.

Monge is credited with reducing inflation and
putting the country on a firm economic footing.
Luis Monge
Luis Alberto Monge
Monge tried to distance the country from the war being waged by U.S. surrogates, but he was not completely successful.

The U.S. set up air bases in Costa Rica for arms trafficking. There were allegations of cocaine trafficking, too. The country was basically in a state of war with troops stationed on the Nicaraguan border and mines being used to restrict access.  A radio station in San José continually blaring anti-Sandinista propaganda.

Monge was succeeded by Óscar Arias Sánchez, who adopted a stronger position against the United States. During his administration the country barred White House advisers Oliver North and John M. Poindexter, former ambassador Lewis A. Tambs and C.I.A. station chief  Joseph F. Fernandez. Arias also participated in developing a peace treaty among the warring factions.

Monge, who was 90, became ill in his Santa Ana home Tuesday night and rescue workers took him to San Juan de Dios Hospital in San José where he died.

Despite the hour, there were many social media condolences.

Typically a former president is buried with extensive honors from the Catedral Metropolitana.

empty                                      chairs
Frente Amplio photo
Empty chairs can be seen in the legislature after the walkout.

Budget passed as lawmakers walk out

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff.

The nation's $8.9 billion national budget for next year received passage Tuesday for the second time in the same way it was approved initially. Nine lawmakers walked out of the evening legislative session to let the budget become approved automatically.

Six other lawmakers did not make the session. The budget gained initial approval automatically Sunday during a special legislative session when the quorum was broken.

Casa Presidencial quickly issued a statement saying that the budget reduction would harm operation of the Ministerio de Obras Pública y Transportes, the Policía de Control Fiscal, the Policía de Tránsito and the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia.

The budget of the Patronato, the child welfare agency was controversial because some in the legislature sought to restore it to the level requested by the executive branch. Frente Amplio said that the reduction was 57 percent of the agency's total budget.

The reduction was about 12  billion colons or about $21.8 million, but lawmakers also allocated money from the Patronato to the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. The budget of the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional also was cut.

The walkout Tuesday night was by four members of the Partido Liberación Nacional and three members of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, the same party that elected President Luis Guillermo Solís. The president did not win any friends in the legislature when he presented a proposed budget 12 percent higher than the current year.

Casa Presidencial said that the cuts would cause reductions in the operations of the Policía de Control Fiscal, the tax police, and prevent the purchase of new uniforms for the Policía de Tránsito. The cuts also would reduce the work at an asphalt plant run by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, it said.

Casa Presidencial acknowledged that the cut was just two-tenths of a percent of the entire budget.

By providing extra money to the security ministry, lawmakers seemed to ask to remove the pressure to pass a new corporate tax law, which is in the hopper awaiting expedited action.

The passage was automatic because the Constitution requires a new budget by Nov. 30 each year.

School kids enlisted against corruption

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Contraloría General de la República has created two pilot projects aimed at reducing corruption by winning hearts and minds of children.

This training was tested at the Escuela Alejandro Rodríguez Rodríguez in Asserí, which has 345 children, according to their report. It is intended to instill in the youth a general intolerance against corruption, encourage them to be more active and less indifferent to these issues and promote a responsible participation as national citizens, said the Contraloría.

These exercises are considered model projects and the Ministerio de Educación Pública is cooperating with the Contraloría to implement them at the national level. The chief tenets of the exercises being conducted in long-term experiential as well as creative activities are: efficient use of resources, rectitude, good faith, non-discrimination, and legality. Again, it is all for the purpose of developing ethics and civic virtue among children at an early age.

The Contraloría intends to expand this project to include other schools such as the Escuela Roosevelt de Montes de Oca, the Rafael Francisco Osejo at Sabana Sur and at the Salon Comunal Cubujuquí in Heredia Centro. The agency said this will add approximately 1,740 children to the program.

The Contraloría is the nation's budget watchdog that has to pass on major contracts.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 237
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Majority of children are exploited by those close to them, expert says
By Conor Golden
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The majority of child sexual exploitations comes from the close associates of the victim, according to an expert.

She is Dorothy Rozga, the head of an international organization that is an advocate for children.

She spoke Tuesday at the opening session of the three-day Congreso sobre Explotación Sexual Comercial de Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes.

The event featured representatives from the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the Fundación Paniamor and the now international End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism organization. The purpose of this congress is to explore ideas and combine organizations together in the fight against the abuse and exploitation of children for sexual purposes, organizers said.

The keynote speaker was Mrs. Rozga, who is the executive director of the End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism organization, which covers much more than Asia, and a member of the board of directors for the WePROTECT Global Alliance, an international board of representatives from countries, civil society organizations and the technology industry.

Mrs. Rozga addressed the audience of the need to recognize the cultural contexts related to the commercial and sexual exploitation, citing a statistic in her presentation that claimed over 67 percent of all these cases originate from the child’s circle of trust, such as family members, coaches, teachers, and neighbors.

The globalization of producing child sex abuse via a live broadcast across continents with the production being ordered in one, the filming done in another, and the viewing being done in a third location is presenting a rising challenge for governments and other groups to act against it, she said.

Ms. Rozga spoke of a young victim she called María, who appeared in one of the international porno movies. She said her organization was trying to track down the girl but with little success, discussed how hard it is to acquire details of how many are abused because “her age silences her, and she will further be silenced by shame, stigma, and fear.”

A.M. Costa Rica/Conor Golden
Mrs. Rozga gives her opinions on sex exploitation.

In her presentation, Mrs. Rozga brought in statistics from the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on the number of uploads of child pornography and abuse, the International Police Agency database on the problem, and from INHOPE: The International Association of Internet Hotlines. The point of all this data was to exhort on the need for greater collaboration at the grassroots, governmental, international, and business levels to combat this problem.

To that end, her main point was the handing out and explanation of a document designed by the WePROTECT organization illustrating 21 general requirements needed from the categories they defined as: Policy and governance, criminal justice, victim, societal, industry, and media/communications. Its intent, the organization claims, is to help a country or a group identify any potential gaps they may have in their policies or efforts and then fill those in with the solutions provided on the page.

The congress will continue to meet today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Aurola Holiday Inn with workshops and other presentations as well as gatherings related to discussing these international, geopolitical combinations of issues.

Woman gets 15 years for elaborate tourism insurance fraud
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For the first time in the history of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, someone has been convicted of a very complex fraud. That is what the Fiscalía de Fraudes said Tuesday.

The prosecutor’s office for fraud said a judicial penal has sentenced Luz Mercedes Rojas Meneses to 15 years in prison after she was found guilty of felony-level fraud, attempt at major fraud, 140 counts of forging documents and another 140 counts of using forged documents. The Tribunal Penal del I Circuito Judicial of San José issued the sentence.

Ms. Rojas was also obligated to reimburse the Instituto Nacional de Seguros $42,000 to compensate for the damages caused by her crimes.

The case began in late November of 2007 when Ms. Rojas purchased a traveler’s insurance policy at the Juan Santamaría airport for a trip to Lima, Perú. Returning back from this trip, she filed an extended claim with the Instituto saying that she had lost consciousness for three days at the hotel where she was

staying and had to be transferred to a private clinic.

To prove her case, she presented extensive documentation that included receipts of payments and of the extensive medical care she allegedly received. There was one problem with all of this however: the documents were forgeries, prosecutors said. The insurance institute, not realizing this at the time, compensated her  $41,744.43 benefit.

In March of 2009, Ms. Rojas again submitted another claim to the insurance institute for around $90,000 in order to receive compensation for an alleged accident she had while on another trip to Lima. She claimed she was involved in a hit-and-run accident where she was again transferred to the same clinic as the first time. This time, Ms. Rojas claimed she contacted former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, whom she said was her friend, who provided her emergency care and a flight back from Perú to Costa Rica.

The prosecutor’s office said it was able to clearly demonstrate however, in cooperation with the Venezuelan Embassy, that she never used any sort of aircraft originating from that country.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 237
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Costa Rica stock fraudster had links to associate of Trump's adviser
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Controversial Trump ally Steve Bannon was involved briefly with a firm that sought help from Jonathan Curshen and his Red Sea Management in Costa Rica.

Bannon, the Breitbart News chairman, has been picked by Donald Trump to be his chief White House strategist.

Before entering the online journalism business, Bannon was involved with penny stock promotions, including one involving SinoFresh Healthcare, Inc., a maker of homeopathic nasal sprays, according to the Washington, D.C.,-based Politico.

Bannon was on the firm's board of directors in 2004 when a court battle developed over stock ownership and corporation control. The Securities and Exchange eventually withdrew stock registration from the firm, long after Bannon left.

During the ownership dispute, an associate, another board member sought help from Curshen to set up an offshore corporation to hold stock, said Politico.

Red Sea Management was in Edificio Colón in San José. The U.S. Justice Department has identified the firm as a money

 laundering hub that established bank accounts and brokerage accounts in the United States and Canada under false pretenses and through nominee owners.

In May 2012 Curshen and an associate, were convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit bank, wire and securities  fraud. Curshen was also convicted of two counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, said the Justice Department.

Last year Curshen was back in court challenging his conviction and an order to make restitution. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to turn over $7.3 million.

Curshen was a well-known financial figure in Costa Rica and his firm employed a lot of expats who sold stock mostly to investors in North America.

He also was an honorary consul for a small Caribbean nation.

He was convicted in what is known as a pump and dump scheme involving the shares of a firm called CO2 Tech. Promoters run up the value of a stock and then unload it at the time when they can maximize profits. There is no indication that Bannon was involved in this fraud.

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BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

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

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

Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes

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

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Fully Furnished American Style Apartment for Rent

San Jose Central 2-1/2-bedroom 2-bathroom apartment on the 2nd floor. Fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amón. Large balcony. Adult Building. Free cable television with two television both in the living room and in the main bedroom. High speed internet cable, WiFi, fully equipped large kitchen with microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, water cooler, total utensils. King-sized bed in the principal bedroom, all bedding, sheets, towels, etc. It has an over-sized soaking tub off of the second bathroom. Water included. Free laundry rooms on all floors. Convenient to Parque Morazán, 100 meters north of downtown Holiday Inn, other hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, National Registry. For a single individual it is $650 per month plus your electric usage just inside your apartment. $300 security deposit promptly refunded except your final electric bill. For personal inspection and more information contact: Hilda or Frank at 506-2221-7161.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 237
Real Estate
About us

Axiom new ad

Physician, Bush aide picked
for president-elect's cabinet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump made his selections for two more cabinet posts Tuesday. Included was an outspoken foe of Obamacare.

Trump named Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, as his secretary of Health and Human Services. Trump says Price will lead his administration's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act.

"Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem-solver and the go-to-expert on health care policy, making him an ideal choice to serve in this capacity," Trump said.

Price is chairman of the House Budget Committee and was an orthopedic surgeon before entering politics.

He says he wants a health care system that works for patients, families and doctors and leads the world in curing and preventing sickness.

Trump made getting rid of Obamacare one of his major campaign themes, constantly referring to one of Obama's proudest achievements as an expensive disaster.

But neither Trump or other Republican critics have spelled out what they want to put in its place. Trump has said he wants to keep two of Obamacare's most popular provisions, barring insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and letting children stay on their parents' policies until they are 26 years old.

Also Tuesday, Trump named former Labor secretary Elaine Chao to head the Department of Transportation.

"Secretary Chao's extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner," he said.

Ms. Chao was born in Taiwan and was labor secretary under president George W. Bush. She was the first Asian-born woman ever to serve in a U.S. president's cabinet.

Carrier says it will not send
1,000 of its jobs to México

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Carrier Corp. has reached a deal with president-elect Donald Trump to cancel plans to move about 1,000 furnace plant jobs from the Midwestern state of Indiana to México.

The company, which makes heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, said Tuesday in a Twitter message that it was pleased to have reached a deal and that details would be announced later.

A Trump transition team official said the president-elect and vice president-elect Mike Pence, who is governor of Indiana, would talk more about the agreement when they meet Thursday with Carrier officials.

It was unclear whether Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, would go through with plans to move jobs from a separate plant to Mexico.

Trump campaigned on promises to keep manufacturing jobs from moving overseas. He had threatened to impose heavy tariffs if companies who moved try to sell their products to U.S. consumers. He blamed such trade deals as the North American Free Trade Agreement for giving companies financial incentives to set up factories overseas.

Would-be terrorist admits
his desire to slay people

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A 20-year-old North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to attempting to commit an act of international terrorism at the encouragement of the Islamic State group.

Federal prosecutors said Justin N. Sullivan intended to use an assault rifle equipped with a silencer and loaded with hollow-point bullets to gun down hundreds of people in North Carolina and Virginia to prove his allegiance to Islamic State extremists.

Sullivan, whose plot unraveled when he confided in an undercover FBI agent, admitted his guilt in court Tuesday in Asheville, North Carolina, and said he had agreed to accept a sentence of life in prison.

Sullivan admitted he conspired with Junaid Hussain, a senior member of Islamic State responsible for online recruitment, U.S. officials said. There were frequent contacts between the American, who was a teenager at the time, and Hussain before federal agents moved in to arrest Sullivan in June of last year.

Hussain, believed to be the third highest-ranking member of IS, was killed in an airstrike in Syria in August 2015, U.S. officials said.

Court records said Sullivan discussed his attack plan with an undercover FBI agent he was trying to recruit. The young American had researched online how to manufacture firearm silencers, and he enlisted his supposed accomplice to build silencers they could use in an attack. Aiming for maximum casualties, Sullivan supposedly said he hoped to kill up to 1,000 people with automatic-rifle fire at a club, concert hall or bar.

Hussain, Sullivan's Islamic State controller, asked him to be sure to record a video of the attack, which Sullivan promised to do. The defendant admitted in court documents to his deep involvement in every aspect of his attack plot.

He and the undercover agent were to have attended gun shows in the North Carolina-Virginia area on June 20 or 21, 2015, where they hoped to purchase automatic rifles. However, on June 19, law-enforcement agents arrested Sullivan at his parents' home, where they also recovered a gun silencer and other items related to the case.

U.S. officials said Sullivan was suspected of killing a neighbor, John Bailey Clark, in December 2014. Forensic testing showed the gun that killed Clark was owned by Sullivan's father. The son said later that he had stolen the weapon and hidden it beneath the family home.

Sullivan did not admit that he killed Clark, but prosecutors said they would present further evidence before he is sentenced. Court documents also showed that Sullivan's parents were suspicious about his activities and that he intended to have them killed by the undercover FBI agent, in return for compensation, so they could not interfere with his attack plans.

Women business leaders send
entrepreneur plea to president

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Actress Jessica Alba is a supporter. So is the president and CEO of Mastercard. The co-founder of AOL and the CTO of Estee Lauder are also on board. What do they all have in common? They are among the 85 American business leaders and startup founders who have signed their names to an open letter addressed to the next U.S. president.

The letter outlines policy recommendations designed to drive and foster female entrepreneurship in the U.S., including increasing access to capital, expanding entry into local and global markets, and streamlining government processes for entrepreneurs seeking to get their businesses up and running.
According to the group of signees, there is a great deal of money potentially at stake, $30 billion to be exact. The letter cites a McKinsey Global Institute study which found the United States' GDP could rise by that amount if women and men contributed equally to entrepreneurship efforts. But gender inequalities in society and the workplace have reduced women's clout and, as a result, their economic contributions, they said.

"I always think about the venture funding gap, but there's really a gap in the whole cycle," said Elizabeth Gore, who spearheaded the letter and is an entrepreneur-in-residence at computer-maker Dell. "Women need bridge loans. They need payment cycles that are not 90 days. They need to be paid as sub-contractors within 30 days … so this notion of access to capital is much bigger than I actually perceived."

The letter was sent November first to both Hillary Clinton and president-elect Donald Trump, a week before participants knew who would become the next president. Of the 85 signees, 63 are female CEOs and startup founders, including Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter, Melanie Whelan of SoulCycle and Sarah Kauss of S'well Bottle.

Dengue vaccine has problems
for some, report concludes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization is continuing to assess the risks and benefits of the first vaccine developed to prevent dengue fever.

A study, published in September, concluded that the vaccine, called Dengvaxia, could have a positive impact in regions where there is a high incidence of dengue, preventing one in five hospitalizations, but could be problematic in other areas. A new report, commissioned by World Health and spearheaded by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, refined that conclusion.

Researchers used mathematical models to assess data from human trials of Dengvaxia involving some 30,000 people around the world.

According to the new report, the vaccine could potentially reduce the incidence of dengue fever between 6 percent and 25 percent in countries with moderate to high transmission rates, where at least 50 percent of children get infected for the first time by their ninth birthday. Investigators concluded a policy of routinely vaccinating 80 percent of 9-year-olds is needed to realize the reduction in cases.

But in places where the disease is uncommon, affecting 10 percent of the population or less, Dengvaxia could cause severe illness and hospitalization in individuals who contract dengue for the first time after being vaccinated.

Approximately half of the world's population is at risk for contracting dengue, a mosquito-borne illness that can cause high fever, joint pain, bleeding and potentially, death by dengue shock syndrome.

A person can potentially be infected by four different strains of the virus, and can be infected more than once. A second infection is generally the worst. In people who have been infected the first time, the vaccine may prevent a serious second infection.

But in those who have never been infected and are vaccinated, as in low burden countries, the vaccine can act like a silent, first infection, making individuals very sick should they actually become infected.

Fake news is getting blame
for Trump election victory

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A common narrative that emerged during this year's presidential race was that of a country divided, which experts and pundits say explains the rise and stunning electoral victory of Republican Donald Trump over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

The other story of 2016 is the rise of so-called fake news and its spike on social media outlets. Facebook, in particular, has come under fire, having surpassed Google as the biggest driver of audience on all social media platforms.

This week, Trump again invited controversy by tweeting out a claim of voter fraud during the November election that he says denied him the popular vote without citing any evidence.

The fake news phenomenon has rattled the web, not to mention mainstream journalists, scholars and ordinary users of social media, many of whom are tweeting and writing op-ed columns, news stories and guides on how to spot inaccurate news stories and fake news Web sites.

All this has put unprecedented pressure on Facebook, where, according to an analysis by Buzzfeed News, fake election stories generated more total engagement on Facebook than top election articles from 19 major news outlets in the final three months of the election campaign.

The heat on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg prompted the company to tweak its algorithm to weed out inaccurate information, and later, as the outcry grew, publicly outline steps the company is taking to reduce what Zuckerberg called misinformation.

He prefaced his post with a familiar caveat: "We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties."

There are legitimate sites, journalists and scholars who are paying attention to the prevalence of fake news. Among them:, the Columbia Journalism Review, The Poynter Institute and Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack University, who wrote a Google document with tips on how to spot fake news sites or inaccurate news stories for her students.

According to these fact-checkers, internet users must first understand what fake news is and is not.

“We classify 'fake news' as specifically web sites that publish information that's entirely fabricated," said Kim LaCapria, content manager for, a Web site that tracks misinformation.

And that conflation of what information can accurately be described as fake or misleading or maybe only partially true, coupled with the warp speed of digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter, have created a perfect storm of confusion, said a University of Connecticut philosophy professor and author, Michael Lynch.

Ms. LaCapria, like Lynch, also has seen first-hand how branding everything that is verifiably false 'fake news' isn’t really what is happening on social media. “One long-circulating rumor held that Hillary Clinton was fired from the Watergate investigation for lying,” Ms. LaCapria said.

Ms. LaCapria points out distorted or false information has existed for a long time.

“This is the first real social media election we’ve ever experienced. And we had two social media candidates:  Sanders and Trump,” she said, “now that people are upset about Trump, they're looking at social media as a culprit. And it may be a mitigating factor, but this has all definitely been affecting politics hugely for many years.”

The Poynter Institute’s Alexios Mantzarlis, who leads the International Fact-Checking Network, agrees that there is a bit too much angst over fake news.

“Politicians distorting the truth isn't a new phenomenon. Voters choosing politicians based on emotions rather than facts is not a new phenomenon,” Mantzarlis said in an email. “Moreover, we know from research that fact-checking can change readers' minds."

For social media companies like Twitter and the rest, the ability to weed out false information or hate speech can be daunting, no matter how savvy their back-end web engineers may be.

Facebook in essence acknowledged that recoding its algorithm wasn’t enough, when Zuckerberg posted his latest statement about the spreading of misinformation on his platform.

In terms of fixes, Mantzarlis puts the burden on users.

“For one, headline writers could avoid repeating a baseless claim without any indication that it is unfounded.” Mantzarlis also argues that Facebook will need to hire some human beings to vet content in tandem with creating smarter back-end technology.

“The algorithm itself will have to change … to recognize that fake news, and the pages that consistently post them, to get a reduced reach on News Feed,” he said of the Facebook feature, adding that this tack will hit fake news purveyors where it hurts the most.

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

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

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

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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.
Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000!!
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)

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean
Ocean view
and mountains. Locatedonly 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  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 January.  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  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if 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:

Real estate services
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 237
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
Zeta page
This is the front page of Zeta that irked the drug lords

Traffickers threatening newspaper again

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Drug dealers once again are threatening the weekly newspaper Zeta, the feisty investigative publication in Tijuana, México.

The Inter American Press Association Tuesday urged Mexico's authorities to take firmly and urgently measures to protect the staff of the weekly, who said they have received threats from drug traffickers in reprisal for a report on their criminal activities.

Friday Zeta, based in Tijuana, in the Mexican state of Baja California, published information and 10 photographs on the front page of its recent issue on members of organized crime, mostly belonging to the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel, under investigation for various alleged offenses. Several hours later officers of the Baja California security force warned the Zeta editors that one of the drug trafficker chiefs was understood to have ordered their offices to be shot up Sunday in retaliation for the publication of a photo of him and other members of the gang. However, it was learned that the attack might have been postponed.

Roberto Rock, urged the government to deal firmly and urgently with this matter through its system of local protection, taking precautionary measures so as to ensure the safety of all the weekly's staff. He is chairman of the press association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.

Rock, editor of La Silla Rota in Mexico City, called Zeta "a courageous publication that for decades has been navigating the dangers facing the practice of journalism" and added that "it has been the target of several attacks," a reference to the murder of two of its joint editors, Héctor Féliz Miranda in 1988 and Francisco Javier Ortiz in 2004. An attack upon one of its founders, Jesús Blancornelas, in 1997 critically injured him and killed his bodyguard.

Since its launch in 1980 Zeta has been a model of independent journalism in the fight against drug trafficking in Mexico.

No oxcart parade for this year

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The parade of oxcarts and their drivers, suspended because of Hurricane Otto Sunday, will not be rescheduled, the Municipalidad de San José said Tuesday.

The parade that features the lumbering oxen or bueyes is generally considered the unofficial start of the holiday season. There had been hopes to reschedule the event for another Sunday.

More than 300 wagons and carts were expected for the parade, which is a big tourism draw.

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:

Dying man runs marathon with oxygen tank

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A terminal case of pulmonary fibrosis wasn’t enough to keep Evans Wilson from finishing a marathon.

Wilson, 63, finished the Seattle Marathon in just under 11 hours Sunday, and toted an oxygen tank the entire way.

He said he wanted to raise awareness of the disease as well as to raise up to $50,000 for research into a potential cure.

His time was three hours less than his goal of 14 hours.

The former runner, who was diagnosed with the debilitating lung disease at age 57, told the Seattle ABC TV affiliate KOMO that he felt pretty good after the effort.